The Real Mary King’s Close: Principles of Human Resources

The Real Mary King’s Close Is 5* visitor attraction in Edinburgh and It is located In the heard of Edinburgh Old Town. The tours are running underground, beneath buildings of Royal Mile. There is an alley of the streets and spaces right there. The close was very busy and most vibrant street in asses. 2) Planning the staff team Staff planning Is concerned with optimizing the use of the organization’s human resources, now and in the future. To predict workload in the ARMS, it should be considered the number of visitors from previous years.
The ARMS was planning initially 60,000 visitors per year. Since that time the visitor number has increased to 190,000 visitors per year due to new marketing campaigns and promotion of the visitor attraction itself. When planning the staff team the following should be considered: a) Manpower requirements The entertainment Is an essential component of tours provided In the ARMS. Most of the tour guides working for this visitor attraction are actors. They can easily identify with characters of person presented while on the tour.
The members of staff working in the ARMS are: Manager under Manager Marketing Manager Supervisor Tour Guides Retail Staff Cleaners Many roles are carried out at head office of the Continuum Group. B) Budget availability Whatever the objectives of the visitor attraction, its main financial management framework will be its budget. When planning the staff team, the type of contract and number of employees hired has to be within the allocated budget for the payroll. The current allocated budget for payroll within ARMS is over IEEE,OHO per year. This may Increase due to the Increase in visitor number to the attraction and the demand. Mime basis in the ARMS. The rest are employed part-time or on zero hours contracts due to the economic recession and to cut costs. ARMS increases temporary and part- time contracts for a high season in the summer and during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August-September). C) Essential skills and qualifications, experience required To gain a Job in visitor attraction is essential to have experience in customer facing environment and excellent verbal communication skills in English. To have a degree is desirable but it depends on the position applied.

A manager does need some degree whereas the tour guide should have at least interest or understanding of Edinburgh history. The other skills required for the Job in the ARMS are: Positive Attitude Good interpersonal skills Ability to work within a team Ability to use own initiative Ability to work under pressure Able to remember and recall facts Foreign language skills but it is only the advantage ) Use of person specification criteria and Job description in the recruiting process The personnel specification is a description of the human characteristics required by the Job holder and is derived from the demands of the Job description.
Many organizations use a framework to prepare personnel specifications and two widely used are Aleck Rodgers 7 point plan and John Munroe Framer’s 5 fold framework. 3) The function of a Job description Once the Job has been designed a Job description can be produced. This is essential, not only as part of the recruitment process but also to help with training, reward systems and staff appraisals. The Job description provides the employee with a clear outline of their duties, responsibilities and most important contributions needed from a position.
The example of Job description for a tour guide is attached in an Appendix 1. 4) The function of a person specification The person specification focuses on the type of person who might be the ideal Job holder. It may include the personal attributes and qualities, training and skills, experience in similar post would be also beneficial. The requirements for person specifications are likely listed in order to their priority and classified as ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’ for the specific Job. The example of personnel specification is attached in an Appendix 2.
The Continuum Group is unique in operating a group of cultural attractions commercially. Their main objective is to maintain the high quality of their customer service to achieve a growth of visitor number and to make a profit for them and their partners. Continuum Group owns and operates a number of leading visitor attractions in the UK and welcomes about 1 million visitors per year. (Scion, 2014) The ARMS is one of the tourist attractions that belong to the Continuum Group. The ARMS is an award-winning heritage attraction which provides underground tours to ore than 150,000 visitors a year.
In the ARMS, the manager duties include leading and developing team of staff who influences every aspect of the customer experience to bring the stories of the hidden street to life, helping ensure that this truly special place continues to run smoothly and focus on managing all the on-site visitor attraction activities. (Guardian News, 2014) The tour guides working in ARMS are talented actors and interpreters. They have to be knowledgeable of the site attraction, to provide customer service in a high level of standard, be able to interpret he customers, and be working under the Health & Safety conditions while on the tour. ) The Individual’s Contribution Individual’s roles As mentioned above, the management approach adopted at the visitor attraction is really important. The approach taken will influence the staff attitudes and Job satisfaction, and therefore will have a direct impact on the visitor experience at the attraction. Successful attractions tend to be those which are effectively managed. It is significant that the attraction has experienced professional managers across all aspects of the operation.
Attractions without such management are often weak in nee or more areas, including marketing, financial control, management of people and strategic planning (Swarthmore, 2002). The role of guiding is an important part of ARMS. Tour guides are employed to lead a group of visitors and provide them with an informative, entertaining and historic insight into a specific tour. The guides’ performance influences the visitor experience and their demand on the attraction. Individual employees can play a very important role in helping a business achieve teamwork and operations success.
The business needs to realism that any person who works for the organization has their own motives and needs and that the individual will fulfill the business needs if it also meets their individual needs. Teamwork There are several advantages of teamwork within an organization. Some of them are listed below: Reduction of risk of failure while working in a team, the burden is not falling on an individual’s shoulder Division of work – each person, who works in a team, execute any task of assigned work with the best possible aptitude. The division of work also assure the work is done on time. Team. The individual put the maximum efficiency on the work they are the best in or have knowledge and skills to do it. Team building Very often organizations use team building activities or events to build motivation and support at the workplace, improve communication, increase morale, improve productivity or Just break the ice to help get to know each other better within a team. In the ARMS, the management team uses social functions and occasions as a source of team building for employees – Halloween party or Christmas night out.
Retaining staff loyalty It is important to retain staff loyalty within organization. It helps to motivate employees to work for the benefit of the team and the business itself. It also helps to educe recruitment costs and training which has to be provided to new staff. Some of the methods include investing into the employees: To give the opportunity to employees to enhance their professional skills by training and development To help them improve their skills and allow them to rotate between different roles within the workplace to avoid stereotype forcing them to leave the organization. Entrepreneur, 2014) 7) The Recruitment and selection process Many personnel practitioners of organization spend a great deal of their time engaged in the activities associated with the recruitment and selection of staff. The response practitioner has to be knowledgeable about the wider issues involving recruitment and selection decisions, such as legislation and good practice, and the range of recruitment sources and selection methods, as well as being skilled in interviewing and assessing potential employees.
Examples of poor practice in recruitment and selection decisions which result in unnecessary costs to the organization are: Making mistakes – failure in redesigning by making changes in new vacancy 0 will have cost implications because the Job has not been designed to suit current needs and possibility of potential savings has been ignored. Recruiting the wrong person may result in their leaving or being dismissed in the short term or requiring more training than was assuming in the long term.
A hurried attempt to meet an advertising deadline in local paper 0 it may result in incorrect copy which misleads potential applicants or discourage them from applying. (Malcolm,2005) The steps from recruitment, selection to final induction are listed below: Produce Application Packs Design the Job descriptions Design the personnel specifications Assist in short-listing Arrange the interviews/tests Correspond with candidates Check their references Maintain records
Devise induction programmed 8) Investing in Human Resources Human resources are a long term asset of any business, especially when it comes to strategy. The amount of money spent on employees and their learning can be seen as helping the employees to learn better skills that will help the business achieve its goals with more efficiency. The goal of human resources should be to bring the employees skills out and use them to the business best advantage. Human resource management is concerned with obtaining organizing, training, motivating and rewarding the people needed by the organization. Malcolm, 2005) The organization can gain a competitive advantage over less progressive competitors by developing its human resources to improve employee skills and increase their loyalty to the organization. (Yahoo, 2014) Human resources should be about the development of both fundamentals of management as well as corporate values. This means that any investment in human resource management should achieve both of these goals. A) Customer care training The ARMS is an attraction owned by the Continuum Group which has had a set customer care strategy.
The Continuum Group uses the same customer care policy for all owned attractions around the I-J. Staff at the ARMS adopted the basic and clear set of standards outlined by this policy. It is used well every day at the visitor attraction to achieve a high level of customer care and maintain customer satisfaction. Every aspect of the customer care policy is vital to the success of the Real Mary Kings Close which is outlined in this report. The ARMS participates in the following two customer service training programmed: One Hundred Thousand Welcomes It is a customer service training programmer in Scotland.
It gives the staff the ability to deliver excellent customer service, benefiting the staff, visitors and the company. There are two types of programmer provided – one for the management staff and one for front of house staff. Welcome Host Customer Care Training It is a customer service training programmer which helps staff to obtain new customer service and improve communication skills as well as the knowledge of local services. Expectation. They receive a recognized certificate in the end of the training. Both of these training programmed are significant to the success of the ARMS operation.
The members of staff are given the best knowledge of visitor needs and requirements and how the staff themselves can exceed the expectations of every suitor within the ARMS. B) Investors in People It is a specialist in leading and managing people and its mission is to help to achieve objectives through the staff of the business. In 2008 there were almost 40,000 organizations currently working with Investors in People. It is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (IBIS). The ARMS received a bronze award from Investors in People and was also a finalist in the Scottish Thistle Awards in 2010.
The awards from the service training programmed are very important for the ARMS to show they do the right things, provide the excellent customer service and now what their customers need and want. 9) Training Induction training Before new employee becomes a tour guide, the special induction training program is provided by ARMS. Each new employee must be accompanied by an employee during the tour. New tour guides are provided with detailed scripts to learn in addition to a booklet which contains historical information needed for the tours.
They shadow five tours with general public and then are assigned a buddy. All training provided for new staff is given on site. The new tour guides are then expected to expand their tour in their own way and input their own extra information to make the our as interesting as possible. Product knowledge Product knowledge is a key to the success of the attraction at ARMS. The tour guides should be able to give an in-depth description on the close and how life was when it was used, as well as being able to answer many questions by visitors.
Health & Safety training As part of the Health & Safety regulations, all staff has to go through special training program before they start to work at the visitor attraction. This training is provided only once, however all employees should repeat the training while working at the attraction to keep the highest level of the customer service. The first aid training is provided only to the management team and they get certificate in the end of the training. This training is not provided for tour guides and it should be changed.
The tour guides are responsible for the visitors during the tours taken underground therefore the fast first aid would be necessary. 10) Training programmed and their benefits Benefits to the organization visitors, to know their expectation and needs By providing relevant training to the employees, it increases the customer satisfaction. Visitors would willing to visit attraction where know they do not waste a time and money. Enhance the reputation, people will speak about the attraction and recommend to friends and family. The image of the attraction will improve too.
Investing into employees means their loyalty to the organization Benefits to the employees The training programmer can motivate the staff to learn new things, to improve and to develop their skills Training makes the employee that they are part of organization “family’ With training provided, the tour guide can provide excellent customer service to the visitors while on the tour. They can be consequently rewarded by weekly award called “The Magic Award” by their colleagues or by customers’ feedback revived as “Service Excellence Nomination”. 1) Implications to the organization of poor training Low staff aptitude, skills and product knowledge No staff motivation Lack of improvement over time The staff leaving the company 0 poor quality of service 0 bad reputation – the customers’ negative feedbacks for tours, tour guides and attraction itself, by mouth 0 less number of visitors to the attraction 0 losing the customers now and in the future 12) The function of Staff Appraisals The organization is able to assess how each member of staff is working by conducting he staff appraisal.
The staff appraisal is an opportunity to evaluate the performance of employees at least once per year. It is managed through a discussion between staff members and management. These discussions provide agreements about objectives and the achievement of targets. The aim of the appraisal is to evaluate the work and priorities the individual employee’s future duties and development needs. The organization can identify its underachieving employees and either give them special attention to improve their performance, or begin the process of replacing them (eh, 2014)
The staff Rota is a list of employees who are working on any given day, week or month. Planning the amount of staff needed to be able to handle the daily and weekly workload of any business is essential. This can be achieved by using a planning Rota to make sure enough staff are available to cover the necessary work, but the business needs to be careful to make sure enough staff are included on the Rota as not enough employees on hand could have bad financial impacts on the business. The purpose to make staff Rota in advance is important for full time employees to give them statutory hours as stated in their contract and to cover holidays.
It is also important in high seasons (Summer, during the Fringe Festival) when the number of visitors increases, so the organization hires a seasonal staff and make staff Rota in advance, firstly to expand the tours and secondly can see the flowing visitors number by number of staff on a day. 14) Ineffective roster If the staff roster is not planned and made in advance it could have impact to the employees but mainly to the customers. While less staff is working during the shift it is more stressful, the employees can provide less effort on the customer service and customers are dissatisfied.
It is bad reputation for the attraction and it loses the customers now and in the future. The planning of staff Rota also helps to minimize the harmful effects of long shifts and reduce proceeding mistakes. 1 5) Conclusion As said in the beginning of the report the human resources are important in the business as they affect the operation of the attraction, the staff and the customers. The organization should put more effort on recruitment process and consecutive selection of staff to avoid unnecessary cost and mistakes. In the ARMS, the Health & Safety and First Aid training should be considered before new employees start their bob.

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