International Human Resources
It is the biggest challenge of companies today to maintain and attract best employees thus the realization in holding trainings and conferences for top executives to level officers is exceedingly in demand. Initiating strategies and solutions regarding employee retention and human resource management keep on going to minimize costs and money. There are many promising solutions in going through a lot of obstacles in human resource recruitment.
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We may start on some questions that would spark a new beginning: are the employees are given the chance to speak?
Are new ideas accepted? Are benefits really beneficial to employees? Does the employees’ opinion count? Are works valued, evaluated and rewarded on their performance? This are simple questions that has an impact to the existing problems in many companies, regardless of size, incorporating other issues like repatriation, better opportunities, poor treatment, differences in culture and disagreement on the direction of the company, lack of recognition, indefinite growth prospects and poor relationship among co-workers.
Keeping people and maintaining them for a longer period of time is the most difficult and challenging tasks for all human resources managers nowadays, hopefully, we will answer possible keys and solutions to these burning questions throughout the discussion. Why are people leaving from one company to another?
A wide variety of reasons why are people leaving their jobs to find new companies includes: expectations were not satisfactorily fulfilled, unsuitable for the role, do not fit with the company’s culture, insufficient opportunities for growth and development, inadequate acknowledgment and admiration, problems with a manager or supervisor, not satisfied with the compensation, stress, lack of work and life balance, and lack of confidence in the company and leadership (Meyers). According to Susan Heathfield (Heathfield, 2007), most employees are leaving their work for reasons of searching new opportunities with other companies.
Three top reasons were identified by Heathfield: fifty three percent of employees look for better rewards and benefits, thirty five percent were discontented with prospects of career growth and development, and thirty two percent were ready for a new experience and new environment. The motivating factors that can enhance the continuous stay of employees were examined by Bob Losyk on his article, here are the different factors that he stated: dignity and respect, involvement and participation, pay above the industry average, showcase superior workers, and by showing support to employees (Losyk).
Giving dignity and respect is one of the most important key elements in satisfying the employees, harsh words, shouting, insults, and abuse of power will only result to demoralization, low morale, increase possibilities of absenteeism, and in turn resignation. Losyk added that employers should be treated with high respect, worth and goodness, let them relax, be independent and empowered. Do not crash on people who make mistakes instead make it more constructive and let them learn from it.
Involvement and participation is also a significant factor in dealing with employees’ motivation to stay in the company, by listening to their suggestions, aspirations, and ideas can make them more involved and active much as with belongingness and partnership. Paying above the industry average will surely and literally compensate the best employee thus giving and making more money for you. Great employees should be compensated for what they gave back to the company and it should not be as simple as paying back but to reward and constantly recognize their efforts.
For sure, companies who have the best employees will have more satisfied clients because of the excellent services they receive and in return a greater chance of repeat business will likely to come. Another tip from Losyk is to highlight and draw attention to outstanding employees by giving awards, certificates, extra remuneration, dinners as well as posting their photos on bulletin boards or company newsletters. To share and show support, to listen and know their personal and family problems can be a key factor for lasting relationship with employees.
It will create a positive and motivating atmosphere resulting to a more productive and high-quality employees (Losyk). Human Resource Retaining Strategies: The Training Delivery / Communication Options The training delivery to be used is participative which simulates real scenarios (Schein, 1987). This will be a workshop type of training. Experiential learning should be employed in the training components of the human resources planning program aimed at maintaining work effectiveness, retaining employees and create organizational success where employee development is critical.
The communication option to be used in the delivery of training should be simple yet effective. This type of training program will fit the workforce of the Belfarm Hotel to refine their training skills. Also, this training program will provide comprehensive information and techniques to develop critical competencies. Training activities will focus on the design and approach to facilitate effective delivery of functions and responsibilities. The training materials to be used should assist trainers in enhancing their training presentations with materials that are professionally designed and written.
Group facilitation skills of the trainers should be maximized to effect intervention strategies needed to maintain effective group relationships and direct groups towards productive goals. Aside from the evaluation of the Human Resources Directors from available data and observations, a Training Needs Assessment and Evaluation conducted prior to the actual training proper help trainers understand and use selected needs assessment and evaluation tools as part of the design and delivery of training. Human Resource Issues and Challenges to Consider – Including Suggested Solutions
The challenge to have a trained and skilled workforce is the ultimate competitive advantage for any organization (Cowling & Mailer, 1998). The rapidly expanding base of new information and technologies affects every one of us, from factory floor to business office. No matter how capable or successful an organization is, if staff training and continuing education is overlooked, there will be problems in the organization. The challenge is to get the best value for the training dollars spent by choosing training that suits the needs of the company and least impacts the bottom line (Storey & Sisson, 1993).
In order to meet the challenge, comprehensive approach to employee development can be adopted. Set goals and reach them, identifying the needs, developing the right intervention, and delivering a practical, results-oriented solution. Interactive training is designed for the adult learner, requiring involvement in the learning process. Handle specialized workplace challenges with customized group training. Handle challenges specific to the organization. A good approach is to maximize training dollars spent by tailoring content to the organization’s explicit situation to produce the results needed.
The NL&C should source top-notch trainers who can combine their experiences with the latest in learning techniques for interactive sessions that emphasize skill development and application (RBA Training, 2006). Workforce Retention and Motivation Motivating an employee to do his or her best for the company and making him to stay long with the organization is one of the major concerns of HR. A group who specialize in management of labor in IT organization has observed that the average stay of most IT professionals in a company is less than three years.
It has been observed also that companies, who are on a constant search and use of new technologies, send their employees to seminars and trainings to acquire new knowledge and exposing their people in a challenging environment are better ways to retain people than giving of higher salaries. Although, some HR managers believe that salary and career satisfaction are the key to retention, money is a prime motivator only for ‘starters’. Those who have gone to three or more jobs know the importance of being in a position highly valued by the company (Gupta 2006).
We will focus on different ideas, tips and strategies that can help companies cope up with the up-and-coming problem in the human resources industry. As much as we know that many current employees are getting out of their jobs voluntarily not because that they were fired by their superiors but because they want to meet their expectations and good opportunities with other companies locally or overseas. Despite the fact that the most mentioned reason for leaving is financial, other important aspect is a factor that motivates them to gave up their jobs to look for other jobs elsewhere (IOMA, 2005). According to Paul J.
Sarvadi (Sarvadi, 2005), the reality behind why employees gave up their jobs lies not only to monetary issues but goes deeper into the human consciousness that their actions and characters concerning work will be appreciated and makes them feel secured and successful. He suggested that sound retention strategies should be focused to four key elements – performance, communication, loyalty and competitive advantage. Let us start on the first key element which is performance, most companies undergo evaluations and performance metrics that will likely sum up their overall accomplishment either annually, quarterly or monthly.
It is important that it must not rely solely on quantitative evaluation or assessment but most of all the qualitative measurement should also be considered. The intense craving for an attention to speak their opinions and make it a part of the company’s objectives is a very significant factor that is fulfilling to human beings, when they felt that their actions, talents and capabilities are brought into play that makes a difference to the company or organization, a sense of belonging and the feeling of they are at home is beginning to develop.
The subconscious of human beings is attached to the emotions that they feel that’s why they are happy when they are in the process of achieving a goal and making valuable contributions (Sarvadi, 2005). He added that communication process with employees is an essential part of developing a relationship with them. Not just a simple communication that involves deadlines, submissions and technical aspects but they must use a two-way transmission of ideas and opinions.
It is better to hold regular meetings to properly channel all comments and suggestions, give feedbacks and share what the company has been going through the years, and listen to what they aspire and suggestions. Surveys are good indicators of assessing the performance of the company though not dependable, it can contribute insights from the employees on what is giving them motivation and morale.
On the other hand, loyalty is a great tool in winning employee retention strategy, it is measured in terms of how committed and loyal the employee is, it is not an imposed requirement but an earned reaction to the trust, respect and commitment shown to the individuals in a company (Sarvadi, 2005). The success of an employee – growth and development, and their contributions to the company’s wellness is an essential part of commitment and loyalty and both should work together.
The last element of Sarvadi’s strategy is competitive advantage, people in the workplace is expecting excitement, new adventures, and competitions. Winning and losing are the key words for competitive advantage, employees wanted to know unique competitive products in the marketplace and they wanted to be part of these exciting race. Everyone wants to be a champion, it is healthy to inform your employees about the competitive advantage of your company so as to keep them motivated to join the winning team.
To attract and retain top performers, employers should focus on recognizing and rewarding employees frequently and taking them for granted is not an answer to a successful relationship, and most importantly, know what the enemy does according to Cheryl Cran, a human resources consultant, an art of war, a strategy to win the best performers, know and discover what the enemy offer and ensure that you can target and extend beyond the limits of the expectations of the employees (Cran).
To save expenses from the personnel turnover and increase output and productivity as well, another top retention tips to retain key personnel are the following (Mason): 1. Deal fairly with employees like you deal with your most valuable clients. 2. Let your employees adore and care for your company. 3. Powerful retention strategies turn into powerful recruiting advantages. 4. Preservation and maintenance is much more successful when you put the right person into the right job. 5. Monetary reason is important but it is not the sole basis of people who stay with an organization. 6.
Creation of committees for the employees can help expand retention strategies as well as developing an effective strategy. 7. Leadership must extremely devote in retention. 8. Different forms of expressing recognition and appreciation is a strong and powerful retention strategy. 9. Always keep in mind that the “Fun Factor” is very significant to many employees. 10. Be familiar with the drifts and developments in benefit packages. Give the best to tender the ones your employees want (Mason). In addition to the strategies above, in Ghana a capacity project has been carried out to health sectors that could also be beneficial to other employees.
Five key stakeholders were interviewed for this topic. Other keys are additional duty hours allowance, car and housing loans, post graduate training opportunities, relaxed criteria for promotion, and flexible contracts, public-private partnership. To understand the strategies, the table below indicates the key retention strategies: Table 1. Key retention strategies (Perry, 2006) Incentive type Brief description Financial Incentive Initiate added duty allowance particularly for doctors (Perry, 2006). Non financial incentive Proposal for a car and housing loan under negotiation for professionals who are assigned in the rural community. Perry, 2006). Career advancement opportunities Initiate and suggest schemes for more prospects for two year post graduate training program (Perry, 2006). Rest and recreation eligibility criteria for advancement (Perry, 2006). Creative contracting arrangements Give way to pharmacists in the public sector to perform duties for the private sector (Perry, 2006). Attracting the Best Talent In a business with cut-throat competition, urgently looking for the same kind or professionals is a normal activity of HR managers. In their search for the right people, they try their best to convince IT professionals to work with the company.
In such a competitive market, IT organizations are trying to find ways how to attract the cream of the crop. Best talent means people who possess both the technical and managerial skills. They have the complete knowledge of the business, have the ability to think of new ideas, can communicate effectively, have the mind for analytical and logical thinking; possess leadership ability, team players, creative and innovative. People like them are rare commodities and being able to bring them in the organization is a key HR challenge (Gupta 2006). Compensation and Reward
Law of supply and demand also applies to the hiring of best talents. Thus attractive compensation package is very significant in luring those great minds. This results into management doing away with the usual eight hours per day work schedule as basis for compensation. Salaries and incentives are now given commensurate to the applicants’ knowledge and performance. Employers also give emphasis on profit sharing or performing employees can opt for company shares of stocks. This encourages bright and talented people to stay long with the organization.
Skills, competencies and commitment are now preferred over loyalty, hard work and length of service. Although, salary is not the number one motivator in the industry today, HR is also faced with the challenge of devising optimized compensation package to attract best people into the organization. Integrating HR strategy with Business Strategy HR direction should be in conformity with the business direction. HR plans are just a part of the overall business strategy with the purpose of attaining the business objectives. Everyone should row in a single direction.
Other departments depend on HR in recruitment, retention, motivation and rewarding of valuable personnel. HR is also tasked to manage change, anticipate future personnel requirements, organizational effectiveness, team building and employees’ training and development. (Gupta 2006). ‘Encouraging quality and customer focus’ should be a concern of all employees in all departments. It is HR’s duty to orient people on this topic and emphasize its importance in the overall business operation. A culture of superior quality should be encouraged.
With globalization and technological change running at an incredible speed, companies with inferior quality products cannot cope up with the competition. Building friendly relationship with the customer is also important to insure repeat orders and continuous purchases (Gupta 2006). Upgrading of Skills through Re-training In a highly competitive hotel business environment brought about by the fast-paced, unpredictable technological advancement and increased emphasis on quality of services, software businesses are compelled to look for adaptable and competent personnel in the case of Belfarm Hotel.
Software professionals are sent to various venues to attend seminars and trainings to upgrade their skills so they can perform all the functions that are assigned to them by the organization. Highly skilled software professionals are a bit discouraged if they feel that they are being left behind. Once they have gained a new knowledge and have disseminated it to their subordinates, they start to look for yet other new things. That’s what motivates them. And it is another challenge for HR personnel to keep those bright people highly motivated (Gupta 2006).
Experts interpret such trends as a significant new problem for businesses which the hotel industry has never experienced. This is the serious lack of workers who possess the skills required by the economy. With longer life expectancy, reduced birthrate and the aging workers now coming to the age of mandatory retirement, the age profile of workers is dramatically changing (hrsolutionstoday 2006). Figure 1 : Re-Training Diagram These changing workforce demographics have serious implications in HR’s quest to attract the best talent.
Because of the lack of qualified IT professionals, HR must once again repackage the compensation and reward being offered to make it more attractive. They should strive hard for the retention and motivation of the existing workforce because piracy of talented personnel among IT organization is on the rise. It is suggested that retention of older employees is one way to counter the problem on changing workforce demographics. That suggestion is often overlooked. For more than 20 years, it has been the practice of the corporate world to retire aging employees.
To ease out retirees, programs such as retiree medical coverage, early retirement programs and other plans are being designed. They also make way for the entry of younger workers who will receive salary for ‘starters’, thus are less expensive (Gallo 2006). While those who stay in the company for long have higher salaries and benefits than younger workers, the prospect of losing those aging but reliable people can entail more cost to a company than continue paying their salaries and benefits. And they are not really willing and ready to leave their job they have loved for several years.
They want to work more and extend their stay in the company for another several years. Some still need the financial reward and the health benefits that employment can give (Gallo 2006). Watson Wyatt’s Strategic Reward Survey said that there are top five items which are important to older workers and they are: benefits, compensation, independence, security and skill development. This prospect of extending the services of older workers is still under study. There are however at least five strategies which can be viable to make retiring employees stay in the company longer thus cushioning the impact of lack of workers problem.
Viable options can be phasing retirement, modifying retirement plans, modifying compensation plans, customizing benefits and redesigning the job (Gallo 2006). Technology and globalization drive organizations to be more flexible. A contract relationship is not inexpensive, but it’s more flexible. The use of contingent workforce affords companies to be more competitive. Randy Floyd, program manager of the Office of Contingent Workforce Management said, “Those that push for the use of contingent workforce may see greater benefits (Contingent Workforce Strategies 2005)”.
The use of contingent workforce has positive implication in the technology industry. HR can opt for this kind of workforce while trying their best to look for the best and the brightest. They can adjust their budget as this labor force is less expensive than those people who are directly hired by the company. It is very clear that outsourcing is a success. However, companies are beginning to realize the costs and inherent risks that go with it. Generally speaking, “Outsourcing is a very complex process which the benefits that are expected seldom materialize”.
There are tradeoffs that go with outsourcing such as cost reduction against growth, quickness against quality, and maintaining company’s culture of working together against knowledge and innovation (Singhatiya 2005). In an article published in the Northeast Human Resources Association paper, Michael Andrew, Principal, Strategic Impact Learning, said that “It is high time to elevate HR’s role to that of a Chief Development Officer who is bent on increasing the capabilities which are vital to the attainment of company’s goals and objectives.
For HR to become a business partner to the executive team, it should speak about the language of business rather than the language of HR. There is a clear call for HR professionals to redefine themselves as business partners by being business person first and HR professional second” (Andrew 2006). Increasing demand for immigrant workforce and opportunities abroad: The increasing demand of hiring cross-cultural workforce is a global necessity to respond the needs internationally.
But because of the terms and conditions in hiring immigrants, it is very difficult to establish a worthy and constant employee for a particular business due to numerous alternative employment with other companies. To better understand the recruitment, hiring and retaining the best employees especially the immigrants and ethnic workers, it is important that we should consider the culture, traditions, and beliefs, know the different ethnic lifestyles and values, appreciate the impact that the immigrant workforce is influencing the management, and study the fabrications on recruitment of diverse ethnic groups.
In addition to Losyk’s article, he stressed that it is significant that companies must understand the needs and desires most Hispanic and Asian workers want from a workplace, discover how to give comment to immigrant employees, determine the critical factors needed to train Asian, Hispanic and other cross-cultural groups, and create management techniques that can work and understand the involvement and recognition with the ethnic groups (Losyk).
Further problems encountered by other employers is when their employees who are assigned to work overseas over a period of time will transfer to another companies in a few months to seek greener pastures. These are real and actual happenings in most development organizations when workers or volunteers enter into a contract to gain experience overseas and marked it as a stepping stone to find great opportunities abroad. How can companies and organizations struggle to this concurrent problem? Is this just a cycle to be left out and find new workers to continue the job?
Are there any other holistic means that we can manage to surpass this continuing global recruitment problem? Conclusion: The best and the brightest in a company as well as entry level employees should be carefully kept, managed and trained. The ultimate strategy that should be considered for employees is to consider the needs, wants, and personal aspirations like career development, recognition and reward and the objectives they want for the organizations. Rewards should be helpful to them like educational opportunities, car and housing incentives, health plan for the employee and their family and good bonuses.
Emergency funds if necessary when problems like illness arise in one of the members of the family, and more vacation and/or sick leaves are also a rewarding remuneration to employees. Managers and supervisors who are good listeners to their employees are good signs of good relationship, it is like a father/mother – daughter/son relationship that is always there to listen, understand, and suggest what is best and what is worst, even the most personal things of the employee should also be taken in consideration.
Manager’s role is a crucial aspect of retaining best employees because they will serve as a mentor that will guide the employees towards a positive direction. Availability, fair treatment, flexibility and open communication during tough times is a positive message and strong response to employees who are in dire need to seek help, as a result, a healthy environment and workplace is being developed and cultivated. After all, empowerment, sustainability, goal-oriented and development are the most important key words for the success of organizations and individuals.