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The Multifaceted Role of HR Professional and Line Managers

It would be interesting to start this discussion with a couple of definitions on some key concepts that make part of HR management context. According to Pilbeam and Corbridge (2010, pp. 7) organizational transience refers to what is passive of change inside and outside the organizational environment. Besides facing technological disruptions, organizations also face the mutability among employment relations. Combined variables such as technology, globalization, micro and macro-economic scenarios result in a dynamic market place where the notions of job for life and stability have been disrupted. On the other side, there is the generation Y that responds to such changes in an adaptive manner. The Millennial Generation has a commitment to self-improvement and inner satisfaction rather than loyalty to the organization they work for. With that said, one can connect employability and technological improvements. It is of fundamental importance that employees take responsibility for their careers proactively, other than that they will become obsolete. Another interesting point is the link of transactional psychological contract with the X and Y generations. The negotiation aspect involved in the transactional psychological contract showed by Pilbeam and Corbridge (2010, pp. 6)   is very much featured in the X and Y Generations’ profile. On the other hand, the relational psychological contract could be associated with the Baby Boomers generation.

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There are a range of organizational modifications that impact HR professionals and line managers such as the nature of jobs; downsizing and delayering; markets, disruptive technology, consumer behavior; human capital; knowledge based economy, etc. As the economy goes from industrial based to knowledge based, visible changes on the way of doing business emerge. The workforce is characterized by being computer savvy and innovative. As a consequence of technological advancement and financial crises, the nature of job has also gone through changes. Many employees are working as part-timers or contractors, outsourcing is frequent practiced among multinationals and the concept of cross training is being implemented in several industries such as financial institutions. In the bank where I work for instance, Tellers are no longer just Tellers. The new title is Customer Associate/ Teller. The employees are being cross trained in order to open and close accounts, transfer money, print debit cards, act as loan originators, notaries, solve problems that before were solved by managers, etc. In that way the bank will cut costs and stimulate the development of new skills in its employees.

How should HR professionals and managers address the variables discussed above in order to promote value creation? According to CIPD Surveys (2005, pp. 2) it is of fundamental importance that HR professionals and managers know how to extract the most out of human capital. The survey also demonstrates that psychological contract and change are indelibly linked and in order to manage change successfully, it’s necessary that businesses work to keep a positive psychological contract. Actions such as reward packages including financial and non-financial compensations should be carefully planned according to the employees’ profile. Elements that compose employability such as career advancement, personal development and sense of making part of an organization that has a bigger purpose than just profits are also primordial in order to foster employees’ motivation. According to Mckey and Sisodia (2013, pp. 78) employees want to work for a company in which they feel proud of. There is this intrinsic need of doing something valuable for society which would result in elevated self-esteem and consequently work-place motivation.

In summary, the business environment has been going through technological and ethical changes. HR professionals and line managers are urged to understand and implement those changes into the organizational environment. They need to reconcile organizational and employees goals in order to achieve optimal results.

References:

Pilbeam, S. Corbridge, M. (2010) People resourcing and talent planning: HRM in practice. 4th ed. London: Prentice Hall International.

CIPD (2005) ‘Managing change: the role of psychological contract.’ [Online] Available: http://www.cipd.co.uk/nr/rdonlyres/06b92739-19f8-4bb4-ae47-796ea5f5cb15/0/manachang1105.pdf(Accessed: 17 January 2014)

McKey, J. Sisodia, R. (2013) Conscious Capitalism: liberating the heroic spirit. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

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