The human resources function is more than a way to fulfill a company’s hiring, benefits administration, payroll and training needs. It takes a joint effort between management and HR to meet employee needs and develop them as strategic assets. HR development issues occur in all kinds of organizations, and business owners should address the ones they find in their companies.
Impact of Globalization
While human resources development is still being consolidated as an academic field, its issues are common to many businesses worldwide. To understand current issues of HR development, it’s important to acknowledge the influence of the one-world economy. Businesses and organizations need a common definition of the term “work,” because workers in the globalized workforce are employed by companies based in other countries. Workers interact with people from different cultures who have different work attitudes but must communicate effectively to succeed in their jobs.
It would be unusual for a very small business to recruit a human resources development expert, but an HR specialist may bring that kind of experience to a company. HR development specialists must help an employer create a dynamic learning environment in which employees are constantly acquiring new skills to help their employer stay competitive. They must also anticipate the future learning needs of the workforce, including training needs of current workers and needs of workers the company has not yet recruited.
In a small business, it can be tough to pinpoint where employees are innovating, especially if a company employs a single business strategy to deliver a product or service. However, the HR staff needs to keep the owner and management team focused on how to innovate, so that a single product or service is improved and delivered more efficiently and effectively to the target market. Keeping a business strategy static over time may render it irrelevant in a changed market. Minor changes to the processes involved in product or service delivery can improve the company’s profitability.
A business culture may actually inhibit innovation by keeping working conditions so rigid that employees have little time to experiment or suggest better ways of doing things. Or, a culture can promote ways of thinking that leave little room for a voice saying, “there’s a way to do this better.” For example, always focusing on short-term results leaves no time for thinking about the big picture. No rewards for innovative thinking offers employees no incentive to suggest improvements. The HR function must encourage development of employees as innovative thinkers and promote peers learning from their co-workers in a learning culture.