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MHR 523 (469)


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Ryerson University
Human Resources
MHR 523
Al- Karim Samnani

MHR Chapter 1: Strategic Importance of Human Resource Management ECONOMIC CHALLENGES Economic factors facing Canadian business today, including global trade challenges and the challenge to increase one’s own competitiveness and productivity below Surviving a Recessionary Cycle Plan, communicate and implement employee layoff Facing the Global Trade Challenge To attract & involve highly skilled employees, progressive HR practices have to be adopted; HR issues dominate company strategic priorities raising expectations from the departments Meeting the Challenge of Productivity Improvement Productivity: ratio of firm’s outputs divided by its inputs (people, capital, energy); increases as firms find new ways to use fewer resources to produce outputs  major challenge Canadian managers face is productivity improvements while maintaining a high quality work life for employees  if Canada is to improve competitiveness, innovation on people management and technology is needed  Outsourcing: increasingly popular to cut costs; reduces number of employees on permanent payroll  Outplacement: assisting employees to find jobs with other employers TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES May cause fundamental shifts in lifestyles; two major technological changes which have revolutionized Canadian businesses: computerization and automation Computerization: allowing the processing of vast amounts of data at great speeds, enabling organizations to improve efficiency, responsiveness and flexibility in operations; key developments:  Processing large volumes of information on timely basis  Flexible work design and telecommunicating: cut stress, costs & boosts productivity; lack of concrete policies and procedures can lead to communication and performance problems  Information sharing and knowledge management: firms have intranets which help to increase speed; better for sharing  In general, computerization results in faster, multiway of communication, non-traditional marketing strategies, improved quality control, more online inventory control and therefore requires new HR practices Automization: the automatically controlled operation of a process, system or equipment by mechanical or electronic devices  Push for speed; desire to control labour costs and increase productivity  Better service to customers; increases predictability in operations and to achieve higher standards of quality in production; machines don’t strike/ask for a raise  Allows flexibility in operations; ability to produce small batches; allows firms to focus on needs of different customers, market segmentation, speed up delivery schedules  May result in smaller workforce with fewer opportunities for socialization on the job DEMOGRAPHIC CHALLENGES Demographic Changes Changes in the demographics of the labour force (ex. Levels of education, age, participation rates) that occur slowly and are usually known in advance Trend 1: Increasing Number of Women in the Workforce  Left traditional nonprofessional occupations and work in management, law, engineering and medical fields  Women accounted for 70% of total employment grow – issues of childcare, work/family balance, dual career families and employment equity  More women tend to work part time in comparison to men Tend 2: toward Knowledge Workers  Shift from primary and extractive industries to services, technical and profession jobs  Nearly 75% is employed in service producing industries; over 25% is services such as finance, real estate, hospitality MHR Chapter 1: Strategic Importance of Human Resource Management  Workforce is divided into two main categories: o Information: data workers (use, transmit or manipulate symbolic info created by knowledge workers); knowledge workers (generating, processing, analyzing or synthesizing ideas and info) o Non Information: persons working in the manufacturing and service sectors (ex. Security, machine operators)  Knowledge workers have been fastest growing type of workers in Canadian labour force Trend 3: Education Attainment of Workers  Education attainment: highest educational level attained by an individual worker, employee group/population  About 22% of Canadians age 16+ fall in lowest level of literacy; another 24-26% fall in second lowest level  Corporate council on Education identified a set of “employability skills” consisting of basic academic skills, personal management skills and teamwork skills; foundation skills for employability in future Trend 4: Employment of Older Workers  Old Age Crisis: refers to social (health care) and organizational (new workplace ergonomics) challenges caused by again of population  Low birth rates, longer life expectancy, fear of post retirement poverty – motivates employees to hold onto their current jobs  Pressures for expanded retirement benefits, variable work schedules, coordination of govn't benefits w/company benefits and retraining are few problems that await  Aging population affects many HR functions, especially recruitment, selection, job training, job design, appraisal, compensation and benefits administration Trend 5: More Part Time, Contract and Contingent Workers  Part Time: ppl working fewer hours and are ineligible for many benefits offered by employers  Contract/Contingent Workers: freelancers who aren’t part of regular workforce and are paid on a project completion basis; organizations benefit from services of train personnel w/out increasing payroll costs in a permanent fashion CULTURAL CHALLENGES Challenges facing a firm’s decision makers because of cultural differences among employees/changes in core cultural or social values occurring at the larger societal level Work related Attitudes  Attitudes towards work: variety of work-related assumptions and values including the role of work in a person’s life and the role of women and diverse groups in organizations  Requests for longer vacations, more holidays, varied work weeks; turn to HR professionals to help with employee motivation  Generation X are differ from Boomers; work-life balance is important, active participants in decision making, not averse to hard work, distain towards “command & rule” culture, self-reliant  Generation Y are just entering work force; seek continuous learning, ongoing feedback, team work, up to date technology, security, respect and work-life balance; biggest fear is boredom Ethnic Diversity  Cultural Mosaic: Canadian ideal of encouraging each ethnic, racial and social group to maintain its own cultural heritage, forming a national mosaic of different cultures  “allophones”: other speaking; almost 5 million Canadians Attitudes Towards Govn’ts Basic assumptions about the role of govn’t business and society, including the desirability of a welfare state with a key interventionist role for the govn’t  Notion that govn’ts have the ability and wisdom to steer the economy is being dispelled; growing view is that the govn’t is just economic facilitator that provides appropriate infrastructure for prosperity O BJECTIVE OHUMAN RESOURCE M ANAGEMENT Aim to improve productive contribution of individuals while attempting to attain other societal and individual employee objectives. Focuses on what managers do and what they should do. HR management in most organizations attempt to achieve three key objectives: organizational, societal, and employee MHR Chapter 1: Strategic Importance of Human Resource Management Organizational Objectives Organizations short and long term goals that the HR department aim to achieve  Should help organization identify the right quality, type and number of employees  Resources are wasted when HR departments are more/less sophisticated than organizations demands; cost-benefit analyses and systematic program reviews are vital to achieve this goal Societal Objectives Societal priorities that HR department targets while setting own objectives and strategies  Should be responsive to the needs and challenges of society while minimizing the negative impact of such demands upon the organization  HR strategies in such organizations will need to reflect society’s ecological concerns Employee Objectives Goals set by HR department to assist employees to achieve personal goals that will enhance their contribution to the organization  If ignored then worker performance may decline or employees may even leave the organization STRATEGICHUMAN RESOURCE M ANAGEMENT Similar to a game plan; formulated on three levels: corporate (entire organization), business (major activity), and functional (managers of different activities)  Strategic HR Management: systematically linked to strategic needs of an organization and aims to provide it with an effective workforce while meeting needs of its members and other constitutes in the society; integrating HR management strategies and systems to achieve overall mission, strategies
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