Trends in human resource management

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The corporate world is undergoing rapid evolution in terms of handling employees. Human Resource Management (HRM) is perhaps the most important asset of every organization that must be ready to handle the impacts of the changing work life. HR must demonstrate its readiness to understand the effects of globalization, cultural diversity among employees, knowledge improvement, corporate reorganizing, continuous improvement programs, decentralized workplaces and employee integration for a more sustainable business. HRM has to explore new trends in the market in order to remain up to the task of corporate development. This paper will explore the current trends in HRM and its connection to the Affordable Care Act.

Globalization

Current-day businesses are not limited within national boundaries; rather, they have a global outreach. The rapid expansion of multinationals imposes new demands on HRM. The HR units need to staff their organizations with the right mix of workers in terms of skills, knowledge, and cultural diversity in order to be sure to tackle global tasks. In order to achieve this objective, multinationals must constantly train their employees to counter and or adapt to the challenges brought by globalization. The staffs must possess viable knowledge of the global language and culture of each country they operate in in order to be sustainable (Sanders, Shipton, & Gomes, 2014).

The ideal current-day Human Resource Management (HRM) is under the obligation to create mechanisms that will enable culturally diverse individuals to work together. As background, language, traditions or age diversity become more common, it is evident that conflict among employees will rise. HRM must respond to threats of cultural conflict by training HR managers to be more adaptable to practices that work. Constant training is a proven way to improve employee understanding.

Corporate downsizing

Corporate downsizing is a common trend in the world today as it helps to limit cost. Whenever a company attempts to downsize, it is trying to improve efficiency. The primary reason behind downsizing is to limit the quantity of employees engaged by the organization in question. Every organization’s human resource management has a very vital function to execute in downsizing. HRM department have a duty to communicate to the relevant individuals affected by downsizing formally and in the best personal way possible to avoid hurting workforce cohesion before and after the event. They must limit the adverse impacts of rumors by keeping the entire workforce well updated with facts (Guo, & Al Ariss, 2015).

Decentralized workplaces

With the expansion of organizations across the world, work sites are increasingly getting more decentralized in order to improve service delivery (Sanders, Shipton, & Gomes, 2014). Telecommuting services that are part of today’s business activities have improved the ability of organizations to station staffs anywhere in the world. With this likelihood, employee staffs no longer consider finding employment or keeping one within their neighborhood a requirement. Telecommuting also enables business organizations a chance to relocate from a high cost neighborhood in order to improve profits.

According to Guo and Al Ariss (2015) decentralized workplaces also create opportunities that may satisfy the needs of the staffs working in far-flung areas. Staffs that have family roles or those who are disabled may find it easier to work from the comfort of their living rooms rather than move to the company’s premises. Despite minimized costs, decentralized work programs present a serious supervision challenge. The bulk of that challenge involves training supervisors in how to create the thresholds for quality work which should be met within the required deadlines. Work done in “small office home office” is a trend that requires a rethinking of the remuneration policy. Payment can be made on the basis of work done, hourly, or monthly depending on the nature of the tasks.

Employee involvement

For today’s businesses to be sustainable there are many employee involvement theories that work. These are duty delegation, integrated management, team work, goal setting, staff training and empowerment (Guo, & Al Ariss, 2015). HRM has a tremendous role to execute in employee participation. What is important is strong leadership anchored on employee support. Employees require training and that is where HRM has an imperative role to facilitate their imparting with the relevant skills that can improve their level of productivity even in the wake of stiff competition. Employee involvement encompasses delegation of duties, the handling of anticipated risks such as turnover, and the sharpening of their teamwork skills. As such, involving employees in the running of an organization requires continuous, holistic approach to training. Training in communication skills, for example, is a proven way to improve effective participation in teamwork (Gillon, Braganza, Williams, & McCauley-Smith, 2014).

Technology

Technology is also an important area that has affected human resources management. With the existing technological growth and its rapid growth in to the future, it has integrated new ways of supervising and limiting the number of staffs or enhancing their training to operate the tools more effectively (Guo, & Al Ariss, 2015). Several automated systems have been created to improve the work of HRM by simplifying HR functions such as recording reporting time or data processing. In addition, the paper trail are rapidly being substituted by digital records on clouds, which are accessible by the designated staffs from anywhere around the world. These systems have simplified bulk data handling, processing and storage by ridding the physical trays of unnecessary paperwork (Tacchino, 2014). What HRM is geared towards is keeping the confidentiality of the staff records, and therefore it is keen on having to prepare the staffs in ways to operate such computer systems.

Effects of the Affordable Care Act on HRM

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the commonest debated topics in current-day employee cover. The ACA was drafted to guarantee every US citizen health cover at reasonable cost. In spite of the intent of the drafters, it has received both approvals and condemnation from political quarters and insurers respectively. Employers are also grappling with its impacts. The Act will affect all individuals’ lives, including managing human resources remuneration. ACA has institutionalized the need to offer employees insurance cover. It has also restricted the benefits on other remuneration charges Cooper, & Gardner, 2016).

Requirement to offer cover

The requirement to provide every employee insurance cover is arguably the most controversial provision of the Act that most large organizations are now grappling with. The general principle is that any organization that employs 50 or more staffs is required to provide their permanent employees with a health cover. In many aspects, previously, organizations would either not offer a health cover program to their staffs, or they would merely provide it to only those who meet the stringent thresholds (Jackson, & Debroux, 2016). If sufficient cover is not guaranteed, HR managers ought to start working quickly to develop a new program that is in line with the business capacity and complies with the thresholds set within the law.

Restrictions on Payroll Changes

Another new development brought by ACA in HR management is that HR managers should prepare themselves on the restrictions on particular benefits accrued to persons and other remuneration charges. From 2013, year-end tax reports are deemed incomplete without listing the sum of money that an organization spent on employee cover. In cases where extreme health cover is reported, the government reserves the right to apply tax on it. In addition, individuals who capitalize on flexible expenditure accounts are now aware that they are fixed at $2,500 annually and those persons whose earnings exceed $200,000 annually are remitting a higher amount of their earnings to Medicare (Garner, 2016).

An informed workforce

Another key aspect of the ACA impacting HR management is that HR managers are now obligated to inform and create awareness of various ACA provisions among their employees. The awareness should include the benefits they stand to gain and what the law allows them to do. The information includes what the former health cover options were and what a staff is expected to remit in order to enjoy their benefits (Candura, & Williams, 2000). In addition, employees should also be aware of what percentage of the cover the organization should settle. In addition, employees are expected to enhance employee awareness of the legal thresholds they must meet in order to obtain their own cover if they opt not to sign the insurance plan offered by the organization.

Conclusion

Human Resource Management is currently being impacted by globalization, decentralized work, cultural diversity and globalization. The ideal organization must be prepared to not only appreciate these changes but align their processes with the prevailing modern culture. Employee training plays a pivotal role in improving workforce cohesion within multinationals. The Affordable Care Act also impacts HR management by requiring large organizations to provide cover for their permanent employees. The Act requires every organization to inform and create more awareness of the provisions of the Act among the employees as a way to improve corporate compliance and extend more corporate benefits to deserving employees.

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  2. Cooper, R.W. & Gardner, L.A. (2016). Extensive Changes and Major Challenges Encountered in Health Insurance Markets under the Affordable Care Act. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 70(5), 53-71.
  3. Garner, J.C. (2016). The Top 10 ACA Traps for the Unwary. Benefits Magazine, 53(9), 22-26.
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  5. Guo, C. & Al Ariss, A. (2015). Human resource management of international migrants: current theories and future research. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(10), 1287-1297.
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  7. Sanders, K., Shipton, H., & Gomes, J.F.S. (2014). Guest Editors’ Introduction: Is the HRM Process Important? Past, Current, and Future Challenges. Human Resource Management, 53(4), 489-503.
  8. Tacchino, A. (2014). The New Employee Landscape Post Affordable Care Act: What Advisors need to know. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 68(2), 30-33.
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