HRM practices and business strategy
There is a close link between a company’s business strategy and its human resource practices. This is because they both affect organizational development and the business environment. It is important for any company to align its human resource management practices to its business strategy because only then will employees work effectively to achieve the company’s objectives. In human resource, individuals are managed and considered to be important strategic resources that can be used by the firm to gain competitive advantage through improved performances. Therefore, the manner in which human resources are managed must correspond with the company’s business strategy. This simply means that the HRM methods a firm adopts must combine effectively with the competitive strategies of the business.
The human resource function is shifting focus from managing human resources, it is now emphasizing on maintaining organizational effectiveness. Furthermore, it focuses on how the capabilities of the organization are rooted in the capabilities of its human resources. There are several human resource practices that have a direct impact or are affected directly by the strategies of the company. Practices such as selective training, extensive training, decentralization and use of teams, information sharing and incentives or compensating employees for stellar performances have an impact on business strategies on market share, company growth, profit maximization, success, size of the company and innovativeness.
Therefore, linking the human resource practices to the firm’s business strategy harmonizes the company’s objectives with those of the human resource department. Through this alignment, the company can ensure that its employees are happy and work in a favorable environment while it will also be realizing its objectives in terms of efficiency and growth. Linking business strategies to human resource must be done in a cautious manner. The organizational strategy development must have representatives of the employees. The strategy development must also include business partners and every other stake holder in that organization.
Hiring women for competitive advantage
Gender balance within an organization’s work force is very important. When an organization embarks on hiring and promoting women, it is likely that the firm will have higher competitive advantage over its rivals. Employing and promoting women is part of gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming is important in the improvement required to achieve the strategic interests and practical needs, as well as gender equality in the organization and in the community. An organization with gender balance performs well because each employee feels they are appreciated. This is because no gender is a minority in the organization.
Similarly, hiring and promoting female employees serves as a motivational strategy. The female employees will benefit from such as strategy and will work hard to get promotions. In most organizations, women are the minority gender and in some instances, women do not get the chance to rise through the ranks. An organization that employs women and offers them leadership and responsibility duties distinguishes itself from other organizations. Therefore, hiring and promoting female employees is a motivational strategy to increase employee productivity. This will in turn increase the company’s competitive advantage because productivity will increase.
Organizational strategy and workforce planning
This plan is aimed at helping the organization meet its attrition, work force and staffing requirements. It guides the organization’s implementation of collaborative and targeted recruitment policies. The strategy is to retain and attract quality talent for the organizations positions and prepare young employees to be future leaders. The emphasis will be on female employees to promote gender equality as well as diverse talent and quality.
Roles and responsibilities
The human resource department will be responsible for the formulation and implementation of the plan. The plan must be reviewed by the association of employees in the company. The plan will be used to guide the general recruitment process; search and identify potential talent gaps in the organization. It would also be used to find solutions for problems faced by employees in the organization. This plan is expected to streamline the policy used to address future labor shortages.
The coordinator in charge of recruitment and retention will carry out two reviews annually in collaboration with the human resource department. The review will be to monitor the progress and develop efficient retention and recruitment strategies. The human resource department will also be responsible for conducting training in activities associated with recruitment. The department will hand in annual plans. The plans will identify organizational strategy and internal processes for recruitment and retention.
Recruitment and retention plan
The company has invested a lot of its resources in recruiting female employees, nurturing them and training them to be all round employees for the company. The company emphasizes on leadership, talent and quality when training these individuals to benefit its current and future labor force and leadership.
The company uses two main strategies in enforcing its recruitment plan. It offers working incentives such as financial, childcare and part-time offers. The other strategy is the trainee program where young talented ladies are trained and absorbed into the organization’s work force.
Work force planning
The HRM department aims to hire at least ten female employees each year in several of its vacancies. Of the ten, five will be internships for trainees, three for junior employees and two for medium and top management posts.
Gender balance is very important for diversification of any organization. Finding competent female individuals to recruit is very difficult. The human resource department will embark on a scouting and nurturing mission to identify competent women to work for the organization. The organization faces difficulty in recruiting women because most women do not have technical skills needed by the organization.
The department will assess the labor force requirements of the organization to establish which employees are required. The qualifications of the potential employees must also be developed and advertised. All these activities will be conducted by the HRM department. Recruitments will be both internship programs and permanent employment jobs.
The HRM department will incur costs throughout the recruitment, training and retention programs. Money will be set aside for the advertisement of the vacancies, interview sessions, and training programs, buying recruitment material and salaries for these employees. Only the officers in the HRM department and a few top managers in the organization will be involved in conducting this exercise.
The HRM will always evaluate the success of the recruitment plan implemented in the previous year. This will be used to improve the recruitment plans in subsequent years and to appraise the employees who were employed.
The HRM intends to invest a lot of resources towards the retention plan. This will involve resources for talent development and leadership management.
The HRM will analyze the knowledge, abilities and skill of the existing staff. This will include any kind of special education and talent needed to help the organization succeed. This information will be useful when allocating duties to employees to ensure employees work according to their abilities and talents for optimal results.
Staff development plan
The budget must be prepared early and the funds set aside for training and developing the employees’ needs and promotional activities.
Employees will be under probation before and after promotional activities. This will be to ensure they deserve the promotions through stellar performances and high productivity for the organization.
Employees will be given a chance to give their feedback about the retention plan and what they feel can be done to improve the whole process. This will be conducted by the HRM department through its feedback mechanisms. Employees will also be allowed to evaluate their own performances.
Obstacles of gender balance in organizations
There are several challenges the company faces when trying to diversify gender mainstreaming. The challenges vary from internal issues to external factors. The company finds it difficult to identify competent ladies who can work in the company. The company deals with technically demanding activities. Employees must have experience working with computer hardware and software. There are very few women who qualify for this kind of job because most of them have not trained to work in this sector. Therefore, the company should invest in identifying young women who are interested in working for the company. The company then trains them before offering them jobs. This is cumbersome and costly but in the long term, the company expects to benefit from this investment.
Associated with the first problem, the company lacks finances to recruit, train and retain female employees. Since there are few women who have computer software knowledge, the company spends a lot of its revenue training them. The company finds it financially difficult to meet the demands of the whole recruitment and retention plan because its revenue is too small to sustain the system. The company has the option of borrowing to finance the plan.
The company also faces a hard time retaining its female employees. Even though the firm trains these individuals, there is no guarantee of them working for the firm in the long term. This is because the employees are only required to work for the firm in their first three years after they complete their training. From then on, the employees can choose to leave the company to work for other companies that they desire. This is a major problem for the firm because it has to keep on training new employees to replace those who would have departed.
HRM strategies to ensure women employees remain visible in the organization
The company can promote the visibility of female employees using the following strategies. The company can adopt a new strategy where it would absorb female trainees. These trainees would be trained by the company in larger numbers than the male trainees admitted. The objective of the strategy is to increase the number of female employees to at least 50 percent of the total employees. These trainees would then be trained and then the successful trainees will be offered permanent employment in the organization. Since the company incurred expenses when training these employees, they must be required to sign a memorandum where they will have to work for the organization for at least a stipulated time period before they are allowed to leave for any other job outside the company. This strategy has been successful in many institutions despite the difficult in retaining employees after their contracts expire and they have the chance to explore other options for their careers.
Another important strategy is to offer female employees incentives such as child care arrangements and part time employment. The fact that there are only a small percentage of women who qualify to work in technically demanding occupations warrant this strategy. Child arrangement s includes the women employees being given maternity leaves with pay and after delivery. The company may decide that the female employee will work on part-time basis until she is 6 months pregnant. She would then be on leave until 3 months after delivery. From then on she will work on part-time basis until the child is a year old. This is a good incentive compared to what most employees demand employees’ immediate return to work only two or three months after delivery. Other employees can be offered part-time jobs, for instance those who are undertaking further studies.
These strategies are aimed at attracting and retaining female employees. Making the working environment to favor female employees is important for their productivity as well. There are higher chances of women who get these incentives to be more productive and rise through the organization’s ranks than in those organizations that do not offer these incentives.
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Storey, J. (2008). The Routledge Companion to Strategic Human Resource Management. New York: Taylor & Francis.