Discuss about the Perspectives on Human Resource Management.
Human resource management forms the backbone of any business. This department of the organization manages the human resources by associating them with the business and ensuring accomplishment of organizational goals through them. Lately, the role of the human resource management is becoming more calculative and tactical in nature which has led to the formation of strategic human resource management (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). The current working conditions in Australia are gaining ground and steps are being taken to improve the same. The government has also legalized certain policies and laws like equal employment opportunity, anti-harassment at workplace and Fair work act and many more. This has led to improved working conditions for various employers across different organizations in the country. According to a Huffington post survey conducted in 2016, more than half of Australian workers are not at all satisfied with their jobs and are consistently seeking change (Huffington Post, 2016).
Job design is a very crucial part of an employee’s tenure. It depicts how the exact job profile of an employee is defined. It involves employee relationships in the firm as well as the goals and targets they are expected to achieve (Bakker & Demerouti, 2014). This enables employees to set the right expectations and enhance their work productivity. Job security on the other hand is the promise made by the employer to their employees which eliminates their risk of being jobless or unemployed without an advance notice or formal information (Muffels, 2014). Job security helps employees to align their long term as well as short term goals with those of the organization and removes the fear of being unemployed. This report throws light on how poor job designing as well as a lack of job security is adversely impacting employees working in Australian firms.
Job security in Australia
Job security is the assurance given to the employee by their employer which removes the risk of the employee being jobless or fired from the job without a prior notice. Job security plays a vital role in motivating employees to work hard as well as align their long term goals with those of the organization. Job security allows removes the fear from employees and hence leads to enabled and enhanced trust between the employer and the employee. Providing job security is the employer’s way of depicting faith in the employee.
Even though the interest rates in the country have gone down, Australians are severely worried about not being able to pay their loans owing to a lack of job security. The post also elaborates that at least 36% of the Australian employees were uncertain about having a job next year (News, 2017). This is a rather disturbing as well as scary scenario. Despite the fact that Australia’s unemployment rate is reducing at a faster pace and is currently standing at a four year low of 5.5%, it is equally important that the country lays emphasis on the future security of the newly created jobs (Trading Economics, 2018).
Job dissatisfaction in Australia
The level of job dissatisfaction in Australia is not unknown. Less than half the people are happy with their current job profile while the rest are consistently on a lookout for another job. 63% of the Australian workers are leaving their current jobs owing to poor job design and inability to fulfill their personal goals in the workplace (Human Resource Director Australia, 2016). A lack of a sufficient job design establishes a faulty base to an employee in an organization. A job design must be effectively designed in order to create transparency and enable employees to identify and understand the expectations that are associated with them in the business. Australian employees lack a work life balance and are often overtly stressed owing to the tremendous amount of work that they are expected to perform. This problem can only be resolved when company takes responsibility to design employee jobs with efficiency and communicates the same to the candidate at the time of applying for the job. When the employee’s job is not entirely well defined or appropriately designed, the chances of employee being dissatisfied with the organizations drastically increase leading to enhanced employee attrition within the business.
Role of strategic human resource management
Strategic human resource management plays a very significant role in identifying, understanding and implementing employee satisfaction efforts that lead to maximum productivity in the business (Store. Strategic HRM conforms to various needs of the organization and works towards managing the human resources of the business in an effective manner. The HRM function of the organization has the responsibility for ensuring a higher satisfaction among their employees. Therefore, it becomes a part of their responsibility to ensure a well-designed job for employees as well as their job security leading to long term and productive relationships with employees (Purce, 2014).
Strategic human resource management of employees makes sure that organization has competent human resources and those resources are valued and respected. Therefore, the job design of all the employees should be well thought of, structured, clear and easy to understand. The design and the description of the job should clarify the expectations from the employee as well as their relationships within the business (Parker, 2014). This also channelizes a clear flow of command which leads to clarity of decision making as well improved productivity of everyone in the business.
Implications of poor job design
A poorly designed job is a major force of demotivation for any employee. Therefore it is crucial that the human resource management department of the firm strategically analyzes the requirement of people within the business and accordingly finalize their respective jobs in the organization. If the job design of any employee is not well built, it adversely impacts employee performance in the long run (Marinova, Peng, Lorinkova, Van Dyne & Chiaburu, 2015). Job design relating to any position must be transparently clarified during the time of recruiting. This creates an honesty between the employer and the employee regarding their expectations from each other which in turn leads to a better and more productive relationship in the future. There are various implications to a poorly defined job. Some of which are as below:
The very first disadvantage of a poorly designed job in any business is the ineffective employee performance that follows suit. Employee performance is largely dependent on the clarity of the job. If the job of the employee is not defined properly it is extremely difficult for the employee to perform as per the expectations of the employer. An improper job design would often create a sense of randomness of work which may cause frustration in the employee and reduce their productivity in the organization thereby leading to a performance which is not up to the mark (Shields, Brown & Kaine, 2015). Therefore it is essential that Australian companies focus of developing a proper, clear and productive job design which is clarified to the employee at the time of joining the organization.
Lack of clarity
The job design of any employee instills a sense of clarity and enables the employee to plan his day, week and month. This is extremely important for employees as it leads to transparency with their employers and hence better and improved relationships with them. If the job is well defined, employees become clear about the expectations that their employers have from them and can plan to work towards fulfilling those expectations. This clarity is crucial for a long term career of any employee.
Job design also aims at providing clarity about who the employees would report to and who would be reporting to them. This gives employees a clear idea about their seniors as well as subordinates and hence establishes transparency in their relationships within the business. This clarity leads to a clear flow of information and command in the organization and develops clarity in the minds of both the employees as well as employers.
Performance management is an important function of the human resource management of the organization. This refers to evaluating employee performance and giving transparent feedbacks that would lead to employee growth and improved performance. A proper performance management helps employees stay on the right track with their career in the firm. At the same time, it helps the organization achieve its goals in an efficient manner. Performance management also assists employees remain motivated, identify their shortcomings and work towards overcoming the same.
If the job design at an organization is not clear then it becomes increasingly difficult for the employers to evaluate their employees in a fair manner. The employees as well cannot perform to the best of their abilities due to a lack of job design. Job design helps clarify expectations from employees and therefore it leaves no room for a conflict in the performance evaluation process. In the long run this enables employees to claim for a fair incentive or bonus as per the company policy and makes sure that all the employees are fairly compensated for their work.
If the job design for any position within the business is not effectively determined then, employees would find it much harder to plan their day or week. This makes it difficult for them to align their short term and long term goals with those of the organization. Which in turn leads to employee dissatisfaction with work. An average Australian spends a long time at work. Average working hours in a week for different cities are different. An average full time worker in Queensland spends 40.2 hours a week at work. New South Wales worker spends 40.9 hours a week at work. The same number for Victoria is 40.9 hours a week. South Australian workers spend 40 hours a week at work while Western Australia workers spend an average of 41.1 hours a week in their respective offices (News AU, 2016).
Looking at the massive numbers of hours spent at work, it is clear to presume that if the employee is unclear about his work done during those hours, or if the employees encounter random work allocated to them then it bound to leave them dissatisfied with immense amount of frustration that leads to poor performance.
Improper flow of command
One of the factors incorporated in the job design of an employee are the relationships of the employee that directly or indirectly affect their performance in the business. These relationships within the firm help employees understand and identify their seniors and subordinates. A poorly defined job design will make it difficult for employees to adhere to a proper flow of command within the business. This slows decision making and disrupts an efficient flow of information in the firm.
Implications of job insecurity
Job security refers to a promise or an agreement that exists between employees and their work organization which assures employees that they will not be jobless or unemployed without a prior notice. On the other hand a lack of job security signifies that employees can be removed from their current profiles without an advance information. This is sure to create a sense of fear within employees and they will be unable to give their 100% if they cannot see a longer term future in the business. Many Australian fear losing their job and they are afraid that even though the interest rates are dropping, they may not be able to pay off their loans owing to a lack of job in the future. Australian companies as well as governments are putting efforts in improving the level of job security within the country. There are severe implications of a lack of job security which adversely impact both the employees as well as their organization (Wang, Lu & Siu, 2015). These implications are as given below:
Fear and lack of trust
Job security is a way of depicting and demonstrating trust in the employee. Therefore, a lack of job security is evidence for a lack of trust in the employee. This is why most Australian firms do not offer job security at the time of joining. But evaluate the employee’s performance for a period of 2-4 months of probation and if the employee performance meets the expectations of the organization, then the employee is offered job security. If the employee performance during that period is not satisfactory, they may either be asked to resign from the organization or they could be given a chance to improve upon their performance by enhancing their probation period with the business. This job security pays a vital role in the employee’s life as it allows employees to trust the organization and hence give their best efforts to the organization’s productivity (Weibel & Hartog, 2016). Hence an absence of the same creates an environment of distrust within the organization and instills a sense of fear in the employee.
Inability to set goals
Every employee has some personal as professional long term as well as short term goals which the employee aims to fulfill in a specified period of time. This is why if the employee is not granted any security of job then it makes it difficult for that employee to align those goals with the goals of the organization. This means that the employee cannot plan a long term future with the organization and hence this leads to an inefficient relationship between the two entities. For the success of the organization as well as an employee, it is important that there can be a long term relationship between the two. Since the time and resources spent by the organization on a particular employee are also high as well as those spent by the employee in attaining a good job. Therefore, in order to motivate employees to remain associated with the firm, it is largely advised to provide a secure job to them.
Employee attrition and employee poaching
Not providing job security to employees is a double edged sword. It adversely impacts the employee as well as the organization. If organizations do not provide job security, employee remain in a constant fear of being jobless or unemployed. In order to combat this fear, they are consistently on the lookout for new jobs. If in such a process, they are able to secure a better job with a different organization, they can leave this organization at the drop of a hat and commence work with another firm. This will lead to a high rate of attrition in the business. This high attrition rate influences the business’s brand value in the market, hampers its goodwill and also leads to depleted resources of the firm. An organization spends time and resources in hiring an employee, inducting an employee and then training him or her. If that employee suddenly leaves the organization, then that cost has to be borne by the organization.
Employee poaching refers to the act of attracting and luring an employee which is associated with an organization by another competing organization. Due to the increasing competition in the job market as well as growing demand for competent employees, most organizations are always on the lookout for employees who have a similar experience and are apt for the business. This makes them target successful employees of another firm. The practice is largely unethical but highly practiced all over Australia. The competing firm offers the employee a better compensation and attracts him or her to work with their firm. If the current employer of the employee does not offer job security, then the employee can leave the organization and join the competitor at the drop of a hat which is highly dangerous for the existing firm. On the other hand, if the employer offers job security, then not only can the employee not leave the organization without an advance notice, but also the employee can be prohibited to join a competing firm through signing of a non-compete agreement (Buenstorf, Engel, Fischer & Gueth, 2016).
Recommendations and Conclusions
Job security as well as job design play an important role in the success of the organization as well as the employee. They are crucial parts of strategic human resource management in any firm. Job design leads to everyday satisfaction of the employees within the business and effective performance management by the employers. On the other hand, job security leads to trust and establishment of long term relationships within the organization between the employer and the employee. Organizations in Australia re largely putting efforts in ensuring a successful relationship with their employees as well as making sure that the employees’ productivity is at par with the organizational goals. The increasing job dissatisfaction in employees is a matter of major concern and in order to improve upon the same the following recommendations would help better the job scene:
- The job roles of the employees must be very clear at the very early stage. While marketing a particular vacancy in the business to prospective candidates, the organization must ensure clarity of the job. This would enable candidates to know about the job before applying and hence will lead to absolute transparency within the organization.
- If any organization cannot offer job security, it is important to motivate employees on a regular basis. This can be attained with the help of offering bonuses and incentives to employees. Bonuses and incentives will make the employees feel that their work and their presence and association with the firm is valued and respected.
- Open communication within the organization also assists in creating transparency and plays a vital role in ensuring that the employees of the firm are not dissatisfied (Bovee, Thill & Raina, 2016). An open communication system can lead to addressing grievances of the employee as and when they arise and also results in a positive and transparent working environment.
- Organizations should also inculcate a 360 degree feedback system which will enable employees to get a feedback from their superiors as well as their subordinates and peers. This makes it possible for them to enhance their performance and also creates transparency in the workings of the organization.
The above mentioned recommendations are the small steps that an organization can take in order to ensure satisfaction of their employees as well as establishment of long term relationships with them. Given the current job scenario of the country, it is largely recommended that immediate steps are put forward to improvise working conditions of the employees in Australian firms.
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