Strategic Human Resource Management and Leadership

Differences between strategic Human Resource (HR) Management and operational Human Resource Management

Strategic human resource management “Requires human resource professionals to consider the overall picture of business’s growth and implement ways to make a direct contribution to long-term goals” (Rosenzweig & Nohria, 2003, p. 229). In strategic human resource management, human resource professionals try to project future business needs and work to prepare existing human resource to meet these needs. On the other hand, operational human resource management entails managing daily activities in a company. Additionally, operational human resource management focuses on the everyday needs of an organisation, such as risk management and recruitment.

The core strategic HR activities

One of the core strategic human resource activities is the formulation of human resource policies and plans that match the organisation’s strategic direction (Mello, 2011). Besides, the human resource staff is responsible for providing requisite assistance to ensure that the policies and plans are executed. Another core strategic human resource activity is the enhancement of organisational performance by establishing and running development programs aimed at equipping staff with contemporary skills (Cook & Ferris, 2002). Also, human resource personnel execute strategic organisational restructuring to enhance competitiveness (Perry, 2004).

The relationship between corporate strategy and HR strategy

Corporate strategy focuses on how institutions “Create value across different businesses” (Perry, 2004, p. 61). It considers the organisation’s scope and direction and how different business activities work together to achieve certain objectives. Human resource strategy entails employee recruitment, outsourcing and crisis management. Human resource personnel cannot hire employees without knowledge of corporate strategy. Corporate strategy acts as a guideline for human resource policy. Human resource staff uses corporate strategy to recruit and deploy employees to various departments based on their experience.

The different strategic HR management axes

Titman alleges that the various strategic human resource management axes include “Shaping overarching corporate goals, sourcing, engaging and retaining talent” (2007, p. 75). Titman (2007) asserts that human resource is more than a managerial wing of an organisation. It promotes organisational growth, profitability and productivity. Besides, human resource deals with human capital, which contributes to performance.

The latest trends in Strategic HR Management

Globalisation has led to tremendous changes in human resource. As organisations expand to the global market, human resource personnel should ensure that they offer the necessary blend of workers in terms of cultural adaptability, skills and knowledge (Laursen & Foss, 2003). Competition in the world market has compelled organisations to train their employees regularly. Today, strategic human resource management entails employees’ evaluation to identify expertise shortages and paucity. Also, it involves formulating “Suitable training and short-term programs to bridge the skill gaps and deficiencies” (Barry, 2000, p. 9).

The HR professionals’ key competences

A human resource professional should have a global mindset. The professional should be able to manage and cope with a diverse workforce. Also, a human resource professional should look into the future. He should be able to determine future threats, opportunities and changes that might affect an organisation. Ulrich et al. (2006) allege that a human resource professional should be flexible. The professional should adapt and work efficiently with varied conditions and workgroups. Additionally, a human resource professional should be able to manage risks. He should identify and mitigate potential hazards.

Reasons for making regular Human Resource audits

Employers have made an effort to create numerous human resource policies, procedures and practices that are aligned to corporate culture and law. For this reason, organisations should conduct regular human resource audits to ensure that their policies, procedures and practices work as required and meet legal requirements (Florkowski & Schuler, 2006). The second reason organisations should conduct regular human resource audit is to identify any legal threat associated with organisational practices. Also, human resource audits help institutions to identify novel policies, which can help an enterprise to avert risks.

The elements of a job profile

A job profile should have six critical elements. The profile should give a precise job description. It should define all duties and roles as they relate to the execution of tasks. Also, a job profile should indicate quality and productivity standards vital for a person to be successful (Mulder, Wesselink & Bruijstens, 2005). A job profile should list expertise, experience, knowledge and capability that the job demands. Additionally, job profile should outline “Areas and responsibilities assigned to each person, including where duties may overlap and who is ultimately responsible for the finished product or service” (Mulder et al., 2005, p. 187). Also, a job profile should delineate management expectations.

Options for finding candidates for recruiting

Companies have several options that they can use to hire employees. One of the options is through recruiting agencies. There are numerous recruiting agencies, which help organisations to hire skilled and qualified employees. Apart from recruiting agencies, companies can reach potential candidates through human resource personnel (Breaugh & Starke, 2000). The human resource personnel can advertise available vacancies and organise for the recruitment program. The program would give companies opportunities to meet with potential candidates and select the most qualified.

Role of the organisational culture

Onken alleges, “A strong corporate culture is a talent-attractor” (2003, p. 233). Prospective employees analyse corporate culture to assess an organisation. Also, a strong organisational culture helps corporations to retain their skilled personnel (O’Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell, 2008). Employees are likely to stay in an organisation if they are satisfied. Employees prefer to be engaged in their work. For this reason, organisational culture involves employees. It creates “Energy and momentum, which permeate an organisation and create new momentum for success” (Schein, 2010, p. 85).

The elements of organisational culture

One of the elements of corporate culture is a precise mission and purpose. Organisation’s mission statement acts as an identity, which helps an organisation to lay down strategies to help it achieve its goals (Schein, 2010). Another element of organisational culture is substantial communication. A robust communication contributes to averting inefficiencies, which arise from communication breakdown (O’Reilly et al.., 2008). The third element of organisational culture is norms. Standards delineate operations in an organisation.

Reasons to resist change

People are likely to resist change due to numerous reasons. One of the reasons is the lack of knowledge about the importance of change. Employees resist change if they do not understand its importance and are satisfied with their current status (Bovey & Hede, 2006). Another reason employees resist change is lack of skills. Change in an organisation demands changes in competence, and many employees may sense that they cannot cope with the transition. Moreover, employees may resist change if they are not consulted.

The critical success factors in change management

One of the success factors in change management is urgency. Callan alleges, “Everyone within the scope of a change program has to feel, see and sense the need for change” (2007, p. 65). Another success factor is clear targets. Goals should be precise, explicable, and calculable. Communication is the third success factor in change management. All information about change should be steady, reliable and real-time. The fourth success factor is leadership. Callan alleges, “Change projects with high political effects require the support of top management” (2007, p. 67).

Types of innovations

Breaugh (2008) alleges that change is relative. What may “Appear new and radical for one person, maybe old news for another” (Breaugh, 2008, p. 112). Despite this assumption, there are four types of innovations, which are product innovation, position innovation, process innovation, and paradigm innovation. Product innovation refers to improvements or changes made to a product or service to make it superior. Process innovation refers to alterations made in ways through which an organisation manufactures or delivers its goods or services. Position change refers to “changes in the context in which products or services are framed and communicated” (Breaugh, 2008, p. 115). Lastly, paradigm innovation refers to changes in the prevailing intellectual models that dictate how an organisation operates.

HR functions that support building innovative teams

Human resource is in a better position to build creative organisations. For instance, human resource is responsible for performance management. Therefore, it can use this function to build innovative teams by coming up with reward systems that engender innovation (Oke, 2007). Also, human resource can develop creative teams by establishing organisational designs that allow the sharing of ideas between employees working in different departments.

Ways to motivate people in their work

Employers use numerous approaches to motivate their workers. One of the approaches is employee participation. Companies allow employees not only to give their opinion but to design and analyse solutions. The approach encourages employees to own the problem as well as be part of the solution (Ramlall, 2004). Another way to motivate workers is through development. Building workers’ strength and assisting them to overcome weaknesses encourage the workers to take challenging tasks and embrace innovation.

Leadership styles

One of the leadership styles is a transformational leadership style. The leadership style is based on intensive communication from the leaders to achieve goals. Leaders inspire workers and boost efficiency and output through communication and lofty visibility (Sosik & Godshalk, 2000). Another type of leadership style is participative leadership. The style values employees’ input. However, a participative leader makes the final decision. Other types of leadership styles include transactional, laissez-faire, and autocratic leadership styles (Politis, 2001).

Ways to develop leadership qualities

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” (Gaither, 2004, p. 16). Thus, one way that an individual can develop leadership skills is through constant learning. Another way is by taking initiatives. A good way to enhance leadership skills is by taking additional assignments outside one’s job description. Critical thinking can also help one to develop leadership skills. One can identify and address potential threats before they arise.

References

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Bovey, W., & Hede, A. (2006). Resistance to organizational change: the role of defence mechanisms. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 16(7), 534-548.

Breaugh, J. (2008). Employee recruitment: current knowledge and important areas for future research. Human Resource Management Review, 18(3), 103-118.

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Callan, V. (2007). Individual and organizational strategies for coping with organizational change. Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organizations, 7(1), 63-75.

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Mello, J. (2011). Strategic Human Resource Management. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

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