Making HR as Strategic Partner y Make effective use of your Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to handle daily administrative

HR tasks. Employees can make use of the self-service facility online. This saves time and reduces costs. Fully involve your human resource in HR system development that is supportive of business strategy development and implementation. This promotes ownership. Appoint an HR Head who understands well the strategic partnership relationship between organizational strategy and human resource.

y y

It is said that someone who is an expert in every aspect of the HR function will 'fit the bill'. But, you may not easily find someone of this caliber. You may have to identify someone from within your organization and groom him or her for this important role. y In a knowledge economy, HR has an opportunity to become a strategic partner. Knowledge and information are required to formulate, implement and review strategies. Decide to become a knowledge organization.

What are Required of HR as Strategic Partner These are among the important ones. y y y y y y Recruiting the right employees. Align corporate values to your recruitment strategy. Well-developed competencies of the workforce, and their relevance to organizational core business. Participative culture where HR initiatives fully support the overall strategic plan. Effective use of information technology. Effective leadership through appointment of the right HR Head. Identification of human resource practices that make HR as strategic partner, namely, serving the business needs of your organization. Discard ineffective HR practices that do not contribute to the success of your organization.

The Human Resource Function and Your Strategic Business Plan It was shown in a survey that there is a correlation between being strategic business partner and the effectiveness of the HR function. You require strategic HR management to ensure that your HR function can fully support the achievement of business objectives. The administrative reactive approach in people management can no longer support your organization in an increasingly competitive business environment.

Opportunities and challenges in HRM Introduction The role of the Human Resource Manager is evolving with the change in competitive market environment and the realization that Human Resource Management must play a more strategic

ethics. beliefs. HR must be a business driven function with a thorough understanding of the organization¶s big picture and be able to influence key decisions and policies. educational background. dimensions of workplace diversity include. Act Local¶ approach in most circumstances. leading and controlling their human resources. The challenge of workplace diversity is also prevalent amongst Singapore¶s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Thus. and customer-focused to succeed. In order to succeed. and spirituality within their organizations. organizations must become more adaptable. This is especially true for multinational companies (MNCs) who have operations on a global scale and employ people of different countries. Organizations that do not put their emphasis on attracting and retaining talents may find themselves in dire consequences. foreign talents are lured to share their expertise in these areas. as their competitors may be outplaying them in the strategic employment of their human resources. More importantly. Thus. With a population of only four million people and the nation¶s strive towards high technology and knowledge-based economy. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. In general. an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively. income. With the increase in competition. ethical and cultural backgrounds. ethnicity.role in the success of an organization. mentors. counselors. which must be one of the important organisational goals to be attained. one risks losing talent to competitors. perspectives and views to their work. organizing. HR professionals will be coaches. And within this change in environment. ages and lifestyles. marital status. many local HR managers have to undergo culturalbased Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of . and succession planners to help motivate organization¶s members and their loyalty. and work experience. race. geographic location. if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds. the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values. resilient. religious beliefs. a HR manager needs to be mindful and may employ a µThink Global. how to motivate employees through gain-sharing and executive information system through proper planning. an employee sponsor or advocate. especially in the management of workplace diversity. and a change mentor within the organization. but are not limited to: age. military experience. The Challenges of Workplace Diversity The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas. This paper will highlight on how a HR manager can meet the challenges of workplace diversity. genders. the focus of today¶s HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. agile. locally or globally. gender. especially in the global arena (Cox. ancestry. Workplace Diversity According to Thomas (1992). sexual orientation. parental status. 1993). physical abilities/qualities.

the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager. there is a necessity to employ diverse talents to understand the various niches of the market. such a program will encourage organization¶s members to air their opinions and learn how to resolve conflicts due to their diversity. In the real world. 1992). This is because Singapore¶s marketing talents were able to understand the local China markets relatively well (almost 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent) and as well as being attuned to the markets in the West due to Singapore¶s open economic policies and English language abilities. Organizing Talents StrategicallyMany companies are now realizing the advantages of a diverse workplace. 1993). it is wise to provide practical training for these managers or seek help from consultants and experts in this field. the purpose of a Diversity Mentoring Program seeks to encourage members to move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population. when China was opening up its markets and exporting their products globally in the late 1980s. This could entail involving different departmental managers in a mentoring program to coach and provide feedback to employees who are different from them. One of the main reasons for ineffective workplace diversity management is the predisposition to pigeonhole employees. the HR professional must assure the local professionals that these foreign talents are not a threat to their career advancement (Toh. diversity cannot be easily categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective in growing their businesses and their customer base. In many ways. E-commerce-related companies). For example. As more and more companies are going global in their market expansions either physically or virtually (for example. the Chinese companies (such as China¶s electronic giants such as Haier) were seeking the marketing expertise of Singaporeans. placing them in a different silo based on their diversity profile (Thomas. (Toh. a HR Manager must be able to organize the pool of diverse talents strategically for the organization. 1993) With this trend in place.professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. In order for the program to run successfully. R. Usually. More importantly. Planning a Mentoring ProgramOne of the best ways to handle workplace diversity issues is through initiating a Diversity Mentoring Program. Furthermore. He/She must consider how a diverse workforce can enable the company to attain new markets and other organizational goals in order to harness the full potential of workplace diversity. .

This can influence both job satisfaction and employee motivation. work environment. As these needs vary from person to person. Without proper control and evaluation. As the HR Manager. In our changing workplace and competitive market environments. The development of an appropriate organizational reward system is probably one of the strongest motivational factors. Motivational Approaches Workplace motivation can be defined as the influence that makes us do things to achieve organizational goals: this is a result of our individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that we are motivated to complete organizational tasks effectively. benefits. The reward system affects job satisfaction by making the employee more comfortable and contented as a result of the rewards received. Leading the TalkA HR Manager needs to advocate a diverse workforce by making diversity evident at all organizational levels. Motivational factors in an organizational context include working environment. without resolving any real problems that may surface due to workplace diversity. To be effective. 1998).An organization that sees the existence of a diverse workforce as an organizational asset rather than a liability would indirectly help the organization to positively take in its stride some of the less positive aspects of workforce diversity. . job characteristics. management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization-wide feedback surveys and other methods. motivated employees and their contributions are the necessary currency for an organization¶s survival and success. Control and Measure ResultsA HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay. I will be touching on the one of the more popular methods of reward systems. it is pertinent to show respect for diversity issues and promote clear and positive responses to them. an organization must be able to utilize different motivational tools to encourage their employees to put in the required effort and increase productivity for the company. gain-sharing. In this paper. some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle out. 1994). He/She must also show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues of workplace diversity in an ethical and responsible manner. Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival (Smith. Otherwise. an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work. some employees will quickly conclude that there is no future for them in the company. appropriate organizational reward system and so on. The reward system influences motivation primarily through the perceived value of the rewards and their contingency on performance (Hickins.

1991). objective and clearly based on the members¶ performance in relation to the gain-sharing target.e. the targets should be specific and challenging but reasonable and justifiable given the historical performance. compare today's data with . a company can track inventory. If the increase in the performance measurement was due to external factors.. Executive Information Systems Executive Information System (EIS) is the most common term used for the unified collections of computer hardware and software that track the essential data of a business' daily performance and present it to managers as an aid to their planning and decision-making (Choo. Managing Gain-sharing In order for a gain-sharing program that meets the minimum requirements for success to be in place. productivity or costs). and receivables. Paulsen (1991) and Boyett (1988) have suggested a few pointers in the effective management of a gain-sharing program. and are based on the concept that the resulting incremental economic gains are shared among employees and the company. An effective manager must ensure that the gain-sharing targets are challenging but legitimate and attainable. With an EIS in place. the business strategy and the competitive environment. gain-sharing plans do not adversely affect company costs (Paulsen. 1991). Though a manager must have a tight control of company¶s resources. A manager must provide useful feedback as a guidance to the gain-sharing participants concerning how they need to change their behavior(s) to realize gain-sharing payouts The feedback should be frequent. sales. They are as follows: y y y y A HR manager must ensure that the people who will be participating in the plan are influencing the performance measured by the gain-sharing formula in a significant way by changes in their day-to-day behavior. then it would have defeated the purpose of having a gain-sharing program. Gains are measured and distributions are made frequently through a predetermined formula. If the gain-sharing participants perceive the target as an impossibility and are not motivated at all. In most cases. A manager must have an effective mechanism in place to allow gain-sharing participants to initiate changes in work procedures and methods and/or requesting new or additional resources such as new technology to improve performance and realize gains.Gain-sharing: Gain-sharing programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance. The main idea of the gain sharing is to motivate members to increase productivity through their behavioral changes and working attitudes. workers voluntarily participate in management to accept responsibility for major reforms. Because this pay is only implemented when gains are achieved. This type of pay is based on factors directly under a worker¶s control (i. In addition. reasonable and justifiable requests for additional resources and/or changes in work methods from gain-sharing participants should be considered. the whole program will be a disaster.

taking up responsibilities at a lesser age and experience. This is because having people simply use an EIS that lacks critical information is of no value-add to the organization. This would enable EIS to be a useful tool in an organization¶s strategic planning. quick to change directions. here we are looking at different kind of people who does not obey the principles of management for the traditional group. and then to include it in the EIS. Within this environment. This short article looks at five major challenges that we facing in terms of human resources and human resource management. J. an EIS will aid in spotting significant variations from "normal" trends almost as soon as it develops. From an administrative perspective. Top 5 HR Challenges for Indian Organizations : A Current Perspective Clearly HR departments are evolving in our country. Managing this set of people is essential for the growth of any industry but especially the IT. The clear shift is seen in terms of organization career commitment to individualized career management. 2003). the HR professional must learn how to manage effectively through planning. K and Laudon. high bargaining power due to the knowledge and skills in hand. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable. high demand for the knowledge workers. as well as day-today management (Laudon. giving the company the maximum amount of time to make decisions and implement required changes to put your business back on the right track. 2003). resilient. . A good control system would ensure the communication of the right information at the right time and relayed to the right people to take prompt actions. there lies a great need for effective managerial control. leading and controlling the human resource and be knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development. BPOs and other knowledge based sectors. and customercentered. organizing. K and Laudon. the Indian work force and industrial climate is changing. the manager must ensure that the use of information technology has to be brought into alignment with strategic business goals (Laudon. Conclusion The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of the changing organization.  Managing Knowledge Workers Essentially. J. a HR manager must first find out exactly what information decision-makers would like to have available in the field of human resource management. In addition. and techno suaveness. This boils down to higher educational qualifications. the focus is now on a strategic outlook where talent HR professionals look at improving the work environment and plan out human resource needs. In addition.historical patterns. Managing EIS As information is the basis of decision-making in an organization. When managing an Executive Information System. Though it is a reflection of what is happening in the western context.

We have seen sectors like banking undergoing revolutionary changes enabled by technology. It is a huge challenge to bring in IT and other technology acceptance all levels in organizations. etc. preparing the work force to accept technological changes is a major challenge. Clearly HR managers have a role in this process. Managing Technological Challenges In every arena organizations are getting more and more technologically oriented. There is boom in terms of opportunities brought forward by globalisation. Often it is discussed about lack of competence of HR managers in understanding the business imperative. Introduction: The HR Managers of today may find it difficult because of the rapidly changing business environment and therefore they should update their knowledge and skills by looking at the .  Developing Leadership It is quite interesting to note that there is less importance given to developing leadership at the organizational level. managing the best and retaining the best. However this is also leading to many interventions in terms of restructuring. at an organisational level it is more based on knowledge. HR has a pivotal role to play here. The challenge is to develop individuals who have performance potential on basis of past record and knowledge based expertise in to business leaders by imparting them with the necessary "soft skills". downsizing. Though leadership is discussed on basis of traits and certain qualities. this boils to recruiting the best. Though it is not in the main run after the initial debates. mergers. Research has clearly shown that the success of these interventions is heavily dependent on managing the people issues in the process. There is now a need to develop competent HR professionals who are sound in HR management practices with strong business knowledge. turnaround.  Managing Change Business environment in India is volatile.  Competence of HR Managers As it is more and more accepted that lot of success of organizations depend on the human capital.

2.organization's need and objectives. providing satisfaction to the employees and sustaining through culture and systems is a challenging task. 10. Psycho-Social environment: Nowadays employees participation required not only in performing job but also in democratizing and humanizing the institution. Computerized Information System: This is revolutionary in managerial decision making and is having impact on coordination in the organization. 4. Managing the Vision: Vision of the organization provides the direction to business strategy and helps managers to evaluate management practices and make decisions. Modern technology: There will be an unemployment due to modern technology and this could be corrected by assessing manpower needs and finding alternate employment. 8. 6. So vision management becomes the integral part of Man management in future. Managing the large work force: Management of large workforce poses the biggest problem as the workers are conscious of their rights. Changing Industrial Relations: Both the workers and managers has to be managed by the same HRM Philosophy and this is a daunting task for the managers. technology and the people involved in carrying out the tasks. . 3. 9. Job Design & Organizational structure: Instead of depending on foreign concepts we need to focus on understanding the job. Internal environment: Creating an environment which is responsive to external changes. Employee Satisfaction: Managers should be aware of techniques to motivate their employees so that their higher level needs can be satisfied. Building Organizational capability: Even in the adverse circumstances the employees have to be made to live in psychological state of readiness to continually change. The HRM challenges are 1. 7. 5.

.11. managing the relations will be of great challenge. adjustments have to be made to the maximum utilization of human resources. Managing Human Relations: As the workforce comprises of both educated and uneducated. Conclusion: In spite of all the problems HR Managers are able to overcome all these problems with the support of management and employees. 12. In the current business world managing employees are becoming complex task and this can be handled effectively only by our great HR Leaders. Legal environment: To meet the changes in legal environment.

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