HR Planning (HRP): Introduction
Human resource planning is an essential practice in ensuring that an organization maintains the right workforce in an attempt to achieve its impending operational goals. The employees must possess the right skills for their designated jobs. Therefore, HR planning plays a central role in ensuring that there is proper recruitment, training, and retention of competent employees.
Definition of HR Planning
According to Taylor (2008), human resource planning is the act of deploying the appropriate personnel with the required skills to perform the right job at the reserved time (369). Due to an increase in environmental instability, changes in demographic patterns, competition, and technology inspired Bratton and Gold (2012) to define human resource planning as the organization of labor needs in a way that helps managers predict the demands of a business. It also involves the assessment of the business environmental factors with a view of fulfilling the supply and demand of skills to ensure effective production and delivery of products and services.
The Various Stages of Human Resource Planning
Human resource planning is a process that entails various stages that follow the formulation of organizational objectives. The process involves the following stages.
Forecasting Future Demand
The demand for human resource planning is determined by factors such as skills, payment levels, experience, abilities of employees, and consumer patterns, among others, that are essential for the performance of a particular job (Armstrong 2012). For instance, the Taco Bell Company initiated a program that revealed customer demand in intervals of 15 minutes. This strategy helped the company determine the size of the workforce needed at any particular point or time of production. The level of production or output is a factor that determines the future demands of the personnel. The performance of the annual analysis of the organization’s plans and procedures is paramount to forecasting its future demands (Armstrong 2012).
Forecasting Future Internal Supply
The forecasting of internal supply revolves around promotional techniques, transfers, enrichment, and job enlargement, among others. It should be done through computerized statistical packages to lessen the duration of the process (Bratton & Gold, 2012). For example, the Coca Cola Company has quarterly decision-making plans that help in forecasting the future internal supply based on the existing capacity and production strategies.
Forecasting Future External Supply
The estimation of the external supply of personnel is accomplished through recruitment plans of fresh employees who have relevant skills to perform in the enterprise (Torrington et al. 2014; Bratton & Gold 2012).
Formulating a Plan
The first step in the formulation of a plan is to match the forecast of the supply with the demands of the human resources in the organization. There must be an equilibrium that exists between the supply and demand to ensure minimization of errors such as overstaffing, shortages, and irrelevant skills, among others. After such plans, the management is required to perform recruitment, selection, placement, training, and development of skills, among other plans (Armstrong & Taylor 2014). This practice goes together with the control and evaluation of the fresh workforce. There must be flexibility in planning to account for the outsourcing of employees if some needed skills are temporarily unavailable. The HRM manager should also create a responsibility awareness and favorable working environment (Armstrong & Taylor 2014).
Why some academics argue that HR planning is not widely used in organizations
The above planning stages are dictated by the past conditions of certainty in the business environment and existing stability (Garavan & McGuire 2001; Armstrong & Taylor 2014). Managers followed techniques of discrepancy considerations that occurred between the demand and supply of the workforce. Issues regarding well-stipulated strategies, technological shifts, customer demands, and impending risks should be considered in HR planning. Some of the issues that have been closely examined include the job positions and appropriate personnel who should fill them (Van Everdingen, Van Hillegersberg, & Waarts 2000).
In some organizations, managers lay emphasis on predictions of employees who should leave particular jobs or vacancies that should be created. The managers easily responded to such issues through the projection of past trends into the future. Other factors that proved relevant to most managers in determining human resource planning include the strict application of the behavioral theory in examining the employee attitudes that lead to job satisfaction or turnover patterns (Garavan & McGuire 2001).
Although such methods are appropriate in predicting the number of employees entering or vacating a particular job, it is hard to envisage precisely the actual positions that will be unoccupied. Advancement in technology has ensured the implementation of quantitative approaches such as statistics and software packages in the analysis of tasks (Liao 2003). The size of the workforce is considered in human resource planning. Companies such as IBM, Merck, Airbus, BP, and Shell are currently using software packages in HR practices such as recruitment of employees across their various global branches.
From a personal point of view, the argument that organizations do not widely use human resource planning is untrue. To effectively implement human resource planning, other factors that go beyond the short-term goals, stability, and certainty must be included. Such factors include long-term objectives, assessment of the external labor market, uncertainty, and competitive markets, among others (Liao 2003).
In contemporary organizations, managers value various factors, such as employee talents, beliefs, and attitudes. Such factors are dictated by the nature of the environment where the business operates. For example, a growing entity requires competent employees, while a mature entity considers factors such as training, motivation, and satisfaction of employees besides the operational costs and uncertainties.
Employee Voice: Introduction
The effective achievement of organizational goals entails the engagement of the interdepartmental teamwork in the selection of projects and organizational processes, among other activities. However, such processes are also determined by the voices of employees regarding the structure and culture of the organization. This situation determines the appropriateness of integrating employee views into business decisions.
Definition of Employee Voice
According to Dundon et al. (2004), employee voice is a collection of the needs, hopes, desires, and preferences of the employees in an organization. The employee voices are determined by factors such as wages, healthcare policies, benefits, motivational requirements, job satisfaction, and workplace relationships that exist between them and the management (Budd 2004). In most organizations, workplace productivity has been noted to improve through practices such as employee engagement, participation, and communication (Budd 2004). Through the effective implementation of dialogue with the management, employees can provide ideas on the various ways of achieving objectives, missions, and changes that can be integrated into the organizational culture (Dundon et al. 2004).
Employee voices are also seen in different perspectives, especially in matters that concern democracy, equity, and occupational rights. Ethics issues in an organization can be put into practice by the management if they are thoroughly highlighted by the employees (Dundon et al. 2004).
Employee voice with particular reference to the arguments made for and against it and the methods by which it may be achieved
A rational and multidirectional communication is paramount to ensuring that human resource management practices are executed appropriately. Effective feedback of information ensures that solutions are reached in a timely manner; hence, employee engagement is significantly improved. As a result, increased overall performance is realized in the organization (Harzing & Pinnington 2010). An example of a company that has been using a multidirectional communication technique is Apple Inc. (Harzing & Pinnington 2010).
According to Dundon et al. (2004), various complaints that are raised by employees concern extravagant, inadequate, and/or confusing information on various organizational aspects that strengthen the relationship between the employees and management. This set of circumstances leads to inefficient and incompetent productivity (Harzing & Pinnington, 2010). For instance, companies such as IBM Inc. and Merck Corp. currently embrace the S-M-C-R model and various communication strategies in interpersonal, group, or organization levels to achieve efficient passage of information (Detert & Burris 2007).
However, most employers do not downplay the notions of employees regarding their rights as upheld by Dundon et al. (2004). This situation is portrayed through their involvement in ensuring that employees are properly motivated in an attempt to keep them satisfied. Most managers succeed in their organization due to the recruitment and retention techniques that are implemented (Smidts, Pruyn, & Van Riel 2001).
The Shell Company, Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and BP currently use software technology in the recruitment of employees. Most of the employees in the organizations are included in innovative thinking and collaborations with various innovative works. Enhancing employee engagement requires job security to develop their loyalty and trust in the organization. For such reasons, employees stay longer in their designated jobs. Successful managers only achieve such benefits when they consider they prioritize the rights and welfares of the employees (Smidts, Pruyn, & Van Riel 2001).
The IBM Company achieves employee engagement by ensuring sustainability in business and hiring right-minded employees who share the same goals as those of the company, among others (MacLeod & Clarke 2009). The participation of an employee in an activity that is geared towards the company goals involves the inclusion and sharing of the activity with the co-workers. This state of play leads to the formation of a team that ensures the successful completion of activities (Gennard & Judge 2010). Many employees use teamwork forums to share diverse constructive ideas. Examples of such companies include Dell Inc., Shell, Yeo Valley, and Apple Inc., among others, in enhancing promotional activities such as advertisement. This situation ensures the achievement of efficient operations.
Therefore, managers must motivate employees to realize improved performance both at individual and organizational levels.
In a personalized viewpoint, the notion that managers tend to downplay employee rights seems misplaced in a modern business society that exists in competitive market niches (McKenna & Beech 2014). An interactive approach to handling a certain project by a member of staff can be termed as employee involvement. Most managers engage employees in decision-making processes and share certain information concerning the improvement of the organization (Blyton & Turnbull 2004). To effectively engage employees in work, managers strive to empower them by streamlining the feedback processes to ensure that their issues are addressed timely and appropriately.
It is clear that involving an employee in decision-making improves their communication and engagement in work. Employees tend to have a perception that they rightfully own the companies; hence, they engage in various duties as theirs. As a result, it is clear that managers do not downplay the notion of employee rights in the management processes.
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