Human Resource Management
I believe one of the most important assets of any organization is its human capital, the people who make up and run the company’s business. Interacting with and managing people or a subordinate is a task that every employee needs to do, regardless of their function or department. However, with HRM, dealing with people is the job itself and that is what is most challenging about it. Considering the vast differences in individual natures, even in a professional set up, the HR has to tackle a human element in all of its dealings, whether it is payroll, leave management, employee engagement and welfare or recruitment. An HR Generalist would need to have the knowledge and skills of every function of HR. However, an HR specialist need to have perfect understand and know-how of the function of specialty, such as payroll management, employee relations or recruitment.
HRM has evolved from being a mere administrative function to be proclaimed as a ‘strategic business partner’ . It has been acknowledged that HR does not only handle the day to day maintenance of the work force but is vital in driving effective management and boosting the profitability of the organization . IT plays a great role in HRM today and hence, it is crucial to know what IT skills will be required of you should you choose to pursue HRM as a profession. As a strategic business partner or SBP, HR is involved in giving the organization the right direction and competitive advantage. Its provides an analysis of successful strategies and best practices that have been tried and tested, an evaluation of external and internal environments, comparing its standing with competitors, identifying and addressing the gaps between the organizational objectives and its workforce efficiency, and other factors that influence the performance of the business.
In order to be an effective HR manager, whether a generalist or specialist, one needs to have a set of skills and traits that are often attributed to leaders. My personal approach towards leadership is integrative. I believe that, in order to be an effective leader, one needs to combine those factors that have the greatest impact on their work and build a harmonious process that both, mechanical yet motivating in nature. When this synergy of processes is achieved, maximum performance levels can be reached with the minimum of efforts and use of time. The scope for errors and risks is reduced, making the entire process more efficient and profitable to all parties involved. This, to me, is the recipe for success.
Having said that, when deciding upon a career to pursue, you not only need to know what the career paths required, but also what you, as an individual, want and are capable of. Conducting an honest self assessment will go a long way in allowing you to identify your aspirations and likes, and comparing them with what you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses. While only you can know for sure whether the field of HR is right for you, understanding what an HR job requires will help you in making the right decision.
In my opinion the following leadership traits are vital for one’s success in the HR field:
We can only move to accomplish a goal when the vision is cast clearly, creatively and consistently . Communication goes much beyond the transfer or sharing information with others. Communication is what binds all the elements of an organization and ensures that they work in tune with each other. Whether the communication is between departments, colleagues or between a leader and subordinate, effectively communicating with those around us can be a major contributor to our success. The following are key elements of effective communication: a) great listening skills, b) the ability to ‘read’ a person’s expressions and body language, c) confident and positive delivery of messages, and d) building trust through transparency.
B. Change Management
Decades of research on workplace change, motivation, and effectiveness all come to the same conclusion: the majority of employees want to be involved in organizational improvement efforts. When they are treated like partners and allowed to provide input, they are more likely to accept and embrace change efforts. And, because they are the most familiar with how work actually gets done on a day - to‐ day basis, they often can identify some of the best efficiency improvement opportunities .
C. Employee Relations
Employees are more likely to give their work their best when they are inspired to do so by their leader. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them . The following points are the essentials of employee welfare:
i) Talent Development: Understanding the individual, to identify the strengths and needs of the individual are vital for the leader in order to be most effective with the person.
ii) Understanding Employees: Successful leadership in addition to knowing the membership and its identity must also know the group’s expectations and what it sees as its obligations .
iii) Empowerment: Subordinates feel the need to exercise authority within their own field, to take decisions on their own and execute them. Only secure leaders give power to others .
iv) Multicultural Orientation: Considering the globalized nature of today’s corporate world, it is important for an HR manager to be culturally aware about the people he or she interacts with and practice a degree of ethnic sensitivity.
v) Work Environment Design: Employee welfare would also entail designing a comfortable, efficient, safe and healthy work environment.
vi) Team Building: An HR manager builds teams and keeps them motivated towards achieving organizational goals.
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