Everything you need to know about the barriers to human resource planning. Human Resource Planning though a very crucial activity for organizations is not always very successful. A lot of problems could arise and hamper the effectiveness of Human Resource Planning.
Some of the barriers to human resource planning are:-
1. Lack of Support 2. Wrong Perception about Human Resource Practitioner 3. Incompatibility of Information 4. Approach Confliction 5. Absence of Operating Managers’ Co-Ordination 6. Identity Crisis
7. Insufficient Initial Efforts 8. Resistance from Employees 9. Coordination with other Managerial Functions 10. Expensive and Time Consuming 11. Uncertainties
12. Inaccuracy 13. Under Utilization of Manpower 14. Lack of Education and Skilled Labour 15. Unbalanced Focus 16. Accuracy of Forecasts 17. Support of the Top Management 18. Management Information System 19. Unbalanced Approach.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning: 19 Different Barriers
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – Lack of Support, Incompatibility of Information, Approach Confliction and a Few Others
Formulation of human resource planning faces many obstacles which are as follows:
1. Lack of Support:
People think that the human resource planning is unnecessary and time consuming. Workforce can be arranged anytime at the time of requirement, with attractive benefits and incentives so why human resource planning. They think it is an easy task to manipulate the workforce in the organization.
2. Wrong Perception about Human Resource Practitioner:
In this competitive business world it is very difficult and challenging to compete with the rivals without formulating proper strategic plan. Many have the perception that the people who formulate the human resource plan are not expert in business, as a result of which they may commit error while formulating the human resource plan.
3. Incompatibility of Information:
A strategic plan is set for achieving the long term goals or objectives of the organization. At the time of formulation of strategy the used information is basically long term oriented. But the human resource planning is formulated using the short term information. So the information of human resource does not often match with the information of strategy formulation.
4. Approach Confliction:
While formulating human resource planning the organization must consider that how many people and how efficient people are needed for the smooth functionality of the organization. Many human resource practitioners give emphasis on number of employee and many other give emphasis on the quality of the employee.
But both the approaches are equally important for the organization.
5. Absence of Operating Managers’ Co-Ordination:
Human Resource planning is one of the major functions of Human Resource department of every organization. Successful planning depends on the co-operation of all other existing departments. Mainly the operation managers’ coordination and support play very vital role in the success of human resource planning. But very often things do not go in right direction.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – 8 Major Stumbling Blocks: Identity Crisis, Lack of Support of Top Management, Insufficient Initial Efforts and a Few Others
Human Resource planning is not always successful.
Some of the major stumbling blocks are described below:
1. Identity Crisis:
There is generally identity crisis and many managers as well as Human Resource specialists do not fully understand the total Human resource planning process. There can be little doubt that unless the Human resource planning specialists develop a strong sense of purpose; they are more likely to fail.
2. Lack of Support of Top Management:
Human resource planning requires full and wholehearted support from the top management. In the absence of this support and commitment, it would not be possible to ensure the necessary resources, cooperation and support for the success of the human resource planning.
3. Insufficient Initial Efforts:
Successful human resource planning flourishes slowly and gradually. Sometimes sophisticated technologies are forcefully introduced just because competitors have adopted them. These may not be successful unless matched with the needs and environment of the particular enterprise.
4. Resistance from Employees:
Employees and trade unions often resist human resource planning. They feel that this planning increases their overall workload and regulates them through productivity bargaining. They also feel that it would lead to wide spread unemployment, especially of unskilled labour.
5. Coordination with other Managerial Functions:
There is generally a tendency on the part of the human resource planners to remain aloof from other operating managers and to become totally absorbed in their own world. To be effective human resource planning must be integrated with other management functions.
6. Expensive and Time Consuming:
Human resource planning is an expensive and time consuming process. Employers may resist human resource planning feeling that it increases the cost of human resource.
Labour absenteeism, labour turnover, trade cycles, technological changes and market fluctuations are the uncertainties which serve as constraints to Human Resources planning. It is risky to depend upon general estimates of human resource in the face of rapid changes in environment.
8. Insufficient Information:
In most of the Indian organisations, human resource information system (HRIS) has not been fully developed. In the absence of reliable data it may not be possible to develop effective human resource plans.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – With Requisites for Successful Human Resource Planning
1. Some critics think that when required people can be hired and fired, then, why make a simple task difficult.
2. HR Practitioners are perceived as experts in handling personnel matters but not experts in managing business. Therefore their plans when enmeshed with original plans may prove to be defective.
3. HR information is often incompatible with other information used in strategy formulation. Financial forecasting takes precedence over HRP.
4. Conflict may exist between short term and long term HR needs. HR Managers with myopic vision may neglect long term needs in order to tide over short term needs.
5. There is a conflict between quantitative and qualitative approach to HRP. A bid to transfer people across the department without looking at the qualitative request may prove detrimental to organisation’s interest. Best results will accrue if there is a balance between quantitative and qualitative approach.
6. Non-involvement of operative managers renders HRP ineffective. Hence, the need to co-opt the operative mangers in HRP.
1. It must be recognised as an integral part of corporate planning.
2. Backing of top management.
3. HRP responsibility should be centralised for better coordination and consultation between different management levels.
4. Personnel record must be complete.
5. The technique of planning should be best suited to data available.
6. Plans should be prepared by skill level rather than aggregates.
7. Data collection, analysis of planning and plans themselves must be continuously revised and improved.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – 8 Main Problems in the Process of Human Resource Planning (With Guidelines for Human Resource Planning to Make it Effective)
The main problems in the process of Human Resource Planning are as follows:
(i) Employees Resistance:
Many of the employees in India do not have faith in adopting manpower planning as a strategy to achieve objectives. Many business houses are planning to adopt more and more scientific techniques and using human resources with as much care as they give to physical and financial resources.
Employees and trade unions feel that due to widespread unemployment people will be available for jobs as and when required. Employees may also resist resources planning feel that it increases cost of manpower.
(ii) Time Consuming and Expensive:
Manpower planning is a time consuming and expensive method. A good deal of time and cost are involved in data collection and forecasting.
Absenteeism in India is quite high and trend shows that it has increased in the past few years with the result that it has assumed considerable magnitude in determining manpower requirements.
(iv) Inefficient Information System:
In Indian industries human resource information system has not fully developed. There is no reliable data due to which it is not possible to develop effective human resource plans.
Human resource planning involves forecasting the demand for and supply of human resources. Therefore, it cannot be a cent percent accurate process. Longer the time horizon, greater is the possibility of inaccuracy. Inaccuracy increases when departmental forecasts are merely aggregated without critical review.
(vi) Under Utilization of Manpower:
The greater obstacle in the case of manpower planning is the fact that industries in general are not making use of their manpower to the optimum degree and once planning starts, it encounter heavy odds in stepping up utilization.
(vii) Lack of Education and Skilled Labour:
The extent of illiteracy and the slow pace of development of skilled categories, account for low productivity in the labour force. Low productivity has implications for manpower planning.
(viii) Unbalanced Focus:
In some companies human resource planning is used as a number’s game. There is too much focus on the quantitative aspect to ensure the flow of people in and out of the organization.
Such an exclusive focus overlooks the more important dimension, i.e., the quality of human resources. Career planning and development, skill labour, morale etc. are likely to suffer due to such unbalanced approach to human resource planning.
Guidelines for Human Resource Planning to Make It Effective:
Some of the steps that may be taken to improve the effectiveness of human resources planning are as follows:
(i) Adequate Organization:
Human resource planning function should be properly organized. A separate cell, section or committee may be constituted within the human resource department to provide adequate focus, and to coordinate the planning efforts at various levels.
(ii) Organized System:
Human Resource Planning function should be properly organized. A separate section may be constituted within the human resource department to provide adequate focus, and to coordinate the planning efforts at various levels.
(iii) Support from Top Management:
Before starting the human resource planning process the support and commitment of top management should be ensured. Moreover the exercise should be carried out within the limits of a budget.
(v) Proper Information System:
An adequate Information system should be developed for human resources to facilitate human resource planning.
(vi) Tailor Made:
Human resource plans should be balanced with the corporate plans of the enterprises. The methods and techniques used should fit in the objectives, strategies and environment of the particular organization.
(vii) Appropriate Time:
The period of a human resource plan should be appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the specific enterprise.
(viii) Greater Participation:
Greater participation of line managers at all levels in Human Resource Planning process should be there.
Enough flexibility in Human Resource Plans to take care of changing situations.
(x) Proper Focus:
The quantity and quality of human resources should be stressed in a balanced manner. The focus should be on filling up future vacancies with right kind of people who can help in achieving the objectives of the organisation.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning
Planners face significant challenges while formulating an HRP.
The major ones are the following:
1. People question the importance of making HR practices future oriented and the role assigned to HR practitioners in formulation of organisational strategies. Their argument is simple—there are people when needed. Offer attractive package of benefits to them to quit when you find them in surplus.
2. HR practitioners are perceived as experts in handling personnel matter, but are not experts in managing business. The personnel plan conceived and formulated by the HR practitioners when enmeshed with organisational plan, might make the overall strategic plan itself defective.
3. HR information often is incompatible with the information used in strategy formulation. Strategic planning efforts have long been oriented towards financial forecasting often to the exclusion of other types of information.
4. Conflicting may exist between short-term and long- term HR needs. For example, there arises a conflict between the pressure to get work done on time and long-term needs, such as preparing people for assuming greater responsibilities. Many managers are of the belief that HR needs can be met immediately because skills are available on the market as long as wages and salaries are competitive. These managers fail to recognise that by resorting to hiring or promoting depending on short-term needs alone, long-term issues are neglected.
5. There is conflict between quantitative and qualitative approach to HRP. Some people view HRP as a number game designed to track the flow of people across the departments. These people have a strictly quantitative approach to planning. Others take a qualitative approach and focus on individual employee concerns such as promotability and career development. Best results would accrue if there is a balance between the quantitative and qualitative approaches.
6. Non-involvement of operating managers renders HRP ineffective. HRP is not strictly an HR department function. Successful planning needs a co-coordinated effort on the part of operating managers and HR personnel.
From the above discussions we get to the following conclusion:
‘Human resource planning has maintained its imperatives for several reasons: (a) a growing awareness of the need to look into the future, (b) a desire to exercise control over as many variables as possible which influence business success or failure, and (c) the development of techniques which make such planning possible.’
Barriers to Human Resource Planning
1. People question the importance of making Human Resource practices future- oriented
2. HR practitioners are seen as experts in handling personnel matters, but not managing business
3. HR information is often incompatible with the information used in strategy formulation
4. Financial forecasting takes precedence over Human Resource Planning
5. Conflicts may exist between short- and long-term future needs
6. Non-involvement of operating managers makes Human Resource Planning ineffective.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – Accuracy of Forecasts, Identity Crisis, Support of the Top Management, Resistance from Employees and a Few Others
The manpower planning suffers from the following problems-
1. Accuracy of Forecasts:
If the forecast are not accurate, planning will not be accurate. Inaccuracy increases when departmental forecasts are merely prepared without critical review.
2. Identity Crisis:
Several human resource specialists and the managers do not properly understand the whole manpower planning process. Because of this there is generally an identity crisis.
3. Support of the Top Management:
Manpower planning requires full and whole-heated support from the top management. In this absence of this support and commitment, it would not be possible to ensure the necessary resources and co-operation for the success of the manpower planning.
4. Resistance from Employees:
Employees and trade unions resist manpower planning. They feel that the planning increases their overall workload and regulates them through productivity bargaining. They also feel that it would lead to wide spread unemployment especially of unskilled labour.
5. Insufficient Initial Efforts:
Successful human resource planning flourish slowly and gradually. Sometimes sophisticated technologies are forcefully introduced just because competitors have adopted them. These may not be successful unless matched with the need and environment of the particular enterprise.
6. Management Information System:
Effectiveness of the manpower planning depends upon the reliability of the information system. In most of the Indian industries human resource information system has not fully developed. In the absence of reliable data it would not be possible to have effective planning.
7. Expensive and Time Consuming:
The human resource planning is an expensive and time consuming exercise. Employers may resist manpower planning feeling that it will increase the cost of manpower.
8. Co-Ordination with Other Managerial Functions:
There is generally a tendency on the part of manpower planners to remain aloof from other operating managers and to become totally absorbed in their own world. To be effective manpower planning must be integrated with other management functions.
9. Unbalanced Approach:
The manpower planning is an unbalanced approach as many human resource persons give more importance on the quantitative aspects of manpower to ensure that there is adequate flow of manpower in and out of the organization. They overlook the qualitative aspects like career development and planning, skill levels and morale etc.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – With Guidelines for Effective Human Resource Planning
1. Inaccuracy – HRP is based on demand forecasting and supply forecasting of human resources. So, it cannot be a cent percent accurate process. Longer the time horizon, greater is the possibility of inaccuracy.
2. Uncertainties – Labour turnover, labour absenteeism seasonal employment, technological changes and other environmental changes are uncertainties which serve as constraints to HRP.
3. Inefficient Information System – Human resource information system has not been fully developed yet, in most of Indian Industries. In the absence of reliable data, it is not possible to develop effective human resource plans.
4. Insufficient Top Management’s Support – In the absence of support and commitment from the top, human resource experts find it difficult to obtain vital inputs. The support from top management is essential to ensure the success of HRP.
5. Time and Expense – Manpower planning is a time-consuming and expensive exercise. A good deal of time and cost are involved in data collection and forecasting.
6. Lack of Integration with organisational plans – There is a lack of integration between organisation planners and human resource planners in many organisations Human resources plans are prepared in isolation of the organisational plans. But HRP must be based on organisational objectives & plans.
1. Tailor made – Human Resource Plans must be based on corporate plans of the enterprise and balanced with environment of the particular organisation.
2. Appropriate Time Horizon – The period of a human resource plan should be appropriate to the needs a circumstance of the specific enterprise.
3. Organised Effort – Human resource planning function should be properly organised. A separate committee, cell may be constituted within the human resource department to provide adequate focus and to coordinate the planning efforts at various levels.
4. Support of Top Management – To be effective, in the long run. Human Resources planning must have the full support of top management. There is no use formulating plans which cannot be implemented due to financial constraints.
5. Integration with organisational Plans – Human resources planning must be based on organisational objectives and plans. This requires development of good communication channels between organisation planes and the human resources planners.
Barriers to Human Resource Planning – 8 Common Obstacles
Human Resource Planning though a very crucial activity for organizations is not always very successful. A lot of problems could arise and hamper the effectiveness of HRP.
Some of the more common obstacles usually encountered are described below:
1. The Identity Issue – There is a lack of understanding about the HRP process amongst many managers especially human resource personnel. Unless these specialists develop a strong sense of purpose, they would not be able to carry out the HRP activity.
2. Support of Top Management – For HRP to be successful in the long run, it must have the backing of at least one senior level executive. This is essential to ensure necessary resources, visibility, and cooperation essential for the success of an HRP programme.
3. Complexity of the Initial Effort – Many HRP programmes fail as a result of over-complicated initial effort. The success of an HRP programme is dependent on starting out slowly and gradually expanding as the success of the programme becomes visible. Developing a skill inventory and a replacement chart are good places to start.
4. Co-ordination with other management and human resource functions – HRP should be co-ordinated with other management and HR functions. Steps should be taken to abolish the trend of HR personnel getting engrossed in their own work and not interacting with others.
5. Integration with organization plans – HR plans must be derived from organizational plans. It is important to develop good communication channels between the organization planners and the human resource planners.
6. Quantitative vs qualitative approaches – HRP is sometimes viewed as a number game to track the flow of people in, out, up, down, and across different organisational units. This is a strictly quantitative approach to HRP.
On the other hand there is a strictly qualitative approach which is followed wherein the focus is on individual employee concerns such as individual promotability and career development. A middle path or a balanced approach usually yields the best results.
7. Involvement of operating managers – HRP is not strictly a human resource departments function alone. Infact, for HRP to be successful co-ordinated efforts are required from the operating managers and the human resources departments.
8. The technique trap – As HRP has become more popular a lot of new and sophisticated techniques have been developed to assist in HRP. Many of these are useful. But many a times a lot of these methods are used not for their effectiveness but because ‘everybody else is using them’. This should be avoided by HR professionals.
These are some general problems that can be encountered in HRP. However, many of the employers in India today do not have faith in adopting manpower planning as a strategy to achieve corporate objectives. Many big business houses are gradually adopting more and more scientific techniques and using human resources with as much care as they give to physical and financial resources.
Traditionally, financial resources have been accorded the highest rank. It is also felt that whereas other resources can be conserved, manpower is perishable. Resistance to manpower planning is far greater from employees and unions than from the employers. Manpower planning is looked upon as a labour reduction device, by the unions.
However, what is needed in India today is a proper appreciation of manpower planning with a clear understanding that manpower planning does not necessarily aim at reducing manpower. Infact, it aims at the optimum utilization of manpower. Industries in general are not making use of their manpower to the optimum degree, and once planning starts, it encounters heavy odds in stepping up the utilization.
Absenteeism is another big problem in India. Trends show that it has increased in the last few years to such proportions that it assumes considerable magnitude in determining manpower requirements. Another aspect that needs to be considered is the extent of illiteracy and the slow pace of development of skilled categories which accounts for low productivity in the labour force. Low productivity in turn has implications for manpower planning.