Literature Review Chapter: Human Dimension of Future Business Management

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Human Resource Management (HRM) is a field that has been evolving gradually over time in terms of its responsibilities, structure and functions within an organization. As time progresses, these factors will continue to evolve, making the HR departments of the future look considerably different than those of the past. This literature review examines how the lessons of the past and present will shape the human resource management strategies of the future. It examines the changing perceptions, practices and responsibilities of HRM, as well as describing the personal strategies of the author for managing HR policies and practices through effective leadership and strategic planning.

The Changing Perceptions of HR Management Theory

Recruiting and Retaining Quality Employees

Managing Human Resources Through Effective Leadership

Managing Change

Goal Alignment

Strategy Development

The Workforce of the Future

Managing the Future of Human Resources

Conclusion

References

Future Trends in Human Resource Management

Introduction

Taking advantage of effective human resource development opportunities will require human resource managers to combine lessons learned from the past and present, with anticipated changes and trends of the future. The changing nature of HR management in regards to pertinent issues such as strategic planning, hiring, training, motivation, benefits, communication and program development will all need to be addressed in terms of both theoretical and practical applications in order to truly capture the essence of advanced management thought.

Definition of Terms

Effective Leadership: "The ability to use resources and mobilize the efforts of others toward goal accomplishment" (Northouse, 2006, p. 6).

Human Resource Management (HRM): "Administrative activities associated with human resources planning, recruitment, selection, orientation, training, appraisal, motivation, remuneration, etc. HRM aims at developing people through work" (Business Dictionary.com)

Quality of Hire: "The output of the new hires coming onboard" (Lermusi, 2010, p. 1)

Talent Management: "The systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement/retention, and deployment of those individuals with high potential who are of particular value to an organization" (Garrow and Hirsh, 2008, p. 390).

The Changing Perceptions of HR Management Theory

Throughout history, management theory has primarily focused on profit and production (Tanz, 2003). The changing nature of the workforce, in terms of demographics, structure and theoretical applications, is also changing the way in which HR departments are operated and perceived. Two of the most significant issues discussed in the literature regarding these changes involve the dual concepts of growth and visibility. For example, according to Lengnick-Hall et. al. (2009), as the discipline of human resource management grows, it becomes more visible; and the more visible it becomes, the more it is either blamed for failure or lauded for success. As such, an increasing amount of accountability is changing the perceptions of HR management from an ancillary department to one that is critical to the success or failure of the organization as a whole.

The problem arises when companies are led by people who lack the proper communicative and decision-making skills, along with the ability to adequately negotiate the power struggles that arise. According to Boella & Goss-Turner (2005), the 21st century human resource model is one that "reflects a people-oriented focus throughout the organization, including respect for the individual, full utilization of individual abilities and sophisticated policies for employee involvement" (p. 32). This approach can generate the necessary actions and communication strategies to facilitate smooth operations. The future of HR management will clearly emphasize a more person-centered approach to employee relations (Lengnick-Hall et. al., 2009).

The issues of employee-management relations have changed significantly over time. In the old workplace, productivity was far more closely managed than relationships. The new workplace, however, is a place where relationships between employees and management are considered paramount (Kearns, 2003). In the modern workplace, employees and employers recognize their interdependence, and work together to create a superior product or service. It also allows people of diverse backgrounds and status to coexist peacefully, and for the needs of individual employees and their families to be taken into account in the planning process (Avery & McKay, 2006).

Recruiting and Retaining Quality Employees

Improving an organization's recruiting and retention strategies will remain a complicated but essential task in the future of HR management. Without a productive and satisfied workforce of talented, motivated individuals, the company is bound to fall behind its competitors and may eventually even fall off the map completely. In order to compete in the modern business environment, a company must critically examine its functions and practices, and subsequently develop more effective ways to not only obtain the best employees, but to maintain their loyalty and commitment to the success of the organization. Human Resource Managers need to facilitate the development of a positive work environment in which teamwork and success can flourish. However in order for this to happen, recruitment and retention strategies must be clearly defined.

Within this modern working environment, human resource functions have become increasingly significant. Recognizing, recruiting and effectively managing talented employees are essential ingredients in the formula for success for virtually any organization (Frank & Taylor, 2004). Whereas in the past, HR departments were primarily concerned with hiring, firing and compensation issues, the HR manage of the present and future deals with a much broader spectrum of activities which range from recruitment to relationship management to assessment and evaluation. While the actual processes and strategies may vary, one principle will remain constant in the future of HR management: that happy, productive employees are the most valuable assets of an organization.

Recruiting and retention today, and in the future, will continue to focus on attracting not only the most talented employees, but also the employees whose ideals, values, personalities and goals fit within those of the organization (Garrow & Hirsh, 2008). In an interview with Recruiting Trends.com, Yves Lermusi, CEO, of Checkster explained, "Good companies would rather hire new employees that are a good fit and stay for the long-term, rather than someone who has to be fired six months after being hired. So, quality of hire is a strategic measure" (p. 1). The term "quality of hire" has become a buzzword in the talent management industry, but as Lermusi points out, it is not just a catchphrase, it is a strategy. The quality of hire strategy focuses on recruitment as an effective process more than as an efficient process. Simply put, hiring quickly will cost more in the long run than hiring effectively.

Once an organization has hired talented employees, it needs to keep them around. This means keeping them happy. High turnover rates and lack of loyalty to an organization generally indicate that employees are unsatisfied with their working conditions. This could be a result of a variety of factors, from lack of incentive and motivation, dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, unpleasant nature of the work, lack of rapport with management or a feeling of being unappreciated or disrespected.

The employee benefits provided to the employees of an organization can be both tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, and profit sharing all serve as concrete reminders to employees that their service is valuable to the company and worthy of rewards. The intangible benefits such as verbal or written praise, also tend to reinforce these feelings of value. The more an employee is able to experience both the tangible and intangible benefits of working for a company, the less likely he or she is to leave, or slack off, or become disloyal in any way. Therefore, the importance of employee benefits as a strategic component of fulfilling human resource goals have always been tremendous. In the future, however, trends are likely to veer towards benefits that go beyond the standard health insurance and vacation days, to getting creative and thinking outside the box. Innovative companies such as Zappos are showing their employees that they are in tune with what they want and need, and that they are willing to go the extra mile to keep their employees happy.

Zappos is especially creative with its pajama parties, nap rooms and happy hours, all of which seem to keep in line with the company's quirky, fun atmosphere. It seems clear that a certain and unique type of employee would be attracted to this type of environment, and therefore, by providing these unique benefits, Zappos is not only encouraging their valued employees to stay on board, but is also likely attracting new employees that will instantly fit well within the unique atmosphere of the organization (Chafkin, 2010).

According to Kearns (2003) "An HR strategy is a conscious and explicit attempt to manage the organization's human resource to gain a competitive advantage" (p. 10). Basically, this means that goal of an HR strategy is to put the corporation ahead of its competition by making sure the employees are happy enough and invested enough in their jobs to work as hard as possible. Companies such as Zappos seem to have achieved this goal very successfully, making it a trend that is likely to continue far into the 21st century.

Unique and innovative incentive benefits such as those offered at Zappos could… [END OF PREVIEW]

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