Strategic human resources management (SHRM) refers to the long-term alignment of an organization’s human resources to the organization’s core objectives (Mello, 2010). SHRM works to bridge the gap that usually exists in the organization between the current operational work performance of employees and the long term core objectives of the organization. Organizations should not only perform extemporary in the present but also in the future using the same workforce.
The alignment aforementioned assigns the tasks to employees guided by the future of the organization as dictated by the pre-formulated long term objectives. Human resources (HR) need to be a strategic associate to the contextual business. Strategic partnering between the business and the HR implies that the workforce is managed in line with the business strategies. Business strategies may be defined as the plans that are put in place towards achievement of core and long term goals of the organization. Business accrues the following benefits by partnering strategically with the HR.
To start with, such an association instills belief on the trust and importance of the workforce in achievement of a business’ overall corporate plan. Members of staff, especially on the lower levels, develop an intrinsic value that the management places on them in performance of their responsibilities. They are therefore motivated to perform better as well. Moreover, members of staff develop loyalty to the business when they can clearly predict its future. Secondly, the business funds the right training to the employees in preparing them for the future.
Training is a cost and hence should be strategic in terms of ensuring that employees are prepared for the future, long term and strategic plans. Business avoids wastage of resources as well as time in training employees in fields that were unforeseen when the same employees were initially trained. In addition, the business gets a chance to strategically design performance incentive structures that would ensure continuity in motivation of its workforce. For instance, the management can predict the changes in value of motivating objects to various employees if there is a strategic modeling of the employees.
Indeed, businesses have to pair their HR and the enterprise related activities together so that the workforce can own up the strategic plans reducing the need for the costly and intense supervision (Mello, 2010). Partnering business with the HR greatly benefits the contextual workforce in various aspects. First, the employees are strategically trained not only for short term but also for long term purposes. As such employees gradually develop and specialize in their various specialization fields (Mello, 2010).
Once they specialize, they can perform with distinction and possibly get higher compensation packages. Second, when HR is partnered with business, the long term objectives are explicitly explained to the employees. As such there is a likelihood of an adoption of management by objectives (MBO) approach in management which usually eliminates conflicts between the management and employees during supervision. Furthermore, employees have a chance to fully exploit their potential once they are fully informed of what is expected of them by the business’ future.
Third, partnering of business and the HR provides a platform for performance harmony amongst employees and departments. According to Mello 2010, performance harmony results from the organizing schema that links individual employee activities so that they mutually support each other. Through mutual support amongst employees, healthy relations develop in the working place where employees can derive joy for their emotional stability. Finally, employees are less susceptible to stress when they are made to partner with the strategic plans of the business.
Stress result from changes in the organization when employees are inadequately prepared for them. Strategic businesses undertake changes in their endeavor to achieve their strategic goals. Normally, strategic goals revolve around business existence in the future implying that various strategic changes are inevitable in the dynamic business environment. Since employees are strategically placed to perceive the need for changes, resistance is less hence adjustment is practically possible without stress.
Mello, 2010 argues that organizations place themselves vulnerable to risks when HR office is made a task-oriented undertaking. Operational/task-oriented management of HR denies the organization the benefits that could be reaped from a strategic management of the same. In particular, the organization is unable to appropriately adjust/cope up with change/dynamism that describes the business environment. In task oriented HR management, employees focus on their strengths to perform highly in the short term. Changes arising along the way derail such organizations as they are caught unawares.
Furthermore, task-oriented HR management fails to harness talents within the workforce since employees are evaluated on their specific tasks not on the continuum of their performance. When talents are not recognized, employees’ full potential is not utilized yet the same employees are compensated. Moreover, there is a high possibility of organizations facing high labour turnovers since employees do not develop the necessary loyalty towards their organizations. The business frequently suffers loss in terms of training costs that have to be conducted on new employees.
Finally, when the HR office fails to partner the human resources with the workforce, business may get into liquidation in trying to meet the increasing cost of labour force which was unplanned for. Normally, a task oriented organization realizes the need for a specified human capital when a need arises. When such needs are critical to the survival of the business at the short term, organization may spend much of its current assets in meeting the labour cost at the expense of other equally important expenses rendering the business to financial instability.