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HR Management Issues in Canada and France Term Paper

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Updated: Mar 9th, 2022

Any country highly values human capital which is the most important input into the day-to-day operations. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that each and every employee is satisfied with the conditions of work so that the employee can deliver to the maximum.

As a result, companies that have invested in better human resource management have advanced more besides getting the best output out of their employees. Human resource management is concerned with the general welfare of the employees as well as the relationship between employees and employers. However, they way human resource is handled differ from one country to another.

While other countries prefer participatory kind of human resource, others have autocratic type of management. Even where the type of management is the same, some principles are different. Since France and Canada are in different continents, the way human resource management is handled in these two countries is different.

The first factor that is compared when people are looking at international human resource management is job design and analysis. Job design refers to the description of roles and duties of each person in an organization (Jackson, 2002). On the other hand, job analysis refers to the acts of deciding the specific job requirements by keenly looking into existing conditions.

This can be done in order to make decisions such as recruitment or the type of training that existing employee need to undergo to enhance output. In Canada, job designs are formulated using National occupation Classification (NOC) as a guideline. In this regard, the job design explains the title of the job, fully outlines the task to be accomplished as well as the description of the conditions under which one will work (Catano, 2009)).

It is important to note that employers are required to explain in detail any extra requirements. The job descriptions are used by human resource managers to determine when extra training or development is required.

However, research is done to collect information about a given job and determine what exactly is required. Job design is then developed for each organization depending on the feedback collected from the survey.

It is important to note that continuous survey is conducted to know when specific job requirements change for example due to technological improvement to evaluate the type of training required at that particular point in time. Working conditions are very crucial in France because the French are very sensitive on how they are treated (Lawler & Hundley, 2008).

Moreover, they hate too much explanation on job description which they interpret to be an insult on their intelligence. Consequently, human resource managers need to be very discreet when outlining the working conditions and take into consideration the culture of people.

Arguably, one of the most important roles of human managers is to forecast on future human capital needs of the organization and take the necessary actions. Human resource planning should therefore entail forecasting the changes expected in the job market and how the organization should prepare for the same.

It is important to note that human resource planning involves making changes in an organization. While in Canada a human resource manager can make that important decision of determining what needs to be done and initiate the process, in France employees need to be informed of what is happening and give suggestion (Jackson, 2002).

The French do not like issues that are imposed on them and will therefore rebel if any idea is introduced without them being asked to participate in the decision making process. However, the French do not like the idea of setting personal goals and will therefore require management to outline what is expected.

On the other hand, Canadians only need to be guided and they will set their own goals and work to fulfill them. Therefore, human resource planning in Canada unlike that of France requires the manager to only guide employees on what is expected.

Continuous training and development is quite critical for any organization because it improves output. In Canada, each employee stands an equal chance of being selected and trained. If training on a particular issue is organized, all employees concerned are allowed to attend. However, it should be noted that this is a private initiative especially for private firms.

As a result, a firm is free to choose when and how to organize for the training. Moreover, it is upon a firm to determine how it will fund the training programs (Zanko, 2003). It should be noted that the government has implemented Acts that demand that any employee should not be discriminated when it comes to giving opportunities for training and development.

On the other hand, the government of France has made it compulsory that firms should set aside a stipulated amount of money to be used for employee training and development. As a result, all firms conduct trainings at a given period. However, French firms have specific training programs and target groups.

Employees who are considered as being highly potential are selected and trained. Firms have specific vacancies for this group of people and consider them easy to train (Lawler & Hundley, 2008). This is aimed at reducing the costs of training. Moreover, unlike in Canada, psychological growth and development is not considered part of training and development.

Human resource management in Canada is designed in a manner that ensures that each employee has the opportunity of being promoted. The criteria and policies of promotion are very open and clear to every employee. It is therefore based on merit and carrier qualification. As a result, carrier development is very competitive as each employee works hard to earn promotion.

In this regard, carrier development is more of a personal initiative than it is an organizational affair. Continuous self-development is highly encouraged. Employees are given the motivation to learn on their own free will through self-managed learning programs (Sparrow, 2010). In France however, promotion policies are still seen as very secretive.

Though job satisfaction is high, employees are not very confident that promotions are on merit. This is due to the fact that carrier development is very structural. Almost all firms have authoritative skill development programs which employees are supposed to adhere to.

Employees are not empowered to work their way up the ladder. Though surveys are carried out to know individual carrier development requirements, the inflexible training programs do not allow every employee’s need to be catered for. Nevertheless, there is emphasis on corporate vision and core values (Lawler & Hundley, 2008).

Regulation is an important aspect in the business world. Employee and employer relationships are guided by various policies (Punnett, 2012). The bodies that dictate these guidelines differ from country to country due to uniqueness in culture. Canada is a capitalistic country where forces of the market are left to determine demand and supply. Consequently, government intervention in many issues is minimal.

The same is the case with the labor market. The government has only the basic regulations on how employers and employees carry out their business. Only the federal workers are under increased federal laws. However, private firms negotiate their terms of employment with labor unions. It is important to note that a significant number of employees belong to labor unions giving them high bargaining power.

On the contrary, French government has in place several policies that regulate how employers treat their employees. Employees are protected by the governmental laws making many of them reluctant of joining labor unions. As a result, France has a very minimal percentage of its work force being members of labor unions. This makes the unions a little bit weak compared to those of Canada (Edwards, 2007).

Nevertheless, in both countries labor unions can call for strikes of their members and demand that employers address certain issues. It is important to note that there is no law in both countries that prohibits this type of industrial action.

As far as recruitment and selection of new employees is concerned, the two countries have some common point. To begin with, both countries want to get the best employees and professional qualification is a basic necessity. Firms ensure that they have adequate advertisements to convince people that they are employers of choice.

This is meant to ensure that employees applying for jobs whenever vacancies are announced will be the best in the society. Job description is also given priority during recruitment to ensure that employees selected share values with the firm. Moreover, firms have departments dedicated to ensuring that recruitment and selection are done in line with regulations laid down by the firm (Belout, Dolan & Saba, 2001).

Nevertheless, there are some notable differences. While strict adherence to the company’s values is considered when recruiting employees in Canada, the French emphasize on professional qualifications. On the same note, age is very crucial in employee selection in France. Many people are employed a little late while the government and other firms want employee below 26 years of age to undergo probation for two years.

On the contrary, age is not an issue provided one is over 18 years. In most instances, probation period in Canada is three months unless there are special conditions to dictate otherwise.

Most firms in Canada have interviews conducted in various stages beginning with telephone interview to ensure that any possible conflict between the new employees and the old ones is avoided. Moreover, Canadian employers can use job boards to search for the best employees something that is not very common in France (Catano, 2009).

Job orientation is highly valued in Canada because it helps in socializing new employees on the ways of operation of the firm. Without proper orientation probability of conflicts is high. Information flow in Canada is not as good as it is in France. Immediately an employee joins a firm in Canada, he or she is given a checklist that explains in details most of the issues that are necessary in the firm.

Moreover, co-workers are encouraged to take new employees on firm operations and ensure they get into the system without much trouble. The orientation process is very detailed in Canada to ensure that new employees get to know each and every aspect of the company before they can start working.

The process is divided into various sections which are carried out by different people who have enough knowledge in areas assigned to them (Catano, 2009). Mostly, senior employees are given the duty of inducting new employees because besides having vast experience on the subject matter, new employees will feel comfortable dealing with fellow employees instead of managers.

On the other hand, orientation is not very structured in France. Most of the information is passed by co-workers who are usually very willing to do it.

Health of workers is given priority in both countries. Workplace safety is essential and maximum precautions taken in that line. All necessary information regarding the dangers involved in any job description is outlined to the employee. It is the aim of human resource management department in the two countries to ensure that employees are well aware of the risks that they face in their line of duty.

Social issues being quite crucial in Canada, psychological growth and development is emphasized in Canada. Employees whose job duties have specific risks are given training on how to perform their duties and what to do in case of any accident or any other eventuality. Moreover, employees are trained to uphold dexterity whenever performing their duties.

It is important to note that unlike in France where the law regulating workplace safety is uniform throughout the country, in Canada the laws differ from place to place. This is because different cities have the mandate of instituting laws in their area that regulate how various issues are carried out (Belout, Dolan & Saba, 2001). Employees are given safety equipments where their job demands so.

Safety training is carried out regularly to enhance skills of people to dealing with emergencies. New employees are guided through the safety procedures first through observation and then by being involved in the process. In both countries, employees are given health insurance to cover them while they are working for either private firms or the government.

Over and above the benefits that are outlined in the employment contract, various employers give their employees extra benefits. These benefits are meant to increase the morale of employees and to also help in employee retention (MacCourt & Eldridge, 2003). In Canada, employees enjoy additional benefits which include extra health coverage than the one covered for in the initial contract.

Conditions covered include dental and sight plans. Moreover, employees can enjoy employee assistance plans which help in enhancing social life of employees either at work or at home. Furthermore, firms provide extra retirement plans to cater for the employee when they reach retirement age.

There are firms that give their employees transport services to and from workplaces. Furthermore, employees can get legal services from their firms though to a specific extent (Zanko, 2003). Additionally, many firms in Canada provide long term care insurance plans to their employees. All this is done to make employees feel valued so as to increase their output.

On the same note, France also has various extra benefits for their employees. This includes augmenting the health and welfare programs that are preliminary inline with the government requirement. Additionally, there are firms which design employee packages in a manner that will legally reduce the amount of tax employees are supposed to pay.

Since the French people need their voice to be heard, designing employee benefits to suit them is very crucial. As a result, some firms offer flexible benefits where employees are given the opportunity to choose the package that suits their needs (Lawler & Hundley). There are also enhanced opportunities of employees accessing other financial services.

Besides additional benefits that employees receive, it is important to have a reward system that is directly pegged on performance. This leads to strategic reward system that is very crucial in enhancing organizational output. These rewards need to also take into consideration the organization’s values to ensure that organization growth is achieved (MacCourt & Eldridge, 2003).

In France culture is important and any activity that is against the culture can meet a lot of opposition. Therefore, many human resource management departments have aligned their reward system with personal as well as team needs (Jackson, 2002). On the same note, the reward system has been differentiated according to different job requirements so that they can be effective across the board.

Similarly, employees are involved in the designing stage to ensure that the package arrived at is acceptable to all employees. On the same note, Canada implements strategic rewards where employees are rewarded according to their performance.

Firms come up with programs where each employee who increases his or her performance is rewarded in monetary terms or otherwise. Among the rewards that are common in Canada is extra money above the normal wages.

Additionally, employees are taken to vacations either individually or as a family with expenses catered for by the firm (Belout, Dolan & Saba, 2001). Another common system is subsidized shopping in specific outlets.

The world has become so much integrated that it is practically impossible to operate without people from other countries. On the same note, there is increased awareness regarding gender equality in any workplace. In this regard, both countries have a lot of people from various countries working in various capacities.

However, France has many of its foreigners from countries that were once its colonies. This is because most of the people from French colonies can easily assimilate into France culture and language is not a barrier.

Nevertheless, there are people from various parts of the world though they find it rough initially especially because of language. Canada on the other hand has people from all over the world working in various sectors. Regarding gender balance, both countries have done well and this is not a problem (Ayacar & Kanungo, 2008).

Managing people requires understanding their behavior in various scenarios. In doing this, it becomes quite crucial to be fully aware of the cultural setting in which the firm is operating. France and Canada are located in different geographical places. Consequently, they have divergent cultures and their people have been socialized in different ways.

Therefore, methods that can be used to manage people from these two backgrounds will definitely have to be different. However, it is important to note that due to the wave of globalization, some aspects of human resource management have to be harmonized across all countries.

In this regard, there are several issues of human resource management that are similar in Canada and France. Nonetheless, human beings need motivation and favorable working conditions to perform. The better employees are managed, the higher the job satisfaction and consequently the higher the output.

References

Belout, A., Dolan, L. & Saba, T. (2001). Trends and emerging practices in human resource management – The Canadian scene. International Journal of Manpower, 22(3), 207 – 215.

Catano, V. M. (2009). Recruitment and Selection in Canada. Stanford: Cengage learning.

Edwards, K. (2007). International Human Resource Management. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Educational.

Jackson, T. (2002). International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishers.

Lawler, J. J. & Hundley, G. S. (2008). Global Diffusion of Human Resource Practices: Institutional and Cultural Limits. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.

MacCourt, W. & Eldridge, D. (2003). Global Human Resource Management: Managing People in Developing and Transnational Countries. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Price, T. (2011). Human Resource Management. Stanford: Cengage Learning.

Punnett, B. J. (2012). International Perspectives on Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management. Haverhill: M.E. Sharpe.

Sengupta, N. (2007). International Human Resource Management. Manchester: Excel Books India.

Sparrow, P. (2010). Handbook of International Human Resource Management: Integrating people, Process, and Context. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Zanko, M. (2003). The Handbook of Human Resource Management Policies and Practices In Asia-Pacific Economies. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

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