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The Changing Role of Human Resource Personnel in OrganizationsThe human resource function in organizations has changed over the years. It has evolved as the workplace demands have changed. Gone are the days when the main role in the HR department was recruiting and selecting potential employees in organizations. People in the HR department have more responsibilities (Rison & Tower, 2005). One of the major responsibilities is making recommendations that will assist the company in reducing costs, especially during financial downturns. The department is involved, because in most cases, companies result to laying-off employees, as a way of reducing costs. Most of the solutions, which the company will implement, will affect the employees. HR has to make sure that the solutions offered will not affect the employees adversely. When the management has decided that this is the only option available, the department has to recommend the method to be used to determine who will be made redundant. The HR department provides solutions and alternatives, which the organization can undertake so that it can reduce costs. Some of the measures include redesigning jobs. The company should consider this strategy because its current design does not guarantee optimal efficiency. Redesigning jobs will require some of the employees to be placed in other departments. The HR can also restrict overtime, and recommend shorter hours of working, as a way of reducing the costs (Gupta, 2011).In most organizations, the human resource department acts as a link between the management and the employees. It acts as a voice for the employees by raising their concerns to the management. In most cases, the employees usually know when the company is in a crisis. They anticipate that one of the measures to be used to reduce the costs is downsizing. This stresses them out, since they are not sure whether they are going to keep their jobs. This fear and anticipation can sometimes affect job performance, and it contributes to low productivity. Communication is fundamental in such situations, and the HR department has an important role to play in this case. HR has to communicate with the other employees, and inform them of what is going on in the organization. It has to encourage and motivate the employees (Giehll & Moss, 2009)HR assists the management in diverse ways. It helps the management to realize the importance of treating employees well and gaining their trusts. The management should appreciate the work done by the employees. It should not see them as workers, but rather as an essential part of the organization. It should compensate them well and seek to gain their loyalty. This will benefit the company in the end. The company can decide to retain its employees, and reduce their pay or give up some of the allowances and benefits, as a way of reducing operational costs. The company could also requests the employees to forego pay increases or to take unpaid off days (Harding & McGill, 2010). These measures may seem drastic, and they will involve a lot of sacrifice on the employees part. Since the employees know that the company cares about them, they will not object to such measures. In the case of CGMS, the employees love and enjoy working for the organization. The management has invested a lot of time and other resources training them. The companys CEO appreciates the effort they put, and he is opposed to the idea of retrenchment. Since the people support, and are loyal to the company, it is possible that they will be willing to sacrifice some of their benefits and allowances. The HR department has to ensure that it is at the forefront in maintaining the workers loyalty.CGMS has invested many resources on its employees. It is a market leader, and it has the best employees working in different departments. The company is currently facing problems deciding on the measures to implement, so that it can reduce the costs. The companys main costs are in payment of salaries and wages. The cash flow has decreased since sales have gone down because of the decrease in equipment orders, and the demand for services has declined. These are the major income generators for the company. The company needs to identify ways of increasing the revenue, to the extent that it will cover all the expenses. The employees are not well distributed within the company, with some areas having more employees than others. The company needs to develop a plan that will ensure that there are more people in the departments, which bring in revenue.Step 1: strategic analysis and issuesThis will involve conducting a strategic analysis to determine the issues facing the company. In this case, various managers and departmental heads have already identified the issues facing the company. They have identified the increased problems of negative cash flow in the companyStep 2: identify all the operational and administration costs in all the departmentsThe management should identify the costs in all the departments, before making cuts in any department. Some departments may have to incur higher costs than other departments due to their nature. On the other hand, some departments can manage to reduce their costs, without major implications on their performance.Step 3: identify the ongoing HR issuesThis step involves identifying and singling out the issues facing the human resource department. They might not be the same problems facing the company. In the case of CGMS, the main issue facing the HR department, is the possibility that some of the employees in the company could be laid off. This will affect the HR department, since it is concerned with employee issuesStep 4 identify the costs of the HR departmentThe HR department in many organizations has high costs, compared to other departments. HR needs to identify some of the costs. Some of these costs may be hiIDen, and the management may be oblivious to it. For instance, during the company meeting at CGMS, the manager says that they have always done things at a particular way. The company needs to review some of the methods used to implement decisions in the company, as this will enable it to identify the hiIDen costs (Rison & Tower, 2005)Step 5: determine the action to be taken to solve the HR problemThe human resource department will need to identify ways, which will assist the company in reducing costs, and at the same time, making sure that most of the members are retained. It will need to come up with measures that will serve both ends. Some of the measures that the human resource can recommend include reducing the number of hours worked, cutting down salaries, attrition, alternative placement, shared ownership and employee buyouts (HC Online, 2009). The management could also save money by having the company employees do all the work that is outsourced or contracted out at high rates. It could encourage job sharing within the company. One of the most effective measures, which the company can adopt, is consulting with the employees, to see whether they have any solutions, which can reduce costs and increase revenues. The company should freeze all hiring and all pay increases that may result from promotions (Morris & Morris, 2006)A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is useful to the organization because it eases the compilation of employee data, and provides information, which assists in planning and making management decisions. The system assists in administration, control and coordination. It contains other subsystems and features, which are especially useful to the human resource department. The systems provide information that is useful in different organizational processes and procedures such as layoffs, promotions, termination, and evaluation among others. The system contains information that concerns the employees personal and professional life, which may be relevant to the organization. Such information include gender, age, education level, job description, years of employment, performance evaluation, and the number and level of promotions that the employee has had (Gupta, 2011).A HRIS would benefit CGMS to deal with its current predicament, since it needs to find better ways of managing the employees. It records information about the employees payrolls and other benefits. The system can help the organization, if the management has decided that it will layoff-the employees. It can also help the management if it decides to reduce some of the employee benefits. The laying off process has to be fair in all ways. The system has other features such as timecard submissions and approvals, employee self-service, payroll preparations, and absence management (Giehll & Moss, 2009). The system features enables the employees to view and review all the company communications and the policies and procedures. HR uses the system to communicate personal information to the employees. The system payroll and benefits features enable employees to check and change their status such as aIDing or deleting information on dependents, enrolling in different programs, change the health plan alternatives, update personal information, enter information on vacations and sick days, travel expenses, and time. CGMS employs close to one thousand employees.Company memos and notices do not contain detailed information. The system enables the employees to have control over the information. It eases the work done by the human resource personnel. The features in the system are important since they will help HR in making important decisions regarding recommendations for pay cuts and layoffs. The employee self-service features help in reducing the operational costs and increasing productivity. The system handles some of the functions of the HR personnel. Since the company is already experiencing shortages in some of the areas, some of the personnel in the human resource department can be placed in other departments where there is shortage of staff (Marquardt & WaIDil, 2011). The compliance subsystem ensures that the organizations rules, procedures, and policies are in line with the government regulations and laws. This feature is especially useful in times of recruitment, hiring, selection, and termination. The organization has to ensure that it follows government procedures when undertaking some processes. It helps the organization in avoiding lawsuits, which may arise because of wrongful termination and layoffs (Gupta, 2011).The company has to ensure that it avoids all legal problems that may arise during the laying off process. It has to be ethical, and consider the employees financial situation before making the final decision. The company has to have a legitimate reason of terminating the employees. Some of the legitimate reasons include overstaffing, and loss in sales and profits that may occur because of hard financial situations. The company can also have technological changes, which can eliminate the roles and functions of some of the employees, making them obsolete (Guerin & Delpo, 2011). Many companies have established the rules, policies and procedures to be used during layoffs. Companies have conditions, on which people may be laid off. The employees are usually aware of these policies, since many companies make sure that they communicate the policies when they are hiring the employees. The company has to follow the guidelines it has set when terminating or laying-off employees. The company policy and selection criteria for layoffs should be in written form. The company has to check employee contracts, and union conditions. Unionized members have more protection, and the company has to check the conditions set by the union before retrenching workers. Other than these, the company has to follow federal and state laws.The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) ensures that employers should give the employees sixty days notice before laying-off employees. Even if the company has legitimate reasons for laying-off workers, it should give them enough time to prepare themselves before they leave the company. The WARN Act applies to organizations that have more than one hundred workers. It will therefore be applicable to CGMS because it has more than nine hundred workers. The act protects managers, supervisors, and hourly and salaried employees. Employers have to make sure that they do not discriminate when they are laying-off people. Age, sex, race and nationality are sensitive issues, and most employers find themselves on the wrong side of the law for discriminating people on these bases. Employers should be aware of the protected class, and should follow the law when dealing with people in such classes. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures that people are not discriminated based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. That Act applies to companies with more than fifteen employees, state government and agencies, labor organizations and committees, and employment agencies (Guerin & Delpo, 2011).The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with mental or physical disabilities from discrimination. The Act applies to employers who have more than fifteen employees in their company, local government and agencies, labor unions, and employment agencies. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects older workers, who are forty years, or those who are more than forty years old. The Act applies to private employers, who have twenty, or more than twenty employees, federal government and agencies, labor unions, interstate agencies, and employment agencies. Immigrants are protected by the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Employers should not discriminate on workers based on their national origin, or citizenship. However, employers should ensure that all the immigrants have the right to work in the country. The Act is applicable to employers who have four or more employees (Guerin & Delpo, 2011).Different states have modified some of the federal laws, and they have aIDed more laws to ensure that employers do not take advantage of their employees. For instance, the WARN Act in California is applicable to employers who have more than seventy-five workers. In aIDition to the people in the protected classes under the federal law, the state of Massachusetts does not favor discrimination based on sexual orientation, ancestry, genetics, or military service (Shea, 2008). The employers should make sure that they state the reason for laying-off employees. They should be honest, as this will reduce the chances of the employees claiming that they have been terminated unlawfully. The employers have to be fair when discharging employees. The employers should consider the employees feelings, and should therefore avoid any situations that would cause the discharged employees to feel embarrassed or humiliated (Pledger, 2009). The employer should avoid actions such as authorizing the guards to escort the employees outside the building, and telling them that they are discharged in front of their colleagues. This can make the employees feel downgraded, and they may resent their employers for that. When the situation allows, the employers should make sure that they compensate the employees well, such as by offering them a severance pay. Treating employees well, even before signs of financial trouble will lessen some of the legal issues. Employees who are treated well by the company will remain loyal to the company, even if things are not going right.In one way, Stacey is correct in saying that redundancies and lay offs would be justifiable, because the company is facing financial difficulties, and it is depending on its assets to keep going. However, she should not be quick in making such a decision, since the company has not exhausted other measures. The company has not taken some of the measures that are guaranteed to reduce operational costs. The company should first ensure that it exhausts all other measures before discharging any employee. Although sales and wages are the biggest expenditure for the company now, the company stands to loose more when it terminates some employees. The company may be forced to pay unemployment claims, and unanticipated severance packages. It will have to face low productivity and morale, from the employees who have been left in the organization. The company also risks losing talent to its competitors and this can be costly (Guerin & Delpo, 2011).The role of human resource personnel in many organizations has evolved over the years, as work demands have changed and increased. In aIDition to the traditional roles, the department has to undertake other roles, which were sometime back meant for the managers and directors of organizations. They have to be aware of the legal implications of implementing some of the measures in organizations. Failure to do this will land the company in trouble, as some of the employees may decide to take the company to court. They have to be knowledgeable regarding all the aspects of the organizations, as this will assist them to conduct their work more efficiently.ReferencesGiehll, T & Moss, S 2009, , Hillcrest Publishing Group, MinneapolisGuerin, L & DelPo, A 2011, , Nolo, BerkelyGupta, H 2011, , HITESH GUPTA, New DelhiHC Online 2009, alternatives to downsizing, viewed 12 March 2012, <>Lengnick-Hall, LM, Lengnick-Hall, AC, Andrade, SL & Drake, B 2009, strategic human resource management: The evolution of the field, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 19 pp. 64-85Marquardt, M & WaIDill, D 2011, , Nicholas Brealey Publishing, LondonMorris, WT & Morris, WT 2006, Career mechanics, Morris Associates, Inc., KearneyPledger, M 2009, The difficult and delicate job of laying off employees, viewed 12 March 2012, <>Rison, PR & Tower, J 2005, How to reduce the cost of HR and continue to provide value, Human Resource Planning, vol. 28,Shea, MR 2008, , viewed 12 March 2012, <>

 
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