Essay Sample Dedicated to the Human Resource Policies of the ICRC

Published: 2022-04-05
Essay Sample Dedicated to the Human Resource Policies of the ICRC
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human resources Multiculturalism Diversity
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1679 words
14 min read

The ICRC operates all over the world. As such, the NGO has developed human resource policies, structures, and services that support globalization. This NGO is perfect for studying the challenges faced by organizations with a diverse workforce spread all over the world. Cultural diversity comes in the form of ethnic, age, racial and gender (Edewor & Aluko 2007, pp. 1). With the differences between various cultures, more so those across various locations, it is imperative that organizations strike a good balance between strong corporate culture and local cultural differences. The ICRC seeks to integrate its human resource policies to ensure it meets its objectives and at the same time be flexible enough to allow for differences in the types of HR policies that are more effective in the cultural environment they work in. For instance, very topically given the recent scandal engulfing OXFAM, the organization's workers are contractually bound from obtaining sexual services, even in countries where the sex industry is legal (BBC Online, 2018). Getting the workforce to understand why a ban such as this is in line with the organizational culture remains a challenge, as seen when the ICRC was forced to terminate contracts of 21 workers due to prostitution offenses. This impacts and tests the robustness and credibility of its governance procedures. It also impacts the standing and fundraising efforts for this and charities generally.

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The human resource function faces many challenges during the globalization process, including creating a global mindset within the HR group, creating practices that are consistently applied in different locations while also maintaining the local cultures and practices, and communicating a consistent corporate culture across the entire organization (Riox, Bernthal, and Wellins 2000, pp. 14). HR planning, recruitment and selection/ retention, HR development, remunerations and industrial relations are critical facets of the HR management and failure to manage them well will lead to failure to meeting organizational goals. As such, it is critically important the NGO recognizes the value of differences, combat discrimination, and promote inclusivity (Green, et al, 2015, pp. 1). If the NGO embraces diversity and looks for ways to become an inclusive organization, it will find it generally easier to achieve high productivity and competitive edge when looking to raise charitable funding.

HR Planning

Human Resource planning is a procedure that recognizes present and future human resource needs for an organization to accomplish its purposes. It links HR management to the strategic plan of the organization. It helps the organization to keep up with social, economic, statutory, and technological trends that have an impact on human resource in the industry of charitable organizations (Shwind, Das, and Wagar, pp. N/A).

HR planning plans for the future needs of the organization after analyzing its current human resources, external labor market, and the future human resource environment a country will be operating in. the process involves assessing the current HR capacity, forecasting HR requirements, doing a gap analysis, and developing strategies to support organizational strategies (Shwind, Das, and Wagar, pp. N/A). Due to geographical limitations and cultural diversity, HR planning gets challenging for the ICRC. Different roles are reserved for a certain gender in some cultures. For an organization striving for gender parity in its HR policies, this may bring conflict when they assign roles meant for one gender to a member of opposite gender.

With the organization's workforce spread throughout the world, identifying the skills, knowledge and the abilities of the human resource is difficult, more so in organizations employing centralized human resource structure. Forecasting HR requirements also become hard as labor markets keep on changing trends across the world; what works in Asia may not necessarily be a success in Africa. Accurate forecasting of HR requirements involves estimating demand and supply, a factor that is volatile and can change in a short span of time due to external factors such as economy slumps, technological advancement, cultural shifts, and political changes.

HR Recruitment, Selection, and Retention

Recruitment, selection, and retention involve the process of an organization attracting new talents, getting the best of them and eventually holding on to them for periods. The labor market is tight in many other parts of the world (Riox, Bernthal, and Wellins 2000, pp. 4). The lack of availability of qualified candidates and the great competition for these talents are amongst the top hindrances to effective recruitment and selection. Finding skilled employees, who can work across cultural boundaries, is even a bigger challenge to organizations.

Retention is "the employees upholding their professional relationship with an organization because of their feeling of effective commitment to it" (Ramlall 2004, pp. 264). This loyalty involves promoting the organization to other people, protecting and defending its wellbeing and remaining committed to its course even in bad conditions (Organ et al. 2006, pp. 264), something that has been testing a number of charities in the wake of the OXFAM revelations (Brindle, 2018, The Guardian Online). Retention helps a charitable organization like the ICRC achieve its goals. Skilled employees who are familiar with the HR culture of THE ICRC, its routines and the people ensure the operations of the organization continue uninterrupted.

The ICRC faces challenges in its attempts to hang onto the best of its human resource due to animosities arising as a result of diversity. Despite all the benefits of performance, satisfaction, and retention of a diverse workforce, there remain some challenges. Bah (2015 pp. 8) points out that demographic diversity brings about high levels of conflict, turnover, and tension. Furthermore, Marina (2010) noted that for organizations simply "hiring a diverse workforce is not enough; diversity tends to create conflicts and tension, if not properly managed" (pp. 236). Bah (2015, pp. 8) further went on to say that, if organizations want to capitalize on the benefits of a diverse workforce, those conflicts and tension must be actively managed in a culturally sensitive manner. If members of the ICRC workforce feels segregated against, they will want a way out.

Another challenge of a diverse workforce is institutional racism. According to Rivera and Ward (2010), institutional racism is defined as "practices that directly or indirectly restrict the professional access and mobility of individuals or groups on the basis of race" (pp. 237). Furthermore, Rivera and Ward (2010) pointed out that institutional racism often goes undetected because the practices are simply an expression of the status quo. In order to retain top talent, it is of utmost importance that the ICRC deal with these divisions, guarantee equality in its ranks, and practice it.

HR development

Human resource development is the use of training, organization, and career development efforts to improve the workforce and the effectiveness of an organization. It is important that agencies come up with creative ways of dealing with challenges arising because of cultural diversity.

One of the main problems that the organization has to deal with is fostering trust among people of different cultural backgrounds. It goes without saying that cultural differences breed mistrust. As such, an employee's career development of an organization could be hampered because he/she is of the "wrong" gender, age, race, or ethnic group. By developing cultural diversity training, it will help in building trust, which will lead to effective decision-making and open doors to compromise (Gong 2008, pp. 28). This kind of training is important when skills of dealing with difficult situations and communicating effectively in a multicultural workplace are required (Day 2007, pp. 216).

HR development helps the employees to develop awareness of cultural diversity and encourage learning from each other. They understand how these differences arise and what forms they might take (Vo 2014, pp. 36). Recognizing these differences should help teamwork in the organization and consequently help the organization achieve its goals.


As with every workplace with members with rich diversity, ICRC finds it challenging in equalizing remuneration. Female and minority groups are at a disadvantage when it comes to salaries (Shen, et al. 2009, pp. 246). Pay inequality is the main cause of job dissatisfaction and demotivation (Mcloughlin & Carr 1997, pp. N/A). While implementation of equal pay has significantly reduced the gap between men and women, gender income inequality remains a global problem (Blau & Kahn 1994).

Pay inequality is not limited to gender. Different races continue earning different amounts of money for the relatively same amount of work. Lewis (1998) highlighted that white man in federal service earned more than women and minority groups (pp. N/A). It is important for the ICRC to adopt an equalizing remuneration structure to ensure no ill feelings amongst its employees. As mentioned earlier, this will go a long way in ensuring the workers remain highly motivated and satisfied. This will help the NGO maintain a good employee retention rate, very important in meeting its objectives.

Industrial relations

Lewis, Thornhill, and Saunders (2003) describe industrial relations as the relationship between employees and their employers (pp. 3). Industrial relations examine all various employment situations, not just labor relations (unionized employees). Industrial relations operate in the basis employers' have bigger bargaining power than employees do since labor markets are not perfectly competitive.

In any organization, if the relationship between the management and the employees is poor, the system is going to be dysfunctional. It is therefore imperative that ICRC ensures that its relationship with its workers does not become strained. It can ensure this by adopting HR structures that demonstrate there is absolutely no discrimination of any kind and gender parity when it is recruiting new staff and maintain a fair and justifiable salary structure for all its employees. Training all workers on the benefits of coexistence will go a long way in fostering peace, unity, and loyalty in the ICRC ranks.


In conclusion, for the ICRC to meet its organizational objectives, it will have to invest more in HR diversity policies implementation. The NGO will have to go beyond the fulfillment of minimal legal requirements. The NGO will also need to invest more inadequate diversity programs in its overseas operation and its governance will have to "walk the talk".

The secret to achieving all these lies in developing an effective framework for HR diversity management. Effective diversity management requires a culture of inclusion that emphasizes in organizational vision, mission, and strategy. This creates a sense of teamwork, all-round participation and cohesiveness from t...

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