Speakers and some dignitaries who graced the colloquium

Department of Human Resource Management Holds Colloquium

The Department of Human Resource Management has held a day's Colloquium aimed at providing a platform for interaction, exchange of ideas among Human Resource experts, practitioners and academia on contemporary issues in the profession.

The 2020 edition of the colloquium was on the theme: "The Role of Human Resource Management in the New World of Work". Participants included academics, HR practitioners and students.

A Human Resource Consultant, Mrs. Dorothy Asare, who spoke on the topic: “Work-Life Balance: the Role of Human Resource Management", explained that Human Resource (HR) practitioners must see themselves as strategic partners or managers. As a result, she advised HR practitioners to always be abreast of the strategic policies of their firms so as to know the directions of the companies to enable them “propose policies, practices, and activities to achieve the goals of the organisation".

Mrs. Asare advised HR practitioners to inculcate work-life balance into the values and culture of the organisation, especially during the induction of new employees. She told them to consider themselves as a service providers. "Everything revolves around HR. The health of the organisation. Whether it will be successful or not depends on human beings", she added.  He stressed that the human element was still very critical despite artificial intelligence, including the introduction of robots into organisations.

The renowned HR practitioners called on practitioners to have sympathetic ears to the plight of their employees and advised them to be circumspect and trustworthy so as not to relay information confided in them by their employees to third parties. She advised them to make good use of records and asked them to embrace the Human Resource Information system to enable them to know the demographics of their employees to make them more efficient in their duties. Mrs. Asare implored HR practitioners to embrace networking so as to reach out to other HR officials in other firms to be apprised themselves of issues relating to HR management.

She advised them to exude good human relations with their staff members and asked them to "work with integrity and avoid any situation that will compromise yourself, especially conflict of interest." She asked the practitioners to draw closer to their employees who want to sell their leave so as to know their problems at first hand.

Mrs. Asare charged practitioners to enforce both maternity and paternity leaves of their employees, which she said was part of work life balance. She mentioned seminars, distribution of free meals, health walks, holidays, amongst others, as some of the benefits to help employees achieve work balance.

Speaking on the topic: “Career Self-management in the 4th Industrial Revolution", the Executive Director of the Institute of Human Resource Practitioners, Dr. Ebenezer Ofori Agbetor, explained that the fourth industrial revolution "is the current and developing environment which technology trends are changing the way we live, the way we work and the way we relate to one another”. “He said the fourth industrial revolution included robotics, internet of things, virtual realities and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Agbetor, therefore, called on HR practitioners and students to holistically embrace technology to improve their lives. He said technology was a necessity that could accelerate development in the works of HR practitioners reading career self-management in the fourth industrial revolution. He added that the 4th industrial Revolution was a potential threat to the career well-being of workers.

Dr. Agbetor urged students to patronise the career counselling of the School of Business to empower them in their career self-development and advised them to invest in books to acquire knowledge in their field of study for their career development. Again, he appealed to HR practitioners to solicit feedback from their managers and peers regarding their strengths and weaknesses for their own development.

The Head of the Department of Human Resource Management, Dr. Rebecca Dei Mensah, and in contemporary times, the world of work was no longer simple or routine. “Indeed, old business models and outmoded management and leadership practices do not fit this new reality” she noted. She indicated that these changes had been characterised by globalisation, increasing competitiveness of organisations, outsourcing of operations, generational shifts in the workplace, incompatible demands between work and family roles and the high rate of technological changes.

Dr. Mensah said the theme for the colloquium was very apt. “This is because today’s organisations need managers and employees with knowledge and skills in change management, innovation, communication, and strategic thinking” she explained. She said managers should be able to manage their own careers as well as balance their work and family life to minimize the associated conflicts. “For today’s organisations to be able to thrive and achieve their purposes, they must appropriately leverage the competencies of adroit employees and be interested in their welfare so as to enjoy benefits such as employee engagement which is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, show commitment to their organisation, and put in discretionary efforts to help the employer to succeed,” she noted.