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The accomplishment of organizational missions and objectives depends, to a large extent, on having right persons in right positions as well as the commitment and contributions of those involved. This is why human resource management has acquired a growing significance in current organization theory and practice. 1.2 The matter has gained even more prominence in the recent conceptualization of human resource management, better known as Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM). It emphasizes, among other things, the following: (i) that it is human capability and commitment which distinguish successful organizations from others; (ii) that managing human resources is a matter of truly strategic importance; (iii) that human resource management is an activity which is to be owned by all managers; and (iv) that the key levers must be internally integrated with each other and externally integrated with the organizational strategies. Thus the current notion of human resource management goes beyond simple emphasis of the role of human factor and advocates for integrating personnel functions with general strategic framework of the enterprise. Since human resource management is seen as a strategic factor strongly influencing the success of the enterprise, SHRM model prescribes a highly flexible, decentralized and adaptive approach. The challenges emanating from socio-economic, demographic, political and technological transformations inevitably require such an approach that can adjust speedily to unstable and unpredictable environment. The imperatives of the changing environment and the firms' drive for obtaining "competitive advantage" and the growing advocacy at academic circles have lately paved the way for a significant shift in terms of policy and practice of human resource management, especially in the developed countries. As a result, personnel function in these countries is no longer treated as one of operational tasks like procurement, production, and marketing; rather, it has come to be regarded as an integral part of the management philosophy. 1.3 Despite the prevalence of a broad consensus on the strategic importance of human resource factor, the paradigm shift is yet to take place in both private and public sector of the developing countries like Bangladesh. This may be accepted if not expected in the public sector as they operate within political, legal, and budgetary constraints and are usually susceptible to continuing pressures from various quarters. Also the inflexibilities of law and bureaucratic processes mean that there is little or no managerial discretion in the deployment of resources. But such practices are not affordable by a business entity. Free
trade and globalization are putting most firms in fiercely competitive markets where success depends on the quality of HR management. 1.4 In this assignment, a given hypothesis that “HR profession is challenging in Bangladesh” shall be addressed. In that we shall focus on identifying the concept of HR in a present day perspective, the trend of HR practice in Bangladesh, the challenges faced by HR professionals in Bangladesh. And finally we shall make some recommendations for the improvement of HRM approach keeping in view the future world scenario. AIM 1.5 The aim of this paper is to analyze HR profession and study its challenges in the context of Bangladesh.
PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH ON THE TOPIC 2.1 Quite a good number of professional researches have been carried out related to the future of HR profession across the globe. Few of the researches are discussed below: • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 165,000 individual members, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive set of resources available. SHRM conducted The Future of the HR Profession study to document perspectives on the changing nature of the human resource profession. This report represents perspectives from management consultants that work with HR professionals in multiple industries, both US based and international. Research conducted on Strategic Human Resource Management by Matthew J. Monnot , Stephen M. Colarelli of Michigan University and Monica HemingwayDepartment of Personnel Research Associates, Inc. To appear in: Greenhaus, J. H. & Callanan, G. (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Career Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. The research titled State Capacity in Promoting Trade and Investment: The Case of Bangladesh Prepared by: Abul Barkat, Ph.D. Mozammel Hoque, MBA, Zahid Hassan Chowdhury, MA, MPA of Human Development Research Centre (HDRC) Prepared for: Socio-Economic
Tabulation. Data gathering and data editing. multinational or domestic. the dominance of uni-polar world economic order has made the task of managing organizational activities very tough and challenging. employer-employee relations. developed or developing and also in all types of organization viz.1 To examine the hypothesis “HR profession is very challenging in Bangladesh” the following methodologies have been applied: • • • • • • Reviewing the relevant documents including class handouts and note (secondary data). Md.1 The contemporary business world. though varied in degree. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Prelude 4. organizational structure. Compilation and analysis. dominance of a number of international agencies like World Bank. Fashiul Alam professor of the Department of Management. work style. information system. decision making process. has witnessed a dramatic change and shift in respect of form and size of enterprises. 3 • . • Research paper titled Combating Contemporary Management Challenges: The Human Resource Perspective by Dr. work place condition etc. production or service etc. Report generation.Department of Economics and Social Affairs. This paper is an extract of his presentation in the seminer on Career Path and Emerging Trend of HRM organized by Bangladesh Society for Human Resource Managemeny ( BSHRM)on 1st May 2005 at IBD auditorium. METHODOLOGY 3. DATA FINDING. University of Chittagong Problems faced in HRM in Bangladesh. UNDESA also discusses important Human Resource issues related to Bangladesh.e. government or non-government. Some other distinct factors responsible for such a volatile environment are: sophisticated technological inventions. This trend. is almost common in all societies i. especially since the last quarter of twentieth century.Policy & Development Management Branch. Data interpretation. Besides. an article by Hussain Amir Ali published in new age web addition of May 2005. management strategy and policy. welfare or development.
rapid changes in the life style. Of all the resources. Practically. the human assets are probably the most critical and difficult to manage. "All the activities of any enterprise are initiated and determined by the persons who make up that institution. computers. they modernize the technology employed: they secure the capital needed and decide on the accounting and physical procedures to be used. creation of various regional groups and trade blocks viz. Human beings design or order the equipment. ADB.e. motivation and general effectiveness of its human organization". Plants. the very existence of firms is at stake. It is well recognized that the contribution of human factor. emergence of some hundreds of giant MNCs (approximate number 250-300). offices. the field of business has become an arena of great threat and problem prone. Resins Linker has rightly observed.2 Management in all types of organization i. As a matter of fact. EU.. they decide where and how to use computers. special attention and care are needed for securing and maintaining a group of skilled. and. quick adaptation and survival. In order to cope with this sort of environment for greater competitive advantages and also to overcome the hurdles of severe competition. has to deal with a variety of resources. Hence. The effective use of all other resources directly depends on efficient utilization of human resources. 4 . on-going flow of inter and intra-regional migration of workforce. war in Afghanistan and Iraq. and all else that a modern firm uses are unproductive without human effort and direction. OIC etc. by and large. that is why. entrepreneurs and managers have to run and manage their affairs in a condition of high risk and uncertainty. satisfied and contended human force. Concepts of HR 4. changing condition of global job market etc. occurrence of unpredictable hazards like 9/11 twin-tower debacle.IMF. SAARC. automated equipment. NATO. rapid growth and prosperity of any type of organization can't be an easy task. ASEAN. planned attempts could be made in order to improve and develop the quality of human resource and to set-up strong linkage between strategic business needs and strategic human resource management practices. is quite high toward the success of organization. Every aspect of a firm's activities is determined by the competence. production or service oriented. inter alia. WTO. NAFTA. Under such a complex world situation. Perhaps. taste and habit of people.
are difficult to manage. Emotions. play more important part in affecting attitude. initiative. human beings not only differ in their appearance but also in their capabilities based on their respective background.3 The human resources. in their personality characteristics as reflected in their sensitivities. however. In spite of biological and cultural similarities. however. It differs not only from individual to individual but often on the part of the same individual at different points of time. commitment and motivation. behavior and performance. training and experience. 5 . It is because human behavior is highly unpredictable. intelligence. interest. and in their susceptibility to peer and group pressures. values. which account for difference in their attitude.Figure: HRM Environment 4. behavior and /or performance of the same person from one point of time to another.
a review of our strategy towards human resources. The optimization of human resources calls for a conducive managerial climate based on human relations. and adoption of a pragmatic approach towards these.4 Thus. Recognizing human dignity.Figure: External and Internal Factors Affecting HR 4.With recognition of significance of human resources in effective performance of any enterprise. and accepting compatibility of individual and group goals to the organizational objectives. competence and potential on the one hand. and proper utilization of human traits and emotions. and with the changing industrial landscape accepting workers as equal partners. the success of any venture today depends on due recognition of human potential.. on the other. capabilities and aspiration. what we need are an introspection of our own attitude and behavior. human relations facilitate integration of people into a 6 .
it also provides the vehicle to leverage information about the workforce.7 The relationship between employees (their capability. The Future Trend of HR Profession 4. Companies need to be deliberate about reinforcing bonds with employees and not relinquish any important opportunities to vendors. HR can know more.work situation and motivates them to work together productively. The three most important catalysts for change include 1) employee self-service through web-based portals. commitment and satisfaction with the employer) and a company’s ability to gain market share has been an intriguing management topic for at least two decades. Equipped with hard data. Technology not only frees HR from administration. co-operatively and with economic. Broadly defined. psychological and social satisfaction by taking care of their needs. emotions and aspirations. 4. Emphasizing the role of a conductive managerial climate McGregor writes: Management must seek to create conditions (and organizational environment) such that members of the organization at all levels can best achieve their own goals by directing their efforts towards the goals of the organization. 4. The delivery of HR services is one of the fundamental ways a company connects with employees. a combination of demographic and market forces will bring new urgency to cultivating a workforce that offers true competitive advantage. do more and be better business advisors.5 The impact of technology on HR’s work cannot be under estimated. outsourcing decisions must be part of a company’s overall people strategy. few organizations focus on the drivers affecting employee performance. 2) increasingly sophisticated call centers and 3) aggressive new entrants into the outsourcing market. While several highly successful companies correlate their success directly to investment in employees. talent management is a company’s ability to attract. While talent management has always been part of HR’s mission. including the option to outsource the entire function. 4. Some employers now believe that amore powerful link exists between their employees and their brand identity than was ever possible to achieve through an advertising campaign—thus creating new relevance for HR’s role in these organizations. 7 . retain and motivate employees. Yet.6 The need for effective talent management has enormous implications for HR professionals. delivered more efficiently. HR must rigorously determine where it can add differentiated value by keeping a product or service in-house and where outsourcing offers a stronger product.8 There are outsourcing alternatives for every product and service now delivered by HR.
applying marketing strategies to better understand and address the needs of employees. 4. As inhouse HR departments outsource more to specialty firms. business experience.” This environment has provided the opportunity for professionals to specialize in specific HR disciplines or achieve a level of mastery across disciplines. While there will always be a need for seasoned technical experts. new labor markets and require more sophisticated skills in managing and operating global businesses. 4.10 The top HR slot is no longer reserved for the career HR professional. is the requisite background for senior HR roles.12 are: • • Among the key environmental factors identified as impacting HR’s work Demographics–An aging population. in the future. In the absence of such measures. HR makes its strongest organizational contribution in the following ways: • • 4. Marketing professionals can play a valuable role on the HR team. particularly in hi-tech and the sciences. cost-cutting becomes the metric most typically applied to HR.4. coupled with a shortage of qualified talent. Developing the measurements to quantify results in terms of impact to the bottom line is the only way for HR to shift the cost-cutting paradigm. acquisitions and strategic alliances.13 8 . Critical roles also exist for senior level finance and technology professionals within HR. the entry point for HR careers will be with vendors or consulting firms. 4. Economics–The relentless pressure for profitability will propel organizational change through continued mergers. creating more specialists than generalists. This career path is likely to disappear.9 Some of the most elusive work for HR has been finding areas to quantify its value and contribution in financial terms.11 Where will the next generation of HR professionals come from? Most of today’s professionals came up through the ranks of in-house HR departments. Connecting employees to the goals of the company is incrementally more difficult in this environment. HR will not get the investment dollars necessary to enhance the caliber of its people. technology or programs. coupled with highly developed consulting skills. in-house business partner roles require real business understanding and the ability to formulate and deploy HR strategies aligned with business objectives. Technology–The workforce will grow increasingly less traditional and “distributed” on a national and global basis. Globalization–The growth of the world economy will create new competitors. Increasingly. where training is largely “on-the-job. When seen largely as a necessary administrative expense.
the country has sustained macroeconomic stability. some predicted that the country's garments industry would collapse. • • • HR challenges for Bangladesh 4. Developing Metrics. up from 4. These opportunities are reflected in the inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). tourism. HR professionals are integrated within lines of business. and petrochemicals. Notwithstanding the infrastructure and human resources constraints that foreign investors face in countries with low levels of economic development. is the best way to ensure future investment in the HR function. Access to a growing market with a population of over 140 million. and 3. Even with heightened external shocks and critical governance and capacity constraints in its political and public administration system. fertilizer.14 Bangladesh is a country with enormous population. Outsourced administration or no—HR is accountable for the quality of service. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth steadily climbed to over 6% a year in the preceding 5 years.8% in the 1990s. Optimizing Total Rewards is a way for HR to work with senior management to find the right combination of pay. Achieving Flawless Execution in Employee Transactions is a primary role for HR. including power. GDP growth is estimated at 6% in fiscal year (FY) 2008 with fiscal and current account imbalances contained at manageable levels. resilient and hard working. environment and learning opportunities to engage employees and reinforce company culture.15 The people of Bangladesh are dynamic. Before the phase-out the MFA. With the current growth trends. which increased from virtually zero in the early 1980s to $760 million in FY2007. low-cost production facilities. outperforming many others. working with executive teams to create people strategies that deliver tangible results. hotel. But that did not happen. and poverty incidence continued to decline. With higher GDP growth rates of 8-9% a year.5% in the 1980s. a remarkable performance considering the impact of the twin floods and a devastating cyclone in 2007 and heightened external shocks.• As Strategic Partners. the garments industry continues to show strong growth. Bangladesh can even become a middle income county earlier than 2020. steel. 4. Bangladesh offers opportunities for foreign investors in important sectors. the country has the potential to reach the threshold of a middle income country by the year 2020. particularly. low-cost labor and natural resources have made Bangladesh 9 . to quantify in dollar terms the value HR initiatives bring to the bottom line. benefits. accuracy and speed of employee-related processing and transactions. The country experienced a dynamic growth over the past six years.
The role of NGOs and increased access to microfinance for poor women has also made significant impact on women's advancement and empowerment in the vast countryside. is at a critical juncture and facing a difficult and challenging time ahead. which has been pushed by higher import bills on food grains and fuels due to inconceivable price hike of these commodities in the international market. currently providing 1. 4. and advancement and empowerment of women. Bangladesh. 4. Food security and inflation are pressing concerns. for instance. The government has also announced the National Women Development Policy 2008 for promoting social. backed by oversight from the ever conscious civil society and private sector. rapidly growing inflation is the biggest problem at the moment. generation by Independent power producers (IPPs) have risen from nil in 1997 to 32% in 2007. The food price rise has severe human dimension and has seriously eroded the purchasing capacity of people living below the poverty line and government employees. broken the social taboo and brought about a positive change in the attitude about women’s working in the factories. outside home. The unusual rise of food prices in the recent time.16 Over these years. However.18 Challenges faced by Bangladesh are multi dimensional.190 megawatts of the country's power generation. has really hard hit the poorest and the marginalized groups. including improved life expectancy. and the citizenry. with the emergence of a visionary and capable political leadership. gender parity in both primary and secondary schools. indeed. access to better health services and reduction in fertility. politically as well as on the economic front. 4. The country has also made good progress in reducing maternal mortality rates and increase in female life expectancy. which has been a world phenomenon. This price hike was caused by domestic production shortfall following successive natural disasters and also by international higher prices. but also given them more respect in the family. political and economic empowerment of women. Though often paid a very low wage. In the macroeconomic front. In the power sector. The enhanced social mobility of women has not only improved their purchasing power. Bangladesh will be able to translate these challenges into opportunities for the country. which accounts for 70% of country's exports and the highest export earner for the country.17 The garments industry has revolutionized the mobility of women. better access to education and health facilities. the country has obtained impressive gains in key social and human indicators. The country's strong commitment to girls' education has led to amazing gender parity in primary and secondary education and the country is on the right course to meet the key MDG targets by 2015. the contributions of the two million female workers to the garments industry have been incredible. industrial 10 . which will undoubtedly help mobilize half of the country's population into the development process benefiting the nation in economic and social progress.significantly more attractive to international investors.
Economic and social cooperation through forums like SAARC and BIMSTEC can indeed help the country not only to accelerate its economic development through promoting regional trade and investment. railway and ports to attract further investment and ensure industrial development and employment creation through private sector participation.21 Bangladesh can gain a lot from regional and sub-regional integration and cooperation. one major 11 . power generation. improving productivity by disseminating modern production technologies.energy. developing rural infrastructure including reliable and expanded irrigation systems. in the quest for quick economic growth and development. 4. 4. bringing ecologically disadvantaged areas under cultivation. needs to continuously invest in infrastructures and social development. therefore. the country needs big investment in infrastructures. The caretaker government has implemented many landmark governance reforms. The government. could be a major driver for economic development of the country.22 The bureaucracy needs transformation. This would need to create and expand access to opportunities and more investment in health. and others with fixed incomes. and ensuring rural financial services are essential. providing extension services. Alongside. Addressing the hardship of poor people affected by higher food prices remains a challenge. However. Unfortunately. entrepreneurship and technological innovation needed for quick economic growth. and widening social safety net programs are commendable. building its own stock through imports and domestic procurement. improving marketing. 4. In this context. The country also needs to expand and improve the education and health services and to protect the environmental degradation. producing quality seeds through public-private partnerships. jobs and economic opportunities for the thousands of people cannot be ensured. the country must seek inclusive economic growth and put in more resources for reduction of poverty of millions of people who live under desperate poverty. A robust private sector is the key to attracting investment. Government responses including raising food-grain imports. and to further liberalize the policies and regulations and remove obstacles to inclusive growth and private sector driven development efforts. Challenges of Bangladesh's development agenda are immense.20 Bangladesh's aspiration to become a middle income country by 2020 must be led by the private sector. but would also protect the people from cross-border environmental and health risks. But over the medium to longer term. roads.19 Economic growth needs to be more inclusive.workers. upgrading and opening the Chittagong Port for the use of astern Indian states and other landlocked neighboring countries and developing it as a regional hub. 4. Failure to contain higher food prices could seriously undermine macroeconomic and political stability. education and safety net programs for the poorest. It is obvious that without private sector investment.
implementation target of development projects will always fall short and the vision of transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2020may remain as an illusion. We need to highlight this to the government for transforming this bureaucracy. the overall quality of higher education remains a concern due to a lack of funds. only 20% study science. Without its reforms. Any nation that does not possess the ability and the technology to gain and process vast amounts of information quickly will lag behind in development.reform that has remained untouched is the sluggish and complex bureaucratic structure of the Government. and where almost every large company that relies upon remote transactions is starting to hire more cost-effective labor overseas. technology.24 Education that is provided is not strongly linked to market demands. bio-technicians. 4. science laboratories. which was more than $7 billion this year. architects. 4. In many universities. let alone promoting business and investment. and poor pay structure are out of place in the modern states. The quality of education. designers and corporate lawyers than generalist graduates in literature and social sciences. archaic filing and noting system and lack of e-governance. degrees are not awarded in time. but also for sale. That is why it is incapable of implementing government's own development projects. Bangladesh can easily double or even triple the foreign exchange remittance from expatriate workers. weak management and supervision. politicization of campuses. There is also inadequate focus on science and technology or on areas that produce marketable skills. however. and applied subjects. needs improvement at all levels. As a result. IT consultants. Even though there are pockets of excellence. lack of delegation and job description. data entry clerks. by investing and focusing a little more on technical and science education. In a world where knowledge is not only power. human resource development and language training. and other educational facilities is limited. and the stock and quality of human resources has become a key to accelerating growth and reducing poverty. The country needs more skilled technicians. It is a genuine concern that campus violence has now extended to some private universities. this is the mother of all other reforms. accountants. computer programmers. access to ICT. are characterized by inefficiency. too many tiers in the decision making process. and in certain cases. centralization. professional managers. Bangladesh has made considerable progress in establishing a comprehensive education system. shortage of qualified teachers. The pyramid bureaucratic structure and its archaic systems and procedures.23 We live in a world that is transforming fast. Over 80% of young graduates enroll in general studies. Much instructional time is lost due to demonstrations and strikes. the stock and quality of human resources has become a key for less developed countries like 12 . particularly in providing access to primary education. inherited from the colonial days. particularly at public universities. In my view. which adversely affects the academic and career pursuits of the students.
It has been greatly facilitated and expedited by significant structural changes in the employment market and cost of living. directly threatening 11% of the population. surplus labor market condition. especially in their consciousness. the human factor is yet to be recognized as resource or asset. badly hinder the standard of management in general and HRM in particular. Present Trend of HRM in Bangladesh 4. At the state level. squeezing trend of job market. hostile attitude and comprador outlook of employers. outdated technology. The recent severe flooding and cyclone are premonitions of future possible catastrophe. Bangladesh's vulnerability to natural disasters also poses a risk. the climate change also poses a major development challenge for Bangladesh. poor job commitment and low level skill of rank and file workers. unstable political climate. and very rapid technological and global changes on the other. on the one hand.26 Since independence.25 Environment and climate change pose a serious development challenge. in our country. thus stresses the need for improved disaster preparedness. Development partners need to strongly support the country to undertake a holistic approach to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt with the impacts of environmental degradation. outlook. Rising sea levels and exposure to climate disasters could result over 70 million people being permanently or temporarily displaced. Some important issues are cited below which affect and influence the operation of human resource management: • Political Climate Inside and Outside the Organization • Forms of Ownership and Employers' Attitude • Level of Skills. needs. are in no mood to be exploited and neglected by any quarters. Last but not the least. and natural disasters. 4. interfering and traditional outlook of government. Till now. Values and Attitudes of Employees • Organizational and National Policies and Legal Issues Relating to Human Resource • Globalization 4. These impacts are envisaged to raise the country's vulnerability to natural disasters. According to the United Nations Human Development Report 2007/2008.27 By and large. particularly in the organized sector. demands etc. The growing consciousness and aspirations of working people are well reflected in their rising educational and skill levels and increasing social mobility-horizontal or vertical. be it employers or managers or politicians or even trade union leaders.Bangladesh to participate in the global growth process. thinking. one meter rise in sea level would inundate 18% of land area in Bangladesh. we have not been able to re-title or change the name of Ministry from 13 . etc. and risk mitigation and adaptation measures. by and large. The working people. and to reduce poverty and attaining a better quality of life. there has been a drastic change both in the number and profile of employees in Bangladesh. commitment.
and spirituality within their organizations. The Human Resources senior manager and top assistants have to take responsibilities which must be performed before. the focus of today's HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. as their competitors may be outplaying them in the strategic employment of their human resources. and a change mentor within the organization. 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 role in the success of an organization. Organizations that do not put their emphasis on attracting and retaining talents may find themselves in dire consequences. The need for the HR department is not well realized because of the traditional way of management which was highly focused among departments and thus could be looked after by the department managers eliminating the need of an HR manger and HR executives. and succession planners to help motivate organization's members and their loyalty. resilient. mentors.28 Top management in Bangladeshi Companies expect more from their senior and middle management people than they can provide. • 14 . Workforce diversity leading to the staffing of employees from different backgrounds resulting to a variety of negative thoughts which mostly are a result of the backwardness of the country and its economy which is a major problem identified in the country causing the lack of professional drive in the Human Resource requirement of any organization. during and after strategic planning which were not practiced before in the traditional style of management. beliefs. organizations must become more adaptable. locally or globally. and customer-focused to succeed. an employee sponsor or advocate. In order to succeed. 4. 4. HR professionals will be coaches. In general.29 With the increase in competition.30 An analysis of HR aspect of Bangladesh in particular brings out following facts: • • The concept of HR is new to the Bangladeshi companies therefore it is not well understood by the management and the employees at large. counselors. agile.the Ministry of Labor and Employment to the Ministry of Human Resource Development although such instances are not at all uncommon even in some of the SAARC countries. the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values. 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. 4. ethics. especially in the management of workplace diversity. And within this change in environment.
Thus there is an absence of participatory approach. Also. Employers don’t find any real life experience in the students. No good work done by the HR people is appreciated. educational institutions teaching HR mostly base their curriculum around industrial management as it mostly focuses around labour laws. The HR people are not involved with the professional body of the company and thus they miss the opportunity to share knowledge with each other.• Even best in class HR departments may find their activities falling out of alignment with corporate goals because of the lack of mind-set of the top management and their failure to understand the need of the department. Lack of market driven HR education in many universities conflicts with real life situation. The Government of Bangladesh has no ministry for HR. Most organisations do not have HR departments and thus HR practice is far behind in Bangladesh. They should always know about the company they work for and the industry as a whole as well. If the government establishes a ministry for HR. Most HR executives in a company are unable to make partnership with the line managers. . a HR person is not seen as a strategic business partner. The management in not open for change particularly involving HR matters. Mostly it is seen that the HR department is carrying out orders of the management and there is no self involvement by these executives in any decision making One of the unfortunate trends in the present market is that HR contributions in an organisation go unrecognised. The lessons given to the professionals in their courses cannot always be related to the local organizations and therefore it is difficult for the professionals to think strategically and take necessary steps in times of crisis. HR people lack knowledge of company business. then it will encourage others to follow the trend and give attention to the HR department in an organisation. In most organisations. • • • • • • • • • • 15 . Professionals in this line do not want to take risks. There is a lack of proper empowerment of HR persons in an organisation.
Legal matters involving HR thus become a difficult issue to deal with. Employees will have more choice about their work arrangements. they try to satisfy the management. Future Trend of HRM in Bangladesh Workplace Flexibility 4. Organisations consider investing money in staff training and development as a waste of money.31 The future working environment would be of collaborative cultures. The use of company intranet will be a major tool. Employees will be employed on a contract basis that would suit both employers and employees. • • • • • • • HR people are afraid of performing the role of a change agent in an organisation for the betterment. There will be free lance teams of generic problem solvers in the organisation. Work will be less structured. In most cases. The management has a tendency to discriminate HR professionals in terms of salary and position. There is a lack of initiative in terms of personal and professional development from the HR professionals’ part. They should regularly update their knowledge to be able to survive in this fast track line. 16 . This is partly because the HR professionals are not able to show the benefits or the bottom line results of these trainings. Knowledge transfer capability among the employees will increase. People of different nationalities will be working together.• • • Most of the HR professionals are not able to show the benefits or the bottom line results being achieved by practising modern HR concepts. Organisations will focus more on performance and result rather than educational background or seniority. HR professionals are not enough assertive in real life situations. Most HR people lack clear understanding of the labour laws and the existing laws of the land. Most of the HR heads are in subordinate positions. Legislation will lead to greater portability of benefits. It is often seen that the capacity of a female employee is undermined. Most of the HR persons are not enough employee oriented. HR does not take any actions against employers / managers who are not gender sensitive.
HR professionals will need to be knowledgeable of other cultures. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary 5. SHRM addresses a wide variety of people issues relevant to business strategy.1 Humane resources managements is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce. 5.g. People will take initiatives to integrate work with quality of life.32 HR will be a creator of overall values and direction. There will be an explosive growth of companies doing business across borders. news of the market and knowledge about the competitors. SUMMARY. for the Western culture). Company will take care of more social needs. Involvement with community will be a part of an organisation’s business vision. facilitating disciplinary 17 . Work and Society 4. HR professionals will need to provide performance improvement consulting service. determining the most effective utilization of its resources and crafting and executing the strategy in ways that produce the intended results. People will be opting out of traditional careers. People will struggle with need for work and life balance. using an array of cultural. There will be development of international workforce.33 There will be a ‘work to live’ mentality rather than a ‘live to work’. Strategic Human Resource Management ( SHRM) supports the organizations strategic plan that define the overall mission & objectives of the organization. SHRM process is led & coordinated by top management. Proper ability of an employee can land him to a job anywhere in the world. They perform exclusive HR functions like: Administering compensation and benefits issues. Usage of internet in the global market place will become more important. There will be an increase in workplace flexibility. structural and personnel techniques. HR professionals will need to know about other businesses as well e. HR professionals will need to acquire multiple language ability.Global Business 4. Mega businesses will grow and HR professionals will require finesse.2 Today HR professionals are involved in a host of activities not only within companies HR department but also along with other departments of the organization. Families will return to the centre of the society (esp. HR professionals will have advanced business acumen. Management of HRIS.
5. grievances and accidents. Hiring and motivating today’s changing workforce is a major HR challenge. Designing compensation and benefit systems. 5. appraisal. Innovative HR programmes must meet the needs of a diverse labour force while enabling the company to compete successfully in a global economy. compensation. HR policies and programmes strive to achieve both goals. whereby two complementary goals are sought: increased organizational effectiveness and the satisfaction of individual employee needs. implementation and monitoring. They also perform some control functions like: collection & analysis of hiring. pre-employment testing.6 Although the HR programmes of different organizations will vary.issues. they also carry out various functions with other departments within the organization. Recruitment and selection. and programmes such as the redesign of jobs have been implemented to enhance QWL. training and development. A number of critical issues face HR managers and administrators in the world today. labour relations. Improving worker productivity through HR programmes. 5. Induction. policies and techniques remains a challenge increasing the quality of working life (QWL) is a goal of many organizations. Employees health. the HR departments of most organizations have these common responsibilities: job design and analysis. safety and environment. analysis of statistics on absenteeism.5 Strategic HR activities address a board range of issues relevant to the successful formulation and implementation of company plans. training and development and career management. gender relations etc. revision. today. induction and internal staffing. The management of people has seen three distinct approaches since the turn of the last century: scientific management. performance management. In general. Orientation. The trend has been toward the HR approach. Responsibilities for HR functions. selection. placement & promotion. and labour relations. Succession planning creative reward systems. And HR departments are more of a combination of professional and managerial staff. HR files management etc. do not only reside with HR. All managers at all levels share in the responsibility. analysis of performance appraisal records. employee turnover.3 HR professionals are also the key players in some HR departmental roles within the company. HR planning in line with business strategy. HR Client satisfaction survey. human relations and the HR approach. work flow process analysis/ mapping etc. 5. HR professionals remain as counselors to all levels from employees to top management and provide advice and service as required. recruitment and selection. These are: policy formulation. critical policy issues.4 In order to undertake such a versatile responsibilities an HR professional need be very efficient in communication. He has to communicate both upwards and down wards. Besides. Some of the examples of such function are: Job Analysis & Job Description. HR managers and administrators play a number of roles in achieving effective HR 18 .
HR professionals must master global operating skills and the HR function must build global capabilities for the organization such as the ability to move talent. Work itself will be redefined in the future. Free trade and globalization are putting most firms in fiercely competitive markets where success depends on the quality of HR management. Organizational Change. all HR activities become defined according to customer criteria. providing services (e. Capability Focus. Profitability Through Cost and Growth. Managing the Value Chain for Business Competitiveness. This is important because by shifting the focus from company to value chain. more high order thinking. and research). professional and managerial positions. constant learning and flexibility. Few of the challenges that HR shall be facing in the days to come are: • Globalization. and controlling activities to ensure that employment legislation and HR policies are being followed. disseminate that model throughout the organization and sponsor its ongoing application. These new challenges raise questions about the nature HR practices and the role of HR professionals.s responsibility to design and maintain effective communication flows. recruiting training. define an organizational change model. it is usually HR. and competitiveness. • • • • 19 . offering advice to line managers. and information around the world. 5. Whilst general management must identify and foster what capabilities they need to increase organizational competitiveness. HR management needs to create models and processes for attaining global agility.management. Jobs in the HR department include clerical (support). Also. acquisitions or joint ventures. Managers and HR professionals should constantly seek the capabilities necessary for success. The main paths to growth include through leveraging customers. ideas. Each of these has HR implications and requires co-operation between management and HR professionals to design and deliver new organizational practices. leveraging core competencies and mergers. effectiveness. Revenue growth is a key component of the profitability equation. HR professionals need to help to help their organizations to change. HR professionals must frame what they do in terms of these capabilities at an organizational level. and imply new approaches for the HR function in product and service delivery. These include creating HR policies.g.7 The approach of the millennium has brought about new challenges for human resources departments and practitioners around the world. HR needs to refocus practices more on the value chain and less on activities within the company.
but may take the form of shifting the work ethic into a higher gear. Mergers. grater productivity and market share. Transforming the Organization. This means making technology a viable and productive part of the work setting. if they are running in place. Ongoing legal compliance. requires more frequent customization in order to remain a competitive tool for attracting and retaining employees. develop them and retain their skills within the organization. subject to constant change. coupled with changing lifestyles. transformation goes to the heart of the organization changing the fundamental image of the business. as interpreted by the courts. Over the past decade. acquisitions and restructuring. Any form of harassment in the work-place is disruptive and potentially damaging to those involved. and the successful organizations will be the ones that are able to attract good people. Managers and HR professionals need to be able to redefine work to maximize the value of technology in the organization. Feeling uncomfortable about how things are running. Sexual harassment. Benefit plan designs. Unlike many of these turnaround efforts. use them effectively. It may involve and occasional restructuring.• Technology. the results can be very rewarding. HR professionals need to be in touch with the latest court interpretations of the laws affecting the company. consolidations and restructurings. The changes we have been reviewing are largely driven by one or more of these activities. and requires that HR professionals keep ahead on the information curve. Today's marketplace for talent. including the company. These will continue as long as companies strive for increased economies of scale. The increasing challenge is the every-evolving definition of harassment. 'Laws and other government regulatory requirements tend to be very dynamic. but separate from the challenges posed by mergers. restructuring hurdles can offset the intended benefits of the changes. • • • • • • 20 . is dangerous. as seen by customers and employers. The potential employee problems associated with combining differing work cultures. Attracting and Retaining Intellectual Capital. organizations have gone through one change initiative after another including downsizing. legislation and society as a whole. Business organizations of the future will compete aggressively for the best people. are those that are simply required to keep businesses afloat. HR has to play a leading role in organizational transformation. The days of putting a benefit plan in place and leaving it undisturbed for a number of years are quickly vanishing. acquisitions and restructuring. If well managed however. Related to.
political and economic instability shall also make negative impact on the HRM environment. They exist to produce. Keeping someone up to date on the legislative changes would be a real challenge. The social. The top management of many of the companies. In future outsourcing may remain as a constant challenge that HR professionals need to address. sell and/or market products and services. the legislation is often manipulated and changed by vested influential quarters. Social. Increasing services while lowering costs would be the main factors influencing any outsourcing decision. Partnering with the business. The focus of all departments within an organization should be the optimization of resources toward the core business objectives. vision. To outsource or not. Companies are still run by the age old authoritarian practices where no collective decision making is practiced. Weak economy would force the government to impose additional taxes often to the utmost dissatisfaction of the business community. It would be very difficult for companies to recruit and retain competent employees in the competitive world market.8 The HR profession is challenging in the context of Bangladesh for numerous reasons. • • 5. Legislations. Companies do not exist. They must also know the weaknesses and strengths of the company. The HR plan should always support the strategic business plan. The main challenges may be summarized as following: • Prejudice. goals and objectives. As the government is weak.• Creative compensation schemes. labour unrest as shown in the RMG sector in recent past and other sabotage activities may increases posing additional challenge to HR professionals. Our fragile economy shall also contribute in the drainage of qualified and skilled workforce. for example. there is a growing need to find more creative ways to motivate and reward employees. Globalization. The demographics of your particular work force are critical factors to be considered when attempting to redesign incentives. 21 • • • . etc. pay structures. Political and Economic Instability. in most cases do not understand the theories and practices of modern SHRM concepts. The world today has become a global village. Not unlike benefit plans. to support the HR department. HR professionals are still involved only in hiring and firing duties. HR professionals need to be well aware of the company’s mission. Unless situation improves. at all levels.
The most challenging aspect is human beings natural spontaneous resistance to change and critical difficulties of change management. Moreover.HR has to assist in achieving staff's personal and professional objectives.11 In General. economical and demographic landscape in near future. Productivity depends entirely on the performance of human resources. It is expected Bangladesh shall go through a lot of changes in social. they are driven by emotions. HR professionals have to make optimum utilization of human resources. Change Management. • • Conclusions 5. HR professionals will be coaches. Maintenance of morale of the employees shall remain a challenge for the HR professionals. In order to succeed.• Morale and Productivity. Technology. 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. HR department has to perform certain functions in line with organizational needs and goals. mentors. and a change mentor within the organization. 5. With the increase in competition. the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner. the focus of today’s HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. In general. and within this change in environment. Introduction of technology shall also remain as a challenge for HR profession with regard to recruiting trained employees to manage the technology. counselors. The HR manager will also promote and 22 .9 HR profession in Bangladesh is very challenging. an employee sponsor or advocate. political.10 HR professionals should actively contribute to organizational effectiveness to help managers achieve the objectives of the organization. they must possess sound knowledge of all the HR functions. An effective performance management system may assist in maintaining morale. At the same time. HR operations to be ethically and socially responsive to the needs of the society. 5. The challenge shall also persist in orienting existing worforce to the technology as they are introduced to the company. understand people and have the capability to drive people's potential. It will be a real challenge for the HR professionals to cope with those challenges and revise the company’s HR plan in accordance with the business plan derive from the corporate plan. Human beings are not machines. The HR professionals need to have strong determination to assist management in managing these changes. and succession planners to help motivate organization’s members and their loyalty.
beliefs. considered as… Defenseless Rational completely satisfied. 5. 23 . Intuition Paternalistic TODAY Information Strategic Plan Mission Professional TOMORROW Flexibility Agility Speed Organizational Style Empowered Learning Vibrant Employees Hungry. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable. Institutions like BSHRM may take pioneer role in this regard. Naked & Thinking and Fully evolved. the HR professional must learn how to manage effectively through planning. especially in the management of workplace diversity. organizing. and spirituality within their organizations. leading and controlling the human resource and be knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development. resilient. Recommendations 5. mission and objective of business organizations. and customer-centered. effective & fair As a Strategic Partner appraisals and compensation systems Fig: Past.13 HR professionals should constantly drive to increase awareness about the necessity of practicing future oriented SHRM theories and practices to achieve vision. Following is a chart summarizing the role of HR managers in the organization linked to the different factores of an organization which contributes to the challenges of the HR professionals. ethics. quick to change directions. creatures Beings mature human beings Motivational Driving people Driving people People drive Methods through basic through social themselves needs & intellectual needs Role of HR Provide people Motivate by As a Change Agent with food. clothing providing As a Innovator and shelter. YESTERDAY Success factors Business judgment.fight for values. present and the future role of HR in an organization.12 The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of the changing organization. Within this environment.
6. capability and potential through healthy inter-personal relations formal and informal. 5. positive rewards-extrinsic and intrinsic.C. A. A C Abdur Rahim founded a small trading company and paved the way for making of one of today’s leading Bangladeshi business conglomerates.15 Organizations should have a transparent and efficient recruitment policy basing on the approved HR plan.14 HR strategy should be integrated with broader organizational objectives and ensures that the rest of the organization accepts the strategy. Over the decades.1 The major milestones in Rahimafrooz history can be summarised as below: Incorporated in 1954 by Mr. The strategy should ensure: Right people. The Group today has seven Operating Companies (SBUs).5. with right attitude and behavior and developed in the right way are at the right place. they should be encouraged to practice these skills capitalizing on human dignity. decision making and use of ingenuity. and greater people's involvement in terms of exercise of discretion. with right mix of skills. Case Study: Organizationational Re-structuring at Rahim Afroze Bangladesh through HR Change Management and Strategic HR Planning. the Group currently employs more than two thousand people directly and a further twenty thousand indirectly as suppliers contractors.16 Organizations should develop a performance management system that would maintain morale of employees and in turn shall contribute to higher productivity. 5.17 It must be kept in mind that a mere change in organizational climate/philosophy is not enough to yield the desired results. three other business ventures. Abdur Rahim 24 . scale. As of 2007. And Reward system should be linked with performance management system to motivate and retain the best talents. Planned efforts should be made to develop human relations skills in managers at all levels helping them to adopt a more balanced approach towards human resources.18 Besides. 5. Rahimafrooz has grown in size. and a non-profit social enterprise. 6. dealers and retailers 6.0 HISTORY The Rahimafrooz journey dates back to the early fifties when Late Mr. and diversity. 5.
Distributorship of Lucas Battery in 1959 Exclusive distributorship of Dunlop tyre in 1978 Acquisition of Bangladesh operations of Lucas UK in 1980 First producer of industrial battery in 1985 Pioneering Solar Power in collaboration with BP in 1985 First ever battery export – to Singapore – Launched Rahimafrooz Instant Power System Acquisition of Yuasa Batteries (Bangladesh) Ltd. brought RELAXED work environment. a fibre optic based digital solution provider for data communication. No strategic business planning existed. enhanced commitment to being successful while upholding its core values. the company had a steady and strong position in the 80s. with no target based. Performance 25 . the company was practicing traditional Management Practices with family ownership and organizational structure was hierarchical. Energy 6. launched in joint venture with Flora Telecom – in 2004 Received McGraw-Hill Platt Global Energy Award for Renewable in 2004 Received the “Ashden Award” for Sustainable Energy in 2006 The Group celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 15. Established Rahimafrooz CNG ltd. Employees were hired without proper HR planning and mostly on personal references. being the only company to produce battery in local market. Established Rahimafrooz Globatt Limited and Rahimafrooz Accumulator limited in 2009. 2004 with a renewed. Untill then. The steady revenue from business. – Attained ISO 9002 certification for RBL operations First India office opened in Ahmedabad – Awarded “Bangladesh Enterprise of the Year” in in in in in in 1992 1993 1994 1997 2000 2001 Attained ISO 14001:1996 for RBL operations Launched “Agora” – the first ever retail chain in 2001 Launched Rahimafrooz Energy Service in 2002 – promoting distributed power. high performance work culture. in 2003 Awarded “National Export Trophy” in 2003 Metronet Bangladesh.2 HR TRANSFORMATION AT RAHIM AFROZE As evident from milestone.
Existing personnel department. b) Key Positions of the organization structures are hold by Management Staff (mostly relatives of owners and old employees who joined and got promotions due to personal relationship with employer). no differentiation. with no hr audits to identify workforce efficiency. In 1996-97. without any HR planning. The consulting firm. Organization structure became bulky. d) No succession planning to ensure sustainability of organizational growth. was replaced with HR professionals. Recruitments were on ADHOC. c) Absence of Strategic Business Planning and execution at all level of the organization to fight with intense cost competition. The pricing competition for the first time forced the company to face negative sales growth and huge business uncertainty. followed by a highly qualified HR professional from British American Tobacco ( who just came from a overseas assignment). mostly because of imported batteries by trading agents. who had first hand hr experience to work the best multinationals in the country with “strong drive to achieve results” 26 . In the 1990s. The Change Process A renowned leader was recruited through head hunting. competition in the local market become tough. after spending months with different units of the company pointed out the major TOP 5 problems as per follows: a) Organization is over staffed with in-efficient/obsolete skilled people. Management of Rahim Afrooz . Together they formed a winning combination and started their immediate plan of action as per follows: 1. At this point. to replace the family based Management Team and old PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT.Management personal judgment based and reward management was across the company uniform. hired an external consulting firm to indentify the organizational problems and action plan to reengineer and re-structure the whole company. Training & Developments were not based on TNA’s and job requirements. who are not qualified for the positions to strategically lead company to future growth. whose service quality is not matched with future business growth of the company. The recommendations were to first hire an external COO and also an BEST IN THE CLASS HR Professional from a renowned Multinational Company.
this was a headline in the news and was critised). Based on HR audits. 27 . Colarelli of Michigan University and Monica Hemingway . Position competency mapping. junior. References: 1. HR can achieve miracle in a company in this country. New organization structure. The old hierarchical structure was replaced with a “business focused” flat ( 3 level structure . Zahid Hassan Chowdhury. MPA ‘State Capacity in Promoting Trade and Investment: The Case of Bangladesh’. It is also considered as employer of choice in Bangladesh. Handouts. a state of art recruitment drive to a) fill up the best talent for KEY POSITIONS to rest (TOP Down). resistance to change due to their DOWNSIZING of staff and restructuring efforts. 2. 5. 3. This case proves. that HR Management system is challenging in Bangladesh and with right support from Management Team. it became a MNC culture. Results: As of today in 2010. Stephen M. Ph. Rahim Afrooz made a TURN AROUND with successful HR action plan to a successful group of companies with double digit sales growth year to year for past 10 years.D. conducted a company wide HR audit and matched people VS. Finally. mid level. ‘The Future of the HR Profession’ by SHRM. Shunning the family owned management structure. Matthew J. Mozammel Hoque. The new HR department under leadership of the HR Director and CEO. February 2004. 4. 3. Strategic Human Resource Management. class notes and lectures. 4. Abul Barkat. Target oriented performance management system with linking reward 7. MBA. Monnot .2. MA. with market competitive salary structure was designed to attract the right talents from the market. senior management) structures. incompetent personnel were let go ( at that time. 6. The road to this success was not easy for HR Department of Rahim Afrooze as they faced criticism. process driven company run by best talents available in the country.
Hussain Amir Ali . Md. new age web addition .5. ‘Problems faced in HRM in Bangladesh’. 28 . Fashiul Alam ‘Combating Contemporary Challenges: The Human Resource Perspective’ Management 6. Dr.May 2005.
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