Issues Involved When You Try to Take a Strategic Approach to Human Resource Management and Development

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This essay is going to define strategic human resource management and development (SHRM/D) and briefly mention why this concept is important for organizations, I will then briefly mention other underlying concepts about strategic people management, and then go to the core of the essay and discuss the issues that are involved when we try to take a strategic approach to human resource management and development(HRM/D).Lastly I shall conclude by giving the extent to which my organization’s experience agrees to the issues discussed. PostBank Uganda (PBU) which I work for is a government owned bank and all my illustrations will be drawn from therein.

SHRM as defined by Armstrong (2008:33-35) is an approach that defines how the organization’s goals will be achieved through people by means of Human Resource (HR) strategies and integrated HR policies and practices. This definition focus on how people are managed in order for them to be able to achieve organization’s objectives, however there must be policies and practices which manifest themselves into the culture of the entity and above all there must be HR strategies which are linked to the overall strategy. The definition however under shadows the issue of development in achieving organizational goals. It’s too simplistic to blanket development in the definition because development involves individual learning & growth which helps employees acquire knowledge, skills, attitude (KSA) plus competences necessary to drive business. These issues however have to focus on the long term perspective of the organization.

Why SHRM/D is important for organizations: Adopting SHRM/D is very critical if an organization wants to realize its vision and mission. Not withstanding the divergent views of SHRM/D concepts the following are the importance of SHRM/D as guided in 1.Generates organizational capability by ensuring that the organization has the skilled, engaged, committed and well motivated employees it needs to achieve sustained competitive advantage. If we examine the research carried out by Ramgutty-Wong and McCourt (2003) the case of Mauritius Civil Service. We realize that there is little identifiable performance improvement or even organizational efficiency because of so many hindrances to SHRM/D compared to the case study by Johnson, G and Scholes, K (1997) IKEA a Swedish company that had long term strategies to change the bottom line of the company. In PBU between 1998-2002 there was no strategic focus and it saw the bank make continuous losses. There after when there was a sense of direction through the design of the vision and mission the bank slowly registered profits. 2.Ensures that HR strategies support the achievement of business strategies, this is achieved through the alignment of HR strategies with organizational strategies. The principle of alignment is that every aspect of an organization’s activities should be integrated and pull in the same direction, as examined by Linda, H (1999:87-88).In PBU whatever strategies that are made have to have the support of the HR unit activities e.g. We have a strategy to diversify the banks products and we are going into agricultural lending, in order to achieve this strategy HR had to identify relevant competences, train and deploy. This is in line with the HR strategy of empowering employees with knowledge and skills through training. 3.Provides a sense of direction in an often turbulent and competitive business world. If an Organization practices SHRM/D there is continuous review of strategies for example in PBU when government of Uganda licensed over eight banks to operate we had to review our strategy from giving affordable services to increasing outreach. 4.Encourages employee involvement which creates commitment, ownership and motivation which helps drive performance this is in agreement with Walton, R (1985:78-79)

After looking at the brief importance of SHRM/D I now turn to...
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