Global HR, Diversity, Risk Management, and Social Responsibility
Southern New Hampshire University
Diversity and Inclusion:
The Pew Research Center (May 2015) released statistics from the US Labor Force showing how Millennials or Generation Y has surpassed Generation X as the largest generation working in America; and that for the first time in history, some workplaces have four generations working alongside each other – the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. The National Conference of Bar Foundations (2015) provides a clear goal to focus on when managing generational differences: to uncover the events, conditions, values, and behaviors that make each generation unique! 1) Focus on goals and set clear expectations. Each generation approaches their work differently, each providing strengths the other does not posses. A clear goal and expectations puts each generation on an even playing field. There’s no need for micro managing just set the goal and expectation. (Hammill, G. 2005) 2) Mentoring and Inclusion. Encourage each generation to mentor the other. They each provide different strengths, experiences and knowledge of today’s technology. Inclusion helps to use those differences as leverage to maximize results. In addition, most employees’ value being included versus excluded. Inclusion equals teamwork. Teamwork leads to achieving results faster. (Satuffer, D. March 2003) 3) Break the bonds of tradition. If there is a better way to do something, take the suggestion. Although four generations may be part of the team, the right idea should always be taken. Tradition would tell you to take the point of view of the most senior in the room. Wrong. Taking the opinion of the senior person in the room when a better one is presenting may very well lead you to slower or no progress. (Hammill, G. 2005)
4) Show employees the future. Tell them where the organization is going, how they fit in, and how to prepare. Encouraging career planning for those with a number of years ahead, and retirement planning for those getting ready for it will help to engage people in the here and now, and the long term possibilities. People tend to work harder to achieve the organizations goals if they understand how it leads them on a path to their professional goals. (Lancaster and Stillman, April 2010) 5) Encourage balance. Employees of all ages place a high value on balancing their work and personal lives. However, depending on their generational culture, balance will look different. Leaving work before the kids come home, taking full weeks or a month for a vacation, flexible work hours, and working from home are all preferences of the different generations. Asking employees what they prefer in regards to maintaining a balance of work and life will help you manage the generational needs, ultimately leading to happier employees working hard to achieve the businesses goals. (Hammill, G., 2005)
These five strategies provide an approach to managing the generational differences. From an Organizational Behavior Management perspective, many issues can be affected by generational differences: Turnover, Recruitment, Morale, Team building, Communication, and the effectiveness of Rewards, Feedback and ultimately achieving Organizational objectives. Taking time to understand, and define how you will manage these differences will be the true indicator of success in the years to come. (National Conference of Bar Foundations, February 2015)
Risk Management: The risk manager is responsible for identifying and implementing the risk mitigation plan. He or she must have the knowledge, authority, and resources to implement the plan. Risk mitigation activities will not be effective without an engaged risk manager. It may be necessary to engage higher levels in the organization to ensure the need for the risk manager is addressed. (Garvey, P.R., 2008), In addition, Risk management is a cycle. That means this is not something that gets checked off a “to do” list but it is a continuous activity. Having a risk management process means that your organization knows and understands the risks to which you are exposed. It also means that your organization has deliberately evaluated the risks and has strategies in place to remove the risk altogether, reduce the likelihood of the risk happening or minimize harm in the event that something happens. (hrcouncil.ca). When identifying risks, it can range from:
Abuse that is either one-time or ongoing (physical, emotional, psychosocial, sexual, financial)
Avoidance – Stop providing the service or doing the activity because it is too risky.
Acceptance – Some risky activities are central to the mission of an organization and an organization will choose to accept the risks.
Modification – Change the activity to reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring or reduce the severity of the consequences. Policies and procedures are an important part of this risk management strategy because they communicate expectations and define boundaries and writing policies and procedures.
Transfer or sharing – Purchase insurance or transfer the risk to another organization through signing a contractual agreement with other organizations to share the risk (for example, having a contractual agreement with a bus company to transport clients rather than staff driving clients).
Other steps or strategies are to implement and monitor. Risk management is an evolving field. Therefore, it is a good practice to keep current and re-evaluate your organization’s risk management system on an annual basis. (hrcouncil.ca)
Corporate Social Responsibility:
The emerging concept of sustainable HRM has important implications both for organizational performance and for the HR function. First, HR must support the development and implementation of corporate sustainability strategy because the unique HR contribution is critical to sustainable business success. Second, to be considered a strategic partner and value-added function, HR must recognize the new sustainability context of business and align its practices accordingly. (SHRM.org). To do this, HRM needs to provide HR solutions for a sustainable organization as well as manage the HR function in a sustainable way. In this context, the recommended approach includes the adoption of an iterative process for embedding sustainability values, understanding and engaging HR stakeholders, reviewing and developing HR policies and practices, and tracking and reporting performance and effects. Through this process, HR will demonstrate how its sustainability performance aligns with leading global frameworks and supports the overall business sustainability strategy. (SHRM.org) HR in the Global Context:
The world is becoming more and more global making it more important than ever to understand how multinational enterprises can operate more effectively. One major component of this understanding is the field of human resource management, and in particular, the field of international human resource management. Expatriate managers continue to be a viable means for exercising control over foreign operations and they can therefore have a direct impact on organizational performance. This, together with the growth in the expatriate cadre worldwide, makes it of highly interest to examine the human resource management process of international assignments. (Bennett, R., Aston, A., & Colquhoun, T. 2000)
The process of managing expatriates of global assignments includes several stages. This paper examined selection and training before the international assignment, adjustment and integration during the international assignment and repatriation after the international assignment. (Bennett, R., Aston, A., & Colquhoun, T. 2000). In managing expatriates on international assignments it can result in a cycle, where resistance toward international assignments is leading to fewer candidates for the international assignments, which, in turn, lead to an increased likelihood of higher failure rates. This again will lead to resistance and this cycle can carry on going. This cycle can also lead to shortage of leaders who have vital understanding and experience in the global arena, which can result in poor strategic planning and implementation and an ever-worsening competitive position globally. This may erode or destroy a company’s global competitive advantage. (Bennett, R., Aston, A., & Colquhoun, T. 2000)
References: Bennett, R., Aston, A., & Colquhoun, T. (2000). Cross-cultural training: Acritical step in ensuring the success of international assignments. Human Resource Management Garvey, P.R., 2008, Analytical Methods for Risk Management: Hammill, G. (2005). Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees. FDU Magazine http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/planning-risk-assessment.cfm Lancaster and Stillman (April 2010). The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace. National Conference of Bar Foundations (February 2015). Managing Generational Differences. Retrieved from http://www.ncbf.org/members/default.cfm?action=meeting_materials. Pew Research Center (May 2015)
Satuffer, D. (March 2003). Motivating Across Generations. Harvard Business Review. Society of Human Resource Management