In this essay, an evaluation of a number of clearly identified ‘managing people’ challenges facing managers working in the contemporary business environment will be presented. This is important because an effective manager will be required to deal with people in the more globalized, challenging and dynamic workplace today. Several issues or challenges can be discovered through a review of the literature on the topic of people or human resources management. All of these issues will be discussed in separate paragraphs below.
Managing diversity. In the era of globalization, the world is becoming smaller and integrated. People are moving around to work in different countries, while businesses are moving around the glove to seek business opportunities or to lower the operational costs (Koonce, 2001). Thus, an effective manager in the modern business environment must face with diverse workforce. In This context, researchers tend to have different definition for the word diversity, but the term diversity generally include the following ideas – a workforce that can be different from their age, gender, experiences, races, religions, cultural background, upbringing, skillets or educational background (Iverson, 2000). In the contemporary business environment, managing diversity is becoming very important as if it is not managed well, the manager will have to deal with difficult situation due to diverse workforce. For example, ethical issues can arises if a certain group of workers, for example, the female workers perceived that they are being exploited or discriminated in workplace (Hellriegel et. al., 1995). Yet, another common example is that certain group of people, form other culture may be ignored and discriminated as they may not mixed well with the other workers in the workplace (Tulgan, 2009). In fact, in serious situation, certain company practices may affect or offend the minorities if the policies or company practices implemented are conflicting with their cultural beliefs.
Managing Generation-Y. In many part of the world, it can be seen that younger workforce are joining the workplace. It is observed by the researchers that they are of different kind of attitudes, behaviors and mindset from the older generations (Binsacca, 2008). Generally, the impression towards the younger generation, often defined as those born after the year 1980, are harder to be managed, as the old human resources practices are no longer relevant (Jacobus, 2008). For example, it is found that the Gen-Yers are generally less loyal to the company. They may resign to join the competitors when they are offered higher salary (Caverhill et. al., 2010). Besides, they are often more demanding on the job design. Often, they value highly on work-life balance and workplace flexibilities. Apart from that, the Gen-Yers are also having different expectations from the company. They demand a better career prospects, and may become easily boring with repetitive work or tasks (Messmer. 2010). They are also found not easy to communicate with the older generation of managers. All these issues must be solved because in the future, the workplace will be filled with more and more Gen-Yers.
Managing change. In the dynamic business environment, the consumers’ preferences or trends can be changing fast. Besides, as the technological evolution has been progressing rapidly, the business environments are also subjected to constant changes (Briscoe et. al., 2004). Not only is that, as the competition intensify, the many corporations are required to change or reinvent themselves frequently to stay relevant in the fast changing business landscape. However, to ask the employees to change is never something easy. Often, there are huge resistances against changes in workplace. There are many reasons to why people may resist changes. For example, people may want to stay in the status quo. Otherwise, they may not want to learn new technologies (Robbins, 2005). Besides, they may view negatively on the change itself, as they may not convinced that change is necessary and will benefits them or the organization at the end of the day (McShane et. al., 2010). Some of the employees, particular those managerial staffs, may worry a loss of power in the organization due to the change process. No matter what the reasons are, it is very usual to find that people may not love change. However, in order to stay competitive, relevant, and profitable as well as to move towards better future or success, it is necessary for the manager to engage people to embrace changes (Dessler, 2011). Thus, it is managerial imperative to engage, motivate and enlighten the people to embrace and welcome changes in the organization.
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