JEEWAN RAMLUGUN

It has become a mantra, a truism, that people are an organisation’s most precious assets. This is not to make an empty boast about Human Resource Management (HRM), nor to merely boost its standing and esteem. Hard incontrovertible evidence is not lacking as to the close correlation between HRM best practices and superior organisational performance. Though the contrary case is also made against the touted impact of HRM on bottom line results, the centrality and salience of the profession is indubitable, more so in the face of fierce competitive forces, particularly in tight labour markets, there being, therefore, a high premium on attracting and retaining cutting-edge talents and skills. This makes recruitment, development and retention strategies, among other areas, a distinct HRM domain, and therefore indispensable.

But any profession or field of knowledge or province of expertise requires constant upgrading and consolidation. HRM is no expectation. And to remain relevant and vibrant, while proving its detractors wrong, it must guard against stasis and complacency. A value-added and value-driven HRM will ensure it remains perfectly fi t for purpose and responsive to the pressing needs of the organisation in the turbulent now, and in the discontinuous future; in effect, making a sustained transformative difference.

A Value-Added and Value-Driven HRM: some indicators.

  1. People:
    • How efficient, effective, capable, committed and motivated is the workforce at all levels?
    • How rigorously, and with due regard to equity and objectivity, do the best and most talented people get recruited, selected, developed and retained?
    • How do the ‘ordinary’ get transformed into the ‘extraordinary’?
    • How equitably and commensurately are efforts recognised, incentivised and rewarded to obtain the optimum output and productivity, transforming the overall organisational prospects?
    • To what extent is there a level playing field for career development and advancement?
    • How are the emergent and increscent AI challenges and work practices configured?
  2. Work Performance:
    • How reliably/ credibly is workforce performance evaluated and measured: qualitatively/ quantitatively; subjectively/ objectively; with what tools, techniques, and metrics?
    • How effectively are the performance measures used to address gaps in performance and bring about improvements, while further bolstering strong achievers?
    • How capably is poor performance managed?
    • How successfully are difficult workplace behaviours addressed?
  3. Alignment:
    • How are individual, team and the collective goals (the critical people factors), aligned with those of the organisation or corporation, toward ensuring strategic congruence and synergy.
  4. Employee Relations
    • How conducive are the work culture and climate for positive employee relations, reduced grievances, less disciplinaries and less interpersonal conflicts?
    • What is the nature of the quality of working life, and how well-developed are the health, safety and welfare facilities?
    • To what extent is management perceived and deemed to be as progressive and enlightened, reflected in high morale, maximum ‘buy in’ and ownership?
    • How high or low is the trust relationship level (HTRL/LTRL)?
  • Innovativeness
    • To what extent is innovativeness, with judicious entrepreneurial venturing and risk-taking, given scope?
    • Does the work and corporate ethos facilitate the active encouragement of new ideas in an open, supportive way, with due credit given and, and where creditable, being taken on board?

04 August 2019.