Organizations are facing gloomy times. The financial crises, recessions, and economic depressions are not new phenomena, but their occurrence is definitely a cause for great concern among many. This is because no matter how well we study the history of downturns such as these, dealing with them when they do happen again is still just as difficult. Most organizations will wonder, for instance, how to control recession effects on human resource performance, and employee performance in general.
For the most part, this would fall to the efforts of the human resource department. In fact, the human resource department would probably need to handle the most important part of the recession coping strategies, but have the human resource department informed the employees that we are in recession or are they in denial. Only when the organization faces reality and informs the employees on what is going on systematically, the employees will know how to adapt to such crisis.
This is because, essentially, what crises force organizations to do is to go back to the basics and try to maintain an intact, dynamic core. This core consists mainly of the organization’s leaders and employees – all united towards accomplishing their mission and achieving their vision. The panic and worrying induced by uncertain, or worse, poor economic conditions will tend to obscure this simple fact, but human resource departments should strive to realize this, better sooner than later.
Human resource should concur with management and come out with a plan on how they are going to survive this crisis with the help of all the employees. As such human resource could take stock of the crisis and work out a plan. HR departments truly do have their jobs cut out for them in times of crisis, but with a smart and sensible plan, managers can effectively control recession effects on HR performance by changing their roles to Change Agents.
HR Manager As “Change Agents”
Many continuing education programs are designed to help individuals to change. Change is likely to continue to dominate our future lives, institutions and society. It is the responsibility of continuing educators and educational agencies, as change-agents, to help people understand change as it affects their lives especially during these period of uncertainties.
Change means to alter or modify something and can evolve naturally or deliberately planned. A natural change is automatic and follows the path of history and evolution. That change is not managed, does not have (proper) direction and goal, and does not use valid knowledge and available resources. Change that evolves naturally can have either a positive or negative impact on development.
The idea of planned change refers to the deliberate efforts made to alter behavior of an individual, a group or a system. Bennis et al. (1976) view planned change as a deliberate and collaborative process involving a change-agent and a client system. It is a method that employs social technology and available resources to help solve problems of man and societies.
Houle (1972) describes planned change as a purposeful decision and deliberate effort to improve a system. In making the improvement, he suggests that the help of an outside agent be solicited. Some key elements related to planned change are: conscious effort to alter performance, desirable goal, collaborative effort between the change-agent ( the party who provides professional guidance) and the client system (the party whose behavior is to be changed) and, employment of all available resources.
Planned change may be conceptualized as a conscious and purposive effort (collaborative between the client system and the change-agent) to alter performance or behavior of a client system towards desirable goals by using available resources.