Human Resources Trends
Important issues in human resource management include performance appraisals, performance management systems, managing turnover, and safety and health management. Close attention should also be paid to trends and challenges that are on the horizon for human resource management. Performance Management Performance metrics are an important part of human resources management. Performance metrics give employees a chance to find out what they have succeeded at and where they can find out how they have failed.
Developing thorough and well-rounded business performance metrics can companies succeed; several methods for doing exist and can be implemented purely or with the company’s own variations. Although performance appraisals are popular at many companies, most corporations are moving towards a complete performance management system. Performance appraisals shouldn’t be totally discounted as a means of reviewing an employee’s positive and negative attributes but should instead be seen as only a portion of the review process.
Performance management systems are a more comprehensive way for a company to review employees’ performance. A performance management system also ensures that employees are both receiving the input from management that is needed to effectively perform at their jobs and give feedback to management on what the employees’ needs and desires are. As noted by Noe (2007, p. 253), “A performance management system should aim at achieving employee behavior and attitudes that support the organization’s strategy, goals, and culture. While many separate ideals and principles can go into an effective employee performance management system some principles are a must. Those principles include performance planning, performance monitoring, employee development, employee evaluations, and recognition (U. S. Department of Commerce, n. d. ). Performance planning is defining what is expected of each employee for his or her job. Performance monitoring requires progress reviews at chosen times throughout the year, which can be as little as one but more effective if several are included throughout the year.
Employee development means offering ways to employees that they can both learn better ways to perform in their current position and grow towards other opportunities for either more responsibilities or another position within the company. Employee evaluations are ways to compare employee performance against the performance plan and assigning a rating based on that performance. Recognition programs allow both formal and informal ways to reward employees who exceed the standards of their job and the company. Employee management systems that include a 360-degree performance appraisal are often the best marker for an employee’s performance.
The 360-degree performance appraisal includes input from all categories of people that the employee works with including managers, coworkers, subordinates, customers, and the employee’s input on how they see their own performance. The 360-degree approach leaves the least room for bias from any one source (Noe, 2007). Performance Appraisal Effectiveness Validity is an extent that an appraisal measures relevant aspects of performance and omits any irrelevant aspects of performance. In addition, any information that is gathered that does not provide relevant data is considered contaminated.
Reliability is consistent results provided by performance measures and interrater reliability is where more than one person measures performance and the results are consistent (Noe, 2007). Performance appraisals should be valid and reliable from a management perspective, but employees need them to be practical to be accepted. If the appraisal does not seem fair to the employees, they will not utilize the feedback from the appraisal to try and improve their performance, which defeats the entire purpose for the performance appraisal system. Performance Appraisal Issues
Some of the issues regarding performance appraisals starts with the reasoning that performance should be judged by peers or superiors in the workplace. Very little factual information and empirical evidence is used to measure employee performance (Hauck, 2006). The purpose of performance appraisals is to measure and improve on performance for the individual, and in turn, the organization. People naturally do not like to be judged by other people, and the performance appraisal system can backfire on the employer if the staff feels like they are being graded on how they perform.
Another method for initiating employee motivation is through coaching and providing feedback so that employees have a goal to work toward. Managing Turnover Turnover is a measurement of employees leaving an organization, and is an important factor to manage for many reasons. One reason to manage turnover is because of the financial impact on a company. Money is spent recruiting, interviewing, training, and on the time human resources are used to perform these tasks. The productivity lost on a trained or experienced employee leaving is another reason because a new employee needs time to perform at the same production level.
Many times, employees will leave companies because they are dissatisfied with the job. This still contributes to company turnover. The company can combat the dissatisfaction and create a more motivated and productive staff. Training is another method for battling turnover. Employees respond positively to personal interaction and training. They want to be confident in their ability to perform their jobs. The response is better performance and productivity. Higher productivity can increase profitability for an organization because trained employees can perform more work in less time, with less people.
Safety and Health Management In today’s business environment it is more important than ever to ensure that businesses, along with their Human Resources representatives understand an implement proper safety and health management systems. Reducing the risks of health and safety issues in the workplace is beneficial in many ways to businesses. Economically, reducing health and safety risks saves businesses a vast amount of money. According to OSHA, (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) injuries and illnesses in the workplace cost American businesses roughly $170 billion dollars in expenses each year (OSHA, 2008).
Although incorporating safety and health management into the workplace can assist in reducing costs, it also increases workplace efficiency. When workers are sick or get injured they are much more likely to be missing work which has a huge effect on an organization’s ability to meet deadlines and stay on track to reaching organizational objectives. In fact, every year thousands of accidents that occurred in the workplace and resulted in three or more days of missed work are reported to health and safety authority.
These accidents can have costly effects on a business both financially and can make it very difficult to get things done on time. In order to confront the health and safety issues in the workplace organizations should always have a safety and health policy in effect that establishes clear guidelines to follow. Human Resources play an extremely important role in communicating these guidelines to all employees so that they too know what the business is doing to protect them from harm and the proper way to respond in case such an event occurs.
Human Resources are responsible for letting employees know that they are invested in their health and workplace efficiency. Future Trends For Human Resources According to Steve Bates of HR Magazine (2002), “Human resource management is undergoing a massive transformation that will change career paths in as-yet uncertain ways. ” As globalization continues to change how organizations do business, the way employers manage employees is adapting. Jobs are constantly being outsourced while others are becoming mechanically automated.
Those in the field of Human Resources Management will be expected to adapt along with these changes and take on new roles that they may not have previously foreseen. Many analysts are even predicting that the once dominant role of the Human Resources manager, like HR generalist or benefits specialist will start falling by the wayside. Roles will shift from these traditional roles to a more progressive role such as Human Resources Financial Expert. In fact, it is predicted that those entering the field will be expected to have a deep-rooted understanding of business in general before they will even be considered for the position.
The responsibilities of the Human Resources department will expand into other departments within the organization increasing the demand that they become more proactive. The upside of these changes is that the importance of Human Resources will be ingrained in the business, making HR managers more necessary and less expendable than ever before. While the trends and challenges of human resource management present a company with an ever changing landscape, companies that are willing to work with their employees are most likely to succeed.