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How and why is human resource planning increasingly seeking to construct flexible organisations?

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Introduction

Assignment Task How and why is human resource planning increasingly seeking to construct flexible organisations? The essence of HRP is getting the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. Human resources planning (HRP) will look to construct flexible organisations on a couple of ways. Any organisation relies on people so the question could also be "how and why is HRP increasingly seeking to construct a flexible work force". However, flexibility of an organisation will stem from employee involvement and motivation and it is how these are achieved that will be the denoting factor in the success of such a flexibility strategy. Also, the company structure can aid flexibility, i.e. limited layers of control, better and faster communication. The answer to why HRP is seeking to construct flexible organisations is mainly due to the amount international and domestic competition. HRP aims to increase overall productivity, efficiency and end profits for an organisation through the motivation and exploitation of the workforce. They use the workforce to gain a competitive edge that companies need to create brand loyalty and repeat custom. They gain these advantages through high commitment, strategic integration, high quality and flexibility (D,Guest, 1986). Ultimately, HRP gives a company the chance of survival and the power to get the maximum out of its market. To provide a basis and to fully understand how and why HRP wants to construct a flexible organisation it is important to state what the advantages of flexibility are as these are partly the reason why HRP is moving toward flexible organisations. ...read more.

Middle

There are a couple of ways in which different types of flexibility can also be beneficial to a company. For example, numerical flexibility aids to better cope with peaks in demand and functional flexibility aids efficiency (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2005). These types of flexibility can be achieved through the arrangement of contracts. Internal and external recruitment are beneficial to numerical and functional flexibility. Internal recruitment ensures staff retention/skills retention and thus higher staff motivation and low labour turnover, while external recruitment brings new skills and better workers (if recruitment and selection processes are competent). Core workers are seen as essential to the long term success of a business. These people can provide functional flexibility, high commitment, high skill levels and low labour turnover (hence skills retention). Annualised hours can be of great advantage to companies as they still receive all the benefits of core workers but have the flexibility of peripheral workers (M.Rodriguez, 2003). An example of how annualised hours work is of a flight attendant being employed by an airline waiting, on-call, to see if he/she is working. The airline can decide, according to demand, how many hours the attendant works in a week up to the maximum of the agreed hours. However the worker can be asked to work more hours without additional "overtime" being paid. Contracts to employees ensure how they are flexible. There are many different types of contract a few being part time, annualised hours, tele-working, flexitime and job-sharing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using the Harvard model to explain why HRP feels the need to be flexible we can see that HR policies are drawn from stakeholder's interests and situational factors. Forward from this, reward systems and work systems are created which gives the company's culture and if this is done effectively there should be cost savings, higher commitment and congruence in the understanding of strategy from employees. However employees need to be involved with strategy and long-term goals for HRP to be truly effective. A situational factor that would be outside of the firms control would be the discrimination acts. Companies are no longer allowed to discriminate against an employee for his/her situational factor, for example a pregnant female worker or a person near the age of retirement. To conclude, HRP offer employees benefits for being flexible with the various contracts that can be offered, for example flexi-hours and tele-working, which gives them work-life balance and less stress. HRP see a number of benefits by offering such working practices such as high staff retention, high employee involvement and motivation and higher overall productivity. Through linking company strategy to HRP strategies the whole organisation should benefit from being more competitive, by being leaner and having a strong brand image which should result in the repeat sales and the ability to survive against international and domestic market threats along with the fluctuating demands of the consumer. ...read more.

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