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.