The work of HR experts is complex and they have to take into account a lot of details before designing an HR strategy. The role of an HR specialist is to constantly seek for new initiatives that enhance the administrative process and secure employee commitment.
An HR expert should be a strategic partner and an agent of improved cultural changes in a company. The design of HR practices should be in accordance to an organization’s structure. Organisational strategy differs among enterprises. History, size, the notions and the values of the owner determine a company’s culture. In any case, HR models should focus on labor productivity, organisational flexibility and social legitimacy.
In order to achieve these goals, there are some practices which must be implemented. Team work is a means to achieve employee autonomy. The division of employees into small groups can lead to ‘win-win’ procedures and flexible production. Prujit (2003) supported that two forms of team work had influenced work. The first is the ‘Neo- Tayloristic’ model, in which teams are guided be a leader. The second form is the Anti-Tayloristic’ team work. It promotes ‘industrial democracy’ and implies that workers must have the right to share their opinions towards work. Prujit sums up that Neo- Tayloristic system has economical advantages for firms, but it is in the Anti-Tayloristic system the employee initiative that we are searching for.
Another HR activity that should be implemented is empowerment. We should not draw false conclusions and believe we are talking about redistribution of power. Organisational empowerment is consisted of paramount features. Information sharing is the first one. For instance, newsletters and team reports are forms of communication and can enhance the transmission of clear and valid messages between employees and employers. There is always the danger of propaganda, as long as there are sometimes invalid messages which are transmitted by managers for control purposes. Having the power to know the truth, employees are empowered with knowledge and freedom. The second element of empowerment is upward problem-solving. Here, employees have the autonomy to give personal solution to problematic situations without informing their superiors. Task autonomy and opportunities to perform various tasks without supervision are considered empowerment tools.
The above HR initiatives of teamwork and empowerment cannot be implemented in any organisational context. As we have already mentioned, firms have unique ways of performing and they possess different organization cultures. Organizational goals and aims should be examined before designing an HRM practice. Contradictory policies could mislead employees from their professional goals.
Manager’s Office Hellas
MSc in Human Resource Management & Training