Strategic Operation Issues


Doing business in a fast growing and dynamic business environment, the way the scenario is in this 21st century, calls for standards and procedures to be set if an organization is to emerge a success. That being the case, operational issues and problems need to be addressed and solutions sought as fast as they occur, to avoid a scenario that would put an organization at risk of making losses. If operational issues and problems are not addressed, they put an organization at a point of not being able to deliver customer needs; thus, leaving them dissatisfied, or causing a state of lack of motivation and low morale among employees. The core objective of every organization is to create utility, and deliver some value to its client stakeholders. However, it is not every day that issues run smoothly or as planned. There are always emerging issues, or what is called operational issues and problems (OIPs), that tend to stand on the way of achieving the preset objectives, and by extension, they derail an organization’s performance (Ruffini, Harryand & Maarten 2000, pp. 860-879). At the end of the day, if operational issues are not addressed, they affect the profit level of an organization or the organization’s ability to offer quality services. 

Every organization has core values that drive it, it is these pillars that make the organization strong and ease the process of achieving its goals. However, should the core values fall short of the standards, then operational issues and problems becomes a common phenomenon in the organization (Bateman & Carl 1990, pp. 22). This paper addresses human resource management as an operational issue. The paper will look at the nature of the problem, and briefly describe how human resources management issues fits in the operation of the business. Apart from giving details of human resource management as an operation issue, the paper will offer recommendations of improving entire process of human resource management.

The issue of human resources if not handled with due care, can possibly cause operational problems. Conventionally, organizations have formed a tendency of hiring, training and developing their labor force, with the aim of attaining functional excellence in the company, and still satisfying the profit goal of the organization. The human resources department often takes charge on behalf of the organization to objectively reward employees’ efforts, particularly those that make a substantial contribution to the performance of the department they work for. Employees’ expertise is developed through training, and in most cases, staff appraisal is done in confidence to enhance objectivity (Russell 2000). In other words, those organizations that does well when it comes to process performance, puts lots of emphasis on customer satisfaction, as well as staff development and progression. In such organizations promotion is absolutely on merit, and is awarded to individuals who have shown potential in their ability to improving the organization processes. Employees’, who participate in the process of coaching and training others to make better their skills, are also promoted. 

Organizations have it that, in order to develop better wits in solving managerial skills, employees must do practice, and literally address these challenges as they happen in the job, as opposed to relying on what is learnt in the classroom. In other words, employees are conditioned to look at managers as teachers from whom they can learn new skills (Ruffini, Harryand & Maarten, 2000, pp. 860-879). This being the case, human resources management ceases from the traditional view of just a functional issue, and is looked at as a serious operational aspect, just like other aspects such as production wastage or service delivery delay. 

Coming up with high-performing labour force is not only essential, but very paramount if an organization is to keep up with the largely competitive business environment. Seismic shifts of labor force and high staff turnover is a major operational issue, and is indeed causing an acute shortage of qualified personnel. In a nutshell, most companies are experiencing increasing demand of staffs and skilled manpower, while the labor market is declining day in day out. There is a serious operational issue of trying to much demand and supply of labor, and bringing the two to an equilibrium point (Nie 2000, pp. 611-628). This has made the entire process of recruitment, selection and placement of staffs, a rather demanding task. This scenario of human resource management operational crisis is made worse as the baby boomer class of employees draw closer to their retirement, the organization basically edges even closer to a possible labor shortage. In other words, a keener eye must be directed to not only the strategic plan, but most importantly the operational issues when it comes to setting forth the most suitable labor force for an organization. With this kind of operational issues, the most probable thing to happen is to have a work force that prefer retiring later, and  the resultant thing is multigenerational kind of employees (Angell & Klassen 1999, pp. 575-598). The issue here became the difference in expectations of the different employees in terms of rewards and means of motivating them, with an aim of improving efficiency. The scenario end up forcing the organizations to come up with ways and means of customizing job openings, training strategies, and even the reward systems, so as to suit the needs and expectations of the various demographic groups of individuals working for it.

When there are issues in the labor market of this nature, whose results are dissatisfied employees. Research has it that in every 100 employees, only 30 are properly engaged in their work, and are, therefore, productive (Weiss & Mark 1989). A whooping sum of 54 is often not engaged, and the remaining 16 out of the one hundred are actually actively disengaged. This simply brings us to the operation issues, where a total of about 70 percent of staffs at any single working point are not engaged in work. This is actually eye-opening information. When the implication of this is extended and viewed from a productivity view point, the clear impact is seen. From the outset, workers who are not motivated, have no regard for efficiency or shown concern in improving the organization productivity. By extension, what they succeed in doing is dragging into drain the potential of the organization as a whole. 

Additionally, unproductive employees have very little output to show. Employees who feel that they are not satisfied are always seeking for better opportunities or greener pastures as they have it. Whenever employees leave an organization, they take with themselves their intellectual capacity, inclusive of training and experience they have gained in their services in an organization. This will hit hard on the health of the organization affected. By extension, the output of the organization is directly affected (Krajewski & Ritzman 1993, p. 13). This is so largely because the organization will need to recruit and train new employees. The output of the organization will be affected. It is important to note that most workers are always very confident about getting an alternative opportunity for employment; this increases their chances of moving, and hence low output is recorded at the end of the day. The other very important performance aspect that is affected by employee management issues and resultant labor turn over in an organization is the flexibility. Labor turnover often cause loss of organizational brain power and experienced individuals, among other things. Human resource operational issues makes an organization rather inflexible, renders it incapable of delivering customers deadlines, and puts the organization at a risk of losing  royal clients. Inflexibility can also possibly cause disruptions in the operations department (Dyson 2000, pp. 5-11). The cost of hiring and training new staffs, now and again, can have a negative impact on any organization. New staffs require training and orientation, both of which are costs to be incurred, and thus have a reducing effect of the net profits. 

To solve the whole issue of human resource management, and particularly the issue of staff turnover, an organization has a number of options that it can possibly explore. To make sure that an organization recruits the best staffs, it can start by streamlining and making efficient the entire staff recruitment process Angell and Klassen (1999, pp. 575-598). Potential employee’s data should be stored sometimes after the interview to allow easy time for getting a staff, should the organization need one. To ensure productivity, an organization can opt for hourly work force management, ensuring that employees are at the right place in the right time. The human resource department should embrace the technology in the storage and retrieval of employees’ information. Employees’ database should be formed, in case there is an opportunity that need to be filled, the human resource department need not advertise or use other expensive recruiting methods. The human resource manager or whoever is in charge of recruitment can possibly use the stored data, therefore, saving on the cost.


Every organization would wish to have a scenario where operations issues and problems do not exist. However, as earlier indicated, it cannot be possible to get rid of all operations issues and problems. This withstanding, an organization can still meet its goals and succeed in reducing their effect, if not eliminating them altogether. In practice, organizations get better anytime they try to address the issues and problems related to operations. Better said, organizations should not stop trying to eliminate the operations issues and problems. In a nutshell, every operations issues and problems conquered, and every single area protected, is an assurance that in the long run the organization can possibly win against operations issues and problems. What is important to any organizations is to keep up the fight against operations issues and problems. Organizations should not, at any point, take these issues for granted or accept them as part of the organization. Operations issues and problems must be addressed at all cost. Staff turnover as an operational issue can be sorted out, although organizations have to accept that it is a gradual process, as opposed to a spontaneous event.

List of References

Angell, LC & Klassen, RD 1999, ‘Integrating Environmental Issues into the Mainstream: An Agenda for Research in Operations Management’, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 575-598.

Bateman, TS & Carl, PZ 1990, Management: Function and Strategy, Pearson, Chester.

Dyson, RG 2000, ‘Strategy, Performance and Operational Research’, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 5-11.

Krajewski, LJ & Ritzman, L 1993, Operations Management: Strategy and Analysis, Addison-Wesley Publishing, Boston.

Nie, W 2000. ‘Waiting: Integrating Social and Psychological Perspectives in Operations Management’, Omega, Vol. 28, No.6, pp. 611-628.

Ruffini, FAJ, Boer, H & Riemsdijk, MJV 2000, ‘Organisation design in operations management’, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 20, No. 7, pp. 860-879.

Russell, RH 2000, ‘Learning to Learn: Using Models to Launch the Strategic Conversation’, Harvard Business Review, Mar 15, 2000. Weiss, HJ & Mark, EG 1989, Production and Operations Management, Allyn and Bacon, Boston.

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