Discuss factors you believe will have the most influence on the future of HR.
Globalization is going to have a massive role on the way in which human resources is carried out and the degree of usefulness of HR. Because globalization is obviously such a massive influence on the corporate culture, there won’t be a single business, big or small, that won’t be affected by the dominance of the world market. “The ever expanding scope of global competition is forcing a continuous re-examination of how human resources can best support the rapid pace of business globalization,” (Pucik, 1996). As part of the influence of Globalization is technology. Innovations such as the iPhone and iPad have made it possible to communicate with people throughout the world extremely easily. Now, more than ever, paperwork can be completed timely and effectively, and digitally. With the increase in the amount of technology comes a decrease in the number of workers, as companies are cutting back staff. This could lead to an increase in the number of employees who are finding it challenging to keep up with the workload. This could result in an increase in employee grievances, requiring more work from HR.
The future of HR will also be determined by an increase in information technology. This gathering of information is available more now than ever, which makes possible the sharing of ideas of people in every level of the workforce. The impact of information technology will most greatly be felt among HR departments for companies and organizations that are focused on financial services and manufacturing. There have also been some benefits in this field in healthcare. “The full impact of its benefits will only be realized if it is incorporated in a systematic form, rather than in the current patchy and uneven manner seen…,” (Anvari, 2007).
Why do you think these are more influential than other issues?
Because many companies don’t have the type of expertise to handle the changing work environment that is being spurred on by globalization, there will be a need for people who are trained to handle this area, and that will in many case be HR people. There are many new demands on the people in the organization and this will require proper guidance from HR managers. There needs to be flexibility and speed within the company in order to adapt to the global market. The climate in the new type of workplace demands that companies have an “open and empowered organizational climate, but also a tightly focused global competitive culture,” (Pucik, 1996). This type of adjustment won’t be based on the strategic planning of the top corporate executives, as it will be more in the behavior of the company’s employees in the various areas in which the company operates around the world.
The future also involves increased competition, which leads to the need to promote growth. While growth in competition is extremely likely, and it is already happening, I believe that in the grand scheme, there isn’t really an area that could have more importance than the aforementioned globalizations and an increase in technology. However, growth should be noted as an area that should have some attention given to it. There has been a considerable amount of downsizing and cost cutting over the last several years. As companies start to recover from the recession, many will return to profits and that will lead to growth and the addition of staff. Competition will also drive this forward movement in hiring additional personnel.
I also consider globalization and information technology to be more important than other possible factors on the future of HR, such as an undersupply of skilled labor, because I think the technology and integration of people from various countries into the companies will compensate for the potential decrease in the number people to recruit. When immigration laws ease, which I believe they will, people from other countries who have the type of training needed and they will be able to make up for the potential decrease in the labor pool.
What should organizations do to prepare for the future, and what should a master level student do to prepare for a future role in the management of people?
There are many challenges that face HR in adjusting to the new business climate. The HR department should be viewed as being a way to recruit people who can work in a global environment. But the role of HR must also include rewarding people who show innovation and initiative in building bridges between countries. In preparing for this future environment, HR masters students should get ready to integrate global perspectives in the way that HR is run and in the way that the employees conduct themselves. Without cultivating these skillsets, there could be an issue with influencing others, particularly those who are working overseas.
There is a major learning curve ahead, however. An intimate understanding of the ways in which other countries do business needs to be understood by the HR manager on the team. This is because for the culture of the company to be fully functioning, the staff needs to have an understanding of the customs of people in difference countries. This doesn’t necessarily involve learning the language of the other country in which the employees do business. It is mainly in the cultural practices and in what the members of each country consider to be rude and what is considered to be police.
To prepare for the onslaught of information technology, companies and students will need to “obtain the benefits of such information dispersion, companies must train individuals in utilizing information in decision making, provide incentives for their involvement in decision making, and formally authorize their involvement in decision making,” (Brockbank, 65).
Anvari, M. (2007). Impact of Information Technology on Human Resources in Healthcare.
Brockbank, W. (2005, Feb. 24). HR’s Future on the Way to a Presence. University of Michigan.
Pucik, V. (1996, July 15). Human Resources in the Future: An Obstacle or a Champion of
Globalization? Cornell University ILR School.