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Human Resources. The role of the workforce - Essay Example

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The role of the workforce in the success or even mere survival of a business organization cannot be overstated. The old clich which states that "people are our most valuable asset" will not probably met disagreement with any manager in this competitive business environment…
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Human Resources. The role of the workforce
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will address two challenges faced by business organisations as outlined by the article Slippery Slope which looked the evolving role of the human resource practitioner due to the structural changes in companies. The first section will look at why Ulrich's well-known employee champion role is disintegrating in business organisations. Before the in depth discussion, the first section will also give a background on the four key roles of human resource practitioners as laid out by Ulrich. The second section will tackle how the changes to the operations of HR function have often created problems for HR practitioners, line managers and employee in general. This paper will also look at specific solutions to address these problems.
David Ulrich recognized the role of the human resource in furthering the thrusts of business organisations in the face of rapid technological advancement, globalisation, growth and changing customer demands. He emphasized that in the evolution of this hypercompetitive environment, requires a competent workforce. In fact, he cited that organisational capability can be a source of competitive advantage in a company. Thus, Ulrich challenges businesses to "redefine business capabilities to sustain and integrate individual competencies" (Performance Management 1998)
In relation to this, Ulrich presented f...
ners should be strategic partners who translate the organisation's strategies into action; administrative experts who build efficient business infrastructure; employee champions who increase employee's commitment and capability; and change agents who substantially understand the theory of change and apply them to business organisations (Performance Management 1998).
Among all the four key roles mentioned above, this paper will solely focus on the employee champion role of human resource practitioner. Ulrich described this role as listening and responding to employees and finding the right balance between the demands of employees and resources available on employees. In order to do this, the company's HR department must find time to know their employees well and spend time meeting and listening to their concerns. This role also includes promoting communication through the use of "employee surveys, employee suggestion programs, all-employee meetings, on-going communication on business status, and any other program that can make employees part of the team and dedicated to customer service" (The HR Philosophy 2006). Nowadays, employee champion is also referred to as employee advocate. However, as will be discussed in the next paragraphs, this role is rapidly being eliminated in business organisation due to various changes in company structure.
According to the study conducted by Helen Francis and Anne Keegan, the current business structure facilitated the deterioration of the employee champion role of human resource practitioners. However, it should be noted that the disintegration of this role can be traced to current emphasis on business or strategic partnering. The authors note the rapid increase in the number of companies looking for HR business partners as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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