In the contemporary society, organizations are experiencing increased challenges because of globalization, increased emphases on accelerated innovation, rapid advances in technology, and demand for high quality customer service (Snell & Bohlander, 2013). Organizations need high performance work systems to address these challenges. High performance work system refers to a set of management practices, which encourage greater employee responsibility and involvement within an organization. Therefore, high performance work systems ensure that employees can participate in the decision making processes and other crucial functions in their workplace (Snell & Bohlander, 2013). High performance work systems involve processes, compensation policy, human resource practices, and the participation of workforce that maximize employee flexibility, skill, knowledge, and commitment as its key elements. Various institutions, including an online institution of higher learning, will benefit from the high performance work systems in a significant manner upon implementation (Wallner & Menrad, 2012). This paper will consider the possibility and success of implementing high performance work systems in an online institution of higher education.
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It is possible to implement high performance work systems in the online higher learning institutions. High performance work systems can suit large, medium, and small organizations whenever the management practices of an organization need to undergo transition (Wallner & Menrad, 2012). In the recent years, research has shown that online education is growing at a high rate. It is essential that the postsecondary institutions should provide learners with online programs of high quality. Projections for the growth of online learning, coupled with various challenges of successful management of virtual teams, are persuasive business reasons for implementing high performance work systems in online higher learning institutions (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). The high performance work systems will help online higher learning institutions capture a significant market share, as well as improve entire organizational performance. Studies show that the rate of online enrolment grows at a high rate and the trend will continue in the future (Wallner & Menrad, 2012). Incorporation of advanced computer technology in the high performance work systems benefit online higher learning institutions significantly (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). Just like the application of technology to online higher learning takes place efficiently, the same platform depicts that the implementation of high performance work systems can be possible and efficient.
Implementation of high performance work systems in the online higher learning institutions will involve many factors. The human resource team leader should ensure that the environment in the higher learning institutions favors employees to receive ongoing training and communication, regarding the goals, strategies, and plans to comprehend their usefulness in enhancing organizational success (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). Therefore, ongoing training will help the faculty and staff members update their knowledge and skills continuously. Communication is extremely critical successful implementation of the high performance work systems within an institution. Another significant factor during the implementation is to inform each employee about the institution’s success stories, enrolment numbers, student outcomes, retention rates, among other metrics (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). The human resource leader should also organize for the establishment of compensation policies to reward the success of employees and the organization as a whole. The human resource leader will follow a number of steps during the implementation process, which include building a business case, establishing a communications plan, involving the employees in decision making, transition, and persistent evaluation of the high performance work system (Wallner & Menrad, 2012).
In the first step of implementation, the human resource leader must convince employees and other stakeholders that the new changes are beneficial and necessary for the success of the organization (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). This will enable employees adjust to the new changes to ensure successful implementation. The second step of implementation is the establishment of a communications plan. It is necessary for a human resource leader to create a two-way communications channel to ensure exchange of information between employees and management. Efficient communication between employees and the management facilitates dissemination of information (Wood & De Menezes, 2011). Employees will be able to communicate their problems to the management whenever they occur. This will promote a favorable working environment for employees. The step of high performance work system implementation is the involvement of employees in accomplishing various tasks, including decision making, within the organization. Human resource leaders must help employees understand all changes and consider them as helpful to both employees and the organization (Wallner & Menrad, 2012). Therefore, successful implementation of new changes must involve both the management and employees. Transition is the fourth step of implementation, which involves implementation of the new changes within the organization. This happens upon a clear communication of the benefits to the organization’s stakeholders. The last step of implementation involves continuous evaluation of the high performance work system. This ensures that the system works correctly and efficiently. If the system is efficient, it must meet the intended goals within the right time.
In conclusion, it is possible to implement high performance work systems in online higher learning institutions. This is because implementation follows similar steps just like other organizations across the globe. High performance work systems will enhance high quality online education in many higher learning institutions. Employees will work comfortably and effectively when the management involves in various tasks, including the decision making. The two-way communications channels will allow employees to update the management on the success of the new system. Successful implementation of a high performance work system will help organizations arrive at a competitive advantage. This system will also increase the productivity of an organization at a lower cost of production because of flexibility and responsiveness of clients. Therefore, online higher learning institutions will achieve significant results in the competitive environment upon adopting high performance work systems (Wallner & Menrad, 2012).
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