Change is never welcomed warmly by employees especial the technology changes that pose a threat to the jobs of employees as stated by Bradley in his article challenges facing human resource. However, this is the case in every organization of embracing change that threatens the employees jobs. Therefore, such change automatically receives resistance from the employees. It thus becomes a big challenge to the human resource managers as it is their role to deal and overcome this kind of resistance. They have to come up with strategies that will help combat such employee resistance (Bradley, n.d). This goes a long way in helping the employees see the technology as an aid to achieving goals and not as a hindrance to work. They ought to deal with the fear that engulfs employee in such situations and re-assure them of how relevant they are to the workplace.
Identifying and retaining the right people is another challenge for HRM. In the dynamic business environment, it is essential to have the right people positioned in their appropriate places at the right time for effectiveness. This may seem easy because in most times the human resource available is always more than the available vacancies. However, HRM is not about just filling vacant positions but ensuring a match of talents. This is identifying the right talent that will make a difference in the organization that has remained scarce overtime. Finding the right talent to ensure a firm remains competitive is not an easy role for the human resource manager.
Ensuring employees fit to the organization is not just a challenge but almost next to impossible but still has to be done. In this new era, the challenge for human resource is contracting employees who have values and personal outlook that matches that of the organization and its culture (Machado & Davim, 2014). Thus, human resource managers have to take on hiring strategies that attract the right employees whose outlook and values fits those of the organization. Identifying such employees will ensure that the organization is headed in the right direction. It also reduces the employee turnover and increases the organizations revenue.
Utilizing employee competence remains a nightmare to the human resource manager. When its realized that an employee does not suit a role there is need to understand the employees distinctive competencies and skills. This enables the organization to provide the employee with an opportunity to utilise such skills and benefit the organization. However, that seems easier said than done. It is the role of the human resource manager to do that and ensure in so doing they enhance the skills of the workforce for the good of their organization. This means that the human resource may be forced to offer to train to their current employees for them to be updated with the technological changes. They also have to encourage and motivate the employees they keep contracting to do their best in utilizing new technology. Consequently, this will translate to the effectiveness of the human resource function.
Technology has open gates to diversity. This has resulted due to the trends of telecommuting and globalization. This has led to the demand of workforce from international arena thus bringing a very diverse workforce. Managing diversity that was previously underestimated in human resource has thus become a challenge to HRM. The dimensions of this workforce diversity range in age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities, educational background, religious beliefs, geographical locations, parental status among many others. Managing and retaining such diverse talent becomes a challenge for the human resource (Johnstone, 2015).
Rapid technological changes have created controversy and several implications in the field of HRM and Industrial Relation. One implication is the technological impact on the employment level and skills of the labour market. Most organizations have embraced technology that has led to automating most if not all of the production process (Johnstone, 2015). Consequently, this action has rendered many jobless and led to the reduced level of employment. This is because the technology is more focused on the product market more than the labour market. The nature of labour market skills has also changed. Every field has to have some Information Technology skills along with it to be relevant in the current business environment. Even courses offered in the institutions of higher learning are having an extension of with IT to suit the current market.
Technology has led to globalization which has certainly impacted on the industrial relations in market economies of different countries. With the expansion of global business and embracing diversity in capital flows from across borders industrial relations have faced a challenge (Johnstone, 2015). The Industrial Relations in their trade unions are being forced to be flexible in regard to the labour market. Different governments have loosened their controls on protecting labour due to technological advanced. Employees have resulted to working from their homes even with very low wages. This has decreased the negotiation power for the labour unions. It therefore falls on the hand of the employee to really bargain their contract before engagement. This makes the labour market unprotected and vulnerable to mean employers.
Diversity in the workplace is another problematic issue to Industrial relations. Sharing of human resource world-wide poses a challenge because for labour unions to come through for their people they have to be flexible and understand the different cultures and systems of labour in different countries (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2012). They are forced to change their regulations to suit the business environments and regulations of the places their people are working from.
In conclusion, the spread of technology and dynamic nature of business have led to increased attention to the human resource function and Industrial Relation. It is therefore imperative for the Professionals of these two fields to put their best in managing and taking people through the processes of change. They ought to be on the front in embracing and learning the current technological changes and determining how best they can be employed by their workforce to ensure high-performance and competitiveness. They should bear in mind that technological changes will create challenges for them and therefore brace themselves to keep up and not to be left behind (Machado & Davim, 2014).
Bradley, Jeremy. (n.d) "Challenges Faced by Human Resource Managers Because of Technical Changes." Http://smallbusiness.chron.com.
Holley, W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2012). The labor relations process. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning
Johnstone, S. (2015). Finding a Voice at Work?: New Perspectives on Employment Relations. Oxford University Press, USA.
Machado, C., & Davim, J. P. (2014). Human resource management and technological challenges.
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