The Human Resource Department is an integral part of every organization. Rooting from its traditional function of hiring and firing employees, HR’s responsibilities has grown into more dynamic aspect in line with the need of the organization. Nowadays HR goes hand in hand with the entire member of the company towards the achievement of growth and development.
As the cycle stands, Human Resource Management begins with the selection of employees up to sending off resigned personnel. However, in between those processes, there are activities that the HRM does for the preservation and development of the company. Thus, it is worth knowing the other duties and functions of the HRM and its significance to the overall development of the organization.
Human resource management was defined as a systematic process of employing, training, compensating, and retaining people (Schmitz, 2012, page 12). Contrary to the layman’s belief, HRM is not only part of the company, but an integral ingredients and continuous process of selecting the right people to handle specific tasks within the organization.
Meanwhile, according to Myron Fottler, HRM “includes formal human resource functions performed within the organization or external to it and more informal management of employees performed by all administrators (page 3).” Accordingly, HRM’s function is said to be formal because the employment process must be documented. From the moment an applicant submits his resume until the acceptance of the job offer, the HR personnel prepares all necessary papers that formalizes the agreement. Furthermore, performance evaluation including policies and procedures, and appraisals are being prepared by the HRD. It is a must for the entire company to formalize all the relevant procedures pertaining to the management of its employee for a better human utilization.
On the other hand, the informal set-up of HR’s people management occurs upon the daily routine of each employee. Although the HR must define rules and procedures, employees are expected to adhere to it without the management mandating specific and detailed processes. After the management communicates the policies, the HR will be there to observe compliance and behaviors of the employees.
Another definition states that HRM is a combination of skills, knowledge, and attitudes that is vital for every organization. It is a dynamic process that involves concern and action of managing people (Pettigrew and Whipp page 236).
Combining all the elements mentioned by various authors, human resource management can be defined as a process of selecting people, placing the right individuals to perform specific tasks, developing policies and procedures to guide employee actions and behaviors, and compensating and retaining people. The process involves both formal and informal human resource functions, which is a product of skills and knowledge and the right management’s attitude towards people management.
HRM and the Health Care Industry
Traditionally, the need for a human resource management team was just for selective industries such as the manufacturing firms. However, since businesses began to acknowledge the need to build strong employee-firm relationship, many other organizations establishes their own HRM to handle people issues within the company. Today, even the health care industry acknowledges the vital role of HRM in maximizing their human capital in order to provide quality health care services to their clients.
Health care is a service oriented industry, wherein health institution needs various people who specializes in different health aspects such as doctors, nurses, physicians, and laboratory technicians. In order to have effective and efficient health care workers, hospitals need to have the motivations and the policies that will encourage the employee to work better, Thus, the human resource department in the health care industry plays vital role in improving the quality of services rendered for customer satisfaction (Kaben, Orchard, Howard, Soriano, and Leduc, 2006).
Moreover, various studies showed that one of the major reasons for migration within the health care industry was due to the administrative failure among hospitals and other health care institutions. Lack of clarify in various organizational policies including workforce planning and ineffective support were causing professional dissatisfaction resulting to major employee turnover. Another factor resulting to the demoralized health worker was caused by the unattended needs. Since the health care industry is a complex environment, hospital directors and its top management need not only to provide the best products and services for the patients, but also need to provide a better working environment for its staffs. Accordingly, there is an imperative demand for a better incentives and reward system for all employees as well as providing them trainings that could empower them (Elabari and Johari, pp. 6-8).
All of the above-mentioned failure in the organizational structure of the health care industry can be remedied by having the effective human resource management team. Thus, the link between having improved health care services is by getting the right HRM to handle the gray areas in managing hospitals and health institutions.
Functions of HRM
The primary objective of HRM is to achieve organizational success through people management. It is by maximizing the human capital by employing the right combination of policies and procedures that will encourage every employee work hard to contribute to the overall success of their firm.
In order to achieve this, the human resource management team was delegated specific functions centralizing with people management. These include manpower planning, selecting and hiring, motivating, evaluating, training and development, and retaining.
It is vital for every organization, especially the health care industry, to find the right people. Thus, the human resource management process starts from defining the current workforce and the additional needed employee structures. It involves understanding the current company workforce profile and forecasting the organizational picture of the company for the next 1, 3, and 10 years (www.accel-team). The objective is to have an idea about the current structure of the manpower and the potential requirements. This step enables the management define the specific requirement they need and determining the job description of the needed employee. For example, if the companies believe to be in need of additional physician, the management must define the specifications of the desired employee, whether it is an OB-Gyne, an Internal-medicine doctor, or Nutritionists.
Selection and hiring
This process involves the placing job advertisement, screening of applicants, conducting interviews, processing initial employment requirements, and hiring the qualified employee. In layman’s term, this step is known to be placing the right individual to fill the available position.
Motivating, compensating, and retaining
Motivating employee to perform well and to stick with the company is probably the most challenging tasks of the HRM. It is because it involves both monetary and psychological satisfaction that must be completed. It terms of the monetary desire of the employee, the compensation and other benefits must be rewarding enough for both the employee and the company. The compensation must not only be advantageous for the individual but must also be in line with the financial capacity of the firm.
Meanwhile, the psychological aspect includes having a better working environment and keeping the communication line open for all levels of employees. There are tendencies for employees to leave their company despite earning well due to the unpleasant working experiences. Thus, it is a challenge for the human resource office to ensure that camaraderie and harmonious relationship among the employees are in constant place. In case of conflicts, the HR must be always there to remedy it the soonest possible time to prevent damaging feeling to the employees involved.
Periodic and constant evaluation within the organization is necessary in order for the management to access the level of satisfaction and productivity of all employees. It is part of the strategic action of the management to develop policies for improvement, remedy potential conflict and areas of concern, and to employ reward and incentive programs. HRM is delegated to initiate the evaluation process as well as to develop evaluation mechanism to measure employee performances.
Training and development
No organization would want their employee to remain stagnant, thus, training and seminars are part of the organizational programs. Educating employees are important to equip the company with the renewed knowledge and skills. For health care industry, it is vital for them to keep their employees updated with the current trends in health care services to keep their competitiveness. Thus, HRM must be able to strategize the educational programs and ensure that every members of the organization will be given the necessary trainings and seminars.
Among the discussed function of the HRM, motivating, compensating, and retaining role is the most crucial for the health care field. As mentioned earlier, the major culprit for employee migration in the industry is the lack of motivation and support from the hospital administrator. Thus, the HRM must be able to respond with the challenge of realigning compensation packages, incentive programs, and reward system in the health care industry to regain the morale of the health care workers and to restore valued employees.
HRM and Organizational Strategies
Strategic plan is the company’s vision for the future. It encompasses priorities and indicated action plan to achieve the vision. Human Resource Management plays an integral part that contributes to the fulfillment of organizational strategies. Among these part is the distribution and communicating the general vision of the company. HRM must ensure that all employees fully understand the goal and objectives of the company as well as encouraging workers to contribute to the success. Another factor where the HRM can help in the organizational strategies is by understanding the nature of the business as well as the level of competition within the industry. The HR can help preserve the competitiveness of the organization if the officer has a full and deep understanding of the business, its overall process, and the rigidness of the competition. Through this knowledge, the HR can create programs and policies that can attract the best employees available and retain their best valued employees (www.simplehrguide.com).
The vital role of the human resource management in the health care industry is in line with the need to reform the current policies governing the system as well as with the improvement of the quality of services provided. It is also challenging for the HRM to minimize, if not to prevent, migration in the health care field. Since the people in the HRM industry specialized with the proper procedure of managing human capital, it is time for the health care industry to establish their own human resource department for their organizational development.
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