New technologies have decimated many lower end jobs with frustrating regularity. Increased automation has reduced employee head counts everywhere. The pressure to remain cost effective has also compelled many a firm to go lean, cutting down extra fat at each managerial level. The wave of merger and acquisition activity, in recent times, has often left the new, combined companies to downsize operations ruthlessly. The positions that have been filled up with workers possessing superior technical skills and knowledge has also titled the power base (in many emerging industries) from management to technical workers. It is not uncommon today for managers to have limited understanding of the technical aspects of their subordinates work. Managing the expectations of knowledge workers is going be a major area of concern for all HR managers in the years ahead.
Managing Human Resources
Why? Consequences? Managing Survivors of downsizing
1) Automation Cuts payroll expenses Bitterness, anger, disbelief, and shock need to be handled properly.
2) Restructuring Eliminates extra layers
3) Mergers Improves functioning if firm’s product and service profile is good Give information as to why the action had to be taken.
4) Acquisitions Shocks those left out
5) Competitive Pressures Shattering impact on employee motivation and morale if not managed properly.
Technological change has resulted in hierarchical distinctions being blurred and more collaborative team work where managers, technicians and analysts work together on projects . Team based incentive plans also made it necessary for all classes of employees to work in close coordination with each other.
The rapid advances in technology have led to the relocation of work from the office to the home. Telecommuting has become the order of the day where employees work at home, usually with computers and use phones and the Internet to transmit letters, data, and complete work at the home office. Companies have been able to increase their applicant pool through this mode and employees have also been able to live further away from cities and gain considerably due to savings in rents, transportation.
Internet and intranet revolution:
Internet and information technology have enabled companies to become more competitive by cutting costs. Manufacturers, banks, retailers, and you name anything have successfully harnessed computer technology to reduce their costs and deliver want satisfying goods and services to customers at an amazing speed. Even in HR, internets and intranets are being used to handle training benefits, administration, performance management and out placement functions, in recent times. The cumulative impact of new technology is so dramatic that at a broader level, organizations are changing the way they do business. Use of the Internet to transact business has become so commonplace for both large and small companies that e-commerce is rapidly becoming the organizational challenge of the new millennium. Managing virtual corporations and virtual workers in this technology driven world is going to pose tough challenges for HR managers in the years ahead.
Technology to cut short a long argument is changing the face of HRM altering the methods of collecting employment information , speeding up the processing of that data and improving the process of internal and external communication. It is also impacting the way the jobs are being processed with a view to achieve operational efficiency. In this race to cut down costs , improve productivity levels and enhance customer satisfaction – organizations should be careful enough to introduce new technologies in a phased manner, taking employees concerns into account. Increased global competition of course is compelling most organizations to restructure, reengineer work processes, introduce total quality management and build flexibility into work schedules in order to remain competitive and cost effective (in spite of the painful consequences on employees in the initial stages).
Source: HRM VSP