Analysis of an Athletic Department

Introduction

            As the functions of human resource management are delegated to managers, the skills required for supporting these functions need to be developed (Buhler, 2002). Athletic staff and head coaches need to manage their assistants in a way, which is acceptable by the law and the management. Athletic administrators are expected to attain the highest levels of performance while offering the workforce a chance to contribute to their maximum. As part of any management body, the athletics department has a mission, vision, values and goals. All these are necessary for the effective management and measurement of progress within the department. The mission and vision are critical and standard elements of the department’s organizational strategy (Francis, 2007). The departmental vision and mission statements serve as foundational guide in the establishment of the department goals and objectives. In this regard, this paper performs analyses the department of athletics.

The Athletic Department recognizes the commitment to serve both the university and student athletes. The primary commitment is to offer opportunities for student-athletes to develop both their athletic and academic potential. Through training, competition and practice, the athletics department endeavors to instill every student-athlete with: good personal and sportsmanship integrity; ability to work with others as a team and loyalty to the team; appreciation for the benefits of motivation, hard work, and perseverance in both losing and winning situation; and pride in accomplishments gained via honest and fair means. The department strongly believes that a strong athletic program is significant in generating enthusiasm and pride in the alumni, students, the university, and the community as a whole. The goodwill, public relations and service offered by the strong athletic program are equally important to the department. Based on this viewpoint, the department has established the following mission statement, vision statement, values and strategic goals.

Mission Statement

            In promoting and supporting the mission of the university, the department of athletics trusts and retains respect of fans, alumni and the state by graduating athletes who are striving for excellence and competing with integrity. The university is affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The purpose of the athletics department is to offer competitive and sound intercollegiate athletics program, which represents the institution in a perfect way. The athletics program offers students an opportunity to develop mentally, socially, ethically and physically. In doing that, the department, through the athletics programs, provides various things: facilities offering excellent settings for high-caliber and safe competition; high quality coaching; academic efforts to improve academic success; consistently excellent customer service; and initiatives and incentives to retaining quality employees, coaches and student-athletes.

The major objective of the department is to help young athletes in their academic pursuits to the maximum by offering motivational programs, guidance and support. This help is aimed at providing maximum opportunity for the young athletes to attain their potential. The department, together with the University as a whole, is dedicated to the philosophy of excellence.

It is the objective of the department to direct and serve student-athletes along a course, which combines their athletic participation with educational pursuits. The function of the department is to collaborate closely with the alumni, campus community, greater surrounding community, and friends of university to attain the mission. An effective and healthy relationship with the NCAA is part of the accountability intercollegiate athletics need to pursue continuously and effectively.

Vision Statement

            The vision of the Department of Athletics is to be a model program that excels in athletics and academics. The expectation of the department is to achieve the highest success levels in every NCAA measures in every sport competition or program. Striving to win the Big Sky reflects upon the quality of coaching, athletics and resources availed. As mentioned above in the mission statement, the success of the Department of Athletics means excellence to both the academics and athletics. As such, the vision of the department is to be included among the top institutions in athletic achievements as well as in NCAA academic measures like graduation rate of student-athlete.

Values

            The Department of Athletics exhibits various values. The first value is the integrity. Coaches, student athletes and the department administrators are expected to show integrity everywhere they go, and in everything they do. The second value is excellence. The department personnel and the athletes should strive to show excellence in every action they undertake. Loyalty is the third value that should be demonstrated by the department. Student-athlete, coaches, and department officials demonstrate loyalty to the university, teams, state and fans. In order for the department as a whole to understand its present and future position, it is important to define sacrosanct qualities. In acknowledging these values, the goals and the course of achieving them will be clearly established before the department. Each decision defined by the department of athletics reflects these above three defined values.

Departmental Goals

            The academic goal of the department is to encourage student-athletes attain their maximum academic potential. Financially, the department strives to achieve fiscal success and accountability. In relation to student-athlete welfare, the department strives to offer every student-athlete with the chance to grow individually and enjoy a positive experience at the university. In terms of sportsmanship, the staff, athletes and fans respect themselves, sports and others both on and off the field of competition. In relation to winning, the department strives to offer facilities, resources and coaches to preserve the winning strategy of the institution. In terms of diversity, the university offers opportunities for individuals based on merit in a non-discriminatory way. The goals

Human Resource Management Policies

            The university has policies and procedures manual concerning the management of human resource. The department and the university as a whole understand that the capacity of performance of employees is one of the greatest assets. Therefore, it strives to support the efforts of employees in order to realize their maximum potential by: hiring and promoting employees based on merit; providing training and development opportunities to every employee; and offering advancement opportunities to every employee.

It is the policy of the department to provide equal opportunity and implement affirmative action for employees, student-athletes and coaches without regarding their color, race, religion, creed, nationality, age, veteran status, gender and disability. The affirmative action of the department of athletics and associated policies are developed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. In compliance with the federal regulation, the department of athletics does not discriminate against any applicant for employment or employee. It is the policy of the department not to exclude an employee or an applicant for employment due to their disability.

The second policy is sexual harassment policy. The department and the university as a whole prohibit sexual harassment. According to Buhler (2002), sexual harassment is form of constitutionally illegal sex discrimination. The department of athletics is firmly dedicated to preserving a work environment that is free of sexual harassment. The department achieves this by offering training for each employee, and explaining the meaning of sexual harassment and its consequences. Sexual harassment of employee in the department of athletics is prohibited and the offender might face the punishment of termination. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is unwelcomed sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. The department adopted this definition as a way of dealing with sexual harassment at workplace.

The performance policy is another guiding principle adopted by the department of athletics. The department supports a continuous, consistent and communicated management process of performance. An official written performance assessment is to be completed at least once each fiscal year. The performance assessment needs to include an assessment of the job knowledge, attendance and punctuality, accuracy and quality and productivity. According to Messmer (2007), merit based compensation need to dependent on performance as measured by the performance assessment instrument.

The department also has a conflict of interest and commitment policy. The department supports employees to take part in professional association activities and governmental entities that serve to benefit the employees and the department. Whereas the department understands the importance of such participation, it is also dedicated to guaranteeing that these activities are conducted responsibly. The policy on conflict of interest and commitment is meant to raise the awareness to the potential for conflicts of interest. This policy is also intended to set up procedures whereby such conflicts might be properly management or avoided.

Ways of Improving the Effectiveness of HRM in Athletics Department

            The first way of improving the effectiveness of HRM is by contributing to the review and development of the mission, vision and values of the organization. The contribution should be based on an interpretation and analysis of the relevant information into the needs and opportunities. Information includes, though not limited to, trends and issues pertaining internal organization environment, which includes labor or management relations, and organizational culture. According to Smith & Mazin (2004), the ability and evidence to integrate and analyze these aspects is necessary in improving the effectiveness of human resource management. Needs and opportunities refer to the changes in social expectations, employment patterns and demographics.

The athletic administrator should participate and contribute to review and development of the departmental policies and strategies. The administrator can participate and contribute by analyzing and interpreting relevant information in order to come up with his own understanding of the department. The review of these strategies and policies by the administrator will enable him or her to determine the best current HRM practice related to strategy and policy formulation.

According to Katz (1955), developing human resource strategies and policies for the organization will result in a productive workforce. The development of the strategies should be dependent on the understanding and knowledge of the fundamental principles and concepts of human resource management, and of present best practices. In addition, the development of these strategies should be based on the comparison between a sound examination of the present workforce and trends, both within and without the organization, and forecasting of future workforce.

Conclusion

Athletic staff and head coaches need to manage their assistants in a way, which is acceptable by the law and the management. The mission and vision are critical and standard elements of the department’s organizational strategy. In promoting and supporting the mission of the University, the department of athletics trusts and retains respect of fans, alumni and the state by graduating athletes who are striving for excellence and competing with integrity. The vision of the Department of Athletics is to be a model program that excels in athletics and academics. The department has various goals that are related to academics, financial, student-athlete welfare, sportsmanship, winning, diversity, equity, advocacy, and university relations. The department strives to support the efforts of employees in order to realize their maximum potential by: hiring and promoting employees based on merit; providing training and development opportunities to every employee; and offering advancement opportunities to every employee.

 

 

 

 

References

Buhler, P. (2002). Human resources management. Avon, Mass: Adams Media.

Francis, M. (2007, January 2007). Effective management. Retrieved April 28, 2013, from Changing Minds: http://changingminds.org/articles/articles/effective_management.htm

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. .Harvard Business Review , 33 (1), 33-42.

Messmer, M. (2007). Human resources kit for dummies. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing.

Smith, S. A., & Mazin, R. A. (2004). The HR answer book: An indispensable guide for managers and human resources professionals. New York: MACOM.

 

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