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Major Challenges That Face Human Resources Practitioners in the Australian Economy During 2007 and Analysis of How Such Practitioners Can Contribute to Achieving a High Performance Workplace Culture.

This Research Paper Major Challenges That Face Human Resources Practitioners in the Australian Economy During 2007 and Analysis of How Such Practitioners Can Contribute to Achieving a High Performance Workplace Culture. and other 62,000+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on

Autor:   •  June 24, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,430 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,271 Views

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Human Resource Management is a vast field and there are infinite issues related to it, this paper will focus only on core issues faced by Human Resource Practitioners in Australia and thus analyse how such practitioners can contribute to achieve high performance workplace culture. It is indeed necessary to identify these challenges faced by Human Resource Practitioners in Australia in order to implement and develop effective HR practices & policies and thus enable the Human Resource Practitioners to achieve a high performance workplace culture which would be beneficial to the organization. The Human Resource Practitioners need to identify the external as well as internal influences that will impact the organization and formulate a strategy to overcome the influences or at least nullify them. (Stone, 2002). The major challenges that are being faced by Human Resource Practitioners in Australia are mainly due to the composition of the work force (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005). The Function of the Human Resource Manager is developing with the change in aggressive market environment and also emphasizing that Human Resource Management must play a more strategic role in the success of an organization

The major challenges that are being faced by the Human Resource Practitioners in the Australian economy are the ageing workforce; Trans gender issues in the workforce, cultural diversity, globalization and change in technology, skilled labour force shortage and efficiency. (Baker and McKenzie, 2002, De Cieri and Kramer, 2005) Human Resource Practitioners toughest challenge is to try and be flexible and adaptable in the corporate environment. (Kramar, 2002) These challenges have been faced by the Human Resource Practitioners not only during 2007 but for almost last decade. In the coming pages the paper will attempt to discuss these challenges in detail and will try to throw light on important issues.

Ageing workforce has been an ongoing problem for Human Resource Practitioners in Australia. It has been predicted that more than 80 percent of the projected growth in the labour force between 1998 and 2016 will be in the 45 years and over age group. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005) The Australian workforce is ageing due to increased life expectance and lower level of fertility. Human Resource Practitioners as well as the employers would face the issues such as retirement planning, retaining of older workers to avoid skill obsolescence, control rising costs of benefits and sick leave. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005)

The Australian workforce has become diverse due to gender representation. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005). It has been noted that the participation of women in higher management is comparatively low to that of men. HR managers need to ensure unprejudiced treatment of the workers from fair sex and this itself is a challenge for any HR personnel in a male dominated society.

“As the Australian workforce has become culturally diverse, the issue of managing a multicultural workgroup has become important for those involved in the management of human resources”. (Cope and Kalantzis 1997; Cope, Pauwells, Slade, Brosnan and Kalantzis 1994; Karpin 1995;National Multicultural Advisory Council (NMAC) 1999; Fish and Wood 1997) Human Resource Practitioners have always found challenging to handle a multicultural workforce. Workers form different ethnic backgrounds have different beliefs. In an Australian organisation managers are from an Australian background and the primary workers are from different ethnic backgrounds. Hence a communication gap is created since the upbringing of these workers is different from that of the managers. Workers from different ethnic backgrounds have different work ethics. Also there is a possibility that they might be victims of Stereotyping, racism, bias etc. (Baker and McKenzie, 2002)

Cultural diversity is co-related with globalization. Global communications have been facilitated due to rapidly varying developments in new information technology (Ferris et. al., 1999). Due to globalization the world has become a much smaller place to live. With the help of globalisation Human Resource Management has attained an entirely new level of functioning. The workforce in many Australian organizations is global due to high rate of immigration. Human Resource Practitioners are constantly under the pressure to adapt to different strategies followed by different human resource practitioners across the world. Organizations are concerned only with faster and better results in a short span of time. Outsourcing is a classic example of globalisation. Human resource Practitioners now have to operate on a global level and they need to inculcate work ethics of different cultures which is beneficial to the organisation.

With the invention of new technology at a fast pace it has been difficult for the employees as well as the employers to adapt to this change of scenario in the workplace. With the invention of new softwares which help organizations to achieve higher productivity, the employees have to be trained to adapt to these changes. Older workers who are used to working with the old technology find it very difficult to adapt to the new technology. Thus productivity of these workers is affected. Thus here comes the challenge for HR practitioners to convince the older workers for taking training and to ensure providence of proper training and development programmes for such workers.

The Success of any organization depends largely on its skilled workforce. The right person for the right job is the mantra followed by most of the successful organizations. Its been noted that in the last decade Australia is facing a shortage of skilled labour force due to which the quality of work produced is also being affected and its not helping the organizations who strive to achieve an excellent reputation in them market. Professions such as nursing, teaching are facing a shortage of skilled labourers. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005) Most of the new jobs that would be created in future would require high levels of reading and writing. HR Practitioners need to select people possessing the key skills required specifically for the job which is a big challenge in itself.

Skilled workforce is inter-related with efficiency. Efficient workforce is as necessary as skilled workforce. Skill and Efficiency are two sides of the same coin. Efficiency mainly contributes towards productivity. Organization is not made up of a single individual, it is made up of numerous people. Skill can be acquired after a period of time but efficiency can’t be acquired. The perfect example of skilled and efficient workforce can be seen in organization like J. P. Morgan. HR practitioners need to ensure that proper


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