Omowumi Aiyeku Professor Andrew Klein Strategic Human Resources Management September 5, 2011 Case Analysis Question: What is Strategic Human Resources Management and how does it link the people with the strategic needs of the business? Introduction Human resource management is a combination of strategically coordinated efforts to manage people. Managing people involves, employing them, teaching and developing their skills, and utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services (Mello, 2010).
In most cases the strategic method of human resource management would provide greater support but, in the case of Infosys, strategic human resource management provided a collection of smoke and mirrors which clearly hid the true feelings of the employees. The typical strategic management plan involves support for the organization with its efforts to align its functions with business objectives, creating a great work environment and recognition of the human skill as an asset (Becker & Huselid, 2006). Strategic Human Resource Management vs. Traditional
The fundamental significance of Strategic Human Resource management (SHRM) is its focus on the human capital component of organizational success (Mello, 2010). SHRM differs from traditional HR management in that SHRM focuses on the entire organization rather than the individual in two main aspects of business. The first differing aspect is SHRM focuses on organizational performance rather than individual performance (Becker & Huselid, 2006). SHRM focuses on entire systems when solving organizational issues rather than individual importance with intent to better establish the organization amongst its competition.
In addition, SHRM is about aligning with the company’s objectives of higher performance by implementing a competitive advantage through instilling and encouraging the competitive drive in the organization’s employees. The alignment with organizational objectives requires HR Management to manage personnel in a way to achieve company goals by matching HR functions to attain the organizations goal (Becker & Huselid, 2006). By encouraging a sense of individual importance in the team effort, the morale created is intended to promote a desire to strive for higher positive impacts on organizational goals to boost overall company success.
Traditional management however, uses the small company environment to allow employees to have actual influence and flexibility to alter company policies. The small company environment also encourages a sense of pride in the company’s accomplishments which makes the employee feel relevant and important to the company. Infosys’s HR Strategy Infosys had to change how they did business in order to stay alive. These necessary changes made to the company’s business required changes to their structure of employees.
They did not want to exclude employees from the changes but rather wanted to include them by making changes to where and how they worked. As the company made efforts to improve brand equity, they also made efforts to appeal to their employees and make the job environment a great place to work ( Delong, Tandon & Rengaswamy, 2005). These efforts included an open -door policy and a commitment to emotional bonding with employees. Employees, however, were still upset about the rapid growth of employee numbers and disparity of expectations, although, most of the discontent came from the discontinuation of creative freedom.
Employees were no longer given the opportunity to develop and express innovative solutions because the organization relied more on process-oriented tasks to solve problems; and thus, the employees lost their sense of worth to the business ( Delong, Tandon & Rengaswamy, 2005). Infosys then made more efforts to stop the discontent by implementing volunteer options to help make the work environment a fun one. Infosys also made efforts to scale back attrition by educating candidates on the Infosys culture from the beginning, but attrition only hit harder because management failed to acknowledge the root cause of dissatisfaction.
Infosys did not know how to handle employee frustrations nor did they know how to be hands-on and engaging. Tasks were delegated poorly and improperly, and these issues only increased with the size of the company ( Delong, Tandon & Rengaswamy, 2005). Management could barely keep up with current employee dissatisfaction so management strategies for future growth concentrated on their business strategy rather than on employees. Infosys’s introduction of variable pay and the new promotion policy left many employees in the dark and employee resentment rose.
Management did not communicate the reasons for these new policies or how they would affect the current employees ( Delong, Tandon & Rengaswamy, 2005). Infosys implemented many strategies to help the company grow but failed to maintain employer-employee relations. Financially, they did grow; but maybe they grew too large for their management to handle. There was not enough focus placed on preparing managers on how to handle the need to hire more employees and need to change policies to account for increased staff.
Management may have relied too much on process than the voice of their employees. The employees felt de-valued and unimportant as assets to the company. They saw people come and go so quickly, as evident by the high attrition rates, that they perceived their roles as equally disposable ( Delong, Tandon & Rengaswamy, 2005). Management for Infosys should have relied more on the traditional human resource management style instead of strategic Human resource management. Conclusion
In an effort to align itself with the organization’s objectives, Infosys lost its emphasis on the individual employee by losing sight of the small company environment where policies and processes were flexible and met individual needs. The loss of communication brought on by a large company, resulted in the mistrust of policies such as the variable pay mechanism and promotion policy. This mistrust stemmed from the lack of understanding as to how these programs would work, and the reasons why these programs were needed. Behind the mirror of support SHRM created, were unsatisfied employees and changes to management processes were needed.
They then sought a re-evaluation of human resource management because they realized the need to bring back the traditional management style that encompassed a small-company feel and collegial environment. References Becker, B. & Huselid, M. (2006, December). Strategic Human Resources Management: Where Do We Go From Here? Journal of Management. Vol. 32, No. 6. PP(898-925). Delong, T. J. , Tandon, J. and Rengaswamy, G. (2005). Infosys (A): Strategic Human Resource Management. Harvard Business Publishing. Mello, J. A. (2010). Strategic Human Resource Management, 3rd Ed.. South-Western Cengage Learning