Human Resource is a function which is essential in every organization, but also one which is most criticised. The debate whether HR is for the benefit of the employees or the organization has been one of the most contentious issues in management. The fact is that, the purpose of HR function is to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals by providing it with the best possible talent. Therefore, before evaluating whether HR is on the side of employee or management, one must understand that HR is part of the organization and exists for the benefit of the organization. However, this does not necessarily mean that ...view middle of the document...
To change the perception among employees, HR personnel should first strive to ensure that employees understand the purpose of HR and what it can and cannot do. Rather than take the blame for all communication to the employees, HR should ensure that the employees realize from whom the communication is being made and that HR is just the medium for the communication. Many times, HR fails to communicate the reason for its policies and decisions and as a result takes the blame from employees. HR personnel should understand that the employee of today’s knowledge economy are high qualified and intelligent, capable of understanding the decision being made by the management.
There have been numerous occasions when the company had to take tough measures due to the financial situation or other concerns of the management. In such cases, the HR function is responsible for communicating these changes to the employees and formulating appropriate policies to ensure that the objectives of the management are met. In such cases, the typical HR action is to camouflage the problem and try to put it to employees in a positive manner. However, on most occasions, employees are smart enough to understand that even though the message coming is sugar coated, it is not in their interests. The effort to sugar coat the message seems to employees as an intentional way to deflect from the real issue. This causes negative perception in the eyes of the employees, where the HR is just seen to work against the employees and their interests.
I have personally experienced such incidents in my organization. There was a case where the company was changing the compensation structure for the entire workforce by including variable pay. The new compensation structure would see the standard pay reduced for every employee and inclusion of variable pay component which would depend on the company performance. Also, this variable pay component would be paid in cumulative manner on quarterly basis. This change is organization wide compensation structure was not communicated to the employees beforehand nor was any opinion taken. It seemed clear that this decision was taken by the management considering the organizational financial condition. Everyone in the organization knew that the organizational performance was not up to the mark in recent years.
The decision of finance to pay on quarterly basis would mean that every employee would get less money on a monthly basis and would also mean that the company would save money. Also, since the variable component was based on company performance, individual employees did not feel that they could control their pay by better performance. Since the company was not performing well, it seemed clear that the variable pay would be less and the employees would lose money. Therefore, to an intelligent employee, this new development meant that their pay would be reduced.
This meant that was an immediate outcry from the employees against this change,...