Best HR Practices for Sustainable Organisational Growth – Nazneen (MBA: 2011-13)

The term sustainability means meeting the needs and demands of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meets their requirements.

Sustainability also mean balancing social, environmental and economic factors for short and long term perspective it is a critical issue for the world as well as for the business.

Now when we see around us now-a-days people demands and needs are regularly changing, people are now more demanding than ever HR has to play more vital role in it. But sometimes HR does not play their role in an effective way as we expect from them mostly when strategy management in HR practices, but HR at the same time doing good jobs at recruitment, training and developments.

There are few strategies which HR can work upon :

The first is the time based strategy the program or policy which the HR must opt are -flextime, job sharing, part time works, leave for new parents, closing plants or offices for certain special occasions.

The second is the information based strategy it includes intranet work or life web site for employees and also relocation assistance.

The third is the money based strategy it includes vouchers for child care, work life flexibility benefits, adoption assistance, leave with pay and perks benefits and many more.

The fourth is direct services strategy which includes on-site child care, emergency backup care, on site health and beauty services and take out dinner programs for the employees

The fifth strategy in it is the cultural change strategies which includes, training the managers so that they can properly deals with the employees and their work life conflicts. Manager pays to employees satisfaction and focusses on actual performance, not on face time.

Which includes maternity leaves, better working conditions, part time jobs and harmonious relationship between HR and employees, moving ahead we have to discuss on the CSR means corporate social responsibilities, every organisation in this world operates in the society and should be responsible for its degradations or depletions of it there organitation should compensated the society in the manner of giving employment to the local people and improving the area around it which it is operating.

Now the time has arrived when all HR managers have to sit down together and replan and redefine there HR practices for the sustainable growth and development of the organisation.

What is sustainability?

The word “sustainability” is difficult to define since sustainability is a dynamic and evolving concept. As a result, this concept can  take on  many different meanings and represents different things to different people.( BSR and Aurosoorya). Sustainability means balancing social, environmental and economic factors for short and long term perspective it is a critical issue for the world as well as for the business. (BSR and Aurosoorya) Sustainability has been defined as the ability “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” As regulatory pressures and societal demands for greater environmental and social responsibility have increased, sustainability has become a key focus for many organizations. A sustainable organization can be defined as an enterprise that simultaneously contributes economic, social and environmental benefits—known as the “triple bottom line”— to society while also ensuring its own long-term sustainability as an organization. Sustainable human resource management (HRM) can be defined as using the tools of HR to create a workforce that has the trust, values, skills and motivation to achieve a profitable triple bottom line.( Cohen, Taylor, and Muller)

Examples of sustainable HR practices include:

  • Encouraging employees, through training and compensation.
  • Designing a company’s HRM system to reflect equity, development and well-being, thus contributing to the long-term health and sustainability of both internal (employees) and external communities.
  • Emphasizing long-term employment security to avoid disruption for employees, their families and communities.

Sustainable HRM is also about the role and sustainability of the HR function in the business. As business strategy becomes more driven by sustainability considerations, the HR function must revise its own mandate and transform the way it performs core HR responsibilities. It must ensure HR managers become enablers of an organization aligned with sustainability, which means taking on new roles and perspectives that have not traditionally been part of the HR brief. For example, the HR function must expand its view of who the company’s stakeholders are and ensure that the HRM system enables their sustainability.

How Can Organizations Leverage Sustainability?

For most organizations in today’s economy, there is a need to make difficult business decisions and justify expenditures. Even though determining the return on investment (ROI) for sustainability-related activities may be extremely difficult, there is no reason for organizations to ignore outcome-based measurement tools.

Sustainability is a continual practice that is more likely to be effective when integrated into the company’s strategic framework. It may be more difficult for organizations to make major advancements into sustainability without support from executive-level employees. Even though it is important for executive-level employees to buy into sustainability, it is equally important for all levels of employees to value sustainability. Organizations can leverage sustainability to attract, retain and develop employees. Volunteer community outreach initiatives related to sustainability are a great way for businesses to engage all levels of employees.( Krishnan, Rishikesha)

Now when we see around us now-a-days people demands and needs are regularly changing, people are now more demanding than ever HR has to play more vital role in it. But sometimes HR does not play their role in an effective way as we expect from them mostly when strategy management in HR practices, but HR at the same time should do good jobs at recruitment, training and developments HR should provide programmes and services that result in a measurable increase in employee productivity, revenue and ROI. It will build a strong business case outlining its financial impact.

HR should play an important role in ensuring that an organisation has productive employees and effective people management programmes. However, a strategic approach requires that HR marshal all of the resources of the corporation in order to build a “performance culture” that permeates the entire organisation. Only by ensuring that all managers, management systems, measures and rewards work together “in unison” can an organisation ensure that it optimises it’s performance. HR must take the lead in building and maintaining this performance culture and in ensuring it permeates the organisation.( Krishnan, Rishikesha)

Thinking strategically may be an important goal. There are few startegies which HR can work upon :-

The first is the time based strategy- the program or policy which the HR must opt are -flextime, job sharing, part time works, leave for new parents, closing plants or offices for certain special occasions. HR must ensure that it’s programme focuses on their efforts on the problems and opportunities of HR issues.

The second is the information based strategy- it includes intranet work or life web site for employees and also relocation assistance. Technology, people, e-workplaces: these are the elements that fast moving organizations use to meet changing business requirements by using technology to invent new business processes, to re-align organizational structures, and to implement new management practices. Moreover, it has become apparent in today’s global information economy, the most critical-indeed the primary-resource that distinguishes market leaders from everyone else is human talent! Countries, communities, and organizations are suddenly very interested in developing the human capacities that will allow them to compete in a networked world. Successful growing organizations have placed the combined development of information technology and human resources as their top priority.(  Sleezer,  Wentling,  Cude) With the help of human resource professionals, organizations must grasp the pertinent aspects of both people and technology issues to create an effective e-workplace.

The third is the money based strategy- it includes vouchers for child care, work life flexibility benefits, adoption assistance, leave with pay and perks benefits and many more.

Today TCS is making a transition to hiring experienced people from the top business schools with competitive salaries and to shedding the image of being a relatively poor paymaster and merely a passport to the US.

The fourth is direct services- which includes on site child care, emergency back up care, health and beauty services and take out dinner programs for the employees.

Services provided by University of Texas at Austin for their employees Work/Life Balance Program

Balancing Personal and Professional Life—Learn more about common personal and professional issues facing employees and how to address them.

Lactation/Quiet Rooms—Read about rooms available for nursing mothers or for those who require a place to rest due to medical reasons involving a non-contagious condition.

Work/Life Balance Resources— Your one-stop resource for finding recreation, art, continuing education, and many other activities on campus and in Austin.

Work/Life Calendar of Events—Attend events designed to help you with aspects of work and personal life.(website: Texas)

Lets take the example of Mc Donalds or Google.We all have visited the Mc Donalds store but it is very amazing that many big brands in this world like Mc Donalds, Microsoft, Google, Apple and many more to name generally started recreation programs for their employees like yoga, dance, meditations, painting, music and many more things so that they can release their tension at their working station and also at their personal life.

The fifth strategy in it is the cultural change strategies- which includes, training the managers so that they can properly deals with the employees and their work life conflicts. (Schein) has argued that corporate culture is something that needs to be understood and managed as a key aspect of human resources. Manager pays to employees satisfaction and focusses on actual performance, not on face time.The Aditya Birla group and the RPG group are two examples of prominent business houses that have made visible and substantive interventions in the HR arena towards increasing professionalisation, independence in operational decision-making, greater transparency in performance measurement, and market-linked compensation. Some groups like the Tatas recognised early that HR initiatives were a powerful way for the group to create value – the creation and running of the TMTC; the Tata Administrative Service; support for XLRI; and an industry  renowned graduate engineer training scheme at Tata Steel and Telco.( Padaki, Agrawal,Balaji and Mahapatra)

The cultural change srtategy should also include maternity leaves, better working conditions, part time jobs and harmonious relationship between HR and employees, in service organisations such as call centres and other remote service providers, in spite of the repetitive nature of the work, employees see themselves more as professionals than blue collar workers. This is therefore an opportunity for HR professionals to bring a single HR perspective to the organisation, and to cast aside the confrontational mindset often inherent in the IR paradigm. ( Schein) Moving ahead we have to discuss on the CSR means Corporate Social Responsibilities, every organisation in this world operates in the society and should be responsible for its degradations or depletions of it the organisations should compensate the society in the manner of giving employment to the local people and improving the area around it which it is operating. In recent years CSR has become a fundamental business practice and has gained much attention from the management of large international companies. They understand that a strong CSR program is an essential element in achieving good business practices and effective leadership. Companies have explored that their impact on the economic, social and environmental sector directly affects their relationships with investors, employees and customers.( Michael)

For example HUL which contributes around 110 crores in improving the infrastructure areas of Odissa and small company like Aircel is just selling on its products due to its incentive taken by it to save the tigers project with NDTV which is appreciated by the people of the country too.

I recall a TV advertisement which is very much connected to this topic of sustainable growth and development, in this TV add a small kid asks his father that when he grows up and become a man in future he will open an bicycle store at the red light of the roadside, his father asks him why son and the son answered that father if u all people use so much fuel and power unmeaning fully then it will all be consumed by you and there is nothing left for our generation so bicycle is the best options for us to travel …the core of this add is sustainable growth and developments same goes here with our topic also that how sustainability can be achieved by an organisation or firms with its human beings or employees.

CONCLUSION

The emerging concept of sustainable HR practices has important implications both for organizational performance and for the HR function. HR must support the development and implementation of corporate sustainability strategy because the unique HR contribution is critical to sustainable business success. HR must recognize the new sustainability context of organizations and align its practices. HRM needs to provide HR solutions for a sustainable organization as well as manage the HR function in a sustainable way. In this context, the recommended approach includes the adoption of iterative process for embedding sustainability values, understanding and engaging HR stakeholders, reviewing and developing HR policies and practices, and tracking and reporting performance and effects. Through this process, HR will demonstrate how its sustainability performance aligns with leading global frameworks and supports the overall business sustainability strategy. Now the time has arrived when all HR managers have to sit down together and replan and redefine there HR practices for the sustainable growth and development of the organisation.”

REFERENCES  

  • Krishnan, Rishikesha T. “Linking Corporate Strategy and HR Strategy: Implications for
  • HR Professionals,” In R. Padaki, N.M. Agrawal, C. Balaji and G. Mahapatra (eds.)

Emerging Asia: An HR Agenda, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2005, pp. 215-223.

A Research Report by the Society for Human Resource Management, BSR and Aurosoorya

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