Changes that have taken place in the organization
IBM has been one of the companies that have been making good progress in the business world. This has been enabled by the strategies that the company has been taking in an effort to create a niche in the market. Operating in one of the emerging sectors in the world of ICT the company has been faced with competition in the market and therefore in the five years it has been carrying out critical evaluation of its operation procedure in order to come up with a more acceptable mode of operation that will help it to cut a niche in the market. (Clegg, 1999)
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As a result the company has engaged on changes in the workforce relations in order to create an effective working atmosphere for the employees. In this regard the company has realized that the most efficient way to create a competitive workforce only through massive investment in the employee. Employee can help an organization to create a competitive advantage in the market which may become difficult for other organization to replicate. Therefore one of the most important areas that the company has been investing on is in its employee.
External influence in the organization
In the last 10 years, there have been a lot of changes that have taken place in the organization which has been influenced by external factors. There have been several factors that have been influencing the changes in the organization that have been beyond the control of the organization. These changes have been emanating from the changes in the operation environment.
One of the changes that have had a great impact on the industry has been the changes in the external environment. The landscape of technology has been changing and the company has not been left behind. The company has come up with several innovation that are likely to position it in the market in line with other competitors as we entered the new millennium the company came up with a new generation of servers which are all aimed at meeting the changing technology. This was also due to the changes in the demand for the underlying infrastructure that has been supporting e-business which has become the business model of the day. (IBM, 2008f)
In the future the change in technology is likely to influence the operation of the company. Since it is operating in a field led by technology, the company is likely to make several changes in its operation in the future in a move that will position it in the market. Change in technology is the most probable external factor that will impact the operation of the organization.
The changing concept of corporate social responsibility also had an impact on the company as it become more responsive to the needs of its consumers. As a result the company came up with various CSR activities which were aimed at improving the relationship with its employees. It put in place programs that would help it to respect it employees.
The political environment was also changing and the company has to change with it. In this regard there were several rules and laws that were coming in place that were not there before. As a result the company had to adjust its operation and its workforce relations. There have been polices that have been put in place in order to give employees more rights and therefore the company has been forced to rhyme with the changes. Political a and legal changes in the further are likely to impact on the operations of the company in the future as the world moves to more converged world.
There have also been environmental factors that have forced the company to enforce several changes in its operation in this regard there has been increasing attention that has been paid on the environment and therefore the company has been adjusting its operation in order to come up with policies that are expected to give respect to the environment. The company has been implementing several eco programs that are aimed at going with the demands on the changes in the environment.
There have also been several changes that have been implemented in the company in the last 10 years which have all been influenced by internal factors. Changes in the management have been one of the most important factors that have influenced several changes that have taken place in the company.
The year 2000 marked a transition in the leadership of the company and it saw the coming of Samuel J Palmisano as the president and the chief operating offices and after two years, he was named the CEO of the company. This saw the exit of Lousi V. Gerstener who was the chairman of the company s up to 2002.
The coming of the new CEO saw increase response to the environment factors and also a rise in the Corporate Social responsibility activities by the company. In 2003, the company also undertook an exercise to transfer more the 1,200 employee to IBM I a deal valued $1.1 billion from ABB.
Human resources management factors has been another internal influences that has been causing a changing the in the organization. In this regard there have been several changes in the human resource management of the company that have resulted to other changes in its operation. Human resource issues have been given a priority in the organization in line with the changing human resources landscape in most organizations. In the future the human resources are expected to influence several other changes in the organization as well.
The direction of the organization is the other factor that has been influencing changes in the organization. The company has come up with new growth strategies that are likely to position it in the changing global business environment and therefore it has carried out several other changes in its management and employee relationship. In next 10 years, the overall strategy of the organization is likely to lead to other several changes in the operation of the company.
Employee relationship in IBM
The company has come up with a human resource policy which has been integrated in it strategic growth strategy which has given the affairs of the employees a central place in the operation of the organization. As a result the company has been carrying out several strategies which are aimed at enhancing a good working relationship. The company has put in place several initiatives which are all aimed at ensuring that the employees are given their rights.
The employee relationship has also been carried out as a part of the CSR activity of the organization. Therefore the company has set up human resource department that is concerned with the welfare of the employee. It has respected the rights of the employee to organization and all the managers have been given a notice on this issue as the most important factor in the human resource management strategy of the company.
Therefore the company has been promoting an enabling environment for work in the company and has been encouraging direct communication with the employees. It has held a policy of promoting the welfare of the employees and maintaining a positive working relationship with the employees. There have also been effort that are aimed at fostering the development of the employees as one of the most important factor that can help the organization to come up with a competitive work force. (IBM, 2008d)
The changing legal environment has had effects on the workforce relationship the organization. As the legal landscape changes, the company has been moving in line with these changes and therefore it has been putting in place measures that are aimed at ensuring that there is respect of the rights of the employees. It has been complying with the changes that have been taking place in the legal requirements worldwide in regard to the employee and involvement of a third party. (IBM, 2008e)
Therefore the company has been putting in place measure that are aimed at ensuing that there is respect of the legal change and the environmental changes that have been taking place in regard to treatment of its employees. At the end of the 1990s the company put in place a policy that scrutinized all it employees even those on the supply chain with an aim of ensuring that there is respect of labor laws in the world.
With his change there were several other changes that were made in the human resource department in order to make sure that the company was in line with the demand of the world labor laws. For example the company stopped its supply chain where there was suspicious of use of child labor and unfair treatment of employees.
The evolution in technology has not left IBM employees in the cold. There have been several initiative that have been aimed at ensuring that employee share this revolution. Therefore the company has come up with portable computers like lap tops and other which are part of the ergonomics program which is aimed at ensuring the employees finds comfort in their work. Therefore the company has provided its employees with such advanced laptops in order to ensure that there is comfort and productivity for the employees.
The company has been providing guidance which is aimed at helping the employees to assess their work environment and it has also been teaching them how to use these devices. It has been giving advanced training on its workforce on the use of these devices and giving them professional support to make it easier for them. These efforts have been directed towards making sure that employees have a good working environment.
The ergonomics program was initiated at the turn of the millennium and was continued in 2004 with more focus on communication between employees. Through the use of remote and mobile gadgets, employees can even perform their normal office duties at the comfort of their homes. The company has continued investing in technology in order to enhance its relationship with its employees and in order to come up with a competent workforce. (IBM, 2008a)
In line with the changing environment in political health care, the company has come up with incentives to health program which is aimed at ensuring the employee of the company have access to health facility. This was in line with the changing legal requirement of the company to take a more positive role partnership with the government on the health of their employees. Therefore the company has come up with programs that are aimed at ensuring that there is maximum observance of the health of the employees.
In the United States the company has been offering Health Living Rebate program. It has also been carrying out several smoking cessation program that award employees who do not smoke with a $ 150 cash rebate. This program has helped to improve the health of its workforce.
However the company has been criticized on it police to reduce pensions for the retirees. It has been shown the contribution of the company to the health of its retirees has been decreasing in the recent past. This follows the 2001 initiative which was aimed at cutting the pensions contribution of the company. (IBM, 2008b)
The company has given the employee their freedom of association therefore they are allowed to join any union which they want like Alliance@IBM. This has been in sense of upholding the right of the individuals. This has been one of the most important steps that have helped to improve the relationship between the company and the employees.
Currently the company enjoys a warm relationship with the employees. There has been no incidence of employee unrest in the organization. However there have been issues that have been expressed by the human resources department on the cutting of pension contribution by the company. But in general the relationship between the company and the employees is cordial. (IBM, 2008c)
There are several recommendations that the can be made to the organization in regard to its practice of human resource management. These recommendations are meant to improve the relationship between the organization and its employees. This is in realization that disgruntled employees is one of the worst arsenal that can attach the organization from within and which is likely to lead to underperformance of the word force. Therefore there is need for the organizations to come push for he implementation of the above recommendations.
The most important the organist should look at now is the thorniest issue of the pension that has been a cause of dissatisfaction in the employees. Most employees and most workers union have expressed there concern about the way in which the company has been treating the employees especially on matters concerning the workforce and their pensions.
Therefore the company should realize that one of the most important factors that it should currently look at is the way in which it will take care of its employee’s pension. The company has to carry out a review of it policy on the pension and come to an agreement with the demands of the employees.
The issue of pension has been one of the thorniest issues in the world due to the response that way in which the government has been calling for partnership with the companies in meeting the medical cost of the retirees. It is shameful for any multinational company to have disgruntled retirese as this is likely to have an impact on the culture of the company.
Once the retirees express their concerns on the way they have been treated by the company, there is likelihood of having other employee in the company who will also express their concerns which may affect the whole workforce. (Taggart, 2001)
In its all branches in the world, the company has also been faced by a thorny issue of lying off its employees. In 2007, the company laid off 1315 workers in United States. There has been a concern with the way in which the company has been rewarding these employees for loss of their livelihood. As such there have been calls from the workers union for the company to make sure that it compensates all those who lose the jobs.
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There were many complains from the employees who argued that they were given a short notice before their dismissal from their jobs. Therefore it is recommended that the company gives it employees enough time in order to prepare them for any impending lay off. This would give the company credibility on human resource management issue and it will also help to have satisfied employees even if they are laid off.
There has also been an issue in the way the company has been carrying out its recruitment. Though it has been working on the point of equity in recruitment there are concerns that have been realized that there are usually disparity in the workforce especially when it comes to the issue of gender balance in the workplace. It has been shown that the recruitment process in the company has also not given the youths enough chance to participate in the workforce and therefore there is a large proportion of the elderly workforce in the company that the young people.
This is likely to have a negative impact not only on the society but also on the future of the company since there will always be a succession gap in the leadership and other sections of the company. Therefore it is recommended that the company should come up with a graduate recruitment process that will give young people more chance of participating in the development of the company. This would help the company to come up with a successive generation of workforces. (Hersh, 2000)
There has also been an issue of motivation the workforce. Having motivated workforce is one of the most important factors that help an organization to increase its productivity and at the same time increase the productivity of the workforce. In this regard the company needs to come up with a clear program with will give ways in which it will motivate its workforce. The organization should come up with a more defined procedure which will be use to motivate the employee and reward them according to their performance. (Rupert, 2000)
Employee relation is an important aspect that helps an organization to create a competitive edge in the market. Most of the companies in the world have embarked on programs that are aimed at empowering their employees in order to have a competent workforce. IBM has also come up with several programs that are aimed at ensuring that the company cerates a competitive work force. In this regard it has taken several steps that have been aimed at addressing the welfare of the employees.
In the last 10 years that have been many changes that have taken place in the organization that have been influenced by external and internal factors. External factors like the changes that have been taking place in technology have prompted the company to also integrate some technological aspect in the working process of its employees. Therefore it has come up with ergonomics to enhance the productivity the employees.
The changes that have been taking place in the legal and political factors have also helped the company to make changes in the management of its workforce. In respect of human rights, the company has streamlined its operation to eliminate labor oppression like use of child labor, unfair working conditions and others not only in its plants but also in its supply chain. However there are some areas of concern that the company still needs to address as far as its relationship with employees is concerned.
One of the most critical areas that it need to address is the area of pensions which as been one of the thorny issues in the company. There have been complaints on the way the company has reduced its level of contribution n to the welfare of the retirees. The company also needs to address the area of recruitment and rewarding of employees.
Alliance@IBM, (2008). IBM: Stop Pay Cuts. Retrieved from http://www.allianceibm.org/ on 9th May 2008
Clegg, S. (1999). Global human resource management issues. London: Sage
Hersh, J. (2000). Globalization and social change in workforce. London: Rutledge
IBM, (2008a): Employee well-being: Ergonomics. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/wellbeing/ergonomics.shtml on 9th May 2008
IBM, (2008b): Employee well-being: work/life balance. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/wellbeing/work-life-balance.shtmlon 9th May 2008
IBM, (2008c): Employee well-being: Incentives to health. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/wellbeing/incentives-to-health.shtmlon 9th May 2008
IBM, (2008d): Employee well-being: Promoting health and well-being. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/wellbeing/promoting-health.shtmlon 9th May 2008
IBM, (2008e): Employee well-being: Workforce Relations. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/wellbeing/workforce-relations.shtmlon 9th May 2008
IBM, (2008f): About IMB. Retrieved from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/us/en on 9th May 2008
Rupert, A. (2000). Globalization and employee relations; Routledge
Taggart, J. (2001). Multinationals in a new era: international human resource strategy. London: Palgrave
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