Readings in Human Resources Management Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview 1.1. Importance of Human Resources With the increase in the size and complexity of business organizations, man has become the most important factor in business. Business needs people as owners, employees, and consumers. Organizations need people to make them operate. Business may be operated differently and the objectives of business may differ, but the universal element in all business activities is people. An organization is nothing without human resources. Any human organization- a factory, a hospital, or an association- consists of people working together. According to economists, the factors of production are land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship. Of all the resources, the most important one is human resource, because human beings play a dual role- as resource, as well as a motive force for all other resources by manipulating them, by way of developing, utilizing, commanding and controlling. It is the most important of all other resources. This is because manpower is that resource through which management wants to control and direct all other resources like machines, materials, money and others. An organization is nothing without people. It is true that capital; technology and human force are the important elements for production. In fact, productivity is the function of a set of interrelated factors (e.g., political, social, economic, educational and cultural). Experts on productivity improvement emphasize more on people factor for enhancing productivity. They are of the view that relatively human resource is the most important of all the factors of production. Resources other than human beings could produce nothing. Physical resources by themselves cannot improve efficiency or contribute to an increased rate of return on investment. It is through the combined and concerted efforts of people that monetary or material resources are harnessed to achieve organizational goals. Why is human resource superior to other elements of production? Capital can be borrowed and technology can be imported, but people cannot be bought. All the factors of production other than the workforce skills can be duplicated anywhere in the world. It is all fungible- capital, technology, raw materials, information- all except for one thing, the most critical part, the one element that is unique about a nation: its workforce (Griffin, 1994). Fred Luthans (2000), an Organizational Behavior, rightly argues that â€œ it is not technology, which separates the Saturn plant of GM from other manufacturing facilities. Rather the Saturn plant represents a profound change in the way people are managedâ€?. Productivity is basically people-based. It is for this reason the developing countries in spite of acquiring modern technologies could not achieve higher level of productivity. The rapidity of technology transfer, access to worldwide capital markets and global competition reduce the traditional advantages of superior technology and isolated markets. Technology becomes inactive without work forces. It is man who works behind machine. Even in a highly automated plant, people are nevertheless required to co-ordinate, and control the plantâ€™s operation. Workers must use them effectively. They must be motivated to provide the best
quality and customer service possible. Sakurai (1989), an advisor of the Japan Productivity Center has rightly pointed out that “Improvement of productivity through the introduction of new technology depends, by and large, on how people in the organization accept the change. To obtain desired result from the introduction of change in technology, the change must be acceptable to them”. That is, acceptance of change will lie with the behavioral level of the workforce. Needless to say, machine increases the muscle power of man. Man without the machine is also less productive. They are inseparable. Labor and technology combined generate the outputs that are priced and sold to customers. As Morita, the founder and chairman of Sony Corporation and the author of “Made in Japan” remarks, “assets make things possible but people make things happen.” Organizations depend on people to make them operate. No change occurs without efficient human beings. Improved productivity through people is ultimately the fountainhead of all human progress. In the ultimate analysis, it is the human factor, which will determine the final productivity of enterprise. People supply the talents, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve the organization’s objectives. Let us now explain some inherent qualities that a human being is endowed with. 1.2 Why Employees are Superior to Other Factors of Production Human being is the best creature of God. Management experts have tried to identify the basic qualities possessed by a human being (Davis, 1989; Werther, 1992; Griffin, 1993). Firstly, human beings can think, imagine, and feel. They have creative and innovative power. They have problem-solving ability. People contribute to new ideas, which are the foundation for any technological innovation. Human beings offer competitive edge a country or a firm needs to achieve the desired economic development. Secondly, human beings can be motivated and stimulated. Experts believe that employee satisfaction leads to better performance. Happy workers are usually productive workers. A motivated worker works hard, and sustains that pace and is self-directing toward meeting challenging goals. There is a positive relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction or customer loyalty. Profit and growth are primarily stimulated by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the values of services provided to the customers. The satisfied, loyal and productive employees create value of services. Productivity improvement can only occur through such motivated employees. This is why; literature on employee motivation is quite rich. Finally, human beings have synergetic power. Synergy means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. From organizational point of view, synergy means that departments that interact co-operatively are more productive than they would be if they operate in isolation. Human beings can work together as a team and team performance is usually better than individual performance. Effective employee teams can bring a wide range of individual skills and work backgrounds to projects delivering better quality results. Synergy is an important concept for managers because it emphasizes the importance of working together in a cooperative and co-ordinated fashion. Morita (1982) rightly says,
“Your competitiveness is your ability to use the skills and knowledge of people most effectively and team are the best way to do that”. These qualities as stated above are not found or existed in any factors of production other than human resources. In view of these qualities of people, it is felt that business firms must adopt the method of productivity through people. It is not a slogan; rather it is a reality. The people and the will of the people to grow economically are the pivotal for the economic development of every country. Take the case of Japan, for example. Japan lacks virtually all types of resources except human ones. The World War Two had almost crippled its economy but it could not destroy the creativity and ingenuity of its people. Japanese companies have been placing increased emphasis on the quality of human resources. Morita (1982) says that there is no magic in the success of Japanese companies in general and Sony Company in particular. The secret of their success is simply the way they treat their employees. Highly educated, skilled and motivated human resources have made extreme contribution to the robust economic growth of Japan. It achieves success mainly by involving its people in the development process. 1.3. Employee may be the Key to Productivity in Bangladesh From the demographic point of view, Bangladesh is the ninth largest country in the world. Neither natural resource nor technology is her greatest asset. It is people, which constitute the most precious resource. Tapping that wellspring may be the best hope for the economic success of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, most of its people are illiterate, unskilled and inefficient. Manpower shortage exists both in quantitative and qualitative terms and includes not only engineers and technicians but also managers. In many cases, the manpower shortages are aggravated by the “ brain drain”. The lure of better living condition is causing brain drain among the third world countries. Another aspect is the supply of required mix of manpower resources. Bangladesh falls into the category of LDC with human development rank of 143 among the 174 nations (Haque, 1997). Our working force is simply not keeping pace with the kinds of skills required in the new economy. Until now most of its people could not become productive resources, rather they are liabilities for the nation. A person is said to be resourceful when he or she has attained problem-solving ability. It is evident that many people are ignorant, unskilled and cannot sustain themselves, and become a factor of degradation and backwardness for the society. As a result, they are becoming liability for Bangladesh. Thus, although wages are lower in Bangladesh than in the western countries, it is suggested that the actual labor cost to the industry is above the levels in the western countries because of the higher labor efficiency in such countries. They are liabilities because of our failure to handle them well. They are becoming a source of corporate distress, not a competitive advantage. Most of the scholars believe that Bangladesh is lagging behind in economic spheres largely because of its inability to handle human resources. We are poor in managing human resources. The real difference between Bangladesh and developed countries lies not in the volume of capital but in the knowledge gap (Kibria, 1999). There is a shortage of knowledge, skill and technological know-how to utilize human and natural resources. Although information technology and communication have shortened the geographical distance among the countries, the knowledge gap between a developed country and a developing country like Bangladesh is increasingly widening. The developed countries are basically knowledge and information - based societies. The people of the developed countries are becoming more
educated and knowledgeable so they can easily solve all the problems that a human society is likely to face. Peter. F. Drucker (1990), the prolific management scholar, rightly observed that “productivity depends on knowledge and its application” The phenomena of globalization calls for increased labor productivity which in turn will call for a greater emphasis on human resource development as a means of enhancing the capacity of labor for productive work. So in order to develop Bangladesh economically, her human population must be transformed into human resources. 1.4. Definition of Human Resources Management (HRM) Management and human resources management are one and the same. They should never be separated. Management is personnel administration. Management has three jobs, two of which are directly related to personnel- -managing, a business, managing managers and managing workers and work. The word management has three syllables- Manage-Men-T. If T is taken for tact, then etymologically management means how to manage men with tact. Management is the process of efficiently getting things done with and through other people. HRM deals with the design of formal systems in an organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talents to accomplish organizational goals. There are many definitions about human resource management (HRM). One of the wellknown definitions offered by Michael Jucious (1984). He defined human resources management or personnel management – “as the field of management involves planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the functions of procuring, developing, maintaining and motivating a labor force”. It is the process of acquiring, retaining, terminating, developing and properly using the human resources in an organization. The acquisition function begins with planning. It includes the recruitment, selection and socialization of employees. Through HR planning, managers attempt to anticipate forces that will influence the future supply of demand for employees. The development function includes employee training, management development and career development. As jobs evolve and change, ongoing retraining is necessary to accommodate technological changes. Encouraging development of all employees is necessary to prepare organizations for future challenges. Career planning identifies paths and activities for individual employees as they develop within the organization. The motivation function begins with the recognition that individuals are unique and the motivational techniques (job satisfaction, employee performance appraisal and compensation) must reflect the needs of each individual. Assessing how employees perform their jobs is the focus of performance appraisal. Compensation rewards people for performing organizational work through pay, incentives and benefits. The maintenance function is concerned with providing those working conditions that employees are necessary in order to maintain their commitment to the organization. The relationship between managers and employees must be handled effectively if both the employees and the organization are to prosper together. HRM deals with the design of formal systems in an organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talents to
accomplish organizational goals. There is a growing recognition that effective use of people in the organization can provide a competitive advantage. It pervades the organization. Every person in an organization is involved with personnel decisions. The responsibility for human resource management activities rests with each manager. If managers throughout the organization do not accept their responsibility, then human resources activities may be done only partially or not at all. It is concerned with managing people at work. It covers all types of personnel. It is a continuous function. It draws on a number of related disciplines, such as industrial psychology, Sociology, Social Psychology, Anthropology and Economics. The function of HRM is advisory in nature. In management terminology, it is a staff function. The personnel manager advises the operating departments on matters relating to personnel. He does not issue orders to them but gives them advice. 1.5. Personnel Management VS Human Resource Management Although on some key issues- a natural concern for people, and their need, together with finding efficient means to select, train, appraise, develop and reward them, there are some points of dissimilarities between Personnel Management (PM) and Human Resource Management (HRM). Traditional Personnel Management tends to be parochial, striving to attend line managers, whereas HRM is integrated into the role of line managers, with a strong proactive stance and a bias towards business. PM has a history of placing emphasis on bureaucratic control often in a reactive sense, i.e., control of manpower and personnel systems. Some would argue that PM represented a highly compartmentalized system. By contrast, HRM makes a determined effort to be a more integrative mechanism in bringing people issue into line with business issues, with a pronounced problem-seeking and problemsolving orientation, and a determination to build collaborative organizational systems. The role of top management in setting the agenda for change and development is very much in evidence in HRM. Some personnel managers will no doubt see the growing influence of HR managers as a threat fearing that they may just become custodians of personnel systems. Beer (1997) identified major obstacles in transforming the traditional administrative personnel function and moving to a fully-fledged HRM system. He contends that one of the greatest problems in the transformation of HR function is that most HR professionals do not possess the requisite analytical and interpersonal skills. In HRM there is a greater emphasis on strategic issues and on the way which the human resource contributes to the achievement of corporate objectives. HRM underlines the importance of flexibility and the ability to react and adapt quickly to changes in the organizational environment. PM can be described as a series of activities related to various aspects of an employeeâ€™s relationship with the organization. HRM is also concerned with these issues, but in addition stresses the primacy of business needs. Other points of departure are that HRM embraces individual flexibility and congruency between individual and organizational goals, whereas PM is concerned with systems applied to individuals and collectivism.
1.6. The philosophy of Human Resources Management The basic guide to HR management action in any company derives from its philosophy toward people. A philosophy exists in every company, although it is not written down. It guides to personnel policies. There are two contrasting views regarding employee at work: Labor is viewed as technical factor-a factor of production. They are treated as a commodity and they can be bought and sold. They are considered as cogs in the machine. They are hired and fired at will. Writings of Taylor and Adam Smith reinforced these concepts. Employees must be controlled and closely supervised by management to attain company goals. This approach treats employees with limited potentiality. This is consistent with theory X as suggested by Douglas McGregor. Labor has been viewed as a human factor with a lot of positive potentials. So they must be treated with respect and dignity. People are assets- not cost. Investment on people is very rewarding. Management must develop and utilize the talent of people to achieve common goals. Japan is the first country who realized the importance of human beings in its attempt to improve productivity. When Japan realized this truth and recognized human values, it achieved unprecedented progress in all fields. Stagnation in economic progress of Bangladesh compared to Japan is again attributed to this lack of focus on human resources development and utilization. Although we are endowed with fertile land, rich in natural gas, possess large population. 1.7. Basic Principles of Human Resources Management A principle is a basic statement of truth explaining cause and effect relationship between two or more variables. Every subject is guided by its principles. HRM is not an exception. The fundamental principles of HR management, according to M. Jucious, 1992; Memoria, 1998; Flippo, 1986), are as follows: • • • •
• • • •
Deal with people as complete individuals. Consider employee as a whole person. For example, the family life of an employee may have an effect on his working life. Make people feel worthwhile and related. People are the most valuable asset of the organization. Treat all employees with justice, there should be no discrimination. Human resources management is not personal. The uniqueness of the human resource must be recognized, and cannot be treated like any other resource. After all, people have feelings and emotions. Rewards should be earned, not given. If it is given, it becomes a gift or donation. Supply employees with relevant information. Because secrecy may create confusion and misunderstanding. Information should be shared with employees. Commitment by employees to the organization is nurtured when the organization informs them of important matters, such as the mission statement, the values it cherishes and trading prospects. Do not underestimate the intelligence of people. People have a lot of positive potentiality. Treat people with respect and dignity. This will enhance people’s motivation and commitment to the organization. People ought to would to be considered as social capital capable of development. Provides opportunities for growth within the organization.
Group interest predominance over individual interests. Sell the personnel program. It must be sold. This follows because employees will learn by themselves or from others if management does not teach them.
1.8. Objectives of Human Resources Management All the functions of the organization should contribute to the objectives of the organization. This means that the determination of objectives is of prime importance and is a prerequisite to the solution of most management problems. Objectives are predetermined goals at which individual or group activity in an organization is aimed. The formulation of the objectives of an organization is necessary for the following reasons: Human beings are goal – directed. People must have a purpose to do some work. Announced organizational goals invest work with meaning. • Objectives serve as standards against which performance is measured. • The objectives stand out as guidelines for organizational performance. They help in establishing the character of an organization. • The central focus for HR management must be on contributing to organizational success. The objectives of Human resources management can be described as follows: • To maintain and sustain industrial peace. Without peace, prosperity is not possible. It is true for a nation as well as for a business organization. Without industrial peace, all resources remain under-utilized. • To improve the productive contribution of people to the organization. In a competitive environment, productivity improvement is very significant. Productivity is the function of ability and motivation. Training and education can improve ability. The HR managers must take measures to increase employees’ willingness to put more effort. Excellent companies of USA also encourage productivity through people. • To attract and secure appropriate people capable of performing effectively and efficiently the organization’s specific tasks. This important for obtaining and sustaining competitive advantage. • To generate maximum individual development of the people within the organization. Individuals get internally developed through training and experience. It is a motivating factor according to human behavior experts Maslow and Hezberg.It should be kept in mind that today’s industries are knowledge-based and skill-intensive. • To recognize and satisfy individual needs. • To maintain a high morale and better human relationships inside the organization. • M.W. Cumming (1989) has described the objectives of HR management in these words: HR management aims to achieve both efficiency and justice, neither of which can be pursued successfully without the other. It seeks to bring together and develop into an effective organization, the men and women who make up an enterprise enabling each to make his own best contribution to its success both as an individual and as a member of a working group. • According to Mathis and Jackson (1999), the main goal of HR management is to enhance human capital of the organization. Human capital is the total value of human resources to the organization. It is composed of the people in the organization and what capabilities they have and can utilize in their jobs. AS a part of strategic role, HR managers are often seen as responsible for expanding the capabilities of the human resources in the organization. 1.9. Functions of HRM •
HR managers are performing a variety of functions. The functional areas of HR managers are changing as the time goes on. The main HRM functions include: Human resource planning is an important activity that involves estimating the size and makeup of the future work force. It is a process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kinds of people, at the right places, at the right time. Capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will aid the organization in achieving its overall objectives. Planning of human resources is the life-blood of the firm. Without the right people in the right place at the right time, the firm could go out of business. Recruitment is the process of finding and attracting qualified or suitable applicants to fill vacancies. Recruiting is important because the best- qualified applicants must be found to fill vacancies. The methods and procedures used to acquire an understanding about jobs are called job analysis. This is discussed next. There are mainly two sources of recruitment: internal and external. Promotion from within an organization is called internal source and recruiting new people from outside the organization is known as external source. Job analysis is the process of determining the tasks that make up the job and the knowledge and skills and abilities an employee needs to successfully accomplish the job. From job analysis, job description and job specification can be prepared. Job description is a written statement of what the jobholder does how it is done and why it is done. Job specifications state the qualifications necessary for a job. Selection is a process of hiring suitable people for job. Right man for right job is the main goal of selection. The selection process involves many steps such as preliminary reception of application, interviewing, test, medical test, references and final decision of hiring. Placement is the assignment or reassignment of duties to employee. It may take different forms such as promotion, transfer, demotion, and termination. Orientation is a process of getting new employees acquainted with the organization, its culture, rules and regulation, objectives and supervisors and other employees. It is the act of introducing new employees to organization and their work units. It is important because it helps new employee to adapt with new situation. Training is a continual process of helping employees to perform at a high level. It is a process of acquiring new skills to do job properly. Training changes and modifies employee attitudes and behaviors that will improve his ability to perform on the job. To be effective, a training program must accomplish a number of objectives. First, it must be based on both organizational and individual needs. Second, the objectives of training should spell out what problems will be solved. Third, all training should be based on sound theories of learning. Finally, a training program must be evaluated to determine whether it is working. Job evaluation is a process of measuring and determining the value of each job in relation to all jobs within the organization. Jobs are ranked in order to arrive at each jobâ€™s appropriate worth. It is the basis of designing a well- balanced compensation program. The widely used methods of job evaluation are ranking method, classification method, point rating method, and factor comparison method. Performance appraisal is a process in an organization whereby each employee is evaluated to determine how he or she is performing. Employee may be appraised against absolute
standards, relative standards, and objective. The appraisal process consists of six steps: establish performance standards, communicate performance expectations to employees, measure actual performance, compare actual performance with standards, discuss the appraisal with the employee, if necessary, initiate corrective action. Compensation is the reward or price for labor. The goal of compensation administration are to design the lowest-cost pay structure that will attract, motivate and retain competent employees, and that also will be perceived as fair by these employees. Discipline refers to a condition in the organization when employees conduct themselves in accordance with the organization’s rules and standard s of acceptable behavior. For the most part, employees discipline themselves. But not all employees will accept the responsibility of self-discipline. Some are problem employees. These employees require some degree of extrinsic disciplinary action. This extrinsic is labeled punishment. The most frequent discipline problems can be classified as related to attendance, on-the-job behavior, dishonesty, and outside criminal activities. Disciplinary actions available to the manager include oral warning, written warning, suspension, demotion, pay cut, and dismissal. Trade union is an organization of workers, acting collectively, who seek to protect and promote their mutual interests through collective bargaining. The goals of unions include • • • •
Influencing the wage and effort bargain, Establish a security system for members, Influencing the administration of rules, Obtaining political power in the state and over the economy.
Collective bargaining is negotiation, administration and interpretation of a written agreement between two parties; at least one of, which represents a group that is acting collectively, that, covers a specific period of time. 1.10. Tests of the Efficiency of the HR Department The personnel man is concerned with staffing, motivating, maintaining good employeremployee relationships and running welfare services. The performance achieved in all these spheres will have to be assessed by the general management to ascertain the efficiency and quality of personnel man. Biswanath Ghosh (1997) used the following criteria to measure the efficiency of personnel man: a) Recruitment cost t report This report will indicate the recruitment cost for different categories of employees and compare such costs with results over the time. If recruitment cost has increased over the year, it reflects inefficiency of the personnel department. If it has reduced, it is an index of successful personnel policy. b) Labor productivity report Although labor productivity depends not only on the efficiency of labor but also on many other factors which lie outside the jurisdiction of personnel department, yet the personnel department is mainly responsible for maintaining an efficient workforce. A comparison of
labor productivity and efficiency of different departments and between different periods is a good index of labor productivity. It the total productivity falls, personnel department is inefficient; it rises, personnel department will be considered efficient. c) Labor turnover report Labor turnover may be used as an index to judge the efficiency of the personnel department. Excessive labor turnover indicates a failure of personnel policy while lower turnover reflects the success of such policy. d) Discipline Discipline is an indication of success or failure of the personnel policy concern. Discipline is good when employees follow willingly the rules of the company and discipline is said to be bad when employees disobey them. e) Morale The effectiveness of the personnel policy determines the morale of the employees. Morale is the sate of mental health. An individualâ€™s morale is high when he is happy with his work, his surroundings and his fellow-beings. High morale indicates the efficiency of personnel administration while poor morale reflects its failure. Poor morale is reflected in high rate of absenteeism, turnover, accident records, grievances and the low level of output. r) Welfare provisions The personnel department looks after welfare activities within the organization. When workers feel that the company has an adequate labor welfare policy, their tendency to grouse and grumble will disappear. Welfare activities will reduce labor turnover and absenteeism and will increase the efficiency of the work force. 1.11. Proactive versus Reactive Approaches to HRM HR department cannot always wait for feedback and then respond. HR managers must be proactive. HRM can increase its contribution to employees, managers and the organization by anticipating challenges before they arise. Proactive HRM occurs when HR problems are anticipated and corrective action begins before the problem exists. Reactive approach occurs when decision- makers respond to HR problems. If efforts are reactive only, problems may be compounded and opportunities may be missed. A proactive approach to HRM is a major step in enhancing organizational productivity. 1.12. Specific Challenges of Modern HRM HRD managers are facing many challenges these days. The field of HR management is undergoing transition because organizations themselves are changing. Flippo (1992), a renowned expert on personnel management, has identified four challenging problems of personnel department: (1) Changing mix of the workforce, (2) Changing values of the workforce, (3) Changing demands of employees, and
(4) Changing demands of the environment. Among the major changes in the mix of personnel entering the workforce are (1) increased numbers of minority entering occupations requiring greater skills, (2) Increasing levels of formal education for the entire workforce, (3) More female employees, (4) More married female employees, and (5) More working mothers. Discussion Questions • • • • • • • • • • • •
Define Human Resources Management. Why is employee the key to productivity? “Assets make things possible but people make things happen”. Justify Why is managing employee at work so complex? “Productivity is through people”. Explain. Discuss the following statement: “ In many ways, all managers are and must be HR managers.” A HR manager must be effective and efficient. Why? “Management is getting things done with and through others.” Do you agree or disagree? Why? What are the objectives of HRM? Distinguish between proactive and reactive approach to HRM. What are the challenges faced by HRM? “HRD has grown importance in globalization”. Explain.
Chapter 2 Human resource Planning (HRP) 2.1. Meaning of Human Resource Planning Planning is the most important and primary function of management. It is a process of selecting the organizational objectives and taking action to achieve those objectives. Planning must be realistic and workable. Planning of human resources is a major managerial responsibility. It is important because human resources provide a firm the competitive advantage. In the age of competition, firms are focusing their attention on employee knowledge and skill. Obviously, human resources are going to occupy the central stage of human activities, especially in the field of industry and business. In view of its importance in the organizational effectiveness, separate HRP departments have been set up in most of the important business organizations. Certainly, many organizations have voiced the idea that their human resources differentiated them from their competitors. The significance of human resources as a core competency was confirmed in a study of 293 U.S. firms. The study found that HR management effectiveness positively affected organizational productivity, financial performance and stock value (Huselid 1997). Human resource planning is the major task of HRM because it is concerned with utilizing manpower resources. An organization does not own person as it does capital and physical assets; this resource is seldom given proper attention. Many managers gave failed because
they have taken their human resources for granted. It is one of the most critical management undertakings of this decade. Some popular definitions of HRP are given below. Robbins (1998) defines HRP as – “the process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kinds of people at the right places, at the right time, capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will help the organization achieve its overall objectives”. In the words of Coleman Bruce (1997), HRP is the process of determining manpower requirements and the means of meeting those requirements in order to carry out the integrated plan of the organization. It, then, translates the organization’s objectives and plans into the number of people needed to meet those activities. Through planning management makes a balance between demand for and supply of right number and kinds of people at the right time. It is a supply and demand calculation. Manpower is an asset; it is an asset which appreciates-which grows over time. Machines depreciate as time goes on. According to the above definitions, HRP consists of the following elements: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Establishing and recognizing the future job requirements, Identifying deficiency in terms of quantity, Identifying deficiency in terms of quality and specification, Identifying the sources of right type of man, Developing the available manpower and Ensuring the effective utilization of work force.
A manpower plan must be a set of two plans: a manpower demand plan and a manpower supply plan. 2.2. Benefits of Human resource planning If HR planning is done well, the following benefits should result: Upper management has a better view of the human resource dimensions of business decisions. – • • • • • • • •
HR costs may be lower because management can anticipate imbalances before they become unmanageable and expensive. More time is available to locate talent because needs are anticipated and identified before the actual staffing is required. Development of managers can be better developed. Improving the utilization of human resources, Achieving economies in hiring new employees, Expanding the personnel management information base to assist other personnel activities and other organizational units, Coordinating different personnel program. Rapid technological changes makes manpower planning more important as the demand for new skills is increasing.
Proper manpower policy will reduce wastage rate. There are two types of wastagevoluntary (marriage, pregnancy, immigration, early retirement and involuntary (death, retirement and dismissal). Manpower planning stresses the value of human resources as corporate assets. Interest in manpower planning is increasing because the size of the organization is gradually increasing.
2.3. Human resources planning methods Four methods are used to determine the requirements of personnel: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Annual estimate of expected vacancies, Long range estimate of expected vacancies, Man specification requirements, Job requirements.
Personnel manager will examine the organizational structure regularly to anticipate its manpower requirements. A job analysis must be made to know the requirements of a particular job. What does the job analysis mean? 2.4. Job Analysis Employee turnover is a very serious problem in most of the industries. Turnover is harmful because causes serious inconveniences, high costs, wastage of trained manpower, reduces morale and motivation. It occurs mainly due to frustration on the following: • • •
Mismatch between expectation and reality in the nature of work, Mismatch between requirements in the job and capabilities, Mismatch between responsibility and compensation.
This mismatch has arisen because the actual work has not been properly defined, designed and disclosed. This leads to the concept of job analysis. Job analysis defines the jobs within the organization and the behaviors necessary to perform these jobs. Mathis and Jackson (1999) view job analysis as a systematic way to gather and analyze information about the content and human requirement of jobs, and the context in which jobs are performed. Dale Yoder (1983) defines job analysis as“A process in which jobs are studied to determine what tasks and responsibilities they include their relationships to other jobs, the conditions under which work is performed, and the personnel capabilities required for satisfactory performance”. In the opinion of Strauss and Sales, Job analysis consists of two parts, a statement of work to be done (Job description), and the skills and knowledge which must be possessed by anyone filling the job (Job Specification). It involves developing a detailed description of the tasks involved in a job, determining the relationship of a given job to other jobs, and ascertaining the knowledge, skills and abilities
necessary for an employee to successfully perform the job. Job analysis includes the following information: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Work activities and behaviors, Interaction with others. Performance standards. Job relationships. Personal attributes. Machines and equipment used, Working conditions. Work methods. Supervision given and received, Knowledge, skills and abilities needed.
Job Analysis Methods Job analysis information can be gathered in a variety of ways. Common job analysis methods are: •
Observation Method. The job analyst observes the individual performing the job and takes notes to describe the tasks and duties performed. He keenly observes the work connected with a job. It is a direct method. Its main limitation is that when the work of employee is being observed, the employee becomes conscious. In certain job like managerial, observation method is impossible. Work sampling. Under this method, a manager can determine the content and pace of a typical workday through statistical sampling of certain actions rather than through continuous observation and timing of all actions. Individual interview. Here a manager or job analyst visits each job site and talk with employees performing each job. A standardized interview form is used most often to record the information. Frequently, both the employee and the employee’s supervisor must be interviewed to obtain a complete understanding of the job. Structured questionnaire. A survey instrument is developed and given to employees and managers to complete. The main advantage of this method is that information on a large number of jobs can be collected inexpensively in a relatively short period of time. Diary method. Under this method, the employees observe their own performance by keeping a diary of their job duties, noting how frequently they are performed and the time needed for each duty.
Uses of job analysis Job analysis obtains information about the jobs and it uses that information to • • •
Develop job description, Job specification, Conduct job evaluation.
Design compensation program
These, in turn, are valuable in helping managers identify the kinds of employees they should recruit, select, and develop, as well as providing guidance for decisions about training and career development, performance appraisal and compensation administration. 2.5. Differentiating between Job Analysis and Job Design Job analysis is different from job design. Job design is broader in nature and its main thrust is matching the productivity needs of the organization with the needs of the employees performing the various jobs. It is concerned with changing, simplifying, enlarging or enriching or otherwise making jobs such that the efforts of each worker fit together better with other jobs. Job analysis has a much narrower focus in that it is a formal system for gathering data about what people are doing in their jobs. Its main purpose is to get a clear understanding of what is done on a job and what capabilities are needed to do a job as it has been designed. 2.6 Job Description The record that keeps all the relevant information about a job is called job description. It is a written statement of what a jobholder does how it is done, and why it is done. It should accurately portray job content, environment and conditions of employment. A common format for a job description includes • • • •
the job title, the duties to be done, the main features of the job, the authority and responsibilities of the jobholder.
It must be kept in mind that working environment changes because of changes in production technology, market demand and customer choices and competitors strategies. So job description needs to be reviewed and updated. HR managers must appraise the changes that are likely to occur over time. 2.7 Job Specification or Man Specification After the job description is prepared, man specification or job specification should be prepared. It is of utmost importance to determine the characteristics of suitable person who will do the job effectively and efficiently. Based on the information acquired through job analysis, the job specification identifies the knowledge and skills needed to do the job effectively. Man specification is a statement giving the details of the physical make-up, education, training, intelligence, aptitudes, and other relevant specifications required in the applicant to perform the job satisfactorily. Some of these attributes are measured through tests like intelligence test, aptitude tests, and others. Examples include SAT, GMAT, TOEFL for admission for graduate studies in the USA universities. Job specification can include minimum desirable score for selection in such tests. 2.8 Job Evaluation The final use of job analysis is job evaluation. Job analysis is valuable in providing information that makes comparison of jobs possible. Job evaluation is the process of finding and specifying the relative value or worth of each job in the organization. Job evaluation is an
important part of compensation administration. Compensation is one of the important elements in the condition of employment. Compensation must be fair and equitable. In the meantime we should keep in mind that job evaluation is made possible by the data generated from job analysis. We cannot over-emphasize the importance of job analysis as it permeates most of the organization’s activities. 2.9. Stages or Steps of HR planning Human resource planning is a process involving few stages. These are as follows: •
HR planning process begins with considering organizational objectives and strategies. The first stage of HR planning is to integrate it with corporate planning. All manpower planning stems from business plans in relation to a corporate strategy. The second stage in the HR planning is to forecast or assess the internal and external environmental factors that affect demand and supply of labor. Some of the more significant environmental factors include government influences; economic, geographic and competitive conditions; technological factor, workforce composition, management philosophy, and work patterns. There are a number of techniques now available for doing HR forecast. Among the important these are : Delphi technique, Brain Storming. Committee board, expert opinion. Constancy, Trend analysis, Regression and correlation analysis, PERT and CPM. The next stage is the preparation and analysis of internal inventory of HR capabilities. Assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses as a part of HR planning requires that current jobs and employees capabilities are audited and organizational capabilities are inventoried. The information gathered from external environmental scanning and assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses is used to predict or forecast HR supply and demand in light of organizational objectives and strategies. Forecasting periods may be short (less than one year), intermediate (one to five years), and long range (beyond five years). Forecasts of demand may be either judgmental or mathematical. The HR forecast is concerned with anticipating the number of replacements required due to resignations, retirements, death, dismissals, transfer and promotions, and technological changes resulting in increased productivity. This will highlight shortage and overstaff positions. Once the demand for HR has been forecasted, then their availability must be identified. The fourth stage of HR planning is to locate the sources from where personnel required will be available. The source may be internal and external. Although the internal supply may be easier to calculate, it is important to calculate the external supply as accurately as possible. The final stage of HRP is concerned with allocation of human resources within an organization over time.
Questions for Discussion What do you mean by the term Human Resources Planning? What is job analysis? Distinguish between job description and job specification. Mention different job analysis techniques. Outline the steps in the human resource planning process. Mentions the steps of human resource planning.
Describe the benefits of human resource planning.
Chapter 3 Recruitment and Selection of Employee 3.1. Meaning of Recruitment Successful human resource planning should identify human resource needs. Once these needs are identified, we are able to do something to meet them. The next step is the acquisition function of human resource management. Recruitment forms the first stage of acquisition function. This is the process of locating potential candidate for selection. Recruitment is the process of finding and attracting capable applicants for employment. It is the discovering of potential candidates for actual or anticipated organizational vacancies. Dale Yoder (1986) defines recruitment as a process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating and encouraging them to apply for jobs in an organization. The process begins when new recruits are sought and ends when their applications are submitted. The result is pool of qualified applicants from which new employees are selected. 3.2. Recruitment functions Responsibility for recruitment usually belongs to the HR department. This department works to find and attract capable applicants. Job descriptions and specifications provide the needed information upon which the recruitment process rests. Line and staff cooperation in recruitment is essential. The HR manager who recruits and initially screens for the vacant job is seldom the one responsible for supervising its performance. So he needs the help of line personnel. Functions of the recruitment office are given below: • • • • • • • •
Assessing recruitment Fixing standards. Advertisement and publicity Making initial contact with prospective candidates. Preliminary perusal and assessment of applications. Short-listing of probable candidates for selection. Selection Process like interviewing or testing. Recording and documentation.
3.3 Objectives of recruitment policy Objectives are targets and goals. According to Yoder, following are the main objectives of recruitment policy: • • • • • •
To find and employ the best qualified person for each job. To retain the best and most promising ones. To offer promising careers and security. To provide facilities for growth and development. To minimize the cost of recruitment. To reduce scope of favoritism and malpractice.
3.4 Factors affecting recruitment • • •
• • •
There are many factors affecting recruitment. These factors may be considered into two broad groups: Internal factors: These are the factors within an organization. These factors are listed down here: Image of the organization. An organization with poor image cannot attract a large number of applicants. For example, among most university graduates Dhaka University has a positive image. Image of job or attractiveness of the job. If the job to be filled is unattractive, recruiting a large and qualified pool of applicants will be difficult. Size and growth potential of the organization. Higher the size and growth potentials, higher the advancement opportunities. Internal policies. Internal organizational policies such as promote from within will give priority to individuals inside the organization. Such a policy will usually ensure that all positions will be filled from within the ranks.
Trade union requirements. Recruiting budgets. • •
External factors: These are the factors over which organization has little or no control. Some of these are given below. Demographic factors: Gender ratio, age group, and educational level. Economic condition of people and their per capita income, proximity of other organizations offering employment.
Government requirements. Industrialization: Industrialization within the geographical area and geographical concentration will have influence on employment market in recruitment. Labor market: Supply of labor may be plenty or shortage. In Bangladesh, supply of labor of unskilled labor is abundant but there is shortage of skilled labor. The right type is difficult to find. The recruitment process involves several steps. Personnel managers or specialists known as recruiters identify job openings through human resource planning or requests by managers. They make a thorough analysis of job information, particularly job descriptions and specifications. This information tells the human resource specialist the features of both the jobs and the people who will fill them. They may also collect information from the concerned managers. 3.5. Sources of Recruitment There are basically two sources of supply from where potential employees can be drawn. These are internal sources and external sources. Internal sources indicate recruiting qualified people from within the organization itself (from the present working force). When reference is made to the number of employees already employed by the organization we speak of the internal supply. Whenever any vacancy occurs, someone from within the organization is
upgraded, promoted or transferred to another department. Advantages and disadvantages are associated with promoting from within the organization and hiring from outside the organization to fill openings. Advantages of Internal Recruiting The people responsible for selecting internal candidates for vacant positions have access to more comprehensive information relating to their abilities, track record and potential achievement than they would have if they were selecting people originating from the external labor market. • • • • • •
It is motivating to employees, as they are preferred over outsiders when the vacancies occur. Employees tend to be committed to firms that are committed to them. It provides an opportunity for advancement. It is economical in terms of time and money. It improves employee morale. It improves image of the organization. It improves the probability of better performance as the candidate is in a better position in knowing the objectives and expectations of the organization.
The demerits of the internal source are the following: The promotion may be biased in nature and may be based on seniority rather than merit. Promotion from within should be aided by careful employee selection. The employment process should favor those applicants who have potentials for promotion. • • • • • •
Possible morale problems of those who are not promoted. Political infighting for promotions. Option may be limited in locating right talents. This channel of recruitment discourages new blood from entering the organization. Inhibits innovation and creativity. Subjectivity in promotion.
Promotion from within should be aided by careful employee selection. The employment process should favor those applicants who have potentials for promotion. Effective promotion from within also depends on other HR actions. It depends on providing the education and training needed to help employees identify and develop their promotion potential. It also requires career-oriented appraisals. External sources Recruiting from outside the organization is known as external source. All firms more or less rely on external sources. Advantages of external sources are: •
Bringing some new and fresh ideas into the organization. It offers the organization the opportunity to inject new ideas into its operations by utilizing the skills of external candidates.
• • • • •
Improving the knowledge and skill of the organization by recruiting from outside sources. Improving and sustaining competitive advantage. Economical in the long run. External recruitment is a form of communication, whereby the organization projects its image to potential employees, customers, and others outside the organization. Recruitment from internal source creates vacancy at the lower level, and these positions need to be filled by the outsiders.
Disadvantages of external sources are as follows: • • • •
Costly. Cause brain drain due to fear of lack of growth potential. Higher probability of employee turnover. Demoralization of existing employee for alleged double standard and favor shown towards new recruitment from outside by offering better position and pay.
The most widely used channels by applicants and recruiters are: Walks-ins and write-ins: Walk-ins are job seekers who arrive at the personnel department in search of a job. Write-ins are those who send a written inquiry. Both groups are asked to complete an application blank to determine their interests and abilities. Employee referrals: Employees may refer job seekers to the personnel department. Advertising: it is the most widely used method as it can reach a wider audience. It describes the jobs and the benefits, identify the employer and tell those who are interested how to apply. Various media are used for advertisement such as newspapers, journal, TV, Radio, etc. The construction of ad is important. Experienced advertisers use four-point guide called AIDA to construct their ads: Attraction of interest to the ad, Development of interest in the job, Creation of desire by amplifying the job’s interest factors plus extra such as job satisfaction and career development and other advantages. 4. Prompt action. 1. 2. 3.
Proper design of advertisement will have the following merits: • •
Encourage right persons to apply. Discourage unsuitable persons from applying.
The advertisement copy must contain such information as: • Job description, • Job specification, • Job pricing. Blind advertisement is another technique used by some organization. The blind ad is a want ad that does not identify the employer. Interested applicants are told to send their resume to a
mailbox number at the post office or to newspaper. Reputed and well-known organization seldom uses blind advertisement. Want ads have some severe limitations. • • • •
They may lead to thousands of job seekers for one popular job opening. Many suitable candidates may not apply because they feel that the company may be of poor reputation in withholding their identification. Many consider such advertisement is regularization action in which recruitment has already been made. Very few may apply for less attractive jobs.
State employment agencies: Every government has a state employment security agency often called the employment service or employment exchange. It is designed to help job seekers to find suitable employment. This agency matches job seekers with job openings. When an employer has a job opening, the personnel department voluntarily notifies the employment service of the job and its requirements. Private placement agencies: Private employment agencies developed in the vacuum created by the poor image of the public employment service. They do charge fees either from potential employee, or from employers, or from both for their services. Placement firms take an employer’s request for recruits and then solicit job seekers, usually through advertising or among walk-ins. Candidates are matched with employer’s request and then told to report to the employer’s personnel department for an interview. Some of the agencies become specialized in certain categories of employment like the following: • • • • •
Security guards, Clerical or computer operators. Engineers Salesmen. Accountants.
Professional or executive Search Firms: Professional search firms are much more specialized than placement agencies. Certain firms have built up good reputation on efficiency, productivity an industrial peace. Many firms attempt to locate suitable candidates from such firms for filling up vacancies. Search firms usually recruit only specific types of human resources for a fee paid by the employer. Search firms actively seek out recruits among the employees of other companies. These search firms are also called headhunters. Educational institutions: Schools and vocational training institutes are other common sources of recruits for many organizations. Many universities, colleges and vocational schools offer their current students and alumni placement assistance. This assistance helps employer and graduates to meet and discuss employment opportunities and the applicant’s qualifications. The placement cells of educational institutions collect data regarding potential vacancies and call for students who are interested in such positions. Thereafter placement cells do preliminary screening and recommend those candidates who have done well in their studies. There are no charges or fees for such services in majority of institutions. Professional associations: Recruiters find that professional associations can also be a source of job seekers. Many associations conduct placement activities to help new and experienced professionals get jobs, especially at job fairs during meeting and conventions.
Labor Unions: Labor unions are a source of certain types of workers. When recruiters want people with trade skills such as construction, the recruiters can contact local labor organizations, which maintain rosters of members who are looking for employment. The local union of plumbers, for example, keeps a list of plumbers who are seeking jobs. Voluntary organization: Certain voluntary organizations can assist in recruitment. Examples are schools for handicaps like deaf dump and blind. Departing employees: Two often-overlooked sources of recruits are retirees and departing employees. In both cases, there is a time saving advantage, because something is already known about the potential employee. Internet recruiting: Some employers are conducting employment interviews on-line. Employers often begin the Internet search process by establishing an organization website and listing jobs on it. Advantages for such Internet recruiting by employers include: • • •
Reaching more applicants. Having lower costs and faster response time frames. Tapping an applicant pool conversant with the Net.
Open house A relatively unusual technique of recruiting involves holding an open house. People in the adjacent community are invited to see the company facilities, have refreshments, and maybe view a film about the company. Thus it clear from the above discussion that there are mainly two sources of recruitment. Both sources have merits and demerits. Criteria for adopting a given source depends on cost and effectiveness, A source is effective it is capable of attracting maximum number of potential candidates. In addition, it must involve minimum cost. A recruitment policy 1. 2. 3.
Should be well defined Should have a proper organization structure. Should have a well -known procedure for locating potential candidates.
3.6. Employee Selection Recruitment and Selection: A comparison Recruitment and selection are not synonymous. Recruitment means announcing job opportunities to the public in such a way that a good number of suitable applicants will apply for them. Once a pool of suitable applicants is created through recruiting, the process of selecting applicants begins. Selection means choosing from those applicants who are most likely to succeed in the new job. Recruitment is the process of attracting a pool of candidates for a vacant position, and selection is the technique of choosing a new member of the organization from the available candidates. The selection process is a series of steps used to decide which recruits should be hired. Dale Yoder (1972) defines selection as a process by which candidates are divided into class- those who will be offered employment and those who will not. The process begins when recruits apply for employment and ends with the
hiring decision. In this sense recruitment is a positive process while selection is a negative process of rejecting most of the candidates leaving only a few who are considered suitable. The objectives of selection process are to select a candidate whose success probability in the job is the highest, and motivate right candidates to opt for vacancy by proper presentation of the organization to the potential candidates. Cost of selection is another important aspect. It should be the endeavor of the organization to minimize the cost. Cost is incurred in advertisement, calling for interviews, arranging interview, and tests. In many personnel departments, recruiting and selection are combined and called the employment function. In large personnel departments, the employment function is the responsibility of the employment manager. In smaller departments, personnel managers handle these duties. Employment managers use the selection process to find new workers. The selection process relies on three helpful inputs. Job analysis information provides the description of the jobs, the human specifications and the performance standards each job requires. Human resources plans tell employment managers what job openings are likely to occur. These plans allow selection to proceed in a logical manner. Finally recruits are necessary so that the employment manager has a group of people from which to choose. These three inputs largely determine the effectiveness of the selection process. 3.7 Selection Process Selection is a decision making process. A process is a number of interrelated activities. The selection process is a series of steps through which applicants pass. For example, a candidate who fails to qualify for a particular step is not eligible for appearing for the subsequent step. Result of each step is crucial. Failure of any step disqualifies the candidate from attempting the next step. Because of this characteristic, Yoder (1972) has termed this process as succession of hurdles. It is designed to determine the most likely candidates to be successful at fulfilling the job requirements by eliminating those candidates least likely to succeed. A well-designed selection process involves the following steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Reception of application Screening Application Blank Employment tests Interview References Medical examination Hiring decision or employment
These steps are briefly discussed in subsequent paragraphs. Preliminary reception of applicants: The selection process is a two way street. The organization selects employees and the applicants select employers. Selection starts with a visit to the personnel office or with a written request for an application. On the basis of how this initial reception is handled, the applicants begin to form opinion of the employer.
Screening: This step may involve two activities: screening applications and screening interviews. Screening applications is the verification of applications against the predetermined requirements of job given in job description and job specification. Based on such comparison, many applicants can be screened out for their inability to meet the criteria specified in job specification. Screening interviews is conducted in which the candidate is asked to present himself for clarifying certain points, which are not explicit from his application. Job Application Blank: The job application blank collects information about recruits in a uniform manner. The application blank usually contains such information as: • • • • • • • • •
Personal data (name, address, phone number, place of birth, sex, race, religion, national origin, health, height, weight). Employment status (type of employment sought, position sought, date available for work, salary desired). Education qualification and training. work history or past experience, Expectation of salary. Memberships. Awards and hobbies. References. Signature line, etc.
All these information are useful from the point of view of management. Even though the individual may lie in giving this information, most of it can be checked independently and verified. It is a source of data bank to the organization of their employees. It helps draw conclusion about applicant‘s performance or achievement in his previous job. Employment tests: These tests are devices that assess the probable match between applicants and job requirements. These tests are conducted in order to improve the selection decisions. Tests are a screening device. Some are paper-and –pencil tests; others are exercises that stimulate work conditions. Tests should be valid. Validity means that the test scores significantly relate to job performance. It measures how successful is selection technique is in predicting the future performance of the job occupant. When scores and performance are unrelated, the test is invalid and should not be used for selection. There are five variations of validity. These are: Content validity Predictive validity Concurrent validity Construct validity Criterion validity A test should be reliable. Reliability means that a test should yield consistent results each time an individual takes it. Tests are fair because they prevent corruption and favoritism in the selection and promotion of people. Tests data can be referred to again at a later stage to see how good it was in predicting actual success in the job (Furnham, 1997). There are many tests used to select employees. Among the important of these tests are: • • • • •
• • • • • •
Psychological (for example, psychological tests are those that measure personality or temperament. Knowledge, Performance, Interest, Attitude, Medical.
Those who argue that tests have disadvantages are likely to cite the following: • • • • •
Those tested may lack the ability to give responses that reflect their true feelings, so their responses are meaningless. Questions in the test booklet could be misinterpreted due to lack of understanding on the part of some subjects and this affects the accuracy of the responses. There could be some persons who try to confuse the situation by giving irrelevant and stupid responses. Test fails to measure certain personality characteristics such as trustworthiness. Tests are invalid because they do not measure what they are supposed to measure, and test scores are not good at predicting the testee’s work performance over time.
Selection interview: Interviews are most widely used device for selection. It summarizes and integrates all information concerned with the candidate. Strauss and Sayles (1989) define an interview as a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons. The interviewer’s goal in selection is to match human characteristics and abilities with the demands of the jobs. This objective can be expressed as to “find the right man for the right job”. The main objective objectives of selection interview are to: • • • •
Get an opportunity to judge an applicant’s qualifications and characteristics Establish a rapport between organizational personnel and applicant, Promote good will towards the company, and Get first- hand information about the candidate.
The selection interview is formal, in-depth conversation conducted to evaluate the applicant’s acceptability. The interview is a face –to- face, oral, observational and personal appraisal method of evaluating the applicant. The interviewer seeks to answer three broad questions: can the applicant do the job? Will the applicant do the job? How does the applicant compare with others who are being considered for the job? Selection interviews allow two way exchange of information: interviewers learn about the applicant, and the applicant learns about the employer. Interview may be in the form of individual and group. One form of group interviews is to have applicants meet with two or more interviewers. They are given a certain problem and asked to discuss among themselves and come up with an agreed plan of action for solving the problem. The interviewers are watching the proceedings without actually taking part or interfering. This allows all interviewers to evaluate the individual on the same questions and answers. This saves time. It also permits the answers of different applicants to be compared immediately. Types of Interview: There are different interview formats.
• • • •
Structured (questions are predetermined and sequenced). Unstructured (non-planned and non-formatted). Mixed (a combination of structured and unstructured). Problem solving or stress producing.
Limitations of interview: Many research findings indicate the limitations of interview. The main limitations are: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Interview is costly Inefficient Invalid. Biased Stereotyping Subjective Unreliable Time consuming Lack of standard for selection Halo effect Projection error Central tendency error.
Towards more an effective interview In spite of the limitations as pointed out above, the usefulness of interview cannot be ignored. It is a valuable device for relaying information to prospective employees and can provide reasonably valid data for selection decisions. Decenzo and Robbins (1999) have offered the following suggestions in order to r improve interview: • • • • • • •
Structure the interview so that the interviewer follows a set of procedure. A fixed set of questions should be presented to every applicant. Provide the interviewer with training so that they can follow a similar pattern in their questioning and evaluate responses using a common standard. Interviewers should have detailed information about the job for which applicants are interviewing. Keep other information of the interviewee away from the interviewer. Standardize evaluation forms so that all interviewers can use the same frame of reference to each applicant. Interviewers should take more notes during the interview. This will lead to increased accuracy in evaluation. Avoid short interviews.
Handling the interview The interviewee must make a plan in order to succeed in interview. What does he have to do to excel in the interview? Here are some suggestions made by Gary Dessler (1999): Preparation is essential. Before the interview, learn all you can about the employer, the job, and the people doing the interview.
Uncover the interviewer’s needs. Spend as little time as possible answering your interviewer’s first questions and as much time as possible getting the person to describe his needs. • • • •
Relate yourself to the person’s needs. Think before answering. Understand, think and speak. Make a good appearance and show enthusiasm. First impression count
Interview Process: The interview is a process involving five steps. Interview preparation: The interviewer needs to prepare before beginning the interview. Better preparation and pre-planning exercise will improve effectiveness of selection interview. He should develop objectives, criteria and standards. He should develop necessary questions to be asked. A review of job specification and employee specification may help the interviewer prepare specific questions. Creation of rapport: The burden to establish rapport falls on the interviewer. Ask easy question to make the applicant feel comfortable. Starting with non-threatening questions such as, “did you have any parking problems?” Necessary noting, recording and grading are done. Information exchange: The interview process is a conversation that exchanges information. To help establish rapport while learning about the candidate, some interviewers begin by asking the interviewee if he or she has any questions. This establishes two way communications and allows the interviewer to begin to judge the recruit by the type of questions asked. The interviewer may say, “Let us start with any questions you may have”. Termination: The interviewer must close the interview. The parting of candidates must be as friendly as their reception. Once again, nonverbal communication is useful. Sitting erect, turning toward the door or glancing at a watch-all clue the applicant that the end is near. Some interviewers terminate the interview by asking,” do you have any final questions? The applicant should not be given an indication of his prospects for getting the job. Final evaluation: Immediately after the interview ends, the interviewer should record specific answers and general impressions about the candidate. Interviewer may commit some errors that may lower the effectiveness of the interview. He may judge the applicant according to halo effect or personal biases. Leading questions and domination do not allow the interviewer to learn of the applicant’s potential. Example of a leading question: Do you agree that profits are necessary? I prefer sales personnel who are tall. Evaluation of interview and final scoring be done as objective as possible by using standard format and statistical means. Reference and background checks: What type of person is the applicant? Is the applicant s good, reliable worker? To answer these questions employment specialists use references and background checks. Bio-data submitted by applicants are scrutinized for verification with primary and secondary data. Discrepancies are found in the following areas: • • • •
Reasons for leaving previous job. Date of employment Salary Job title.
Tendency is more on over-stating job title, salary and duration of employment. Common method is to contact the previous employers and get the correct position. In many cases, candidates are asked to produce letters of recommendations of referees. There are two type of references: • •
Character references Experience reference
Letters of references are of two types: specific and general. References from ex-employers are not always effective due to: • • •
Reluctance to pass on negative information about the ex-employees. Employees quote persons who are well known and familiar. Exaggerated allegation against ex-employers who quit their firm.
References should be reliable. Reliability can be increased by • • •
Getting opinion from three to four persons and comparing them. Contacting referees in person or on telephone and getting their views. Making attempts to contact previous teachers and head of educational institution as references.
Assuring confidentiality of information disclosed during personal discussion. Medical evaluation: The selection process may include a medical evaluation of the applicant before the hiring decision is made. The criteria for medical examination vary with the nature of job and type of organization. For example, high standard of health is specified for defense services. Normally the evaluation is a health checklist that asks the applicant to indicate the health and accident information. A Company nurses or physician sometimes supplements the questionnaire with a physical examination. Hiring decision: The final hiring decision marks the end of the selection process, assuming that the candidate accepts the job offer. Candidate who has successfully completed the various hurdles of selection process is offered the job. Employment is complete when the successful candidate accepts the offer and joins the firm. To maintain good public relations, employers should notify applicants who were not selected. Employment specialists may want to consider rejected applicants for other openings since these recruits already have gone through various stages of the selection process. Retaining these applications can be useful if the employer is charged with employment discrimination. The applications of those hired should also be retained. The application blank begins the employee’s personnel file and contains useful information for studies that the personnel department may conduct to learn about the source of its applicants- such as age, sex, race, or other work-force characteristics. If some recruits prove unsatisfactory after they are hired, for example, personnel experts may be able to reconstruct the selection process beginning with the application.
Questions for Discussion • •
Distinguish between recruitment and selection. Mention the popular sources of employee recruitment.
• • • • • • • • •
Selection is viewed to be a decision making process. Discuss. If you were the dean of a business school, what selection devices would you use to identify effective faculty members? What are the major steps of selection process? Explain with a suitable diagram. “Selection is a rejection process”. Explain. Why is it important to keep record of unsuccessful applicants? Mention the important rules of a good interviewing. What are the steps of an effective interview? Mention few limitations of interview as a selection device. What can management do to reduce some of these problems? “More emphasis should be placed on the internal supply of employee for meeting future employee needs because these individuals already know the organization”. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss. What information do applicant blanks contain?
References • • • •
Yoder, D. (1972). Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. Flippo, E. B (1990). Personnel Management, McGraw Hill, India. Decenzo, D.A and Robbins, S.P (1999). Human Resources management, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi... Diane, a (1998). Preparing for the Interview, Personnel, 63. No. 2. February.
Chapter 4 3.4. Socialization or Orientation HR is much more than just recruiting people. Once employee selection is completed, a proactive HR department helps the new hire become a productive and satisfied employee. The process of becoming a productive and satisfied employee is important to the organization and to the employee. This initial turnover is common. The new comer often wants to know, “Will I be able to do the job? Will I fit in around here? Will the boss like me?” Employees are likely to quit during their first few months than any other time in their employment. Orientation program familiarizes new employees with their roles, the organization, its policies, and other employees. It is a process of helping new employees adapt to their new organizations and work responsibilities. It is a process of adaptation. New employees suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is high at entry and new employees want to reduce that anxiety very quickly. Stress is high because the new member feels a lack of identification. Loneliness and a feeling of isolation are not unusual response. New employees need special attention to put them at ease. This means providing an adequate amount of information to reduce uncertainties and ambiguities. Through this program, personnel department can reduce employee turnover. It can reduce turnover by meeting personal objectives of employees. Cost of turnover is very high. Costs are associated with recruiting, training and developing new employees. When employees quit, the loss may be high because of training, skills that they take with them.
Who will responsible for orienting the new employees? This can be done either by the new employee’s supervisor, by the people in the personnel department or some combination therefore. Formal orientation programs usually depend on the personnel department and the supervisor. In many medium and large organizations, the personnel department takes charge of explaining such matters as overall organizational policies and employee benefits. In most small firms, new employees will receive their entire orientation from their supervisor. The orientation program may be formal and informal. New employees may be put directly into their job, with no effort made to differentiate them from those who have been doing the job for a long period of time. Such cases represent examples of informal orientation- it takes place on the job and the new employee gets little or no special attention. The issues covered in an orientation program fall into two broad categories: general topics of interest to most new employee and specific, job-related issues of concern only to specific jobholders. Topics covered in employee orientation programs are as follows: Organizational issues: It includes such items as: • • • • • • • • • • •
Organizational background, history and market standing. Organizational mission, objectives and philosophies. Organizational policies and practices. Names and titles of key executives, Employees’ titles and department Lay out of physical facilities Probationary period, Product line or service provided, Overview of production process, Company policies and rules, Safety procedures and enforcement.
Employee benefits: Pay scales, Vacation and holidays, Rest breaks, Training and education benefits, counseling, Insurance benefits, retirement benefits, employer provided services to employees, rehabilitation programs. Introductions to • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • •
Supervisor Trainers Coworkers Employee counselor Job duties Job location job tasks job safety requirements Overview of job Job objectives
Relationship to other jobs. Benefits of orientation programs: Flippo (1990) and Davis (1996), have pointed out the benefits of a good orientation program: • • • • • • • • •
Reducing the employees’ anxieties Reducing cultural shocks. Providing opportunity to develop favorable attitudes of new employees toward their new employment and surroundings. Increasing employee commitment. Higher self-confidence and satisfaction. Convincing the new employee that what is good for the company is also good for the employee. Improving performance as well oriented workers need less attention from coworkers and supervisors Reducing employee turnover. Helping the new employee understand the social, technical and cultural aspects of the workplace.
Questions for discussion • • • •
Why is orientation program so important both to the employee and to the organization? What are the common issues usually included in the orientation program? Who will be responsible for orienting new employees? If you were the head of a business school, how would you describe your organization’s orientation program?
References • • •
Flippo, (19). Davis, K (1996). Human Resources Management. Robbins, S. P (1999). Human Resource Management. Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi, India.
Chapter 5 Employee Placement Introduction Once employee is hired, he should be placed on a suitable job. Just recruiting an employee to an organization is not enough. Putting the right man at the right job is equally important. A misplaced employee is a disgruntled and frustrated man. A misplaced employee cannot give his best to the organization. Lack of interest in the job will be reflected in lower productivity. Placement plays an important role so that the new recruits are recognized, acknowledged and welcome by existing workers. Proper placement will go a long way to reduce employee turnover, accident, and absenteeism and improve morale of the employee. It improves new
recruit’s chance of building rapport with his colleagues and strengthens his bond with the organization. What is placement? Placement is the assignment or reassignment of an employee to a new or different job. Pigors and others have defined placement in the following words: “Placement is the determination of the job to which an accepted candidate is to be assigned, and his assignment to that job. It is the matching of what the supervisor has reason to think he can do with the job demands; it is a matching of what he imposes and he offers in form of pay roll, companionship with others, promotional opportunities, etc.” It includes the initial assignment of new employee and the promotion, transfer and demotion of present employees. There are three major classes of placement decisions: • • •
Promotion Transfer, and Demotion.
Promotion: Effective utilization of employees involves allocation of additional authority and responsibility, as and when they acquire adequate expertise and competence. Secondly, good work of an employee is to be recognized and rewarded. Thirdly, career development involves vertical movement of employees. Finally, higher vacancies in the organization are to be filled up progressively. Promotion serves the above purposes. A promotion occurs when an employee is moved from one job to another that is higher in pay, responsibility and status. It is a vertical move in rank and responsibility. Strauss and Sayles define promotion as a movement to a position in which responsibility and prestige are increased. It is a job with more prestige and income. Promotion is different from upgrading. It means advancement of an employee to a higher status while upgrading means an increase of pay on the same job or moving to a higher scale without changing the job. Some regard it as a limited promotion. Open and closed promotional systems: A company is said to have an open promotion policy if it considers all employees within the organization as potential candidates and also announces internally such vacancies. When an organization does not announce vacancies or where the openings are not open to all employees within the organization for the promotion, the company has a closed promotion policy. Basis of promotion: There is a controversy as to what should be the criteria for promotionthe seniority or merit. Trade unions prefer seniority while management prefers ability or merit. Promotions usually are based on merit and \ or seniority. Seniority basis of promotion: Unions demand seniority as a basis of promotion because layoff and discharges are frequently based on seniority. Seniority refers to the relative length of service of employees. The seniority promotion plan is as old as civilization. The oldest son
succeeded his father as king. The method of calculating seniority or length of service is an important part of a seniority plan. It should provide for the following factors: a) when seniority starts to accumulate b) effects of various interruptions to employment and c) the effect of promotions upon seniority calculation. Seniority begins to accumulate as soon as an employee is hired. In the case of union contracts, it is important to note whether or not new employees have seniority rights during their period of probation and whether or not the probationary period will be included in the calculation of seniority. Again, when a large numbers of employees are hired on the same date, a question of seniority may arise unless a basis for priority is established. In such cases, priority may be established upon such an arbitrary basis as alphabetical listing. There are merits as well demerits of considering seniority as the sole criteria for promotion. The merits are: • • • • • •
Easy and simple. Focus on individual career prospects and security. Avoid favoritism and arbitrariness by management. Risk is reduced. Policy is more acceptable to majority of employees’ ad unions. Reduce employee turnover.
Demerits are: • •
• • • • • •
Merit is devalued. Capable young people are likely to become impatient about waiting –for- dead- man’s shoes” and will quit to look for better prospects elsewhere. Promote mediocre performance and inefficiency. Consequently this may mean that the company comes to be managed by second-grade people who have stated because they have no enough calibers to make a move. Limit the influence of manager as their evaluation of performance of individual employee has little effect on their performance. There is no guarantee that past experience or length of service increases ability. No incentive for training and development by employees. Inability to attract talented hands from outside. Ability to learn reduces as age catches up. Goes against obtaining and sustaining competitive advantage.
Merit as a sole basis for promotion: In principle, it is agreed by all that promotion should be based on merit. Merit-based promotion occurs when an employee is promoted because of superior performance in the present job. The use of merit as a basis for promotion causes difficulties because what management regards as merit union may consider as favoritism and can distrust the sincerity of management when it claims the right to promote solely on merit. When management adopts merit as a basis for promotion, it must evolve controls to recognize merit objectively, which will refute the allegations of favoritism. As far as possible, merit rating or employee evaluation should be based on operating facts. The plan of employee evaluation should include an arrangement for consultation and perhaps vocational guidance. By discussing a person’s strong and weak points before vacancies occur, a two-edged weapon is employed. Those who are ambitious can get suggestions on how to improve themselves. And a record of such discussions can be cited to those who did not get a desired job because they failed to follow suggestions. What is important is to discuss the standards before as well as after application.
Seniority and merit bases: Seniority cum merit should be the basis of promotions where merit can be objectively tested. Merit is term which includes efficiency, skill, aptitude etc. When a combination of merit and seniority is desirable, the play of discretion in the matter of selection cannot be overlooked. A sound management will pursue a policy of properly balancing these factors. The policy can derive strength if worked in consultation with the workers. The policy works in the following manner: • • • • •
As between two employees with equal merit, the one with the greater seniority will be given preference. If two employees are of same seniority, give weightage to ability in promotion. A set of job and employee specifications should be carefully prepared so that claimant for jobs can be shown that requirements are objective and not capricious. A complete and thoroughly understood promotion plan should be promulgated. A good system of merit rating should be installed. Performance standards should be set as objectively as possible so that measurement of employee productivity and cooperation may be more readily acceptable by all.
Promotion Policy: A policy is guidelines for action. It varies with organization. Promotion polices must be clearly stated and widely circulated and explained to all employees since it is a sensitive issue. A comprehensive and realistic promotion policy should be evolved covering the following points: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Lines and ladder of promotion should be made clear to all employees so that the employee know where the possibility of promotion lies. Policy must specify rules regarding the proportion of internal and external recruitment for each grade. Prescribing training and development programs prior to promotion. Promotion from within the organization should be encouraged. Top management must clearly lay down their policy regarding weightage given to seniority and merit. Both merit and seniority should be considered. Weightage given to the recommendation of immediate superior is very important policy. A method of assessing the potentials of employee must be introduced. It must be fair and equitable. It must be consistent. Promotional plans require follow up. Service records must be maintained to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. Benefits of having a promotion policy Generally the following reasons for promoting employees are advanced: Promotion from within fosters inbreeding. Promotion may increase the effectiveness of the organization in attaining its service and profit objectives. It creates an inside market for talent and experience which is sheltered from competition and readily available as a resource to the company. It increases interest in training and in self-development as necessary preparation for promotion. It creates a feeling of content with the present conditions and encourages ambition to succeed within the company. It promotes employee morale and stimulates efficiency. It increases job satisfaction.
Promotion Practices in Bangladesh: By and large merit and seniority are both considered for promotion in Bangladesh. However, their exact mix of weightage varies with organization to organization. In government civil service, more preference is given to seniority. Outside recruitment is non-existent except in exceptional cases. In the private sector, more weightage is given on merit. As the level goes up, merit is the main criteria for promotion. Outside recruitment is encouraged to inject new blood to the organization, normally, at the higher level. For example, in the case of Dhaka University, anyone having required qualification can apply for any position. The family-run private sectors often do not follow any well-laid down policy on promotion. Promotional decisions are made on subjective factors (whims and fancies of the chairman). Transfer: Transfer occurs when an employee is moved from one job to another that is relatively equal in pay, responsibility and status. A transfer is a lateral movement of an employee, not involving promotion or demotion. A transfer may require an employee to change his work group, workplace, or organizational unit. Personnel department must be able to reallocate their human resources to meet internal and external challenges. Transfer may be beneficial to jobholders. The main benefits are • •
The broadening experience of a transfer may provide a person with new skills and a different perspective that makes him a better candidate for future promotions. By moving people into jobs, managers may be able to improve the utilization of their human resources.
Transfer may even improve an individual’s motivation and satisfaction, especially when a person finds little challenge in the old job. The new position may offer new technical and interpersonal challenges. In turn, these challenges may prove to be a growth oriented opportunity for the transferee. Objectives of transfer: Transfers are generally affected to achieve the following objectives: • • • • • • • • • •
To satisfy the needs of an organization arising out of change. To meet the request of an employee. To suit the age and health of an employee. To train the employee for lateral advancement and promotion. To supply creative opportunities to deserving employees. To correct erroneous placement. To replace an employee. To utilize the service of an employee in a better manner. To incase versatility of employee. To adjust the workforce of one plant or department with that of another when one is closed down.
Transfer policy: A good transfer policy should have the following features: • • • •
Specify the types of transfers and the conditions under which these will be made. Locate the authority in some officer who may initiate and implement transfers. Indicate the basis for transfer-whether it is based on seniority or any other factor. Transfers should be in writing and duly communicated to all employees.
Transfers should not be made frequently.
Demotion: Demotion occurs when an employee is moved from one job to another that is lower in pay, responsibility and status. Demotion seldom holds positive outcomes for the individual. Usually they are associated with discipline; the individual is demoted for poor job performance or inappropriate behavior such as excessive absenteeism or incompetence. Demotion may also be due organizational factors: • • •
Reduction of workforce due to market condition. Change of technology and production method. Change of product mix.
One problem with demotion is that demoted employee may be become de-motivated or worse, openly antagonistic toward those responsible for the demotion decision. Sometimes, demotions are intended to be kindly alternative to firing an employee who cannot do his present job. Rather than severe the employment relationship, a decision is made to retain the employee but at a lower level of responsibility. All rules and regulations are to be clearly laid down in writing which include a clause that violation of the same may result in demotion. Separations: A separation is a decision for the individual and the organization part. Separations are choices made by the employers and \ or employees to terminate employment relationship. Disciplinary, economic, business or personal reasons may motivate it. Regardless of the reasons behind the decision, the personnel department’s role is to find the most satisfactory method of conducting the separation in a way that minimizes the harm to the organization and to the individual. Separations may take different forms such as attrition, layoffs, and termination. Attrition is the normal separation of people from an organization as a result of resignation, retirement, or death. It is initiated by the individual worker and not by the company. Resignations are separation decisions initiated by the employee. They include quits and retirements. Quits occur when employees choose to leave the organization for reasons other than retirement. Many researchers and professional use the term turnover to signify employee quits. Layoffs occur when employees are put on unpaid leaves of absence. Layoffs are the separation of employees from the organization for economic or business reasons. Layoffs occur because of the need to reduce the size of the work force. Employees are seldom directly responsible for the conditions leading to surpluses. Work force reductions through layoffs are one response to employee surpluses. Layoffs are unpleasant for both workers and management. Employers often go to great lengths to avoid layoffs. The first defense is to cut overtime. Next the company dismisses part-time employees. Then the company dismisses poor performers. Company considers attempts to share work and reduce normal work hours. Company may use all these programs before laying off full-time employees. Terminations is broad a term that encompasses the permanent separation from the organization for any reason. An employee may be fired as a form of discipline. Employees may be terminated for business reason and employer has no plan to rehire them. In these cases, the employee may receive severance pay and outplacement assistance. Outplacement is a group of services provided to displace employees to give them support and assistance. Layoffs and termination or dismissals are separations decisions initiated by the employer. Separations and programs to manage them can be costly.
Questions for discussion “Right man for right job is the principle of employee placement”. Explain. What are the benefits of an effective employee placement? Distinguish between among promotion, transfer and demotion. What is dry promotion? Mention the bases of promotion with their merits and demerits.
References • • • • •
Lewis, C (1985). Employee Selection, London, Hutchinson. Pigors, P. M (1973). Personnel Administration, McGraw Hill of India, New Delhi. Flippo, E. B (1996). Personnel Management, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. Yoder, D (1982). Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. Strauss, G and Sales, L. R (1976). Personnel-The human Problems of Management, Third edition, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi.
Chapter 6 Employee Training and Development Introduction Every organization needs well-trained people to perform the activities that have to be done. If current or potential job occupants can meet this requirement, training is not important. At the time of recruitment employees possess a certain amount of knowledge and skill. As time passes their knowledge becomes obsolete unless it is updated by proper training. When this is not the case, it is necessary to raise the skill levels and increase the versatility and adaptability of employee. As jobs are become more complex, the importance of employee training gas increased. Competent employees do not remain competent forever. Skills deteriorate and can become obsolete. Skilled and knowledgeable people are always short in supply. This is why; organizations spend billions of dollars each year on formal training. Intensified competition, technological change and the search for improved productivity are motivating management to enhance expenditures for training. Competitive advantage of a firm depends on the knowledge and skills possessed by the employees. Meaning of training The term training is used here to indicate any process by which the aptitudes, skills and abilities of employees to perform specific job are increased. Flippo defines training as the act of enhancing the knowledge and skill of an employee for accomplishing a specific behavior. Training is a systematic process of changing the behavior, knowledge and motivation of present employees to improve the match between employee characteristics and employee requirements. It is the art of increasing the knowledge and skill of an employee for doing a particular job. Training, education and development: A comparison
Training is different from education. The purpose of education is to increase the attitude, understanding and knowledge of employees so that they are better adjusted to their working environment. Education is the understanding and interpretation of knowledge (Memoria, 1997). Teaching a worker how to operate a drill press is training whereas giving a course in economics is education. Education is know- why and training is know-how. Education is person oriented while training is job oriented. Educational program contains theoretical and conceptual material aimed at stimulating an individual'’ analytical and critical faculties. Education is concerned with increasing the general knowledge and understanding of the employee’s total environment (Tripathy, 1989). The two may go hand in hand. Development is defined as preparing the individual for a future job. It refers to long term, future oriented programs and the progress a person makes in learning how to manage. Development is the process of transition of an employee from lower level of ability, skill and knowledge to that of higher level. Education, training, work experience and environment influence this transition. This will improve value of individual employee in terms of his selfdevelopment, career growth, and contribution to the organization. Training is mostly a shortterm activity to help people do their jobs better. Training refers to instruction in technical and mechanical operations, while development refers to philosophical and theoretical educational concepts. Despite differences both training and development are concerned with the development of human potential or talent. They are complementary parts of the same process and it is difficult to imagine any training which does not have some educational effect and vice versa. Benefits of training: The value of training cannot be over emphasized. Training is an investment in people so it follows that systematic training is a sound business investment. Training produces such benefits as: • • • • • •
To improve employee skills which in turn, increases the quality and quantity of output To decrease the relative amount of input needed to produce a unit of output. To improve quality of life of employees. To attain and sustain competitive advantage To bridge the gap between existing performance and desired performance. To increase the ability of an employee to learn from experience.
McGregor identified three different purposes of training: • • •
Acquiring intellectual knowledge. Acquiring manual skills. Acquiring problem solving skills.
Identification of training needs •
Identification of training need is the most important step in designing a training program. This involves a thorough analysis of entire organization, all operations and all employees. Identification of training needs of an employee
Methods of training
Sensitivity training, T-groups Sensitivity training, also called T-group, is a controversial approach to manager development. It is concerned with the real problems existing within the group itself. It is not an imagined problem existing outside the organization. It is not a program of teaching skills or improving understanding of participants. In this program, an attempt is made to change attitude and behavior of people in the group. It is used in building team efforts. This is done by introspection, self-criticism, and open arguments and through free and frank discussion so that one comes to know how others feel about him and his behavior. It is a means of providing a mirror in which one can see his mental makeup, attitude and behavior towards others. This will provide best method of motivation for self-development. The objective of this training includes: • • • • •
Better insight into one’s own behavior and the way one appears to others. Better understanding of group processes. Members learn more about themselves especially their weakness and emotional stability. Development of skills in diagnosing and intervening group processes. Find better method and means of behavior for effective interpersonal relationships without the aid of power over others.
T-group is a small discussion group without any leader. Trainer raises a question and encourages open discussion, which is unstructured. Focus is on feeling and mutual respect. Here group members interact and then receive feedback on their behaviors from the trainer and the group members, who express their opinions freely and openly. The feedback may be positive and negative. An example may make it clear. Rahim, I do not get a good feeling when you approach the topic the way you just did. Could we talk about it”? Rahim may accept this comment and resolve to change his behavior. But he may also feel hurt and withdraw from the group. The T-group process may • • • • • • • • • • •
Lead to personal anxieties and frustrations. Lead to mental breakdown. It may make managers hypersensitive which make them unable to take hard decision for fear of hurting other. But if properly managed, it can result in collaborative and supportive behavior. The following guidelines can help reduce potential harm and increase effectiveness: Participants in T-group should be voluntary. They should be screened and those who could be harmful should be expelled from this experience. Trainers should be carefully evaluated and their competence clearly established. Potential participants should be informed about the goals and process before they commit themselves to sensitivity training. Determination of training needs of an employee Why training fails
The reasons for failure of training programs are: • • •
No one-the-job rewards for behaviors learned in training. Insufficient time to execute training programs. Work environment does not support new behaviors learned in training.
• • • • •
Lack of motivation among employees. Insufficient training needs analysis. Management does not support training programs. Training needs changed after programs have been implemented. Insufficient funding of training programs.
Training Practices in Bangladesh Most of the employees in Bangladesh want to hire trained personnel and very few are interested in developing people through investing in them. Education over – emphasizes humanities and concentrates less on the type of training, which develops skills for industrial development. Here are some common problems at the macro level in Bangladesh: • • • • • •
Training expenditure has a low priority in company budgets. Aggregate expenditures by business on training are inadequate. Management training in our country has not accepted as a top management activity. Corporate commitment about training is lacking. Most companies spend nothing at all on training. Training is not viewed as an investment; rather it is treated as an expense. Business complains that schools award degree, but they are no guarantee that graduates have been mastered skills. As a result, business must spend large amount of money to retrain workers in basic skills. Employer and school must develop closer ties. Schools must learn the needs of business. They should work with local business to respond to the needs of the business.
Readings in Human Resources Management