Quiz 1: The Strategic Role of Human Resources Management
Company RT is a mining and minerals company based in Country L. The company operates its business in many countries. During global recession, the company was required to lay off employees for its survival. Unlike the conventional approach, during the time of crisis, the company adopted a more efficient and coordinated approach. While reducing its workforce due to global recession, Company RT has revamped its HR processes. The company utilized a coordinated approach for downsizing the workforce around the globe. The company has utilized an efficient as well as ethical way to lay off the employees. Furthermore, the HR team has identified the highly skilled employees and managers across different countries and moved them internally in order to retain them. In addition, the company provided training to the managers in order to boost the motivation level. The HR practice that helped the company in minimizing the potential problems associated with the reduction of the work force as explained below: • Company RT has trained its managers to keep the employees motivated. It helped them in maintaining the motivation level of employees. Furthermore, productivity of the employees was not affected. • During layoffs, highly skilled employees and potential leaders leave the organization in the fear of getting downsized. Company RT has already moved such employees internally to keep them retained. Hence, the company has successfully retained the skilled employees. Human resource information system (HRIS) has helped the company in managing the Reduction in Force (RIF). It provides comprehensive database and measurement tools to the company that helps in tracking the impact of re-directions. Thus, the company was able to retain the highly competent employees. Hence, it enabled them to conduct an efficient Reduction in Force (RIF). The employees can feel dissatisfied when a company without a consistent philosophy and policies approaches to RIF. The survivors that were retained by the companies would get demotivated. It would negatively impact their productivity and work quality of the employees. Some of the employees might feel deceived and biased in the absence of consistent approach and policies towards layoffs.
Culture depicts the values, norms and standards which binds the individuals to perform their deeds in a certain manner. Culture stands for certain rules and regulations under the restrictions of which actions are expected from the individuals. For instance in many multinational companies first name culture is very much prevalent. They believe in equality and similar status. In the hierarchy, positions play a role of the boss and the subordinates but in real nobody comes under the obligations of anyone. The rules and regulations are same for all. Human Resource Department plays an important role in forming the culture in organizations; employees are expected in certain dress codes depending upon the degree of professionalism they carry. Some organization do not believe in time strictness, they believe that work has to be completed no matter you complete it in a day or two hour. So, the rules play very important role in forming the culture of any organization and HR professionals plays a key role in its creation. The standards that are imbedded in Jpnse culture includes long term employment, stability in the organization, respect for seniors, concern for the group as a whole, working for the group and not for personal benefit etc. In contrast, the culture in certain countries does not believe in stability, long term employment does not suits their mind, they love job hopping, individual motives are the first priority rather than group goals. Whenever any task is achieved, they will try to analyze their individual contribution towards the success unlike Jpnse who gives credit to the whole group. WM, the world's biggest retail chain follows certain culture which involves a greeting to the customers from 10 steps away. This means that the customers should be given respect when he is just 10 steps away from the store. It also follows the culture of replenishment that is the merchandise needs to be fulfilled before it gets over from the racks. Never say no to customers, it's our duty to fulfill his needs. Again, here HR plays a very vital role. Thus, culture says a lot about the actions and beliefs of the organization and this enhances the working atmosphere of the HR and other staff. It could be organizational culture, religious culture or an individual family culture but the common thing which they carry is the followings which impart certain rules on the individuals. Thus, the HR can affect organizational culture positively or negatively in a very significant manner and this helps in the creation of the culture positively and negatively.
Ethical issues are quite interesting in nature. Ethics is something that differentiates between wrong and right, good or bad. Being ethical in today's era is absolute necessary and it is also a term used for showing credibility and honor at the workplace. Here are some of the ethical issues faced while working in the organization and the way HR was successful in resolving them: • Once while working in one of the organization, a female colleague used to wear certain clothes that were not appropriate at the workplace. The HR did not took any action unless there was a proper complaint filed by few employees. HR department took an immediate action and warned the female employee to be alert and vigilant about her dress code • It was happened two years ago in the business process outsourcing company where everyone is supposed to work on the systems continuously for 8 hours. Though continuous work shows drastic effects on the eyes and backbone, the management doesn't show any concern in giving regular breaks. Finally, the frustrated employees bring to the notice of the higher level management. Then the HR manager takes the decision to arrange screen guards to the system to reduce its effect on the eyes. Moreover, he gave the permission to take 5 mines break after every two hours. • Once during a college trip of students and professors like us, we come to know that the professor who was the incharge of the whole trip has done a fraud by asking the students to pay extra money for the trip. The charges of the tour operator were not the same in comparison to the charges he was asking the students to submit. When college authority comes to know about this they took a strict action and suspended the professor
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