Free «Human Resource Management» Essay
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Workplace flexibility is an agreement between recruiters and employees on the terms of working conditions that would benefit both parties (Ramendran, Raman, Mohamed, Kumar, Beleya & Nodeson 2013). It allows the employees to create a sustainable work-life balance while helping the recruiters to improve the productivity and efficiency of the employees (Ramendran et al. 2013).
Functional flexibility is the ability of employees to shift between duties and activities (Vidal 2015). One of the advantages of functional flexibility is the employees having a wide range of tasks to choose from, which significantly reduces the degree of stress at work (Vidal 2015). An example of a company practicing functional flexibility is Tesco, where individuals must learn different skills before getting fully employed by the company. For example, an employee may work as accountant assistant, warehouse assistant, convenience customer assistant, and bakery assistant while working in each department for one week. Workers are supposed to develop multi-skills as they switch between jobs (Vidal 2015).
Geographical flexibility is the ability of an employee to work in different parts of a country or the world over time (Iles & Rowlands 2014). An employee is geographically flexible if he or she is single, or has a spouse who is geographically flexible (Iles & Rowlands 2014). An employee can also be called geographically flexible if he or she has no children (Iles & Rowlands 2014). A good example of a company that requires geographical flexibility is G4S, where the employees are placed in different venues across the United Kingdom to offer security (Iles & Rowlands 2014). The employees in the company are occasionally relocated from one place to another.
The advantages of geographical flexibility for an amployee include the opportunity to search for jobs nationwide or across the globe (Iles & Rowlands 2014). Thus, for employees who have geographic flexibility, there are numerous opportunities for traveling, so one may decide to take a road warrior job with a very handsome salary. However, geographic flexibility also has some limitations. For instance, if an employee gets a distant job, there are small chances of the new employer paying the relocation expenses, as only the established employees may enjoy relocation benefits as opposed to brand new employees (Iles & Rowlands 2014).
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The advantages of workplace flexibility include loyalty, whereby employees become more devoted to their employers due to the availability of a flexible working environment (Ramendran et al. 2013). For instance, when working remotely, the employees may sometimes be allowed to freelance or work part time. Another benefit for an employee is the improvement of quality of life, since a job with work flexibility reduces stress (Ramendran et al. 2013). Also, workplace flexibility contributes positively to the health of employees, whereby flexible working conditions alleviate the risk of heart dysfunction and other illnesses such as mental traumas (Ramendran et al. 2013).
The Role of Line Manager in Training and Development
Adopting a learning and development strategy by a company will be of benefit to both the management and the employees (Pfeffer & Sutton 2013). One of the benefits of learning and development is that the company will be in a position to meet the demands of the current workforce (Pfeffer & Sutton 2013). By aligning the learning tactics with the corporate goals, institutions will profoundly improve their learning process and hence attract the talented workforce (Pfeffer & Sutton 2013). Other benefits include the improvement of business performance, throughput and efficiency, which will ultimately contribute towards gaining the competitive advantage (Pfeffer & Sutton 2013). Training and development programs also improve workers’ generic and communication skills as well teamwork and issue solving skills. Familiarity with legal requirements, organizational development, employee career development and increased employee motivation are some of the other benefits that can be derived from learning and development curricula (Pfeffer & Sutton 2013).
The role of a line manager in the learning and development process assumes that one is involved in setting clear goals for the staff in terms of what should be achieved in the process of learning (Cummings & Worley, 2014). Line managers also determine if there is a need for the workers to learn, plan the approach towards the learning process, monitor and assess the impact of the programs, and, finally, identify various areas where the employees are supposed to improve (Cummings & Worley 2014).
The responsibilities of a line manager include designing the ways of meeting the operational targets as well as solving the issues related to working conditions, workplace conflicts, and remuneration problems that are faced by the workers (Kane, Bernardin & Wiatrowski 1995).
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One of the responsibilities of a line manager is the ability to make efficient decisions related to the implementation of company policies and the company oversight, where they are seen as the eyes of the company and therefore compose the chain of command as well as offer the motivation to employees. Line managers are also important, since they offer expert advice (Kane et al. 1995). Line managers are also supposed to create an environment that will make the employees feel more inspired and empowered.
A line manager should possess a wide range of skills and abilities, from explaining the roles of various experts in the company to making sure that there is the provision of training and development amenities. This position requires superhuman abilities and skills and combines the roles of a psychologist, a social worker, a colleague, and a parent. This is the reason why many managers struggle with the individual aspects of the duties (Kane et al. 1995). Due to the high demands that the position of a line manager is associated with, it is fundamental for every line manager to take a learning and development curricula in order to sharpen the skills and expertise they already have as well as acquire new skills that would help them in performing their duties in an effective manner (Kane et al. 1995).