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Mohammad Mosaddek Hussain
Needless to say that the functions of human resource management is really critical and complex in all respects due to different mental states of different types of employees in the organizations. The top management of the organization sets goal and operational methods to achieve the objectives of the enterprise in the stipulated time. So, competent and skilled employees are the main pillar of success of the business goal as a whole. Moreover all functions and activities of the different employees have to be evaluated in line with the organizational operational methods and implementation plan. But this should be born in mind that how HRM methods are evaluated and monitored in different periods like before implementation, during implementation and finally at the end of the programme of evaluation. Although, every task should be monitored in every stage of implement of the methods of HR policies, changes and practice process.
It is very known that one of the most critical facets of HRM is to measure correctly HRM methods and evaluation of the results. It was revealed that many sophisticated and carefully planned and executed HRM programs are in vain without some way to judge their effectiveness and confirm their credibility. The evaluation of HRM methods and programs actually need both internal and external assessments for finding real loopholes, if any. The process of internal evaluations focus on the costs and benefits of HRM methods, on the other hand, the external evaluations focus on the overall benefits of HRM methods in achieving the goals of the organization. Larger human resource departments often use detailed, advanced data gathering and statistical analysis techniques to test the success of their plans and initiatives. The results can then be used to adjust HRM programs or even to make organizational changes, if it needs so.
Many of the authors of Human Resources Management posit four factors, that is the “four Cs,” that should be used to determine whether or not an HRM department or individual program is succeeding: 1) commitment, 2) competence, 3) cost-effectiveness, and 4) congruence. In testing commitment, the HRM manager should examine to what extent the organization policies enhance the commitment of the employees to the organization? Dedication, loyalty and Commitment are highly necessary to cultivate skills, improve performance, and optimize cooperation among individuals, employees and different groups in the organizations as well.
Within the organization, competence refers to the extent to which HRM policies attract, keep, and develop employees: to observe that, do HRM policies result in the right skills needed by the organization being available at the proper time and in the necessary quantity? Likewise, cost-effectiveness, the third factor, measures the fiscal proficiency of given policies in terms of wages, benefits, absenteeism, turnover, and labor/management disputes.
And the last but not the least the analysis of congruence helps to determine how HRM policies create and maintain cooperation between different groups within and outside the organization, including different departments, sections, employees and their families, and managers and subordinates as a whole.
Different types of data gathering and analysis techniques, several simple observations can be taken into account that provide insight into the general effectiveness of a company’s human resources. For example, the ratio of managerial costs to worker costs indicates the efficiency of an organization’s labor force. In general, lower managerial costs indicate a more empowered and effective workforce. Revenues and costs per employee, when compared to industry norms, can provide insight into HRM effectiveness and its levels of impact among the employees and organization’s output.
The speed of filling up job vacancies of an organization is an indicator of whether or not the organization has acquired the necessary talents and competencies. Other measures of HRM success include employee complaint and customer satisfaction statistics, health insurance and workers’ compensation claims, and independent quality ratings. Besides, the number of significant innovations made each year, such as manufacturing or product breakthroughs, suggest HRM’s success at fostering an environment that rewards new ideas and is amenable to change.
To evaluating these internal aspects of HRM programs, the companies also must measure the effectiveness of HRM programs by their impact on overall business success. In addition to this, companies must link their evaluation of HRM methods with company performance to determine whether these methods are appropriate in helping business by improving quality, reducing costs, expanding market share and so forth. Moreover the companies must make sure that they have the appropriate number of employees those are properly skilled and capable enough in performing tasks necessary for the attainment of company goals and that greater revenues and profits result from HRM efforts through improvement workers training and motivational programme.
LEGAL ASPECTS AND INFLUENCES
We know that the field of HRM is highly influenced and shaped by state employment legislation, most of which is designed to protect workers from abuse by their employers. Indeed, one of the most important responsibilities of HRM professionals lies in compliance with regulations aimed at HRM departments that are conformed to the state law. The laws and court rulings can be categorized by their affect on the four primary HRM functional areas: acquisition, development, compensation, and maintenance.
Regarding Legal influence to HRM the followings are to be studied thoroughly to attain deep insight.
The important HRM legislation, which affects all of the functional areas, is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent amendments, including the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These acts made illegal the discrimination against employees or potential recruits for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It forces employers to achieve, and often document, fairness related to hiring, training, pay, benefits, and virtually all other activities and responsibilities related to HRM. The 1964 act established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce the act, and provides for civil penalties in the event of discrimination. Possible penalties include forcing an organization to implement an affirmative action program to actively recruit and promote minorities that are underrepresented in a company’s workforce or management. The net result of the all encompassing civil rights acts is that HRM departments must carefully design and document numerous procedures to ensure compliance, or face potentially significant penalties.
Besides the civil rights acts, a law affecting acquisition, or resource planning and selection, is the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This act forbids wage or salary discrimination based on sex, and mandates equal pay for equal work with few exceptions. Subsequent court rulings augmented the act by promoting the concept of comparable worth, or equal pay for unequal jobs of equal value or worth. The important Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which was strengthened by amendments in the early 1990s, essentially protects workers 40 years of age and older from discrimination. The Fair Credit Reporting Act also affects acquisition activities, as employers who turn down applicants for credit reasons must provide the sources of the information that shaped their decision. Similarly, the Buckley Amendment of 1974 requires certain institutions to make records available to individuals and to receive permission before releasing those records to third parties.
It was revealed from the previous studies that the major laws affecting HRM development, or appraisal, training, and development, are the civil rights act, the equal pay act, and the age discrimination in employment act. All of those laws also affected the third HRM activity, rewards, or salary administration and incentive systems. In addition, however, HRM reward programs must comply with a plethora of detailed legislation. The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, for instance, requires the payment of minimum wages to non-federal employees. The Walsh Healy Public Contracts Act of 1936 ensures that employees working as contractors for the federal government will be compensated fairly. Importantly, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 mandates employer compliance with restrictions related to minimum wages, overtime provisions, child labor, and workplace safety. Other major laws affecting rewards include: the Tax Reform Acts of 1969, 1976, and 1986; the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981; the Revenue Act of 1978; and the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.
Perhaps Moreover, it was proved in many cases that the most regulated realm of the HRM field is maintenance, safety and health, and employee/management relations. Chief among regulations in this arena is the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That act was designed to force employers to provide safe and healthy work environments and to make organizations liable for workers’ safety. The sweeping act has ballooned to include thousands of regulations backed by civil and criminal penalties, including jail time and fines for company executives. Also of import are state workers’ compensation laws, which require employers to make provisions to pay for work-related injuries, and forces HRM managers to create and document safety procedures and programs that reduce a company’s liability. The Wagner Act of 1935 is the main piece of legislation governing union/management relations, and is a chief source of regulation for HRM departments. Other important laws related to HRM maintenance include: the Norris-Laguardia Act of 1932, the Social Security Act of 1935, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, and the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959.
In the past decades these laws affected HRM practice and policies in various ways so in this modern age of technology, the above acts are not fully exerted in the enterprises and companies but these laws carried values to the organizations/enterprises in the previous decades.
FORCES CHANGING HRM
As the development shown in the century, that is in the period of 1990s many factors and different forces were shaping the broad arena of HRM. The first key force namely: particularly information technology—brought about the decentralization of communications and the shake-up of existing paradigms of human interaction and organizational theory. Satellite communications, computers and networking systems, fax machines, and other devices were facilitating rapid change in the organizational situation as a whole, Not only that modern technologies are used for rapid communication among the organizations and business enterprises. Moreover, since these technologies helped blur the lines between work time and personal time by enabling employees to work at home, HRM professionals began adopting “management by objective” approaches to human resources instead of the traditional “management by sight” method.
Moreover the second important change affecting HRM was new shape of organizational structures that emerges during the 1980s and continued through the 1990s. Many companies began expanding their operations and diversifying their products and services in new shape with new development, so the central decision-making system found ineffective to resolve problems quickly enough as per situational needs.. As an outcome, companies started scrapping traditional, hierarchical organizational structures in favor of flatter, decentralized management systems. Consequently, fewer managers were involved in the decision-making process and companies were adopting more of a team approach. In view of this, HRM professionals, as the agents of change, were charged with reorganizing workers and increasing their efficiency. These efforts also resulted in the proliferation of part-time, or contract, employees, which required human resource strategies that contrasted with those applicable to full time workers.
Another factor was increasing market globalization, which was raising competition and demanding greater performance workers, often at diminished levels of compensation. To compete internationally, companies were looking to their HRM professionals to augment initiatives related to quality, productivity, satisfaction and innovation.
Besides this, other factors changing HRM system include: an accelerating rate of change and turbulence, resulting in higher employee turnover and the need for more responsive, open-minded workers; rapidly changing demographics; and increasing income disparity as the demand for highly educated workers increases at the expense of lower-wage employees.
In the current century, the companies and enterprises demand latest information technology with a minimum cost. At the same time, HRM practice is not very favorable for the low-level blue color workers in spite of laws enacted by the government. Laws for the workers are also found worker-friendly in terms of job security, standard financial and other facilities, retirement benefit and other fringe benefits in many countries of the first world. Although, evaluation of HRM method is very important for the development of the organizations as well as all level of employees specially in the developing countries for the economic development of the country. A uniformed method of HRM evaluation process may me helpful for the companies in similar types of enterprises or companies that can ensure congenial work place environment and employee development in all respects.
Mohammad Mosaddek Hussain,,CIHRD, MIPM
Secretary, Association of Non-Government Universities of Bangladesh (ANUB)
28 November 2015