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1. INTRODUCTION: Strategy is about deciding where you want to go and how you mean to get there. A strategy is a declaration of intent: This is what we want to do and this is how we intend to do it. Strategies define longer-term goals but they are more concerned with how those goals should be achieved. Strategy is the means to create value. A good strategy is one that works, one that guides purposeful action to deliver the required result.

Moreover, companies everywhere are changing the way they manage in order to be more competitive. A key measure of management in the 1990s and beyond lies in results attained relative to the opportunities and constraints created by rapid environmental change. A primary way to gain competitive advantage is to manage people more effectively. Developing and implementing human resource strategies ensures that actions in managing human resources are aligned with competitive demand, as reflected in business strategies.

To win in the global marketplace, companies are seeking to provide distinctly superior customer service, develop new capabilities and employee commitment, pursue innovation and creative initiative, and manage change through teamwork and cooperation. Most are striving to manage with fewer employees, fewer management levels, and more flexibility in management practices. 2. GENERAL BUSINESS STRATEGIES OF VISION OIL COMPANY Vision Oil Company’s strategy is more upstream, profitable downstream. Upstream is about searching and recovering more oil and gas.

Downstream is about refining and delivery of products to their customers. The profitable down stream is Vision Oil Company’s mission statement. Vision Oil Company’s strategy is more upstream; however their profitable downstream remains on track. Vision Oil Company levers a strong, wide ranging energy portfolio to meet the challenge of providing energy in a secure and responsible way. In their upstream business, they are continuing to focus on developing new projects with long and productive lives.

Vision Oil Company’s strategy seeks to reinforce their position as a leader in the industry and provide investors with a competitive and sustained total shareholder return. Their commitment to technology and innovation continues to be at the core of Vision Oil Company’s strategy. They use a range of technologies and skills to explore for oil and gas in a ways that reduce the risk of error. Vision Oil Company’s strategic plan is to streamline, which means reducing risks, costs, complexity of processes and increasing downstream profitability. For the customer this makes it easier to work with Vision Oil Company across the globe.

For the employees of Vision Oil Company it means getting things right first time and every time, and access to accurate and meaningful management material as well as making efficient use of time and energy. The streamline strategy will improve the way Vision Oil Company does its business with its customers. The streamline strategy has two components, which include customer service relocation (CRS) and global system application (GSAP). GSAP looks at processes and technologies, which replaces existing fragmented IT systems with a single global system. Therefore things will be done more consistently, quickly and efficiently.

Looking at streamline, we come to the conclusion that it will prevent errors and at the same time the processes will be the same worldwide. 3. HR STRATEGY OF VISION OIL COMPANY Before we outline the HR strategy of Vision Oil Company, we need to define strategy. The word strategy originates from the word strategia which means generalship. But we prefer to refer to Johnson et al (2008:3) that summarizes strategy as follows: “strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long term, which achieves the advantage in a changing environment through configuration of resources. Therefore strategy can be used at all levels within the organisation. Having already discussed the general strategy of Vision Oil Company, we would like to further discuss the HR strategies of Vision Oil Company. The HR strategies of Vision Oil Company evolve mainly around two HR functions, namely, attracting, retaining and maintaining the employees and then training and development of employees. We will firstly discuss attracting and retaining and maintaining of employees. The attraction of human resources involves the requisition of required human resource, further more it deals with: • Recruitment Selection • Hiring/placement • Induction • And socialization Meanwhile retaining and maintaining is more about the utilisation and conservation of the organisation’s Human resources such as performance and appraisal management, training and development, career and succession management, compensation and reward, collective bargaining, communication motivation and leadership, as well as maintaining sound relations. Having established that, Vision Oil Company emphasises its HR strategy around cost effectiveness while attracting.

We mean that as a large Company, when it comes to attracting Vision Oil Company recruits and selects through employment agencies and use two well known agencies based in Cape Town. The placement fee that Vision Oil has negotiated with their agencies is 10% instead of the usual 17% cost. Furthermore the risk lies with the agency not with Vision; therefore Vision Oil Company does not spend time with recruitment, but consults the employment agencies. Vision Oil Company meets with their employment agencies on a frequent basis in order to discuss recruitment needs. At these meetings, they will also discuss the evolution of employees hired.

The employment agencies provide temporary, permanent as well as contract placement to Vision Oil Company. The employment agencies come in handy by identifying people with talent and recruiting at graduate level. Vision believes that recruiting the best people saves money. Vision Oil Company sets specific guidelines for the agencies when it comes to recruiting potential candidates. Agencies are required to look at the level of competence, the individual’s ability to adapt to change, leadership capabilities, business acumen, and whether the potential candidate has a strong sense of the bigger picture of the business.

Then once Vision has acquired the right people, they then put measures in place in order to retain these employees by offering consistency in salaries, bench market and bonuses. Vision Oil Company gives performance bonus to its employees on a monthly basis on top of the normal salary. The performance bonuses start at 20% and can be more depending of the extent of the employee’s good performance. Vision assesses the current estimated potential of employees by giving employees extra projects. A mentor is assigned to guide employees who have been targeted to be future leaders, hence exposing them to different training.

For example, a future leader in his first year is assigned a mentor who helps him or her to be exposed to other roles, the second year he gets assigned to a project mentor, the third year, he gets assigned to a specific area of work to look after, and finally on the 4th year he gets appointed on a team leader or supervisor role. So the focus is on a capacity, achievement and relationship. Other aspect on which the HR strategy orients itself is globalisation of the organisation. For example, recently there has been a change HR system whereby the company has moved to an online employee management system.

This system has been created in order for employees to get the best use of HR system. For example employees can now apply for leave on-line by completing a leave application form. Employees can also review available leave on-line. This focus on changing the HR system to an online system is in order to promote a paper-less environment. Another example of using an online HR system is that external job-seekers can browse available positions and complete an application on line. Using soft skills for performance is part of Vision’s HR strategy.

How people accommodate themselves within a diverse cultural environment due to different languages within the organization. For example, Dutch culture, French culture versus South African culture and others. Finally, socialisation comes in through events such as the year end function where all the employees get to meet each other. This event is usually a dance with refreshments – HR is to sure keep in mind health, safety, security and environmental policies. 4. THE TWO HR FUNCTIONS WITHIN VISION OIL COMPANY

Normally the HR department within the organisation possesses more than two HR functions but the two HR functions within the HR department which are most critical to the effective and efficient implementation of the organisational strategy are: Recruitment and Training and Development. 4. 1. RECRUITMENT FUNCTION The Recruitment Function “is the process of acquiring applicants who are available and qualified to fill positions in the organisation” (Grobler et al, 2006: 166). The recruitment procedure should be followed at all times as all applicants personal details are treated confidentially.

The first recruitment method that will be used to acquire applicants for a job is the one of a recruitment agency. This method saves the organisation money by reducing recruitment and selection costs. Vision Oil Company will communicate to the recruitment agency well in advance giving them clear parameters of what is expected in a potential employee. The recruitment agency will then be responsible for advertising the available position, locating and screening potential, short-listing candidates and coordinating interviews.

The agency will then send the final selection to Vision Oil Company. This saves Vision Oil Company the time and energy invested into doing this procedure themselves. The recruitment agencies will only send those candidates through to Vision Oil who have the best chance of being re-interviewed and perhaps being hired. On the other hand, the HR specialist proceeds to assist employer with the task of sourcing, interviewing and the accurate placement of relevant job seekers in applicable job vacancies. [?? NOT SURE IF THIS FITS IN, MIGHT NEED MORE ELABORATION? ]

The recruitment agency is considered to be the bridge between job seekers and employer which is the organisation and in this case Vision Oil Company. This ensures that the right candidate ends up in the right role and fulfils the staffing requirement of the employer. It also provides the core utility of human resource management, candidate sourcing and vacancy placement. Thus, the organisation as employer outsource their staffing requirements to multiple recruitment agencies so as to amplify his reach to a greater pool of job seekers and thus to improve his chances of finding the perfect fit between candidate and vacancy.

Vision Oil prides itself in developing talented individuals by means of the Graduate Develop Programme. One can build a rewarding career, with one of the world’s most successful businesses, in any of our existing classes of business or functions. Vision Oil Company is often present at the Career Fairs of the different tertiary institutions around the country. In these different tertiary institutions, the students come and visit the company’s stand and they are given more information about a career at Vision Oil and what they will be offered as an employee. 4. 2.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT 4. 2. 1 THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT: To begin this section, I would like to highlight the importance of training and development as an HR function by listing some of the advantages that it can bring to an organisation. 1. Training and developments aids in the optimal utilisation of Human Resources within an organisation by helping employees to achieve organisational and individual goals 2. Training and development helps to provide an opportunity to development the human resources' technical and behavioral skills within an organisation.

This ultimately also helps the employees in attaining personal growth. 3. Training and development can help increase job knowledge and skills of employees at each level. 4. Increases can be seen in productivity of employees through training and development. This further helps the organisation in achieving its long-term goals. 5. Training and developing employees can lead to improvements in organisational effectiveness. 6. Training and development helps build positive perceptions and feelings about the organisation. 7.

Training and development helps in creating healthy working environments. It can also help build good employee relationships. This aids in the alignment of individual and organisational goals. 8. Lastly training and development aids in developing leadership skills, motivation, loyalty and better attitudes. Visions Oil’s business strategy identifies key points where employees are concerned. I have listed them below; • Identify people with talent and recruit at graduate level. • Retain people • Develop the talent pool of the business over 4 years • Initiate mentoring programs

A clear link can be drawn between the importance of training and developing in order for Vision Oil to reach its organisational objectives. This also highlights the importance of a successful HR strategy in reaching strategic objectives of a company. 4. 2. 2 VISION OIL COMPANY – TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT The below segments have been taken from *Vision Oil’s General Business Principles manual – please refer to the underlined sections. I have chosen to highlight these specifically as I feel they clearly indicate Vision Oil’s commitment to their employees with regards to training and development.

Our Values *Vision Oil Company employees share a set of core values - honesty, integrity and respect for people. We also firmly believe in the fundamental importance of trust, openness, teamwork and professionalism, and pride in what we do. Responsibilities *Vision Oil Companies recognise five areas of responsibility. It is the duty of management continuously to assess the priorities and discharge these inseparable responsibilities on the basis of that assessment. c. To employees

To respect the human rights of our employees and to provide them with good and safe working conditions, and competitive terms and conditions of employment. To promote the development and best use of the talents of our employees; to create an inclusive work environment where every employee has an equal opportunity to develop his or her skills and talents. To encourage the involvement of employees in the planning and direction of their work; to provide them with channels to report concerns. We recognise that commercial success depends on the full commitment of all employees. The name of the company has been changed as requested by the company HR person in order to protect company strategy 4. 2. 3 DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION DEVELOPMENT: According to Vision Oil Company’s business profile found on their website – their developed definition for Diversity and Inclusion is as follows: “Diversity and inclusion means making the most of the different skills and experience people of different cultures, genders and ages bring to the work place” Diversity and inclusion development aligns with the core values and business principles of Vision Oil Company.

Vision Oil Company understands the value that a diverse workforce and inclusive employment practice can add to aiding in effective teamwork enhanced decision-making, increased creativity, lower absenteeism and staff turnover, and, in the end, reduced costs. Vision Oil company also fully realises the potential in having such a diverse workforce and the positive effects it has on their business strategy.

The advantage is that Vision Oil Company have the ability to use employees from different backgrounds in order to help them better understand the needs of their varied customer base as well as build stronger relationships with them and other important external stakeholder groups. In order to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace, Vision Oil Company actively supports attraction, development, retention and promotion of diverse talent from different regions. They also aim to increase the amount of women in leadership positions as well as offer specialised training programs with the aim of promoting inclusion. . 2. 4 TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT - STUDENTS Vision Oil spends much time and energy targeting and investing in students who are interested in doing internship work. They have gone as far as developing a first class student internship program whereby they are able to source many talented students who soon become future employees. One of the reasons for this is that Vision Oil hope to secure talented students before they are absorbed by the competition or fall into other industries.

Internship programs can last anywhere from four weeks to 1 year and students are able to receive many benefits, for example: • They are afforded the opportunity see inside the energy industry • They are able to take part and be involved in real projects • They get to deal with actual day to day business challenges • They get to work with other Vision Oil employees and students • They receive valuable feedback from senior managers Internships with Vision Oil are paid and taken very seriously.

Students gain valuable work experience and are given real work responsibilities and business challenges to deal with. The aim of the Vision Oil’s intern programs are to ensure that students can get maximum benefit from their experience with the company as well as take away a positive image of the company. Vision Oil tailors internships around the abilities and interests of each student. The performance of the interns is continuously assessed. Regular feedback meetings keep the interns updated as to where they are doing well and weaker areas are highlighted and worked on.

The aim of regular performance feedback is further develop skills, knowledge and business acumen of the interns. The below resource has been taken from the Vision Oil Website and details the experience of Jide an ex-intern from the Vision Oil Intern Program. Jide highlights the various opportunities, responsibilities and successes that he was exposed to through his internship. Meet Jide "A work placement/internship with *Vision Oil Company Gas & Power led to real responsibility and challenge - and a job offer too.

If you think work placements/internships involve little responsibility, you're wrong. Here's what I did during mine. I redesigned the procedures manual for a $3 billion Liquefied Natural Gas plant, which meant taking an in-depth look at issue management methods. I created a sensitivity analysis model to help the negotiating team make informed decisions on a proposed pipeline project. I researched four African countries - Angola, Mozambique, Cameroon and Gabon - preparing suitability reports and recommendations for the business development team. And I dentified the need for a website, created a structure and wrote a report - it's now gone forward to the build stage. An internship with *Vision Oil Company definitely stretches you and broadens your thinking. " *The name of the company has been changed as requested by the company HR person in order to protect company strategy 4. 2. 5 TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT - GRADUATE Another on of the highly acclaimed training and development programs offered by Vision Oil is their Graduate Program. All graduates that join Vision Oil Company are automatically entered into the Graduate Development Program.

The aim of the Graduate Development Program is to fast track high potential graduates to first line managerial roles within 3 years and to prepare them for senior leadership roles in longer-term. Vision Oil Company takes the personal and professional development of every employee very seriously. Vision Oil has been forward thinking by recognizing that people are what is largely behind their success. They have always been openly committed to providing the training needed to fully optimise the skill and potential of all their employees.

Graduates are provided with a variety of training over the course of their program. Training is tailored in order to meet the individual’s personal development and business needs. During the graduate program you be exposed to many of the following training and development programs. • Managerial and leadership skills • Technical and functional skills • Training for recognized professional qualifications • And even English for those who do not have it as a first language Further training that one will receive is: On-the-job learning –enabling graduates to move both sideways and upwards through the business • Training for recognised professional qualifications - either through external organisations or Vision Oil Company's own extensive training services and facilities • Personal development programs • Direction and support – from mentorship program and regular appraisals with line managers. 4. 2. 6 TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT –ALL NEW EMPLOYEES *VISION OIL COMPANY LIFE PROGRAM. All a new employees starting out at Vision Oil Company will undergo tailored training and a series of inductions as well as the *Vision Oil Company Life program. Vision Oil Company Life is a highly experiential and interactive program designed with the aim of developing leadership potential. This program also allows employees to reflect on their personal direction, interpersonal effectiveness and business awareness qualities. The *Vision Oil Company Life Program consists of the following aspects: • Five intensive days introducing *Vision Oil Company’s global businesses • Development of business, interpersonal and leadership skills • Networking with other employees from around the world • Challenging of perceptions of yourself and the organisation • Self-confidence building Business awareness *The name of the company has been changed as requested by the company HR person in order to protect company strategy 4. 2. 7 VISION OIL - KEY PRINCIPLES FOR EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT The key principles that form that basis of all Vision Oils development programs are as follows: 1. ASSESS - DEVELOP – REASSESS After an employee’s skills are assess – feedback and insight is provided highlighting specific strengths and development areas. Each employee is encouraged to recreate an effective development plan with their supervisor based on their strengths and development areas 2.

INTERTWINING OF BUSINESS AND DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES Vision Oil understands that business objectives cannot be separated from personal development objectives. In the development plan of each employee is is clearly indicated how their individual impact on the organisation will help it grow. This can become an enormous motivator for employees. 3. THE STRONGEST LEADERS USE THEIR STRENGTHS In order to perform at his/ her best, every employee needs to know what his/her strengths and development needs are. Vision Oil works with each employee to achieve the required functional, personal and leadership competences. . 2. 8 IN CONCLUSION – TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT Through the above mentioned examples of a few of Vision Oil Company’s training and development schemes, it is easy to see and understand that as a global company, Vision Oil, are fully behind their employees as a resource aimed at effectively achieving the companies strategic goals. Training and development as an HR function has been clearly build up over time and evaluated and implemented to become a complete company function running alongside the company’s strategic objectives.

Vision Oil understands the importance of investing in their employees in order to maximize potential, delivery, skills, development, personal and business growth and many more key elements which aid in achievement of key business goals and the successful running of this global empire. 5. SWOT ANALYSIS 5. 1. INTERNAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF VISION OIL Vision is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. Their aim is to meet the energy needs of society in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally viable, now and in the future.

The objectives of the Vision Group are to engage efficiently, responsibly and profitably in oil, oil products, gas, chemicals and other selected businesses and to participate in the search for and development of other sources of energy to meet evolving customer needs and the world’s growing demand for energy. They believe that oil and gas will be integral to the global energy needs for economic development fro many decades to come. Their role is to ensure that thy extract and deliver them profitably and in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

They seek a high standard of performance, maintaining a strong long-term and growing position in the competitive environments in which they choose to operate. They aim to work closely with tier customers, their partners and policymakers to advance more efficient and sustainable use of energy and natural resources. As a global energy company they set high standards of performance and ethical behaviours. They are judged by how they act, their reputation is upheld y how they live up to their core values, honesty, integrity and respect for people.

The Vision General Business Principles, Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics help everyone at Vision acts in line with these values and comply with all relevant legislation and regulations. Vision Group companies wee one of the first global companies to state and share their beliefs when they published their General Business Principles in 1976. As part of these principles, they commit to contribute to sustainable development, balancing short and long-term interests and integrating economic, environmental and social considerations into their decision making.

All Vision companies are expected to comply with the Vision General Business Principles. In joint ventures, they use their influence to persuade their partners to adopt and apply principles consistent with theirs. They also expect contractors to conform to the principles in all aspects of tier work with Vision companies. Vision is a global company operating in a challenging world. Their Code of Conduct guides employees on how to apply the VGBP in line with their core values of ‘honesty, integrity and respect.

It provides practical advice on how to comply with laws and regulations and how to relate to customers, communities and colleagues. Regulatory requirements placed upon them have never been more complex or demanding. The Vision Code of Conduct clarifies the standards they expect their employees to follow and the behaviours they expect them to adopt. The Vision Code of Conduct covers topics such as: National and International Trade, Health Safety and the Environment, Personal and Business Integrity, Financial and Asset Protection, People and Information Management.

The Code of Ethics is for Executive Directors and Senior Financial Officers of the Vision Group. This Code of Ethics governs how each of Vision companies groups conducts their affairs. Vision’s key strengths include development and application of technology, and the financial and project management skills that allow them to undertake large oil and gas projects across all of their businesses. They also benefit from having a diverse international business portfolio and customer-focused businesses built around the strength of the Vision brand.

As such, they are well placed to be preferred partners for governments and other resource holders, now and in the future. In HR they are responsible for optimizing the success of the Vision business through the effective management and deployment of their most valuable resource – people. 5. 2. External Opportunities and Threats OPPORTUNITIES ? Re-establishment of image ? Make amends with people affected by operation ? Creating parties which will be held accountable for unethical practices ? Establish partnership with local stakeholders ? Extensive research and development Explore new fields Creating a new dependable, ethical culture is daunting for Vision Oil. The least that the company could do is to conduct an ongoing dialogue with local stakeholders who are otherwise are affected by business practices of the company. In addition, Vision Oil must venture into the development, research and promotion of renewable energy sources. The company should conduct studies and researches about the techniques, materials and policies that would contribute in decreasing the company’s reliance on oil that is very harmful to the environment and human health.

The company should also increases its demand on nuclear, solar and hydroelectric as sources of power. The exploration of potential oil fields in order to ease the dependence on Middle East oil could be another opportunity that Vision Oil could exploit. THREATS ? Continued opposition from local nationals who are affected by operations ? Continued discrediting of operations ? Continued negative images and publicity ? New oil players ? Lobby groups Biennially, new oil players emerge within the global oil industry, and they can quickly adjust to the market demands and requirements.

Further, these companies are equipped with new technologies and materials in their products and are somehow less affected by state legislations and regulations which govern the use of oil and petroleum products. Lobby groups are another threat to Vision Oil wherein local and international legislations are being influenced in order to make law and statutes stricter, and in a way that it will uphold the ecological and environmental protection. Publicity and press releases are among the many avenues that lobbyists and special interest roups are using in order to convey the message while thereby damaging the reputation of the company. 6. DISCUSSION OF THE HR STRATEGY AS AN HR PROFESSIONAL In order to ensure that the two HR processes or activities effectively contribute to the overall organisational strategy, our HR strategy will be focus on the following: SKILLS DEVELOPMENT We have found a direct threat to Vision Oil Company is the skills shortage in the South African labour pool. In order to compensate for this threat, our strategy will involve ensuring that we implement extensive skills training for all staff.

Staff skills will also be evaluated regularly in order to ensure that each employee is constantly developing the required skills to perform at his or her best. These evaluations will also aid us in identifying which areas or work tasks employees find the most difficult so that we know specifically which areas of the job to centre training around. LANGUAGE SCARCITY Vision Oil Company needs to recruit employees who are fluent in foreign languages such as French, Dutch and Flemish.

The South African labour pool does not have many people with necessary skills that can speak the required languages fluently. In order to combat this threat, we would look into the option of hiring graduates from overseas. This would save time and money that is currently being spent on language training. In addition to that, in order to remain within our legal requirement, we have to hire a certain amount of South African employees. We would like therefore look at extended the current language training from six weeks to six months or even a year.

This will help employees that are not French, Dutch or Flemish speaking originally to come to grip with the languages better and instilling more confidence in the employee. It will also aid the company because more South African employees will then be able to be placed in greater roles usually requiring foreign employees. RETENTION Many international competitors of Vision Oil such as Schumberger and Chevron have begun infiltrating the South African market. This means that the labour pool becomes smaller due to the Human Resources being absorbed quicker and my more companies.

Our strategy in order to retain employees would be to implement various team building and incentive programs. For instance we would like to arrange a weekly lunch for all employees. We would allocate a day of the week where a cooked meal will be served with refreshments. We feel that this will contribute to good relationships amongst employees and promote a positive working environment. In addition to that, we would also like to implement departmental competitions and incentives where we would have different competitions and schemes running.

Employees would be able t win prizes based on individual or departmental performance. The prizes that we would offer would be for example holiday packages nationally and internationally. We feel that this will help increase employee’s motivation, team-work and again promote a pleasant work environment. 7. CONCLUSION 8. REFERENCES 1. Financial Analysis – Vision Oil. Report. Research and Market Retrieved on www. researcghandmarkets. com/reports/353424/. The Top Ten Oil and Gas Companies. Industry Report. Gravitie Limited. 2. Website Reference - www. shell. com

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