Strategic HRM

In the management process, organizations develop strategies which guide both its short term and long term goals. To realize these goals and objectives, organizations develop strategic plans which outline each and every goal and how to achieve them. One of the goals of an organization is to ensure that its Human resource management processes are in line with the strategies which have been designed. This relates to Strategic HRM. That is, fusion of all the HRM polices with the overall organizational strategies so that the organization runs seamlessly as espoused by the holism managerial model or system theory.In Strategic HRM, a common question asked is always: How should employees' performance and satisfaction be enhanced? Since employee satisfaction plays an important role in organizational development, it is important that certain strategies are put in place to guarantee such a situation.Firstly, there is internal marketing, an HRM practice which recognizes "employees as customers"; and sells to the employees the organization's idea (Tsai, 2007). Kale (2008) describes "the concept of internal marketing as attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining qualified employees through job products that satisfy their need" (p.3). Thus, the concept seeks to market a given firm to the employees. Interestingly, research has moreover shown that internal marketing increases employees' job satisfaction as it enhances job retention and commitment to organizations due to the strengthened relationship between the company and the employees (Tsai, 2007). To ensure employees' turnover is kept to a minimum, it thus seems crucial that their commitment to an organization is upheld by having an understandable description of "organizational commitment and identify variables that might influence it" (Feinstein & Vondrasek, n.d, p.3). To some scholars, the philosophy behind internal marketing is to view and regard employees as internal customers. Secondly, good communication is an element of internal marketing and performance enhancement; employees are thus entitled to information relating to their work, also influences employees' satisfaction (Kale, 2008, 1). Emphasizing this, Kale (2008, 2) advises that a good and purpose-driven "communication needs to take place between both potential as well as existing employees" (p.8). Furthermore, it is through effective and working communication channels that employees' grievances can be relayed and channeled. Ensuring that employees are informed of major decisions that are about to be or have been made and require their attention well in advance makes them happy with the management. This should be a fundamental part of the Strategic HRM. Also, it makes them relatively satisfied in their work as opposed to a managerial practice where they are ambushed by decisions which they are required to implement without giving enough notice (Pityn and Helmuth, 2007, 3). That is, communication is an essential factor in job satisfaction as it helps to ensure good working relationships which in turn help to coordinate efforts and streamline the communication between employees, departments and branches (Pityn and Helmuth, 2007, 1).The SHRM, in a bid to ensure that all the practices enhance performance outcomes of organizations, should ensure that such kinds of communication are implemented across all levels and in all directions so as to promote ownership and a sense of belonging among the organizational members. Moreover, good communication helps to build trust and respect among employees and the management through a strong corporate culture, thus enforcing the lateral relationships and fostering "employee satisfaction and good morale" (Pityn & Helmuth, 2007, p.10).Thirdly, employee training and development should be implemented as of SHRM to enhace performance outcomes of organizations. This SHRM is a leading job perfomance determinant Training and development is a more important element of HRM as it ensures that an organization has motivated and informed employees who understand the market dynamics and the related complexities. Therefore, it is recommended that organizations invest heavily in employee training as the process is a major contributor to employee confidence in handling their jobs. In addition, training improves employees' morale and commitment. It helps to create shared perceptions about the company's vision and goals. Also, it is an indication to the employees that the management is concerned about their welfare, cares for them and is willing to invest in their professional and technical growth as well as skill development .

Another important factor of employee satisfaction is the suitable work infrastructure in terms of equipment, supportive technologies, good working environment and space. However, recognition of employees gives a peace of mind and assurance of management's support. According to Amett, Laverie and McLane (2002, 1), appreciations of employees' efforts act as a source of pride and thus directly trigger positive employee behavior.However, these approaches are considered short-term strategies since "over a period of time, such programs may be perceived as routine and lose their luster for many employees" (Kale, 2008, p.8). Thus, to identify whether employees are satisfied and their performances are at par woth the SHRM, several techniques are normally used by HRM. Conversely, many tools exist to measure employee satisfaction and overall morale relative to the organization's performance.. To effectively evaluate the adopted HR practices by a casino agency, as well as other industries several scholars have attempted to explore which tools can be applied - among them the Fuzzy Cognitive Maps.The fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs), for instance, are a tool employed in a bid to produce "a hierarchical and dynamic network of interconnected HR performance" from which employee job satisfaction can be deduced (Xirogiannis et al, 2007, p.1). Further, the "intelligent computing features of FCMs can be used to obtain a dynamic feedback and bi-directional alignment of HRM practices and strategic improvement measures aimed at enhancing positive work environment" (Xirogiannis et al, 2007,p.1). According to Bassi and McMurrer (2006, 1), human capital satisfaction measurement should provide a descriptive and brief summary of each variable, be credible and unbiased, be predictive of organizations desired results, be complete and detailed, actionable and cost effective.Rewarding and performance systems are vital aspects of SHRM which companies cannot overlook in their endeavors to provide excellent services to their consumers. Motivated employees have a strong drive to achieve their goals as well as the company's objectives. In order to create a win-win partnership within an organization, it is imperative for firms to ally the business objectives with a proper rewarding system. For example, Coca Cola Company has taken a number of SHRM which are geared towards ensuring that the high numbers of employees in its areas of operations are thoroughly rewarded for their well done jobs. One of the major performance evaluation tool utilized by the Coca Cola Company is the annual forecasts. In addition to the review of the trend of sales in a particular year, the company evaluates the performance of the employees. This is undertaken by first setting the goal to be achieved by the employees at a particular year of operation. By informing the members of staff about the goals, in the start of the company year of income, they enable the employees to work towards achieving the objectives. Once the employees attain the predetermined goals, the company appraises him or her.Stages of performance evaluation are also critical in SHRM Planning and developments basically the performance process in most companies undergo three stages. The first stage is definition of the job. As mentioned earlier during this level the employees are informed about their duties by the managers. At this level an agreement is needed between the employee and the manager on the status and requirement of the job. The second stage is the appraising of the performance. This entails comparing the standard of performance which has been set at the initial stage with the actual performance of the employees. This stage is also referred to as After Action Review (AAR).It is a vital stage in that it gives an opportunity through which the managers can detect any variation on the performance by the employees. The final stage in the performance evaluation is the provision of feedback. This stage entails discussing the actual performance of the employees and coming up with development strategies on how to improve on the techniques of performing duties by the employees.

Due to the high extent to which a company like Coca Cola has been awarded by various multinational corporations as a result of marketing achievements, the company has also recognized its employees and consumers. With the already mentioned benefits which customers and employees enjoy the company has greatly enhanced strong customers' loyalty. The promotion strategies have also created strong customers awareness of the wide range of the company products (Legge and Karen, 2004, p.1). In turn, the company has benefited from high sales of its brands, large market segmentation and increased profits. On the other hand employees' rate of turn over has been greatly reduced due to the motivation strategies the company has put in place. This has resulted to continuous huge production of soft drinks by Coca Cola Company making it dominate the market. With its strong control of the soft drink industry the company has benefited from strong competitive advantage.As a major SHRM rule, care must be taken when evaluating employee performance since any subjectivity will jeopardize the results' credibility. This argument is based on the understanding that certain challenges are normally experienced in the process of undertaking performance evaluation. The challenges may include; inadequate support by top managers, over-emphasis of individual performance and under-emphasis of the team, poor design of the variables to be measured, low value of good performance by the organization and inclusion of subjective elements of job satisfaction in the analysis (Pityn & Helmuth, 2007, 1). Fortunately, stiff competition has forced most top managers to appreciate their need of establishing and operating performance management program .According to Bratton, there are several models of Strategic HRM, including "mission and goals, environmental analysis, strategic formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation" (p.40). one model for SHRM that offers a good link between the links of theory and practice is strategic planning of all the HRM policies and practices. To successfully carry out a working process in an organization or any set up, Strategic planning is core (Holmes, 2005). A planner would aim less in terms of where and why some tasks should be performed if a strategic framework is lacking. Strategic planning is important for identification purposes in terms of the organization's HRM principles' strengths and weaknesses and possible problems and solutions. Therefore, the planning should be clear enough to clarify the organizational goal, purpose, objectives, strategies, implementation plans and evaluation mechanisms. To ensure that the HRM policies are fully integrated in the Strategic HRM, several steps have to be taken.First of all, it is important to develop a mission statement which highlights the specific purpose of the transportation department in the road and bridge construction. For example in this case, the mission statement was "to serve the people of Alabama by building a quality safe, accessible and a convenient transport system people that meets the needs of our people at all times." After analyzing the mission statement, it was important that every worker directs their concentration towards mission achievement as they perform their tasks. The mission statement explains first, the reason for the company's existence Secondly, goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART) should be laid. The emphasis is on the goals being SMART because this will foresee that the mission is not rendered dormant and that the workers are motivated through being able to achieve the targeted goals whether long term or short term. Clear cut goals are also important in reducing confusion that can result from ambiguity during the planning process.Thirdly, it is necessary to analyze the goal and identify the barriers that can be possibly encountered through potential problem analysis. All the same it should be noted that some problems trigger forces that propel towards goal achievement while others hinder the same. An analysis technique for problem solving was developed by Kepner and Tregoe in 1981 to determine possibilities of going the wrong way as the action plan is being embarked. It requires an analysis of the critical steps in the action plan. For instance, in case of a road construction company HRM Strategies may be affected by unexpected change of climate; lack of adequate construction material; failed sponsorship or a reduction in state grants; an unexpected staff turnover and poor management or change in supervisory tactics are likely problems that would delay the construction of the roadway and bridge within the required time frame.Fourth, after looking at the potential problems and possible ways of solving them, then the action plans can be laid; what should guide the tasks allocations by the HRM department. The plans created in a stepwise manner should adequately describe how the goal is going to be accomplished. An example of Strategic HRM action plan in road construction is described below: A team of surveyors and geospatial engineers will be involved in locating and marking the location that the subway and footbridge would pass two months before the commencement of the project. The architects will be involved in designing the footbridge and subway and give a clue on the cost of the materials involved just before the financial analysis period while the division engineer supervisor will be involved in supervising the actual construction of the subway and footbridge by the technical builders and ensure the project is completed by October 2010. Also, to ensure that safety standards are met and that the construction is of quality standards, the staff members in the testing department will be involved in testing the tools and materials before, during and after the completion of the project. Constructing a roadway and a bridge is a complex process that requires careful planning to ensure that roles are well defined, deadlines for a particular action are met or there is a makeup for lost time and that the overall goal is achieved within the required time frame. The Gantt Charts can be very useful tools that will ease the project's complexities by marking dates for specific action plans and their completion dates as well as marking the objectives met and the way forward for pending plans. It will assist in identifying areas that need more attention as compared to those that need less time. The progress can be evaluated in terms of either being on target to meet the goals as the building process progresses or whether the goals were achieved at the end of the building process. An evaluation process should be included so as to prevent digression from the real goal settings.The outcome of the facilitation process is that the staff will be more eager to work with clear goals and objectives in mind and evaluate the working progress. With a systems theory approach to strategic planning, the working process would be organized and reflect success if the facilitation process is well followed. Strategic planning is a great facilitation planning method that provides a means to evaluate both the work and performance and provide possible solutions to problems .

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