Mitigation of human resource risks: A case study of the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, from 2005 to 2014

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Zulu, Manzunzo
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The University of Zambia
Human resources have been widely recognized as critical assets in every organization. Without human resource an organisation can hardly exist. However, human resources face a number of risks which affect the productivity of organizations. This study looked at the mitigation of human resource risk at the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health headquarters in Lusaka District. The study employed a case study design. It was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Primary Data was collected using both interviews and self administered questionnaires. The specific objectives of the study included; (i) To determine the human resource risks in the ministry, (ii) To examine the mechanisms put in place to mitigate the human resource risks in the ministry, and (iii) To examine the consequences of not mitigating the human resource risk in the Ministry. 120 respondents participated in the study and the study revealed that the ministry faces a number of human resource risks which were ranked into high, medium and low risks. The human resource risks ranked high according to the study which the ministry faces include; poor recruitment/selection, stress, de-motivation, repetitive stress injuries, violence at the place of work, non empowerment, skills shortages, unplanned retirement/succession and absenteeism. Additionally, human resource risk that were ranked as medium include; efficiency of employees, family dynamics, poor ethics/ethical behavior (dishonest and corruption), alignment, reward and recognition, work-aholism, information technology, outside working environment, sabotage, low self esteem, post traumatic stress disorder and poor leadership. Those that ranked as low human resource risks include; natural hazards, political instability, terrorism, retrenchment/downsizing, occupational diseases, strikes/disputes, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, occupational injuries, statutory risks/lack of compliance with laws, sick building, electromagnetic radiation, alcoholism and drug dependency, dread diseases, discrimination and HIV/AIDS. The findings from the field revealed that the ministry had put in place mechanisms to mitigate the human resource risks, although the majority of the respondents were not aware of the measures put in place. The mechanisms that have been put in place to mitigate human resource risks include; HIV/AIDS, work place policy, training plans, annual performance appraisal system, retirement and succession plans and check in and out log books
Risk management , Personnel Management , Civil Service-Personnel Management