Strategic Human Resource Management Practices Assignment Sample

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1.0 Introduction

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Emergence of the phenomenon of industrialization, an idea has been established that the efforts of the Human Resource departments of the industrial organizations are to be concentrated on the motivating the employees and keeping them engaged in the organizational procedures (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). The responsibility of determining the coherent, practical and valid human resource strategies lies on the shoulders of the Human Resource management in order to bring enhancement in organizational productivity by the means of increasing the capabilities of the employees.

In this regard, this essay aims at divulging the factors that motivate the workers of an organization in reference to the motivational literary theories. The essayist efforts have, therefore, been engaged in tracing the job characteristics that the Human resource authorities of the industrial firms are supposed to align in the job designing in order to have a worth mentioning contribution in terms of developing interesting job profiles that possess the ability to generate motivation and commitment among the employees of the industrial organizations.

2.0 Motivational Theories of Human Resource Management

Significant emergence of Human Resource management in the last few decades has encouraged social scientists and psychologists to concentrate their efforts to figure out the factors of employee motivation in industrial organizations (Albrecht et al., 2015). As a consequence of that several theories of motivation have been surfaced that are being rapidly in the modern age to develop required Human Resource management strategies.

2.1 Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory

Among these theories Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory is certainly the most cultivated one. American motivation scientist Abraham H. Maslow comprised his 13 years of research work and presented it under the name Motivation and Personality. His theory of motivation has been elaborated in the 5th chapter of this book where he displayed a classification of human needs in 5 segments namely psychological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs (Kaur, 2013).

Figure: 1. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

(Source: Author)

It has been stated by Maslow that man being a "perpetually wanting animal" his needs will be shifting upwards in the hierarchical pyramid of needs (L?z?roiu, 2015). The industrial organizations have started implementing this theory into their organizations to keep motivating the employees by providing them opportunities to progress towards the top of that need pyramid.

2.2 Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Theory

Hackman and Oldham's theory is worth mentioning while discussing motivational theory. This theory develops the idea that the in order to enhance employee motivation an organization is supposed to turn the jobs more interesting and challenging as a boring job is certain to diminish the efforts and enthusiasm on the part of the employees (Hackman and Oldham, 1976). In this regard, it has been stated that the job characteristics like skill variety, autonomy, task significance etc are to be assembled within a job design so that psychological benefits can be availed to the employees with the intentions of enhancing their ability of bringing better work outputs (Olafsen et al., 2015). Therefore, many organizations have adhered to this theory to bring positive impacts on the psychological states of the employees.

Figure: 2. Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model

(Source: Author)

2.3 Adams' Equity Theory

This theory implies the idea that motivation within the employees is not only determined by the amount of payment, but also by the nature of treatment that they are getting from the management (Shields et al., 2015).

Figure: 3. Adam's Equity Model

(Source: Author)

While fair treatment to each employee can increase motivation among the employees, biased treatment is bound to demotivate the other employees (Shields et al., 2015). It has been emphasized in this theory that every employee wants to maintain a balance between the paid efforts and their outcomes. Hence, anything other than that is certain to bring degradation in their motivation levels that may lead to hampering of organizational productivity.

2.4 Herzberg's Two-Factors Theory

Frederick Herzberg's Two Factors theory has been originated from his investigation into the employees' satisfaction in the engineering and accounting sector. It has landed him on the idea that few factors in an organization that are responsible for the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the employees. For this purpose, he has classified the factors in two segments namely motivation factors and Hygiene factors (Yusoff, Kian and Idris, 2013). It has been stated by Herzberg that the motivation factors like challenging work, authority if present in organization is bound to provide satisfaction. Similarly the hygiene factors like job security, salary etc also works to enhance motivation. These two major factors are, therefore, of pivotal importance in terms of motivating the employees.

2.5 Alderfer's ERG model

Clayton P. Alderfer developed a need theory of motivation in 1969 named ERG theory. This theory though brings similarities with the theory of Maslow still there are few differences between the theories. Alderfer categorized the needs of human beings in work place into three distinctive parts, whereas Maslow classified the needs in five segments. It has been elaborated in this theory that an organization must take into account the Existence needs, Relatedness needs and Growth needs of the employees while designing jobs so that the employees can be kept motivated for performing better (Olafsen et al., 2015).

2.6 McClelland's Achievement Motivation Theory

Social scientist David McClelland published a book named The Achieving Society. In this book, he described his acquired-needs theory and demonstrated how this theory can be implemented in workplace. The idea has been developed in this theory that there are three motivation factors that the performance of the employees. These factors related to authority, achievement and affiliation are bound to be incorporated in a job in order to create a positive work environment within an organization so that the employees stay motivated that is eventually lead to the higher organizational productivity (Miner, 2015).

2.7 Vroom's Expectancy Theory

Victor Vroom's expectancy theory argues that an employee is motivated by his own performance and the potential outcomes of that performance. This theory puts emphasis on the relationships between performance, rewards and personal goals (Kaur, 2013). According to Vroom, if an employee receives the expected outcomes of his/her performance the person stays motivated to perform his organizational duties due to his perception that more efforts on his/her part is bound to bring improvements to his/her career that is supposed to assist him attaining the personal goals of life in a long run.

The above discussion on the motivational theories in the workplace has presented the essayist with various alternatives to go with in order to gain clear perception of the factors of employee motivation and engagement in an organization. In this regard, it can be stated that Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory and Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristic Theory has turned up as most suited options as they possess the capacity of divulging the psychological sates of employees and their impact on their work outcomes.

3.0 Characteristics of Positive Work Environment and Proposed Job Designing

Numerous social studies have established the notion that the performance of the employees of an organization is largely determined by the work environment of that organization. Therefore, it is a matter of paramount importance to ensure the alignment of the following workplace characteristics on the part of organizations so that organizational excellence can be attained by the motivated efforts from the employees' ends.

3.1 Positive Values

It is an issue if high significance whether an organization adheres to positive values or not as that is what determines the nature of the workplace of that organization. The organizations that have set a series of positive values for the operating the organizations, it is more likely that those organizations will follow a code of conduct in all of their operations and treat their employees accordingly (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). Therefore, in order to develop a positive work environment in an organization the management should follow fair values and principles to avail the employees good working conditions so that they can be stay motivated.

3.2 Interesting Job profile

As motivation and engagement are the key factors of a worker's performance, therefore, an organization should be designing the job profiles in a way that it may seem interesting to the employees and provide them the highly desired job satisfaction to them (Albrecht et al., 2015). It is evident that unless the employees find their jobs interesting they will certainly demotivate them in the workplace. Any occurrence of boredom and monotony in case of performing their organizational duties, may impact badly on the employees of the firm and bring reduction in their productivity level. Hence, in order to develop an active work environment in an organization the firm must make its jobs appealing and challenging to the employees (Cooke, Saini and Wang, 2014).

3.3 Unbiased Management

There is no doubt about the fact that practicing discriminative activities within an organization in terms of employee treatment give birth to a negative image of the management in the minds of the employees (Paillé et al., 2014). Such practices within the organization are bound to diminish the commitment and dedication levels of the other employees when their efforts will not pay them the potential rewards from the management's end. Therefore, the authorities of the industrial organizations should be taking this issue into account so that a fair working environment can be presented to all the employees (Shields et al., 2015).

3.4 Positive Leadership

Over the ages, every successful business venture has been led by a worthy leader who has acted as an anchor to hold and assemble the strengths of the organization to lead it towards success (Albrecht et al., 2015). Contribution of a leader to develop a suitable working environment is immense. It comes under the duties of an organization leader to convert an organization to a healthy place for work. Moreover, presence of a leader who can lead from the front and acts in such manner that project him/herself as a role model to the employees (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014), can be highly beneficial from organizational perspective for setting up a good work atmosphere.

3.5 Open Communication

Efforts from both the ends of employers and employees are essential to develop an efficient communication system within the organization as that will resolve the problems rising from lack of communication (Prieto and Perez-Santana, 2014). Better communication between the both parties is subjected to develop better working conditions for everyone in the organization. An organization where employees are not hesitant to ask for supervision and guidance from the employers and the management considers the feedback of the employees quite seriously is certain achieve an active and healthy atmosphere in the workplace (Cooke, Saini and Wang, 2014).

3.6 Adequate Training

Commitment of an organization to provide its employees adequate training may have significant contribution in shaping the nature of the workplace. An organization that is determined to keep pace with the changes in the industries have inclined to give proper training to their employees in terms of technological updates and installation of new tools (Barrick et al., 2015). The employees can be better motivated in this way as they will have that confidence along with technological expertise to perform their organizational activities with more accuracy. An organization that is well concerned about giving their workers such kinds of trainings is more likely to avail better working conditions that will lead to more profitability of the firm (Paillé et al., 2014).

3.7 Collectivism of Work

Team work is a paramount necessity in sculpting a healthy work environment in an organization. An organization where the workers perform their operations with a collective and happy mindset is more eligible for organizational success (Kooij et al., 2013). Harmony and peace among the workers in any organization whatsoever is obligated to give bring forth a healthy environment in the workplace that is essential for organizational success. In such situations an individual feels secured within the organization as the person achieves a perception that he/she is being supported due to the flexibility and collaborative approach in the workplace (Shields et al., 2015).

3.8 Work-life Balance

The organizations that pay considerable attention in designing their jobs have better opportunities to enable its employees a better working atmosphere within the organizations. Jobs that avails the employees to keep a healthy balance between personal life and work life and provides the desired job satisfaction are highly demanded as that ensures the existence of a healthy atmosphere in the workplace (Shuck et al., 2014).

4.0 Potential Influence of Positive Human Resource Practices

Many social studies have given birth to the belief that the psychological states of the employees of an organization are capable of bringing either improvements or degradations in the performance and engagement levels of them as their levels of motivation are subjected to be altered because of the changes in the psychological states (Miner, 2015). Therefore, positive human resource practices are highly desired on the part of the management of the organizations to enhance the efficiency of the organization as well as of the individuals by keeping them motivated to perform their allocated works. For getting an in-depth overview of the relationship between job characteristics and employees' psychological states the essayist has resorted to Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Theory and Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory.

4.1 Related Synthesis of Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Theory

According to Hackman and Oldham's job characteristics theory, there are five characteristics of job that are required to bring positive impacts on the mindset of the employees of an organization. These five job characteristics are namely skill variety, identification of task, significance of task, autonomy and response (Hackman and Oldham, 1976). It has been argued by this duo that these job characteristics impact largely on the perceived ideas of meaningfulness, responsibility and knowledge outcome of the employees that subsequently influences the work outcomes like job satisfaction, motivation, absenteeism etc (Miner, 2015). the psychological states of the employees in relation to these work outcomes have been elaborated beneath.


It has been implied by this theory of Hackman and Oldham that a job must be give the employees a sense of meaning. Their understanding of their contribution to the overall efficiency of the organization they work for in responsible for the improvements in their engagement and motivation level.

It is quite evident in this theory that the employers should allow the employees to use their variety of skills into their respective kind of works so that the job may increasingly seem interesting to them as a job satisfaction can be earned in this process of completing a task by using personal talents. This is certain to keep the employees motivated and energized to pour their efforts into the allocated task (L?z?roiu, 2015). Task identity is also job characteristic as suggested by this duo for enhancing motivation on the part of the employees. An employee, if, can identify an allocated work as a whole, therefore, he can be more motivated and dedicated in finishing the task as a sense of responsibility will be felt on the employee's part to accomplish the task. Hence, by allocating more whole tasks to the employees an organization can keep the employees motivated that may avail them job satisfaction along with increasing individual performance (Olafsen et al., 2015).

Allowing the employees to have a sense of contribution to the wider organization operations can bring improvements in their motivation levels. Attaining this sense of working beyond self is certain to give them the expected job satisfaction that can motivate them immensely to continue in the same manner.


In order to assist the employees to have a sense of responsibility the job characteristic of autonomy must be brought into the scene during job designing. Allocation of flexibility in terms of work scheduling and decision-making can motivate the workers massively as they see themselves as responsible for the accomplishment of a particular task (Yusoff, Kian and Idris, 2013). Such responsibility on the part of the employees is bound to give them job satisfaction and enhance their performance.

Knowledge of Outcomes

The job characteristic of feedback can be put to use in increasing the motivation and engagement level of the employees as that may influence them to do their task in a different way by using their skill variety (Hackman and Oldham, 1976). This awareness of performance on their part will significantly improve their level of performance.

4.2 Related Synthesis of Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory

Abraham H. Maslow have argued in this theory of that while designing a job an organization should pay considerable attention to the deficiency needs and growth needs of the employees so that they can be attain greater motivation all by themselves that may lead to them to perform more actively and efficiently in the foreseeable future (Kaur, 2013).

Deficiency Needs

Maslow's need hierarchy suggests that the employers of an organization should take into account the deficiency needs like psychological and safety concerns so that the focus of the employees can be concentrated on the work only by meeting these needs (Olafsen et al., 2015). Therefore, an organization that can provide its employees a safer working environment along with appropriate wages can extract better performance from them. In this regard, an organization can present the employees better retirement plans, medical benefits to help them attain a sense of security so that their motivated efforts can have significant contribution to the growth of the organization.

Growth Needs

While designing the human resources strategies the management of an organization is must take care of the growth needs of the employees. It has been identified that if these needs are not met, the employees can get demotivated that will eventually decrease their quality and quantity of performance (Yusoff, Kian and Idris, 2013). For this reason, the authorities are bound to develop a health work environment where their potential abilities can be brought into reality. Such environment has the potential of meeting their self-needs of pursue better skills and creativity to have a sense of fulfillment in their work-life. By recognizing and rewarding the skills and efforts of the employees, the human resource department can motivate them to work hard that is subjected to increase their performance. In this regard, rewards for extraordinary dedication, providing of proper training, providing challenging tasks, allocation of responsibilities, encouraging creativity can be adopted as strategies to have better performance from the employees (Miner, 2015).


5.0 Conclusion

In the above discussions, the essayist has thrown light on the reasons and logics behind the implication of severe importance on keeping the employees of an organization motivated. For developing an in-depth analysis of the subject the essayist has resorted to the evaluation of many motivational theories of Human Resource management in relation to the given context. The fruitful concepts and ideas that have generated as a consequence of the analysis, have been utilized by the essayist in determining the desired Human Resource strategies to avail the employees of an organization better working environment in order to serve the purpose of the department of Human Resource.

It would certainly not be an overstatement to state that this essay has been designed efficiently enough to meet its objectives. The discussions in the essay have given significant propositions in terms of job profile designing of an organization. Clear and precise suggestions have been suggested on the part of the essayist to decide the Human Resource practices that are necessary to bring enhancement in the motivation and dedication level of the employees of a firm. In a nutshell, this essay has surfaced as a quintessential study of the potential Human Resource practices that can influence the employees of an organization positively and effectively.



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