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Food industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of Chinese economy. The food industry has been a matter of interest for a large amount of people attracting them to begin their career and achieve higher positions in this fast growing industry. This trend is not only observed in China, but also across the whole world. The human resource department performs a powerful role in a Food Industry in shaping an employee to deliver maximum output in developing a job description and performance standards. The human resource department is also involved in evaluating performance standards by diagnosing weaker points of employees, imparting effective training and playing a monitoring role. Effective training and development activities are extremely essential in order to impart abilities, knowledge and skills to employees. All organizations consider training a basic element of success and a powerful tool in the food industry, especially when launching a new product in the market.

Invariably, human resource management issues have been a prime concern for all managers because they help achieve their objectives involving the efforts of others, which demand the efficient and effective management of people. The spacious array of HRD activities starts with planning, recruitment, selection, and training, but further extends to analyzing jobs, planning labor needs, selecting people, orienting and training, managing compensation, communicating that includes disciplining and counseling and establishing employee commitment.

Besides other activities are ensuring fair treatment, evaluating performance, ensuring health and safety of employees, maintaining and building good relationships with employees; handling grievances and complains on occupational safety and health, compliance to human rights and other legislations that regulate the workplace. Irrespective of the area of expertise, from production control to marketing and accounting, acquiring knowledge about workers’ rights and responsibilities assures that effective HRM practices equip all managers with knowledge, which enables them to perform more effectively.

Since my small business project is based on distribution and marketing of imported food products in China, implementation of best practices of HRM is essential for recognition of an entirely new product in Chinese market.

Definition of HRM

In their definition Bratton and Gold, explain HRM as the strategic approach to manage employment activities, which emphasizes on leveraging employees’ capabilities as crucial to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. The latter is achieved through implementation of a distinctive set of employment policies, programs and HRM processes. The authors explained HRM processes as planning, recruitment and selection, performance evaluations, development, reward management, employee relationships, health and safety, and managing relations with unions. Besides, to Alan Price, HRM focuses at hiring capable, flexible and committed employees, rewarding and managing their performance and enhancing key competencies.

1. Development of Needs Analysis of HRM Practices in the Context of New Businesses

The significance of HRD while launching a new product with an effective approach adopted by a company to achieve the established goals demonstrate needs analysis of best HRM practices and its successful implementation.

1.1The Role of Human Resource Department in Launching a New Company

Small and especially new organizations, with limited opportunities, limited resources and unexplored markets, must utilize each facility available for enhancing performance to ensure their existence. Although, several human resource management practices are championed that lead to firm improvement or survival, insufficient research in this field revolves around small businesses. Small firms have been poked and prodded, and examined, but still a little is known regarding their management capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. In a field of operational management, there is an abundance of managerial skills, but, if small companies are creating new jobs and recruiting new employees, the best viable option to begin with would be precise understanding of human resource management. HRM also has value because it offers an interface between the employer and the company’s current employees.

1.2 HRM is Vitally Important in New Organization

HRM is vitally significant in a new organization, especially when a company intends to launch a new imported food product because of several factors such as unknown market, consumers’ acceptability, existing rival products and market potential. Universally, HRM is a series of several incorporated decisions, which constitute the employment relationship. Whether these decisions are effective and consistent with one another directly they impact the competence of the organization and its workers in achieving the objectives set. The entire chain of HR mix incorporates the following activities: planning and recruiting, training and development, employee relations and compensation, as well as work structure. Each of these seven, in turn, includes several sub-concepts. Managing employees of the food sector related business is different from other businesses, since this business is solely consumer oriented and motivated. Food business marketing and services are extremely complicated as it directly concerns with the health of consumers. In the beginning, the consumers hesitate to accept the new food product even though new product satisfies all the parameters as well as provides a series of other benefits; as such, the company needs to consider individual preferences of each customer. Moreover, this entrepreneurship company is launched with limited resources restricting expensive promotional campaigns such as television and mass media; hence an effective HRM will well equip the team force with marketing tools to achieve positive results.

The human resource department performs a powerful role in helping plan the system for developing a job description and performance standards. HR specialists are usually assigned to conduct job analysis and draw job descriptions in coordination with concerned managers and employees. The HRD is not usually involved in the formulation of performance standards, but conducts a diagnostic, training and monitoring role. The role of HRD in job design is almost indirect, although job design impacts almost every process of human resources management. This department diagnoses organizational problems suggesting job redesign, integrating information on job design by training development programs, and develops job redesign programs to make sure that sound human resources policies are implemented. Further, the department consistently modifies job descriptions to modify recruitment, staffing, selection, training, compensation, career planning and other development processes that demand consistency with any job redesign program.

1.3 Goal of Human Resource Management

The objective of HRM is to maximize contributions of employees in order to derive optimal productivity and efficiency while at the same time attaining individual and societal goals. As observed, the function of HRM incorporate assisting the company in attracting the quantity and quality of people required with regard to the company’s staffing needs, strategy and operational goals, and desired culture. HRD extends coordination to establish performance standards and enhance productivity through training, orientation, development, job design, performance appraisal and effective communication. It helps to establish an environment in which workers receive encouragement to improve and utilize their skills to the best. Further, establishing and maintaining cordial working relationship with workers by creating safe and healthy work environment is one of the prime goals of HRM. HRD also assists in development of programs to meet psychological, social and economic needs of the employees; thus, assisting to retain productive workers and making sure that the organization adheres to provincial/territorial laws influencing the work place such as employment equity, human rights, and health and safety measures.

2. Processes Involved in Achievement of Goals

This section illustrates the processes required in accomplishing the HRM functions, which are: planning, staffing, selection, training, orientation and performance appraisal.

Planning process to recruit measure and maintain entrepreneurial employees

 Planning process or in other terms employment planning reviews staffing requirements to make sure that an organization has the desired number of workers, with the necessary skills, to achieve its objectives. Planning is a proactive process that anticipates and impacts the company future by consistently predicting the demand and supply of workers under the changing conditions and formulating plans and activities to meet these needs. The key steps comprise of: forecasting demand for a worker, considering organizational strategic and tactical goals, market and competitive trends, economic conditions, demographic trends, technological changes and societal concerns.

Recruitment process

Recruitment process involves searching and attracting sufficient number of qualified job seekers, from whom the company may select the most suitable to fulfill its staff requirements. The process starts when the need to fill a job vacancy is identified and HRD receive resumes and completed application forms from candidates. The result gives a number of qualified people from which the best matching the job requirements can be selected. The stages in the recruitment process involve identifying job openings, determining job requirements, choosing suitable staffing resources and techniques, and finally, creating a pool of qualified job seekers. Job openings are identified through a request from concerned department or human resource planning department. Next step is to decide the job requirements. This encounters reviewing the job specification and job description and updating them, in case of need. Suitable for the particular recruitment process recruiting sources and techniques are selected from a range of techniques. Hence, the most appropriate technique for any given vacancy depends upon a number of factors that include organizational plans and policies for job requirements.

Selection process

Selection process involves choosing of the right candidates with the appropriate qualifications to comply with the vacancies opened. The required information and data regarding the candidates and their current employers; whether the candidates are looking for a promotion or transfer; the candidates seeking for their first job are collected and assessed. The stages in the selection process, in the ascending order involve: preliminary reception of candidates, initial screening, selection testing, interview, credentials and reference checking, interview at supervisory level, realistic job previews, implementing the staffing decision, notification and assessing the selection process. However, each stage in the recruitment process, from preliminary reception of application and initial screening to the staffing decision, is conducted under legal and organizational environmental constraints, which safeguard the interests of both an organization and an applicant.

Orientation, training and development

Orientation is the process that acquaints new employees with general background information about the company and the job. It is more or less, viewed as one element of the new-employee socialization process in the company. Socialization is a continuous process of instilling in employees the standards, prevailing attitudes, patterns and values of behavior that an organization expects. However, training is the process of imparting the knowledge of basic skills and competencies to new employees needed to carry out their job responsibilities. Whereas training emphasizes on competencies and skills required for carrying out employees’ current jobs, employee development training is the ongoing process and becomes effective as and when desired by the company. The goal is preparing current and new employees for future job assignments with the organization or resolving organizational problems, for instance, poor interdepartmental communication. Training and development plans demand analysis, instructional design, implementation, validation, evaluation of an employee, as well as job assignment with consistent follow up.

Career planning and development

It is a designed process through which an employee becomes aware of career growth related concepts and the lifelong activities that contribute to his/her career fulfillment. Managers, individuals, and the organization play a key role in career development. Organization accepts the responsibility of employees’ careers, evaluate interests, value, and skills; thus, obtain career information and resources that enable an organization to establish goals in career planning by providing development opportunities. The career stage identification involves career cycle i.e. the phases through which an employee career undergoes. These stages are: development, exploration and decline phases. Occupational orientation identification theory by John Holland enumerates six key personal orientations, which ascertain the type of careers to which individuals are attracted. They include: investigative orientation, realistic orientation, social orientation, enterprise orientation, conventional orientation, and artistic orientation.

Performance appraisal

Performance appraisal is a systematic procedure that includes setting work standards, evaluating worker’s actual performance with respect to these standards and offering feedback to the worker with the aim to motivate and remove performance deficits or to continue perform above par. Performance appraisal process incorporates three stages: defining performance expectations, evaluating performance and offering feedback. First, defining performance expectation entails that standards of job duties are clear to all workers and executives. Second, evaluating performance implies comparing actual performance of employees to the standards that have been set by an organization, which usually involves rating form. Third, performance appraisal needs regular feedback sessions to discuss workers’ progress and performance and design plans for any desired development. Some of the widely practiced appraisal techniques include graphic rating scale, 360 degree appraisal, alternation ranking, forced distribution, critical incident and paired comparison methods.

Employee Benefits and Compensation process

Employee compensation incorporates all kinds of rewards or pay accrued to employees arising from their employment. However, it consists of the two key components: direct payments and indirect payments. The direct financial payments are in the shape of salaries, wages, incentives, bonuses and commissions; whereas indirect payments consist of financial benefits such as employer sponsored insurance, vacations and medical reimbursements. Besides, legal considerations in compensation influenced by unions, equity and compensation policies and its influence on pay rates offers four prime considerations impacting the formation of pay plan. The other indirect financial payments in the form of benefits offered to employees may include health and life insurance, education for children of employees, pension and discounts on company products. Besides, medical benefits to in case of accidents/ illness regardless of fault constitute a part of the employees’ compensation. The process of ascertaining pay rates consists of the following four steps: First, performing salary/wages survey to establish the current wage rates for jobs that are comparable with job pricing. Secondly, establish the job evaluation (relative worth of a job) by differentiating the job content with respect to another job in terms of responsibility, efforts and skills. Thirdly, grouping of jobs that are similar into pay grades, a pay grade consists of jobs of nearly equal value as determined by the job evaluation. Fourthly, price each pay grade by applying wage curves. A wage curve denotes graphical presentation of the relationship between the job value and the average wage paid for any job. In case grouping of jobs is not carried into pay grades then it becomes essential to assign individual pay rates to each job.

3. Essential Elements for Planning Organizational Growth- an evaluation of human resource capabilities

Planning for organizational growth and assessing human resource capabilities for sustainability of business or development through instilling the motivation in employees and training them to enhance their caliber is one of the key functions of HRM which contributes to organizational success.

Motivation

All organizations search for better techniques in order to achieve sustained high levels of employees’ performance. The focus revolves around on how individuals can best be motivated through such means as rewards, incentives, training and leadership and, much significantly, the efficiency of work they perform in the organizational context. The goal is to develop motivation and create a work environment, which will assist an organization to ensure that employees deliver results according to expectations of management. Motivation theory is widely practiced in HRM. It explains why individuals at work place behave in the way in terms of their efforts, directions, and guidance they are following. It suggests what efforts organizations can undertake to encourage employees to utilize their abilities in such a manner that will lead to the achievement of the organization’s objectives as well as fulfill their own needs. It also relates to job satisfaction and the factors, which impact job performance. This theory is implemented in an organization with an aim to obtain added value through the employees in the sense that the value of their efforts exceeds the cost of generating. Unfortunately, approaches to motivation are too often supported by simplistic suppositions about how it works. The systematic process to bring motivation is much more complicated than many people believe. People have different needs, establish different goals to satisfy those needs and undertake different actions to achieve those goals. It will not be worthwhile to assume that one approach to motivation suits all. Hence, all the assumptions, which underlie belief in the virtues of performance based pay as a means of offering a motivational incentive, are simplistic. Motivational practices can function effectively if an organization can anticipate the attitude of employees in its working environment.

Development of an Employee

In this core of HR strategy, the food industry demands that each employee must be trained and work with in a team to demonstrate efficient performance; the strategy involves the sub strategies of technical and interactive skills to empower the employees promoting teamwork. Hence, my new business project will much emphasize on training, development and empowering an employee. Training for interactive and technical skills means providing workers with current training in the required technical knowledge or interactive skills. Formal and informal training programs, on the job training, as well as online learning, are offered to employees to develop leadership skills and improve people management skills, listening skills, problem solving skills, time management skills, communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork skills, and customer relationship skills, which help the employees as well as the organization to achieve the objectives at much faster rate. 

Training through knowledge sharing at seminars, can also promote career development opportunities, and can be considered a long- term investment in the organization's asset. Empowering employees with tools and authority further enables employees to resolve customer problems effectively. In customer oriented organizations employees possess the authority to resolve all customer issues with their line managers and provide feedback of ongoing competition in the market. Thus, training motivates them to use their empowerment for problem solving.

Empowerment within the organization is often misunderstood. Many managers believe that by empowering employees, they entrust the responsibility to control and lead the organization, which is not in reality. Empowerment is a consummation of several ideas and beliefs of employee satisfaction, which are analyzed frequently in human resource practices. For an organization to encourage employee empowerment, the managers need effective communication and trust employees. Effective employee communication demonstrates the powerful display of employee empowerment in an organization. Managers need to demonstrate their willingness to translate every aspect of business activities to the employees in an honest and open manner. This communication may involve financial performance, components of the strategic plan, daily decision making and key performance indicators.

Whereas empowerment has been defined in several ways, it usually demonstrates the process of empowering an employee to think, act, react and manage his/her job in a more independent way, so as to manage his/her own destiny. Effective and efficient employee empowerment renders not only positive developments in employee satisfaction, but also offers several organizational aspects, such as member retention and member service.

Empowering employees’ furthers organizational encouragement of entrepreneurial traits initiates employees  take action and make decisions as well as nurtures their belief that they can manage their own destinies. This belief encourages to self-motivation and a pride of independence that is transformed into greater loyalty and long run effort for the organization. Empowered employees believe that they manage their own success through their hard work and efforts, which in turn provides the success to the entire organization.

Conclusion

There is no precise and accurate definition of human resource management. However, according to the common outlook settled by many academicians and HR professionals,  HRM is more closely associated with business strategy than staffing management. Human resource processes begin by planning personnel requirements. This incorporates resource specification, forecasting demand and supply of workers, long range planning, recruiting, candidate’s qualification, training programs, salary, contract type, costs analysis and other job related issues. Other key human resource processes include hiring, selecting, performance evaluation, orientation and training, career development, and compensation benefits. According to HRM practices, an employee is a key asset to an organization; hence, building loyalty and motivating him/her is a main function of HR department that ultimately benefits the organization. By displaying a career growth path to an employee with an effective training to achieve meaningful goals reinforced with job satisfaction and monetary compensation will lead to retain them for a longtime.

Code: Sample20

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