Q. What are the challenges before the Human Resource function in today’s Indian business scenario?
Ans. A goal seeking organizations especially one that seeks improvement over the current situation is a challenge, taking organization. When many such goals are pursued tremendous internal pressures some of them conflicting, tend to be generated. Unless the organization develops mechanisms for coping with these self-generated pressures, it may face major failure and suffer disastrous retreats from its goal.
Human Resource function cannot be performed in a vacuum. There are many challenges that it has to face to survive. All these challenges are discussed below.
1. Technological factors: Just as necessity is the mother of invention competition and a host of other reasons are responsible for the rapid technological changes and innovations. As a consequence of these changes, technical personnel, skilled workers, computer operators and machine operators are increasingly required while the demand for other categories of employers has declined. Hence procurement of skilled employees and their increase in numbers to match the changing job requirements has become a complicated task.
2. Human Resource in the Country: The structure, values and the level of education of human resource in a country influence much of the Human Resource function. The influence of manpower in the country can be studies through the changes in structure of employment.
a. Change in the Structure of Employment: The structure of employment in an organization changes with the entrance of workforce with different backgrounds (Social economic, region, community, sex, religion, traditions culture etc). There has been a significant change in the structure of employment with the entry of 1) candidates belonging to the schedule castes, schedules tribes and backward communities. 2) more female employees, due to increased career orientation among women to the suitability of women for certain jobs and to women becoming more acclimatized to the working climate and higher level of commitment. 3) The workforce consists of different regions but due to increased transportation facilities and mobile character of people. These changes in workforce are a challenge and a complicated task of HR function. It has to deal with employees with different backgrounds.
3. Changes in employee Roles and their Values: Earlier the management could totally control its employees and get the desired output. Today the employees have to be considered as a partner in the organization. Changing structure of workforce has led to the introduction of new values in organization. Among these are moves 1) emphasis on quality of life rather than quantity ii) equality and justice for employees over economic efficiency iii) participation over authority. iv) Workers now prefer flexible working hours to fixed time schedule. v) Level of education in recent years is comparatively very higher. Increased formal education has led to the change of attitude of the employees.
4. Changing demands of employer: changes always are not on the side of employees. Organizations also undergo changes and consequently their demands on employees will also change. The information technological revolution and neck to neck marketing competition of most of the organizations due to globalization demand that the existing employees adopt to the ever-changing work situation and learn new skills, knowledge etc to cope with the new changes.
5. Government and Legal factors: Until 1940 the government was not involved or interested regarding the problems of labor or industry. But the need for Govt., interference arose out of the belief that Government is the custodian of industrial and economic activities. The role of the government in business has after 1991 with the announcement of economic liberalization. However awareness of legislations is very important like the Factory Act, 1948, Trade Union act 1962, Payment of wages Act 1936, The Minimum Wages Act 1923, The Payment of Bonus Act 1965, The Employment Exchange Act, Standing Order Act 1946, Maternity Benefit Act 1961, and The Apprentice Act 1961. All these acts if not complied with can get the organization into deep trouble.
6. Customers: Organizations produce products or render services for the ultimate consumption use by the customer. In other words organizations depend upon customers for their survival and growth. Customers revolt against employees, if the services rendered are less qualitative. The banks face such type of challenges. Customers may develop a negative attitude towards the organization, if it does not follow the social policies of the country. Hence the customers pose a challenge special ally in service industry.
7. Social factors: Social environment consists of class structure, mobility social roles social values nature and development of social institutions caste structure and occupational structure, traditions, religion culture etc. To cater to everyone’s requirement and keep them happy is a big challenge faced by HR today.