Nowadays, with the ever increasing importance attached to human resource management in organizations around the globe, how to effectively conduct human resource management and meet business objectives has been heatedly debated over. In an attempt to have a further insight into human resource management, the concept of strategic human resource management is defined and introduced in this essay .
Furthermore, in this essay, some “big issues” HER managers will need to consider, including improving leadership development, managing work-life balance, as well as levering on recruiting and staffing, are discussed and supported by relevant examples that align with these issues. Strategic human resource management (SHIRR) represents a relatively new transformation in the field of human resource management. Different from traditional HARM, strategic HARM focuses on the linking of all HER activities with the organization’s strategic objectives.
It is concerned with the role human resource management systems play in the firm performance, particularly concentrating on the alignment of human resources as a means of gaining competitive advantage (Sera, 2010 Organizations are becoming aware that successful human resource policies and practices may increase performance in different areas such a productivity, quality and financial performance. The way for a firm to remain scarce or hard for competitors to duplicate is to have enduring competitive advantage.
Resources confer enduring competitive advantage to a firm and enable companies to pursue opportunities (Barney, 1991). The resource-based view posits that human and organizational resources, more than physical, technical or financial resources, can provide a firm with sustained competitive advantage because they are particularly difficult to emulate (Load et al. 1992; Load and Wilson, 1 994; Wright and McMahon, 1992).
Consequently, in a relatively ideal way, managers are ought to work in order to enhance the firm’s competitive position by creating superior human capital skills, experience and knowledge that contribute to firm economic value (Snell and Dean, 1992). How well the HARM function achieves these goals determines overall HARM effectiveness. Hustled et al. (1997) define HARM effectiveness as ‘the delivery of high-quality technical and strategic HARM activities’. During the implement, managers may confront many challenges. The first issue that should be considered by managers is improving leadership development.
Leadership development regards the development of leadership as a process. It includes the interpersonal relationships, social influence process, and the team dynamics between the leader and his/her team at the dyad level, the contextual factors surrounding the team such as the perception of the organizational climate and the social network linkages between the team and other groups in the organization (David , 2000). In the past, leader development was often used to shape a leader, for example, the way he behaviors, talks and also his personality.
What should be distinguished is that managers put more emphasis on developing leadership other than leader, which will help employees in the company to participate more effectively. A survey by Hay Group shows the best twenty companies in the term of leadership development. The top three are General Electric, P&G and Intel. Among 3,769 employees in 1,827 enterprises, 69. 2% of the companies offer the opportunities to their staff to foster and train the leadership, regardless of the employees’ positions.
Furthermore, for the top twenty companies, they also encourage the leaders n charge of subsidiaries to take part in the headquarter decision-making process. It can be concluded that an increasing number of companies have become aware of the importance of leadership development. Work-life balance is a crucial factor of employees’ job satisfaction, which managers need to consider. The former research represents that although graduates seek work-life balance, their concern for career success draws them into a situation where they work increasingly long hours and experience an increasingly unsatisfactory relationship between home and work.
Cane and David 2004) FIGURE 1-?1 Employment Exodus: Percent of employers who aid they planned as of 2008 to offshore a number of these jobs What can be concluded from the chart is that nowadays people consider to leave the current positions even though they have a highly skilled and paid job. However, recent efforts made by the companies on managing work-life balance prove effective. Take Buffalo Beauty Pl as an example. It is an infrastructure group with capabilities in professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments.
When Buffalo Beauty Civil Engineering Major Projects surveyed their employees two years go, it found that work-life balance was a problem since 62% of the employees claimed that their jobs were overwhelming. The Company then employed flexible working specialists, Swifter, to help improve work-life balance. They had to be clear that the business case for the significant culture change was sound, ensure that performance was maintained and that customers and suppliers needs were met. Following a senior manager workshop, schemes were developed by local teams, to target specific work and individual requirements.
Each team devised new ways of working that suited its business needs. For instance, one team developed cross-killing to offer a broader depth of service to internal clients across the whole day. Cost savings were also made to night services supplied using a flextime scheme that had previously been provided by an external consultant. It is identified that there is better interdependence and communication between teams, time recording is better, health and safety cover has increased with more flexibility. Delivering on recruiting and staffing is always known as basic responsibility for HARM.
As personnel aspects of a manager’s job, at the very beginning, they need to conduct job analyses, planning labor needs. Then recruiting and selecting job candidates follow. After that, new employees need orienting, training, incentive, appraisal and communication from the managers. In the term of SHIRR, managers should focus on strategic way of recruiting and staffing. The emphasis should be transfer to the strategic role of human resource, the consistency of human resource management, the dynamic of adoption, flexibility and a clear goal. Take L’Oreal Company as an example.
Their essence of recruiting strategy is to exploit the human resource in advance. They create many chances for the graduates to get in touch with the company, in other words, they regard universities as their talent base. Before the students begin to seek for a job, they have already get access to the corporate culture, values, marketing strategies and L’Oreal products and management. It helps freshmen to get started soon after working in the company and for the company, the cost of training can be reduced as well. In 2001, L’Oreal, Business Week and Strata X began a global competition called L’Oreal e-Strata Challenge.
It is the biggest business competition to all the college and MBA student all over the world. During the contest, the company has the chance to meet more business talents and also a brilliant way to enhance its own brand. Conclusion Since it is clearly understood from academic research that human resources are a source of sustained competitive advantage, while, traditionally, the costs associated with the development of HER strategy have been regarded as an operating expense, these costs would be better considered as an investment in capital assets.
Different from traditional HARM, strategic HARM focuses on the linking of all HER activities with the organization’s strategic objectives. It is concerned with the role human resource management systems play in the firm performance, particularly concentrating on the alignment of human sources as a means of gaining competitive advantage. In the essay, delivering on recruiting and staffing are discussed in order to give examples how the strategic human resource management will be applied by the managers in the real life.
For the leadership development, managers need to regard the development of leadership as a process, and the interpersonal relationships, social influence process, the team dynamics, the contextual factors and the social network linkages in the organization should be taken into consideration. For the work-life balance management, since it has a close legislations with job satisfaction, managers should help the employees to get rid of overwhelming work in order to decrease potential turnover.
For the process of recruiting and staffing, the managers should have a strategy which is consistent with the overall goal. The emphasis should be transfer to the strategic role of human resource, the consistency of human resource management, the dynamic of adoption, flexibility and a clear goal.