 Explain how an organization’s human resources can be a significant source of competitive advantage.  List the eight activities necessary for staffing the organization and sustaining high employee performance.  Discuss the environmental factors that most directly affect the HRM process. Various studies have concluded that an organization’s human resources can be a significant source of competitive advantage, but achieving competitive success through people requires a fundamental change in the work relationship. It involves working with and through people and seeing them as partners. It also involves high-performance work practices. (See Exhibit 12-1.) The eight activities in the HRM process include human resource planning, recruitment/decruitment, selection, orientation, training, performance management, compensation and benefits, and career development. (See Exhibit 12-2.) The external factors that directly affect the HR process include employee labor unions, governmental laws and regulations, and demographic trends. Human Resource Planning; Recruitment/Decruitment; Selection; Orientation; Training      Contrast job analysis, job description, and job specification. Discuss the major sources of potential job candidates. Describe the different selection devices and which work best for different jobs. Tell what a realistic job preview is and why it’s important. Describe the different types of training and how that training can be provided. A job analysis is an assessment that defines jobs and the behaviors necessary to perform them. A job description is a written statement that describes a job (job content,

environment, and conditions of employment). A job specification specifies the minimum qualifications that a person must possess to perform a given job successfully. The major sources of potential job candidates are: the Internet, employee referrals, company Web site, college recruiting, and professional recruiting organizations. (See Exhibit 12-4.) The different selection devices include: application forms, written tests, performance-simulation tests, interviews, background investigations, and physical exams. (See Exhibits 12-7 and 12-10.) A realistic job preview includes both positive and negative information about the job and the company. It’s important because it can help increase job satisfaction. Orientation is important because a new person needs an introduction to his job and the organization. The two main types of training are general (such as communication skills, customer service, executive development, etc.) and specific (basic work/life skills, customer education, remedial writing, etc.) (See Exhibit 12-11.) Training can be delivered in traditional ways including, for example, on-the-job training, job rotation, experiential exercises, workbooks and manuals, or classroom training. Or training could be technology-based. (See Exhibit 12-12.) Employee Performance Management; Compensation/Benefits; Career Development     Describe the different performance appraisal methods. Discuss the factors that influence employee compensation and benefits. Describe skill-based and variable pay systems. Describe career development for today’s employees.

The different performance appraisal methods include written essays, critical incidents, graphic rating scales, BARS, multi-person comparisons, MBO, and 360-degree feedback. (See Exhibit 12-13.) The factors that influence compensation and benefits include: employee’s tenure and performance, kind of job performed, kind of business, unionization, labor or capital intensive business, management philosophy, geographical location, company profitability, and size of company. (See Exhibit 12-14.) A skill-based pay system rewards employees for the job skills and competencies they can demonstrate. In a variable pay system, an employee’s compensation is contingent on performance. Career development today is primarily the responsibility of the person rather than the organization. It involves making a career choice, doing a job search, and surviving and excelling in a career. (See Exhibit 12-16.) Current Issues in Human Resource Management      Explain how managers can manage downsizing. Discuss how managers can manage workforce diversity. Explain what sexual harassment is and what managers need to know about it. Describe how organizations are dealing with work-family life balance issues. Discuss how organizations are controlling HR costs. Managing downsizing involves communicating openly and honestly. It involves choices about assistance to downsized employees and to survivors. Managing workforce diversity involves basic HRM activities: recruitment, selection, and orientation and training. Sexual harassment is any unwanted action or activity of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, performance, or work

environment. Managers need to know what constitutes this illegal behavior and what needs to be done to stop it. One important aspect is what the organization’s stance is on workplace romances. Organizations are dealing with work-family life balance issues by accommodating the needs of a diverse workforce. Organizations are controlling HR costs by providing employees opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles in order to reduce medical costs and insurance premiums and by re-examining corporate pensions.

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