Challenges Facing Human Resource Managers at UPS|Efficiency and Flexibility

One of the roles that human resource management has to play in an entity is ensuring “staff ability and willingness to perform” is enhanced at the work place (Sumetzberger 2005, p. 663). A challenge that has been brought by the quest to achieve such ability and staff readiness is how to balance employees’ personal life with work. Modern-day environment, for instance, has forced employees to combine work and other personal development pursuits such as education. With such multiple involvement; employees’ performance at work could be affected hence the need for organization’s to develop programs that offer flexible work agreements (Stavrou-Costea 2005). Development of flexible work programs has for instance been perceived as a method through which individuals can effectively combine their home and work duties effectively (Stavrou-Costea 2005). The employment approach in UPS of offering most of its employment for start-up employees on part-time basis (UPS 2010b) offers a basis to evaluate whether multinational corporations faced with job flexibility challenges can effectively adopt a similar approach.

In respect of providing flexible working arrangements and reducing labor costs, UPS’ strategy has been to offer most of its employment on part time basis (UPS 2010b). Through such a strategy the corporation has employed a big workforce while guarding against escalation of production costs (UPS 2009a). However, despite the advantage that such approaches have helped the company achieve, UPS has faced union pressures to increase more full-time jobs in the past (CNN 1997). Such contrasting effects thus provide managers with challenges of formulating the right program for the company’s recruitment. What also becomes a challenge in structuring part time jobs is maximizing the benefits that a corporation is able to offer through such job arrangements. UPS however has instituted a benefit scheme that it offers both to its part time and full time employees (UPS 2010a).

Flexible working practices however allow organizations with a diverse workforce to retain their staff. For instance, as early as 1979, flexible work arrangements were advanced to be core to realizing equality in employment especially in respect to women who faced a challenge to balance between home and work commitments (OECD, 1979). The challenge for many multinational corporations however still remain in the way to structure employment in diverse cultural backgrounds to benefit fully from employee talents while allowing them the opportunity to advance in other aspects of their lives.

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