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Can HR be successful in a 'low-cost operator' organization?

Low cost operator organizations value cost efficiency as their unique selling point when trying to compete and thrive in today's exceedingly competitive market. Cost cutting is experienced in various aspects of their business, including human resources. Usually, it is seen that HR is not very important to these organizations, given that they are always low on budget. However, for any such organization to survive, it requires people, who are essentially the most valuable and critical component for their success. Under these circumstances, it is important that some human resources function is present and succeeds in these organizations. Here are some of the important roles played by the HR personnel or department in such organizations:

·         Recruitment: For any low cost operator to succeed and survive, it must have the right kind of people. This is the basic job of an HR department or professional. Where some operators prefer to outsource these responsibilities, given that they might be cheaper than hiring a full time professional, others prefer to have their own HR personnel/department. This is because recruitment does not necessarily end with hiring an individual but also includes informing/ensuring the fact that the individual understands more about the company and its policies.

·         Motivational role played by human resources: In addition to providing information about the company, as well as its policies and procedures, it is important to ensure that your employees stay motivated and engaged. This is extremely important, given that you do not want to waste time and energy into training and developing another individual, when you have just completed a similar activity with one who has eventually left the job. This is where the HR department/ professional comes into play. His or her job is to ensure that employees stay engaged and committed, which in turn enhances productivity. Increased productivity automatically means increased profits for the low cost operator.

·         Establishing work culture: Often it is seen that these organizations face a lot of employee turnover, which is reflective of a bad work culture. As a top management person of any low cost operator organization, it is not possible to set the trend or ensure enforcement of a particular work culture that you would follow. If the organization were to have a full time HR professional, this would be the job of that individual. He or she would ensure that teams are collaborative, work, together, and following an open communication culture, which in turn would ensure commitment and engagement of the employees.

·         Establishing proper structures: Often organizations fail because there are no proper structures or hierarchies laid out for them to follow. While this may seem unnecessary in a low cost organization, it is nevertheless very important, given that you are managing several employees at the same time. It is important to reduce bureaucracy while paving way for decentralization to the extent that it profits the company. While the owner might have some idea on what he or she wants, it is the HR professional who can truly give meaning to these strategies. 

From the above discussion, we can safely conclude that HR does have an important role to play in low cost operator organizations. 

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