Trends in the Workplace

Assignment 1: Trends in the Workplace

HRM 500



Specify the key functional areas of Human Resources Management. Explore the manner in which each function contributes to the overall performance of an organization. Support your response with specific examples of the activities for which HRM is typically responsible.

In general, the role of the human resource management in an organization or entity entails planning, development, administration of policies and designing programs that make expeditious use of an organization’s human resources (Secord, & Secord, 2003). Therefore, the human resource management is concerned with the relationship of both the employer and employee within an enterprise. The human resource management effectively utilizes of human resources, desires for working relationships among all members of the organization and ensures maximum individual development (Secord, & Secord, 2003). From this objectives, it clear that there are four main functional areas in human resource management namely Planning, Staffing, Employee development, and Employee maintenance as described below.

The human resource planning function involves the determination of the number and type of employees needed to accomplish organizational goals through research given the fact that planning entails the collection and analysis of information critical in the forecasting of human resources supplies, as well as the prediction of the future human resources, need (Secord, & Secord, 2003). Also a critical element of the planning function of the human resource is job analysis that refers to the description of the nature of a job and specification of the human requirements including skills and experience needed to perform the job (Secord, & Secord, 2003). Job analysis culminates in the description of the job that as well entails the specification of the work duties and activities of employees.

Job descriptions are therefore crucial avenues for information about employees, managers, and personnel now that the content of the job significantly influences the organizational personnel programs and practices (Secord, & Secord, 2003).

The second function of the human resource management is organizational staffing. Staffing in an organization concerns the recruitment and the selection of the human resources in that the potential and qualified applicants are attracted to the job vacancy in the organization (Regis, 2008). Having laid down the proper procedures for recruitment, the human resource office then receives the applications after which it selects the most qualified applicants for hiring from among those attracted to the organization. It is under the selection stage that the human resource management plays a critical role in developing and administering methods necessary for managers to decide which applicants to select and which to reject for the given jobs (Regis, 2008). The staffing function also covers the orientation process that entails the helping a new employee adjust to the new job and the employer. Orientation purposefully acquaints new employees with particular aspects of their new job such as pay and benefits programs, working hours, among others (Regis, 2008).

The third function of the human resource is employee development and covers such areas as employee benefits, performance appraisal, rewards, compensation and career planning. Training and development are the source of employee’s skills and knowledge necessary for their performance of jobs effectively (Regis, 2008). The training usually covers both the new and experienced employees to raises their levels of responsibilities and as such, a means of assurance to the employees of their capabilities in performing their jobs at acceptable levels. Performance appraisal helps in the monitoring of the employee performance in ensuring that it is up to the acceptable levels (Regis, 2008). It is the human resource personnel in the organization that is responsible for the development and administering of the performance appraisal systems. The systems are a motivation to the employees in that it provides the employees with development information that guides them in improving their performance. Career planning in the organization involves the assessment of the individual employee’s potential for growth and advancement and as such, results in career growth and advancement (McConnell, 2011). Human resource personnel are the engineers of the rational method for determining the employee’s pay in performing certain jobs. In order to attract highly skilled employees, the human resource department would offer the higher level of pay in exchange for the work performed. The human resources personnel are critical in the formulation of the employee benefits plans (McConnell, 2011).

The last function of the human resource management is the maintenance of the workers and entails employee mobility management, employee commitment and loyalty, labor relations, record keeping, and personnel research. The organization’s human resource staff are responsible for ensuring that the employee who wishes to join the trade unions are freely allowed by laying down the procedures for doing so (McConnell, 2011). The HR personnel is critical especially in the negotiation stage with the employee trade unions concerning the employee wages, service conditions, and resolving disputes and grievances. The human resource plays a critical role in keeping the employee records in the organization which includes recording, maintaining, and retrieving information about the employees such as earnings and working hours among others (McConnell, 2011). The HR personnel also engages in the staff or employee research with regards to getting the necessary information about the employees that will play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of workable programs at workplaces. Examples of areas that require research include employee turnover, industrial relations, welfare services, terminations, working conditions and many more. However, the role is mostly shared with other departments in the organization such as the executives (McConnell, 2011).

Examine four (4) federal equal employment opportunity laws. Suggest the primary manner in which each law influences fair employment practices within the organization where you currently work or an organization for which you have worked in the past. Support your response with specific examples of the chosen organization’s employment practices.

The first federal equal employment opportunity law is the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which legalizes the payments of different wages to men, and women if they perform similar work in the same workplace (United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1966). It also prohibits the retaliation of persons due to their complaints about discrimination among another issue at hand. Therefore, EPA ensures that all the employees at Wal-Mart are paid equivalently for the same work done as per the job description (United States, 1962). The second law is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that forbids age discrimination against people above age 40 or older (United States, 1980). However, under the law it is not illegal to discriminate against an employee over 40 years in favor of an older employee of say, 50 years.

The third law is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) that prohibits discrimination of qualified persons or employees with disabilities both in private and government sectors (United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1966). The law is critical in that it mandates the employers reasonably to accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of persons unless in situations where such conditions would negatively affect the running of the entity. The last law is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that prohibits the discrimination of the employees or applicants because of genetic information that includes a person’s genetic tests and that of the family members as well as information about a particular disease (United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1966). The law as well prohibits retaliation of the employees on the basis of their stance concerning a particular issue in the organization contrary to the management position.

According to the text, there are three (3) significant trends affecting organizations today: the aging workforce, diversity, and skills deficiencies in the workplace. Analyze the primary manner in which each of these three (3) trends has impacted the organization where you currently work or one (1) where you have worked in the past. Support your response with specific examples of said impact.

The aging work force is causing a challenge at Wal-Mart given the fact that the aging employees are many and as they come close to their retirement it will create a vacuum in that they will go at the same time. The employees cannot be forcefully laid off according to the company’s 40k plan the compensation fee will be high (Secord, & Secord, 2003). Another challenge at Wal-Mart is in diversity where most of the employee’s are white, which is a situation that makes it difficult for the black population which is the majority of Wal-Mart’s customers as well as other minority races since there are none and neither ratio is small and each of them one in the pay role (Secord, & Secord, 2003). While most of the stores are spread across the United Sates, those with lesser population in terms of employees and are situated in areas with mostly black population make losses since the people have no tough with it. The challenge of skills decencies is a result of aging workforce and diversity (Secord, & Secord, 2003). Given that there are more aging employees in the entity, upon their retirement the new employees who would be young would lack the necessary experience as they lack the guidance of the experts. Now that there is no balance of employees in terms of backgrounds it is difficult for the Wal-Mart to penetrate the market given that the skill available in its workforce cannot match other entities with employees from diverse background and as such, in possession of diverse skills (Secord, & Secord, 2003).

According to the text, workplace flexibility is essential for organizational success in the rapidly changing world. Explore two (2) ways that the organization where you currently work, or one (1) where you have worked in the past, might respond to the need to be flexible. Provide a rationale for your response.

In responding to the need of being flexible, Wal-Mart should consider setting up an affirmative action office that would work in conjunction with the human resource office in the recruitment process. The office would be tasked with addressing the discrimination issue of the recruits and as such will ensure that there is a diverse workforce in the organization, which is more of an advantage marketwise and production wise (Pruchnoet al., 2000). Consequently, the organization can attain workplace flexibility by carrying out performance appraisal to help in the monitoring of the employee performance in ensuring that it is up to the acceptable levels (Work/Family Directions, Inc., & Rodgers& Associates, 1993).


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Regis, R. (2008). Strategic human resource management and development. New Delhi: Excel Books.

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United States Commission on Civil Rights.(1966). Equal employment opportunity under federal law. Washington.

United States. (1962). Equal employment opportunity act of 1962. Washington: U. S. Govt. print. Off.

United States. (1980). Oversight hearing on the federal enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Employment Opportunities of the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, Ninety-sixth Congress, second session, hearing held in Washington, D.C., August 19, 1980. Washington: U.S. G.P.O.

Work/Family Directions, Inc., & Rodgers & Associates (Boston, Mass.). (1993). Workplace flexibility: A research report, August 20, 1993. Boston, Mass: Work/Family Directions.