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Answer No 2

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Hi Everyone,

Human Resource Management is technically defined as “effective and efficient utilization of human resources to achieve goals of an organization” (Opatha, 2016, page 7). We everyone is talking today about Human Resource Management (HRM) in our day to day activities. We say, every manager is a Human Resources Manager. Compare to the past, every single manager has a acceptable level of knowledge about Human Resource Manager.

The Staff Managers take additional responsibilities and show an interest to add HRM related KPIs into their goal sheets. For an example, reducing employee turnover or managing employee-absenteeism, are no more responsibilities, which appear only on the goal sheet of Human Resource Manager. Those are shared and Staff Managers are also voluntarily asking to include those KPIs into their goal sheets as well.

Staff Managers tend to get a more ownership of the employees reporting to them, and day by day, Staff Managers are becoming the Grievance Handling Managers, CSR Managers etc. Similarly, rather having a ‘separate’ HR department, now the companies are trying to set-up HR departments linked with other department’s responsibilities. As per the industrial experiences within last few decades, having a separate HR department, most of the times only help to poor Staff Managers giving up the responsibility for their employees. The main reasons are; 1. Some Staff Managers may like to get away from the ‘difficult and messy’ employee problems. 2.

Staff Managers may like to focus only on the operational, technical or financial issues. Anyway, separate HR departments and HR staff can create a feeling which includes dependency, privacy and ‘professionalism help’ to solve the employees’ personnel problems.

Since the Staff Managers are not trained as much as the Human Resource Manager, Staff Manager solving the employee issue can create some embarrassing situation to both the employee & management. Anyway, a separate HR Department and HR Staff are required to a company. Their role should be changed from operational scope to a more support and advising role.

Such shifting of the role will offer behind-the-scenes advice & guidance on solving the employees’ issues, and making the Staff Manager popular among his/her employees (Mullins, 2002). Further, Human Resource Managers are not the closest persons to the employees of an organization. In the larger organizations which have large number of employees, it is very difficult for Human Resources Managers to link with each individual employee to create trustful relationships. When the companies are becoming bigger, this issue is also becoming larger and larger.

The reason is, employees do not look for the relationships with positions, but with the persons. In other words, employees will like to have a relationship with David (who is the Human Resource Manager), but not with the Human Resource Manager, only because he is handling the position. The relationships in the companies, in most of countries, depend on the personal qualities.

Therefore, since the persons in the HR staff have not adequate time to create relationships with each individual employee, Human Resource Department can use Staff Managers to create better relationships with the employees who are under their responsibility. Therefore, Human Resource Management can be defined as a people’ science which link three sectors of an organization.

  1. HR Department and HR Specialists
  2. Staff Managers
  3. Employees

In the previous eras, companies did not think more about employee skill upgrades and retention of employees, and the cost of operation was less due to number of reasons.

But, today, with the rapid evolving situations in the global business environment and cost factors effecting the business success, HR related KPIs also becoming very important and no one has the luxury to ignore employee’s concerns which effects the productivity of the organization. Therefore, Human Resource Management is becoming a very complex science which links HR specialists, Staff Managers and Employees of the organization.

Presently we have started to talk Human Resource Management as a shared responsibility among the Human Resource Managers & Staff Managers. Anyway, with the evolving concepts, employees also will take a responsibility in Human Resource Management in future. For an example, senior employees can act as the mentors for new employees.

Another example is, group of elective employees will act as the CSR agents on behalf of the organization. I prefer to explain the performance appraisals as a shared responsibility, using a case study which was conducted by me recently, in a hospital which is operating in Sri Lanka. As we know, the decisions in the hospitals are to be taken with additional care. That is the reason for selection of a hospital for my study.

The hospital, which was selected, is an established and respected tertiary healthcare provider in Sri Lanka, focusing on patient care above all for Sri Lankan and international patients.

Curtis (1996) explained on why employers should conduct employee-appraisals using 360 degree feedback method. When 360 degree feedback is introduced everyone may not be comfortable but it is a part in the process of change. 360 degree feedback helps to have a better management style, and in overall better results for the organization which include better team work, better understanding of strength and weakness and improved communication and lesser grievances & conflicts over the outcome of the appraisal feed-back. Since the selected organization consists of hospital environment and service providing environment at the same time, it can be identified a moderate to high power distance in their organization.

Their organizational hierarchy, which includes medical service directors, specialists and other doctors, matrons and other lower level staff, reflects status differences in a very apparent manner. Significance inequalities could be observed among different positions; still everyone gets the place they deserve. The decision making powers always rest in the hands of high positions and it is ought to keep those powers and rights in those positions, while the subordinates are instructed properly. None of the lower level staff cannot make decisions, since it may cause to serious inaccuracies and deathly situations.

If it is regarding a medical matter, the consultant has to make decisions or else the chief matron or another accountable person has to take the responsibility.

Individualism vs Collectivism

CollectivistIndividualist
‘We’ mentality‘I’ mentality
Identity based on social groupIdentity based on the individual
Decision made on what is best for the groupDecisions based primarily on individuals needs
Relationships prevail over tasksTasks prevail over relationships
Focus is belonging to an organizationFocus is on individual initiative and achievement
IndividualismCollectivistIndividualist
Decision makingGroup consensusIndividual
Reward systemsGroup-basedIndividual-based
Ethics/valuesParticularismUniversalism
Organizational concernLook after employeesEmployees look after selves

Their decisions are always focused on the group well- being including the employees.

In a high power distance and collectivist culture in above mentioned organization, it is worthy to utilize 360- degree method for evaluating performance. In a collectivist culture, the team members aim to improve their group consensus and relationships. Therefore 360- degree feedback method could be used for evaluating the performances by superiors, customers, subordinates and himself/ herself as well.

On the other hand, when 360- degree feedback method is used in a high power distance culture, the evaluation process will be more meaningful and worthy, since the information can be generated through different hierarchical levels. However, it is rational to use the 360- degree feedback method only for all levels of employees, since the good performances of all levels are essential, especially for a service providing organization. Also to minimize the complexities of the evaluation process, the evaluation could be conducted annually.

Since the performance appraisals are a shared responsibility, the Staff Manager does not loosen the day to day guidance to the employee to reach the higher productivities and to achieve the set goals. Employee gets additional support from the Staff Manager, and therefore, good relationships are created to win each other. Both parties work together, innovatively to minimise their day to day operational difficulties, creating an environment for the organization to reach higher levels of achievements. Therefore, the management of organizations should look for mechanisms to introduce Human Resource Management as a shared responsibility.

References:

Curtis, D. (1996). Employers appreciate 360#degree feedback. Management Development Review, 9 (5), 34 -36.

Mullins, L. J. (2002). Management and Organisational Behaviour – Lecturer’s Guide (6th Ed). UK, Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Opatha, H.D.N.P. (2016). Human Resource Management (7th Ed). Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, Sharp Graphic House (Pvt) Ltd.