Globalisation and the Internet are the two major forces that are responsible for the radical changes that are going on among the business firms in Asia. Successful 21st-century corporations responded well to the threats and opportunities of the business environment. What makes these corporations different? It’s the effective management systems in place that is responsible for their success.

Successful organisations, adopt effective management system and policies that are able to generate profit through their employees. Cascio (2006, p.27-29), in his book titled ‘Managing Human resource: productivity, Quality of Work Life, Profits‘(published by McGraw-Hill) lists seven practices/dimensions that form part of the ‘management systems that produce profits through people. They are:

  • Job Security: Though the life-long employment is no longer possible, successful business organisations continue to offer a high degree of employment security for their employees. Unless the organisational and HR policies reflect the organisation’s commitment to their employees’ job security, it will be impossible to get the employees full support and commitment. There are organisations that take extraordinary steps to keep their labour force at the optimum number from day one, to avoid any subsequent layoffs. To these successful organisations, hiring employees is the last option. This is radically different from those firms which hire and fire without any strategic HR planning. Job security to become a reality, HR managers and senior management need to adopt strategic human resource planning.
  • Selective Hiring: Not every Tom, Dick and harry get a job. A well planned and carefully administered recruitment and selection is the basis by which selective hiring to managed. According to Cascio, it is only possible to hire selectively when the following requirements are met.
    • There is a large number of potential candidates
    • The organisation is clear about its human skill requirements: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Attitudes, personality attributes and Talents.
    • Selection focuses on attributes of candidates that are difficult to change. If you can select the right candidate with the (Talent, Abilities, Skills and Knowledge) in the first place, you need not spend your time and resources to train them.
  • Decentralisation with Autonomous Teams: The traditional centralised structure depended on command and control approach to get things done. Employees working in teams are able to respond to the unique and demanding business situations much more effectively. Enabling employees to take responsibility and depending on other team members.
  • Comparatively high Compensation: Successful 21st-century corporations pay well,
  • compared to their competitors. These organisations adopt unique and innovative compensation practices for all their employees
  • Comprehensive Training: Management systems that recognise the power of training invariably do well. Despite the fact that they practice selective hiring, successful organisation know the importance of keeping their employees knowledge, Skills and Abilities current to suit to the changing needs of the enterprise. They focus both on technical and people related soft skills training. Training is seen by these firms as a competitive tool in terms of recruitment, retention and employee performance. Training is also a powerful tool that enables the employees to meet their self-actualization need, a top order needs identifying by Abraham Maslow as part of Hierarchy of Needs theory.
  • Active Involvement of Everyone regardless of status: The management systems of successful organisation incorporate policies and HR practices that take full advantage of employees’ ideas, talents, skills and knowledge. It taps the expertise of everyone in the organisation. Recognising the talents and skills of all employees and enabling and encouraging them to offer solutions and ideas for the well-being of the organisation, breaks the status barrier that is common among the majority of the organisations. Every employee in the firm is made to feel important and their contributions are valued and recognised.
  • Practice Open Book: In successful organisations, the access to information is not restricted to a small group of elite managers. Successful corporations share information among the employees so that they are able to use the information to make a better decision. In the modern world, it is difficult to argue that knowledge is power unless that knowledge is put to practice. To apply the existing knowledge to changing business situations, employees need information. Management systems of the organisation ‘that produces profit through people’ recognises the power of information sharing.

The qualities of management systems of successful 21st-century corporations highlighted by Cascio can be the basis if you are serious to transform your business practices. Be practical. Identify one area from the above seven dimension, and work towards improvement. Start reviewing the current HR practices. To move forward you need to ask questions. The best way to unfold new ideas is to use the 5W + 1H model (What, When, Why, Where, Who and How) extensively. Welcome to the club of Successful 21st Century Corporations.Once you get started, just remember you are on your way to joining the elite club of successful 21st Century Corporations.