Strategic management has been described as an art as well as a science of formulating and implementing critical decisions in an organization necessary for achieving the overall goal of an organization. Strategic people management involves managing people or human resource in the most productive way to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in an organization. In the recent past, human resource is being given special attention by organization due to its impact on the overall organization’s profitability and survival. It is thus essential to ensure that human resource is handled with maximum care.
Strategic people management function is carried out by top leaders in an organization and involves all departments in an organization. Human resource management refers to the art of managing employees in an organization in the best way to achieve organizational goals. It is a strategic approach of combining different individuals’ abilities to ensure maximum productivity in an organization. Human resource is one of a firms most valued resource and thus effective management of it is vital to the firm’s growth and survival (Bratton, n. d). Strategic people management in organizations in United Kingdom
Human resource management is a continuous and complex process which is carried out by the human resource managers. It involves integrating people in the management process and motivating them to perform their tasks more effectively and efficiently for the overall company’s profitability. In the United Kingdom, most organization has been applying this form of management. Some of the major companies using strategic people management also known as human resource management include the Complan Company, Coca Cola Company UK and Airside Company among others (Emerald, 2001).
In UK, human resource management has been adapted by most organizations. The functions of human resource management are evident in different aspects in the management of these firms. Human resource is highly evident in the recruitment and selection practises in most of the companies in this region. Unlike in the past where the selection process was not considered vital for the overall performance of an organization, most firms in the UK have realized it’s important. This is evident by the many advertisements put forward and the rigorous recruitment process being adapted by the firms.
The aim of this process is to ensure that the firms employ the best manpower to counter the rising competition. Another area where use of strategic human resource management is evident is in career development and training opportunity for employees which most firms have adapted. Almost all organizations in this region have been undertaking training activities for their workers which range from seminars to in job training. Workers are being given more opportunities to develop their careers by the management (Bratton, n. d).
Workers involvement in the management practices is also another area where human resource management is being exercised. Most top managers of organizations in the UK and more so in Ireland have included workers in their management practises in the recent past. Workers are consulted during the decision making and also during strategy formulation. A study carried out between the years 1986 and 1990 which surveyed 132 manufacturing firms in the UK revealed that the human resource managers were more involved in team building and briefing activities. These firms also had flexible jobs as compared to earlier management styles.
Another survey carried out in 1998 established that employee relations in workplace in the UK had improved and that direct communication in the organizations had also risen in a span of 10 years (Machin & Wood, n. d). Another study on Hoque’s hotels which was carried out to establish the relationship between building a committed culture and human resource management adapted by the hospitality industry revealed that over 80% of the studied hotels are keen on during recruitment process and also in training as a means to attain commitment (Alleyne, Doherty ; Greenidge, 2006).
A study of companies like TSB, Lloyds and DSGI revealed that flexibility in working hours for staff and management acted as motivating factors to their employees. These companies have different working options which are flexible according to an employee’s schedule. Working hours are divided into shifts and a worker chooses the time that best suites him. These studies help to reveal the extent to which companies in the UK have adopted human research management approach (Sexton, n. d).
An exclusive study carried out on Tesco supermarkets in the UK revealed that the supermarket was engaging in intensive training activities for its workers. The managers attributed their profitability to having enlightened workforce and thus offering opportunities for career development is essential (Alsop, 2008). Human resource management as established above though carried out in an organized manner, most the companies have adopted it to counter the global competition. Instead of taking a proactive form to ensure a competitive edge, most UK firm have taken a reactive approach in human resource management.
However, there is no proven study to justify this argument though some studies which have been carried suggest so. A quantitative study on 46 hotels which included the Barbados hotels and the Hoque’s hotel of the UK revealed that the Barbados’s hotels were practicing human resource management in a wider and managed way than the Hoque’s hotels of UK. Another finding of this study was that the Barbados was way much ahead in developing human resource functions in their hotels than the Hoque’s hotels (Alleyne, Doherty ; Greenidge, 2006).
Despite the wide use of strategic human or people management in United Kingdom, some of corporations still practice a bureaucratic form of management. This was revealed by a study by Maxim consultants on 20 CEOs belonging to FTSE350 organizations in United Kingdom. Human resource managers in these companies had no appropriate powers to exercise a strategic people management function which was revealed to have cost the company more than it could have if they had adopted a strategic human management approach.
Human resource managers were also found not to have been keen in strategizing for the overall company’s growth but were used to implementing already formulated strategies leading to a reduction in productivity of the companies. This study also shows that in most organizations, human resource management functions are carried out in an unorganized manner in the UK ((Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD), 2008). Conclusion Strategic people management is vital in ensuring that an organization attains its goals and objectives.
Human resource is one of the most essential resources in an organization and should be handled with care. Satisfied workers translate to better performance of tasks and hence higher productivity. Strategic people management should be incorporated and recognized as an important aspect of the organization. Though human resource is widely used in United Kingdom, some companies are yet to adopt it as revealed by the above findings. Managers should be trained on the importance of human resource management to the organization and also on how to use it for the benefit of the organization.
People management should be carried out in an organized form at all levels of management in an organization. For human resource to be more effective, companies should be encouraged to take a more proactive and organized form while dealing with human resource management issues. Incorporating human resource in their day to day’s running would ensure that organizations are well prepared to counter global changes more successfully and effectively.