Answer to Question #156747 in Management for Lindiwe Motloung

Question #156747

1.Workforce diversity

2.Finding and placing qualified employees

3.Employee relations/labour relations

Discuss how these functions could pose potential risks to your project if not well planned and implemented , provide full details on how will you mitigate or overcome these risks

Expert's answer

Potential Project Risks, Sources, and Mitigation

1.     Workforce diversity

While workplace diversity offers multiple inherent advantages, it could pose serious project risks arising from human factors. Primarily, it is not guaranteed that project team members from diverse backgrounds must always get along easily. Cultural differences, language barriers, and time differences could be significant impediments to the achievement of project goals and objectives. Consequently, project deliverables, timelines, and milestones could be negatively affected before the team could jell and attain the performing stage. Additionally, trust issues and the effects of social loafing could limit a project team’s performance. Similarly, there are always problems with offshoring as people tend to protect their economic interests. To overcome such challenges, project managers need to invest in training, communication equipment, and facilities, as well as project management tools. Such tools include project planning and management software to ensure that each project member is actively contributing to the project. Additionally, communication tools enable congruence of objectives and seamless communications through translation. Training is also critical if coupled with teamwork sensitization to foster trust among the team members.

2.     Finding and placing qualified employees

Although hunting for talent in low-labor cost areas is beneficial in cost management, project managers should be wary of specific recruitment challenges. Overqualified staff poses problems since they are always on the move seeking greener pastures. On the other hand, poorly skilled project team members may compromise the project’s quality due to skills gaps. Additionally, qualified staff may also prove costly to maintain, especially if they keep comparing themselves with others in different industries. Similarly, passive recruitment yields under-motivated staff leading to performance challenges. Eliminating biases, seeking to achieve inclusion and diversity, and streamlining selection processes are equally challenging in today’s employment landscape. Project managers must counteract these challenges through active recruitment, headhunting, and using specialist agencies in hiring and recruitment. Further, it is necessary to bridge any skill gaps through training and managing employees’ expectations on remuneration, perks, and benefits. Finally, it is important to consider employee’s passions and talents in employee placement to foster their productivity.

3.     Employee relations/labor relations

The main interest of labor associations is to protect the interests of their members. In so doing, they may hurt the employers’ welfare through industrial action, picketing, and strikes, which are mainly sanctioned by their labor organizations. Although there are legal mechanisms to deal with this menace, it is often challenging for timed projects since they may not have the luxury of waiting for legal outcomes when matters end up in court. As such, the most reasonable course of action is to maintain good public and internal relationships for the employees to deliver with minimal interruptions. Alternatively, local informal arrangements can be worked out as a form of alternative dispute resolution. It should be noted that the employer’s brand equity also matters to the outside world, and good employee relations are also a form of corporate social responsibility. Additionally, the provision of benefits, housing, safe working conditions, and medical insurance, among other perks, generate employee loyalty for longer-lasting relationships.

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