“Employees must adapt to changing environment” | Sunday Observer

“Employees must adapt to changing environment”

31 May, 2020
Janaka Kumarasinghe
Janaka Kumarasinghe

In today’s post Covid-19 era  stakeholder  capitalism; it is becoming important to not only to look after the interests of shareholders but also to look  into other stakeholders’ interests such as employees, customers, suppliers, environment, and community,  said the author of the cartoon book, ‘Everyone Knows HR’, Janaka Kumarasinghe.

“We saw  several organisations trying to safeguard business continuity and employment which handed over key roles to human resource management.

“Digital transformation which has been spoken of by the human resource management profession for some time became a reality quickly.

“Maybe not all but some of the practices which emerged during the crisis could be continued. In such scenarios looking after the health and safety issues of employees, preparing guidelines and  policies to work from home, to provide information security through better people practices have become important.

“How to source, train, engage, compensate, motivate employees will have new dimensions,” he said, adding that it is important to create a new mindset among the employees to adapt to the rapidly changing environment and business landscape.

“Redeploying excess employees to productive operations, reskilling employees to perform different roles, as a last resort to facilitate outplacement services and finding alternative income sources for employees who cannot be retained will be the responsibilities of Human Resource professionals.

“Hence the importance of HRM will rise in different modes,” Kumarasinghe said.In humanly rich civilizations such as Sri Lanka human resource management practices and techniques would not have been strange though they have not been identified in the same terminology.

“We find in our history ancient rulers using techniques to satisfy and motivate people, allocation of jobsand titles, develop leaders and succession and provide rewards and recognition for things such as governance and administration, building tanks and dagabas and warfare.

“CIPM defines human resource management as  ‘A strategic and integrated approach in acquisition, development and engagement of talent, using relevant tools, with proper policies, practices and processes in creating a conducive climate towards achieving organisational excellence and societal well-being”.

The concept of personnel management later evolved into human resource management emerged after the industrial revolution in the UK to satisfy employees, look after the health, safety and welfare and administer them. It became Human Resource Management in the eighties when the US corporations could not meet the Japanese competition successfully the concept of human resource management emerged to converge the diverse management and employee thinking towards a united direction.

Human Resource Management (HRM) has a vital function of an organisation towards achieving organisational objectives. At the same time all line managers are involved in managing people. Unlike in specialised technical fields such as engineering, or finance when it comes to HR problems, every manager has his or her strong view. But HR professionals resolve HR challenges by developing policies, strategies and processes to manage HR which influences to develop conducive cultures and people and manage change.The cartoon book in a lighter vein interprets HRM jargon from varied perspectives as seen by different individuals but the underlying thinking is to introduce HR terminology and in a suitable manner raise the importance of having a professional approach to managing human resources.The book provides an insight into organisational issues and the need to boost competence in managing them effectively by enhancing competence in HRM.