age discussions, indeed, cannot be neglected in industrial relations; yet, placing too much focus on them is not in the best interests of industrial development, for which industrial relations serve as a catalyst. If a reasonable level of development is ever to be attained, industrial relations must go much beyond salary negotiations. Based on this, human resource management will be examined in order to determine whether it is being carried out efficiently or not.
The input of man into the creation of goods and services is referred to as human resources. It includes everything from mental ability to physical energy dissipation required for manufacturing and other resources. With this in mind, there is little doubt that human resources play a pivotal role in the growth of other resources. As a result, human resources were and continue to be the source of all industrial processes.
Despite its importance, human resources have become one of the most challenging of all other resources to value and evaluate in terms of their importance in harnessing other resources. While it may be relatively simple to calculate the volume and quantity of materials required to reach a given level of output, even when the number of human resources to employ can be adequately determined, assigning an acceptable value to them has proven to be a difficult task.
Apart from quantity determination, the procurement of such other resources takes precedence over human resources; yet, human resources are still necessary from the planning stage to the implementation stage of all our manufacturing processes. Could it have been a lack of awareness for human resources’ importance or satisfaction with their plenty that caused this failure to give them their due? Why would everything be done to find alternative resources before a key resource be considered? Is it because human resources are under the tight control of managers and hence readily available that no one bothers to spend sleepless hours worrying about their sourcing?
So many concerns about human resource neglect received so few replies to explain such neglect. Our human resource management in Africa as a whole, and Nigeria in particular, is appalling. It is frequently left to its own devices to determine its level throughout the production cycle. Its importance of location is overlooked in the background. Most high-quality feasibility studies focus on material and capital sources, with little attention paid to the degree of human resources required to meet the target. It could go as far as discussing the impact of inflation on the country and the financing of the necessary materials. Simultaneously, no mention is made of the impact this will have on the workforce’s psychology, which is what makes up human resources. The effect of human resources is kept constant while the effect of other resources is closely monitored and assessed in order to induce the desirability of a project.
This stance is unlikely to alter in the near future. Because materials are frequently used and then forgotten, their impact on capital must be carefully managed. Any blunder here could spell disaster; therefore it must be closely monitored. Human resources, on the other hand, while critical, may be made more adaptable to fit any situation. It is no surprise that workers have little faith in the manufacturing process as a whole, and their primary concern is how much money they will get at the end of the day’s work. A typical production manager is focused on optimizing raw material management to reduce waste. He does not have time to consider the psychological pain and anguish that the worker is experiencing, even if this can lower the worker’s productivity to zero. In any case, if the employee misbehaves, he or she will be sacked and replaced by someone from a labour market that is already overburdened. Even when it is coherent with the corporate aim, the average worker has no goal or aspiration that is worthy of attention.
One could wonder, then, what stake does the worker have in the outcome of the manufacturing process. Nothing at all, I guess. Nonetheless, he must be repaid for his efforts, and the only compensation available to him is his normal income. He or she also believes that this should be properly compensated to revitalize him or her for future use.
Wage negotiation has been the one and may be only focus of our industrial relations as a result of this terrible omission in the incentive or desire to exhibit more empathy to the employees. Managers should think about improved ways to appreciate our plentiful human resources and, as a result, conduct effective and efficient human resource management. We are not getting the most out of our human resources, and this is due to a lack of attention to the priority that should have been given to it in the first place.
A substantial shift would be realized through higher production of goods and services and better industrial relations, which are continually dominated by wage discussions, if there was a full change of heart in relation to the welfare and aspirations of the working force. Give the Nigerian labour force pride of position, and increase the efficiency of the commodities and services we create.
The Nigerian Government’s recent “no work, no pay” approach toward striking doctors is a textbook example of employers’ callous disregard for their employees’ worries and goals. To say the least, the workforce’s efforts are massively weakening. It is past time for a paradigm shift in how we think about the most important resource we will ever need to run our businesses, both in terms of production and services. If the human resource does not play its critical role, no system can exist, let alone become profitable (companies). New solutions for better human resource management must develop if we realize and appreciate this.
This is a community obligation that extends far beyond the scope of human resources managers or labour relations specialists. Everyone must adopt a new mindset, and this antiquated and ineffective pay bargaining should be completely replaced by the management of powerful stakeholders. Employees should undoubtedly be viewed and treated as important stakeholders in any forward-thinking firm.
While I believe that our human resource management is at an all-time low, I believe that a true shift in mentality among our managers would go a long way toward improving human resource management, and as a result, attaining extraordinary results in our society.