Compensation the cost of manpower as trade unions demand

Compensation

It’s evident that this is a very thorny issue among
teaching professionals in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. The
industry has been paralyzed time after time as dons have had to withdraw their
services and boycott teaching until their pay demands are met.  Generally as the business environment becomes
increasingly complex and global, learning institutions are facing the challenges
of creating and maintaining effective compensation, given the cost constraints,
need for greater professional expertise, organizational understanding,
creativity and vision than ever before.

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Contrary to the olden days today organisations are
providing variable pay, hiring bonuses, lump sum recognition bonuses and group
incentive plan. This has made compensation too costly for some organisations
especially the small and medium organisations whose funding in most cases is
unpredictable.

Another
issue in compensation is that of inequality. Sometimes an average vice
chancellor earns in a single day what a typical worker earns in a year. Chief
executive officers’ pay rates are increasing at a very alarming rate than those
of an average worker when the fact of the matter is that the contribution of the
individual worker is increasing sometimes faster than the contribution of the
executive officers.

Human
Resource Planning

In
an attempt to ensure that these institutions attract and retain skilled and
valuable employees to meet changing service delivery needs, there are a number
of challenges that impacts their efforts to conduct human resource planning.
Among the main challenges are: resistance by both employer and employees,
forecasting the micro-environment, collecting the available information about
the work force, labour laws and government regulations, capacity to develop the
necessary systems and workplace diversity (Armstrong, 2009).

According to (Subba, 2010),
many employers resist human resource planning as they think that it increases
the cost of manpower as trade unions demand for employees based on the plan,
more facilities and benefits including training and development. The other
assumption by employers is that they feel that human resource planning is not
necessary as candidates are/will be available throughout the year due to the
increasing rates of unemployment. (Subba, 2010)
 argues that trade unions and employees
also resist human resource planning as they view it to increase the workload of
employees and prepares programmes for securing human resources mostly from
outside. (Chew, 2004) observed that employees and trade unions resist human
resource planning because they view it as a practice that is aimed at controlling the employees through productive maximization.

 

Human
resource planning needs up-to-date data on employees in order to plan and
implement changes effectively. (T.K, 2011)
 Notes that human resource planners need
to know what human resources exist and the information about the capacity of
the workforce; the number of employees, their salaries, professional
qualifications and the professional development needs. However, the challenge
is that this kind of information in most cases cannot be easily traced and is
inaccurate especially in learning institutions that have not yet adopted human
resource information systems.

The changing labour laws and government regulations on
employment are a challenge to human resource planning. Human resource planning
requires organization’s knowledge on the national and international labour
laws. (T.K, 2011) asserts that human resource planners in any given organization
need to be aware of the union contractual terms and must be in compliance with
the employment laws.

Training
and Development

Training
and staff development tend to be a challenging process not only in institutions
of higher learning but in many organizations. This results in promising
lecturers leaving organizations in search for new career prospects and also
leads to the notion of “poaching” of employees. As quoted by (Haslid, 2008). In
some cases, some firms do not provide the training that employees need, but
instead poach employees from other firms who have already been trained and
developed by their prior employers.

 Most institutions of higher learning in Kenya
also lack intellectual human resource development professionals as these
practitioners are deemed to be important human capital in organizations.
Unfortunately, the lack of intellectual human resource development
professionals as (Haslid, 2008) asserts is regarded as an impediment to the
effectiveness of human resource development in most firms.

Performance
management

Performance management systems in most universities
lack top management support which makes the appraisers and appraisees not to
take the process seriously. In some instances, supervisors and managers simply
assume that motivated employees can make sure they do what is necessary to make
self improvement. Unfortunately, some employees may need more structural
support to make sure they follow through on their action plans. Findings and
recommendations in the performance appraisals need to effected and supported by
top management and there need to be laid down procedures to be followed. (Akeyo,
2011) notes that lack of support reflect negatively on the organizational
management and can discourage the parties
to the appraisal exercise.

Budgetary
constraints are another challenge that affects the application of performance
management and appraisal. There is need to make available sufficient resources
for the implementation of the recommendations, for example, in case of a call for
training, it is obvious that resources have to be available to support the
achievement of organization and employee objectives. (Akeyo, 2011) argues that
financial constraints may make organizations not to be able to prepare both the
appraiser and those to be appraised through training on what is expected of
them. This may leave the concerned parties in a dilemma as they may not be sure
of what is expected of them in the whole exercise.

Conclusion
and recommendation

We have established that the organizations find it
difficult to attract the right people for the
jobs due to competition and scarcity. Therefore, we recommend that these institutions should adopt strategic human resource management that will enhance
the organizations competitive advantage and hence be able to attract and retain
the right people. (Pollitt 2007) argues
that organizations need to put in place systems that enable human resource
managers to view employees’ capabilities and skills across the workforce. This
helps the organization not only gain visibility into skills base but also able
to identify internal candidates suitable for a vacant post and improve
retention rates through greater internal mobility.

I
also found out that the human resource department faced constraints in terms of
funds for training. It is recommended that the organizations top management
should allocate more funds to the human resource department to facilitate
effective training of the employees. The budgetary constrain has made difficult
to implement the recommendations of the staff appraisal process in the
organizations thereby making the performance management in the organizations
not manageable.

It
is also recommended that firms design include employees’ input in their own
performance appraisal instruments in order to achieve greater employee
acceptance and commitment. Organizations need knowledgeable and competent human
resource development personnel such as internal trainers with the expertise to
train and develop employees within the organization.