Organization behavior concepts have taken an altogether different shape in the recent years. Employees have become quite aware, and they have a close eye on the happenings in the competitive world. The openness of policies and procedures make the situation quite troublesome for the top and middle-level management. In such a situation, keeping the morale flag flattering high is a big challenge. Moreover, when your organization is expanding at a rapid pace; HR managers have a real tough time.
Experts say that it is the time when HR managers should get rid of the stone-age concepts and fasten the belts for a turbulent time. Techniques that have been proven quite effective for a long time don’t leave any impact. HR should overhaul the concepts and ideas to match the challenges of tomorrow. When they are prepared well for the challenges, it becomes quite easy for HR managers to control the situation.
HR should wear the hat of Strategic Partner
HR is no longer a service function in an organization. Rather, it has emerged as the strategic partner of the senior leadership. It implements ideas and concepts driven by the top leaders. HR is the brand manager of the company today.
When the organization expands, it is a time when changes occur rapidly. It is the time when the organizational strength gets tested. It can survive the stress test only if HR manages the situation well. Statistics says that employees are under the maximum pressure during expansion. They are expected to double the output. It is very obvious that key resources start looking for other lucrative offers if they feel that they are not getting the treatment they deserve.
In such a scenario, workforce planning becomes exceedingly important. When HR managers put the best resource at the right place, pinpointed and precise; there is no scope of frustration or dissatisfaction.
Challenges that give sleepless nights to HR managers
When organizations expand rapidly, HR goes through waves of rapid transformations. Since the situation is pretty vibrant and unstable, they have to be proactive and alert. In such situation, they have to be ready for three most prominent challenges:
- During expansions, the financial condition of the company is quite unpredictable. There are pressures on the top and bottom lines. In such situation, keeping the team members enthusiastic is quite exigent. Sometimes, organizations have to take tough decisions of lay-off or retrenchment. The situation becomes worse in such scenario.
- During such turbulent times, grapevines are at the peak. People exchange valid or invalid information through every possible channel. HR managers have to take the pains of clarifying all doubts and fears. Experts say that keeping everyone appraised with the true condition is the right strategy. Following an ‘ostrich approach’ won’t work. Nevertheless, it is equally wrong to disclose every minute detail to the team members.
- Winning the confidence of employees is the third biggest challenge. While HR function acts as the strategic partner of the top management, it shouldn’t appear as the ‘agent’ of top management who wants to implement the agenda as fast as possible. It reduces the credibility of HR people. On the contrary, people should trust the HR function and feel it the custodian of their rights and well-being.
- During the expansion phase, HR should show a high degree of flexibility and business orientation. Since it is a happening time, changes occur very fast. Therefore, the responsiveness of HR function becomes a differentiating factor.
Points to ponder by HR managers when organizations expand
As mentioned earlier, changes happen pretty fast when organizations expand. There is a quick change needed in the way people are managed. An efficient HR team has the guts of doing it. The team gets quickly adapted to the new condition by making rapid change in the processes or procedures, that too without compromising the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are some important tidbits:
- When organizations expand, there is no change in the fundamental strategy, context or vision. Therefore, HR managers have to be vigilant and alert that the change in the processes or procedures should not intersect with the same. There should be no deviation from the purpose and values. Anticipating early signs of such deviation and altering strategy accordingly would be the biggest task of HR managers.
- Resource management becomes a sensitive thing during the expansion. Especially, small or novice organizations face more challenge than the seasoned ones. The reason is; they do not have explicit policies drafted. In large organizations, things are pretty structured. With a perfect balance between organizational spirit and personal aspiration, it keeps people enthusiastic and positive.
- When organizations expand, Hr managers need to be further focused on the standardization of the processes. When they achieve a right balance between entrepreneurial spirit and process, it is possible to keep the morale levels high.
- When the business reaches new heights, HR managers should be ahead of others in thinking and ideology. Instead of following the leaks of the past, they should dig a new path. Awareness of the changing environment (internal and external) keeps HR people in a solution providing mode.
The crux of the matter is that HR becomes critically important function when your organization expands. Since success or failure of the expansion depends on the way people perceive it, it plays a major role in creating a positive environment about it. People should feel that the expansion is for the betterment of the company and the workforce. Once the faith gets established, things become easy. Expert HR professionals take the responsibility on their shoulders and accomplish the task pretty well. In spite of the fact that managing people is quite difficult task, they accept the challenge and accomplish it quite well.
Since business leaders are busy in formulating new strategies and altering the existing ones during the business expansion phase, it is the whole and sole responsibility of HR to take care of employees. When an efficient HR team supports it, there is no doubt about success.