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When is Employee Downsizing the Answer?

When is Employee Downsizing the Answer?
When is Employee Downsizing the Answer? I was going through this quote by Vince Lombardi the other day and couldn’t control my amusement and laughter for some time. “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.” But the truth behind this statement looms large in front of all HR professionals when they start working for an organization in whatever capacity. Results, Targets, Closing the sale, Clinching the deal are the inevitable management mantras that drive the executives crazy. Isn’t it funny that it is very important to keep the morale high of the survivors during a layoff strategy! How on earth one can expect such a thing to happen when you know the sword is dangling above your head too! Please remember, “Resources are hired to give results, not reasons.” You need to be a star performer the first time and every time. Why Downsizing Happens? When the management of an organization finds out that their organization is not operating at peak efficiency, they naturally look for ways to make the organization more productive. This is seldom accomplished via organizational downsizing, which is a reduction in organizational size and operating costs implemented by management in order to improve organizational efficiency, productivity and/or the competitiveness of the organization. Organizational downsizing affects the work processes of an organization since the end result of the downsizing is typically fewer people performing the same workload that existed before the downsizing took place. The act of downsizing results in two categories of people: victims, the people who involuntarily lose their jobs due to organizational downsizing, and survivors, the employees who remain after organizational downsizing takes place. When Is Downsizing the Answer—and How to Do It Right? “When downsizing is a knee-jerk reaction, it has long-term costs.” In order for an organizational downsizing to be most effective, management must connect openly and honestly with their employees concerning the reason for the downsizing and the downsizing plan. Managers also need to listen to employees and provide comfort when necessary in order to keep the morale high among the survivors of the downsizing. It is also important that management take steps to prepare the workforce in advance of the downsizing. Proper planning includes outplacement strategies, which is the process of supporting former employees in finding new employment and training and re-skilling the remaining workers into their new jobs. By treating the victims of downsizing fairly and compassionately, the survivors of the downsizing are more likely to remain loyal to their organization. Best Practices for Managing the Downsizing Process Be transparent about the current conditions that the organization faces and the potential impact on the workforce. Treat laid-off employees with respect and sensitivity. On the day of discharge, give employees options on how they want their exit handled. Ensure that procedures used to make decisions are seen as just and fair. Carefully examine the impact of employment downsizing on all HR systems. Give survivors a reason to stay and new hires a reason to join.  Kim Cameron’s 3 types of downsizing strategies: 1. Workforce Reductions– short-term strategy to cut the number of employees through attrition, early retirement or voluntary severance packages, and layoffs or termination. 2. Work Redesign– medium-term strategy in which organizations focus on work processes and assess whether specific functions, products and/or services should be eliminated. 3. Systematic Change– long-term strategy that changes the organization’s culture and attitudes, and employees’ values, with the goals of reducing costs and enhancing quality. Why do Organizations Downsize? Declining profit Business downturn or increased pressure from competitors Merging with another organization, resulting in duplication of efforts Introduction of new technology The need to reduce operating costs The desire to decrease levels...
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Operative Functions of HRM

Operative Functions of HRM
Operative Functions of HRM Staffing Staffing is one of the managerial functions. But this function is normally performed by the HR managers for all the departments of the firm. In most organizations, the HR department establishes personnel policies and coordinates the HR functions of all the departments. This function is also called the operative function or HRM function. It includes, amongst others, the processes of hiring, training, compensating, appraising and retaining employees, and attending to their labour relations, health and safety, and equality concerns. Procurement  Procurement refers to a string of activities undertaken by the HR managers for filling the present and future vacancies of the organization. The activities include job analysis and designing, HR planning, recruitment and, finally, the selection of suitable employees. Here, job analysis refers to both the determination of specific tasks and responsibilities connected to a job and identifying the skills, knowledge and abilities required for the job holder. HR planning involves choosing and placing the right person at the right job and at the right time. Recruitment involves gathering a pool of applicants from which suitable employees may be selected.  Lastly, selection involves screening, testing, interviewing and hiring the most suitable employees for the organization. SCOPE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF HRM Development  Development here refers to both employees’ training and management development. HR managers are accountable for conducting and supervising training and development programmes for employees. The very purpose of a training and development programme is to increase the employees’ competencies in their job by improving their knowledge, skills and abilities.  Training and development is widely accepted as a method for enhancing the employee skills, increasing the individual and organizational performance, improving the employee morale, and achieving the business growth and success. Loading… Compensation  Compensation refers to the determination of the pay scale and other benefits for the employees. Establishing and maintaining the pay system of an organization is one of the principal jobs of the HR managers. They must devise ways to ensure fair and equitable pay rates. In addition, HR managers should regularly manage the performance evaluation system of the organization, and continuously design reward systems such as performance-linked incentive plans and bonus and flexible work schedules. Maintenance  The maintenance function aims at retaining efficient and experienced employees in the organization. This calls for creativeHR practices. In this regard, HR managers are responsible for offering a wide range of HR programmes covering occupational safety, health promotion and physical fitness, canteen facilities, recreation activities, transportation programmes, employee suggestion schemes, career counselling and growth for creating a positive work environment. OBJECTIVES AND FUNCTIONS OF HRM Integration  It consists mainly of industrial relations and aims at ensuring good relations between the management and the employees. HR managers have to implement industrial relations programmes that would ensure ethical and fair treatment in disciplinary action, grievance redressal, and career management processes. They should also counsel the employees and the management to prevent and, when necessary, resolve disputes over labour agreements or other labour relation issues. It is to be understood here that the functions of HRM can vary widely from one organization to another, depending upon its nature, size, and objectives.  For instance, a smaller organization may follow a shorter HRM process with a greater emphasis on functions like procurement and compensation and little or no priority for activities like training and development and industrial relations maintenance. On the contrary, large organizations may pursue a longer and more comprehensive HRM process to meet the requirements of both the management and the workforce. WANNA TAKE A HR QUIZ N CHECK YOUR HR IQ? 1. The development and application of employees’ skills and energies to accomplish the goals and objectives of...
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Reinforcers and Behavior Changes

Reinforcers and Behavior Changes
REINFORCERS AND BEHAVIOR CHANGES Reinforcers induce and enhance the association between the cue and the expectancy. This leads to increased performance levels and positive attitude development. This is an effective and efficient strategy that has been proved to be successful. Reinforcement is inevitable for learning process and in a dynamic corporate business environment, unlearning the old things and learning and adapting oneself to satisfy the needs of the changing environmental and economic factors is the critical success factor that serves as the backbone of the success of the company. Significance of Learning: Learning is not the only attribute that gets enhanced by reinforcers; as a result there is a repetition of desirable behavior that helps in maintaining the consistency, cordiality and climate of the organization. Reinforces increase the strength of response leading to desirable or undesirable consequences depending upon the kind of reinforcer, which might be a reward or a punishment. Either way it elicits response that gets strengthened in course of time. Mindset of People: The management side that is the deciding authority has to come to clear terms with the kind of treatment applicable on specific situations; say for instance when there is a need to complete a project in the stipulated time or achieve quantifiable targets which may prove very challenging or increase the production capacity in order to retain a major market share. Whatever be the case, the morale of the workers down the line, executives who coordinate the process, the managers who manage and report has to be maintained in the highest order. The mind set of the people working for you is very important as it encompasses the quality of work done, commitment to duty and determination to reach the target on time. Rewards: Rewards always make people happy and are found to be positively reinforcing. If you feel that monetary rewards are always a better stimulus, you are wrong. Money is always considered to be a reward; to consider it as a reinforcer cannot be neglected but at the same time it definitely is not a positive reinforcer.Feedback on performance is rated high on the reinforcer scale which takes you to the next level as a performer. Modern organizations have understood the system’s anomaly that gives undue importance to the huge amount of data that speaks volumes about people and their merits and achievements. Is it really enough to know things about people? People expect feedback about their performance and people with some degree of achievement definitely have an intense desire to know how they are doing? The more specific your feedback is, better the impact and greater the delay between the performance and feedback, the less the effect. Work Environment: The work environment itself can serve as a very good positive reinforcer provided there is freedom of expression, liberty to participate and an open door policy adopted by the managers and superiors. The top level management must take utmost care to design the reward system in such a way that it warrants fairness and equity. Employees are motivated to go for self appraisals with goal setting that is the biggest reinforcer of all times. Recognition: Recognition, rewards and praise tend to boost the ego of individuals which you can work it up to your advantage. Punishment is one of the most used and convenient but least understood and badly administered aspect of learning and reinforcing. Punishment equally alters the behavior of your subordinates which becomes more complex in course of time. Positively dealing with your subordinates by giving them one more chance, of course with a warning might serve the purpose. If punishments modify the behavior of a person and make...
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Conflict Management

Conflict Management
Conflict Management What is a conflict? An organization is a network consisting of human element as the major functional source and as such is prone to weaker vulnerable aspects of human psychology. Conflict is, of course, one such weak point. The diverse functional groups in the organization get into conflicts while setting up objectives and goals; in prioritizing and weighing the objectives, the methods of their achievement and their evaluation. Though there are numerous kinds of conflicts, this is the major one affecting the functioning of the firm.   Certain examples of conflicts: The objective of a project manager to construct a building might go against the objective of minimizing the project cost. For work force, their personal goals come before the organizational goals. The objective of the production department to increase productivity may go against the objective of maintaining the product quality The objectives of the marketing department to increase the sales through promotions may not be welcome by the finance department whose objective will be to cut the cost’ Reasons for conflicts: 1. Lack of clarity as to the scope and relevance of functions in achieving the corporate objectives. 2. Clash between line and staff authorities. 3. Ignorance or lack of knowledge needed for decision making in the part of chief executives 4. Different sets of beliefs and views, along with one’s personal interest and ego. 5. Different kinds of attitudes of members of the organization 6. Absence of clarity in organizational policy, procedures, rules and guidelines. The Results of Conflict: The most affected element in a group conflict is “Employee Morale.” Conflicts undermine professionalism and lead to under utilization of organizational capacity. Loss of Importance: A particular group of employees feel that their importance is being undermined. When a manager is being inducted from an outside source, the prospective employees of the firm feel that they have been let down by the management. Frustration: There are certain rules and regulations to be stuck to when issues arise. If the finance department is not consulted regarding issues related to insurance claims, there are chances that the company might lose a good deal. In such cases frustration arises which is not good for the health of the firm. Feeling of Insecurity: This affects severely the morale of an employee. A clerical staff feels insecure if new technological system is introduced in the company where he is a novice. When one’s importance is persistently reduced, he may start feeling redundant. Blocked Personal Growth: Persons who experience reduced importance may apprehend a situation where they don’t expect much by way of personal growth through increments and...
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