Today’s society is one of radical and impulsive changes. Because there is no such thing as one right or wrong way to run an organization, many corporations have began to lean toward placing greater emphasis on improving Human Resource Management within their own organizations. All organizations require some form of organizational management. However, the success of an organization is derived from the organizations own individual strengths, limitations and submissions. This is where Human Resources Management comes into place.
Human Resource Management can be used as a means to assist workers with productivity and organizational structure. The problem is that because Human Resource Management plays such a major role in an organization, this makes it one of the determining factors as to whether an organization thrives or dies. It has become one of the most demanding and controversial yet, important roles within an organization. This paper will discuss many of the challenges faced by Human Resource Management in the 21st century to include managing workers, strategy and worker productivity.
The first challenge in human resource management deals with the managing the working population. Because there are so many different types of workers, an organization will be unsuccessful if it tries to manage every worker or group of workers in the exact same manner. Different people within each workgroup have to be managed differently.
Today resource management workers should be able to persuade workers to work toward organizational goals and values while obtaining results. Less emphasis should be placed on managing what people do instead, concentrate on their strengths and how to make their strengths more productive within the organization. The main objective of human resources management should be geared toward getting better performance from its workers/ leaders while obtaining better results for the organization. Therefore, management is the key tool in making an organization produce results, by the use of its workers.
Sometimes management may be faced with the challenge of managing workers that are further knowledgeable about a specific job or assignment than themselves. The main thing to keep in mind is that longer is not always better. Someone who has worked on a specific job for a long period is not always considered to be the most knowledgeable person. One reason may be because of the fact that our society changes so speedily and the person with the longevity may not have changed with society or the roles society plays within an organization. The best solution, when relating longevity to managing workers, is to remember that the actual worker should not be managed.
However, the manager may need to accept the fact that their subordinate may know more than they do and accept this as a learning tool to use to obtain better organizational productivity.
Each and every organization has its own assumptions of how it defines its type of business, the company intentions, what type of customers it attracts and its definition of successful results. Strategy enables an organization to be deliberately opportunistic by allowing an organization to be successful in an unpredictable environment. Through strategy, an organization has the opportunity to make mistakes, correct the mistakes and start the process again. During the mistake and correction process, the organization is more capable of increasing organizational results by utilizing trial and error.
Organizational strategies can be divided into two separate levels of strategy: cost-leadership and differentiation. The cost leadership strategy allows organizations to offer the highest quality products for the lowest cost possible. Their main goal is to generate economic value by offering lower costs than its competitors. A perfect example of this would be Wal-Mart. By offering lower prices Wal-Mart is able to win a majority of its customers. It would be fair to assume that in most instances, cost-leadership strategy would be a great way for an organization to earn more revenue than many of its competitors, especially when they are not faced with competitive pressures from the market.
In the second level of strategy, differentiation, the organizations purpose is to offer certain products that the consumers prefer over other products offered by its competitors. In a sense, differentiation organizations could be considered as consumer based because they adhere to the needs of the public desires.
It would be more appropriate to use a differentiation strategy in a “dynamic environment characterized by rapid change, and requires continually finding new products or services” (Mathis 35).
Part of strategic planning consists of looking into the future of the organization. For instance, an organization must “have the right number of human resources, with the right capabilities, at the right times, and in the right places” (Mathis 44). Every organization has some form of strategy in place. In my opinion, a strategy is only as good as its achievement. A good, well planned, strategic plan should bring high-quality results for the organization when trying to obtain company goals.
A new information revolution is well in progress. When speaking of new information, I am not just speaking of new computer technology or new up-to-date machinery; I am speaking about information that is readily available to improve business success.
Several years ago the computer the thing for every organization to have in order to make operations run more smoothly. Who would have ever imagined that any piece of equipment would have such an impact on an organization and how the business was ran. Because the roles of human resource management are becoming more challenging and demanding, information is always a good way to stay ahead of the game.
It is a must that the responsibility of human resource management keeps up with the changes in today’s aggressive markets. By doing so, many organizations must take on a more strategic approach in order to be successful. If an organization in today’s society chooses not to use a more strategic approach, it must be prepared to suffer the consequences and be prepared to be overtaken by its competitors.
Competition among organizations is on the rise. Some time ago, an organizations only concern was the neighboring store. Today however, organizations not only have to worry about their local stores but the global market as well. In order for a business to be successful today, and in the future, they have to become more flexible and customer focused. The human resources manager has to be able to progress to become a strategic partner and mentor within the organization. One must also know the organizations goals, understand those goals and have confidence that those goals are obtainable. After all, management consists of mentors, counselors, leaders, coaches and succession planners that are able to motivate and lead its workers, sometimes by use of persuasion.
Another challenge faced by human resource management of the 21st century is workplace diversity. Because workplace diversity consists of such a mixture of talented but varied cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can react to business opportunities more speedily and resourcefully. More importantly, if the organizational atmosphere within an organization does not support diversity, they stand the chance of losing good talented workers to its competitors.
Human resource management is also affected by the government sector. In fact, a study was conducted in the fiscal year 1999 by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The study concluded that “many more agencies than expected include HR representatives in the agency planning process and integrate human resources management goals, objectives, and strategies into agency strategic plans. However, most agencies are still struggling in this area” (“Stratgic Human Resource Managment: Aligning the Mission”).This is evidence that HRM roles are becoming more involved in management and business operational success.
In conclusion, the world of human resource management is shifting more quickly than we can ever imagine. Steady ecological and societal changes indicate that human resource managers face constant challenges. They must react by taking advantage of steady yet reflective changes in the field, present practices, and overall human resource management policies, mission and vision.
Human resource management is not a thing of the past; it is a role of the future. This area of expertise within an organization is on the rise. Many organizations success depends on the expertise and capabilities of the HRM department. Basically, HRM is the backbone of the organization and without it, a business will lose some great workers to its competitors.
Stratgic Human Resource Managment: Aligning the Mission. September 1999. 25 July 2006.
MIT Libraries. 14 April 2005. 25 July 2006.
Macintosh, Stephen, S. Management Challenges for the 21st Century. 15 October 1999. 25 July 2006.
Robert L. Mathis, John H. Jackson. Human Resource Management. Mason: South-Western, 2006.