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Trends in Human Resource Management - Copy

Trends in Human Resource Management - Copy

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Published by Preethi Sudhakaran

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Published by: Preethi Sudhakaran on Jun 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 In this competitive scenario where there is immense demand for people and the talent pool is shrinking,Human Resource Management plays a vital role in an organization.Recruitment and Retention of employees is becoming a challenge as well as a concern area for all HR Managers. As Indian economy isbooming, HR managers will be experiencing tough times ahead in hiring and retaining talent.
Channeling Communication Skills
When it comes to defining it as a competency, communication can be tricky. It‟s a characteristic that‟sapparently universally appreciated and desired, but it‟s not easy to pin down what makes for effective
communication. Is it nuanced or straightforward? Specific of general? Deductive or poignant? Humorousor stern?According to Ron Crossland, co-
author of The Leadership Experience, author of The Leader‟s Voice and
chairman of Bluepoint Leadership Development, organizational leaders face the challenge of graspingthis generally valued yet seldom understood quality.
 “Everyone „gets‟ communication,” he said. “Every executive gets this, but they find it difficult to find the
time to immerse themselves in a study of their own communication patterns. What happens is they hear
the ideas, but they get cosmetic fixes. Most of them don‟t do deep dives. Leaders think they‟ve got the
general context, which is where their bread and butter is -
how they move constituents.” 
 Crossland developed a formal framework that focuses on three primary channels of communication:facts, emotions and symbols. Facts pertain to data, direct observations and literal interpretations of things and events; emotions relate to stirring the range of sentiments people feel; and symbols refer tometaphors, analogies and other representative illustrations.
 “These three channels apply to any leadership model in the world,” he said. “They might not put it theway I do, with symbols, facts and emotions. A lot of people don‟t walk around with that model in theirhead. But once they hear it, they‟ll say, „That‟s what I‟ve been experiencing.
I just didn‟t have aschematic.‟” 
In particular, the rise of “executive presence, as a sought
-after attribute among leaders has broughtabout a fresh examination of communication styles.
 “If you look at the root of executive presence, a huge component of 
that is the ability to communicate in
the moment,” Crossland explained. “Whether that‟s e
-mail, a videoconferencing or a town-hall meeting,
that presence is felt through how messages are communicated. That‟s especially true these days, when
so much content
is delivered virtually and long distance.” 
 To illustrate his point, he cited a recent appearance Bill Gates made at a technology conference viastreaming video that was projected onto a large screen. Even though the prerecorded speech deliveredvia a 22-foot tall image of Gates might seem like a case of the medium overwhelming the message,Crossland insisted this communication is fundamentally the same as any other.
 “People will experience that visually and aurally, but most of the substance of it will be
through those
three channels,” he said. “The better Gates is with [facts, emotions and symbols], the better he‟s goingto come across.” 
Crossland argued that the weakest channel of communication among today‟s leaders is symbolic,
although the emotional cha
nnel isn‟t used as often as it could be, either.
 “Both the symbolic and emotional channels have atrophied compared to the factual channel,” he said. “Most for
profits businesses exist in a tsunami of data. We speak in the factual channel; it‟s part and
cel of our lingo. In fact, if you can‟t do that well, you probably won‟t rise to a very high level of 
managerial responsibility. Unfortunately, we over-
rely on that.” 
 Therefore, learning executives should devise a more complete definition of communication as acompetency when developing organizational leaders in this critical area. Also, Crossland said CLOs cancontribute by modeling these behaviors themselves.
Embracing the Latest HR Technology Trends
advancements in communication and software technology are creating significant productivity improvements,particularly for the human resource professionals who use contemporary human resource and talentmanagement systems.Watson Wyatt's 2007 HR TechnologyTrends Survey finds that companies are turning to technology to give employer and employee access to pertinent information and tools. From portals to software solutions, humanresources technologies are providing a bridge to the information that employers and employees need tounderstand their changing workplace. One of the key findings in the survey is that one in five companies expectsto change its human resources delivery structure in the coming year.Many talent management system software providers, including those who develop applicant tracking/recruitingsystems, integrated payroll/human resource systems and learning management systems are actively working to
embed several features into their products. Some of the most notable advancements include:
Alert Technology
Conditional Workflow
E-mail-based ActionsEven though these features have been in existence for many years, it takes time for software developers toincorporate these features into their products. In many cases, it requires significant redevelopment of the
provider’s software application. For exam
ple, the concept of employee self service has existed for decades.However, it required the affordable access to an enabling communication medium (Internet/World Wide Web)and developers to assimilate this technology into their products. Today, employee self service is a commonfeature that most human resource applications utilize.Here are some brief definitions and examples of the newest state-of-the-art features that are available for you toimplement, and what you should now expect from using these solutions.Alert Technology
Alert technology automatically monitors your human resource system(s) and proactively distributes information toyour human resources and payroll personnel, managers and employees via your e-mail system. Specifiedactions and dates trigger automated messages, informing relevant parties about key activities and pendingissues. For example, alerts can be established to:
Monitor key dates and send notices to employees and managers about annual performance reviews.
Send automatic replies via e-mail for items such as thank you notes to applicants who send in resumes.
Generate standard e-mail scripts to welcome new employees, while informing relevant departments of the newhire.Before alert technology arrived, reports would have to be manually initiated by users to identify the neededinformation. Alerts can significantly reduce time-consuming administrative tasks associated with paper flow.
More and more human resource teams are demanding that their applications utilize alert technology. In manycases, it has become apparent that simple, yet time consuming activities have to be automated to save time andincrease effectiveness. Software providers have created predefined, easy-to-use templates for common activitieslike new hire and termination actions, performance review tracking, overtime and paycheck related listings,
attendance records, applicant tracking, and training management tracking.In other cases, the software provider can work with a third party company, such as Cognos, that specializes inproviding alert technology for software applications. In this case, a number of sophisticated alerts can beestablished with different output formats (e-mails, document files, spreadsheets or printed paper).
Conditional Workflow
 Workflow automation is not new to the human resource system software industry. However, significantadvancements in the sophistication of workflow and adoption by all facets of business management software aremotivating many human resource system software providers
to include “conditional” workflow technology in their 
applications.Workflow is a term used to describe the tasks, procedural steps, organizations or people involved, required inputand output information and tools needed for each step in a business process. Workflow automation takes an
existing chain of work, such as initiating an employee’s pay increase, and makes it automatic, usually with
workflow software that guides information from point to point without human intervention.Early versions of workflow within human resource applications usually limited users to pre-defined workflows withlimited functionality. Typically, automated workflows included routing requests for approval and/or notification.However, the same workflow actions were taken regardless of who and/or what it was for. Simple workflow
templates worked with a limited ability to differentiate the data’s “conditions.” The workflow is worked on an
“unconditional” basis.
 To illustrate an example of a non-conditional workflow in human resource management process, we will use apay increase. For example, let us assume a company has a policy that requires division president approval for allexempt personnel pay increases over 10 percent. In an environment that uses simple, non-conditional workflows,all pay rate requests would be forwarded to a designated number of approvers. In most cases, the chain ofapprovers may be different depending on your organizational assignments (company, department, location, etc.).However, with non-conditional workflow, there is no way to define a different course of action (number ofapprovals, type of notices, messages, etc.) based on whether certain data conditions exist. In this case, all payincreases would require the same number of approvals. In our example, the division president could eitherapprove all or no exempt personnel pay increases.If conditional workflow technology is utilized, we would be able to identify different courses of action, dependingon whether certain conditions are met. In our example, we would be able to tell the system to include the divisionpresident as an approval step if a pay increase for exempt personnel is greater than 10 percent.
E-mail-based Actions
 We can probably all agree that e-mail has been embraced by business as one of the primary communicationtools between people and, more recently, software systems and people. People send people e-mails. Softwaresystems also send people e-mails. Common e-mails from software systems include alert notices from your bankor credit card companies, Internet order confirmations, notices that e-mail was not delivered, etc.Just a few years ago, the e-mails we received from software systems were typically just notices. However, astechnology advanced, we began to receive e-mails requiri
ng some form of required “action.” These e
typically contained Web site links to the sites/software requiring the action. However, in most cases, e-mail

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