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In today’s workplace, the environment is constantly evolving. Many of the ideas that will be driven in HR firms will be based upon working to adapt to these changes while being proactive as well. This is the eventuality that must be confronted while trying to maintain a balance work life for employees and manages alike. Measuring performance will take on a new dynamic, as well as, employee/manager interactions. Work will become less bound by the walls of a building in more ways than one. The challenge for many companies will be developing a HR system that is flexible enough to conform to these changes while anticipating the foreseeable future.
The HR department of the future must reevaluate the relationship between manager and employee. In many service based organizations, managers function as “coaches” on the floor. Most commonly in call centers, they listen to prerecorded and live employee/customer interactions. Next, they do an evaluation of the employee and subsequently inform them of strengths and weaknesses. Human resource departments expect managers to use this time to build rapport with their employees while also trying to reinforce a commitment towards accountability. Sometimes there may be a need for corrective action. This requires a manager to tread a thin line between confidant and disciplinarian. Often when these relationships become strained, the HR department works as a mediator to resolve any tension. If the relationship between employee and manager becomes beyond repair, then HR is expected to arbitrate the situation. The survey of 572 Canadian HR Reporter readers and members of the Human Resources Professionals Association found 95.6 of respondents agree or strongly agree HR professionals have responsibilities that go beyond serving the interest of employers or clients (Klie, May 2010, p 10). Many HR departments seem like they have an issue maintaining this standard. Another survey conducted by Canadian HR Reporter indicated 36.9 percent of its respondents believed that HR usually served in the favor of employers (Balthazard, May 2010, p 11). It is clear that HR must try and maintain the prescience of fairness, in lieu of these glaring statistics: failure to do so could result in tremendous consequences.
In situations where productivity is tapering off, HR departments are forced to make decisions that call for radical changes, such as, reassigning manager teams and revisiting employee policies. Adjusting to these changes provide challenges for employees and managers alike. Whenever there is major change, it is the initial transition period that provides the most difficulty. In the event of applying stricter employee/manager regulations, HR departments must anticipate the backlash that maybe pending. It is during this period that employees suffer from lower morale and turnover becomes more prevalent. This makes managing personalities a little more difficult for line managers; therefore, driving a wedge between them and employees. The final prospect that the company is looking at after this fallout is the very real possibility of losing mental and financial capital. Simply put, it costs money and time to train new employees. Hiring a new employee costs $1,580 on average (Hagel, Spring 2007, p 12). This is not a cheap cost for any company to incur and it bound to add up to an immense expense if turnover becomes an issue. The lost of an employee with many years of experience is immeasurable. In short, they tend to make work far more seamless than their less knowledgeable counterparts and don’t require as much time for training. One obvious challenge for HR departments headed into this new decade is certain: minimizing turnover in the midst of new employee regulations.
In the future, Human Resources will have to find more inventive ways to involve employees and managers in the process of establishing new rules and regulations. This will make employees more knowledgeable of any pending changes on the horizon: minimizing the time and effort it would normally take to retrain current employees. This would not compromise too much since HR heads still maintain the authority of having the final say on matters of policies. What may transpire; however, is a process of educating HR personnel, line managers, and employees alike. Employees tend to be aware of certain nuances of customer interaction that line managers and hr personnel may not be privy to. A few suggestions from the “everyday” worker could spark better ideas from Human Resources to solve compelling problems that may exist. Managers tend to notice certain trends concerning employee behavior and may also be able to influence more efficient policy as well. Evaluating company rules and mission statements require more than a simple process of crunching statistics: it requires that the application of knowledge obtained from real, at work scenarios be applied and put to practice. The usage of customer, employee, and managerial surveys can make the evaluation process that much simpler while still giving stakeholders some power to influence HR’s decision making process. Most importantly, company’s maybe able to better engage their employees in the workplace as a result. . A question posed to a communications manager at Coca Cola Enterprises; was summed up with this basic response, ‘Achieving world-class engagement scores is one of our long-term business priorities, so our leaders are committed to it. At a recent conference for our top 300 managers in Europe, they insisted that we devoted an entire afternoon to analyzing the headline results of our latest employee engagement survey and forming some early action plans, which is really encouraging”(Strategic Communications Management, Dec 2009/Jan 2010). It is safe to say that engaging employees are a major concern for HR firms. The knowledge of employee engagement can provide the company with an asset vital to understanding just how hard to push workers and when to relent. Employee engagement measurement is most effective when thought of in terms of a series of related inputs and outputs (Brown & Kelly, Oct/Nov 2006, p22). HR must be able to decide sufficient factors for deciding which inputs best reflect productivity, in conjunction with, the corresponding outputs. Many companies already use phone, mail, and internet surveys to obtain customer opinions, in order to, develop efficient strategies. . This can be an effective way of getting employee and managerial opinions for the purpose of evaluating engagement. . With the advent of current technology, obtaining this type of information from customers, managers, and employees is just one of the many processes that can be facilitated to make HR’s job that much easier.
The face of HR is changing quite rapidly. By the year 2020, it is expected that 75 percent of organizations will be outsourcing their HR functions (Millar, April 2004, p 3). .This could possibly provide a better opportunity for HR departments to act in an independent interest. The perceptions of HR are definitely going to change over the course of the upcoming years and will totally require revising even more ideas. According to SHRM research, 80 percent of respondents will increase their use of technology to handle HR transactions (Sandler, Rath, Troy, et al., October 2004). In short, a lot more of the decisions made by HR department will be determined by programs that calculate productivity and monitor spending. The demands of improving the usage of technology must be met with developing hr personnel for management through technology. 57 percent of HR focus survey respondents believed that increased investments in training for HR staff would be vital (Sandler, Rath, Troy, et al., October 2004). It should be noted that with this demand of increased training investments will follow a responsibility to select the most capable candidates for HR, managerial, and employee positions. A study by the Society for HR Management estimates the cost of a poor hire for intermediate positions at $20,000, senior management at $100,000 and sales representatives at $300,000. Pierre Mornell, in his book Hiring Smart, says that if you make a mistake in hiring and you recognize and rectify the mistake within 6 months, the cost of replacing the employee is two and one-half times the person’s salary. For example, if you were to use this formula, the cost of a poor hiring decision for a candidate earning $50,000 per year would be $125,000 (Hagel, Spring 2007, p 12). This is a high expense for any company to have to incur. Making the correct hires from the top down would most likely ensure that companies spend less money replacing inefficient workers.
It is rather safe to conclude that maintaining a successful corporate takes a lot of careful evaluation. There is a need for affirmative evaluation and not too much guessing. Without a reliable plan, a company could find itself losing tremendous amounts of money and having to spend extra time creating a more effective approach. No company has the perfect method for HR management, in respect to, running an efficient operation. Some companies just realize that aiming towards that goal requires looking at running a company from all angles. This is the ultimate challenge that companies face in the HR sector.
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