Written by Philip S.
This academic assignment analyses the findings arising from the primary data with a focus on employee skills and capabilities. The investigation is divided into 4 sub-sections. The first part covers the key issues encountered by the participants when transitioning to the use of risk management tools. The second section establishes what human resource capabilities were required for improving the adoption of risk management software. The third sub-section illustrates the methods that were chosen by the interviewees as a means of addressing human resource challenges. The assignment is concluded with a summary of the key findings.
Key Human Resource Issues Facing the Adoption of Risk Management Software
The following table summarises the main themes defining the issues facing the adoption of risk management software.
Table 1: Issues Facing the Adoption of Risk Management Software
Two of the main challenges facing the representatives of the sample were motivating employees and establishing solid organisational communications.
“At the time, we generally had good relationships with our subordinates. It was easy to explain what [software name] was and why it was needed. But I guess motivating employees was more of a problem”. (1)
“It was a push from above, we had to become fully digital by the end of 2018. Very stressful for a lot of us, especially for the newer employees. I wasn't really satisfied with how it was communicated”. (2)
The quotes demonstrated that the implementation of risk management software was frequently perceived as an addition to one’s job responsibilities. To account for this, the employees were required to possess high levels of motivation. The management also needed to communicate the need for such a significant change with the staff experiencing negative work outcomes (such as stress) if this criterion was not met. These findings were consistent with the works of Calvard and Jeske (2018), and Vukadinovic et al. (2018), namely the assertion that strategic HRM was necessary for transitioning to the use of software packages in the field of risk management. However, this project expanded the works of these authors by claiming that the implementation of risk management tools was dependent both on regular employees and the management. On the one hand, the personnel had to possess a strong intrinsic motivation to contribute to the attainment of corporate objectives. On the other hand, it was the responsibility of the management to generate extrinsic motivation and establish clear communication mechanisms for this process. The following figure summarises this by relying on the word cloud of the 50 most frequently encountered words for the relevant themes from Table 1.
Figure 1: Word Cloud of Key Issues for Software Implementation
The words ‘department’, ‘employees’, ‘stressful’, ‘boring’ and ‘decision’ were arguably indicative of the fact that the areas of motivation, communication and leadership were the most significant field of human resource capabilities relevant to the adoption of risk management tools.
Human Resource Capabilities Valuable for Risk Management Software
The next table reviews the themes corresponding to valuable human resource capabilities.
Table 2: Key Capabilities Valuable for the Adoption of Risk Management Software
The capabilities could be divided into the characteristics of the workforce and workplace practices. For example, employee skills defined the available labourers while strategic foresight referred to observable behaviours exhibited by the management. This was also noticeable in the following quotes.
“I think it's familiarity with digital tools and how they could contribute. When we first surveyed our employees on who was familiar with [software name], only 20-26% said yes”. (3)
“I would say it's the capacity of management to be creative and distribute knowledge. For instance, this is the creation of a unique reward management system covering the demands of the regular guys”. (4)
“Definitely foresight exhibited by the management. A lot of issues such as a limited time-frame or communications could have been avoided if we planned better”. (5)
This suggested that the required capabilities formed a holistic framework of workforce characteristics and how these were leveraged by the management. Similarly to this, Gorecki et al. (2019) and Ozturkoglu et al. (2019) suggested that the use of risk management software was an example of change that had to be supported by the HRM system. One critique of the findings was that the interviewees failed to mention how exactly the required capabilities could be measured. Only one manager noted that their company used an employee survey prior to implementing new software. It remained to be seen how firms evaluated leadership behaviours and strategic foresight. The results are summarised in the following word cloud.
Figure 2: Word Cloud of Key Capabilities for Software Implementation
Addressing Challenges Facing Software Implementation through HRM Practices
The next table reviews how the participants addressed the shortage of HR capabilities when implementing new software.
Table 3: HRM Practices Addressing the Lack of Capabilities in Software Implementation
Transitioning to using risk management software required changing 3 major areas of HRM, namely employee training, reward management and employee recruitment. The implication was that the extant HRM structures were insufficient to ensure the development of the required HR capabilities.
“We introduced a new reward scheme. In layman's terms, if you used the software output in official documentation, you received a small bonus”. (6)
“The company's had to reschedule some projects to free 4 guys from the IT department. They acted as mentors for our risk assessors for about 2-3 weeks”. (7)
“At the time, the firm had a strong partnership with a local university. We had an available talent pool. The majority of the work with this software was done by our new talent”. (8)
The adopted measures were a direct response to the original challenges encountered by the participants. Specifically, the use of formal training exercises was meant to improve the skills of the employees in using digital software. Interestingly, there existed contextual factors that influenced the methodology for addressing HRM issues. For one company, their relationship with the developers of the software meant that this firm was able to order custom training exercises. This suggested that while the improvement of employee skills and reward management was a crucial element of developing HR capabilities, businesses were required to adapt to specific macro and micro-environmental conditions (Santos and Oliveira, 2019; Oliveira et al., 2019). The following word cloud summarises the findings.
Figure 3: Word Cloud of Key Methods of Addressing HR Issues
The lack of teamwork and employee skills were cited as the core issues facing the implementation of risk management software. To address these, managers were required to implement formal training mechanisms and improve their own leadership behaviours as well as strategic foresight. The results implied that HR capabilities were a result of workforce characteristics and the adopted HRM strategy.
Calvard, T. and Jeske, D. (2018) “Developing human resource data risk management in the age of big data”, International Journal of Information Management, 43 (1), pp. 159-164.
Gorecki, S., Ribault, J., Zacharewicz, G., Ducq, Y. and Perry, N. (2019) “Risk management and Distributed Simulation in Papyrus tool for Decision Making in industrial context”, Computers & Industrial Engineering, 137 (1), p.106-119.
Oliveira, F., Leiras, A. and Ceryno, P. (2019) “Environmental risk management in supply chains: A taxonomy, a framework and future research avenues”, Journal of Cleaner Production, 232 (1), pp. 1257-1271.
Ozturkoglu, Y., Kazancoglu, Y. and Ozkan-Ozen, Y. (2019) “A sustainable and preventative risk management model for ship recycling industry” Journal of Cleaner Production, 238 (1), p.117-124.
Santos, R. and Oliveira, U. (2019) “Analysis of occupational risk management tools for the film and television industry”, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 72 (1), pp. 199-211.
Vukadinovic, S., Macuzic, I., Djapan, M. and Milosevic, M. (2018) “Early management of human factors in lean industrial systems”, Safety Science, 119 (1), pp. 392-398.