Sample Essay On Human Resource Management
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An international human resource trend that is a real challenge for human resources managers is to attract and retain the work force in the industry. It is a major challenge for them to motivate workers to perform better and maintain unity and diversity at the same time. Companies around the world are finding it difficult to engage the modern day workforce. Recent research in this area has shown that only 13% of employees are actively engaged in work and more than twice the number are disengaged that they spread negativity to other workers. Further research reveals that many companies lack in performance management. Workers of today are demanding and want more. They want meaningful work and want the organization to reward them in many ways. There are several challenges in this area both from the workforce and the work in itself. HR managers have to understand future demographic, technological and societal shifts and be prepared to tackle challenges (Deery, 2008).
In this complex global economy attracting and retaining workers can be a tough proposition. The private sector and the government would be under pressure to provide solutions to educate and retain a diverse working population. This is common both in the developed and developing nations of the world. At present, it is being predicted that millions of women will be added to the global workforce and temporary and part time workers will be a significant fixture for companies. Managing people will be a great challenge for companies for five to ten years at least (Arnold,2005).
Challenges for HR and the workforce: How it can affect us
There will also be a leadership void when experienced workers leave the job. There will be no social safety nets or pensions may not be adequate if experienced workers continue to work past retirement age. In order to HR to keep less committed workers in the workforce, the HR should provide better incentives. They should also be able to train employees and look for skills in them in areas like technology, where older workers may not be as comfortable as their younger counterparts.
HR’s major challenge is to understand the subtleties of workers and their qualifications. The nature and meaning of work is continuing to evolve and the educational system does not provide all the necessary skills to the employees. There is a disconnection between skills produced by the educational system and the company’s requirements. Assessment of the employee qualifications becomes a big challenge for HR. It becomes important for HR to scrutinize applicants carefully as there is a lack of standardization in the education system and with businesses expanding, this issue seems very important in the global context. So the HR has to strive to make informed hiring decisions.
Companies also should be able to impart knowledge to the youngsters at the beginning of their careers. If there is more demand for certain jobs, the companies should be able to figure out how to hire and train junior employees to senior positions that require more experience. Companies find it difficult to get people to guide the youngsters in a competitive environment. For lower positions in the company the lack of soft skills in executives seems to be a matter of concern in companies. Many candidates are found to lack in creativity, adaptability and good international communication. Without these skills the workers cannot be considered for employment (Hausknecht,2009).
The companies also begin to develop a relationship with educational institutions and the government urging them to change the way courses are being taught and ensuring that business issues and business strategies are addressed. It would also ensure that the future employees would have the necessary skills. Companies can also help in redesigning courses and developing creative educational solutions.
Retaining talent is a major challenge for companies. Only rewards and incentives may not be enough to retain talent. Employer branding becomes necessary in these circumstances. This will attract talent. The companies should begin offering competitive benefit packages, health and life insurance and retirement benefits (Deery, 2008).
Monetary dissatisfaction would be one of the major reasons for an employee to look for change. While opportunities abound, it would be difficult to stop an employee from looking for change. Another reason employees look for change is the unrealistic expectations of employers and this is also one of the reasons workers get bored in a short period of time. Work should not be monotonous and incentives and cash prizes can help motivate the workers.
Positive and Negative aspects
Communication technology has facilitated contact with clients all over the world and this has helped multinational firms to form teams where colleagues communicate with each other. Technology has thus enable international expansion of companies. Putting technology to good use has helped companies to save on business travel and relocation costs. These virtual teams help in improving the collective knowledge base. Team members can provide experience with different markets and understand customer demands and sensitivities. This helps the company to capture and retain a diverse client base. Culturally diverse teams help in stimulating creativity. Decision making by a group is composed of people with the same background (Hausknecht,2009).
Evolving technology also makes the organization come up with innovative strategies in managing their mobile workforce. This helps the workers be connected to the wider organization they serve. However, the HR team will have to revamp performance measures while dealing with a mobile workforce. It should assess proper methods for tackling workers across borders. Despite a lot of benefits, managing a cross-border team can be difficult. There are several obstacles to running a virtual team. For instance, employees should feel comfortable with communication technology. Time differences will also be an obstacle to organize and coordinate work. Without face-to-face communication interaction with workers cannot be very smooth. Social bonds are difficult to develop when people meet only virtually. This can also result in misunderstandings. This will be hard to resolve as frequent contact between workers is not possible. Cultural and linguistic differences pose a great challenge for virtual team managers. This increases the potential for a breakdown in cohesiveness. Companies have admitted that miscommunications have resulted in losses for their companies (Arnold,2005).
Financial resources too play a major role in the proper functioning of a virtual team. It is essential to provide training to workers in resolution of conflict, instilling purpose and to ensure clear communication with the cross border team. Companies should also insist the HR managers to select a virtual team only after checking on the ability of the worker to handle cultural differences. They should also have the resources to implement recruitment policies that are sophisticated as the talent pool keeps expanding and becoming more complex. There is also a need to build a common work culture taking ethics and values in consideration.
HR will have to integrate their company’s risk management and business continuity planning. With global suppliers increasing on both sides of the production and distribution chain, they have to understand and anticipate risks, bribery and other illegal practices that can have a negative impact on the company brand and image (Hausknecht,2009).
Capitalizing on change and preparing for possible damage
HR has also to be prepared for higher termination costs. As public policies become unpredictable due to the global economic hardship companies have to think about investment and hiring strategies. As mergers and acquisitions increase they should have the intelligence to conduct, cultural, organization and legal processes properly during the acquisition process. In short, the HR leaders should stay abreast of latest laws and regulations and expand their knowledge base to a global perspective. When companies begin looking for outsourcing operations, HR has to work quickly on capital issues and worker issues in these potential markets. They should also find reliable data and analytics to make business decisions and minimize risks (Hausknecht,2009).
Successful employee engagement is in finding out how employees like their work place. The company has to find out if the employee is experiencing advancement in his or her work related goals, whether they are being encouraged for work improvement in a conducive work atmosphere, which is safe. If the answers to the above question are positive, then retaining workers will not be difficult. A fully engaged employee will be interested and enthusiastic about what he or she does at the company. This is a measure of the employee’s loyalty to the job at the organization and this increases their willingness to learn and perform at work.
Capitalizing on the above begins with acknowledging the employee’s value and learning to encourage them when work gets tough. This would work when HR and senior management begin to invest in the workforce with an emotional connect. If it is done right then the employees too will make a similar effort and invest emotionally in the company. This will translate into loyalty and good performance (Arnold,2005).
Another HR challenge is people migration both cross border and within countries. This is a complex problem and governments play a major part in determining and controlling the workflow. With organizations continuing to expand globally, they face labor shortages and require a mobile workforce. Governments meanwhile find it difficult as they sway between the need to import skilled workers and the pressure to curb immigration. Where there are strict migration laws the HR have to make do with a limited talent pool. So they have to resort to better hiring strategies. They have to understand immigration laws and ensure that there are no legal implications for the employees. This process is expensive as both policies and national sentiments fluctuate time and again.
Overall HR should work towards superior-subordinate relationship, employee motivation, organization commitment and better communication with workers. They should also work on skill recognition while hiring employees and provide a good working climate. The organization should also strive to provide job flexibility, training and better career development and this would prove to be cost effective for the company in the long run (Arnold,2005).
Arnold, E. (2005). Managing human resources to improve employee retention. The Health Care Manager, 24(2), 132-140.
Deery, M. (2008). Talent management, work-life balance and retention strategies. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(7), 792-806.
Hausknecht, J. P., Rodda, J., & Howard, M. J. (2009). Targeted employee retention: Performance‐ based and job‐related differences in reported reasons for staying. Human Resource Management, 48(2), 269-288.
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