The human resource management continues to undergo evolution and its future seems brighter each and every day. Previously, human resource was solely perceived to have a role in taking part in the recruitment process of the organization. Developments in technology have had a dramatic effect on the way in which an organization can manage its operations. With evolutions in HR technological systems, advancements in the electronic human resource management (e-HRM) have been adopted by many organizations. For instance, organizations have been better placed to search for new employees around the world by using the internet such as World Wide Web. By applying this type of recruitment process enables skilled employees to easily get connected with employers. It has reduced the cost of recruiting new employees and it easily brings skilled employees to the organization. In addition, advanced in technologies such as call centers have been incorporated into other HR practices such e-HRM have helped organizations well-defined performance system. The developments in the call center have specifically have resulted in an interesting convergence of HRIS and HR architecture to explore lessons and future directions in e-HRM.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a background of the call center developments over the past five years in the line of e-HRM practice. To be specific, focusing on technological advancements in the operation of call centers will overtake the development of e-HRM practices to reveal the ways in which both can be integrated and implemented to come up with an end-to-end process. Secondly, the scope of this paper will be on the development of performance management HR practices such as, e-coaching, electronic performance monitoring (EPM), and e-learning using HRIS integrations (Coombes, 2014). Even though in many ways this integrated e-HRM models has improved organization performance and effectiveness.
Introducing Call Centers
Introduction of call centers at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel will provide the best environment from which the company can draw critical insights that are related to e-HRM since the model has the widest reach across the company. Over the past five years, this model has dramatically transformed the nature of work of Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel from one of an autonomous role with complexity to a more structured one with defined rules (Freedman, 2012). The technologies in this company has have provided a direct connection to practices related to HRM and have been incorporated as a standard of call center practices in many cases (Andresen & Nowak, 2014). Thus examining this case of e-HRM applied at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel assist in understanding the impact on performance outcomes.
Over the past five years, the introduction of technological advancements in telecommunications and information technology (IT) has vastly enhanced the ability for Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel to transform the ways in which it goes about its business. These advancements have enabled the re-engineering of call center in this hotel and around the globe (Ulrich & Younger, 2012). As a result, it has increased employment rate in the hotel.
Vosburgh & Resorts (2012), “this growth of call center operations and the accompanying employment surge has been closely linked to the development of a call center management model which has significantly changed the nature of work in the hotel”. Talking from human resource perspective, taking a step of adopting and integrating such technological advancement within the call center environment have enabled organizations such as Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel to develop processes for performance (Vosburgh & Resorts, 2012). They have also enabled the company to create succinct job analysis and design, incorporate dynamic training modules, and to establish targeted recruitment practices. Talking from an operational point of view, the adoption of call centers has allowed the hotel to integrate practices such industrial engineering and mass production principles, to simplify service delivery process and to make work much easier and come with more routine job designs (Freedman, 2012).
Electronic Performance Monitoring (EPM)
Electronic performance monitoring (EPM) has had a positive impact on HR in general and Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. Monitoring performance as an HR factor is not a new phenomenon in the workplace. However, with the development of Web-enabled technologies, organizations such as Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel have expanded performance practices to include EPM. The introduction of electronic performance monitoring has moved employees at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel from occasional to constant monitoring. Prior to EPM, employees at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel were usually monitored though document review and observations. These methods provided employees with some type of control over the monitoring process. EPM has enabled Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel to have an always-on-approach to monitoring with access to information in real-time or through electronic retrieval. These electronic sources provide vast amount of information to review employees in areas such as attendance, work time, accuracy, quality, and interaction with customers.
Vosburgh & Resorts (2012) argue that EPM has been extensively applied in many hospitality organizations and research shows evidence of mixed results about the overall effectiveness of such practices. Benefits of such EPM practices suggest that there is an improved capability for supervisors to provide performance feedback to employees. However, it has been noted that such practices are considered intrusive and counterproductive. For example, in research carried out on Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, it has been found that where its employees are closely monitored, there are high cases of stress and dissatisfaction among these workers.
In a recent meta analysis, the results that the presence of EPM alone does increase performance. However, this study also shows that central to the overall effectiveness of the integrated e-HRM practice is the employee’s perceptions of fairness and control. In other words, it is important that the operational efficiency goals are guided by strong HRM strategies and practices which consider employee implications when developing such e-HRM system integrations (Coombes, 2014). HRIS capability in these situations could be strengthened by shifting the HR strategy to provide employees with a more transactional approach to managing process.
As EPM has changed the way in which employees work at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, these same systems have equally changed the way in which supervisors evaluate and work with employees. The Web-enabled systems which make employee information easily accessible have made it possible for supervisors to provide instant feedback to employees. This ability to provide feedback more closely to the time of the action or behavior has enhanced the development of employees within the role (Ulrich & Younger, 2012). For the most part, Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel purposely applies e-coaching to the performance management metrics for individual, group, and organizational level. For example, a supervisor in the field of technology can use various types of Web-enabled applications to set thresholds and triggers to highlight employee performance abnormalities. The supervisor can create automatic responses to employees signaling the required change or congratulatory messages or engage in online chat to more fully explore the issue and work with employee. Similarly, employees in some operations may have the ability to click a button to connect with a supervisor directly to work through an issue or emergency.
Ignoring the above factors
By any chance Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel ignores the aforementioned factors; it would be the start of its flop in its HRM. Good HRM ensures that the company succeeds in processes such as employee recruitment and training (Coombes, 2014). Employee training at Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel is a hallmark of its good management, and if task managers overlook it, it will be at their own peril. The company will not be better placed to gain a strong competitive advantage if it does not have better-trained staff. Having employees who seem to have a high potential to perform is not a guarantee to the employer that they will succeed. Instead, they have to know what their supervisors want from them. If they do not receive these instructions, they will do the work in their own way, not the way the supervisor wants them to do (Vosburgh & Resorts, 2012).
In addition, the company will find it hard to develop its management. Basically, the secret of succeeding in your goals as a manager and as an organization in general basically lies in learning how to release the hidden potential of people. One function of the HR is to motivate workers. When workers are not motivated, there are high chances of them not being so productive. The relationship between pay and motivation plays a crucial role in an organization such as Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. It is said that money motivates, no matter the situation (Andresen & Nowak, 2014).
What to do to prepare for the future
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel has a plan to improve its recruitment process. This hotel aims at having a well-trained team of employers that will put the company on map as the best hotel in terms of service delivery. When its services are of the required standards, it will increase the number of customers visiting the hotel. It also aims at applying e-HRM when it comes to supervising its workers (Ulrich & Younger, 2012).
In addition, the hotel has a plan to apply intrinsic motivation on its employees. It wants to ensure that the workers get motivated to an extent that they work not because they want to get paid at the end of the day or month, but because the job is interesting, engaging, or possibly challenging. Self-determination at work is often associated with high levels of intrinsic motivation.
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Ulrich, D., & Younger, J. (2012). HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources. New York, NY.: McGraw Hill .
Vosburgh, R. & Resorts, M. (2012). The Evolution of HR: Developing HR as an Internal Consulting Organization. Human Resource Planning.