HRM: A cost effective value added service for the 21st Century
Today there is a fierce competition in every industry in the marketplace. Therefore companies are striving to gain competitive edge whenever and wherever it is possible, by increasing productivity, improving service, and ensuring that the company can adapt to ever-changing business conditions. And in almost all cases the ultimate successes of the company in many fronts depend on company employees. HRM plays a crucial role in maintaining the competitive workforce in the company by being involved at the strategy, policy and decision making processes. The HRM team achieves these objectives by recruiting and selecting the right and qualified staff to ensure the goals and objectives of the organization are achieved. Human resource managers form a clear understanding of the talent pool the company possesses or whether they need to recruit from outside.
New challenges businesses are facing in the 21st century require new approaches from business leaders. And solutions for these challenges are found by the workforce though increasing their qualifications and knowledge, sharing the knowledge and by developing and implementing new ideas. All of these indicate that the role HRM will be ever increasing in the 21st century.
However, company HRM should function on a new level in order to respond to the challenges of the 21st century and to use the new business environment to the benefit of the company, to increase the marketshare. The following recommendations are aimed at making company’s human resources to function in a cost effective and value added manner.
1. The status of HRM should be increased in senior management view. Unless senior management consider HRM function of the company to be an important and integral part of the company overall operations by financing it accordingly and acknowledging its contribution, the true potential of HRM to create competitive advantage for the company would be difficult to realise. Possible challenges in that aspect would be unwillingness or incompetency of senior level management to place due attention in HRM of a company.
2. HRM programs for staff training and development should be improved. Currently human resources devise training and development programs in order to increase the efficiency of the workforce. However, sometimes such courses do not produce intended results and cost expensive for the company. The contents of HR staff training and development programs should be improved and the results of the programs should be assessed after a certain period of time in order to increase the efficiency of the programs.
3. Employees should be trained and developed constantly. In order for the company to respond to the challenges of the 21st century its employees should possess required knowledge and qualification. Therefore the practice of HRM to implement training and development programs in a reactive manner and only to a certain group of employees is out of date. Today, proactive approach on the matter should be implemented by developing every employee on a constant basis. The possible challenges for this recommendation can be that companies may not implement constant development programs for every employee because of the expenses involved, and the workforce may not be enthusiastic about such programs.
4. Human resources should benefit from global workforce. One of the main advantages of the globalisation is that today employees can be hired from the other part of the world without any problems involved. If taken advantage of, it gives HRS the benefits of attracting bright employees in a lower price. However, there is a risk that the new employee may not fit into the company culture, or may leave the company after initial training for various reasons costing company money. Nevertheless, these risks can be minimized if the matter is approached in a professional manner.
5. HRM should focus more on staff motivation. Increased competition in markets means employees have to work harder and achieve greater results. It is an impossible task to achieve if the level of motivation of the workforce is low. Motivating the workforce is the task of both managers in all levels and the HR. If managers motivate the staff mainly using their soft skills and other motivational tools, it is the task of the HRM to devise programs which are aimed at increasing staff motivation.
6. HRM should support flexible working schedule. Currently the advantages of flexible working schedule is not realised fully by many HR departments of companies. Flexible working schedules have the advantages of greater employee satisfaction and performance and saving the costs for the company. Moreover, the tendency indicates this form of employment to increase in the 21st century. Accordingly, HR departments in companies should devise programs which not only supports such type of employment, but also ensures that the skills and knowledge of employees working in flexible schedule are used in a best efficient manner.