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According to Rennie (2003) a company workforce represents one of its most potent and valuable resources: people are the lifeblood of any organization, for this reason the way this workforce is managed represents a critical element in enhancing internal effectiveness and improving the organization's competitiveness.
It is evident that individuals performing in any HR roles need to be equipped with different capabilities that support the expectations and challenges of their roles and responsibilities.
This assessment focuses on the strategic role of New Zealand HR professionals in the planning process, strategic focus and environment. We will try to describe what we think the workplace will be in the year 2020 and what challenges HR professionals will face at that time. Which abilities every HR professional should possess by the year 2020 in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to cope with the future challenges of the role. Finally this report will give an overview of the job documentation of HR professionals for organizational and employment purposes in terms of job description and person specification.
Because of the brevity of this report, it does not address the vastness of the topic at hand, but gives an overview of HR professionals working in New Zealand organizations. How they moved in response to the changes in the business environment and what knowledge, skills and capabilities they possess beyond their simple functional role.
1. In the context of historical and contemporary developments in New Zealand and the world, discuss the strategic role of HR professional in:
1.1 Planning Process:
Planning of course is extremely important not only in HR but in everyday life. Unfortunately there are still many Organizations who do not plan properly for the future, creating less opportunity for themselves to survive in times of competition.
Quoting Mondy (1996) they define it as a systematic analysis which HR needs in order to ensure that correct numbers of employees with the necessary skills are available when they are required.
Whenever we prepare our planning program, we should always have in mind that staff members have their objectives they need to achieve. This is the reason why employees seek employment. Neglecting these needs would result in poor motivation that may lead to unnecessary poor performance.
There are usually 6 stages in the planning process:
1. Review strategies: Are workers/people available to implement the strategy?
2. Forecasting HR Requirements: How many people are required and with what level of skills, how work will be allocated, job analysis, job design and job description.
3. Assess availability: Analyze all current resources. Try to predict or estimate all future movements inside and outside the Company.
4. Gap analysis: Compare demand and supply. Identify gaps.
5. Plan Action: If there is a gap, how to close it? Try to forecast demand and supply.
6. Monitoring and Control.
HR planning helps the organization move successfully into the 21st Century.
Human Resources Professionials who are able to prepare the HR Planning program would assist the Organization to manage its staff strategically.
The program assists to direct the actions of HR department.
Planning does not help the Organization only, but it will also facilitate the career planning of the employees and assist them to achieve their objectives. This increases motivation and the Organization can offer an empowering place to work.
HR Planning forms an important part of Management information system.
It has the serious task of keeping track of all the changes and ensuring that the right workers are available to the Organization at the right time. All the changes in the composition of the workforce can influence the methods of selection, training, compensation and motivation.
It becomes very critical when for instance Organizations merge, plants are relocated, and activities are scaled down due to financial problems.
Poor HR Planning or lack of it in the Organization may result in huge costs and financial losses. It may result in jobs taking too long to be filled. This of course leads costs to increase.
1.2 Strategic Focus:
Unfortunately many Companies view the HR Department as an administrative function and ignore the possibility to align it with its strategic plans. And the very few times in which HR is included in the Company strategic views do not go beyond a forecasting function.
Human Resources is sometimes viewed as the organization's police, making sure that wages and benefits are properly administered and the hiring/firing process is managed according to the law.
The first step in developing HR strategies is to make sure that the organization has a clear understanding of its mission and values.
Mission: Why these organizations exist?
Values: What the organization believe in?
Vision: What does it want to achieve?
Standards: What policies are necessary to maintain values?
The people working in any organization are a very important part of its strategic view. Top manager's beliefs about people influence how they approach all aspects of HR management. How does the organization views its employees? Are they seen as partners or just cost adding factors to the organization?
HR is viewed as the people department and/or resource. The people within the organization ultimately determine the effectiveness of strategy development, implementation, and subsequent competitive success. A strategic approach that is aligned with HR ensures that an organization's employees, skills, and abilities contribute to the achievement of its business goals (Huselid, Jackson, & Schuler, 1997).
Using tools like PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technical) or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) HR managers can foresee factors and issues that can affect the whole company in the next 5 years. PEST, for example, more focused on external factors can help determine how the political changes to employment laws in NZ may affect the organization, or how the changing demographics may impact on the organization's age profile and on the diversity of its workforce.
To be part of the organization's strategic plan HR needs to grow beyond its administrative function and focus more on planning and implementation. By increasing competencies of any HR personal, the department will also increase its credibility and finally become integrated into a strategic role.
New Zealand, as any other country, has been exposed to challenges and opportunities initiated by the increasing change and complexity of the business environment. Because of the increasing globalization, development in technology and telecommunications, the shift towards a knowledge-based workforce and intensifying competition for skilled labour create new competitive realities for organizations.
Increasing competition implies that, regardless of the country in which they operate, organizations are all under pressure to react to these changing conditions by cultivating a competence in human resource management (Horgan, 2003).
For decades HR practitioners have been tagged as administrators; however organizations are now looking at the HR function to go beyond the delivery of cost effective administrative services and provide expertise on how to leverage human assets (Jamrog & Overholt, 2004).
Because of the changes in modern New Zealand's business environment over the last few years, the role of HR practitioners has changed as well. They now have to be responsible for improving relations and balance internal complexities within the organization.
Due to the increasing number of people from all over the world migrating to New Zealand the business environment has changed. The themes must be now focused on recruitment and retention, work/life balance and diversity management because the pressure of forces such as worldwide skill shortages, the increasing multi-cultural society, as well as accommodating life outside work compels HR practitioners to implement new practices.
2. Describe what you predict the workplace would be like in the year 2020.
What are the challenges that HR professionals will face at that time?
Probably the workplace will be really exciting, filled with changes designed to benefit the employee. Organizations will have to go global, creating a cultural melting pot of many different people from different countries; Teams will be built up of workers of different gender, race and generation and even workers of different nations.
Companies that use to work only for profit will have to raise their business ethics, placing new emphasis on their workers and their ecological impact on the planet.
All the social technology will of course increase (Twitter, Skype) providing real time feedback loops and facilitating work teams. Advanced Internet capabilities will give workers the capability to access their "desk" anywhere using their cell.
An increase in Personal Branding, considering that nearly half of employers already use social networks sites to recruit why candidates don't do the same also utilizing these sites to build their personal brands. Probably one of the biggest challenges HR professionals will face by the year 2020 would be a talent shortage. The old workers will be retired by then so in order to create the future leadership they will have to start now, accelerating development, training and promotions.
The 2020 workplace has to start developing as we speak by creating teams both internally as externally with transformational people using transformational, highly innovative technology. Information of course will move even faster demanding fast thinking personnel.
People will not need to move so much going to their workplace and back creating traffic jams and pollution. Technology will allow workers to work from home, plug and play their tablet, laptop or phone from anywhere at any time.
HR Professional will take an Entrepreneurial approach to their jobs and careers. The top professionals will have the latest business management principles, technical abilities, interpersonal skills, and will intuitively understand the needs of the company. Education and training will have to be lifelong and virtual.
HR Professionals will have to be extremely good at team building skills. There will be less face-to-face contact; your team is now remote and virtual.
3.What should every HR Professional possess by 2020 in terms of knowledge, skills, abilities (KSA's) in order to cope with the challenges of the role?
HR Professionals will operate in an ever more demanding environment, which will be characterized by intense competition, highly diversified workforce, high speed technology advancement and external factors such as political changes on a global scale which in turn will affect Corporations' structures (Jac-Fitz-enz, The New HR Analytics, 2010).
With high speed technology on hand, almost every corporation which aspires to market leadership will have the buying power to access packaged human capitals management software; but the difference is still going to be made by the HR Professionals' interpersonal skills, their risk taking skills, and above all their capability to predict change based on the analysis of internal and external data. In other words, people are still going to make the difference.
Managing predictively will allow HR Professionals to take risks in crystal clear circumstances, and foresee changes which will allow them to adapt to the external ever more demanding market environment.
The ability to analyze data will not be enough in such fast paced environment and economy, so HR Professionals will have to be able to look ahead, find hidden meaning in the data analyzed, move analytical results in real time and mitigate the risks in order for their Company to be and maintain a step ahead in the market place.
That of HR Professionals in New Zealand as in any other country is a multi faceted role, as it analysis every single factor which influences not only the Company's internal working environment but also the external market environment. It liaises with all departments of an Organization therefore it needs to have a constant communication flow with each and every one of them: in the specific, the future HR Professionals will have to possess a tertiary level of qualification, be more technology savvy and be more strategic and proactive in their decision making and planning, as they will occupy a higher level position in their Company's structure.
Knowledge and experience will definitely be required by any HR Professionals, but it's their analytical skills that are going to make a difference. The process becomes one of constant monitoring of the data in order not only to minimize the risks but also to be able to action in real time, should a change be required to adapt to the ever changing internal but above all external environment.
The American Management Association (AMA) defines HR Professionals in the world today as Human Capital Managers and identifies their core skills as the ability to study statistics, analyze and interpret the data and utilize that knowledge to predict and foresee the short and medium term future changes.
The New Zealand market is a relatively small market when compared to that of other countries such as the United States, European countries and Australia. This represents an advantage for the HR Professionals in New Zealand, because the market's data and statistics are less complex therefore quicker to access and analyze.
The size and environmental conditions of the New Zealand market offer a great platform for the HR Professionals to operate in, as this country already possesses a very strong work-life balance ethic, great external environment and the space to grow.
4. In this given situation, develop a job documentation of HR porfessionals for organizational and employment purposes in terms of:
4.1 Job description
Job description - Human Resource Professional
Position: Human Resource Professional
Department: Human Resources
Reports to: General Manager
Location: Auckland City
Prepared by: Team F
Purpose: Recruitment, to predict long term organisational conditions and anticipates, administer, highly technological and innovative orientated, reports and advices GM, maintains solid, clear relationship with employee's, empowering to the workforce, creates reliable team
* Analysing demand of employee's
* Monitoring and guiding recruitment process
* Reporting to General Manager
* Maintaining clear oversight of employee's functioning
* Develop proper relationships with employee and GM
* Administrational tasks
* Obtain an innovative and foreseeing view on the organisation's needs
* HR Department team
* General Manager
* Multi-cultural and reliable team
* Positive workforce by transformational attitude when leading staff
* Clear administration and relationships
* Innovative and technological well developed department
* Flexible and organic organisational structure
Guidance and Support
Technological/ professional development
* Open and motivating attitude towards employee's
* Problem solving orientated
* Use constructive and upbuilding criticism to encourage employee's
* Develop excellent interpersonal and communicational skills
* Benefit from selection of courses offered
* High-tech orientated
* Urge for own professional development
* Openminded and searching for innovating and empowering technological and professional improvements
* Flexible to implement changes
* Attend courses
* Aim and eager for personal development/ growth
* Make use of personal development programs which will enhance the organisation
* Encourage and motivate employee's process in personal/ professional growth
Personal Profile - Human Resource Professionals
Personal Skills/ abilities
* Motivating and clear communication skills
* Transformational leadership orientated
* Empowering interpersonal skills
* Socially well developed
* People orientated
* Interest in personal growth
Professional Skills/ abilities
* Up to date computerskills
* Ability to foresee and take action for future
* Strong organisational skills
* Operate tactful
* Time management skills
* Diploma/ degree in HR management or finished a course related to HR management
* Computer course
* Personal development orientated course
* Language course
The new challenges for HR professionals in New Zealand can be summarized as followed: Organizations will have to migrate to new capabilities, requiring new sets of skills not yet presently available. Early identification of these talent sets will provide a key competitive advantage.
Organizations will need to be ready to challenge the accepted wisdom, shifting from a labour economy to a knowledge economy.
Understanding that individuals begin to manage their own personal brand value, take accountability for, determining what kind of relationship they have with the organization and how they select these organizations rather than be selected.
The way organizations work with people will need to consider the following elements:
Engagement with strategic intent will replace alignment and control
Identify and remove barriers to innovation
Act with integrity to create credibility and trust
Demonstrate learning agility - learning faster rather than at the pace of change
Value and retain human capital