There is a lack of clear objectives and directions for the global Human Resource research that has been expressed by practitioners as well as scholars across a wide field. These lacking of path for the Human Resource goals are also a factor of concern addressed by the professionals in the roles and resulting roles the personnel should play in terms of the organizations and organizational objectives. (Goshal 2005; Hendry 2003; Holbeche 2006; Morris, Snell & Lepak 2005; Meisinger 2005).
Although there were researches that have been carried out over the past few years years (Browning & Edgar 2004; Becker, Huselid & Ulrich 2001; Birchfield 2002; Brewster , Dowling , Grobler, Holland & Warnich 2000; Mayrhofer & Brewster 2005; Nel 2007; Ruona & Gibson, 2004; Storey, 2001) this have addressed that the direction of Human Resource Management (HRM) is changing. The adaptation of the strategic role and functions of a Human Resource Professional to one of a business partner of the organization as well as the focus of encouraging the employees to contribute to the organizations goals and optimization of resources. The Human Resource profession in the organization has become one that is used to add value to the company thought high level capabalilities and management skills through the express use of transformational leardership roles.
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The process of employment, skill/capacity development and the utilization of the services has become an approach that Human Resource Management takes on in terms of the management of its employees. From the traditional standpoint, the human resource focuses more towards the process of hiring and training, these do not focus on the specific roles of the individual areas such as recruiting, training & development as well as the utilization of the HR services.
Little (2003) defined Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a step to achieve the optimization of aligning the employee behavior with the organizations strategy, thus empowering the alignment for the plan for profit or loss in the long term and short term plans of the company. Human behavior strategy is very complex as it changes with the particular environment/time as well as the focuses on the goals and performances of the employees can also change with the emerging trends as well as strategy used to adapt to it.
SHRM is the focus on the strarategic aspects of HRM. It differentiates from HRM as SHRM focuses particularry on the programs with long term objectives. Both the HRM and SHRM focuses as well on the goal for an increase in productivity but SHRM differs through the usage of many strategic methodologies. SHRM adopts a more sophisticated way for improving the total level of motivation and productions of the employee as well as it usage of more systematic tools for it to align itself to focus on managing partnerships with both internal as well as external customers through developing a series of long term goals.
Introduction of how the role of HR in the 21st century is becoming increasingly vital.
With the changing times, the role of the Human Resource Department is ever so required to change its focus to be operating as a business within a business rather then as individualistic and isolated set of Human Resource practices. As with many business the HR department should adopt a vision of strategy that sets the objectives where its headed well as a set of goals (outcomes, objectives and deliverables) that prioritizes the focus for both work and investment that is essential for the department to carry out the its vision and a structure for the organization for how the HR can base itself to map towards the goals.
Creation of value for the key investors is the current focus of the new HR department, (Ulrich and Brockbank,2005). HR departments should attain proper documentation for all its set goals as well as outcomes. Traditionally the HR contributions have been measured as the quantity of cost of activities (eg: Hiring personnel vs period of time, training of employees or the cost of delivering benefits to employees)
Rather than the measurement of activities through staffing, training and other functional operations the focus of the HR departments should be better addressed by the end results or outcomes that it has created that supports the company's plans and objectives. The general outcome may be defined as the capability an organization need for the strategy to be sustained and achieved. (Ulrich & Smallwoord,2004)
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The roles of the Human Resource Departments should trend towards diversification for it to adapt to the 21st century with the current requirement for it be competitive in both superiority and speed to market; collaborations efficiency, innovation, services, accountability as well as leadership branding. Such capabilities are what represent the organization and what it is known for as it identity and practices can be enhanced if the HR practice is attuned to the desired goals for the company.
With a proper vision of outcomes and values of capabilities, the HR department of today can strategies its aims and attention on how it should and can attain the delivery of the visions to obtain the desired outcomes (Christensen,2005). The change of the traditional HR practices is now a main requirement for organizations to adapt to these changes and focus on the mimicking of the organization from where it works from to operate and from there the aims to focus and adaptation of a concept to show the direction and vision of the company to align itself with the total goals and long term plans of the company itself.
Introduction of the organization
Duty Free Shop (DFS) in Malaysia are licensed under Section 65D, Customs Act 1967. DFS typically operates at international airports, seaports, downtown and at borders. DFS is set up for the purpose of promoting the tourism industry in Malaysia, especially to foreign tourists. Foreign tourists as well as eligible local tourists are able to purchase goods free of duty and GST at any DFS
The QM Group of Companies offers a broad assortment of premier liquor, wines and spirits including prominent global brands. Its extensive variety of goods is gladly presented at its diverse duty-free outlets at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Padang Besar as well as in Langkawi. The QM Group of Companies also offers numerous other premier duty free products such as stylish apparels, perfumes, cosmetics, cigarettes, tobacco, confectionery, souvenirs etc as well as locally finished handicraft.
The Qm Group of Companies has also diversified into private bonded warehousing operations with the inauguration of its first private bonded warehouse facility at Prai, Penang offering abundant storage, distribution and logistics services as well as other value adding activities.
The QM Group of Companies, led by its main corporation - QM Sdn Bhd is a fast growing stable of dynamic companies with its core focus involved in the duty-free business dealing in wholesale and retail. QM Sdn Bhd is today an recognized industry leader and key player in the country`s duty-free industry. The QM Group of Companies has been able to build its achievement upon its decades of industry knowledge, proven reliability and stringent vow to giving only the best quality products and services to both visiting tourists and business travelers to discover a truly new dimension in duty-free shopping.
With a HR Department that is located in the HQ in Penang Island, it monitors over all its 200+ employees across the states and functions as the central point for the branches to rely upon for the process of the HR practices. All the HR function are handled internally at the HQ and does not necessary reflect the diversified working culture of the branches although they do have a HR practitioner there to give feedback to the HQ when making their decisions.
Evaluate how the HR practitioner should proceed in ensuring that alignment between business and HR strategies is effective.
Under SHRM, the role of the HR practioneris more diversified as well as it is challenging due to the different roles they are required to perform, with an idea for the HR to work as a business partner mode. The traditional HRM model is more towards transactional by nature and only concerns itself with the administrative duties to be carried out, the change to SHRM is one that adds value and core responsibility that enables the alignment to the HR system, practices and policies with business strategy for it to garner a competitive advantage to the firm is desirable.
In the process for it to perform the new roles, the current HR professionals should now adapt their thinking of outside the box of HRM and learn to develop a new radical differentiation approach to handle the human factor effectively to support the organizations business strategy and implementation. For a successful integration of the HR Department as a business role for the organization, the HR manager should understand the direction of the company as well as its competiveness in the market place. Other than this, to become a strategic partner, the competencies dealing with business issues that involves in strategy as well as strategy development and the capability to contribute to the change management and design of the organization is one of the core competencies that the HR Manager of today should possess (Lawler, III and Mohrman, 2003).
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According to Rowden (1999) the functions of the HR must change from a staff orientated function that only delivers packaged HR services to one that its services helps managers and business partners are able to make customized strategic planning that can be used to influence and effective company performance. The formulation of such strategy and the providence of the human resources that is required to support the numerous strategies and strategic steps for the organizations should come into the important role of the current HR manager. The role of the manager is one that now provides leardership in strategy formulation as well as taking part in the drive to implement the change management process to achieve success (Lawler III & Mohrman, 2003). Great human capital management is a must for the successful execution of the business strategies.
The modern HR professionals must perform four complex roles (Ulrich, 1998). The first role is in administrative excellence; this is crucial because it is a direct way of contribution to the general efficiency of the company. As an administration expert, the practitioner must take time to rethink how the work is carried out throughout the organizations. The second role for the HR professional is to be the champion for employees. The manager plays a very important role to become an advocate for the employees. The HR manager should become the voice of the employee when it comes to management discussions, the offering of personal growth and opportunities for the employees; providence of the necessary resource to allocate to the employees in order for the employees to meet the expectations set on them. This role should also involve the suggestion that the current employees be given more control and accountability over their own work schedules; thus giving a chance to employees for empowerment.
The two additional roles that the modern HR practitioner must come to realize is that of being a strategic partner as well as an agent for change. The change to become a strategic partner requires a constant evaluation of the current goals and objective of the company and the focus of the HR practice to continue its effort to design new policies and practices that can be used by the HR Practitioner to maximize the practices to achieve alignment. The HR Practitioner must also be held responsible for the definition of the architecture of the organization, that is, the identification of the way the organization does its business. The framework is as if looking at the individual organizations components from strategy, process, people, structure, rewards and shared values to be adopted. Armed with such knowledge this will allow the HR to add value to the executive team.
As the agent of change, the HR manager adopts a role that is important in the implementation and managing of the change within the organization, assessing the potential, sourcing of resistance to change and the collaboration with other managers to overcome such barriers. The role of the HR professional as the agent of change to replace such resistance with a resolve, through planning with result and to overcome the fear to change though generation of excitement of result through possibilities. The last of the two roles that is of a strategic partner and an agent of change should be the focus of interest as it is the representation of the emerging strategic roles of the HR functions.
With the additional roles the HR practitioners would need to have a model that takes on specific roles on adaption people strategically with the business strategies in such a way that empowers the bottom line. Metzler (1998) adds that the HR manager should be an active and guiding role that give the organization a choice to chose the correct human resources, investing in its people, giving support for growth and the respect of individual needs while fostering the innovations needed to achieve the strategic business objectives.
The HR professional that works under the SHRM system should detail down the roles that include early and active involvement for key strategic business factors. They must become a partner to make the decisions of the organizations while sharing the overall accountability of the work and organizations performance. They should also carry out effective monitoring to ensure that the employees as well as the organizations strategic focus and priorities are adhered to. The focus must change from the old ways and now constantly promote innovations to enhance organizations performance to strengthen the firm's comparativeness.
Critically analyze how Human Resource Management achieves competitive advantage and what factors limit Human Resource Management's ability to act. Use the current organizational practices as reference.
The best practices of high competency performance work practices are described as HR methods and systems which create an universal, positive and additive effect to the organizational performance Johnson (2000). Such practices are created to maximize the influence over the company's performance through an increase in productivity, customer satisfaction as well as innovation and development of a good reputation, recruitment and selection, HR planning, compensation and benefits, training and development performance management as well as employee relations are among such practices.
Some questions arises on why certain employees are happy to be with the company while there are others who want to look for a chance; some of the reasons are that certain companies are employee friendly as they take pride in taking great care of their employees as well as they provide a efficient working environment that allows the employees to have their identify while providing the employees potential growth while working for the company. The HR practices that encourage growth of both the organization as well as the employees does play a vital role for the sustainability of the company's overall image while they enhance the competencies, commitment and culture.
HR Practices that are expected to be an influence on a company's performance are proposed by Pfeffer (1998) and has come out with the following seven HRM practices.
Self efficient teams and decentralized decision making
High compensation contingent on organizations performance
Reduction of barriers such as language, dress, office arrangement and wage difference across levels
Extensive sharing of financial performance information throughout the organization
These practices can be used to achieve an effective adaptation to managing human resources, used to manage attrition and keep the employees satisfied. Some of the best practices are worth mentioning to have helped the organization to create a growth of highly satisfied as well as motivated work force.
Selective Hiring - A practice that can ensure that the organization gets the right person for with the desired characteristics and knowledge that is right for the position in order to ensure a good fit.
Training and Development - Is often related to a company's performance in a lot of ways. Training programs are used to create an increase in the company's employees specific skills which in turn will increase the overall productivity of the employee that will in return reduce job dissatisfaction and be one of the factors that can lead to lower employee turnover.
Job Security - Used to create a overall sense of confidence for all the employees that can be used to cultivate their commitment towards the company's workforce. The development of the confidence for the employees in turn makes them commit themselves to spend more effort that all adds up to the benefit of the company.
Flexi-time - Flexible time is a practice, though not used widely, the organization that uses it gives the employees the flexibility to work on arrangement, this in return creates a sense of freedom for the employee and would also create a sense of mutual respect for the both employees and employers that can be used to drive the work performance while on the job.
Highlight Performers - High performer's employees are those that are constantly achieving better results, faster as well as closer to the targets. Through highlighting their profile, the company creates a high sense of value to these individuals through by making them visible throughout the company's intranet, display boards or newsletters. The sense of recognition is a positive reinforcement for the individuals as well as other employees to do their best to gain the prestige.
Open House Discussion & Idea Rewarding - A organizations asset is its employees and the employees are one of the biggest source of ideas that the company can tap on. Having a successful organization is one that is capable to nature the ideas of the employees who are the workforce and knows how the business nature thus providing the best ideas and aspects for the overall organization to tap on. Through these system, a group of individuals are identified and developed and they are invited to share their view points to contribute to the overall company growth as well as enable the company to remain competitive.
Rewards and recognitions - Any successful organization is one that is capable to recognize its talent pool from the employees and the nurturing of the employees though rewards and recognition is one that enables the employees to improve their performance and morale. On the other spectrum is the recognition through non monetary rewarding system that uses motivation to build on the feelings of confidence and satisfaction of the employees. This can overall be used to increase in employee retention and encourages the employee, team as well as the whole talent pool to give their best performance for the company.
Coaching and Mentoring - The organization can use coaching and mentoring aspects to train its leaders to address certain skills lacking within the organization, enhance the overall performance as well as empowering the leaders to become better in their roles.
Cross Functional Training - Organizations foster and harness the talent by imparting in house cross functional training that enables their employees to be multi skilled and multi talented. Currently there are many organizations that encourage their employees to be multi skilled as it adds value to the overall functional aspect of the company.
Work Environment - Having an organization that is a safe and happy work place would give the employee a sense of feel good and security while being at work. Each employee is given importance and is provided with a sense of safety that would let them be more focused on their job and motivates them to work harder and stay due to the feeling of well being.
The focus and the attention of today's HR practices should be focused on creating HR policies based on openness, consensus, equity and trust. The creation of conditions for employees that are willing to work with initiative, enthusiasm and zeal; making the employees feel like winners. The fair treatment of the people and prompt addressing of the grievances faced would pave the way for healthy work place relations, preparing workers to accept the technological changes and clarifying their doubts.
Factors effecting the limitation of Human resource management
The proper planning of Human resource manage is not without the factors that affect the overall outlook and outcome of the organization. Certain of the processes are listed below that identifies the planning for Human Resources.
Employment - Takes into account the factors that affect the situation in the country i.e. in countries that there have a greater unemployment rate; there may also be pressure from the governmental bodies of a particular country to hire more people. Other factors to consider is also the reverse effect that certain company may face shortage of skilled labor and may have to employ people from other countries.
Technical changes in society - With new advancement of technology over the years, there is a development of new trends that are more focused towards IT based systems. This trend has generated a new trend whereby the existing workforce might have need to go trough training for skills upgrade to enable them to use such technonological advancements. This also is a potential cause for some companies for removing existing personnel and to employ new faces with the proper knowledge to handle the new emerging technologies.
Organizational change - In line with growth many organizations have adopted changes in its structure as well as diversification into its line of business. The move has created new sources of business as well as closing down some areas that are unprofitable. The process takes into the HRP process for hiring and retrenchment of such personnel according to the direction the company takes.
Demographic changes - The changes refer to age, population, workforce composition etc. the number of people who retire every year as well as the new batch of graduates that turn out every year to fill in the ranks. This would affect the company by the change of appointment and removal within the company.
Shortage of skill due to labor turnover - certain industries would have a higher turnover rate compared to others, planning for HRP is taken into consideration where the location or the required workforce is not available to fill in the positions in the company.
Multicultural workforce - In today's work place, there are workers from different countries in search of a job, when planning for the HRP, the company needs to consider the different ethnic backgrounds as well as the cultural diversity of these groups in order for it to blend in to the company's overall culture.
Elaborate on what HR strategies can be implemented in this organization, to meet or exceed employees' psychological contract in SOME (two or more) differing HR areas like HR planning, Reward Management, Performance Appraisals, Career Development, Recruitment, Training and Development and Industrial Relations.
Psychological contract can be defined as the representation of a shared belief, perception and informal obligations between the employer and employee. Because of this the relationship and defines the detailed practicality of work to be carried out. The contracts can be distinguished from the normal contracts which are from written contracts that only specify the duties and responsibilities of the roles to be carry out in a generalized form.
In the case of QM HR practices can adopt to successfully fulfill the current generations trend of psychological contract, the HR practitioner should be more aware of the current situation of the nature and direction of the company to successfully employ the right strategic HRM choices to ensure that the visions of the company is able to be achieved with the right methods that can be used to target the few areas of concern.
Selective Hiring is one of the first factors to consider for QM HR Practitioners, with the current duty free pioneer group of employees to be of 48 years of age and above, the current gaps of the executive and new managerial roles in the company should be filled up with the focus of taking in a more diverse and dynamic generation of workers. Selective recruitment is an important role and should be taken seriously by the practitioner as it should consider the integration of a younger generation into the current median age of QM. The goals for the organization to find the right kind of people for the right position with the right attitude and personality as well as the desired skills, aptitude and capabilities to drive the organization towards a new stage for growth for the next few years to come.
This is a look at the talent retention capabilities that implies matching a employees inherent skill, traits and personality for the roles. When the employees endures through a rigorous employee selection process, the person would feel that their experience, knowledge as well as capabilities are the factors that ensured them the position and in return they will feel that they would have something valuable to contribute back to the company and this would make them highly responsible and a drive to succeed. With the sourcing of employees from a different age group, the HR practitioner might indirectly align the with the companies vision of growth by having a new workforce which is more robust and more in line with technology as well as faced paced attitude.
Reward Management also needs to be taken into account for the QM HR practitioner as in today's market, 99% of the market agrees in order for a employee to perform to their best potential, the rewards should be given accordingly. When taking into account the various locations of the branch that QM has as well as the diverse operational culture for each individual location, QM HR practitioner should consider using rewards as a method to further spur employee's performance. The HR Practitioner should take into account the different locations as well as the different reward standards to be set accordingly because the locations itself has their own set of diverse operations as well as the pay scale and employee expectations will differ accordingly.
Practices that can induce other employees to perform favorably to the benefit of the company should be encouraged and adapted to other branch locations in hopes for the employees there to follow. One of such example would be to have a fair rewarding policy to its current management team; currently there seems to a different standard of practice for its allocation of company vehicles to its management team as currently only selective managers are given such rights, these differentiate practice also extends to the allocation of communication medium whereby only certain managers are given free mobile phones while the rest are not allocated accordingly. Such difference in practice does create a sense of uneasiness among the management team as there is no clear distinction for the rewarding system as it veers towards employee favoritism rather than proper procedures for rewarding the employees.
Training and Development is one other area that QM HR practitioners need to into consideration, with today's employees being more concerned about self development as a very important activity followed by the sharing of knowledge and job security. If the employee is provide with adequate training and more information as well as an upgrade in their skills to perform their work, the will certainly be able to perform much better as well as have a greater sense of confidence thus indirectly be capable of even giving positive feedback for on the job improvements to the management for consideration. Training provided is an attempt to enhance the current or future employee performance by allowing the employee to have a better attitude and capabilities to perform their work.
In the case of QM, the HR practitioner has to understand that today's new generation of employees are focused more towards a knowledge based environment and they would like to be properly capable in handling their work as well as finding opportunities to better themselves. As of this moment, even though QM has been paying the necessary allocation of funds to the HRDF department, it has not fully make used of the funds to train its employees. According to law, certain amount of the cost an employee takes up for training can be reimbursed through the HRDF fund but as of now, the fund is severely underutilized and not many employees are given a proper chance to upgrade their skill. Even the current HR manager is not in line with the vision for having a highly trained workforce for the strategic growth of the company and thus crippling the vision and mission of the board of directors.