Human Resource Management (business work) Must answer 6 topics questions close outline (Siemens Ohio HR. Doc.
Human Resource Management at Siemens, Ohio
The practice of human resource management is becoming more and more important within the climate of modern day business agents. And this trend is generally associated with the realization that people are not just the individuals operating the machines, but they are valuable resources, possessing essential intellectual capital. As the business climate turns more and more to services in the detriment of industry and agriculture, the economic agents become forced to invest more in the management of their staffs.
Human resources management is a complex set of techniques and mechanisms by which the economic agents manage the relationship between the firm and its staff members. This relationship is vast and includes not only the collaboration between the parties, but even the periods before and after the employment contract has ended.
The practice of HRM is multifaceted and each economic agent implements it as it finds it most suitable to their particular contexts. The specialized literature promotes a wide array of models and advices on how to manage the human resource, but fact remains that each economic agents has to devise the models which are best tailored to its specifics. In such a context then, the current project seeks out to assess the HRM function at the Siemens plant in Ohio, through six distinctive lenses:
The HRM department at the firm
The selection and interviewing processes
The resolution of grievances
The termination of employment contracts
Affirmative action and diversity
Negotiations with Siemens.
2. The Human Resources Department at Siemens
A detailed analysis of the HRM department at Siemens' plant in Ohio is rather difficult to conduct for the simple reason that the entity is a private one and does not disclose such specific information to the public. A first observation which can however be made is that the focus of the firm is that of improving the technical capacities of the plant in Ohio.
In this order of ideas, Siemens is dedicated to innovation and improvement in the managerial act, in the production volume and quality, as well as in environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.
"Siemens AG is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, and operates in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. For more than 160 years, Siemens has built a reputation for leading-edge innovation and the quality of its products, services and solutions" (Siemens Website, 2011).
In this commitment, little emphasis appears to be placed on the act of human resource management. In other words then, the primary weakness of the HRM department at Siemens, Ohio is represented by the fact that insufficient attention is placed on the human resource.
One explanation in this sense would be represented by the fact that Siemens is a manufacturing firm, producing and retailing consumer electronics. In such a context then, it could be assumed that the organizational attention falls on the quality and volume of production, with less emphasis being placed on the motivation of the staff members.
As it has been mentioned throughout the introductory section, much of the increasing role of HRM is due to a shift in the activities which generate revenues and create employment opportunities. Once the primary occupation of mankind, agriculture is only emphasized at a limited scale nowadays; and the same is true about manufacturing, as the services sector continues to expand. Within the United States for instance, only 1.1 per cent of the gross domestic product is generated by agriculture, 22.1 per cent is generated by the industry and the remaining 76.8 per cent of the GDP is all generated by the services sector (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011).
Within the modern day setting, the role of HRM increases mostly within the services sector, where there are no production lines and where the people are the most valuable organizational asset (Zak and Waddell, 2010). But at Siemens, which remains a manufacturing firm, emphasis is in fact placed on the production lines, and less attention is granted to the employees.
Aside from this impediment, there is an important strength which characterizes the HRM department at Siemens -- the organizational resources. Siemens is one of the global leaders of the electronics industry and it generates impressive financial results. In 2010 for instance, it registered revenues in the total amount of $75,978 millions and gross profits of $21,647 million (Siemens 2010 Annual Report). In such a context then, the company possesses impressive resources which could create strengths for the HRM department by presenting it with the availability of resources to fund HRM strategies.
In this line of thoughts then, the recommendation which is being forwarded at this stage does not revolve around efficiency -- this is already an aim at Siemens -- but more so refers to integration. The HRM department should develop stronger policies and implement them company wide. The HRM department should as such initiate HRM policies which place the staff members at the center of organizational operations, and it should then ensure that this realization is present company wide and integrated at all organizational levels. In other words, HRM should become an integrant party of the business model, rather than preserve its current status of an isolated department.
3. Selection and interviewing
As staffing needs increase at the Siemens plant in Ohio, the HRM department plays a central part in the hiring of new employees to occupy the vacant positions. The company would normally require staff members in salary positions, or in union positions. The interviewing process is similar in the two instances, but the overall selection process differs. In this order of ideas, in the case of the salary positions, the selection process is cored on the following:
The posting of job advertisements within the company and with other Siemens factories (internal and inter-company posting)
The use of external sources to recruit potential staffs (such as advertisements in the media or advertisements through the employment agencies)
The completion of background checks on the selected candidates
The completion of the interview processes
The hiring of the selected candidate/s
The offering of initial training sessions on safety, procedures and computer logons, and finally,
The offering of the security card.
At the level of the union employees, the selection process is also organized on seven stages, but these differ sometimes from those of the selection of the salary employees. In this order of ideas, the selection of the union employees at Siemens is centered on the following stages:
The internal positing of the available positions (only internal, not inter-company)
The usage of external sources to draw candidates to the available positions
The testing of candidate dexterity and the completion of the interview
The examination of the candidate's physical condition
The hiring process
The offering of training and procedural training, and finally
The issuing of the security card.
The interview processes are similar in both cases, with the difference relying in the nature of the questions asked in the second half of the interview. Specifically, within the first half of the interview, the emphasis falls on the familiarization between the company and the candidate. In the second half, emphasis is placed on the testing of the candidate's ability to fulfill the tasks associated with the available position. With union employees then, questions would be linked to negotiation tactics and other such features relevant to the job, whereas with salary employees, questions would be more technical and would revolve around the ability of the candidate to fulfill the job responsibilities as required.
From a legal standpoint, Siemens complies with the legislations. Still, from an organizational standpoint, an improvement worthwhile mentioning would be that of also integrating a human side to the selection process. Specifically, the current selection process is highly technical and aims to identify people that are technically able to perform the tasks of the jobs. Still, it is hereby recommended that the selection process also integrated a review of the personal features of the candidates in order to identify those that are intellectually and personally able to become integrated within the organizational culture. These individuals would stand better chances of aligning their goals with those of the organization and would as such better support the company in attaining its final objectives (Igbaria and Shayo, 2004).
4. Dispute resolution
As in any other organizational climate, conflicts are bound to be created at Siemens as well. The scope of the company's management is that of quickly and efficiently dealing with the conflicts before they spiral out of control and create more damage. In this order of ideas, conflicts are immediately addressed by the direct supervisor. In the situation in which the grievance cannot be resolved by the direct supervisor, this complaint would be forwarded to the following managerial chain. In the most severe cases, the executives and the corporate lawyers become involved in resolving the conflicts. Yet, the scope remains that of a quick resolution at the level of the middle management teams.