Nowadays, Human Resource Management (henceforth HRM) has become an important part of management in every company. HRM is also the sector that deals with resources related to the staff and people who work for a company. Moreover, it can support the overall company direction and achievement goals. For instance, Huemann et al. (2018) propose that HRM in the organization should have a relationship between the strategic processes horizontally which accords to other operational processes and supports the business. Similarity, Guest (2017) claims that the model of HRM expects to improve the performance of the company and the mental health of employees. In other words, HRM becomes essential to all employees. Employee well-being is one of the important issues that companies are trying to address for their employees to maintain motivation and happiness at work.
During 1997, in the UK, there were some debates that HRM is different from personnel management and this differentiation affects employee work and well-being (Poole and Jenkins, 1997, 333). The company should care more about employees because the management system of a company influences employees. In his article on this topic, Guest (2017) reports that pressure at work and the environment of employees can affect their physical and mental health. Put simply, the HRM process should not only focus on profits but also care about the pressure of the workplace and the environment of employees because all of these could affect employee well-being. This essay will explore how HRM in businesses has influenced employee well-being since the year 2000 in the UK.
There were several definitions of HRM before the year 2000. As Guest (1997) defines it: “the HRM-performance model explains how HRM selection, training, appraisal, reward, job design and involvement practices […] result in improved individual performance and increased organizational profit and return on investment” (Guest,1997,263). In general, HRM is a part of the management process that selects employees and trains them to work with a company. It also designs jobs that are suitable for staff, estimates working time and year-end bonuses for employees. These processes not only improve employee’s ability and performance but also increase the profits of a company. Therefore, there are a lot of processes in HRM that would be useful for staff and a company. A similar observation was made by Bratton and Gold (2017), employees are the ones who run the company and create profits through their productivity. In other words, employees are the key to HRM. If a company lacks staff, it will affect the organizational profits of a company. HRM also related to employee well-being because it is a part of service that employees should have. Guest (2017) notes that, HRM and performance are linked to the concern of employees. Put simply, employee well-being could affect HRM and it could affect the overview of a company. All in all, it would be useful for a company to take care of employees in both their physical and mental health.
The problem of physical and mental health is the main issue that affects employee well-being. According to World health organization (2010), research shows that stress and occupational burnout lead to a result of poor mental health in the workplace. These will affect the performance of employees such as problems when they are making decisions and lower productivity. Mental health problems are a concerning topic for employees. They should prepare themselves before their work time because the stress of work may make them sick and it will affect other organizational processes. However, many causes could affect employee well-being in the workplace. Bakker and Demerouti (2014) note that, “the important individual well-being outcomes such as organization commitment, work enjoyment, connectedness, job satisfaction and sickness absenteeism” (Bakker and Demerouti, 2014). It appears that, employee well-being depends on the stress of employees. If employees overwork, they will feel stress and not enjoy what they are doing. Furthermore, job satisfaction and sickness absenteeism also influence employee well-being in case of mental health. Stress is also related to many physical problems including headache, stomachache, fatigue and trouble sleeping.
Employees are the main resource of a company in the HRM process, so a company should hire quality employees to work together. Shuck and Reio (2013) note that, employee engagement is defined as knowledge, emotional and behavior which could lead to positive results. The ability and performance of employees could help a company to achieve the target. Therefore, there are not only benefits of HRM but also drawbacks. It is one of the management processes of a company that should gain more experience to be able to adapt to future circumstances.
Some studies support the idea that HRM could affect employee well-being. As Guest (2017) comments HRM plans to support employee well-being should guarantee a helpful result. In other words, HRM should support employees in beneficial ways such as investing in employees which could relate to improving employees skill and this would affect the positive way in the production process. Investment in employee may influence the inspiration and commitment of employees (Lee and Bruvold, 2010). Moreover, the same article suggests that investing in employees is an important thing to do because employees should practice mentoring, training and development, and career support. Employees must face stress and pressure from their workplace and they must take care of their family. Both situations could make them feel depressed. It could be useful if a company has mentored to employees. Therefore, a more useful issue is to train and develop employees. If employees develop their skills in the organization process, a company will receive all benefits from their ability. It is a worthy investment for a company. It is a sensitive thing for employees while the company has career support. The career support from a company will impress employees and makes motivation for employees to support their company. However, HRM in case of investing in employees may affect employee well-being in many ways. A company should learn from this experience and improve the management process to service employee well-being.
Evidence that investment in employee can affect employee well-being comes from many sources. For instance, Lee and Bruvold (2010) claim that investing in employees will make employees work harder because they appreciate their job and strive for the organization. This study found that investing in employees also produce strong relationships between a company and employees. Workers will be proud of their company and do their work as best as they can to reward what a company gives to them. Moreover, employees also try to enhance the organization. Investing in employees could improve job satisfaction in employees, when employees feel comfortable at the workplace they will do their work without stress. This will make a positive effect on every process in the organization. Lee and Bruvold (2010) also comment that the program of investing in employees not only teaches a useful skill but also provides career development that may promote the organization’s productivity. In particular, working staff will learn a lot of skills to improve their performance in the workplace to develop the organization’s productivity. To develop the organization’s productivity, employees should know the processes of productivity. Staff members should access all production processes to understand how these processes work. When they get points of the process, the organization’s productivity will enhance. Therefore, there are a lot of advantages in the program of investing in employees by HRM. The result shows that employees will improve their ability and use this to their work and they will appreciate and have a strong relationship with a company.
It might also a case that HRM may affect employee well-being. As Turner et al. (2008) claim the project that employees received is a cause of employee well-being problem. In other words, employees are not only doing their work in their workplace but they have to do a project that was given by their leader. This problem may make employees feel that they have work overload and do not have time with their family. Work overload may lead to a mental health problem. Employees could feel stressed when they have a lot of works to do but they do not finish anything. Moreover, they do not have enough time with their family that may affect their mental health problems too. Family can make employees feel better when they talk to each other or have some activities to do together. Turner et al. (2008) also suggest that the problem of large project organization is employees will stay away from their home for a long time if the project location is far away from their home. The different location could make employees feel isolation while the weather also changes that may lead to physical health problems. The physical and mental health of employees is important because these do not only affect the potentiality of employees when they do their work but also affect the quality of a result of work. For these reasons, a company should care employees in case of work overload and working in a long distance. It could beneficial for employees to gain more experience and improve their working skills. By the way, employee well-being also an important thing that a company should not forget. It must be better if both of these could go on together.
There is a lot of useful research relating to the problems of work overload in the case of a project or working from a long distance. Keegan and Turner (2003) propose that working from a long distance with a long-time period makes some employees suffer the “no-home-syndrome”. Put simply, employees feel normally when they have to leave home to do their work with a long period of time. This problem directly affects employee well-being because employees should not only focus on their work bus also have time with their family. HRM of a company should care about employee well-being both before and after work time. Furthermore, Turner et al. (2008) claim that employees who work overload with a project cannot deal with the problem because it requires an effective resource management system and a threat to profitability. In general, some cases of project demand to use some effective resource management system but employees cannot do it because of the limit of finance. Working staff does not need to use their own money for a project while a company only want employees to finish their project. This problem could stress employee well-being and the HRM team of a company should find a way to solve it. Therefore, the HRM team should care about employees in case of work overload and working in long-distance because these problems can lead employees to stress and also affect employee well-being.
To sum up, processes of HRM in cases of investing in employees, work overload and working from a long distance could affect employee well-being. Overall, investing in employees is helpful for them and a company because it improves staff skills, makes them appreciate their job and strive for the organization (Guest, 2017). It also influences the inspiration and commitment of employees (Lee and Bruvold, 2010). On the other hand, work overload and working from a long-distance might make workers feel stressed and this could be a cause of the physical and mental health problems of employees (Keegan and Turner, 2003). In the short term, the HRM team should provide flexible work timing for working staff to help them have a better work-life balance and feel comfortable. It is important to respect staff because it could motivate them and they will have a good relationship with their team and a company. In the long term, the company should ask for frequent feedback from employees. This might inspire many new strategies and share some concerns. Thus, a company can help to resolve problems from employees. Moreover, the company should always communicate with the working staff. It will help the company get to know their employees and their abilities closely and to assign them to jobs in which they are better suited for.
These recommendations may help employers to appreciate the importance of employee well-being for the sustained success and reputation of their company.
- Bakker, A. and Demerouti, E. (2014) Job demand – resources theory. A complete reference guild, Vol3, pp.37-64.
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- Lee, C. and Bruvold, N. (2010) Creating value for employees: investment in employee development. The international journal of human resource management. Vol14(6).
- Poole, M. and Jenkins, G. (1997) Responsibilities for human resource management practices in the modern enterprise Evidence from Britain. Human resource management practices. Vol26(5), pp.333-356.
- Shuck, B. and Reio, T. (2013) Employee engagement and well-being: A moderation model and implications for practice. Journal of leadership & organization studies. Vol21(1). pp.43-8.
- Turner, R., Huemann, M. and Keegan, A. (2008) Human resource management in the project-oriented organization: Employee well-being and ethical treatment. International journal of project management. Vol26(5), pp.577-585.
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