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Current Trends in Human Resource Management
Human resource management is a process of bringing people and organizations together so that the goals of each other are met. The role of HR manager is shifting from that of a protector and screener to the role of a planner and change agent. Personnel directors are the new corporate heroes. The name of the game today in business is personnel . Nowadays it is not possible to show a good financial or operating report unless your personnel relations are in order.
Over the years, highly skilled and knowledge based jobs are increasing while low skilled jobs are decreasing. This calls for future skill mapping through proper HRM initiatives.
Indian organizations are also witnessing a change in systems, management cultures and philosophy due to the global alignment of Indian organizations. There is a need for multi skill development. Role of HRM is becoming all the more important.
Some of the recent trends that are being observed are as follows:
• The recent quality management standards ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 of 2000 focus more on people centric organizations. Organizations now need to prepare themselves in order to address people centered issues with commitment from the top management, with renewed thrust on HR issues, more particularly on training.
• Charles Handy also advocated future organizational models like Shamrock, Federal and Triple I. Such organizational models also refocus on people centric issues and call for redefining the future role of HR professionals.
• To leapfrog ahead of competition in this world of uncertainty, organizations have introduced six- sigma practices. Six- sigma uses rigorous analytical tools with leadership from the top and develops a method for sustainable improvement. These practices improve organizational values and helps in creating defect free product or services at minimum cost.
• Human resource outsourcing is a new accession that makes a traditional HR department redundant in an organization. Exult, the international pioneer in HR BPO already roped in Bank of America, international players BP Amoco & over the years plan to spread their business to most of the Fortune 500 companies.
• With the increase of global job mobility, recruiting competent people is also increasingly becoming difficult, especially in India. Therefore by creating an enabling culture, organizations are also required to work out a retention strategy for the existing skilled manpower.
NEW TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL HRM
International HRM places greater emphasis on a number of responsibilities and functions such as relocation, orientation and translation services to help employees adapt to a new and different environment outside their own country.
• Selection of employees requires careful evaluation of the personal characteristics of the candidate and his/her spouse.
• Training and development extends beyond information and orientation training to include sensitivity training and field experiences that will enable the manager to understand cultural differences better. Managers need to be protected from career development risks, re-entry problems and culture shock.
• To balance the pros and cons of home country and host country evaluations, performance evaluations should combine the two sources of appraisal information.
• Compensation systems should support the overall strategic intent of the organization but should be customized for local conditions.
• In many European countries - Germany for one, law establishes representation. Organizations typically negotiate the agreement with the unions at a national level. In Europe it is more likely for salaried employees and managers to be unionized.
HR Managers should do the following things to ensure success-
• Use workforce skills and abilities in order to exploit environmental opportunities and neutralize threats.
• Employ innovative reward plans that recognize employee contributions and grant enhancements.
• Indulge in continuous quality improvement through TQM and HR contributions like training, development, counseling, etc
• Utilize people with distinctive capabilities to create unsurpassed competence in an area, e.g. Xerox in photocopiers, 3M in adhesives, Telco in trucks etc.
• Decentralize operations and rely on self-managed teams to deliver goods in difficult times e.g. Motorola is famous for short product development cycles. It has quickly commercialized ideas from its research labs.
• Lay off workers in a smooth way explaining facts to unions, workers and other affected groups e.g. IBM , Kodak, Xerox, etc.
HR Managers today are focusing attention on the following-
a) Policies- HR policies based on trust, openness, equity and consensus.
b) Motivation- Create conditions in which people are willing to work with zeal, initiative and enthusiasm; make people feel like winners.
c) Relations- Fair treatment of people and prompt redress of grievances would pave the way for healthy work-place relations.
d) Change agent- Prepare workers to accept technological changes by clarifying doubts.
e) Quality Consciousness- Commitment to quality in all aspects of personnel administration will ensure success.
Due to the new trends in HR, in a nutshell the HR manager should treat people as resources, reward them equitably, and integrate their aspirations with corporate goals through suitable HR policies.
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Thanks & Regards
Dr K V Singh
20th September 2009 From India, New Delhi