New trends in work paces will vary from country to country, and within country from industry to industry. However, taking a global perspective we can detect the following trends in work places today.
- Increasing cultural diversity of employees:
- Reducing propensity of employees to submit to authoritarian leadership:
- Greater job mobility leading to higher turnover:
- Increasing employee and legal pressure against discrimination based on sex, race, or other similar grounds.
- Increasing use of practice of flexible working hours:
- Increasing use of teleworking:
- Increasing automation on shop-floor as well as in offices.
- Fast changing technology calling for regular updating of employee skills and knowledge.
These trends affect all aspects of the job of a human resources management of an organization including activities such as:
- Organization and job design.
- Performance rating
- Placement and promotion practices
- Remuneration structure and other conditions of employment.
- Leadership style and motivational techniques
- Developing appropriate organizational culture and discipline.
To be able to manage these tasks effectively in face of the emerging trends the HR managers need to firs understand the nature of these changes and how they impact the organization. In particular they need to understand the relevant aspects of the cultural background of employees impacting their behavior on work as well as their personal needs. For example, people from different religion celebrate different festivals and may require leave accordingly. The HR managers then has to find ways of blending these different cultures harmoniously in the organizational culture without disrupting the essential work and discipline.
It is also important to be aware of all the legal requirements, and also ensure that others in the organization also know and follow the. This is essential to maintain a good standards of ethics and morals in the firm, and also to avoid unsubstantiated litigation.
Company policies and practices of organization structure and reporting relationships, recruitment, remuneration structure and other terms of employment, job rating, standing instructions for discipline in the workplace, and other similar issues related to the work place need to be developed and keeping in view the cultural requirements, aspirations, and expectations of the employee in consideration. Particular provision may need to be made in respect of flexible working hours and teleworking may need to be made also.
Training has assumes greater importance in the work place today because of the greater demand for regularly updating the employee skills and knowledge, and also to promote harmonious organization culture in face of increasing cultural diversity. Training is also critical to develop better leadership qualities of manager who have to rely more on their interpersonal relationship skills and less on formal authority for motivating their subordinates. Therefore HR managers need to pay much greater attention to the training function. As the routine HR activities like attendance, payroll, and other administrative functions are being automated, the role of HR managers is moving more and more from that of an administrator to that of a trainer and a consultant.