The business environment around us constantly fluctuates based on the current economic situation within our society. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic added another level of uncertainty and complication, driving profound changes within many industries. While it is often difficult to forecast how a company should react during times of uncertainty, a company can foster strategically and theologically sound HR practices. These HR practices can decrease risks associated with uncertainty and change, securing a more balanced workplace. This discussion thread provides recommendations to assist in developing HR practices, both strategically and theologically.
Recommendations to CEOs for Fostering Strategically and Theologically Sound HR Practices
The role HR plays in the business environment consistently expands in scope. One recommendation to CEOs fostering strategic and theological sound HR practices is to focus on shareholders and stakeholders equally. While their investments in the company are vastly different, both are an essential part of the company. The shareholders own part of the company through the shares of stock and can sell their stock at any time, while stakeholders are individuals impacted by the company (i.e., employees, investors, suppliers, communities, and consumers). Both are interested in the company’s overall performance, and the company’s long-term success as the success for the company equals success for them. The company’s key stakeholders are the employees, with employees, the company cannot and will not succeed (McDonough, 2019). Valentine et al. (2020) state that human capital provides a company’s most significant value and cost, resulting in companies looking to maximize human capital’s value through training, career development, hiring, and employee engagement. Modern technologies make significant developments in today’s society aggressive, making it difficult for HR departments to rely on the conventional approach.
A second recommendation is to work with the HR department to ensure the company provides adequate training and career development to both new hires and existing employees. Organizations typically receive increased returns from employees when investing in training programs. The returns come from increased productivity and decreased costs; however, the realization only occurs after installing or integrating training and career development programs. Businesses understand that new technological revolutions are bound to affect not only manufacturing scenarios but many other sectors of society’s business environment (Kumar et al., 2020). Training and career development help maintain employees’ knowledge and skillsets with the best processes and latest tools. For example, Industry 4.0 integrates various modern technologies, especially IT and robotics, to automate and control manufacturing which is bound to change as society evolves (Kumar et al., 2020). Training and development decrease long-term costs and increase productivity but also help improve employee satisfaction, as employees perceive that the company wants them to succeed (Valentine et al., 2020).
A third recommendation is to ensure that the company and HR department follow federal and local guidelines, regulations, and procedures. Keller and Alsdorf (2012) let us know that God provides additional ethical principles for Christians to live by, examples, and boundaries, so we know what behavior to avoid. God emphasizes that we should abide by the governing authorities while maintaining our ethical principles. Romans 13:1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (King James Bible, 2022). As Christian, we should administer and ensure that the employees and company adhere to the local and federal government’s guidelines, regulations, and procedures. Adhering to these guidelines, regulations, and procedures helps reduce the risks of lawsuits and fines while avoiding additional risks of harming the company’s brand image (Wu et al., 2022).
A final recommendation would be for HR to focus on understanding their workforce’s health and welfare needs. Businesses must understand that all employees are different, and not everyone has the same experiences. Our society has lived in some difficult times over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it essential to recognize all employees’ health and safety concerns while creating and establishing open lines of communication. Open lines of communication engender trust and comfort from employees, resolving any conflicts that might become a concern (Ewing et al., 2019). Open lines of communication make it easier for leadership to step in and make decisions that might affect the overall performance of their employees.
Change is inevitable in the business environment. Keller and Alsdorf (2012) state that business is more than being honest but thinking out the implications of the gospel worldview and the Lord’s purposes for our work life. Adaptation for companies is bound to occur if a company wants to maintain its competitive advantage. One way to gain a competitive advantage is by fostering a strategically and theologically sound HR department. Focusing on the company’s key stakeholders, employee training, and ensuring compliance with federal and local guidelines, regulations, and procedures can strengthen HR departments’ impact on companies (Valentine et al., 2020).
Hardy (1990) believes work does not compete with our lives. Hardy’s (1990) thinking shows that the desire to succeed brings out the motivational reasoning for individuals to discover meaningful work. Companies that listen to their employees and give them a voice in work-related matters increase employee retention (Valentine et al., 2020). Allowing employees to develop further and provide input to their talents and capabilities provided by God evolve and positively impacts the company through higher productivity, motivation, and loyalty (Hardy, 1990).
Ewing, M., Men, L. R., & O’Neil, J. (2019). Using social media to engage employees: Insights from internal communication managers. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 13(2), 110-132.
Hardy, L. (1990). The Fabric of this World: Inquiries Into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: William B. Eerdmans.
Keller, T., & Alsdorf, K. L. (2012). Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. New York: Penquin Books.
King James Bible (KJB). (2022). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org
Kumar, S., Suhaib, M., & Asjad, M. (2020). Industry 4.0: Complex, disruptive, but inevitable. Management and Production Engineering Review.
McDonough, J. (2019). Shareholders, stakeholders, and US health care. The Milbank Quarterly: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Population Health and Health Policy, 97(4), 918-921.
Valentine, S., Meglich, P., Mathis, R., & Jackson, J. (2020). Human Resource Management (16th ed.). Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning.
Wu, B., Fang, H., Jacoby, G., Li, G., & Wu, Z. (2022). Environmental regulations and innovation for sustainability? Moderating effect of political connections. Emerging Markets Review, 50(1), 100835.