The importance of HR management has experienced substantial transformations as a result of globalization and technological progress, making it an imperative aspect for all businesses. Gerhert, Hollenbeck, Noe, and Wright (2003) assert that HR management encompasses policies, practices, and systems that influence the behavior, attitudes, and performance of employees.
The significance of this role lies in the financial consequences resulting from policies, practices, and employee conduct. This paper will explore current trends and challenges in the HR management role, focusing on the comparison between a comprehensive performance management system and annual performance appraisals, turnover management, safety and health concerns, as well as an examination of future trends and challenges. The HR management role encompasses various functions.
The HR managers of today typically specialize in or work in one or two aspects of the HR role: recruiting, hiring selection, training and development, performance guidelines and measurement, compensation, and employee relations (Gerhert, Hollenbeck, Noe, Wright, 2003, p. 2). The challenges of technology, globalization, and diversity affect each of these functions. These challenges provide opportunities to enhance performance monitoring, turnover management, and health or safety concerns. Globalization has expanded greatly due to advances in technology.
The ease of doing business overseas becoming more cost-effective has led to companies expanding globally. This expansion has resulted in a new role for HR management, as stated by Gerhert, Hollenbeck, Noe, and Wright (2003). They emphasize that as companies expand globally, they are giving more importance to evaluating employees’ cultural fit for assignments abroad. The workforce is now made up of individuals from various races, religions, and cultures who are motivated by factors beyond money or standard work behaviors. In the current hiring process and determining business success, the focus is not limited to a person’s functional skills but also extends to their ability to adapt and perform well in a diverse work environment.
The complexity of HR management is increased by the regulation of the workforce. HR managers are now facing the impact of enforced policies on the hiring and firing process due to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. In the current society, terminating an employee without proper justification or support can lead to a lawsuit based on discrimination. In order to avoid such cases, HR managers need to establish and maintain comprehensive policies, procedures, and expected behaviors that are fair and neutral for all employees.
HR management needs to properly handle appraisals and incentives in order to encourage good behaviors among employees. The traditional approach to employee appraisal and monitoring involves having a yearly or scheduled meeting to discuss performance, expectations, and pay. However, this method of annual performance appraisal can create issues that go against the organization’s goals. Under this approach, employees tend to perform their job in the same way throughout the year, unless a particularly negative behavior is addressed prior to the yearly meeting.
Both the manager and employee feel uneasy as the annual meeting approaches. Traditionally, the manager is obligated to confront performance issues and establish a plan for resolution in the coming year. Consequently, the employee understands what is expected and behaves accordingly until the following year. Unfortunately, this approach is archaic and hampers productivity due to insufficient communication and monitoring of the employee. The yearly review only allows for feedback once a year or in urgent situations that require immediate attention and documentation.
The main disadvantage of annual appraisals is the absence of close monitoring for employee behaviors, which allows negative behaviors to persist throughout the year. These behaviors have harmful effects on the organization’s goals, resulting in decreased productivity and increased employee turnover. To tackle this issue, a new approach known as the complete performance management system has been introduced. This system ensures that employees’ activities and outputs are in line with the organization’s objectives. Managers play a vital role in this system by closely monitoring, promoting, and coaching employee behaviors to align them with organizational goals. They must highlight the significance of these behaviors and demonstrate their contribution to overall company objectives. Additionally, actively involving employees in daily operations is an essential aspect of the complete performance management system.
The system begins with the manager providing a clear explanation of the expectations and guidelines for the employee’s work. This explanation should cover how the expected behaviors will affect the organization, the employee’s compensation, and incentives. It is important to thoroughly outline and discuss these expectations with the employee, allowing them to feel at ease to ask questions and challenge what is being presented. Once the employee agrees and comprehends, they should be accountable for monitoring their own performance and behavior according to the established expectations.
It is essential for the manager to actively monitor the employee’s behavior and productivity in order to ensure effective performance. This monitoring benefits both the appraisal process and ongoing coaching and discipline. Instead of just an annual evaluation, regular monthly or quarterly meetings can be used for addressing errors immediately, providing development opportunities and guidance. Promptly informing employees about their progress will reduce anxiety about meetings with managers, as they won’t need to wait a whole year for feedback.
During the annual meeting to discuss compensation and perks, it is crucial for employees to also evaluate their own performance in order to compare it with that of their managers. This method helps facilitate a straightforward conversation about merit, expectations, and objectives. The entire performance management system depends on consistent and ongoing communication between managers and employees. This approach encourages positive actions, supports employee growth, and propels the organization towards its goals while enabling employees to acknowledge their own achievements.
When employees feel a sense of belonging to the business, they are less inclined to resign or seek another job. To reduce turnover rate, management needs a clear understanding of the factors causing employment turnover in their company. Employers should examine their own company to determine if inadequate selection and assignment methods are contributing to unrest and dissatisfaction among new employees.
Employees may find themselves in jobs that are overly challenging or where their skills are not fully utilized. This could result in new employees feeling disheartened and leaving in search of more fitting employment. Lack of sufficient information about job duties and employee requirements is another problem. Additionally, unsatisfactory working conditions or environment may discourage new employees unless they receive appropriate compensation to compensate for the conditions and are provided with a comprehensive explanation when they are hired.
The lack of career growth opportunities, whether based on seniority or merit, can result in employee dissatisfaction and ultimately lead to their departure. It is important for candidates considering positions without future prospects to receive a thorough explanation before being hired. The problem of high turnover rates is often attributed to inadequate supervision, which the comprehensive performance management system aims to tackle. Particularly during the initial stages of employment, employees need proper guidance. Failure to provide effective supervision during this crucial period often results in termination or attrition.
Some of the reasons for turnover include an inadequate or unsound wage classification structure, a poorly organized training program, and ineffective grievance procedures. To address these issues, employers can conduct “Exit Interviews” with employees to identify necessary changes for future employees. Employers can also distribute employee surveys in areas such as break rooms or by the time clock.
If an employer is given the opportunity to address a situation before it escalates, the chances of experiencing a high turnover rate decrease. Another effective strategy for reducing employee turnover in a company is to carefully select employees. Often, interview committees are only impressed by a candidate’s communication skills or performance during an interview and overlook their background. By implementing pre-employment testing, conducting background checks (including credit, criminal, and drug testing), as well as assessing skills, the company can evaluate how suitable a candidate is for an interview.
Following the interview, it is crucial for the employer to thoroughly confirm that the candidate being recruited is suitable for both the role and the company. This can be achieved by reaching out to the applicant’s references (excluding family members) and past employers. All workplaces in the United States are required to abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, which guarantee a safe and healthy work environment for all.
Despite some companies and employees not consistently following OSHA guidelines, the mission of OSHA is to promote workplace safety. According to the OSHA website, workplace fatality and occupational injury rates have significantly decreased since its establishment in 1971. However, despite this progress, there is still an unacceptably high number of reported fatalities, injuries, and illnesses as the workforce continues to expand. Therefore, employers must prioritize compliance with OSHA regulations by regularly training both new and current employees. This is particularly crucial in industries with high turnover rates.
To ensure a safe working environment for younger employees, employers must conduct regular testing. Adhering to OSHA regulations requires companies to take strong measures when rules are violated. In the case of a first violation, employees should be given a written reprimand and mandated to attend OSHA training classes. They must also pass the subsequent test before resuming their duties.
If an employee commits a second offense, they will be terminated immediately. Multiple accidents can cause harm or death to employees. Individuals who do not take OSHA regulations seriously should not be employed by the company. This regulation will pose new challenges for HR management in the future. According to HR Magazine, the primary objective of human resource management is to improve and elevate the ethical, social, and administrative accountability of staff within the organization.
Creating a complete organizational culture that fosters workers’ full professional commitment, integration, and quality work (Schramm, 2004) is one way to achieve this. Looking at future trends in human resource management, several important issues were identified by HR magazine. Technology plays a crucial role, not only in enhancing communication between HR and employees but also in its ongoing use for transactional HR functions.
The growth and utilization of electronic learning is also considered a significant field of potential transformation as people, whether in a professional setting or not, are increasingly obtaining online education. Safety and security concerns are also prominently included in the list of noteworthy trends. HR professionals often take into account broader global and political developments when identifying the trends that have the greatest impact on their employees’ safety. In addition to the aforementioned array of upcoming trends, SHRM magazines highlights that human resource managers will need to stay updated and proficient due to technological advancements.
This progression will lead to the implementation of systems that will enable companies to automate benefits and compensation as a result of the increasing need for web-based programs. These programs include online performance appraisals, automated benefit enrollment links, and web-based programs that allow employees to check and update their personal information online. According to SHRM magazine, human resource managers will also need to be more involved in crisis management, business continuity planning, and disaster recovery.
The Society for Human Resource Management (2006) states that the belief is increasing diversity in the workforce leads to a greater need for additional training and information in native languages. Challenges for HR management arise alongside future trends. A survey conducted by Development Dimensions International lists some of the future HR challenges according to the company.
1. Barriers between employers and employees who resist change can be created by organizational change, which includes downsizing, restructuring, and reengineering.
2. Attracting qualified people into the organization poses a challenge for recruiting and selection, which can be a major sourcing issue.
3. Cost control and reductions are necessary due to tight budgets, investment constraints, and pressure to improve productivity. Causes for cost control include reduced profitability from competition and the need for more aggressive value pricing.
4. Retaining and enhancing a competitive position is always a major challenge due to increased competition.
Keeping up with and implementing ever-changing technologies is a challenge. Customer service and retention also pose challenges, including exceeding customer needs, retaining customers, providing customer flexibility and choice, and enhancing service quality and reliability. Retaining and maintaining a high-performance workforce is crucial, along with effective training, improved employee career and job development programs, and cross-skilling of employees. Specific training challenges mentioned include empowerment, communication, business skills, and knowledge training.
8. With the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, organizations are now facing the challenges of effectively blending cultures, integrating systems, and maintaining high workplace morale and motivation.
9. Globalization presents a new challenge in terms of hiring the appropriate employees to meet the needs of companies expanding overseas.
10. The ability to recruit, hire, and retain high-performing work teams is a major challenge in the field of teams (Bradac, Wellins, 2006).
The future will bring a plethora of opportunities and challenges for human resources. With evolving technology, human resources strategies must adapt to the needs of the current workforce. The early practices of human resources revolved around experienced secretaries who maintained company and employee paperwork. These secretaries often had years of experience with the company.
Over the years, as succession planning became a more significant concern, human resource employees had to evolve from seasoned employees to educated professionals. The role quickly transformed from personnel to human resource manager, driven by the demand for a clearer relationship between human resource planning, larger organization strategies, and business planning. The role of a human resource manager is constantly changing and must continue to adapt to current and future trends as well as challenges.
In this paper we have discussed various topics including current trends/challenges, performance management, turnover, safety and health issues, and future trends and challenges. The role of HR management will continue to evolve in response to the growth of technology, globalization, and diversity in the workforce. The Human Resource manager will need to possess communication, negotiating, and motivation skills. It is crucial that HR is seen as a strategic partner in order for it to be treated equally. Considering the present challenges and anticipated future challenges, it can be argued that many businesses have already embraced this perspective.