Trends and Challenges in Human Resource (HR) Management
Employees’ assessment methods have their strengths and weaknesses. The traditional performance appraisals are flawed because they are structured in a fundamental basis that is one-sided, depends on opinion and generally needs no merit analysis. Heathfield (2007) notes that performance appraisals do not embody a mission orientation of the organization, they cannot be effective in today’s thinking organization environments and visions do not drive them. This paper discusses the highlights concepts of the performance management system that are not available in traditional appraisals. Secondly, it analyses the effectiveness of appraisals and challenges facing the process then discusses the current trend in evaluating performance. A future trend of HR management is offered within the discussions.
Complete Performance Management System and Performance Appraisals
In the traditional appraisal format, the major aim was for management to put their staffs operating according to organization’s policy. Such appraisals are formulated and implemented in an autocratic format where the management has the final say, and uses a top-down formation. In this case, staffs are organizational property and the appraisal mostly assumes a paternalistic orientation.
As management and organizational learning improves, a new and better way of evaluating individual performance has been realized. The performance management system is very different from the annual performance appraisal. While appraisals are a one off approach to evaluate performance, the performance management system is a process that concentrates on the creation of an enabling environment to realize maximum performance by employees in any given organization. This system encompasses all possible engagements of the employee from the instance when a job is defined to the time the employee leaves the organization. The system serves to accomplish the organization’s mission and vision. In the traditional appraisal method, feedback from employees is rarely soughed unless the management is being appraised. In addition, feedback obtained is usually biased based on the preferences of the giver of the feedback. When, feedback is about an individuals’ own work performance, then the individuals is always defensive, and feels that management is punitive in case it rates performance below the expected level.
Contrariwise, feedback under the performance management system is regular as performance is measured according to the prioritized goals of the organization. The systems ensures that the organization remains vibrant as each staff is accorded the necessary opportunities necessary for their optimal performance. Because the systems aims to develop an enabling environment, feedback is sought on the performance of an individuals but is a discussion concentrating on personal and organizational goals. Therefore, there is little or no room for biased judgments as staffs and managements have an equal opportunity to present their views in the dialogue. Feedback is continuously obtained from all stakeholders in the organization such as customers, colleagues and management. Using the feedback, the systems enables management to help each employee become more knowledgeable and this is the groundwork on which the organization grows (Heathfield, 2007).
The management system replacing performance appraisals is not a stopgap measure, instead it incorporate the overall organizational learning objectives. Its success depends on the efficacy of the management in administering the performance management system. The system is a modification of the appraisal process, includes some aspects of the later, and introduces newer concepts. Key characteristics of the performance management system include numeric ratings, forced ranking of employees, the imposed goals and objectives. Moreover, newer concepts introduced by the system are a scheduled update and discussion with each staff on a quarterly basis. An interactive planning of the performance development, which ensures that goals for the development of business and employee are negotiated before agreement is reached. Lastly, the dialogue on employee compensation is intentionally left out of the performance-development planning meetings (Heathfield, 2007).
It is difficult to link management and measurement of performance in organizations and the evaluation of the effectiveness of different types of performance appraisal methods depend on the proper understanding of management and measurement.
The effectiveness of performance management appraisal depends on the level and frequency of feedback participation allowed in the process. Success of appraisals also depends on their objectivity, how much sense on ownership employees have, their cognition ability and how much the appraisal links to the organizational business strategy.
The new trend for performance appraisals encourages participants to be in control of the process. Control includes being able to manage the process, being in command and having the freedom to do choose and the ability to perform according to personal preferences within the appraisal system. Effective appraisals are those that have been customized to assist the individual to learn and grow. This approach is oriented on career development, hence forward-looking. Development of performance appraisals also affects the overall efficacy of the process. To ensure that they are effective, performance appraisals should be inter-related, stimulate fun and encourage employee participation. In addition the process should have a meaning identifiable by employees. To ensure this, the process should be initiated by employees and encompass a learning element, it should elicit the feeling of importance on one’s contribution to the overall performance of the organization, finally the process need to have clarity of purpose. To increase its importance the appraisal should add value to the organization; therefore, it should be in line with the organizational culture and interpretation of management theories (Wright & Cheung, 2007).
Advantages of Managing Turnover in Organizations
Staff turnover may be a positive or a negative consequence in an organization as it adjusts to remain competitive in a changing business environment. Management of turnover in organization allows them to be perceptive and leverage on the common interests, which bind all stakeholders. Business decisions are made not only on the cost factor but incorporate the concerns by employees, customers and shareholders. Proper management of turnover ensures that employees have a long-term commitment to the organization. Management of turnover ensures that the organization remains ethical on the community front and the environmental front. As a result, it benefits from positive feedback from all stakeholders who ensure the organization has a long-term success. Employees agree to lower wages or reduced working hours when the organization is facing difficult times. Turnover management handles the rate of return and shuffle of existing resources and additional resources. Proper management ensures that there is a balance of resources and outputs of the organization during its lifetime. This management affords the organization the capacity to whether the unpredictable and unfavorable business environment. Retaining staff in the organization is advantageous because it retains knowledge in the organization, which contributes to their quality and innovativeness (Avery & Bergsteiner, 2011).
Contemporary Safety and Health Management Issues in the Workplace
The cost of productivity loss as a result of sickness in the workplace or injuries contributes to the overall cost of human resource that defines the competitiveness of an organization. Mental health and stress are the most reported health problems in workplaces. Employers have to deal with work-stress-related problems as part of their creation of an enabling environment for staff performance. As the workforce ages, it enters into the risk of chronic illness like heart diseases and degenerative conditions. In some countries employers are obliged to enforce minimum health standards and safety. The standards are dynamic and depend on the global climate consisting of ferocious competition, a wide business network and consumer relations and environmental concerns. Therefore, management has to be proactive in their policy formulation and their management of employee performance. There is need to have a healthy organization and a facilitation of its development (Avery & Bergsteiner, 2011).
In the contemporary world, swift response to changes in the business environment is paramount. As a result, philosophical concepts are no longer appropriate as new challenges emerge. In the contemporary world, everything fits into the ecological system as has to be addressed in relation to other factors and elements. Management therefore concerns itself more with coordination of different relationships. It does this using its influence and through dialogues. Safety and health risk management in the workplace has evolved to become a multi-disciplinary integrative system approach. In the new approach, focus has shifted from an after-the-event reaction to a proactive response that focuses on prevention of accidents and illnesses (Cordia & Dwyer, 2002).
According to Cordia & Dwyer (2002), the global trend of organization is focusing more on the importance of HR and its management. Rapid globalization and technology demands employees to be well qualified, enthused, flexible and healthy. Employers have to provide safe workplaces and be responsive to their employee health needs. The best way to ensure the long-term success is by adopting a new integrative model of worker health management that incorporates health preferment, disease prevention and occupational safety.
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