Advance human resource management
Sustainable HRM and Challenge 9
In this paper, firstly we are going to introduce what sustainable HRM is. In a society where today’s HRM practices create burnouts, demotivation, lack of engagement, we will discuss why a transition from HRM to sustainable HRM is necessary. Afterwards, as a part of our challenge, we will analyze different HR functions, how they are related to sustainable HRM and what changes are necessary.
If we understand sustainability based on the Brundtland Commission definition, a sustainable organization acts in a way that anticipates and takes into account its short and long-term needs of finite resources in the present decisions in order for the business to work smoothly over time. However, each of the organization’s functions has to ensure the sustainability of the whole system. Hence, HRM has a role to play in the convergence towards more sustainable companies. In order to contribute to the sustainable development of organizations as defined above, we believe HRM policies should switch toward more efficiency and responsibility, which would combine the ethical and moral conception of sustainability with the “business case” conception. This approach is justified by the two-way relationship between organizational and personal challenges, as human beings are much more complex than other kinds of resources.
On the one hand, people cycles diverge from other resources cycles: they need time and trainings to regenerate, develop, become more efficient, more productive and stay longer. Appropriate HR policies should meet these needs in order to reach more efficiency.
On the other hand, their productivity and retention highly depends on their level of motivation, which is influenced by the fitting to their job, career development prospects and recognition. Also, human beings bear rights and responsibilities (in this context, we refer to responsibility as the accountability of employees for the consequences of their own actions). But as we mentioned earlier, a sustainable organization also bears a responsibility towards its workforce. Here, the organization’s responsibility has to be understood as the moral obligation to behave correctly towards its employees and aims to bring a feeling of trust inside the organization; hence, a sustainable HRM system should include a CSR dimension. As a consequence, sustainability requires a balance between the employees’ own responsibilities toward the company and the corporate social responsibility which should respect their work-life balance and their work environment.
In today’s society, there’s a necessity for a transition from HRM to sustainable HRM. One of the main reasons for this is the side effects of today’s system on workers. With increasing globalization, competition, uncertainty of employment and team work, it’s noticed that high qualified workers suffer from work related stress, pressure, burnout, trust issues in work environment and health problems, as well as troubles balancing work and family life. For example, men are, in general, too involved in work life and not enough with their families whereas, women, in general are the contrary. Employees are treated as regular input that are exploited to a maximum and replaced once no longer competent, thus the pressure and stress reducing the quality of life. Treating humans as replaceable objects results in a lack of investment in them, therefore in their employability and this is an issue of sustainability, both for HRM and the whole organization; because human resources are what give a company one of most unique competitive advantages and a company who does not invest in...