Once upon a time, concealing the possibility of an outsourcing was a parlor sport for consultants and managers of enterprises that contemplated possible outsourcing. Today, executives and managers have communicated the possibility of outsourcing to employees by establishing internal departments skilled in supply chain management and business process management. Having experienced outsourcing already, or having seen outsourcing in competitors or other industries, employees know that outsourcing is here to stay. Even union negotiations for automobile makers allow some flexibility in outsourcing of certain parts and subassemblies.
Modern industrial relations involve the creation of a new framework of process management, owing principally to the excesses that inspired the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Accountability and transparency of business functions, as well as more measurement, audit and control of individual and departmental functions, opens the door for considering process improvements at every desk and every job function.
Employee relations for service recipients now include threats and opportunities. Executives of leading global companies have taken up the mantle of change, warning all employees that their jobs are at risk of moving globally, entreating them to maintain high levels of efficiency, productivity and quality to preserve their jobs and the competitiveness of the enterprise globally.
What legal obligations do enterprise customers owe to their employees to avoid violating laws or rules on outsourcing? In some countries, it suffices merely to provide 60 days’ prior warning of an outsourcing-induced plant closing. In other countries, the warnings are not required, but the workers retain rights to emoluments and other privileges of employment acquired from one employer when they are transferred to an outsourcer.
As a result of this new fluidity in job mobility, planning for human capital management becomes a more difficult endeavor.