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This page is updated on 2006-07-27 12:04
Christian Service News
Issue 46 (January 2005)
Chief Executive's Column
Performance and Humanity
Chief Exectuive
NG Shui Lai

A large part of most company expenditure is spent on staff cost. This is particularly true for manpower intensive businesses, such as social service. Its high staff cost is not due to high pay but because of its labour intensive nature.

One of the obvious ways to overcome financial constraint is to cut staff cost. But this is not necessarily a good Human Resource Management (HRM) strategy. To maximize productivity should be a strategy in all time but not just in time of financial constraint.

Take the local social service for instance. A minimum number of staff is kept to maintain the present level of service. Further cut of staff cost would mean a reduction of services and their qualities.

In situations where workloads are heavier than ever on one hand and the salary has been reduced on the other hand, staff morale is a great concern. As we cannot do much to change workloads and salary we should try to tailor our HRM policy in ways that are more conducive to the well-being and morale of our staff.

More flexible HRM policy should be applied so that the individual's needs could be taken care of. HRM policy-making should be more transparent and participatory. Although options are limited in non-profit organisations, some form of non-monetary means can be used to reward staff with good performance.

Staff is the most valuable asset of any social service agencies. While we need to implement more strictly on staff performance management, we should and we can at the same time have a more humane HRM policy.

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