Employee Expectations

Instead of attempting to force employees to conform to a corporate mould future managers may well have to make more allowances for individual differences in people. Nowadays workers are better educated, more demanding and are ready to voice strong, violent and joint protests in case their expectations are not met. The list of financial and non financial demands is ever growing and expanding. In fast changing industries such as software, telecom, entertainment and pharmaceuticals the turnover ratios are rising fast and if HR managers do not respond positively to employee expectations, the acquisition and development costs of recruits are going to mount up steadily. An efficient organization is, therefore required to anticipate and manage turnover through human resource planning, training schemes followed by appropriate compensation package.

Changes in technology

Increased automation, modernization and computerization have changed the way the traditional jobs are handled. In such a scenario unless employees update their knowledge and skills constantly they cannot survive and grow. This will necessitate training, retraining and mid career training of operatives and executives at various levels. Where such initiatives are missing it becomes very difficult for employees to face the forces of technology with confidence and get ahead in their careers steadily.

Life style changes

The life style patterns of employees have undergone a rapid change in recent times. Unlike their predecessors people are now ready to change jobs, shift top new locations, take up jobs in start up companies instead of manufacturing units and even experiment with untested ideas. A recent survey of young executives in four main metros (Chennai, Bombay, Bangalore and Delhi) (Business line, Urban pulse, Feb 2000) in India revealed several interesting things:

Unlike the western world where dual careers are quite common, HR managers in India have not faced any additional challenges in the form of relocation efforts, job sharing and job hunting exercises etc. The situation however, may change in the next coupe of years especially in software media, telecom sectors where the number of women employees is rising steadily.

The survey of young executives underlined the importance of designing jobs around the individual taking his career expectations into account. Flexible working hours, attractive compensation packages, and positive and performance oriented managers in the days ahead.

Environmental challenges:

Privatization efforts in India are likely to gather momentum in the coming years, as most public sector units face survival problems. (For example Air India has 750 employees per aircraft, which makes it the most over staffed airline in the world. Air India’s cost per employee is over Rs 5 lakh a year perhaps highest among Indian sector units. Like wise Delhi Transport Corporation has 30,000 employees, of which 15,000 are excess and the annual expenditure on this excess staff works out to Rs 22 crore!) Mounting cost, rising wage bills increased competition inefficient operations outdated technology debt burden etc will compel many public sector units to either draw the shutters down or seek private sector partners. The burden of training and retraining employees with a view to make them more productive and useful under the new set up is going to fall on the shoulders of HR managers. With the legal stipulations covering recruitment and selection of employees, employment of reserved category employees’ minorities etc are also likely to lose their importance over a period of time.

Personnel function in future:

The personnel function in future is going to evolve thus:

1) Job design: The focus on job redesign will increase : Flexi time, job sharing and alternative work arrangements will come to occupy a center stage
2) Career opportunities: apart from compensation personal growth and self development may become primary motives for working. HR managers may have to restructure work so that employees may find expression of their needs for creativity autonomy and entrepreneurship
3) Productivity: Productivity efficiency growth is going to be the new mantra for corporate survival and growth.
4) Recruitment and selection: Effective selection devices are likely to be used giving premium to employee skills, knowledge, experience ability to get along with people etc.

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