Human Resource Management: Problems and Solutions

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Recent years, the problem of absenteeism becomes an important issue in workplace affected small and medium size enterprises. In workplace, life and relationships are virtually inextricable. In one way or another (within the social set up), living things with bias to human being find themselves relating with one another either consciously or autonomously in an effort to fulfill the inherent factor that human beings are social beings. The problem of absenteeism results in low productivity, low morale and poor communication between employees. However, the degree and the context in which such relationship take place varies along different situations and the inherent characteristics of the individuals who form the subject of such relationships. Ideally, interpersonal relationships are part and parcel of human life. Definition wise, interpersonal relationship is a term that refers to the connection between two or more individuals, ranging from short-lived relationship -lasting for just a short time- to long lasting or rather percent relationship of which the relating individual remains connected for a long time.

Problem Description

In the article, “Precautionary Actions within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” by Jan M. de Kok, the author describes problems and consequences of absenteeism in workplace. The author states that absenteeism is a part of interpersonal relationships are based on specific tenets or pedestal; the latter of which forms the basis on which the relationship is established. Often, such foundations include, love, general fondness, and normal business relations as well as the wide range of other general life social commitments. Consequently, the environment in which interpersonal relationships take place are rather diverse and multifaceted, ranging from churches and religion meeting places, families, marriage unions, social neighborhood, work places and offices and clubs to places that constitute the social set up. In addition, interpersonal relationships are synchronized by laws, societal values, beliefs and customs and reciprocated agreements among the relating parties. Similarly, the objective and functions of various forms of interpersonal relationships differ with the setting. For instance, despite the fact that relationships between colleagues in work place and intimate relationship in a marriage are both forms of interpersonal relationship, the goals of formation and existence of each, the context in which each exists as well as the rules and regulation on which each is established and run forms a point of clear distinction between them.

Analysis of the Situation

In genera, the analysis suggest that lack of disciplinary actions and controls over daily performance of employees lead to absenteeism. Absenteeism exists in complex, multifaceted and highly dynamic systems that vary steadily and continuously throughout the existing life of the relationship thus forming a complex process and at times, a cycle of events. Interpersonal relationship growth is characteristically directly proportional to the length of the time of its existence. As such, there is a tendency of such a relationship growing and improving steadily as the relating parties or individual become closer to each other emotionally and physically and as such, parties become more acquainted with each other.

Problem Solutions

I suppose that the problem of absenteeism can be solved thought strict control and disciplinary actions applied to all employees. I would single out progressive discipline as the main tool against laziness and poor motivation.

Progressive Discipline

Progressive Discipline is defined as a system of penalties when fines increased with repeat errors and misbehaviors occur in workplace. Concerning Progressive Discipline, it is essential that a HR audit be performed before conditions deteriorate or crises develop. In reality, the HR audit is most often used in a crisis situation when drastic and fundamental corrective action must be taken. The audit, however, is not a vehicle of crisis, but rather a means of avoiding crisis. Even successful operations must be audited, since adequate profitability, reasonable return on investment, and sufficient market position tend to lead to managerial laxity and underdeveloped opportunities. Also, successful companies build up a momentum that carries them forward long after their operations cease to be effective. It is to detect such lags that some elements of HR should be reviewed at any given time. Since the management of change is one key responsibility of HR executives, and since HR is concerned with the adjustment of corporate resources to an ever-changing environment, the HR audit is a continuing activity. It is important to note that a HR audit relates to organizational planning. In assessing the adequacy of an organizational structure, the audit includes the evaluation of staffs and the needs for additions and reorganization. Despite the difficulty of controlling HR factors precisely, standards must be established to assure intelligence about HR inputs and outputs, costs and results. HR management must evaluate the productivity of an operation and realign and adjust various elements of the mix in order to gain more effective performance.

Possible problems of Implementation

Although some HR tasks are indeed difficult to specify, each of the major ones should be identified. These tasks should be broken down into the basic activities to be performed. For example, the sales task should be fractionated into such elements as developing prospects, contacting prospects, contacting customers, and gathering information. Research on misbehaviors should be undertaken to gain information about each task. For example, company and industry information might be gathered about the average number of contacts a salesman makes, the proportion of potential customers sold, and the average size of the order. A company may do this internally to gain some idea about expected performance. Management can then assess the situation and adopt standards for the job, taking into consideration such variations as sales territories, socioeconomic factors in different geographic regions, and the degree of development of the salesman.

The main stages of Progressive Discipline

The main stages of Progressive Discipline are counseling and verbal warming, written word of warning, suspension and termination of employment. Progressive Discipline standards should be reviewed regularly. Through doing this, new factors come to light and inequities can be reduced. Realistic standards measure a man’s performance against the job. If based on the lowest common denominator, they discourage performance. If set too high, they also become unrealistic and meaningless, and discourage performance. It is neither the development of the standard, nor the observance of a discrepancy from it, that is the focus, but the problem of what to do about the gap. Proper realignment and adjustment assures effective control.

The efficacy of Progressive Discipline

The efficacy of Progressive Discipline depends on both the availability of relevant standards and management power to adjust parts of the HR program and objectives. Given the trend to conglomerates, national and international distribution, increasingly keen competition, and a profit squeeze, control activities become central in managing HR systems. HR intelligence helps to indicate what changes in present situations may mean for the future and how a company can influence its market destiny. It induces innovative and risk-taking possibilities. By anticipating future situations, it guides present actions, which in turn shape the future. But HR intelligence must not only concern itself with problems of the immediate future, such as the advertising campaign for next year’s sales; it must deal with long-range problems as well. Intermediate and long-range HR intelligence is a basic requisite for planning and decision making. Through its insights into risks and opportunity, HR intelligence can be used to redirect corporate effort to more profitable objectives. By anticipating changes and treating them as opportunities, it often leads to a redesign of HR strategy, to development of longer-range perspectives, and to cultivation of a viewpoint of what can be done to adjust the corporate effort. Internal intelligence is easier to gather than either position or environmental intelligence. It is intelligence about internal company operations. Given good data-reporting systems, executives should have adequate knowledge of finances, personnel, inventories, production capacity, and company position. The company can control these factors through time. An appraisal of the impact of the interaction of internal forces on the external environment furnishes guidelines for profit assessment. Internal, environmental position intelligence gives managers a good basis for evaluation and developing projected intelligence, which is concerned with future constraints, variables, and possible HR strategies that may apply to a company. These factors are interrelated, and a consideration of their combined future impact is a basis for forecasts.

Due Process right

Due Process right of an employee means human and Constitutional rights granted by the state to each of its citizen. Due Process right builds on laws and relates to the workplace conflicts. Linked to internal position and environmental intelligence, it results from a consideration of future plans, programs, organization, and control. It invokes the “what if” speculation and sets the pattern for future HR commitments. The HR intelligence system consists of five major activities. Three of these cover the acquisition and analysis of information; the other two relate to the use of information thus obtained. Many companies are surfeited with HR data but have relatively little HR intelligence. The fundamental dimensions of Disciplinary Action are dismissal, suspension or demotion without pay. This activity consists of observing the reports of misbehavior occurrences, discerning patterns and deviations from standards, and trying to make sense out of them. Surveillance serves two ends: it indicates likely trends and changes in the marketplace and then suggests what must be known and done to meet the changes. Despite the fact that socialization is inherent in human beings and that socialization among them in whatever form and context that it takes is autonomous, existence of health interpersonal relationship is not obvious. Consequently, there are varying factors that surround and influence establishment and existence of interpersonal relationships, the latter of which can either hinder of foster health interpersonal relations. Such includes, poor communication skills, conflicting interests, diversity in personality and character, lack of compatibility, and mistrust among others.


Disciplinary actions attempt to evaluate more specific knowledge of particular opportunities, or competitors’ capabilities and vulnerabilities. Knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of specific competitors supplies the basis for developing one’s own HR strategies and programs. Predictions provide a dimension of futurity that makes intelligence relevant for planned decisions. HR intelligence as operational knowledge may be ranked on the basis of its significance to management. In its highest form, it is strategic intelligence that affects the basic directions and goals of a company, has long-run implications, and may affect the basic structure of a company.

Works Cited

Armstrong M., Baron A. (eds.) The job evaluation handbook. Eds. Institute of Personnel and Development, 1995.

Robbins, S. Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall. 11 Ed., 2004

Robertson, I.T., Smith, M., Cooper, D. Motivation, Institute of Personnel Management, London, 2002.

Reed A. Innovation in Human Resource Management. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2001

Storey, J. New perspectives on Human Management, Routledge, London., 2002

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