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Studies done on the evolution of Human Resource Management or People Management have shown that the roles and responsibilities of the professionals in the field of Human Resource are rapidly changing and growing with time. The management of people is no longer a mere requirement but a very important asset that an organization can have. Many businessmen agree that apart from technologies used, what differentiates many organizations is the human factor. Most successful businesses are those that attract, develop, motivate, and retain the best human resource. This has therefore shifted the main focus to people management. There are many Human Resource Management models whose key elements are drawn from the organizational theories of behavior such as leadership, motivation, and team building. In this essay we are going to look at the People Management in Harouge oil, an oil company in Libya (Shuler & Jackson, 2007).
Every business organization is bound to come across threats, challenges, and opportunities that the environment in which they exist provides. The environment also gives the necessary resources that come in terms of human capital and technology. It is true that a company with the greatest technological advancements but without human competence to use it will be a failure. This means that it is the people who fuel the various organizational processes with the help of technology and financial resources. The first thing that Harouge Oil should aim at is to have a strong and satisfied human resource. The management of people has different aspects. As managers of people, employers manage teams, diversity, the performance of employees, and motivation without forgetting that they also deal with conflict resolution through negotiations. A look at each of these factors will give us ideas on how Harouge Oil can manage its people.
The company's management has to realize that it is dealing with people with individual differences in the area of age and cultural backgrounds. It should appreciate and value the differences in its employees with regard to skills, work experiences and beliefs. In today's world geographical hindrances are not a problem and business companies can have employees having the required talent coming from different geographical locations meaning a diverse workforce. Each employee's capabilities and skills contribute a lot to the success of a company. These individual skills are unique t every employee and therefore can not be replicated. It is up to the company to notice, appreciate and convert them into a competitive advantage (Kubr, 2002).
Harouge oil has over 2,000 employees working either in Tripoli or Benghazi as well as in more than 20 oil field camps. The management should come up with ways to help these employees interact with others. This is where the management of diversity gains value. It is all about a seamless culture and an environment that is creative, one that is intended to create an attitude change and employee involvement. This creates a workplace that employees can identify with and therefore give maximum results. For Harouge to survive the global marketplace, it will need to manage the employee diversity by adapting to the current sociological and cultural trends. This entails creating a heterogeneous environment with a customer base that is varied, diverse workforce and working practices that will enhance the productivity of the workforce (Kubr, 2002).
A team is usually a group of individuals who are working towards a common goal or a group of persons with skills that are complementary and are committed to a common purpose. The main characteristic of a team is therefore the collective approach. Needs of organizations are usually met by dream teams that rise to challenges and deliver quality results. Teams mostly have a deeper sense of reason, greater motivated performance goals, and are after getting results. For such a team to keep up its good work, it will need motivation from the management. Harouge Oil management should therefore strive to motive such teams in order for it to realize good returns in the long run. It should establish a working environment where employees will be encouraged to work at their best. The company should keep in mind that no employee will accept to work at optimum levels if his or her career goals do not match with the assigned job or the objectives of the company. It should come up with a system of performance management that is effective, one that will offer employees a chance a direction to achieve their personal aspirations in line with the objectives of the organization. Such a system will enable employees to comprehend their duties and accountability. It should be one that is easily adaptable to foster the creativity and strengths of each individual. The corporate world of today is knowledge driven, where work largely depends on information and working that is tied to a mental response, and job responsibilities that are determined by workers. This enables them to easily adapt to the evolving requirements. What this means is that the system should facilitate and at the same time encourage contributions from employees that may be of value to the organization instead of compelling and coercing them to work at levels that are already determined. This performance management can be utilized as a very important strategic tool not just to help in rewarding employees according to their performance but also to add value the company and themselves. The management should that it is a dynamic system which they should monitor on a regular basis so that all involved parties benefit (Kubr, 2002).
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As partially mentioned, an organization's success depends heavily on its ability to motivate its employees with HR policies that are people friendly and synergies in organizational and individual goals. The company should give its employees what they really want most from what they do, this will in turn encourage them to give their all. This is what managers of Harouge Oil should keep in mind. Of course not all people respond positively to one form of motivation. Some like financial motivation, especially those at the lowest hierarchy of an organization. Others will want a promotion to a better position in the organization, while to others even just recognition and verbal appreciation will do. Workplace motivation helps in achievement of goals, gaining of perspectives that are positive and also in building of capability and self esteem. This also allows employees to responsibly manage their own progress while helping others to realize their career ambitions (Kubr, 2002).
Managing conflict and negotiation
Leaders in any organization should create a conducive environment that enables the thriving of people. If conflicts arise, they should be in a position to intervene immediately and this calls for good mediation skills and interventions. Managers should never try to avoid a conflict in the hope that it will just go away on its own. It never happens that way; it will pop up at the slightest provocation. They should avoid meeting separately with those in conflict because each will give his or her side of the story. And managers should never assume that the conflict does not affect them, it does, because it can divide an organization (Kubr, 2002).
No matter the prevailing economic conditions in the world, organizations like Harouge Oil should understand that employees and the way they work remain a vital factor in an organization. An organizations culture and its management practices may not be that visible to those outside the organization, but these small details are as important as the products, technology, or the marketing practices of the company. Therefore to achieve competitive advantage, Harouge Oil should implement practices that place the company's real value on its employees. These can be implemented across the various company departments, geographies or even across the competitive strategies. This will largely depend on a leadership that is far sighted but not on government bailouts. Another important area that the company should look at is the security of the employee's job. In this time of harsh economic challenges, organizations demand more from their employees. It therefore follows that only those who will foster an environment that calls for commitment and mutual trust, will be maximumly reciprocated, while those that see employees as dispensable will most likely not get their commitment, willingness, or loyalty. When employees have no fear of losing their jobs they will be more willing to work towards improving the processes of work that will result in improved productivity, quality and cost reduction, they be less likely to leave the company at the first competing offer, that can see them going away with their expertise and experience, and they will be more willing to make sacrifices if conditions demand (Ulrich, 1997).
Harouge Oil is a company that to a large extent relies on its workforce for success, therefore should be careful while choosing and hiring them. It should carefully screen its applicants, this does not mean screening people out, but ensuring that only those with right attributes and traits for the company are hired. This simply means that it should choose persons who will fit in the culture of the company, those who will go well together with its values and goals. Employee recruitment also has a very symbolic aspect to it; employees who have gone through the rigorous process of selection will feel that they are joining an elite organization. They will have high expectations for performance and also a message will be conveyed that they matter a lot to the organization. The management team should know that paying employees more is not necessarily good in the recruitment and retaining good employees. It is true that high wages will attract more applicants; this gives the organization a big number of people to pick from. More pay will restore confidence in employees that the organization values them. The company can also get a chance to shape the behavior of its employee's right from the start. The Operant Conditioning theory says that behavior is a function of its consequences. That, individuals only learn to behave so as to get what they want or avoid something they don't want. Therefore this is voluntary or learned behavior whose chance of being repeated is influenced by reinforcement or lack of it. The company should therefore come up with ways to reinforce it because reinforcement strengthens behavior and also increases the probability for it to be repeated (Bratton &Gold, 2001).
Harouge Oil being an organization means it is a social entity that covers financial, physical, and human resources. But the most unique and precious one of them is the human resource, and therefore its behavior should be well understood. Coordination among individuals working together is very important in order for goals to be achieved. Therefore coordination being a psychological phenomenon will call for the understanding of the employees' behavior in the organization. To achieve this, Harouge Oil will have to address these differences between individuals- People usually have common attributes although it is known that everyone is unique. They have the same zest for social relations and a common family structure besides the other common attributes such as intelligence, linguistic abilities and the ability to work in order to earn a living. People will differ in their interactions with others, motivational propensities, the way they respond to issues like stress and tolerance. These differences are the ones that determine the way employees respond to the various aspects that encompass an organization. Because of this, the management will have to understand each individual in order to manage them successfully and improve the effectiveness of the organization (Reddy, 2004).
As it has emerged, people are a very important component to any organization and therefore must be dealt with carefully. If people are to be part of the company's competitive advantage, Harouge Oil will have to give them the necessary information in order for them to what is required for the company to succeed. Harouge Oil will need a structured interaction model that will be facilitated by clearly defining authority, accountability and responsibility, division of labour, the control span, and lastly the line and staff relations. Each one of these will go a long way to determine how people communicate, how they are motivated, and their commitment, factors that regulate their behaviors. All these will go hand in hand with the organizations culture that helps in the developing of behavioral traits that facilitate and speed up an organization's process of development. Lastly the success of all these issues and the subsequent success of Harouge Oil Company will largely depend on its general management. This will make sure all the company's endeavors are in line with its goals, business strategy and policy, and the overall structuring, planning, and control.