The Future of Human Resource Managers and Psychosocial Hazard Elimination

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The Future of Human Resource Managers and Psychosocial Hazard Elimination

In today’s corporate landscape, Human Resource Managers wield significant influence in fostering psychological safety cultures within organisations, thereby eliminating the risk of workplace bullying. A crucial aspect of this endeavour involves complying with the Safe Work Australia Managing Psychosocial Hazard at Work Code of Practice 2022. This code, binding on organisations under Victorian and national Work Health and Safety legislation, places a duty of care on them to prevent psychological injury. It
identifies necessary behaviour changes, assesses risks, and empowers organisations to develop and implement controls in consultation with their workforce.

At the heart of this transformative process is strategic human resource management, bolstered by improved job design and data analysis. This strategic approach can significantly reduce instances of workplace bullying stemming from poor performance management, enhance early conflict resolution, and promote positive organisational behavior.

One of the critical components addressed by this approach is poor job design, which encompasses issues such as role ambiguity, insufficient resources and training, ineffective leadership styles, unrealistic goals, and exposure to safety and security risks. Often, positions and job roles are crafted reactively, leading to overlaps or gaps in responsibilities, causing confusion and conflicts. Resource and training shortages result from competing priorities, leading to frustration and conflict among employees. Destructive management styles, such as avoidance of responsibility or excessive control, can make employees feel unsupported and devalued, stifling creativity. Inexperienced line managers may set unattainable goals, leading to unethical behaviour and high turnover. Lastly, isolated, insecure, or dangerous working conditions can expose employees to trauma through abuse, assault, and violence.

The Safe Work Psychosocial Hazard Code of Practice offers a framework to manage these job design risks through strategic human resources management. Human resource managers, long proponents of strategic performance management, now have a platform to demonstrate its effectiveness. Strategic human resource management aligns organisational strategic objectives with job design, resource allocation, training, targets, and security measures, all while enhancing performance management. This
approach not only fosters staff retention but also positions the organisation as an employer of choice, attracting talented employees and managers.

Also Read: How to Deal with a Bullying Complaint at Work

Furthermore, aligning job design with strategic objectives brings the added benefit of comparative big data analysis on employee performance. This valuable data empowers human resource managers to play a pivotal role in proactively planning to achieve organisational goals. Monitoring employee progress toward these objectives enables organisations to adjust their strategies in anticipation of potential obstacles.

In summary, strategic human resource management empowers human resource managers to be integral sources of management data, guiding organisational strategic objectives effectively. It reduces costs, enhances productivity, and provides clear guidance to line managers, focusing on key objectives like creativity, workplace safety, employee well-being, and the retention of valuable personnel.

Kevin Gilmore-Burrell LLB MBA has over two decades of experience as a business lawyer. He is currently researching workplace bullying to develop Empathyse® web- based solutions suitable for organisations of all sizes, with a PhD pursuit at the University of Newcastle.
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