Emerging trends in HR


KP Kanchana
Faculty HR
ICFAI National Collge

"Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to win the future". John F Kennedy.

Success and failure of business depends upon the effective and efficient management of the organization. Neither the Great Wall nor the Parthenon would have been built without proper Management .

Growth and development an organization depends upon the workforce it owns.  It is very much said that growth and development of the organization depends upon the growth and development of the employees and vis--vis.  But the scene of today was not in the yesteryears.  The industrial revolution in eighteenth and nineteenth- century were in need to coordinate the efforts of large number of people in the production process.  Britain provides more recent witness to the practice of management leaving written traces of concern for management.  Those were the days when employees were considered as machines and were only to give maximum output. No facilities, no infrastructure, no relations, no group, no team. Only relations with the organization were to give maximum output. They were not trained; jobs were not specific and scientific. Charles Babbage, for example wrote about the need for the systematic study and standardization of work operations to improve productivity.

The contributed valuable ideas of Elton Mayo, Fredeic Taylor, Robert Owen, Charles Dupin, Mc Gregor, Henry Fayol and many more laid the foundation for subsequent, broader inquiries into the nature of management, which ultimately lead to the betterment of human resource. From workers to associates of the organization is a long journey that has taken place.

With the continuous increasing competition and countries becoming global, the Organization's concept for HR has changed. It's the need of the time to consider the employees as the resource. The organization which are working on the principle of Attracting, Managing, Nurturing and Retaining their employees are moving ahead with the competition and are having competitive advantage over other organizations. The organizations believe in having brains working for them and are giving them full space to explore experiment and exploit their ideas, creativity and innovativeness. The employees are being involved in the workings of the organizations, and their efforts are recognized and rewarded. 

Companies no more believe in the tall hierarchical structures, and cubical with closed doors of the boss but have given way for flat organizational structures with more spans of control and less chain of command. The doors of the boss are open. In place of being the autocratic leaders or managers they play the role of team builders, mentors, coach or counselors. Following the principles of retaining the brains in the organization, the policies have become more and more flexible providing alternative and flexible work schedule. Flexi time, compressed week, job sharing, telecommuting is some of these. It not only caters the need of the employees and help in retaining them rather 24 Hrs accessibility of manpower to the work is there. To be ahead in the competition and a step ahead with the expectations of the employee's work place is becoming family friendly and employee friendly. The companies emphasize in providing them all the facilities, statutory and non statutory. Training and development are the other areas where organizations are trying to take the lead over other organizations so that employees can be made multiskilled to handle multiple tasks. The new horizon has opened up where the organizations competing are clubbing together to form the network of talents.

Organizations today are not only making the structure and policies employee friendly rather are trying to improve the quality of work life where employees can enjoy their working and will be able to manage the balance between work life and personal life. They provide them the in-house facility of health club, yoga, meditation, alternative work schedule, picnics, and family get together where they can reduce their stress and strains. They also provide educational facility, medical facility etc. Some companies also provide the employees holiday package along with their family members. The idea behind is not only to have a happy workforce but to get extended to the families of the employees as well to develop a sense of belongingness in the employees.

Other areas where remarkable changes are being made are in communication pattern. Gone are the days when employees feared talking to their bosses and had to wait for weeks to get their things reached to them. Every thing has changed. Things are replaced by cross communication, gang plank mechanism, open door policy, internet, intranet, mentoring, counseling, coaching etc. Communication is no more restricted to from top to bottom rather bottom to up is encouraged more in the organization to make functioning more smooth and to have grievance free, satisfied employees.

With the continuous rise in competition, business cannot flourish if individualism is prevailing in the company. Therefore to meet the need of the time the growing organizations are following collectivism culture, where working in groups and teams are emphasized. The problems are not moved up for the solutions rather are tried to solve at the same level, opening the way for concepts of Quality circles, Self Managed Teams Cross Functional teams etc. These techniques make the employees work in group or team, upgrade them, empower them and sharpens their creativity and innovativeness.

Performance appraisal has also taken a new shape. It's not confined to the boss and subordinates, rather more emphasis is being given on overall appraisal of the employees (360 degree appraisal). Employees are also given opportunities for succession growth. Many leading organizations look for the competencies rather than experience and age. They try to infuse new blood in the organization, and make them learn and unlearn according to their needs and requirements.

To conclude, change is the necessary to survive. Those who changes with the change survive and those who not strive and vanish. What is today may be obsolete tomorrow. It is necessary to upgrade and restructure every time to withstand and face the situations. HR policies of the organization should also be changed with the time and new strategies, policies should come up to retain the talents in the organization.

KP Kanchana
Faculty HR
ICFAI National Collge

Source: E-mail May 22, 2006


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