EMERGING HR TRENDS FROM EARLY 1990s

July 26, 2016 | posted in HR | posted by : Manappuram Finance
HR is concerned with the people dimension in an organization, hence the trend in organizations to re-designate Personnel Department into Human Resource Department. The functions undertaken by HRD are to recruit, select, train and develop employees for an organization. Today with companies having a global mix of employees, developing an understanding of the employees is a tough task for the HR Department. Human Resource Management is a process of bringing people and organizations together, so that their respective goals are met. Indian organizations are also witnessing a change in systems, management cultures and philosophy due to the increasing global alignment of Indian companies.
 
As globalization has been a challenging issue for the organization—because international human resource management has placed great emphasis on number of responsibilities and functions such as relocation, orientation, translation services to help employees adapt to new and different environment outside their own country— necessary attention must be paid by HR Managers in formulating policies, motivation, maintaining the relationship and stressing on quality in administration. HR does this in a measurable way. HR functionaries need to do a lot of things. In the end, HR plays the role of initiator, planner and executor in organizations.
 
Taking a look at the world of human beings is a rewarding experience. Contracts abound in this world. These contracts remain so despite the passage of time, sweeping political & economic changes, cultural differences. HR could be the ultimate differentiator in the competitive marketplaces of the future. But first ”Old HR” must be deconstructed. Great companies have for years been eliminating wasteful process that don’t move the talent needle in the organization. It is critical to challenge historical norms, eliminate bureaucracy, deploy the latest data technology, and optimize organizational structure, no matter what your job title is, we are all in the HR, because employees are at the heart of every organizational success.
 
In early 1900s, HR function known as industrial and labour relation after steel and oil had transformed  business in the 19th century, it become clear that workforce management needs its own discipline. Later in 1920s in a thriving economy, good workers were hard to come by and even harder to retain. HR introduced supervisors to treat people well.
During the 1930s, the era of the great depression, supervisors favoured the drive system of Management (threatening and sometimes even hitting workers) and saw HR as a hindrance. Workers put up with almost anything to stay employed. Talent development was practically nonexistent. In the1950s, after the Second World War, Western countries lost 1/3rd of their executives in the war with no one to replace them. To fill that void, HR created a host of revolutionary hiring and development programmes.
 
In the 1970s, as the economy slowed, labour was once again plentiful. Business Leaders started undoing all those post-war programmes designed to attract and develop talent. Early 1980s, the US went in to deep recession and workers clung to their jobs. Rather than invest in HR, companies pushed hiring and developments tasks onto line managers, who had neither the time nor the training to do it properly.
 
Late 1990s, during the dot-com boom, companies competed fiercely for employer of choice status to meet their soaring talent needs. So, HR enjoyed a brief heyday, focusing primarily on hiring and retention. From 2001, when the dot-com bubble burst and the economy tanked, business leaders felt little urgency to attract talent. Productivity rose, wages stayed flat, and HR lost the influence it had enjoyed during the boom.
 
Nowadays, with the effects of the great recession of 2008 still lingering, most people with jobs aren’t jumping ship yet, so executives feel no urgent need for HR programmes. HR has to first make a case for it and these days HR focuses attention on the following:
1. Policies- HR policies based on trust, openness, equity and consensus.
2. Motivation- Create conditions in which people are willing to work with zeal, initiative and enthusiasm; make people feel like winners.
3. Relations- Fair treatment of people and prompt redress of grievances would pave the way for healthy work-place relations.
4. Change agent- Prepare workers to accept technological changes by clarifying doubts.
5. Quality Consciousness- Commitment to quality in all aspects of personnel administration will ensure success.
 
It is true that any individual who works in the HR Department must be “a people person”. Employees are human, not commodities, and HR departments have to start seeing them differently. With the current push towards strategies that engage employees, attract top talent, and contribute to the bottom line, this change is imperative. The HR department creates competitive advantage by building strong organizations, strong leaders, managers, strong teams and employees.
 
HR Department does this in a measurable way. Some of the modern trends in HR are ,Employee Committee with Genuine Authority, Database for Employee Suggestions In Implementation ,Ownership of Business- Job Rotation, Training to learn multiple skills, Open Culture/Caring Environment ,Hiring The Smartest People,  Create Cool, Simple & Yet Highly Efficient Workforce ,Cross Functional Job Rotation ,Self Defence Techniques For Women Employees ,Work From Home ,Mentorship and Buddy Programme ,Encouraging Social Services ,Paid Leave For Social Services ,Stock Options ,Confirmed Employees From The First Day Of Joining , Mandatory Training Hours- Any Field of Interest ,Internal Promotions – Non Mgmt To Top Management Position ,Knowledge Sharing Sessions, Recognize Employee Achievements,100 % Reimbursement Of Tuition Fees/Examination Fees For Employee Professional Development ,Sense Of Security/Family Taken Care, Working Beyond Revenues ,Fast Track Programme For Promoting Middle Managers ,Leadership Programme For Young Managers.
Health Café, Yoga Classes, Stress Management etc.
 
If HR is to be perceived as an enabler of business strategies they need to be seen by measurable contributions to the bottom line through expense reduction or revenue generation, talent management and risk mitigation. HR departments of today need to be talent of tomorrow. At the end of the day, individual employees do most of the tangible work for organization. HR, however, has always been overly supportive of and biased towards the managers and the business ideas, leaving the larger populace with no real recourse.

Renjith P.R
(DGM–HRM-T)

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