HRM and Globalization
Globalization has brought new challenges for HRM. Suppose you are expecting an expatriate to come and join your company. Think of what you need to plan to make him feel at home in a foreign land. If he will be juggling with his kids’ school admission or finding a Hindi tuition for his wife then will he be able to focus on his job. Think about different eating habits. He may be a stickler for time and will be dumbfounded by Indian’s sheer disregard for punctuality. All this will be a cultural shock for him. For HR people it can be challenge to handle a global workforce.
When you are in your twenties you need to earn to become a man from a boy. You need money to splurge on your parties, clothes and hobbies. When you are in your thirties you need money to raise your family. When you are in your forties you don’t just need money. Apart from money you also need a sense of self esteem and self actualization. Nobody wants to start as a salesman and then retire as a salesman. Everyone wants proper career progression at proper stages of life. Apart from career progression people also want to leave a legacy. Proper human resource management means that people can foresee a career for them in the current organization otherwise attrition rate will be on a higher side.
India is a very diverse country. A person from Jammu is as different from a person from Kerala as chalk and cheese. Because of migration every major city is multicultural in makeup. But this creates many problems which manifests itself in occasional anti-alien propaganda by politicians. Handling diversity and training people in respecting cross cultural sensibilities is one of the major challenges for HR people.
Many corporate offices are infamous for unusually long working hours. Sometimes ago there was an Email going around as forwarded mail. It was supposed to be written by none other than Narayana Murthy who wonders and thinks about why a nerd is still working in his office till 10:00 pm in the night. Apart from long working hours the longer commuting time is like adding insult to the injury for a harassed workforce of India. It is difficult to imagine when a time will come when actual working hour will be equal to the official working hour in India.
Everybody needs time to rest and recharge senses to be productive the next day. In western countries 8 hours means 8 hours and nobody will give you death penalty even if you have left your office without informing your boss.
If you have visited Qutab Minar in New Delhi you must have seen the iron pillar besides it. Because of the marvelous technology used in that pillar it is still rust free even after hundreds of years. But there is no written record of how it was made. Because of bad knowledge management India trailed behind European nations during industrial revolution. In many SMEs there is still a practice of guarding the secret of ‘family recipe’. Sometimes overzealous people don’t share knowledge to augment their position in the organization. HR department should always find ways and means to convert the tacit knowledge into social knowledge so that it can be developed and utilized for years to come.
Let us take example of major fast food brands to understand the importance of knowledge management. Culinary art is a complicated craft and every chef gives his unique signature to a particular food. Mc Donald decoded the art of making tasty burgers and converted the art to simple operational procedure. The result is no matter in which part of the globe you are you will get the same quality and same taste in a burger. This is the power of an effective knowledge management.