The relationship between employer and employees is crucial in ensuring high levels of performance and a
clear return on investment. The balance of power is tipped in favour of the organisation in this relationship
� after all, the organisation has the ultimate say in who is employed, under what terms and conditions
they are employed and how they are rewarded. In some economies, employees have organised
themselves into trade unions as a means of dealing with this inherent imbalance of power, yet these
unions are experiencing a decline in membership in many industries. Although this may initially appear to
be good news for employers, it would appear short-sighted to ignore the bargaining power still held by
workers, especially those in short supply, who are able to make choices about who they work for and
what they consider the appropriate level of reward.
In this essay, you explain how human resource planning impacts HR strategy. Furthermore, you critically
analyse talent management and employee engagement.
Human resource planning is a critical activity in human resource management and it involves the
assessment of human resource demand in an organization. It includes forecasting of labour
requirements and the future need for more or less labor (Mathis & Jackson, 2006). Human
resource strategies developed as a result of the strategic activities that were adopted to address
the perennial shortage and excesses of labor in some periods during the trading period mostly
over a year (Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Quin & Walton, 1984). In the early 1980’s, Atkinson
(1984) developed the flexible firm model where employees would be engaged over short term
periods or rotated over a shift through job sharing and more periphery group of employees would
be hired when there was need for more labour.
Human resource planning involves; a) the evaluation and appreciation of an organizations
existing human labour b) an estimation of the current human or manpower resources that would
still be available at a particular date as forecasted in future c) the additional requirement of
labour as per the objectives of the organization at a particular date and d) the necessary measures
to be undertaken to ensure that the labour requirements would be ready at the forecasted date.
The major objectives of human resource planning are to develop the human resource
requirements as per the business objectives and strategies, reduce the uncertainties that develop
due to staff high turnover by utilizing all the skills that the organization has in its manpower
while taking care of the needs and aspirations of all the employees (Baird & Meshoulam, (1988).
Human resource strategies and planning alleviates the irregularities and the unpredictability’s
that characterize unplanned human resource departments. Atkinson (1984) further supported the
promotion of agency workers who could be hired for a specific type of work as a strategy to curb
short term labour shortages without the organization having any employment responsibility after
the work has been completed (Walsh & Deery, 1999).
The growing realization that workers are also a valuable asset to any company has led to the
management of talents among employees to develop the employee efficiencies and also as a way
of retaining good and talented employees in the organization. Michaels, Handifeld-Jones &
Axelrod (2001) clarified that high staff turnover could be easily averted by human resource
planning and engagement of employees through talent development and management. Most
organizations invest a lot resource to attract and retain the best talents. However, the strategies
should be researched well to avoid negative backlash to the organization in case the employees
are against the company’s talent promotion (CIPD, 2014). Career development is one of the
concepts of talent development among employees that an organization can adopt to engage the
employees as well as to retain them much longer in the organization hence reduce staff turnover.
Employee engagement is a modern approach in HRM that allows the employees to understand
that the organization requires more than their physical presences while at work. Employee
engagement involves several dimensions of intellectual, affective and social engagement (CIPD,
2013). The employees should be made to contribute intelligently through positive thinking and
active involvement in work related discussions. These efforts can be only achieved by engaging
the employee positively through positive organization strategies that make the employee feel
positive about his contribution and engagement by the organization (Valentin, 2014).
Mathis, R. L. & Jackson, J.H. (2006) Human Resource Management, 11th ed. Mason: Thomson
Atkinson, J., 1984, ‘Manpower strategies for flexible organizations’, Personnel Management,
Baird, L. & Meshoulam, D., 1988, ‘Managing two fits of strategic human resource management’
Academy of Management Review, 13 (1), pp.116-128.