Human Resource Management of the Australian Red Cross: A Case Study


The Australian Red Cross is a nongovernmental organization formed to help Australia’s government manage disasters. The main aim of the Australian Red Cross is to raise awareness among the people of Australia about the issues that may bring negative or positive effects on their lives. Australian Red Cross is mandated to ensure that the following services are delivered, ensuring that first aid is carried out during an emergency. This helps save the lives of the victims affected by such a situation. Providing Australian people with education can be a new piece of information or a reminder of what people already know.

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In essence, enlightening people in society helps facilitate the management and use of available resources, guaranteeing that blood donation is in order. This helps save lives if an individual needs an urgent blood transfusion (Occupational Health & Safety 2010, p. 19). However, certain professional issues bring about poor work relations between employees and employers. The human resource management team has roles to play in ensuring that an organization runs as expected to deliver high-quality services to the people.

 Poor Management by the Human Resources Department

The human resource management team is crucial in an organization as it greatly manages the employee. If there is poor management while carrying on their duties, it may lead to poor industrial relations and end up making the organization fail to meet the standards set. The following are the human resource duties that are poorly done, leading to negative industrial relations.

Recruitment and selection that are below the set standards – Failure to recruit and select individuals with proper knowledge, skills, and attitude toward red cross services bring about reduced work output, poor interpersonal relationships among the workers, and delays in meeting the expected objectives in a certain operation. Workers with insufficient knowledge and skills in health matters will not be able to act fast in case of an emergency. These hurt Australian society (Discrimination in Employment 1997, p. 22).

 Lack of well-defined roles and responsibilities for each employee – Employees lack the specific objectives they are supposed to meet in their line of duty, which brings about confusion and time wastage in the workplace. As a result, the senior employees end up performing tasks that can be done well by a junior employee, thus decreasing the likelihood of meeting the required objectives on time. This also contributes to high costs in the organization, as duties are performed slowly, hence the need for increased funds to cater to the employees and the services are given. In this light, employees start conflicting due to the pressure of who will do a certain task and who will not (Australia 1993, p. 50).

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 Failure to have a suitable compensation determination method – Any confusion when determining how to compensate employees is a big mistake. Bonuses and other rewards given to the best-performing employee should be accorded to them without any favors to minimize employee conflicts. This will also help motivate workers to try and be the best to be awarded next time. Human resource management fails their duties by adding and then removing benefits from the employee salaries, which demotivates them (Epstein & Manzoni 2008, p. 33).

 Poor occupational health and safety lead to injured employees or infections while on duty – The work environment predisposes them to such obstacles. In such a case, the organization will be affected in a major way in terms of meeting their objectives, as the employees will be reluctant to deliver the services due to fear of getting infected with incurable diseases or getting injuries, which will make them not able to provide food to their families. Employees not provided with protective clothing and enough security on a battlefield will not be keen enough and comfortable working there, thus causing poor quality service delivery. Also, lack of compensation in case of an employee getting injuries or sickness that is contributed by the working conditions will lead to demotivation of the employees (Copper & Tinline 2003, p.96).

 Failure to do training and development – Ongoing training and development programs are vital in the Australian Red Cross because health-related issues are dynamic; thus, the employees should be offered ongoing medical education to enlighten them. Focusing too much on senior employees and ignoring the junior ones has a great impact. They usually develop a negative attitude towards contributing to the organization as they feel they are unimportant and have less to offer (Australian Red Cross Society Tafe 2005, p.26).

Lack of proper dismissal policies – dismissal procedures should be well-defined and have well-layered steps to curb unfair dismissal cases. Managers and supervisors can be unjust and dismiss an employee without any genuine reason. This could be brought about by fear that a junior employee is better than the manager; thus, try and get rid of her before the human resource management gets to know it. Unfair dismissal leads to hatred and fear among the employees as they usually feel their job is no longer secure. On the managers’ side, they will have insecurity as they can no longer trust the employee because they can sense the hatred. Industrial action can also be taken to communicate to the employer that the employees are unhappy. Industrial action has negative repercussions in society. For instance, in the case of a disaster, there will be no one to help the victims, resulting in deaths (Oppenheimer 2014, p.54).

Favoring friends and relatives when giving promotions at the workplace – This act makes other employees lack the motivation to deliver high-quality services as there is no recognition given even after working hard to meet the goals. The employees with relatives in the HRM team fail to fulfill their roles as they are not threatened because they are well protected. Some of the junior employees even portray the act of insubordination to their seniors as they have people to protect them. These employees are always promoted even after gross misconduct at the workplace (Wiesner& Millett 2003, p.66).

The Primary Roles of Human Resource Management in the Australian Red Cross

 Recruitment and selection – The human resource management department plays a huge role in ensuring that it selects and recruits individuals with the required qualifications. The human resource ensures that the people recruited and selected have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to deliver quality work. This practice leads to objectives being met at the right time as only the professionals are working (Nankervis & Baird 2008, p. 72).

Providing employees with a performance management guideline – The Red Cross human resource management has provided employees with a policy on their duties and responsibilities to make work easier. Employees have specific objectives which help in directing them to their work. This has helped save lives as workers know their roles (Mathis & Jackson 2002, p.46).

Compensation – Determination is based on qualifications, experience, and employee performance. Employees with high qualifications and experience are given a higher salary than others. The best-performing employees are also given bonuses and rewards to motivate them to continue doing a good job. These help in awakening other employees to try and do their best to be given a reward or bonus next time (Nankervis &Baird 2002, p.32).

 Employee training and development The HRM ensures that their employees are in continuous education and training to be taught new things and be reminded of information they already know. This led to quality services given to people, as the employee will be using the knowledge and skills acquired to deliver better services (Confederation of Australian industry 1990, p.50).

Providing employees with occupational health and safety – This is also the role of human resource management in the Australian Red Cross. Healthcare workers are provided with protective clothing and gloves to ensure they are comfortable and safe. The employees are given enough security, especially in areas where there is a disaster, and their services are needed (Pinnington and Campbell 2007, p.72).

Concerns About the Australian Red Cross Human Resource Management

Employees still need more training and development. There are not enough employees in this organization. The benefits and compensations are not reviewed of late. Employees are not provided with enough security and safety while at the workplace. The human resource is not recruiting new graduates for terming them as inexperienced (Nel 2012, p.62 ).

Recommendations to Employer for Improvement

The following are the recommendations to the employer for improvement in the organization. First, it is necessary to organize more training and education seminars for the employees to ensure they are well-equipped with knowledge and skill, enabling them to give quality services (Decieri 2003, p.66). Human resource management should try to recruit fresh graduates as they already have experienced employees who can integrate them into the system and enable them to be great (Dessler and Griffiths 2007). More experienced employees are needed to facilitate and enhance efficiency in disaster management. By doing this, the workload will be reduced even for the current employees (Stones 2002, p.99).

Human resource management should review the employees’ compensations to motivate them to work harder. The incidences of employees resigning to look for greener pastures will also be reduced as they will be comfortable with the compensations (Valentine and Jackson 2013, p.70).

Consequently, human resource management should ensure that employees are provided with enough health safety measures to end the incidences of employees dying, getting injured, or an infection due to substandard safety measures. Security should be increased to protect employees while on duty (Occupational health and safety 2010, p. 42).



Australia (1993). Benchmarking: improving performance in the APS. [Canberra?], MAB/MIAC.

Australia (1997). Report Of Inquiry Into a Complaint of Discrimination in Employment and Occupation: Discrimination on the Ground of Trade Union Activity. Sydney, The Commission.

Australia (2010). Performance benchmarking of Australian business regulation: Occupational health & safety. Canberra City, ACT, Productivity Commission.

Australian Red Cross Society & Tafe Tasmania. (2005). Australian Red Cros M.A.T.E.S. Program: learning manual. [Melbourne], Australian Red Cross.

Confederation of Australian Industry (1990). Resource Book on Industrial Action. [Melbourne], Confederation of Australian Industry.

Cooper, D., Robertson, I. T. & Tinline, G. (2003).Recruitment and Selection: A Framework For Success. Australia, Thomson.

De Cieri, H. & Kramar, R. (2003). Human resource management in Australia: Strategy, people, performance. Boston, McGraw-Hill.

Dessler, G., Lloyd-Walker, B. & Griffiths, J. (2007). Human resource management. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Pearson Education Australia

Epstein, M. J. & Manzoni, J. F. (2008).Performance Measurement and Management Control Measuring and Rewarding Performance. Bingley, Emerald JAI.

Mathis, R. L. & Jackson, J. H. (2002).Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives. Australia, South-Western College Pub.

Nankervis, A. R., Compton, R. L. & Baird, M. (2002).Strategic Human Resource Management. South Melbourne, Nelson.

Nankervis, A. R., Compton, R. L. & Baird, M. (2008).Human Resource Management: Strategies & Processes.South Melbourne, Thomson Learning Australia.

Nel, P. S. (2012). Human resource management in Australia & New Zealand. South Melbourne, Vic, Oxford University Press

Oppenheimer, M. (2014).The power of humanity: 100 years of the Red Cross in Australia.

Pinnington, A., Macklin, R. & Campbell, T. (2007).Human Resource Management Ethics and Employment.Oxford, Oxford University Press

Stone, R. J. (2002). Human resource management. Milton, Qld, Wiley Australia.

Valentine, S., Mathis, R. L. & Jackson, J. H. (2013). Human Resource Management. South Melbourne, Nelson.

 Wiesner, R. & Millett, B. (2003).Human Resource Management: Challenges & Future Directions. Milton, Qld, Wiley & Sons Australia

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