Business / Trends And Challenges In HR Management
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Autor: beth512 29 June 2011
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Trends and Challenges in HR Management
To remain competitive, businesses need to see HRM as an evolutionary process. Staying abreast of the competitive market environment and applying a strategic role to attracting and retaining talented employees is a major function of HRM. Attracting valuable employees starts with a complete performance management system and continues with ongoing performance appraisals. Managing turnovers in organizations help provide stability, whereas examining and updating health and safety issues on a recurring basis helps maintain the talent. These objectives as well as discussing future trends and challenges are the topics of this paper.
Complete Performance Management (CPM)
Performance management starts when an organization first outlines a position. Providing a clear description of the position helps in the selection of the right person with the right skills. If the employees have a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities with ongoing coaching and feedback, those employees can build on his or her strengths and contribute to the success of the organization. Effective training and orientation helps a person to do the best job he or she can do and complete performance management leads to better understanding and contributes to employee growth. "It also ensures that employees receive both positive and negative feedback when warranted. They also provide rewards for good performance and tips to improve bad performance" (Keen, 11/15/2010, p.1). A CPM system does not end until the employee leaves the company. Conducting exit interviews helps an organization understand why a talented and valued employee is leaving and can improve the work environment for the people.
Annual Performance Appraisals
A performance appraisal is "the process by which a manager or consultant (1) examines and evaluates an employee's work behavior by comparing it with preset standards, (2) documents the results of the comparison, and (3) uses the results to provide feedback to the employee to show where improvements are needed and why" ("Performance Appraisals," n.d., p. 1). The performance appraisal is a method of evaluating an employee on an already performed activity rather than guiding, coaching, and training as a performance management system is formulated to do. Performance appraisal identifies training needs whereas a CPM system provides training. The most common method of obtaining an evaluation is to use a graphics rating method that managers use to score employees numerically on a number of objectives and adding the total together to arrive at an average rating for the job. This appraisal method offers exactness and precision to eliminate the guesswork in establishing raises and bonuses.
The management by objectives (MBOs) performance appraisal method involves the employee and manager working in tandem to identify the goals for the employee. Time and resources are understood and open discussions ensures the employee is on task and following company expectations. Because of frequent interactions, reviews are uncomplicated and are easier to readjust an employee's objectives accordingly. Management has the challenge of making promises he or she cannot keep and needs to know what is available to the employee before discussing performances.
A 360-degree feedback involves everyone in the workplace who interacts with the employee regardless of position in the company. Everyone evaluates everyone else. Employees evaluate managers and directors or others with whom they have a regular interaction within the workplace. If HRM provides training on effective assessments, meaningful feedback is constructive, but if there is no training, a 360-degree feedback may become a popularity contest. A CPM system previously conducted will have parameters outlined and discussed thoroughly to avoid any misconstrued information. Performance appraisals are performed after employment and training have already started and CPM starts with the concept of a position.
Employee turnover falls into one of two categories. Involuntary turnover occurs when an organization initiates separation with an employee. This results when the employee wishes to stay, but the employer thinks differently. Voluntary turnover occurs when an employee leaves for his or her own reason, despite the organizations attempts to retain him.
A solid organization that is aware of current turnover trends will attempt to manage the trends regularly. Turnover is costly as "replacing workers is expensive and new employees need time to learn their jobs" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 324). Managing turnover may consist of implementing a performance feedback program to keep employees abreast of his or her weaknesses in a position. An employee with knowledge of his weak areas has the opportunity to work on those areas and may see the importance of his position in the company. An employee with little to no performance feedback may leave a company early because of boredom or lack of feeling acceptance. This feeling may lead to role ambiguity, which occurs when employees are unclear about aspects of his or her position and how the organization will evaluate job performance. This is another reason for an organization to manage through the situation to keep the employee informed and responsive.
Another way an organization may manage turnover is through an employee assistance program. An EAP is a "referral service employees can use to seek professional treatment" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 334) when facing emotional distress or a health-related issue. A strong employer, attempting to manage through turnover will identify these issues and take the proper steps to assist the employee. Working through an EAP with valuable employees will cut down on the rate of job dissatisfaction and higher turnover rates, which will save the organization money in the end.
Safety and Health
"Like equal employment opportunity, the protection of employee safety and health is regulated by the government" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 88). In 1970, Congress introduced the "Occupational Safety and Health Act" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 88) that forces employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. Employers keep the organization free of any hazard that may cause serious harm or death to an employee. As OSHA requires employers to protect all employees, the employees bare responsibilities as well. In addition to following all safety guidelines in place at the organization, employees also "have a duty to report hazardous conditions" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 92) when aware of any.
Many states require employers to provide written information regarding any potential health risk to employees. The possibility of missing something can prove costly to employers. A smart organization will take the time to research the appropriate right-to-know laws for the particular state of the company. It is important to pay close attention and acquire proper documentation as right-to-know laws may differ on a state level than a federal level.
A proactive organization will establish a hazard communication plan and implement proper training around the plan. An important aspect of the hazard communication plan is material safety data sheets. Organizations must have a MSDS sheet on each chemical with possible exposure to employees. Employers carry the burden of providing adequate training in proper use of all chemicals on site.
Although OSHA continues to set standards for safety in the workplace, a common issue and challenge is the employee's behavior. Employee behavior can instigate safety issues within an organization. Because OSHA does not regulate employee behavior, organizations often develop unique safety programs to drive home the importance of safety in the workplace. A common practice in today's workplace is safety incentive programs. A company may focus on specific safety goals that reward employees who commit to the safety guidelines set by the organization. "A good deal of evidence suggests that incentive programs are effective in reducing the number and cost of injuries" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 96).
Keen, S. (11/15/2010). What is a Complete Performance Management System? Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_7501329_complete_performance_management_system.html
Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2007). Fundamentals of human resource management (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Performance Appraisals. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/performance_appraisal.html
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