Human resource management entails various activities done by different managers in an effort to fulfill the organizational goals and objectives. These goals vary with organizations, but the basic duties and functions of the HRM department are similar. Human resource deals with the human aspect in the organization and its duties vary from selecting to maintaining employees. The various functions of this department affect the overall functioning of the organization (Checkoway, 1986, p. 32).
The functions of HRM department can be divided into two categories namely, the managerial functions and the operative duties. Managerial duties are those performed by the human resource management managers in their respective departments. On the other hand, the operative functions of human resource management are done by the human resource management for every department in the organization.
Various managerial functions fall under this category of human resource management. These include basic management functions like planning, staffing, controlling, directing and organizing. These functions work together to make the daily activities within the organization smooth. Planning entails predetermining the future of the personnel within the organization and aligning programmes to fit in with the organizational goals. These programmes should be in line with the organizational goals, and work together to ensure that every objective set by the organization is achieved. This makes it an effective tool or the organization to foresee and deal with future issues. Therefore, it is vital for the human resource management to ensure that they are accurate in their assessment of the future as it determines the plan’s success or failure. It is important to note that has a crucial effect on other managerial functions within the organization. The main steps in planning include: establishing the desired goals and objectives that the HRM wants to achieve. This entails coming up with all the goals and setting priorities where necessary. The next step in HRM planning is to come up with the necessary procedures and rules that will guide the department on the priorities, and how to achieve the set goals. The third step is to determine all the plans and forecasts of the techniques required to fulfil the set goals and objectives (Yang & Shan, 2008, p. 98).
Organizing is another key feature in human resource management. Here the HRM comes up with a detailed organization of the men and material needed to ensure the set plans are achieved. Organizing is all about the establishment of a structure that determines the authority, responsibilities of various people, and develops an accountability plan and assigning duties. The main steps in organizing include assigning each member of the team specific tasks to be completely in order to achieve the set objectives. The next step is to establish the various duties of each department and its division. Delegation of authority is also crucial for the success of a department. This entails identifying and putting individuals in charge of projects, and giving them the power to ensure everything is working according to plan. The other crucial step in organizing is establishment of communication channels and channels of authority. This is crucial in the communication process, and will also aid in accountability process. The last step in organizing is the creation of a system that will ensure coordination among workers in teams exist (Leibold, Probst & Gibber, 2002, p. 69).
Staffing is also a crucial function of human resource management. The main function of staffing is to create and maintain human resources by employing, compensating, delivering benefits, giving training programs, delivering industrial relations and developing employees. This function entails coming up with proper HR policies that ensures wages are in place, good working conditions and promotion procedures are well set. The crucial steps in ensuring good staffing include determining people that the organization needs to hire. The next step is to recruit the employees with potential and then select from the best among those selected. Compensation is a key step in the staffing process. It entails coming up with correct compensation for various people in the organization. Training and developing of the selected employees also a crucial step that ensures everything works according to plan. Setting performance standards is also a vital step in the staffing process where performance evaluation is taken into consideration (Tropman, 1976, p. 27).
Directing aims at ensuring that employees have a will to cooperate with others in their respective groups. This is done by ensuring that there is sufficient communication, leadership procedures and enough motivation. Directing seeks to ensure various groups are aligned in the same objective to achieve the organization’s goals. The activities involved in directing include; ensuring work is done through subordination, making sure that two way and effective communication exist between top management and employees. Motivation is also crucial in this step. In is not about coercing employees, to work in a certain direction, but entails coming up with ways to make work enjoyable. Motivation always results in better performance from the employees in different departments. It is also the duty of human resource to ensure that group morale is existent (Schunk, 2000, p. 35).
Controlling is the other function of human resource management. This is the process of ensuring that individuals are efficient in their work. Follow up measures provide clear view of group’s efficiency and individuals in organizations. The processes in controlling include establishing performance standards that guide individuals and groups on the steps to ensure efficiency in their daily routines. This is essential for the success of managerial activities that are done through improvement of different activities within the organization. The standard performance is required, and this is done through establishment of performance standard guidelines. The other step in controlling is measuring the actual performance in the organization. This entails the performance of individuals, and then comparing these actual performance results to find a deviation. Corrective actions are necessary for any organization. The controlling aspect of HRM seeks to come up with necessary procedures that focus on corrective measures in various departments (Armstrong, 2009, p. 46).
The human resources department has different duties including establishment of employee policies and coordinating the functions of different departments in the organization. Unlike, managerial duties, this focuses on staffing and other aspect of staffing for all departments within the organization some of these duties include hiring of employees, training, compensation, performance appraisals and retaining of the employees. The other functions include attending to different labour issues and their health and safety concerns (Lampel, Shamsie & Lant, 2006, p. 41).
Procurement is the action of filling different present and future vacancies within the organization. The activities in procuring employees include job analysis and design. Here, the focus is on types of job that have a vacancy including the duties of the employee and their responsibilities with the organization. It links different job responsibilities and proper skills that the job holder should have. It is all about creating the right job specification and identifying the correct person to fit into the vacancy. Recruitment of employees is the process of gathering a pool of applicants who will provide a chance to pick the best person for a certain position. Selection also focuses on screening, testing and doing interviews to determine the best person for the vacancy (Mondy, Noe & Gowan, 2005, p. 37).
Development refers to the process of training and managing employs in different departments. Managers in the human resource management have a duty to ensure that supervision is done on a regular basis on the training and development procedures. The aim of development is to boost employees’ competencies by increasing their knowledge and skills on different aspects of their job specification. This method is commonly used, and widely accepted as a medium of building employee skills and competencies. This will in turn improve the individual’s performance and the overall performance of the organization. This will boost organizational growth and maximize profits (Mondy, Noe & Gowan, 2005, p. 65).
Compensation is the determination of the different pay scales for different job specifications and qualifications in an organization. It is the duty of the human resources department to ensure that an individual receives fair pay depending on their job specification, position and qualification. The human resource managers have a duty to ensure everyone has a fair pay scale that will motivate them to work harder than they would when the pay is less competitive. It is also the duty of the HRM to ensure that the performance system is kept up to date in order to keep bonuses up to scale. This means that the department has a flexible reward system that will go hand in hand with the performance and job specification in the organization (Haykin, 1996, p. 71).
Maintenance functions of the human resources department seek to retain the efficiency and experience of employees within the organization. This requires a lot of creativity among the human resource managers to ensure that employee safety, health issues, fitness and programmes are relevant and up to date. Other issues of maintenance include recreational programmes, transportation issues and creation of a positive and motivating working environment.
Integration is the other function of human resource management, and it entails good industrial relations that seek to create a good relationship between employee’s and the top management. This requires the implementation of industrial relations that will ensure good ethical behaviours and relations between the employees and the management. The need for fair treatment in the organization is dealt with by HRM by developing a grievance system and career management processes that allow employees to voice their concerns, and seek career advice whenever they want to. It is also vital for an organization to ensure that labour issues are resolved or prevented.
How different functions relate to each other
The different functions of the human resource management may differ with organizations, but each of them integrates to work together for the betterment of the organization. These functions rely on each other for a HRM department to function well. The functions interact with each other in various levels to make HRM a fully functional department that works to achieve the organization’s goals. Planning gives HRM managers a clear view of what they need to do. They determine how they can achieve organizational goals. This can be through selection of appropriate employees to fit the different vacancies in the organization. Planning also gives an insight to the compensation programs and the pay scale required by different employees within the organization. Procurement and planning go together as the planning gives HRM ideas of a number of people they need and how they can get them. Maintenance is also closely linked to integration as it looks at the welfare of employees by building their capacities and ensuring that their careers prosper (Cole, 1992, p. 49).
Strategic Human resource Management (SHRM)
Strategic human resource management is concerned with knowing that different people in the organization can play a key role in making all the difference in the organization. It also identifies how they can make a difference and then putting into practice how they can do this effectively. This aims at integrating the aspect of human resource to the organizational strategy at the different levels of the organization. SHRM contributes to the organization on different ways by linking them together.
SHRM contributes greatly to the organization as it provides a link between human resource management and the organization’s business strategy. This is a good step in the sources of an organization. It is known that an organization requires all its employees to have a clear understanding of the business strategy applied to achieve organization goals. When employees have a clear view of this strategy and the goals set by the organization, then it is easy for them to work towards achieving these goals. Employees will feel a sense of belonging to the organization, and the will value the goals set for them. In this case, employees are motivated to work towards achieving the set goals. Employees can have a better understanding of the business strategy if they are involved in the strategy making processed. This can be done in various ways like asking for their views on some aspects of the process or asking them to contribute on some ways that can ensure that the strategy can be achieved (Armstrong, 2000, p. 99).
Strategic human resource management also goes a long way in building and improving organizational performance. Employees always require a feeling that the organization values them, and takes them into consideration when making major decisions. When employees understand and are part of the strategy making process, then they feel as part of the process. This motivates them to work hard towards achieving the set goals. Everyone will have the determination to fulfil the objectives set by the organization. This will improve the organizational performance, as productivity will be high in various departments of the organization. Employees who feel that they are crucial aspects of the future of an organization will feel secure, and will work hard to ensure that the organization moves forward in their business strategies.
Strategic human resource management also improves and increases the effectiveness in the management of human resource. Managers will see the value of employees, and the contribution of these people to the success of the organization. In turn, the managers will learn to link employee satisfaction to the success of the organization. This will ensure that the business is successful as the relationship between the employees and the top managers, who are in charge of different decision making processes, will be the string and valid (Hoisington & Vaneswaran, 2005, p. 114).
This gives the organization a competitive advantage over their competitors. This is because employees are assets in an organization and when an organization has an exceptional relationship with its employees, and then nothing can prevent it from achieving its goals. Many organizations, which do not use strategic human resources management, overlook the importance of valuing their human resources. Mostly, they do not access and see how to link their employees with organizational strategies. This creates a huge gap between the employees and the top decision makers. The tension has a negative effect on the productivity, which reduces the organizations’ competitiveness in the market. Employees may also opt to leave the organization if they do not feel valued by the management. Replacing employees often is a costly procedure to an organization. The process of selecting and developing them is time consuming and costly. By focusing on strategic human resource management, the organization creates a system that works best in achieving the organizational goals through corporation of all employees across the ranks (Hanrieder, 1974, p. 117). This is good for an organization as such a system ensures high productivity levels for individuals and the organization at large. Others cannot imitate such a system in the market because those who may want to change their system to suit theirs. The uniqueness of this comes from business strategies adopted by various organizations to suit their goals and objectives. This requires future-oriented thinking where everyone in the business organization looks at the future of the organization and its success in the long term. The human resources department should also work closely with other departments in the organization to ensure that there is a closely-knit relationship that will ensure continuous success of the strategies. It should also operate in line with the overall objectives of the organization to make this strategy beneficial to the organization and human resource management (Miller & Page, 2007, p. 83).
The other benefits of strategic human resource management are in the ability of an organization applying SHRM to solve complex issues within the organization. The main issues in an organization involve various issues with employees. Working together on issues of strategic importance and significance to the organization ensures that everything runs smoothly with little or no complaints from the employees. This is also applicable in solving external problems that may arise. Employees will come together as a team, and help the management solve issues. This also applies to the implementation of various policies in the organization. Employees will not resist any policies passed by the management because they are considered in the formulation of these issues hence they feel as part of the process (Ramaswami & Sivarajan, 1998, p. 33).
Human resource management is an important aspect of any organization. It has different functions that work together to ensure a successful and productive team. Various functions of human resource management promote productivity within the organization. Strategic human resource management also goes a long way to ensure that the organization is successful. This requires efforts by the top management to identify and deal with issues regarding HRM. It is vital to include HRM in the process of formulating strategies and policies if the SHRM is to be successful. Working together strengthens an organization and gives it a competitive advantage that is difficult for others in other organizations to imitate. This entails coming together as the top management, and building a strong relationship that will boost productivity in the organization.
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