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PESTLE and SWOT analyses are extremely important tools used to evaluate the prevailing status of a particular organization in relation to its current state and environment. These two analysis tools are utilized for future planning. They aid immensely in strategic and risk management.
PESTLE looks at the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors (Kearns 2010). These are factors that caused G4S to fail in delivering the required number of staff for the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Political factors involve governance issues, which the government puts forth. These factors cut across different aspects such as tax policy, labour laws, tariffs and restrictions (Kearns 2010). The Home secretary, Sean O'Neill Theresa May, had to ask for more troops from the Ministry of Defence after an evident deficit of security personnel at G4S. She had to answer the emergency Commons question and promised MPs that security would be high. These are the same MPs and commons that had previously decided to choose G4S as the best firm to man the 2012 Olympic Games. Politics played a major role in this wrong decision that left security in shambles.
In addition, tax policy played a role in the G4S failure to see the risks of the contract. For instance, politicians had enacted the policy of tax cuts in order to encourage firms to reduce their prices. However, politicians failed to include a clause with terms and conditions for failure of delivery and the penalties the company would face. They did this to make the contract appealing to private companies without considering the involved risks. In addition, due to the ever-increasing Olympics’ security budgets, the number of security guards was tripled. G4S had limited time to recruit the high number of personnel. On the other hand, G4S failed to foresee the difficulty of the contract in that; they said “they were confident they would deliver.” According to Tessa Jowell, the Labour government was also guilty of its inability to monitor G4S to ensure that it delivered the required number of guards within the limited period of time.
Economic factors shape the operations of businesses and their ability of making profits (Kearns 2010). These factors include inflation, economic growth, foreign exchange rates, business funding, funding mechanisms and income targets (Chan 2012). G4S was given millions to train guards. G4S did not have any economic problem for training the security staff. It had a lot of money to train and hire security guards. Therefore, the financial problems did not play a critical role in G4S failure.
Social factors deal with the cultural and social aspects in general. These aspects include societal attitudes, health consciousness, demographics, cultural diversities, lifestyle changes and employment (Kearns 2010). Most of the army officers abandoned their family members in order to fill the security gaps during the games. Some of the officers refused to join G4S due to the short notice deployment (Chan 2012). These refusals made G4S to fail even more in its endeavours.
Technological factors go hand in hand with technology. They deal with technological innovations, research and technological administration in order to use human resource potential (Kearns 2010). G4S did not research well on the probable security status, snarl-ups, staff motivation and performance during the games. The G4S human resource team was hired blindly. The administration of the security teams was also poor. This made the security staff feel less motivated due to poor reward systems and excessive work.
G4S had not been innovative in terms of recruiting and training of security staff for a shorter period of time before the Olympic Games commenced. Lack of technological innovation in the hiring and training of security personnel led to the massive drop out rate.
Legal factors mainly involve matters related to the law. Examples of these factors are passed laws, proposed legislations and legal contracts. G4S broke its legal agreement with the government on hiring and training of security personnel for the Olympic Games. Both parties signed a pact that G4S would hire, train and supply 13, 700 security officers for the games (Chan 2012). However, G4S broke its contractual obligations when it provided a smaller staff of 4,000 security employees.
Environmental factors deal with aspects of ecology and environment. These aspects include weather, climate and global warming (Hopkins & Booth 2009). They are known to affect different industries in different dimensions. The army was forced to stay in poor living conditions such as tents or schools due to the short time deployment. They were crammed in particular areas, and this was critical to their health.
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SWOT analysis is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Fine 2009). It is also an important tool of strategic and risk management (Fine 2009).
These are attributes or traits of a business or a company that make it stand above the rest. G4S stands out as one of the best security firms in England. This is the prime reason why it was chosen to provide security guards during the world’s biggest event. In the past, the company had shown tremendous strengths in providing security services. G4S entered into a multimillion deal with the government in training security guards. This was a strength that they capitalized to present the sufficient number of guards.
Weaknesses are traits that disadvantage a business or a company while comparing it with competitors (Chan 2012). The recruitment pool at G4S was inherently unreliable. This had led to the highest attrition rates before the games started. G4S had the poorest hiring team. This team hired individuals, who could not withstand the pressure of security provision. They hired people indiscriminately in order to meet a fixed number of staff for the games, a fact, which they failed terribly.
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These are elements of the business environment, in which a company or a business can operate and be profitable (Fine 2009). G4S had a lot of opportunities to be successful in providing security. However, it did not explore these opportunities extensively. The company saw an opportunity in retired police officers. It decided to recruit them in order to supplement the guards that had dropped out. The country had a huge number of unemployed people with college education. G4S should have capitalized on this opportunity in order to fill 13,700 staff personnel it had been contracted to provide. The human resource team did not see this opportunity. Hence, this was a failure.
These are particular elements present in the business environment, which can make business to face trouble, make loses or even collapse (Henry 2008). G4S faced many threats. Later, G4S succumbed to some of these threats. There was a high rate of security guards dropping out from the exercise of manning venues during the games. The threats of terrorism forced the House of Commons to question the ability of G4S in order to provide security free of any terrorist attacks. 4, 0000 guards were not enough to provide security checks on each individual. There was a danger of people possessing metallic weapons and even bombs or grenades during the games.
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Human Resource Planning Process
Human resource planning helps companies or businesses to meet their set objectives and have a fair advantage over their competitors (Kleyhans et al 2006). It brings out the comparison of current business state to its state in the future. Then, it identifies the changes that need to be taken for human resources in the organization in order to achieve organizational goals (Jackson et al 2010).
The first step in the human resource planning process is the design of management system. This system is important in handling the whole process that seeks to meet organizational goals. G4S seems not to have created a system to deal with the proper human resource practices, hiring mechanisms and best procedures.
Environmental analysis is also an important process. It helps human resource personnel to comprehend the inside and outside contexts or environments of a particular organization or business. G4S should have looked at the external conditions, which include the existing labour markets, competition, trends, and the rate of unemployment, economic status, age, sex, industry and technology. It should also have checked the internal environment, which consists of organizational goals, objectives, strategies, and its human resources.
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The third step is human resource forecasting. Human resource forecasting looks at the prevailing supply and demands of various human resources within a business. This helps to predict areas in a business that will have labour shortages or surpluses.
Human resource forecasting contains the three major steps. These are forecasting the demand of labour, determining the labour supply and labour surpluses or shortages (Kleyhans et al 2006). G4S should have done a demand analysis for forecasting the human resource requirements in order to predict staffing needs in the future. It should also have the undertaken supply analysis to forecast human resource availability. This would have helped to predict worker flows and their availability.
The fourth process is goal setting and strategic planning. Human resource managers or personnel set organizational goals and objectives. It seems that G4S did not come up with specific and achievable goals within a particular timeframe (Chan 2012). The G4S managers could have come up with strategic plans. These plans would have helped them to achieve their set goals.
The final process or stage is the program implementation and evaluation. After the goals have been set, the program begins to roll. After a particular period of time, the program undergoes evaluation. This evaluation helps to determine whether the set goals have been achieved or not. Strengths and weaknesses of the program are assessed. The managers may come up with various ways of solving the problems and further improving the program. G4S quickly implemented the program without fulfilling all the human resource planning processes.
G4S could have used various human resource strategies for the Olympic Games. The company should have purposely recruited for the London Olympic Games (Hopkins & Booth 2009). Purposely recruitment would have reduced the mass exodus of employees as it looks at the skills that a person possesses and the skill requirements of the company at the time. It should have identified the qualities and attributes of people, who wanted to be security guards (Henry 2008).
G4s should have offered better reward systems, which could have encouraged and enhanced better employee performance. They could be used within the organization to support the achievement of its objectives. On the contrary, most of the employees feared to be paid peanuts because of unclear reward systems within G4S security firm. Later, the company discovered the role of rewards to employees. It promised to give it to the troops, who would completely participate in the London Olympic Games security service delivery.
Good reward systems could have improved the retention rates at G4S (Kleyhans et al 2006). The high drop out rates among 4,000 guards manning the games showed that G4S had not put a better staff retention mechanism in place. The working conditions might have been tough due to fewer guards at the site. This could have made most of the guards frustrated and less motivated. As a result, they fled from their respective jobs.
In order to improve commitment and performance, G4S should have hired and trained a good number of security guards (Jackson et al 2010). However, the company hired very few security personnel, and this was a breach of their contractual obligations. This had an immense impact on the commitment and performance of existing security staff. This caused the historic exit of G4S staff from the company.
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G4S did not carry out the proper SWOT and PESTLE analyses before hiring and training the staff for the London Olympic Games in 2012. It also did not stick to the human resource planning process. It did not put the human resource strategies in place. This led to many problems such as the massive dropout rates, little motivation and poor performance during the Olympic Games. The poor retention rates forced G4S to look for alternative ways in order to fill the security gap. Organizations should be keen to use SWOT and PESTLE analyses for strategic and risk planning in order to avert such failures in the future.
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