International Business Strategy
International business strategy refers to the plans that are used in the guidance of commercial transactions that take place between different countries. There are many aspects that can be linked to any organization. Examples of these aspects are the market share, advertising, supply chains, management, workforce and many others. These are the aspects that form the major strategies that are involved in the success of any organization. Current essay discusses the importance of controlling workforce for the success of any organization. The research that has been carried out is derived from works of authors who are experienced in international business strategy. The credibility of the sources and the subsequent comparison of the deductions make the information in this essay as accurate as it can get.
The workforce of an organization consists of employees who are involved in the actual production process on the ground. It is the pool of labor in any organization. Workforce can be used to describe people who work for a single company or be general to a specific geographic region. Through experience, most organizations in the world can conclude that the workforce is responsible for a huge percent of their success. For companies that have failed, it can also be proven that the lack of proper control of the workforce was the major reason. This is the premise that forms the basis of this essay.
Strategic Importance of Controlling Workforce
The market is one of the most unpredictable aspects in an organization. Although a company may advertize its products and try to lure customers into purchasing the sane, it can never be sure of the success that the methods would yield. Furthermore, the changes that occur in the market could even be caused by external factors. That being said, the workforce of an organization is most relevant to a changing market. Research shows that there is no way that these two can be separated. The companies that have tried to separate the workforce of a company from the market changes have always ended up as failures. There are two scenarios that can arise from this (Edgell, 2006).
First, the market for a product might increase. This may be as a result of a drop of quality by competitors, a change in consumer preference or other relevant reasons. When this happens, it means that consumers demand more of a product. The role of an organization here is to ensure that customers are satisfied, both in the quality and the quantity. The demand for more products calls for an increase in the workforce. This is because the same level of workforce cannot be responsible for an increased production. However, the increase of demand in the market is mostly unpredictable. This is because some factors are not in the control of an organization. For this reason, a company might find itself without enough laborers. This causes a scenario whereby, customers are not satisfied fully. The result of this would be the encouragement of competitors to chip in and try to satisfy the growing demand. This leads to the loss of opportunity (Fillingham & Susser, 2008). Secondly, the demand for a product may decrease. The possible reasons for this could be a decrease in consumer income, a change in consumer preferences, lack of complementary goods, introduction of competing products and many others. When this happens, it means that a company should reduce the quantities of production. However, there have been cases where this decrease in demand has taken place so fast. This ensures that a company is not in a perfect position to adjust to the changes that occur.
Therefore, a company will have surplus employees. This creates the need to lay off some of employees. However, the laying off of employees does not take place overnight. It is the process that should not be done in haste, due to opposing factors that may even include the law. Therefore, in such a scenario, a company would be forced to have surplus product or surplus workers. In the case of surplus product, it depends with the nature of products. If products are perishable, this would lead to massive losses. On the other hand, surplus workers would imply that a company is paying people who are not being used in the production. This would also reduce the profit margins of a company. From the above scenarios, it is clear that an organization needs to keep track of changes in the market. There is a great need to ensure that they are in a position to anticipate the future changes that might take place in the market. This way they can be in a position to adjust the workforce and control it with regard to their anticipation. This is clear proof that the control of the workforce of an organization is vital. As a matter of fact, it can prevent the sudden collapse of a company, and also cause an increase in the profit margins of the same company (Venkateswaran, 2012).
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From research, it can be proven that companies that keep good track of their workforce experience success more often than those who do not. This is because the workforce is responsible for the actual production process. The factors that come into this argument are the qualifications and training of employees, rewarding them, empowering them, supervising them closely and other relevant ones. However, companies that do not have a close touch with the workforce end up having reduced production. One of the ways that companies have been able to keep track of their workforce is through the use of technology. Lately, there has been the human resource management system for this purpose. This is a system in which, workers’ records are kept in close check through the use of modules. This enables the management to have the information of every worker in an organization. For example, the management can be able to establish the level of training of any employee. This system is also known as a learning management system. It allows the human resource department to keep track of education, skills and qualifications of an employee. Along with this, the system outlines the sources that are available for an employee to use in the training. These could include web based learning, books, and other materials that may be used in the development of skills. The system sets dates for the training and manages the training resources (Heery, 2000). For the sophisticated systems, managers can even approve training budgets, appraisal metrics and calendars. There are many international companies that have adopted this new way of tracking employee progress. These companies have experienced vast success, with relation to the quality of goods produced and the speed of the production process. This is a proof of the advantages and importance of controlling the workforce as a strategy to achievement of set goals.
The business world experiences changes every day due to the technological advancements. This means that every business that does not want to be obsolete has to keep up with these changes. As a result of this, most businesses invest heavily in the new technological advancements that are witnessed. This is in a bid to ensure that they keep up with the ever changing technological world. However, these changes are not for the management to make. The only role that the management plays is the decision to acquire this new technology and the subsequent instructions to employees to adopt the same. The work of implementing the changes is carried out by the workforce. They are the ones who are involved with the changes that need to be undertaken with regards to the newly acquired technology. However, it is not all employees who can use new technology. There is a need to ensure that they learn about the changes that they are about to face. This would require that a company knows all the abilities and qualifications of each and every worker. This way, they can be in a position to budget for the training that is required by workers (Edgell, 2006). There may also be a need to include some new employees in a company; these are employees that may be having the relevant skills required in making the changes that follow the acquirement of technological devices. Either way, a company has to ensure that it controls its workforce and understands it to the latter.
Globalization of the economy is a fact that is completely inevitable. As time goes by, there are many changes that occur in any business in any nation. One might think that these changes are not the same. Since, there are no two companies that experience strictly similar changes. However, the truth is that, as changes take place, the similarities between companies all over the world increase. This happens because all the nations are moving towards an age in which there will be a perfect uniformity in the market. Therefore, most companies are likely to be serving an extensive and global market. The deduction from this is that there should be more diversity and open mindedness in any organization. This is to accommodate the future expected changes and the merging of a company with the global market. The change in the attitudes, culture and mindset of a company has to start from employees. In fact, employees are the most basis unit of an organization. The change of attitudes in advertisements and in the management is just but a representation that might be false. There is a need for any business to ensure that their employees are thinking on a global level. This ensures that none of employees will have problems with adjusting to the future expected changes. A company that is able to fulfill this cannot have a problem with the globalization of the business world. As a matter of fact, it will be the preference of most customers. It will be in a position to attract customers from new markets and convert their lack of knowledge of a company to loyalty.
The retention of workers in a company is vital. Therefore, it translates to loyalty of the workforce. There have been cases where workers move to new companies, as a result of dissatisfaction in their current jobs. Recently, Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe were sued by their workers. This is because they had agreed not to take in any employees from each other. This was a fact that ensured that employees could not get better jobs than they already had. The deduction that can be made from this is that even the most successful companies are in constant fear of losing their workers (Edgell, 2006). Acquiring of talented workers is a hard task to achieve. However, the retention of the same is even harder. Consequently, a company needs to provide a suitable working environment for their workers if it is to retain them. This involves a lot of aspects. First, they have to pay their workers well. This is according to the work that they perform and their qualifications. Secondly, there should be benefits given to workers in order to encourage them constantly. Also, there is a need to empower workers to ensure that they are always motivated to be at their place of work. As a result of this, most companies are not in a position to let their workers go. This is because acquiring others proves to be one of the most difficult tasks for the human resource departments.
To satisfy workers, a company has to ensure that it controls the workforce positively. It has to keep a close touch with the workforce and know all the requirements that are associated with the same. Sometimes, a company might not even have an idea of the requirements of a workforce. This might be caused by the fact that the management of a company is extremely distant from the workforce. This causes employees to feel alienated from a company. They feel that they have no avenue to air their views. As a result of this, it becomes hard for an organization to establish the needs of its workforce. In the long run, employees start looking for new jobs. The experience that they had acquired is taken to other companies. This causes the loss of valuable employees who help in improving the production process. The aftermath of this has always been the downfall of many companies (Kumar, 1995). This occurs because they start recruiting new and inexperienced employees. In his process, they lose some aspects in their products. The production process becomes slow, leading to massive losses, depending on the extent of their loss of employees. However, most successful companies have learnt how to deal with this problem. They come up with ways in which they can keep track of their workers’ wants and wishes. They also keep track of the working environment in which their workers are operating. This way, they are able to know what they should add to make it better. For this reason, the shift of workers from one company to the other has reduced greatly.
The human resource department is responsible for most of the activities that a company aims towards the workforce. These are activities that range from recruitment to the treatment of workers within a company. The resources that are dispatched to this department depend on the resources that a company has. However, the percentage of its resources that goes to human resource depends on how much a company expects to succeed. However, there are some nations that may not know this. This is because they have not yet found the relationship between success and the control of the labor force. These are companies that are bound to fail. Research shows that more than 50% of the revenue of most companies goes to the labor force. It means that it is the most important aspect of a company. The management should be a part of a company that aims to ensure the satisfaction of employees. This way, a company can be in a position to retain its workforce and achieve the goals that it has set. From these explanations, it is clear that a company cannot function well without its workforce. It is also clear that the achievement of objectives in a company cannot be separated from the workforce. For this reason, it is the role of the management of every company to ensure that the strategies, goals and objectives of a company are kept as close to the workforce as possible (Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs, 1990).
The business essay example above is an illustration of how an organization can improve its success through the proper control of the workforce. The general nature of the essay has also created provisions for other deductions that can be made, with regards to making a company better than it already is. However, it is important to note that any organization has many aspects to take care of. The fact that an organization manages its workforce well cannot be enough for its success. Instead, it has to carry out a balancing act. It should ensure that all the necessary aspects are covered and taken care of. This way, the efforts that a company puts on its workforce can be felt in the end results.