Key Points to Share:
Human resources management is the process of controlling and managing people to achieve an organization’s objectives. For example, it specifies what time the employees have to arrive and determines what kind of task suits to the individual.
1. The Evolution of Human Resource Management Function
1.1 Scientific Administration
The concept is to put the right man to the right job. When a person keeps working on repetitive jobs, tasks get done quicker. For rewarding system, the more they work, the more they get paid. Employees are seen as machines (cost) and the company tells them what to do. Being repetitive work routines, employees get bored and dissatisfied. Moreover, there is a lack of communication between employees.
1.2 Personnel Administration
The concept is quite similar to science administration because a company sees employees as machines (cost). It gives little attention in dealing with human. This concept is usually found in manufacturing jobs and factories. It focuses on controlling, hiring, and firing people. For example, a company makes sure that employees come to work and leave on time by using clock-in and clock-out system.
1.3 Human Relations Movement
There are more interactions between people. Participation in discussion and knowledge sharing are allowed, resulting in a closer distance between boss and employees. It is the time that organization moves from controlling to sharing ideas. As a result, company can have more options and be innovative. Also, employees would feel more comfortable and have a sense of belonging to the company.
1.4 Human Resource Management
It focuses on how a company manages people, understanding employees’ needs and wants, and making their employees as an asset. Employees are trained in order to develop necessary skills for long-term advantages. This concept is influenced through practices, policies, and function of employees in the company. The business strategy links to HR strategy including job design and structure, recruitment, selection, training, rewarding and promotion, career management, and performance management. In the case whereby employers treat employees well, it is beneficial in the long run in maintaining relationship with employees.
5. Strategic Human Resource Management
It shows how a company link different HR practices together. Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM) is a good example of corporate institute run by CP. It offers courses that try to develop important skills in the way the company wants. In this strategy, the company links their educational courses to organizational strategy to prepare students to become well-trained employees.
McKinsey 7S Model and Strategic HRM
Value identifies what is good and what is right. Company tries to stress on the importance of keeping the company’s value. Also, company tries to pass on company’s value generation to generation.
2. Current Competitive Challenges in HRM
2.1 Globalization has an impact toward HRM in terms of movement of people, war for talent, and regional integration. Nowadays, people can easily work anywhere because of trade policy and immigration policy. These policies allow more flows of goods and services, and also factors of production. It benefits companies which are seeking for potential labors. Also, many multinational companies send expatriates to work in foreign countries. However, there is also a bigger gap between good brand image companies and companies that cares more about reducing costs. In Asia, we have a potential to become an important source of labor since there is a trend of growth pool such as ASEAN, China, and India. Above all, the labor cost is cheap.
As a Thai citizen, we think that it is going to be hard for Thailand to compete with other ASEAN countries for many reasons such as cultural factors and social factors. For cultural factors, Thais are lazy and they are not willing to do dangerous, difficult, and dirty jobs. For social factors, Thais do not want to work outside of the country because they do not want to be apart from their families. In Thai society, grandparents help to look after their grandchildren while parents can go to work and this shows strong family ties of Thai culture.
2.2 Human Capital is skills, knowledge, and competency of individuals that bring economic benefits to an organization. It can be developed through supportive national policy by government, corporate tailor-made strategies by companies, and continuous self-improvement by individuals. In Western countries, the company seeks for employees who have a good communication skill, leadership, capabilities and creativity. On the other hand, Thailand focuses more on being knowledgeable. The companies start to make their own strategy to attract human capital. For example, CP creates its own university to train its potential employees. By doing so, CP can offer specialized training and also detect talented people that they are looking for.
3. Change Management
There are two types of changes which are reactive change and proactive change. Reactive change is a change when something has already happened while proactive change is doing something before it happens. A company needs to have change management programs to prepare employees for uncertainty and make sure that they can adapt to various situations.
However, the effort to change can fail for many reasons. If the companies do not wish to encounter failure, they should maintain proactive change. For example, the price of company A’s stock may decline from time to time. Thereby, company can give incentives to stockholders to encourage them to buy its shares.
4. Cost Containment
There are five cost containments including downsizing, outsourcing, offshoring, onshoring, and crowdsourcing.
1. Downsizing happens when most companies layoffs their employees during the financial crisis.
2. Outsourcing is using the third party to work in the organization. It saves costs of hiring and training employees. Also, it helps companies to be more flexible.
3. Offshoring (Global Sourcing) is a business practice of sending jobs to other countries. For instance, many Western countries move their production part to other countries in Asia to cut costs.
4. Onshoring is a business practice of sending jobs to other locations within the country. For instance, the minimum wage in Thailand is 300 Baht. If employees live in Bangkok or Phuket, they would have to spend more on expensive necessities. However, if they live in other parts of the country, they would find it cheaper.
5. Crowdsourcing is the process whereby a company amateurs to design or create their products instead of full-time employees. It can help in terms of reducing cost.
There are two types of technology which have impact on HRM which are Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and Electronic Human Resource Management (E-HRM). HRIS is the technology that introduces and provides data to the company. Examples would be MUIC OASIS and Googledoc. E-HRM is a process of transferring the information that is used for HRM. In other words, it is a tool that uses to access the system such as iPhone and iPad. These two types of technology are helpful for HR functions such as learning, recruiting and training.
However, technology has many drawbacks such as privacy issues, uncontrollable spread of data, and the overuse of technology causing lower productivity of employees.
3. Employee concerns in the workplace
3.1 Background diversity
There should be no discrimination in terms of national origin, race, religion, marital status and personal appearance in the organization. In U.S., there is an EEO Law (Equal Employment Opportunity Law) which makes sure that companies treat the employees equally.
3.2 Age diversity
In some companies, they prefer elderly because these people are more knowledgeable. They are better at giving advices to customers.
1. Veterans (1920-1946)
2. Baby boomers (1947-1964)
3. Generation X (1965-1980)
4. Generation Y (1981-2000)
5. Generation Z (1995-2010)
6. Generation I (2001 onwards)
3.3 Gender issues in workplace
3.3.1 Sexual preferences: Masculinity vs. femininity
For example, there is a certain perception of women as housewives and men as income earners. As a result, men are preferred at the workplace as they are seen to be more productive at work. However, this issue does not only apply to male and female preference, but also third genders.
3.3.2 Sexual harassment can be in both verbal and physical ways such as sexual jokes, language usage, and physical touching.
3.3.3 Office romance is prohibited in some companies to avoid issue of being biased on performance and evaluation.
3.3.4 Grass ceiling means there are some unseen barriers which block female from promoting to upper job positions such as CEO, COO, CFO, etc. There are three reasons that obstruct women to be on a top position.
• Stereotype: Company directors and executives would consider women as less talented than men to reach higher position. They believe that women are too sympathetic and therefore, cannot be a leader.
• Old boy’s network: male would like to create their own league, which causes tougher obstacle for women.
• Cultural influence: Japan, Korea, and Taiwan focus more on masculinity while Scandinavian countries focus more on femininity.
3.3.5 Marital Status: Being single or married can have am impact on being selected. For example, if you are married, you will be seen as a responsible person and concerned more about job security because they have a family to support.
3.4 Job security
Unlike past decades, the current tendency of job security is expressed as instability because of world economic crisis, excessive welfare in Northern and Western Europe, and characteristic of new generation. More people would prefer to be a freelance (do not get regular and secure jobs but irregular and insecure jobs such as part time jobs in 7-11 or fast food store).
With background of human resource management, a company could understand more about the evolution of this science, learn from the history, and choose a method that suits to its style. To success in managing people, we have to concern about both competitive challenges and employee concerns. These two things will be used to consider and applied to HR functions which are planning, recruitment, staffing, job design, training, appraisal, communications, compensation, benefits, and labor relations. If a company can adapt and adjust its HR processes properly, it will be surely successful. There is no business, if there is no people to work for it.