The current report is dedicated to show the contemporary trend in making human resources management (HRM) more improved and effective in strategic evaluation of employees’ needs. In present day the role of HRM increases with implementation of innovations in order to improve the work of the company and the atmosphere in the personnel. Peternity leave is outlined as a major tool for making working process improved. The reality displays that the issue of pet care is very significant today. In fact, the world experience is grounded on the deeper concern about the problem of family pets due to the necessity of productivity and effectiveness increase. Moreover, the research made in the report points out the ethical approach of the problem. In this respect the theoretical as well as practical sides of the research fall into gaining findings whether it is appropriate for the Australian companies and HRM, in particular. The standpoint of the report is to provide current strategies for making everyone believe in the efficacy of peternity leave, in particular.
The world of peoples’ needs in the society may be presupposed with the versatile direction of activities in the workplace and at home. In this respect it is vital to mention the tendency of people to become closer toward their pets. The cruelty of human beings does not leave another way for a man, than to have a family pet. In Australia such perspective seems to be of great significance due to a diversity of animals living in the continent. Furthermore, the ability of people to be conscientious about keeping nature in its unity of all kinds, especially in Australia, plays also a great role. The report is dedicated to the problem of peternity leave, a term which appeared in the UK when in different parts of it there were personal claims of the staff to support them with additional not paid days for having time to introduce pets into the household and to take care of them when being sick.
The problem gains more attention due to the fact that, for example, Virgin Mobile Australia (VMA) has successfully implemented such practice into the whole working process with positive feedbacks in the personnel and improvements in the goal achievements. Thus, the scope of the paper is outlined with detailed analysis of the advantageous trend about peternity leave for the company. Moreover, such perspective and innovation in the workspace is grounded on the previous experience within companies. All pros and cons as for the report are related to the authoritative sources and researches provided in the recent years. Though, the evaluation of the problem should emphasize the concernment of the HRM in terms of facilitating the better and ethically-excellent atmosphere inside the personnel.
The explanation of the peternity leave
The necessity of peternity leave is growing within developed countries due to an increase of peoples’ desire to have a dog or a cat, or some other pets, so that to be a bit happier in their families and to have a mere relax after hardship of working days. The schedule of many employees working for companies does not always requires them to have time for taking care of their pets, especially when they should be introduced into a new atmosphere of a host’s household. For this purpose the significance of suchlike innovation in HRM proved the reliability of further outcomes. It is so due to emotional feelings of people and their soulful attitude toward pets when they get accustomed with such new member of the family.
In the year 2006, as the Management-Issues < www.management-issues.com> write, “Direct Line estimating that pet owners collectively take eight million ‘sick’ days a year to get over the death of their animals.” In this respect it is vital to have a better outlook on the population health and health prospects in the company, in particular. Moreover, the senior management staff can succeed in obtaining positive feedbacks while providing the strategy of peternal leave. It is known that Australia differs much from other countries in its natural world, and it is not difficult to imagine how people in Australia relate to their pets.
Moreover, according to Hillbrick (2008) there is a tendency within the Australians to make up their minds about the constituent parts of their lives considered with pets. In other words, pets should fit peoples’ lifestyles and vice versa, people should be able to provide their pets with the appropriate care and attitude. Such ethical approach drives the HRM estimation of the issue in terms of probable encouragement.
It is not a surprise that if a man has an atmosphere of harmony at home, than his/her intentions and results in the workplace will be higher than usually. Nevertheless, the company should be aware of every negative approach concerned with the personnel’s well-being. The strategy of encouragement gives an opportunity for an employee to be closer to a company and to love it in terms of the senior management team’s good attitude toward employees. Families are the major part of peoples’ lives.
There is a direct proportional benefit for a firm when ther issue of peternity leave is taken into account by HR manager. Indeed, the contemporary practice of such kind of innovation implementation shows that harmony in the workplace depends in vast majority of cases on the harmony in the family.
A pet, a dog or a cat, is a so-called member of the family and needs suchlike care and attitude as children, in fact. In this respect everyone knows that facts are stubborn thing, and that is why the factual sides of the problem prove the intentions of HRM among the majority of the companies in the UK to facilitate and improve the work process by means of peternal leave. It is like a care of a baby which is vital for people to make further development of their offspring successful and reliable.
Taking for granted such background for letting people have time off it is also necessary to have suchlike right of pet owners in order to serve their pets with all particular care. In this respect a company and its HR department should take into account the personal stability and well-being of pet owners within the personnel due to a fact that, according to Seaward (2005), a personal contact with animals can be altered in both physical and psychological dimensions pointing out the effectiveness of pet therapy in conditions of contemporary fast rhythm of life. Moreover, as it is seen in practice, having pets at home a man becomes more human and better in attitudes toward everything surrounding him/her.
HR department of the company is able to point out the preferential needs of employees and also reasons for their hardworking schedules as well. Family is known to be the most viable example of main goals for peoples’ working prospects. Moreover, the extent of industrious capabilities is measured with the particular situations of employees as of their families. Secret and Swanberg (2008) give the recent information collected in the newly published research of work-family relations:
The researchers found that the use of on-site child care was seen as especially important to mothers, that flextime had a significant positive effect for the parents of school-aged children, and that work-family balance was a substantial aspect of job satisfaction for all employees. Increased use of flextime and increased availability of on-site child care facilities were recommended (200).
Such evaluation of the family issue fits the prospects of peternity leave, because as a maternity or paternity leaves the whole objective side of the problem contemplates the necessity of family needs fulfillment. According to Miller et al (1996) the flow of maternity leaves is identified in the role negotiations of women in order to satisfy their personal, concerned with families, affairs. Though, the significance of peternal leave matches the same needs of people, in fact. It is really pleasant to state today’s movement in the work communities toward understanding of how pets and their owners related to each other. More facts provide the ability of the administration to give more work without worrying about its quality while providing peternal leave, as one of the constituents in the HR policy of the company. It is emphasized also with motivational side of the work process.
Thus, it is known that people can be better intended for work when there is a material stimulus, money, in particular. That is why HR strategy today should be more focused on the personnel’s values outside the workplace and their concern about pets. Jamrog and Overholt (2001) write that HR strategic designs should be reckoned in terms of an enterprise’s effectiveness, namely: “While many HR professionals today still struggle to get a seat at the business table, the HR profession in the future should continue to evolve and take more responsibility for overall organizational effectiveness” (51). Thus, a strategic outline as for the family approach is to be proposed accordingly.
Hughes and Wearing (2007) notes: a failure of leadership props up against the inability of CEOs to encourage people in their work. Furthermore, this is one of the today’s reasons for having less research in the sphere of employees’ needs. Previously an employer took into account only the profits which can be gained from a particular piece of work by an employee. Today such idea should be analyzed much deeper. Spencer (2007, p 12) gives important statistics about the implementation of “peternity leave” policy inside companies in the UK:
The “peternity leave” policies have been welcomed by employment experts, who say they could make companies more attractive to workers. Research by insurers Petplan found a third of customers admitted skipping work to look after pets. Some 17.5 per cent of customers said they took a week off work a year to care for their animals – costing British businesses a potential pounds 19 million annually.
Such rates were then developed with points on making pets present in the work area of many employees in the UK. What is more, there is no problem in making such access of pets in the workspace of their hosts. Credibility of a company to serve as a helper in the issue of peternity leave determines, in fact, the ability of a firm or a company to move social and human values inside it on the whole.
Seidman (2001, p. 188) insists in her research of pets’ surplus on economic motives evaluation of pet owners being “covered under a broad, vague heading of “personal problems.” In this case the sensitivity of peoples’ psyche is rather high, because of pets’ ability to provide good intentions for their hosts. Moreover, the economic needs and goals of a company should be assisted with the information as of peternity leaves of the employees, so that to make an annual design with all assets to be achieved in force coming period. With regard to Armstrong (2000, p. 6) the prospects on a company’s strategy implementation is considered to have the “need to integrate HR strategy with the business strategy.” Thus, a company may save its costs on medical insurance and provide a wider scope of benefits due to exceeding role of peternity leave.
Moreover, it is emphasized with a point that companies in most cases cannot limit their costs on medical insurance due to multiple cases of psychiatric and mental disorders of pet owners after an animal’s death. Though, for their recovery much time is needed. Research made by Petplanet showed the motivation of workers to find out time for their sick animals in terms of appropriate cure promotion: “35 per cent of the insurer’s customers had taken time off to look after a sick family pet, while half of that number took a whole week off to care for their ill animal.” Moreover, it is awarded in a number of companies when an employee leaves his/her workplace because of the family pets and proper visit to a vet .
All in all, the researchers have definite data as of the mere extent of well-being within pet owners. Findings of Linden (2005) show that pets provide better relaxation and harmony for their owners decreasing stress and negative emotions of employees after a working day. Thereupon, the author promotes an idea of pet support in a following way: “Acquiring a pet can be considered a special form of social support intervention in that pets provide esteem or emotional support, and this rationale is easy to accept” (118). It is seen in practice that in reality the situation may be a great challenge for the company to make proper steps toward the personnel’s strengthening and consolidation of its branches, as a result. The company should not be indifferent toward the needs of the personnel, especially when it straightforwardly influences the quality of employees’ health background.
Psychological approach is considered to be of great importance here. An impact of stresses in the workplace may be a result of employees’ depression and unwilling approach toward the goals of their work. Thus, a decision-making mechanism of the company can be reduced and the losses of it may be enormous. This is why building up the emotional and psychological preferences for the personnel may serve further as a framework for better results in both qualitative and quantitative parameters.
Of course, there is an alternative for making the process of take care simpler. The United States Department of Labor (2006) provides citizens with the animal care and service workers, so that to keep a strict eye on pets while their owners are working or travelling, or having an extreme meeting. There is another objection for such initiative. Particularly, Hoffman (2000) states that when an owner lets someone else to take care of his/her pet, then it may appear to be that an animal, a dog, for example, may respond greatly to a person with whom he is left while a host works, but without such perfect response toward an owner. Thus, peternity leave is grounded on personal prospects of the pet owners in terms of more attention paid on their animals.
There is a strategic significance to find integrities with the international companies and also it may serve as an acknowledgement from the side of hypothetical partners. In other words, having a peternity leave program the company may become more appreciated and desired for partners in its ethical approach toward the personnel and business policy. The example of the UK companies is considered in the world business environment as one of the effective mechanisms to fulfill the emotional and ethical framework of employees and their well-being on the whole. In this respect there appeared a mere extent of competition between companies in order to attract more professionals in a definite field of activities.
Such trend is being used in Australia on the example of Virgin Mobile Australia and other companies having an interest in the human “skeleton” of their companies. According to Time Vendor LLC (2006) a company and its HR department may simply plan the probable risks of disasters due to an implementation of the program of peternity leave. In fact, many experts prove the credibility of peternity leave for making work process full of positive feedbacks. In this respect there is no doubt in the activity, for instance, of Virgin Mobile Australia (Moran, 2009).
This company is more likely to state personal well-being of the work atmosphere in internal relationships between the dominants and subordinates. It is also outlined that hypothetically such attention of the company may serve to be a great platform for further strategies and projects for higher growth of employees’ activity.
The idea about such innovation in the company may also attract customers’ along with potential employees’ attention toward the conditions of staff’s work and a human approach toward a problem of peternal leave. It is definitely original innovative change for the HR domain. The concernment of people may as well be related to the news of previously frequent cases of pets’ food poisoning due to the erection of management crisis among pet-food producers, for instance, in the US in 2007 (Crandall, Parnell & Spillan, 2009). Fortunately, Australia is proud of its “Pick the Tick” program of consumers’ provision with right choices in food for their domestic animals.
One more touch as of the necessity of workers to leave their workplace is considered with, as Staunton, Gerozisis and Hadlington admit, no personal actions when providing treatment for pets, only an appointment with a vet can help. This statement proves the professional approach in terms of pets care. It is emphasized also with the need to make efforts for future non-reoccurrence of such moments in lives of employees.
Besides, the implementation of peternal leave is effective for the company due to no additional payments to employees. More attention is grabbed in this respect on the features of time period and completion of special leave in the annual approach. Provision of public as well as social services is a goal for strategic HR management (Klingner, 1993). This is why when there is no effective implementation of public services which leads to its separation from social ones, then a bureaucracy appears. The emergence of it by no means serves as a priority for the company and its future development. The staff is a dynamic system which should be promoted with a social, technological and technical support.
Moreover, social concept considers the guarantee of the company’s satisfaction of all criteria for an employee safety in working environment. Unfortunately, life is hard to predict, and this statement proves that HR management should be balanced in terms of negative occurrences. Mathys and Burack (1993) note: “Despite the best long-term human resource plans, unforeseen events occur” (73). Successful strategy of HR department is outlined with its capabilities to confront with unforeseen situations and circumstantial events which may negatively influence on the stability of the company’s work on the whole.
When considering with the experience of Virgin Mobile Australia, it is necessary to underline that in some features there are some limitations. The real conditions of perpetual competition between companies and brands in the world includes the points on surpass of rivals’ achievements and tendencies. Furthermore, a thorough analysis of such features will then make possibilities for the company to influence on the market share and further development of the company. In other words, it is important to count on the peternal leave opportunities for the company, so that to have a scope of actions to be done for the improvements.
As Virgin Mobile Australia succeeded in peternal leave allowing its employees to have five unpaid days to take care of their pets, puppies and kitten only, in order to introduce them into the household, and then the company may have progress in the implementation of such special leave, but with more prevalent conditions. Thereupon, there are points which can be included in the “peternity leave” plan in terms of having more results and appreciation within the personnel. Wall Street Journal (2009) published the article in which the peculiarities of peternity leave is outlined in detail, namely:
Virgin Mobile in Australia recently announced that it now offers peternity leaves for employees with new puppies or kittens under 10 weeks old. Such employees, who must have worked for the company for more than two years, can get five unpaid days off. (Owners of other animals, such as birds, fish or hamsters, can’t take advantage of the policy, alas.)
Taking into account such peculiar objectives the company may impose several steps to make such initiative more successful within its personnel than Virgin Mobile has. In this case it is vital to mention that Australia is rich in snakes, rats, and other animals. There are also many connoisseurs of such exotic animals sharing a great concern about them. The actions can be produced in terms of giving more opportunities for the personnel in their pet affairs. Thus, even if there is a problem with a bird living in a family or a snake, an employee is allowed to be free for a particular period of time. There are some notes, however, according to the safety of employees.
The scientific research in Australia showed that there is a hazard of having reptiles at home due to a possibility of salmonelosis: “As enthusiasm for other reptile pets has increased, it has become apparent that all reptiles (including snakes and lizards) carry Salmonella” (Journal of Environmental Health, 1998, p. 54). In this respect while providing such preference in the HR strategy, there should be a mandatory note that suchlike pet owners should pass periodic health examination. It does not mean that a period of peternity leave for such owners will be reduced or cancelled on the whole. This procedure is useful in order to have better outlook on health prospects inside the staff.
Another step which can make more preferences among the staff is considered with the minimal period of work in the company. It presupposes that notwithstanding Virgin Mobile Australia the minimal period of probation is to be a little less. Then the personnel will be more thankful and save from different causalities with pets. One more step deals with an annual number of days for an employee, so that to emphasize again more possibilities for employees to have time for their pets. Such enlightened management may serve as the fundamentals for making the workspace more desirable place for workers. Nonetheless, employees are trying to have their job with more social points and opportunities from the side of a company’s administration.
Actually, as it is prescribed on < woofwoof.typepad.com >, there awareness of the top management about the issue could secure for the company’s high position within closest competitors: “if employers really were enlightened, staff cover could be arranged and the work would get done.” So if there is a sick pet in the family of an employee, he or she should immediately inform the HR manager. Such line of relationships provision promotes an atmosphere for better grounds for collaboration and knowledge management in a company (Laudon & Laudon).
For making “peternity leave” approach appropriate for the company it is usable and really strategic to go from the hard to the soft HRM model, so that to make aims of management and employees possible and considered with mutual interests (Armstrong, 2000). It means that transformation of HRM model should include all features concerning the hard conditions of the reality with soft rhetoric of the organization in terms of taking care of its employees. In this respect an employee, of course, will not be given a lot of freedom to make every absence related to peternity leave. Registration and accounting are helpful in this case. Though, every case of suchlike provocation from the side of an employee should be regarded as the violation of labor code of the organization.
Conclusion and Recommendations
To sum up, the research on the problem of peternity leave shows that the reliability of such innovation in the HR department of the company would be helpful in terms of making the process of verification easy. In this respect the tendency of such special leave displayed and confirmed the strategic need of the leave provision. Stating the concernment of pet owners in the UK and in Australia it is vital to provide changes in the organizational policy of HRM, so that to reduce risks of negative occurrence in the workplace.
Such negative factors are estimated to fall into depression, health problems, and less productivity within employees who are not allowed to introduce their pets into the household. One more touch presupposes the awareness of the personnel to assist their pets when they are ill. Furthermore, the implementation of the “peternal leave” project is emphasized due to the world particular experience within corporations. Virgin Mobile Australia is a great example of HRM changes in attitudinal approach toward the staff. Data of various researchers are grounded on the strategic evaluation of the problem with further effects for the company well-being. The gradation of factual material is concerned in the report with the current situation of the personnel among the companies. More glimpses are provided on the advantageous side of the issue including current concernment of the Australians in having pets.
The recommendations are promoted in contrast to the practical implementation of peternal leave in Virgin Mobile Australia. Thereupon, the outlook on probable preferences for the company’s personnel is pointed out on a bit more opportunities for employees when taking leave. The significance of such initiative is underlined with future improvements for the company in making work process more effective and productive. It is so due to a statement that the well-being of the company is determined by soundness of its personnel. Nonetheless, the pet-work became similarly significant for HRM as well as the family-work relationships of employees.
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