The Human Resource Management (HRM) functions in an international organization, encompassing a variety of actions or activities. Basic among these activities is decision taking regarding the organizational requirement for more workers. The international organizations department for Human Resource Management decides on whether to send expatriate workers to a particular location of its establishment or to hire locals to perform the functions demanding the employment of workers. The department also recruits workers, and sends them to various branches of the company worldwide. The Human Resource Management of Multinationals are faced with the problem of recruiting workers to fit into different cultural backgrounds. The compensation of the workers in these organizations is also handled by the Human Resource Department (Saater, 2004). A lot of issues are associated with worker compensation, since workers in multinational organizations are oftentimes transferred from a region were worker compensation varies with the previous place of assignment, this makes workers reluctant in accepting transfers to such locations. The problem now faced by the management of this organizations is how to organize the companies pay or compensation, such that it is globally accepted, and reducing the usual administration workers union wrangling that are often times associated with this issues, resulting to reduced input on the side of the workers and profit loss on the part of the multinational organizations or companies.
One of the greatest challenges faced by the management of these international organizations, is the alignment of the organization’s global strategic objective, and its Human Resource, in the achievement of the organizational goals. The management of these organizations are always brainstorming on how to globally align its strategic plans with Human Capital across diverse cultural backgrounds. And in most cases this result to the focusing of the Human Resource Department on administrative functions, and that of aligning it with the organizations strategic plans is left unattended to. In most international Human Resource Management programs where Human Resource forms part of the company’s strategy, it is left with the role of forecasting, but if these organizations are going to make any headway in achieving its strategic goals then, the management of such organizations will have to realize that Human Resource goes far beyond just forecasting. Putting it more frankly, leaving the international Human Resource Management of a multinational out of the organization’s strategic objective, is forgetting in totality why the organization exists.
Domestic, and International Human Resource Management
The major gap that exists between the domestic HRM and the IHRM is in the fact that a higher degree of awareness is required to handle international responsibilities. The requirements encompass language, where the Human Resource Management personnel is expected to operate in a country where the language used differs from his. Another important point to note is the difference in operational policies that exist in every country, regarding the operation of business organizations (Chew, 2003). The Human Resource staff in multinational organizations needs to be fully aware of these differences and communicate it to their expatriate workers, to avoid embarrassment that may result from ignorance of these facts. It is important to note that Human Resource is more or less a management practice and it is different from Human Resource Development (HRD). Some of the basic functions of IHRM according to Charles,( 2005) are “ensuring workplace safety through dealing with drugs and drug problems, employee assistance, ergonomics, spirituality and diversity”.
IHRM: Skill Base Evaluation
This makes it possible for the employers of labor, to have an idea of the skill base to expect from an employee, it also enhances his understanding of the thing that the employee need to learn in order to produce an expected performance or high performance. One other important advantage of the skill based evaluation system in IHRM is that it helps both the employee and the employer, have a common expectation of output. it is important that multinationals should have a clearly defined method of evaluating the skill base of its workers, this will show the organizations how the workers within its employ have met the set performance standards. One of the methods that can be used successfully to carry out this evaluation is the checklist method. It is important that attention should be directed towards the measurement of the actual performance time. This could be weekly, monthly or annually.
After a method that will be used to evaluate the skill of the workers is selected (the method selected should be based on the availability of such a method and how skilled the person using the method is). A process of evaluation will be designed, which will be used as a means of certifying whether a worker has met the set performance standard or not. The next and most important thing to consider will be the determination of the individual or person that will carry out the performance evaluation. It is how ever preferable that the evaluation of the performance of the workers in an organization to be carried out by the management of such an organization.
The method used in the evaluation of the skill of the workers in a multinational organization, must take into consideration the overall organizational goal which it is expected that the employees should clearly understand, and in cases where they lack the understanding of the organizational goal, inquiry should be made, this will assist the workers in carrying out their duties within the organization, at peak performance. A clearly drawn plan should be implemented to make sure that the skills of the workers are meeting the organizational objectives.
IHRM and Competency Systems
This management system lays emphasis on the input of the employee or workers to business organizations, rather than bashing what a worker does in an origination as a result of the assignment that is given to him. The competency systems are utilized as tools that are use in emphasizing on the behavior of the employees in an organization, the training that is received by the workers that makes it possible for the organizational goals to be achieved. Organizations that want to effectively deliver on their goals, should utilized the competency systems.
In the recent years a new brand of ideal that is rapidly growing and gaining grounds in organizations, is the alignment of the International Human Resource Management Departments, with the organizational strategic objectives. This is a more or less transformation from a structure that is strictly job centered to that which operates on the competency of the workers. This has to do with the workers or employees organizing their behaviors and talents to align with the overall organizational objective or goal (Brock, and Siscovick, 2007). Competency has to do with the employee organizing his or her behavior in such a way that organizational goals take precedence in all his or her actions. That is the workers life is a depiction of what the organization for which he walks stands for. Therefore the use of competency systems will help multinational organizations get the best from its workers, as regards the alignment of the organizational strategies with the Human Capital in the actualization of the ultimate organizational objectives. If the system is executed effectively, it will have great influence on Human Resource activities in multinational organizations such as the training, choosing, and making or taking decisions that bother on the compensation of the workers and, it will also assist in the evaluation of the performance of the workers in the organization. Unlike other systems that are utilized in the evaluation of the performance of the workers, competency systems are complex to handle and as such it is required of the organization to be committed to the deployment of workers that are heading in various unit in order to ensure the success of the program as complex but very important as this. Competency has been defined by Freedman,( 2003 ) as “identified behaviors, knowledge, and skills that directly and positively impact the success of the employees and the organization”.
IHRM: McDonalds operation in Russia
The good instance of the implementation of westernize management practices in an environment considered to be a no go area or not welcoming, is the fast food industry in Russia. As of 2000 McDonalds was still in Russia after every other multinational company had gone. The company implemented its foreign management techniques with no attention given to the culture of the Russian people. The fast food chain transferred totally its North American HRM system and in cooperated it into the Russian market.
Irrespective of the fact that McDonalds made a lot of profit, people still criticized the way the company treated its workers. All the issues that had to do with the workers and the company were treated within the company, this the company did to prevent the intervention of the government or legal practitioners involvement in the companies affairs or with its workers. The company never for ones allowed the trade unions that wanted to represent their workers to do so, this was highly criticized as a poor worker customer relationship and again the company refused to implement policies that clearly defined the workers status in the company, that is a policy that will indicate how the workers will improve within the origination along with the accrued wages due to them as a result of their elevation. One important point to note that enhanced the fast food chain to operate in this way successfully was the state of underdevelopment of the Russian labor legislation. Some of the issues that were raised by most people concerning the way McDonald handled its workers, was the emphasis it laid on the employment of young people in the organization or the food chain, it will be observed that this form of behavior or operation are not permitted in countries with organized labor laws. The truth of the matter is that a representation of the workers that is independent of the company’s management will be needed to correct some of these practices by McDonalds and other multinationals, but it is unfortunate that the fast food chain is still bent on opposing the existence of this organized labor arrangement.
The management of the McDonalds fast food chain are always of the opinion that they will handle effectively all the issues that are related to the welfare of their workers, what they imply in this case is that the workers will be adequately compensated, all and the best and most efficient working environment will be provided for the workers, that at the right times and when it suits the company workers will be sent on training, and that finally all hard working staff of the establishment will be promoted accordingly when due. The bad side of these companies’ policies is that the worker has no voice in any of this decisions, all is done at the comfort of the company’s management. Most of the working rules within the organization are tougher than it is obtained in the Russian general standards, but the company feels this will establish an effective and high standard behavioral norms within the organization, as the company feels this norms are little or not at all observed in the Russian business environment. McDonalds feel that the policies that exist within the company make its one of the most wonderful place for and individual to render his or her services. Well it is true that most people enjoy working in one of the world’s most successful chains, believing that those are the operational principles that have kept the company at the top of their game till date. Notwithstanding the company experiences a lot of challenges as regards some of their operational policies, basically in the areas of employment of workers, and the representation of workers working with the cooperation. The bottom line is that if organizations want their workers to trust them then, the companies should handle the workers with the highest degree of respect ( Harzing, and Van Ruysseveldt,1995)
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