Recent trends and practices in human resources management in Bangladesh have improved mainly due to changes in global and national economies and better education, a study said yesterday.
Nearly two-thirds of companies in the country now provide in-house and external training to their employees to sharpen their skills, according to Study on HR Practices and Trends Survey 2014.
Ernst & Young LLP, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, conducted the first study on HR in association with Bangladesh Society for Human Resource Management with feedback from about 100 people in 40 organisations in 11 sectors.
Most organisations have established a separate HR department to manage people, the survey added.
“It means that organisations have realised the need for HR,” said Md Musharrof Hossain, president of BSHRM and head of Human Resource Management of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.
Hossain, along with D Rajiv Krishnan, an advisory partner of Ernst & Young LLP, shared the survey results at an International HR Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday in Dhaka.
The study also showed that 75 percent of respondents said their organisations have structured mechanisms in place to manage employee grievances and obtain feedback.
Another indicator of a progressive attitude by organisations is that about 30 percent of respondents said their organisations have preventive mechanisms in place to avoid conflicts, it said.
“Traditionally, the selection processes focused on technical competencies—knowledge, experience and functional proficiency. However, organisations are now increasingly focusing on emotional quotient rather than on intelligence quotient,” it said.
A global beverage company, for example, introduced a creative way to select the right person. During the interview, interviewers pretended to have a sudden heart attack or set-off a fire alarm to see the candidate's natural response.
Most organisations in Bangladesh, however, still lag behind in modern human resource practices, said the study.
More than 25 percent of respondents revealed that their organisation does not identify their training needs or training given is basic in nature.
Services sectors, including healthcare, NGOs and IT, are relatively stricter in conducting training programmes.
About a third of respondents said they used internal referrals and print media for recruitment. A similar percentage has indicated at outsourcing the recruitment process. The use of social media and mobile applications for recruitment is limited, according to the study.
About 60 percent of respondents revealed said the reference check in their organisation is conducted sporadically and/or informally, the study said.
“This should be a cause for concern, because the process not only reaffirms that the candidate is fit for the role, but also his/her ethical standards and integrity,” it said.
The study showed about 95 percent of companies do not provide long-term incentives to retain employees.
Almost all respondents from fast moving consumer goods and pharmaceuticals sectors and about 66 percent from manufacturing and telecommunications linked performance to short-term incentives for all the departments, according to the survey. Across the world, about 87 percent of recognition programmes focus on long-service awards, it said.
The survey revealed that in many organisations in Bangladesh, the need identification process either does not exist or exists at a basic level.
More than 55 percent of respondents indicated that their organisations do not have any defined employee reward and recognition programme.
Performance rating is mainly calculated on functional metrics and not as regularly on behaviour aspects, it said.
The study however said companies in IT and telecoms are adopting leading practices in performance evaluation and training needs identification.