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The Importance of Human Resources Policies

However, at the time of the announcement, the companies were unsure how many jobs would be cut in Switzerland. Nonetheless, they claimed that layoffs would be implemented in a "socially responsible way" with "appropriate compensation" (Xinhua News Agency, 1999).

Note, however, that despite its history of lay-offs, Novartis actively seeks opportunities in research and development. The Novartis Venture Fund, which has an endowment of CHF 100 million, supports more than 46 start-up companies with investments and loans in excess of CHF 56 million (M2 Presswire, 2/1999). Since its inception in 1997, the Fund has helped create 230 jobs for highly qualified specialists. It also increasingly acts as a consultant and assistant to the start-ups (M2 Presswire, 2/1999). The Fund reflects Novartis' conviction that economic growth and job creation are, in the long run, possible only in an atmosphere conducive to new entrepreneurial activities.

To adapt to changing business climates, every organization must employ a human resource strategy that reacts to internal and external changes on an ongoing basis in an integrated way (Pope, 1992: vii). This means that organizations must develop recruitment and retention strategies that will meet their business needs while capitalizing on workforce trends, promoting job satisfaction, improving the "fit" between the jobs they offer and the available market, and preventing needless turnover (Pope, 1992: vii). Companies must develop human resource action plans that match their own business plans with specific jobs and employee needs. Thus, when linked to strategic and operational planning and integrated with each other, the various human resource functions provide the necessary linkage between business planning and workforce management decision-making (Pope, 1992: viii).

Novartis specifically asserts that a business can respond successfully to the everyday challenges of the complex business environment by d...

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