Managing Global Human Resources for Competitiveness

Empowering People to Drive Productivity

Managing global human resources becomes one of the priorities if your organization intends to internationalize its business operations. However, even if you stay put, global events may still affect the competitiveness of your organization.

You will need to develop global business objectives and strategies.

At the same time,human resources management require careful planning with the use of the right strategies.

This is strategic management of people in the global arena referred to by some as international human resources management.

Scenario for Managing Global Human Resources

When your organization has globalized business operations, it is open to a mixture of local and foreign influences.

Researches indicate that organizations are not fully equipped when they venture into globalized business.

Human resource is not strategically managed in order to leverage the success of global business organizations.

Challenges to Managing Global Workforce

Are you deciding to expand your business into other countries?

Some had said that organizations must globalize in order to succeed. But not every organization can do so.

Keep in mind that in managing a global workforce you face many challenges.

  • The presence of multicultural workforce requires the right human resource management strategy. Mobility of the workforce is another challenge to HR Managers.
  • It is not easy for local managers to transform themselves into international managers overnight. Implementing the right training and development programs before proceeding will help. It takes time to get them ready. Some may never make it.
  • You will face competition from other organizations that are already operating globally or are at the verge of doing so.
  • You need to deal with different regulations depending on the countries where your organization will operate. In addition, different industrial relations issues need careful attention.
  • Implementation of the right remuneration for expatriates is necessary. You also need to resolve taxation and spouse employment issues.
  • Ethics is an area where you need to tread carefully if you want your organization to succeed in the global arena.
  • You face additional challenges with the emergence of open or free trade "zones".

Tips on Successfully Managing Global Human Resources

  1. Develop flexible international human resource policies in order to succeed. We are talking about development of core values, corporate culture while also taking local into consideration.
  2. Ensure good understanding of multicultural workforce to improve communication. Clearly understand matters regarding different values, meaning of expressions and gestures, sensitivities, and so on.
  3. Get to know the complexities of doing international business.
  4. Inculcate a global orientation among employees.
  5. Know the ethical values under the different cultures before proceeding to globalize your business.

Effect of Globalization on Employee Relations

The complexities in doing global business influence the way you manage employee relations.

You need in-depth understanding of its various aspects.

Study and understand the inter-play between different cultures and the necessary actions required in strategically managing global human resources. Skills in managing diverse workforce will come handy.

The impacts of globalization on human resource management require unique skills.

Cultural Considerations in Managing Global Human Resources

Culture has impact on:

  • effectiveness of communication - global HRIS - mainly due to different belief systems
  • ethics where the standards of right and wrong behaviors can differ from country to country and from groups to groups
  • extent of trust where, for example, family members are more trusted than strangers
  • management style which may vary from situation to situation or needs to change to effectively manage people of diverse ethnic and cultural background
  • equal employment opportunity which may not work under some cultures and requires knowledge of the different status of groups of people in some countries
  • performance appraisal where it will not work under some culture, and where differing considerations in performance criteria, and feedback exist
  • training and development which requires sensitivity to local, national and corporate culture
  • compensation where the national culture may come into play
  • industrial relations that vary around the globe

Strategic HR planning is critical to global success when managing global human resources

Managing global human resources is a complex matter. It is not easy. It is vital to adopt a strategic approach. Failure to plan can result in high costs. It can alienate local, expatriate and foreign employees.

As the world progresses into the new millennium, both developed and developing countries will face shortage of the right talents. The demand for highly skilled people will get more competitive. In developed countries, there is shortage of people entering the job market. Many of the developing countries have high population the majority of whom will not get opportunities to gain professional qualification. Thus, the shortage of talents to drive corporate success and national economies.

The demand for qualified professionals in human resource will rise. Highly skilled HR people can sell their skills to the highest bidder including in developed countries.

For organizations to avert disaster due to shortage of the right talents, strategic human resource planning is critical. Ensure that HRM objectives are linked or tied to organizational global business objectives.

Technology may provide some leverage in dealing with a diverse workforce and in dealing with other challenges that permeate every aspect of doing international business.

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