Workforce Flexibility

Topics: Full-time, Employment, Labor Pages: 8 (3133 words) Published: July 14, 2013
Topic: Flexibility within the workforce is essential to maintain a competitive advantage. Discuss this statement with reference to an organization of your choice 1. Introduction:
Human resource is one of the most important factors that decides the survival and success of a company. Like every department in a company, Human resource management needs to modify frequently during time to adapt to the continuous changes in external environment. The external changes are as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (2011) stated: Population aging, a strong economy, and historically low unemployment pose new challenges in terms of skill and labor shortages, productivity, and worker retention. Furthermore, high female labor force participation rates, the predominance of the dual-earner family, and emerging trends such as elder care make work–family balance a major personal challenge for many workers. This leads to the change in Human Resource management which is about workforce flexibility. There is an idea claiming that flexibility within workforce is essential to maintain competitive advantages of company. In my opinion, it is proper. Though flexibility has its own downsides, in general, flexibility always prove the irreplaceable role in keeping the company survive in changing environments and does help maintain company’s competitive advantages. The following argumentative essay is to support the idea above. 2. Definition workforce flexibility:

Before knowing the power of workforce flexibility, it is necessary to have an idea of it. According to John D. Keiser and Gerald R. Ferris (n.d), workforce flexibility refers to an organization's ability to adapt its human resources in a manner appropriate to increasingly changing environmental conditions (Blackwell reference online, n.d). It can be understood that in a continuously and increasingly changing environment, companies and organizations have to be flexible in many aspects including labor force to adapt and survive in harsh surrounding. For example, there are a growing number of women participating in economy as well as other departments such as politics, society, and education. As a result, women have strong representation in the national economy (online women in politics, 2012). However, women still have to well-perform their responsibility as a mother, a wife in a family. They then are put in to a challenging situation of maintaining their work-life balance scale. Going to markets, getting to work hard at company for promotion, picking up children, cooking, tidying, and getting out for relaxation or relationship building may all be on daily to-do list of nowadays women. In Human resource’s view, this means the HR managers need to create an environment in which women can both accomplish their working goals and complete their family duty because there is for sure a declining trend of working efficiency if the manager keeps on forcing their labor to function on timely rigidity basis. In other words, it is always essential for organizations and companies to recognize and adapt the changes in external factors in order to create a more flexible environment for human resource to achieve the highest performance level at work. Another definition of work force flexibility is: Labor market flexibility is the degree to which a company is able to modify its labor force to maximize productivity (investinganswers, n.d). This statement is easier to understand which imply the same meaning to the first definition. However, this one adds one more important factor which is productivity maximization. As explaining from an example above, creating a flexible workplace in which employees find it easier to complete work and personal commitments. Employers will not experience overload situation on one side (e.g. work), time-thirst on the other side (e.g. family) which consequently leads to stress and decreasing productivity. Therefore, productivity maximization is a key advantage that the...
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