This paper will analyze two strategic initiatives of an organization and how they match up with the HR approaches. Many organizations realize that it is their people who bring them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Well planned HR management policies and practices are one of the common denominators of successful organizations. Let us take a look at how two strategic initiatives of an organization play a role in HR management.
First initiative is diversity. Most American companies embrace and encourage diversity amongst their employees. These companies believe that diversity brings different approaches to product development and leads the way to globalization; all of which manifests in profit. Second initiative is promoting health and safety at work. Unsafe work conditions or occupational health issues can impact an organization’s bottom-line. In many organizations, one of the major goals is to reduce occupational hazards, avoid injuries, and minimize manpower loss.
HR must accommodate the needs of the organization. Ivancevich & Konopaske (2013) said, “today, because of the recognition of the crucial importance of people, HRM in an increasing number of organizations has become a major player in developing strategic plans and facilitating changes within the organization” (p. 8). ? Strategic Initiative 1: Diversity Companies realize that employing diversity at workforce will give them a better understanding of the demographics of the marketplace they serve thus creating a competitive edge for themselves.
Ivancecich & Konopaske (2013) asserted that an increasing number of studies illustrated that diversity-friendly strategies have a significant impact on the end results (p. 50). Companies create an image of being socially responsible while increasing their profit margin by expanding their consumer base. HR approaches are diverted into seeking diversity in their candidate pool ensuring the workforce contains diverse employees. While seeking for diversity in a candidate pool, HR must create an environment for its diverse workforce that effective and non-discriminatory.
Strategic Initiative 2: Promoting Health and Safety Safety hazards are anything such as an environment, material, or equipment that can potentially cause bodily injury or death. Health hazards are dangers to health resulting from continuous exposure to environmental pollutants, such as asbestos, radiation or fumes, or cigarette smoking, chemical abuse, or continuous use of equipment that gradually causes deterioration of health such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the overall rate of severe occupational injuries/illnesses remained essentially unchanged in 2011 at 117 cases per 10,000 full-time workers” (http://www. bls. gov/news. release/archives/cfoi_09202012. htm). A huge responsibility lays on HR management with the company’s strategic initiative of promoting health and safety at work. The HR approach should be to promote safety training and wellness programs.
Although these are costly approaches, lack of them could be even more detrimental to company’s bottom line. HR must consider several issues as described by Ivancevich& Konopaske (2013): * “Are safety rules being observed? How many near misses have occurred? * Are safety guards, protective equipment, and so on being used? * Are there potentially hazards in the workplace that safety redesign could improve? * Are there potentially occupational health hazards? ” (p. 539).
Additionally, HR must have a preventative wellness approach to minimize any potential loss of work and protect company employees against recurring environmental culprits such as allergies and flu. Smoking cessation programs, free mammography are great HR approaches to maintain employee health. In order to minimize loss of work, large organizations maintain company medical offices where a full time nurse by stands. These offices provide flu shots or immediate intervention in providing medical care. Conclusion
HR practices need to be aligned with the strategic initiatives of the organization. Employees’ safety and well-being is as important to an organization as creating a platform of diversity. While diversity provides a company greater reach in the marketplace, safe environment assures work continuation and less legal problems. Expanding market reach and safety at work both result in either dollars saved or dollars earned. When it becomes a strategic initiative for an organization to create diversity or safe workplace, HR becomes the most important function upon which to rely.
Although, at times, it might be costly to maintain safety at work, provide initiatives for the well-being of employees, or create programs to integrate diversity at workplace, HR must continue to seek out opportunities that create a platform where company goals can be achieved.
References Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries News Release. (2012, September 20). U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 4, 2013, from http://www. bls. gov/news. release/archives/cfoi_09202012. htm Ivancevich, J. M. , & Konopaske, R. (2013). Human Resource Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.