DR. Jagdish Solanki

The world of work is rapidly changing. As a part of organization, Human Resource Management (HRM) must be prepared to deal with effects of changing world of work. For the HR people it means understanding the implications of globalization, work-force diversity, changing skill requirements, corporate downsizing, continuous improvement initiatives, re-engineering, the contingent work force, decentralized work sites and employee involvement for which all and more have the financial implication to organization. Let alone on the employees side where engagement, satisfaction, motivation, retention, absenteeism, turnover have to be checked. As a rule human resource management has to venture into new trends in order to remain relevant corporate development partner.

1. Globalization and its implications:
Business today doesn’t have national boundaries. With the rise in Multinational corporations, the HR department needs to ensure that the appropriate mix of employees in terms of knowledge, skills and cultural adaptability is available to handle global assignments. HRM as a function must develop mechanisms to facilitate multicultural and diversified workforce. HRM would be required to train management to be more flexible in its practices. Because tomorrow’s workers will come in different colors, `nationalities and so on, managers will be required to change their ways. This will necessitate managers being trained to recognize differences in workers and to appreciate and even celebrate these differences.

2. Work-force Diversity:
Today’s world demands heterogeneous workforce, unlike traditional setup, which brings about more responsibilities on the HR’s shoulders, firstly because diversified workforce means people of different gender, age, social class sexual orientation, values, personality characteristics, ethnicity, religion, education, language, physical appearance, marital status, lifestyle, beliefs, ideologies and background characteristics such as geographic origin, tenure with the organization, and economic status and the list could go on. So diversified today stands as a critical word for HR’s as any organizations success lies with its flourishing work culture, a culture of openness amd flexibility towards prevailing as well as upcoming changes. Secondly, it also concerns with the concept of making every organization a “family-friendly” one, wherein there are flexible timings, amiable work-environment as well as employee benefits like “childcare” and lastly taking care of the age related differences, so as an HR training the workforce as per their age-group to appreciate these differences and have a welcoming approach.

3. Changing skill sets:

Not having a skilled workforce, adds on to the list of liabilities on the part of any organization and it would hamper the vision of them being a competitive, productive and a quality driven entity in the market and also it would cause hurdles in managing the workforce diversity. And to bridge those skill gaps and deficiencies, HR department has to strategically plan and identify the skill sets that are a must and are missing among each and organize more and more off trainings pertaining to the identified areas of improvement.

4. Corporate Downsizing:
Downsizing is a means to delayer employees, it happens when an organization wants to cut down on their extra fat and be cost effective. Now, here HR has to play a role of a mediator and an effective communicator by providing convincing reasons for the delayer that occurred and also ensures that no negative effects are passed on through grapevines.

5. Continuous Improvement Program:
This program concerns itself with an organization being a quality driven entity with a view of attracting its best customers. HR has a key role to play here i.e. hiring quality people and to check upon the administrative paper processing, which in turn will benefit an organization to develop a “customer-centric approach” – thereby bringing in loyalty on part of the customers. Secondly, HRM must prepare individuals for the change. This requires clear and extensive communications of why the change will occur, what is to be expected and what effect it will have on employees, which would further the chances of smooth functioning during the entire implementation.

6. Re-engineering work processes for improved productivity.
Process Reengineering and Efficiency Improvement are centered on determining the best way to accomplish work requirements within an organization or function. Today almost all organizations are struggling with complex processes which in turn slow down organization’s growth. Thus, re-structuring and re-designing an enterprise becomes necessary to improve quality of service. In simplest terms Re-engineering- simplifying work. More often, poor people processes, confusing and unclear responsibilities have a grave effect on employees performance. Today’s HR manager should posses the skill to identify employees complexities and re-engineer them in such a way that it discards work which does not add any value thereby channeling work through improved processes and thus improving employee morale.

7. Contingent Workforce
Today the concept of Traditional Workforce is changing , According to Manpower Group Solutions’ fourth Contingent Workforce Index (CWI), which tracks the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining contingent workforce in 75 countries, India has been ranked among the top five nations globally in terms of contingent workforce engagement. Conventionally their was a stigma of “Temporary Jobs” as for laymen it meant “couldn’t find a good job”. But today the scenario is changing, the current generation craves the flexibility and freedom that contracting allows. Employees are not only the one realizing the benefits of contractual work but Employers are also getting hold off this trend of of a flexible workforce.
Many employers are finding it cost efficient on contractual basis as they would be able to analyze and evaluate new hire before making commitment. Also, hiring contingent workers is often less expensive than the cost of hiring permanent employees as the employer has to offer health insurance, vacation time, payroll taxes, workers comp, etc. Additionally, a considerable amount of time and effort by a contract with a staffing agency, this work shifts to an experienced hiring team.

8. Employee Engagement and Involvement
Today, Employee Engagement has become a mantra for retaining employees. But, just because an employee is engaged in his job and meeting or exceeding expectations doesn’t mean they aren’t considering a move to a different organization. In today’s volatile market scenario many individuals won’t hesitate to leave their jobs if they do not feel sufficiently involved with their organization thus, paying more attention to employee involvement allows you to go deeper beyond the surface and learn not just how someone feels about their job, but also their thoughts on the company, their careers and the relationship between the two. To ensure employee involvement and their retention organizations should consider to ask for employees opinions, recognizing their achievements, illuminating their career paths and by aligning organizations business strategy with individuals personal goals.

9. Decentralized Worksites
Today’s technological advancements in mass-com industry has made the concept of decentralized worksites a buzz word at the same time it has become a greater challenge for HR.Today, it has become possible to work from anywhere around the world, thus HR managers have to reshape HR processes to ensure better productivity as well as welfare of the employees.

10. Tech-Transfer
In this information age businesses are becoming more tech-savvy. Due to Tech-Transfer new technological innovations are getting great platform to reach target businesses and it is certain that this era is going to mark a great impact on nearly all areas of business, including human resources, where technology continues to have a significant impact on HR practices. Today, organizations are driven by DATA and hence as compared to conventional HR practices like recruitment, oversight of legal and regulatory compliance. HR executives are turning to sophisticated analytics to gauge their department’s strategic contributions. In addition, many HR managers are borrowing from other business disciplines and integrating.

HR function is being transformed by such forces as the globalization of business, technological innovations and the emergence of the knowledge-based workforce. Their examination of the profession reveals a number of unknown dimensions of HR. These include HR’s focus, future role, emerging practices, and governance. It may be concluded that the workforce and the workplace will change dramatically, that the HR function will be compelled to change by outside forces, and that it is at a turning point in its ability to manage change.

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