Description Leatherbarrow et al (2010) discuss that companies set objectives which are targets that have to met in order for the company to meet its strategic goals. They say that “policies are statements of intent about how the organisation proposes to conduct its business to meet its strategic objectives”. In addition, they state that the key to a company surviving is to keep an eye on the activities of it’s competitors as well as keeping up to date with changing market demands and both internal and external pressures.
It seems like in recent years that the focus on the environment is increasing, meaning that companies are having to think of innovative and modern ways to keep their impact on the environment to a minimum. This means not only updating their Corporate Social Responsibility statement but also to update their policies, processes and technology. In order to identify the changes required, companies can conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relation to the trend (Leatherbarrow et al 2010). They can then use this analysis to put policies and procedures in place.
HR Leaders can use policies to let key stakeholders, employees and customers know where the company stands. For example, my company has an Environment Policy (United Utilities 2018 and United Utilities 2019) which outlines what the company is doing to reduce it’s impact on the environment. As I work for a large water company, this is especially important because it owns a large volume of catchment land which we need to look after not only for environmental purposes but also to ensure our water is of the highest level for out customers. If the water isn’t at a good quality coming into one of our water treatment works, it would cost more money to treat before it able to be transported to our customers. Enabling customers to see the policies in place for the environment, plus other areas such as employee and customer policies, helps to increase the companies reputation as well as ensuring everyone is aware of the companies strategic goals. Other ways my company has mitigate it’s environmental impact is by using new technology. For example, we now use our the waste from our waste water treatment works as an energy source to reduce how much electricity we need to buy.
Should there be further changes to this environmental importance, such as legal requirements in relation to wastage or pollution, the policies would need to be revised again so that they mention the relevant laws. As my company is very heavily unionised, if there are any trends that come about that negatively effect how many people are required in the business leading to redeployments, or whether it changes things in relation to working hours, shifts or pay, the Unions would need to be consulted first before any changes are put in the place and all employees effected would need to be informed of changes in advance.
If a company was not to address a trend such as environment implications was not addressed through an HR policy, there would be no clear rules, obligations and expectations for managers and employees surrounding that topic (Marchington and Wilkinson (2003). In addition to this, customers and key stakeholders would not know either. In addition, if customers are not aware of where the company stands in relation to the trend due to a lack of policy, then the company’s reputation could be severely effected.
Human resource strategy: formulation, implementation and impact – Chapter 2, ‘The adoption, formulation, and implementation of HR strategies’
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