Implications of a Dynamic HRM Environment
In this lesson, you’re expected to learn about:
– how the world of work is changing
– the role that cultural environment and diversity have on HRM
– the importance of employee involvement
The World of Work continues to change – at an increasingly rapid pace.
Thus, HR must understand the implications of:
• technology changes
• workforce diversity
• changing skill requirements
• continuous improvement initiatives
• employee involvement
The Changing World of Work
The type of work people do and how they do it is constantly changing. New opportunities are opening up and new directions are possible for everyone to consider.
Previously, it was common for people to have one job and sometimes even the same employer for life. Today, most of us can expect to have a range of different jobs in our lifetime.
What do all these changes mean?
It is becoming increasingly important to be able to manage your own career in this changing world of work. There is a movement away from a career ‘for life’ to a range of roles you will probably have throughout your lifetime.
This means flexible working arrangements and increased variety in terms of job functions.
You need to be adaptable to these changes so that you remain competitive in the job market. Some of the employability skills which you should have in order to retain employment and progress in the world of work are:
• openness to new ideas
• The more skills you have, the more employable you are. Have the confidence to express how valuable your skills are to potential employers.
• The way we seek work has changed. Many jobs are advertised on the internet or through employment and recruitment agencies rather than the traditional ways. What can be even more effective is word of mouth.
• The secret to remaining in the workforce is to be multi-skilled and to be able to transfer skills from one area of your life and work to another. Continue to learn new skills and keep your employer notified.
• To find work, we have to be proactive and make things happen. That means chasing up contacts and creating opportunities for yourself.
HRM must ensure that:
• employees can operate in the appropriate language.
• communications are understood by a multilingual work force.
• multicultural groups can work together.
Workers need to be able to operate in cultures that differ on variables such as:
• status differentiation
• societal uncertainty
Some things to keep in mind:
• Not all HRM theories and practices are universally applicable.
• HRM must understand varying cultural values.
How Diversity Affects HRM
• Need to attract and maintain a diversified work force that is reflective of the diversity in the general population.
• Need to foster increased sensitivity to group differences.
• Must deal with different values, needs, interests, and expectations of employees.
Technology has had a huge impact on workers – it has altered the way people work and changed the way information is created, stored, used, and shared.
Companies also employ a growing number of knowledge workers (individuals whose jobs are designed around the acquisition and application of information).
Why the emphasis on technology:
• makes organizations more productive
• helps them create and maintain a competitive advantage
• provides better, more useful information
Employee involvement is not the goal nor is it a tool, as practiced in many organizations. Rather, it is a management and leadership philosophy about how people are most enabled to contribute to continuous improvement and the ongoing success of their work organization.
• Delegation – having the authority to make decisions in one’s job.
• Work Teams – workers of various specializations who work together in an organization.
• Training – HRM must provide training to help empower employees in their new roles.
This model was developed by Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) and Sadler (1970).
It provides a continuum for leadership and involvement that includes an increasing role for employees and a decreasing role for supervisors in the decision process.
The continuum includes the following progression:
2) Sell: the supervisor makes the decision and then attempts to gain commitment from staff by “selling” the positive aspects of the decision.
3) Consult: the supervisor invites input into a decision while retaining authority to make the final decision himself.
4) Join: the supervisor invites employees to make the decision with the supervisor. The supervisor considers his voice equal in the decision process.
5) Delegate: the supervisor turns the decision over to another party.