Every manager in an organization is supposed to have human resource skills, as all the other employees in the organization are under the supervision of the manager. Understanding what human resources entails gives the manager a clear picture of what is expected of him/her by the employees and what should be expected from the employees in return. It kills the confusion that might ensue and gives the manager the competence to resolve disputes and other issues among the employees without necessarily having to take it to the human resource management. The human resource department is costly and does not directly contribute to the production of good and services by an organization. Despite this fact, lack of proper management of the human resource can have catastrophic effects on the reputation of an organization. The trend in the recent years has been the outsourcing of human resource management to consultants. These consultants are not always available within the organization, requiring the managers to have basic competencies in human resource.
The legal environment around human resource management is also very dynamic. This has required the managers to keep themselves informed regarding the new regulations put in place by the regulatory bodies. For instance, equal opportunity laws are getting stricter as more disadvantaged groups get identified and considered in human resource management. Systemic discrimination, whether intended or otherwise is frowned upon currently. The mistakes that the management used to get away with in the past in the management of employees are in the present the ones that put an organization at a greater risk. It is also important to understand that the advancement of information technology, social networks and handheld devices makes management not only answerable to senior members of the organization, but also to the community at large. Any misstep in the handling of the affairs of the employees is likely to get broadcast to many people via social media. This can lead to loss of good faith among the clients in addition to lawsuits.
The human resource manager is required to have good communication skills to communicate the expectations of the company and its policies to prospective employees. This is also important in the drafting of the contracts to ensure that it is clear and understood by the employees. This is a skill that is needed even more by the other managers in the organization, as they will be dealing with the employees on a day to day basis. The communication skills should not be limited to just verbal and written forms of communicating, but should extend to other mediums used to pass on messages to the employees. In addition to that, the manager needs to know how to read the body language of the employees, as that can give insight into what the employees are feeling and determine whether it is likely to have an impact on the productivity of the employee.
Having excellent judgment of the skills and abilities of the employees is a good trait for a manager. This ensures that the right people are placed in the right jobs when giving out responsibilities to the employees. This skill also comes in handy when dealing with issues in the organization such as disputes among the employees. Good judgment enables the manager to arrest the situation in time and prevent further escalation of conflicts in the organization. This skill also helps in dealing with potential cases of discrimination happening in the workplace and guides the manager in the best way of dealing with them and have all the employees feel comfortable at the workplace.
Part B: Changing Environment in Human Resource Management
The company used in the analysis of the changing environment in human resource management is Google corporation. Google is a tech company that offers search engines services and other internet related services. This company was founded in 1998 and has grown to become one of the most influential corporations in the world. This growth is attributed to the innovation and creativity of the employees of the company, which have to be nurtured on a continuous basis. This company is considered to be way ahead into the future regarding human resource management, as it strives a lot to create a good atmosphere for the nurturing of the skills and innovative thinking of the workforce. This corporation has more than 70 offices in 50 countries with slightly over 72,000 employees worldwide (Soules 67). The company has been hailed as one of the best places to work in the recent years.
The benefits offered to Google employees are aimed at stripping away everything that compromises their productivity and creativity. The human resource management at the firm has considered the fringe benefits and facilities that a hardworking employee would want and invested in them. These include the provision of first-class gyms, dining facilities, massage rooms, laundry rooms, commuting buses, carwashes, dry cleaning and haircuts. All the facilities are available at Google Campus, ensuring that the employees do not need to leave the work environment in case they need to relax or freshen up. There is also flexibility in the hours that the employees are supposed to work for the company in addition to the company giving the employees the opportunity to work on their personal projects. The employees are not strictly supposed to report to the workplace. If they choose, the employees are allowed to do telecommuting dependent on their job description.
The employees at Google are offered both monetary and non-monetary incentives that cannot be found in any other company. The employees are allowed to go on a paid vacation for 27 days after working for one year at the company. The female employees are given 18 weeks maternity leave with the fathers having the option of taking up to 7 weeks off. To promote the conservation of the environment, the employees are given a rebate of up to $5,000 if they purchase hybrid cars. The company does not offer any limitations on sick leave (Soules 68). Medical, dental and various other services that the employees might need urgently are available onsite. There are annual Health Fair offerings that give the employees free testing services for their eye exams and cholesterol level testing. The company also offers free flu shots. All these incentives offered by the company to the employees are aimed at making the workers improve on their work-life balance and also improve their health and trust in the employer.
SWOT Analysis for Google
One of the strengths of Google corporation is the fact that it has a worldwide reach and is well received by consumers. The company has received numerous awards over the years as the best company to work for and also as the most admired organization on a global scale. The company also dominates the search engine niche and also due to its Android OS that is used in most of the handheld computing devices in the world. This reputation of this company attracts talented individuals who wish to work for it, and they join the organization with positive expectation and attitude.
As far as human resource management is concerned, it is hard to point out the weakness that Google has in that area. However, most of the benefits that are offered by Google to the employees are costly and likely to impact the bottom-line of the company negatively. However, this is yet to be observed. Giving the worker the opportunity to work on personal projects is likely to encourage them to come up with ideas or startups that rival the services offered by the company. The company has also been facing a backlash over intrusion into the privacy of individuals and of colluding with security agencies in collecting information on its clients.
Google has grown to become a household name globally. This gives it an advantage that is not available for most other companies. The company can diversify into other products and services in the tech industry and have them accepted in the market easily. The company is also considered one of the best employers in the world, putting it in a position to attract the most competent workers in the tech industry.
Threats to this company include the competition in the tech industry, most of which is angled around improving the services and systems provided by Google in the market. The tech industry is also very unpredictable, requiring the company keep on innovating every time.
Challenges and Trends Facing Google
One of the challenges facing Google with regards to manpower is diminishing creativity. The company needs to have very innovative employees to remain relevant in the market. Talented individuals in the tech industry are also very costly to hire making this a challenge for the company. The demographics of the developed nations, where the company has its headquarters are changing. The population is getting older in the developed nations putting a strain on the health benefits of the company. This is because an older population has a higher likelihood of getting health complications compared to the younger generations. At the same time, the majority of the developing countries have a huge number of youths who are unemployed. The problem with them is that most of them lack the opportunity to learn the skills that the company requires. This means that in the near future, the company will have to retain older workers unless initiatives are made to ensure more youths get tech engineering skills.
As gender balance gets ingrained in the workplace, it is becoming necessary for companies to construct day care centers to cater for the needs of the young working mothers. The company also has to find a way of creating flexible working hours for the employees and frame it in a manner that will not be deemed as discriminatory towards the rest of the workers. The company also has to maintain equality in wages given to the employees for the same work done without paying consideration to their gender. Diversity is demanded in the workplace by law, and this is making it harder for the company to recruit. The ethnic background of the candidates and their cultures determine their level of interest in the tech industry, and requiring that diversity be reflected in the workforce places a lot of strain on the recruiters of this company. Google intends to focus on artificial intelligence, which using the internet of things will be incorporated into most of the gadgets and instruments that humans use both at home and at work. This is a field that is lacking in specialists, and the company might have to train the engineers as they join the organization.
Part C: The Legal Environment
An aspect of the legal environment around human resource management that has evolved is diversity. While in the past it used to entail only ethnicity and gender, it has come to include the disadvantaged members of the society such as persons not adhering to the conventional gender descriptions such as the LGBT groups and also persons with disability (Van Ruysseveldt and Harzing 38). In addition to that, the interactions of persons in the workplace are at higher scrutiny than was witnessed in the past. Definitions of harassment have evolved, especially sexual harassment that in the present entails both physical and verbal suggestions from the culprits. The need for political correctness and diversity at the workplace is at an all-time high. Any firm that fails to enforce these measures places itself at risk of suffering losses due to lawsuits from the offended individuals. They are also likely to face a backlash from the community and have the market for its products and services shrunk. The human resource department has to consider these legal matters when hiring workers to ensure that they do not pose a threat to the survival of the company.
Soules, Aline. “I Google, You Google, We Google….” Against the Grain 20.2 (2013): n. pag. Web.
Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, and Anne-Wil K Harzing. International Human Resource Management. London, GBR: SAGE Publications Inc. (US), 2012. Print.