Human resource management is an extremely important part of an organisation. The human resource management is the basic mainstay of an organisation which helps the organisation to lay the foundation by providing the basic support of managing labor force and effective allocation of them effectively in the business. It is important for an organisation to have a strong human resource management as it develops the commitment of the employees and constantly contributes to the improved motivation of employees. Especially in the international business environment HR plays a crucial role in developing a strong relationship between the employees and the organisation.
This clearly gives rise to two different aspects employment relations and human resource management. In the international business setting it is extremely important to understand the key HR issues and employment relations which would help an organisation to make sure overseas operations is not hindered. It often becomes tough to for HR managers to do their work when they are relocated from one place to the other especially when he or she is moved from the domestic market to the overseas market (Klarsfeld et al., 2014). In the present study the key aspects of employment relations and HRM issues will be discussed with reference to Toyota’s expansion in USA. With the recent change in the Presidency in USA there have been significant changes in the operation of the Auto industry and the present study will discuss the practice of employment relations and HRM under such circumstances that to achieve the objectives of the study
HRM and Employment Relations
In the wake of globalisation there has been significant increase in the international expansion of businesses. It could be said that globalisation has reduced barriers and increased competition in the business market which has impelled many companies to change their international strategy for effective business expansion. The employment relations is a part of the industrial relations which is considered as an extremely important aspect by the manager as it helps them to have an effective relationship between the employees of the organisation. On the other hand Human resource management focuses on the overall management of the workforce as well as the key aspects of managing that workforce to a good effect for the overall management of the labor force. The aspect of globalisation and international trade has put huge stress on the organisational policies and regulations of a company and due to the increased competition in the market (Godard, 2014).
It becomes extremely important for the organisations to make sure that they have standardised organisational policies which would be effective in managing the overseas business effectively. Toyota’s Altona Manufacturing plant is being moved from Australia to the US as the US market is much more open to car manufacturing and automobile and this is likely to help the organisation to improve its business in USA. In order to operate effectively in the market it becomes extremely important for Toyota Australia to send HR Manager to the US operations which would help the organisation to make sure that the operations is understood properly and there is a strong connection between Australia and US operations (Van De Voorde, Paauwe & Van Veldhoven, 2012). To be able to operate effectively in the US operations this expatriate Australian HR manager put into operations in the United States will have to understand how employment relations is managed in the country and the different key HR issues which could affect the business operations in US Car manufacturing plant. In order to get a fair bit of idea it is also important for the HR manager to understand the basic difference between the Australian car manufacturing Industry and US car manufacturing industry and this will largely help to improve the HR practice and employment relations for the HR (Stahl, Bj?rkman & Morris, 2012).
Australian and USA Car Industry: A Comparison
The Australian car industry has had to suffer significant jolt as most of the car manufacturing organisations have closed down their operations in the market. Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi all have closed down their operations which is definitely taking Australian car manufacturing industry to the point of extinction. It could be said that most of these organisations have chosen to leave Australia which has made the car industry of Australia to lose significant market share. The Australian market is likely to go shed number of job cuts which is going to affect the economy more than ever. With Holden, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi leaving the Australian market the local made cars are likely to end and it will only be imported cars in the Australian market.
This was not something surprising which is happening in Australia as it was something imminent with the kind of trade barriers, increased tariffs, impact of the high rate of the Australian dollars, free trade agreements all have contributed to this huge problem in the country (Storey, 2014). The car manufacturing industry in Australia is waiting to wrap up after Holden and Toyota complete their manufacturing targets which will call it a day for the Australian car industry. It was clearly a political turmoil that led to the exit of companies like Ford and Holden from then Australian market. Even though Toyota wanted to stay its fate was looming since no other organisation was willing to operate in the market due to the huge financial loss that they were going to suffer.
In this scenario it becomes extremely tough for the HR manager to operate smoothly and keep proper employee relations as the future of the car manufacturing industry was almost dead in the country. Hence it could be said that the literal jeopardy of the Australian car industry has happened due to the political and economic changes in the country that these companies weren’t able to handle (O’Sullivan & Turner, 2013).
The US market has always been effective for the car manufacturing industry as most of the organisations have found strong points to operate in the country. Effective labor force, viable supply chain and easy accessibility to the market has always been key factors which has encouraged companies to operate in the United States, but it is important to mention that the recent political changes happening in the country is definitely going to affect the business of these organisations and is also likely to affect the employment relations of the organisations like if not foreseen or assessed effectively.
The new president of the US Donald Trump threatened Toyota to focus on building plants in US to sale cars in US or else the company is likely to be thrashed with big border tax and this clearly started the action where the company stated that it will not harm the employment of US and the incident was before the American election took place (Marler, 2012). Hence it could be understood that after the political changes in the country companies like Toyota will have significant issues to operate by themselves without the intervention of the government which likely to seems to be tough.
The small car manufacturing plants are likely to be developed by the organisations but are going to be tough to fetch profits. This clearly indicates that Auto Worker Unions will gain publicity and this will create importance for the HR manager. With President Trump coming at the helm of affairs employments relations becomes extremely tough as a strict nationalist the president focuses on overall welfare of the country rather than economic welfare. Companies like Ford and General Motors and even Toyota have been thrashed for their foreign business policies in the country. Trump emphasises more on more local job creations and employee welfare which could be a problem for Toyota to operate in the country.
Ford was recently barred by Trump to open a new plant in Mexico and was rather advised to stay in the country and create 700 local jobs and this clearly shows the intention of Trump as the president of the States. It could be said Trump’s strict decisions on Employment relations like basic wage rate and creating new jobs in US have affected the long term planning of the car makers and Toyota will definitely be affected with an expatriate Manager in the plant. President’s decisions to tax foreign businesses of the car makers will take huge toll on the business of Toyota as it will have to focus more on the local market especially in terms of labor force hiring and this might hinder the productivity of the organisation (Pethokoukis, 2016).
It is important to say that with the change in ministry in USA the HR becomes extremely important. There would be significant impact on the HR of the different organisations especially on the car manufacturing companies that work with expatriates like Toyota, Holden, Tata et cetera (Thite, Wilkinson & Shah 2012). It could be said that since Toyota is a Japanese firm it will tend to get the Japanese people to handle the operations. In this case since Toyota Australia is setting up the plant in US the expatriate from Australia will have to be focused on having the right HR strategy working for the country or else the strict conditions in the US will definitely affect the overall operations of the company.
Achieving organisational excellence has become extremely tough for Toyota in case the HR of the US plant is not able to handle the workforce effectively. HR in the new business environment of United States should not only focus on staffing, compensation or grievance management but HR should focus on analysing and monitoring the overall labor market of the country and keep the staffing effective to the requirement of the organisation.
The present political condition under Trump might apparently seem to be stable but it is not and Trump is excessively USA minded where the president has emphasised on providing jobs to the nationals and reduce the employment opportunities for the foreign people residing in USA (Pethokoukis, 2016). It could be said that the excessive nationalist pressure could tamper the way HR is practiced and hence it is important for the HR operating in Toyota US plant to understand the requirement of the organisation and accordingly doing the staffing for the organisation (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014).
Employment relations and HR Issues
The US car Market is more competitive than ever. With the political intervention it has become highly focused on better and improved rules and regulations for the employees which affect the employers to a large extent. It could be said that the US car industry has number of key players in the market which makes the competition very strong in the market and hence it becomes extremely important for the HR of Toyota to focus on the best possible HR strategy which not only involves effective staffing and compensation but it should focus on employment relations and mitigating the common HR issues facing the car industry in USA (ALDamoe, Yazam & Ahmid, 2012).
The expatriate HR manager from Australia will have to learn the employment relations effectively which would help to make sure that the employees are content and willing to work for the organisation Toyota. There are number of key laws and regulations which govern the employment relationship in USA. The National Labor Relations Act 1935 which focuses on protecting the rights of the employees and employers as well and moreover improves the relationship between them. In this case the HR should focus on improving the communication effectively (Wilkinson et al., 2014).
The communication with the employees will help the HR to make sure all the employee issues are understood and accordingly he or she could improve the working conditions for the employees. The Age discrimination Act and Equal Pay Act helps the HR to offer and recruit effectively which improves the overall employees’ relations. It could be said that for the Australian HR it is important to understand the work environment of the country which would largely help to strategise the HR movement (Bacon et. al., 2013). One of the crucial aspects that the HR has to understand to keep the employee relations intact is immigration control.
With Trump coming in USA the immigration laws have strengthened and hence it is important for the HR to make sure he or she doesn’t recruit people who are not legally authorised to work in USA (Croucher et al., 2012).
The conflict management is another key aspect that needs to be worked upon as an expatriate HR in Toyota’s new plant in USA. Conflict could arise in business operations and hence as an HR it is important for the person to understand the employees and accordingly communicating with them to reduce conflict (Bennett & Klug, 2012). One of the important aspects for the HR is to manage cross cultural employees at work and this is one of the key aspects in the HR management department which has to be handled effectively. USA is renowned for its mixed diversity and hence cross cultural management is one of the key HR issues that have to be managed with effective strategies (Vaiman & Brewster, 2015).
This could naturally involve communication and interaction sessions with professionals; professional vacations definitely improve cross cultural relations and hence help to improve the relationship between the workforce and the management. In international industrial relations it becomes extremely important to manage trade union tactics and for that the HR manager will have to be highly confident and knowledgeable about the global trade tactics which would allow the HR to make effective decisions for the organisation (Bann? & Sgobbi, 2016). In this case the Expatriate HR manager from the Australia will have to understand the different rules and policies which are important to manage business in the overseas market. As an expatriate HR manager it is important to make sure all the key aspects of business especially the political and social aspects are understood effectively. In US the conventional IR models are not practiced and hence the HRM issues of employee management needs to be adopted (Bacon et al. 2013).
Discrimination and Diversity has to be handled effectively which would help to make sure the productivity of the plant is effective. Another important aspect that needs to be supervised by the HR manager is to improve the retention process of the organisation. Retention is important for the organisation Toyota as it will help to improve the productivity of the organisation (Brewster & Mayrhofer, 2012). Since the competition is extremely high in the car market of USA it is important for the organisation and the expatriate HR from Australia to have better communication and to implement suitable motivational models to improve the retention of the employees in the organisation.
Another key HR issue which has to be kept in mind by the manager is to control health and safety of the employees and their training and development which would help to eliminate any kind of health issues of the employees as well as train the employees effectively to make sure they are able to give their best effort for the organisation and improve the overall productivity of the organisation (Janssens & Steyart, 2012). In a highly competitive US market managing employees is important to sustain in the car manufacturing industry and hence for this the HR has to understand the market and the mindset of the local employees to implement the best possible strategy for the company.
The present study highlights number of key employment relations and HR issues which are extremely important for the expatriate manager of Toyota Melbourne in USA to understand. It is essential for the manager to understand the importance of cross cultural management, retention and productivity, discrimination and diversity that play a key role in the improvement of performance of the organisation Toyota (Productivity Commission, 2014). The Australian car manufacturing market is operating in its worst phase whereas the US market is very competitive in nature which makes it important for the HR to understand the US market and its political views against the car market which would help to practice HR management effectively for Toyota’s new plant in US by the expatriate Australian HR Manager (Vlasic & Boudette, 2017). Overall it could be said that the present study has been able to discuss the key aspects of employment relations and HR which has helped to cover up the objectives of the study.
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