The HRM department can have a significant effect on an organization in a number of ways, depending on what goals a company chooses to focus on. For instance, Sun Microsystems in Mountain View, California, has actively used human resource planning to build a multicultural workforce. Traditionally companies involved in good faith affirmative action advertising buy banquet tickets at minority functions, pointed out Deborah Yarborough, diversity program manager at Sun. But we don’t think this is a good policy because the money goes into paying for the banquets and not in getting minorities into the work force. Sun has instead created focus groups consisting of minorities, women, homosexuals, and disabled people who are encouraged to coordinate with friends and outside support organizations and take a proactive role in bringing multicultural applicants to hiring managers. Among the numerous other measures Sun has taken the company has totally changed its corporate advertising campaign, which now conveys the message: Diversity at Sun is not a destination, but a journey. If anything though, Sun’s efforts are understate. They would let more people know what they’re doing, asserted Rigo Chacon South Bay bureau chief, KGO Television News, San Francisco. It’s too much of a well-kept secret. If they could get themselves better recognized corporately, they would do themselves good.
Improving quality was the goal of a human resources effort at Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa. Recognizing the relationship between high quality employees and high quality care, the board and management decided to develop a strategic human resources plan. First, the board’s human resources committee and the director of human resources together created a values statement, titled Partnership for Quality and then agreed on six elements necessary to ensure continuously improving quality. Then the strategic plan was developed and implemented.
At Texas Instruments, based in Dallas, Texas management worked to tailor human resources policies to the needs of the individual business units by including operations managers in the development and implementation process. In this way they overcame a mindset perception among operations managers that HR policies somehow were not a main stream item. The fact is, the only thing that differentiates us from our competition is our people. The equipment, the building – they’re all the same. It’s the people who make the difference. Effective management of HR becomes an issue for everyone.
Human resources planning has four basic aspects: (1) planning for future needs by deciding how many people with what skills the organization will need, (2) planning for future balance by comparing the number of needed employees to the number of present employees who can be expected to stay with the organization, which leads to (3) planning for recruiting or laying off employees and (4) planning for the development of employees, to be sure the organization part of planning, because, as we will discuss later, internal recruitment has a number of advantages.
To be effective, the managers of a human resource program must consider two major factors. The primary is the organization’s human resource needs. For example, a strategy of internal growth means that additional employees must be hired. Acquisitions or mergers, on the other hand, probably mean the organization will need to plan for layoffs, since mergers tend to create duplicate or overlapping positions that can be handled more efficiently with fewer employees.
The second factor to consider is the economic environment of the future. A booming economy might encourage expansion, which would increase the demand for employees. However, the same booming economy would result in low unemployment, making it harder and more expensive to attract qualified employees. Organizations that want to expand overseas confront similar problems.
More and more companies today are going through downsizing or restructuring have taken extraordinary measures to help their former employees find new jobs. AT&T took out ads in newspaper advertising their excess employees and their skills to other businesses.