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Skills and Competencies in Human Resource Management - Essay Example

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It has to keep a cutting edge of quality and competence in this highly competitive world to achieve its success. In his book, Dave Ulrich speaks of a…
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Skills and Competencies in Human Resource Management
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EFFECT OF OBESITY ON HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Human Resources Management is undergoing radical transformations to conform itself to the evolutions within the business world. It has to keep a cutting edge of quality and competence in this highly competitive world to achieve its success. In his book, Dave Ulrich speaks of a new vision for Human Resources (HR), that “it be defined not by what it does, but by what it delivers – results that enrich the organisation’s value to customers, investors, and employees.” HR needs to adopt competencies and redefine roles focussed on results in order to evolve into a true profession that makes a difference for the organisation. HR departments are not designed to provide corporate therapy or social or health and happiness retreats. HR professionals must create the practices that make employees more competitive, not more comfortable. (1999). Competencies help organisations to focus on the characteristics their employees must possess in order for them to be successful. Competencies also provide a way to measure employee’s performance and to align performance with business strategies. Competency may be grouped as “the underlying characteristics of skills, knowledge, self-concept, traits and motives.” (Tucker and Cofsky, 1994)
But one cannot ignore at the myriad of problems that the HR Managers confront. Among them health related incompetence bear the most serious implications, for part of it lies in the individual affiliation for lifestyle and food habits. Therefore, it gives rise to a question “Do companies have the right to get involved in peoples’ eating and exercising habits? The obesity epidemic is robbing our youth of their future and our generation of their leisure years in retirement. What can be done about it? Is it a pubic or private matter?” (Smith, 2006) From the sphere of being totally a private matter the issue has reached an insurmountable proportion that needs proper mechanism in place to tackle it. It concerns the companies mostly as it is a human resource issue rather than being a result of private individuals’ eating habit. Needless to say all companies are earmarking huge amounts for the health issues of the employees and much of this outlay are eaten away by obesity related problems.
An efficient workforce is the backbone of all companies and efficiency is relied on the health of the employees. If the wrong life style and food habits get the better off the employees, their negative implications are manifold. All concerted efforts at modernization, and implementation of new technology prove futile unless the workforce is capable of taking up the onus of emerging challenges. One can perceive the deterioration of health, even in youths, mainly because of the uncontrollable phenomena of obesity. As a result even the young employees are inflicted with several health problems and obesity creates a kind of lethargy.
Out of the concerns from the perspective of Human Management, obesity is by far the most costly health issue, accounting for approximately 14% of lifestyle related health costs for men and 25% for women. Overweight and obese employees are obviously affecting employer’s bottom line for both and indirect cost standpoints. As a result, organisations have to bear over 80% of health care costs resulting from obesity related health risks. (CCH, 2006). The indirect cost to any organisation is manifold in its effects as the absent days, lower productivity, and carelessness are on the increase, throwing the functional mechanism out of gear. About 39 million workdays are lost each year due to obesity, and a whopping US$ 13 billion in cost to company bottom lines. (IOMA, 2006). In England, obesity is spreading at a staggering 58% of the population, and two thirds of adults are found either fat or obese. It is distressing to see that almost 14% of children are obese signalling future challenges. ( This pathological health risk in epidemical proportion has prompted health policy makers as well as human resource managers to introduce new approaches to lifestyle.
The better utilization of human potential for a great cause figures most in HR tenets. But the ground realities tell a different story where the changing life style turn people lethargic and productivity sinks. Awakened as they are, most of the HR managers are cautious of including several physical fitness measures and tips for healthy food habits. Companies are also doing their best in devising new strategies for creating more awareness about healthcare and providing enough facilities for exercise within the work premises.
Dave Ulrich. Human Resources Champions. Harvard Business School Press: Boston. 1997
Tucker, Sharon A and Kathryn, M Cofsky. Competency Based Pay on a Bonding Platform. ACA
Journel: Spring 1994(Volume 3, Number 1)
Smith, Brian. Our Health System is under attack! (and your business). 2006
CCH. HR Management : Obesity affects employee health. 21 April 2006)
IOMA. Obesity Programs: How to reduce health care costs and increase productivity.18 July
2006 (audio conference)
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