Many organizations operating in the global market contend that strategic initiatives are important in ensuring that an organization gains success both in the short-term and in the long-term. The HR department within any organization is established to handle issues that relate to employees such as enhancing motivation and conflict resolutions.
The noble functions of HR within an organization are inspired by the perceptions that people working for any organization act as the source of competitive advantage especially by noting that they cannot be optimized using economic theories in the same manner as other factors of production such as capital and land (Ollapally & Bhatnagar, 2009).
With this argument in mind, the goal of this paper is to compare and contrast how HR approaches match with two main strategic initiatives of the Google Company, which are diversity and promotion of safety and health for workers.
All global organizations embrace diversity in their workforce. These organizations are inclined to the belief that employing people from diverse background give an organization an advantage since it develops the capacity to tap and benefit from the wide range of talents and knowledge bases (Dessler, 2004). This means that an organization is able to innovate and create a wide array of products, which while traded in the global markets, translate into increased profitability.
Diversity is a strategic initiative for an organization to gain in terms of enhanced growth through increment of products base due to innovation that is brought up by people who possess different capabilities working together. Therefore, it is crucial to note that diversity also brings together people from different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, it has the impact of creating cultural conflicts.
To resolve these conflicts, the HR management approaches are important in helping to create a common organizational culture by helping employees to understand that different people have different abilities and beliefs and that these differences should not be permitted to influence the way they relate with one another (Ollapally & Bhatnagar, 2009).
The HR, being charged with the roles of maintaining employees’ discipline as prescribed by the HR approaches, matches with the strategic decision of an organization to apply diversity to enhance the success by treating any conflicts arising from cultural differences as acts of indiscipline and negation to comply with an established organizational culture.
As organizations diversify, the approaches deployed to address workforce management issues are critical in influencing the performance of an organization in the competitive market place. Dessler (2004) confirms, “The importance of diversity management has been communicated by academics and professionals alike, citing the many benefits of having a heterogeneous organization as opposed to homogeneous organization” (p.43).
A homogenous organization is a non-diversified organization while a heterogeneous one is diversified meaning that it employs people of varying backgrounds in terms of race, age, physical abilities, and geographical regions among others. Human resource has noble roles to play to ensure that such multiplicity does not influence the productivity of employees through diversity-instigated conflicts.
Cute management of workforce diversity has been acclaimed by many scholars as having the ability to improve workforce productivity, workforce engagement, fostering staff absenteeism, and increasing workforce turnover by about five folds (Dessler, 2004). Indeed, the HR bears the function of handling all issues influencing employees within an organization.
For instance, the Google Company recognizes that workforce diversity management is critical in the endeavor to increase the ability to address the various needs of the more assorted Google customer base. Particularly, Google gains from the varied view points of its sundry workforce in effect that such a workforce provides increased problem-solving capacities together with enhanced creativity levels.
This advantage is critical for the success of the organization in the future unknown dynamic business environment. In this context, it is possible that proper management of the Google Company’s workforce makes the organization gain immensely in the sense that it ends up establishing a central position in the competitive market. This strategy comprises the tactical imitative deployed by the company to maintain its continued growth in the competitive market.
In fact, establishing a match between strategic initiatives and the HR approaches has made the Google Company attain competitive advantage leading to the acquiring of a magnificent market share. Consequently, diverse workforce is not only appealing to the enhancement of the top organization’s talent but also attracts a wide range of customer patronage stemming from all persons who are interested in buying goods and services from any organization.
Another important strategic initiative of an organization, which matches with the HR approaches is the creation and maintenance of safe working environments within an organization. One of the noble roles of the HR is to enhance employees’ motivations and commitment to their organizational roles in the attempt to ensure that all employees collectively engage in activities that are aligned with the organizational goals and objectives.
Scholarly evidence reveals that the provision of safe working environments is positively correlated with motivation of employees (Pfeiffer & Gellar, 2003). Therefore, employees are less motivated while working in an environment they perceive as posing a danger to the safety of their lives.
Although the HR does not engage in the implementation of programs that enhance workforce safety directly, it participates indirectly in the formulation of such programs by presenting employees’ concerns relating to their safety.
Coincidentally, safety is one of incredible initiatives considered by different organizations to enhance the performance of employees (Pfeiffer & Gellar, 2003). The argument here is that the strategic initiatives for enhancing safety in the workplaces match with the approaches of HR.
Working conditions, which pose threats to the safety or occupational health of employees constitute one of the issues that may influence the performance of an organization. Many organizations that wish to ensure that they are successful in the long-term through the strategic initiative of focusing on employees as their most important resources for gaining competitive advantage endeavor to guarantee that occupational hazards are reduced besides minimizing manpower loss.
Pfeiffer and Gellar (2003) support this line of argument by further noting, “today, because of the recognition of the crucial importance of people, HRM in an increasing number of organizations has become a major player in developing strategic plans and facilitating changes within the organization” (p.8). One of such plans is looking for mechanisms of enhancing motivation of employees such as enhancing safety in the working environments within an organization.
In contrast, meeting the needs of employees with respect to the improvements they desire in their working environments involves establishing a compromise between the funding of activities that generate wealth for organizations and improvement of working environments. Hence, human resource may fail to establish a match between the strategic initiatives and its mandates within an organization.
Dessler, G. (2004). Management principles and practices for tomorrow’s leaders. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ollapally, A., & Bhatnagar, J. (2009). The Holistic Approach to Diversity Management: HR Implications. The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 44(3), 454-472.
Pfeiffer, E., & Gellar, S. (2003). Scared safe: How to use fear to motivate safety involvement. Occupational Health and Safety, 6(1), 6-10.