Innovations and changes within organizations are inevitable. This is to help organizations overcome competition and increase their sales volume. Effective implementation of changes within organizations depends on the established strategic human resource management policies and plans. There are numerous issues to be put in mind when coming up with these plans and policies. This paper aims at briefly highlighting some of these issues and giving recommendations on some of the policies that can facilitate innovation or change implementation.
Some of the issues that one needs to consider when coming up with human resource plans and policies include the mission and vision of the organization, predicting future changes in the business environment, customer needs, employee competence, organization performance, and commitment by the management to accepting changes. After analyzing these issues, one needs to come up with varied human resource policies and plans to facilitate change implementation. Some of the policies are workforce planning policies, employee rewarding and acknowledgment policies, and plans on how to communicate the staff changes.
The current state of competition in the business environment calls for organizations to be open to embracing changes and innovations aimed at helping them gain competitive advantages. Most of the organizations are continuously planning for changes that will help them improve their performance as well as the level of consumer satisfaction. Failure by human resource managers to come up with policies aimed at introducing innovations makes organizations continue with their old system of operations.
This may hamper organizational growth as it may not be in a position to enhance its operations. In addition, the organization lacks competitive power in the market making it lose a lot of its market share. To facilitate in coming up with strategic human resource management (HRM) plans and policies, there are various key issues that one has to address (Clark & Clark 1994, p. 45). These include predicting future changes within an organization, measuring the competency level of the organizational staff in coping with the innovations, and understanding customer needs.
For introduced innovations to be readily accepted by shareholders they must be aligned to the organization’s mission and vision. This calls for one to also consider them before coming up with policies. Understanding the level of commitment by the management to accommodating changes within the organization is vital. This paper aims at critically analyzing these issues and giving recommendations on some of the strategic HRM plans and policies that would help an organization accommodate changes and innovations.
Key issues to address
Understanding the mission and vision of the business
Every organization is established with a specific mission and vision. All activities conducted within the organization are geared towards attaining this vision. Regular evaluations are made by the shareholders to determine whether the business is making progress towards attaining its vision. On realizing that there is a deviation in the organization, they introduce the necessary changes to ensure that the organization works towards attaining the vision. Before coming up with strategic HRM policies for an organization changing, it is imperative to understand the mission and vision of the organization (Clark & Clark 1994, p. 75). This will help in ensuring that one develops plans that will help in attaining this vision. This is by identifying changes that can be made in the organization to help it achieve its vision.
For shareholders of any organization to fund any undertaking within an organization, they require to be guaranteed that the project will help in attaining the organizational mission and vision. Changes within an organization that is not aimed at helping it attain its vision will not be well received by the shareholders. Such changes are short-lived and doomed to fail. Developing strategic policies and plan for such innovations or changes within an organization can not help in realizing the changes as their will face opposition from the shareholders.
Predicting changes in a business environment
With today’s competitive nature of businesses, their environment keeps on changing. This is concerning technology, customer needs, and government regulations. For a business to effectively cope with these changes, it needs to have a strong management system that flexibly accommodates the changes (Doug & Dexter 1991, pp. 263-267). Poor planning by human resource managers leads to organizations experiencing problems in case of these changes.
The organization loses its competitive advantage leading to a reduction in its profitability. Before embarking on developing strategic human resource policies for an organization that is changing, one must have a clear idea of the transformation experienced by the company since its inception. One also ought to critically analyze the current changes occurring within other similar organizations. In so doing, one will be in a position of understanding the current changes in the business environment and predict future changes.
By having an insight on the current business environment and the expected changes in the future, one will be in a position to come up with human resource management policies that will help the organization cope with these changes (Doug & Dexter 1991, pp. 268-279). For instance, one will be aware of some of the changes the company will be required to make to cater to the future changes in a business organization.
As a result, it will be possible to come up with plans and policies to help the company realize these changes. If one predicts that future changes will require the organization to introduce new technological infrastructures, it will be easy to lay down plans and policies to facilitate attaining this infrastructure. It will also be possible to come up with strategies to help the company cope with the new changes like training staff in advance if they do not have the required skills in dealing with introduced changes.
Considering employee competence in dealing with changes
The effectiveness of any changes or innovations introduced within an organization depends on the ability of the staff to cope with them. Introducing changes that are hard to be adopted by employees may lead to an organization lowering its productivity level. Before coming up with policies to help an organization achieve innovations and changes, it is imperative to determine whether the available staff will be able to cope with the introduced changes. Some introduced changes may be costly to the organization as they may require the organization to conduct employee training or recruit new staffs to cater to the changes.
Considering the competence level of the available employees in the organization before laying down policies to help an organization attain changes will help one in knowing whether the company will be required to conduct employee training and recruitment (Doug & Dexter 1991, pp. 280-283). Consequently, one will be in a position to decide the type of training and skills required by the staff to effectively cope with the changes. This will help in developing human resource policies for the company to facilitate recruiting and preparing the available staff for the changes and innovations.
Understanding customer needs
Most of the innovations and changes introduced in organizations are a result of customer needs. As customer needs keep on changing, organizations are compelled to make changes in their operations or come up with innovations to improve the quality of their products or service provision. Human resource managers within organizations need to effectively monitor changes in customer need to ensure that they have initiated changes to help in meeting the needs.
Failure by organizations to dynamically change their operations based on changing customer needs leads to customer dissatisfaction. In the long run, such organizations lose their customers to rival companies that effectively address customer needs. Innovations and changes made within an organization need to be aligned to customer needs (Fombrun, Tichy & Devanna 1984, p. 265). As these changes and innovations require an organization to heavily invest in them, human resource managers must ensure that the changes will be productive to the organization.
Before developing strategic human resource management policies and plans for an organization changing, it is vital to understand the needs of the organization’s customers. This is to ensure that your plan will help in attaining changes that will help an organization address these needs. Investing in changes that will not help an organization increase its profit margin may be costly to an organization.
When analyzing customer needs, one will be able to look at how the organization is currently operating and the factors that are making it not effectively meet these needs. As result, one will have clear information about the current status of the organization and changes that need to be made within the organization (Gratton & Truss 2003, pp. 74-80). This means that it will be possible for one to develop strategic plans that will effectively help the company make the required changes and introduce the necessary innovations to help it address customer needs.
Commitment by the organization staff to accept innovations and changes
In most cases, staffs are reluctant to embrace changes. This is because they fear that changes may lead to them losing their jobs or getting overloaded with work. To ensure that they remain at work, the staff looks for all means possible to shoot down strategies aimed at introducing changes within the organization (Gratton & Truss 2003, pp. 81-86). This is one of the factors that lead to most organizations stick to their old way of doing things.
Developing a strategic human resource management plan for an organization changing without considering staffs’ commitment level may lead to the strategies being unproductive. It is imperative to understand the level of trust within the organization. Understanding staffs’ attitude towards their working environment will help one know whether they are likely to commit themselves to changes or not.
On understanding that employees will not be committed to changes within the organization, one can embark on planning on measures to take to ensure that staff will be ready to accept and support any changes introduced in the organization. This can be planning for organizational workshops aimed at briefing staff on the changes intended to be made in the organization and their benefits to both the staff and the organization. This would eliminate the chances of staff opposing changes once they are implemented. Understanding the level of staffs’ commitment to innovations within the organization would help one in knowing the nature of human resource management policies and plans to develop.
For an organization with a history of staffs opposition to new changes, one will be in a position to ensure that his or her policies will help in overcoming this opposition (Hiltrop 1999, pp. 628-630). It can be through developing human resource management policies that are employee-friendly and tries to educate them on the importance of the introduced changes. On the other hand, one can come up with strict human resource management policies that strictly spell the repercussions of failure to embrace changes introduced.
Understanding organization performance
Organizational changes are supposed to be made to improve the performance of an organization. It is not imperative to make changes for the sake of it as some changes may negatively alter organization performance. Before coming up with policies to help in implementing changes within an organization, it is imperative to understand its current state concerning performance. Organizational performance can be multifaceted.
One needs to analyze organizational performance concerning product and service provision and employee relation (Hiltrop 1999, 630-637). This can help one in evaluating whether some changes or innovations can be introduced in the organization to help it improve its performance. Considering the state of organization performance before developing policies and plans to implement changes or introduce innovations helps one in understanding the necessary changes and innovations that need to be introduced. Also one can come up with policies that will effectively facilitate in realizing these changes and innovations within an organization.
To determine if an organization has improved in its performance after implementing changes, it requires one to evaluate its performance. Considering organization performance before coming up with policies to implement changes will help one in including policies to be followed in determining if introduced changes facilitated in enhancing organizational performance (Khilji & Wang 2006, pp. 1171-1180 ). One is capable of planning on elements of the organization to be considered in gauging its performance.
Recommendations on strategic HRM policies and plans
Numerous human resource plans and policies can help an organization realize changes or introduce innovations. These include policies concerning workforce planning, employee rewarding and acknowledgment, and change communication policies.
Workforce planning policies
To ensure that an organization attains the objectives of its introduced changes and innovations, human resource managers must come up with viable workforce planning policies. The policies include employee training, recruiting, and skills management. Before introducing changes in an organization, it is crucial for HR to consider the experience required in handling these changes. On identifying the required skills, they can then evaluate their staff to determine whether they possess these skills (Mansfield 1999, p. 98). It is from their findings that they can decide on whether to conduct employee training or recruit new staff with experience in the introduced changes.
In case the management decides to conduct employee training, it has to come up with a plan on a strategy to use when conducting the training. This is to ensure that the organization continues with its activities even as the training goes on. The human resource team may decide to conduct on-the-job training in case the training needed does not entail so many things or does not require demonstrations. On deciding to recruit new staff, the team needs to come up with a strategic plan on how to recruit by outlining the various qualities and skills they will consider when recruiting their staff.
The main reason why most changes introduced in organizations fail is an assumption by human resource managers that the project will be backed by all employees as well as management. Initiating changes in an organization without getting support from both the management and employees leads to the changes failing to attain their objectives. Human resource managers need to recruit and work with staff intended to implement the changes.
One needs to plan on how to come up with the best team of employees to use. Some of the factors to consider when forming this team include the performance history of the employees and their ability to mobilize other staff to accept the changes (Tichy 1992, pp. 59-80). Despite human resource managers coming up with a team to facilitate change realization, they need to closely monitor the changes to ensure that the established policies are followed. This is to ensure that they continually change their policies and plans when necessary to facilitate change and innovation realization.
As most staffs approach changes within organizations with fear, HR must identify those employees that will readily accept the change. These are the staffs to be included when coming up with strategies to follow when implementing the change. For those that accept the changes at a slow pace, human resource managers need to come up with policies to help in encouraging them to accept the change (Torbianelli & Chieruzzi 2005, pp. 240-253). This can be through using those that readily accept the change to influence others.
Employee rewarding/acknowledgment policies
For employees to embrace changes within the organization, they need to be acknowledged based on their performance. Innovation that will overshadow employee performance may be opposed by staff as it may lead to them losing their rewards. In such incidences, the human resource management team needs to come up with policies to use in rewarding employees. This is to guarantee them that the introduced changes will not affect their previous system of rewarding them. Innovations within organizations lead to employees changing their past ways of operations. As a result, methods used to measure employee performance when rewarding them may change (Towers 1997, pp. 314-332).
To ensure that employees support any change introduced within an organization, the human resource management team needs to establish new policies to use in measuring employee performance hence rewarding them. Establishing a new plan of employee rewarding may lead to the understanding that their role in the organization is still acknowledged by the management. This can lead to them being cooperative in making subsequent changes introduced in the organization. On the other hand, failing to reward and acknowledge employees may make them attribute it to the introduced changes or innovations thus making them decline to cooperate in subsequent innovations made in the organization.
Communicating innovations and changes to employees
Because of resistance to new changes from organizational employees, it is vital for organizations o ensure that they have communicated any intended change or innovations to staff in advance. This is to ensure that they are not caught unawares by changes introduced hence making sure that they readily accept them. Human resource management staff ought to ensure that they have effectively communicated any change or innovation to staff (Tsai, Chou & Chen 2008, pp. 300-316).
This is by informing them about the advantages of the changes of innovations to both the organization and the individual. One of the factors that lead to changes in organizations not being successful is a failure by the Hr to continuously monitor the change and communicate to employees whenever they realize that there is a deviation from the intended objective. HR managers need to regularly monitor the implementation of innovations introduced in an organization and alert their staff whenever they realize that the process is going astray.
Most of the changes or innovations introduced in an organization fail to be successful because of poor plans and strategies from the human resource managers. Before embarking on establishing policies and plans to use when implementing changes and innovations within an organization, there are varied issues that one needs to consider. It is advisable to ensure that one has predicted future changes in a business environment.
This will help one come up with plans to cater to these changes. Predicting future changes in a business environment will help the management ensure that the changes being introduced will be able to cope with those changes (Khilji & Wang 2006, pp. 1181-1189). On realizing that they will not effectively address the needs, human resource managers can alter their policies and plans to ensure they have catered for all business needs.
Strategic human resource policies need to be aligned with the business mission and vision. This is to gain support from the shareholders. One needs to ensure that he or she clearly understands the organization’s mission and vision. This is to be able to come up with human resource management policies aligned to this mission and vision. Before laying down the policies to use in change implementation, it is imperative to ensure that all staff will cope with the changes.
This will ensure that there are plans to help those who are not capable of working with the introduced changes. It can be through coming up with a strategy on how to train the staff or induce them into the changes (Mansfield 1999, p. 114). Other issues to consider include understanding customer needs, level of employee commitment to changes, and employee performance.
Some of the human resource plans and policies that may help in implementing changes or innovations within an organization include workforce planning policies. The policies will help in equipping staff with the required knowledge and skills to cope with the innovations (Towers 1997, 333).
These policies range from employee training policies to recruitment and skills management policies. To ensure that staffs embrace changes in the future, it is crucial to come up with employee rewarding and acknowledging policies. This is to motivate staff. To ensure that staffs effectively follow the required process in change or innovation implementation, human resource managers need to plan and communicate the changes or innovations to staff in advance.
Clark, J. & Clark, J. (Ph. D), 1994. Human resource management and technical change. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Doug, A. S. & Dexter, D. C., 1991. Beyond traditional paternalistic and developmental approaches to organizational change and human resource strategies. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2(3), pp. 263-283.
Fombrun, C. J., Tichy, N. M. & Devanna, M. A., 1984. Strategic human resource management. : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Gratton, L. & Truss, C., 2003. The Three-Dimensional People Strategy: Putting Human Resources Policies into Action. The Academy of Management Executive, 17(3), pp. 74-86.
Hiltrop, J., 1999. The impact of human resource management on organizational performance: Theory and research. European Management Journal, 14(6), pp. 628-637.
Khilji, S. E. & Wang, X., 2006. ‘Intended’ and ‘implemented’ HRM: the missing linchpin in strategic human resource management research. The International Journal of Human Resource management, 17(7), pp. 1171-1189.
Mansfield, R., 1999. Frontiers of Management. London: Routledge.
Tichy, M. N., 1992. Managing change strategically: The technical, political, and cultural keys. Organizational Dynamics, 11(2), pp. 59-80.
Torbianelli, V. A. & Chieruzzi, F., 2005. From Transition to Innovation: Policy Issues in a Knowledge-based Economy. Transition Studies Review, 12(2), pp. 240-253.
Towers, B., 1997. The handbook of human resource management. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
Tsai, K., Chou, C. & Chen, M., 2008. Does matching pay policy with innovation strategy really improve firm performance? An examination of technology-based service firms. Personnel Review, 37(3), pp. 300-316.