Background of the HR case
The Virtualwirks Company is one of the American companies that have integrated the latest technology in managing its human resources. The company has many virtual workstations in different States across the U.S., and its leadership function has opted to use technology to delegate tasks, communicate to employees, and to manage their workflow from its headquarters. The company has crossed international boundaries in the delivery of business solutions with the integration of internet technology.
The Virtualwirks Company recently adopted the use of virtual workers as the primary human resources in the company. The organization eliminated the need for the employees for its 400 employees to report to a central place every day. The employees have the freedom to work from their homes, and this has enabled the Virtualwirks Company to develop a diverse workforce from different parts of the country (Virtualwirk 2014). Some of the challenges faced by the management in the company during the initial start-up period of the virtual workforce strategy included workflow management issues, team building, and accountability issues. The use of the latest technology has enabled the management at the company to eliminate these issues.
The Virtualwirks Company offers business management solutions through CCTV technology installation in companies. Business entities looking to enhance their human resource management strategies should look into installing CCTV at work. According to the leadership function in the company, the installation of CCTV technology in its business offices has not only enhanced the competence of the employees, but it has also enabled the management of the workflow. The HRM function at Virtualwirks uses CCTV technology to integrate the efforts of the human assets in its headquarters.
The CCTV technology is a controversial strategy because it attracts privacy invasion issues, but the staff members of the company have accepted the presence of an observing team in all rooms in the company. The technology helps the management to identify with incompetent behaviour among the employees. Effective management of human resources leads to higher performance in business (McCarthy 2012). CCTV technology eliminates misdemeanour at work while enhancing competitiveness, especially in service delivery companies like Virtualwirks (Vuokko 2008).
Virtualwirks has grappled with the challenge of developing a working system that allows the management to have a direct link with the virtual workforce scattered across the 30 states in the United States. Teleworking provided the solution to this challenge. The management at Virtualwirks provides its employees with computer gadgets and internets connection devices that guarantee regular access to the company’s information system. The main competitive advantage associated with teleworking is its ability to eliminate liabilities for companies because they do not require big working space for their human resources (Sánchez et al. 2007). Teleworking has also enhanced self-efficacy among the human resources at Virtualwirks through the promotion of self-management (Kossek, Lautsch & Eaton 2009). Teleworking at Virtualwirks has enabled the implementation of a virtual workforce interlinked by the use of internet platforms and telecommunication in team-oriented projects. The company has representatives in different parts of the world, and their functions connect through the company’s teleworking system.
Dealing with employees and clients through the same communication system can be hectic for a service-oriented organization. Virtualwirks has developed call centres to cater to the needs of the virtual workforce as well as its diverse client base. Handling call centres at the company require centrally placed operators who coordinate information flow from the virtual workforce and the clients. Call centres enable the HRM function in the company to develop a hands-on approach to managing the workflow.
This approach enhances the performance of the human assets in the Virtualwirks Company by enabling them to retrieve vital information instantly. Inbound call centres have gained popularity in companies, especially those operating in the international markets. The call centres are designed to offer instant information on products and services offered by companies to their customers.
The call centre at the Virtualwirks invests in computers and telephones, and the employees in the call centres have skills in dealing with difficult situations. The call centres are also designed to provide consultation avenues for employees within an organisation (Aksin, Armony & Mehrotra 2007). With the current vast usage of the internet by society, telemarketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies to enhance competitiveness (Hsin Chang 2007).
Working in a call centre at the Virtualwirks Company is quite a hectic job because it involves dealing with some very difficult clients. The call centres are used as reference points for potential clients. The stress involved with the job calls for the human resource management function to develop skills in handling their emotional labour. Most companies in the service delivery business have developed human resource functions with refined communication skills to ensure they have adequate knowledge to deal with their emotions when handling difficult customers. Competitiveness in the service industry depends on the quality of the services offered by the respective companies.
The Virtualwirks Company has faced challenges in influencing its virtual workforce to separate its social life with their professional life on the internet. The company has an interactive website that allows the employees to share ideas on an open platform. The platform attracts casual conversations about the employees’ social lives. This confusion is a challenge that most companies using Web 2.0 face on a regular basis.
The shift from the one-way generation websites to the people-centric system in Web 2.0 has a competitive advantage for companies like the Virtualwirks that have initiated the upgrade. Web 2.0 facilitates the development of interactive websites where human resources can interact with each other as well as with their customers to enhance the quality of services (Cormode & Krishnamurthy 2008). Web 2.0 also motivates people to share ideas, both internally and externally.
Human resources at Virtualwirks can easily share ideas through instant messaging platforms within their company’s websites, whereas customers have the option to share their ideas with the companies (Myers 2012). The lively websites promote discussion among the members of organisations and their potential customers. Web 2.0 is a technological development that is set to change websites into communities. Developing loyalty among clients is simpler for companies that have embraced web 2.0 (Kamel Boulos & Wheeler 2007).
Virtualwirks is one of the service delivery companies that has actively embraced the development of a virtual workforce. The cost of labour reduces significantly when companies use virtual workforces (Martínez‐Sánchez et al. 2007). It is also apparent that the global job market has more professionals willing to work for companies, and their work delivery is better than other employees. Virtual workforces eliminate the need for the Virtualwirks Company to finance the development of expensive offices, and this leaves more funds for other organisational developments that enhance its competitiveness (Kaganer et al. 2013).
The socio-technical theory indicates that there are two distinct dimensions in the modern business setting. These dynamics include the social aspects and the technological aspects of the organization. The Virtualwirks Company has identified this phenomenon and integrated the two aspects to produce human resource base with adequate knowledge of technological competences. Technical aspects of an organisation entail the material, technological devices, technical methods of handling tasks, and the technological competencies possessed by an organisation (Lyytinen & Newman 2008).
The interaction between the two aspects generates the socio-technical systems theory, which highlights the need for companies to use technology to enhance their output levels. The introduction of technology in organisations leads to the need for human resources to gather skills in the use of new technology. The new knowledge acquired opens up opportunities for better and faster communication between employees, and this subsequently leads to better teamwork (Shneiderman 2008).
The development of mental models of conflict is an integral part of HRM because it acquaints the HRM with information about the perception of different members of the organization to conflicts. The likelihood of inter-employee conflicts depends on the mental model of conflicts developed through the organisational culture. It follows that with the introduction of technology as a primary provider of communication channels in companies, the members have a better chance of identifying with each other’s perception of conflicts (Chi 2008).
Based on the mental model of conflict held by an employee, it is possible to predict whether the employee would get into a conflict. Technological devices like the CCTV, social media and company websites have simplified the task of the HRM in identifying with the mental model of conflicts in some human resources (McClure 2014). The knowledge acquired from the various technological avenues is used to eliminate situations that likely to cause conflicts (Halevy et al. 2014).
List of References
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