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Human Resource Management has become an integral part of every organisation as the senior executives have realised that the best way of gaining competitive edge in the market is to develop a competent workforce. Previously, the management of staff was undertaken by personnel management department as their main function was to recruit right staff for various designations. With the passage of time and developments in the field of Human Resource (HR), the companies stressed the need of investing sufficient amount of funds in creation of a workforce that will allow it to maintain its edge in the industry (Truss & Gill, 2009).
Difference between Personnel Management and HRM
It is generally believed that personnel management and HRM are similar concepts and there is minor difference between the two. On the other hand, the proponents of HRM are of the viewpoint that role of HRM has widened by a considerable extent and it covers a wide range of aspects that were overlooked by personnel managers (Marchington, 2008).
Generally, personnel management is referred to the set of activities that concern the workforce such as staffing, contractual obligations, payroll and various administrative responsibilities; it shows that it was more concerned with managing people as compared to the resources. On the other hand, HRM takes a holistic approach by ensuring that there is a proper fit and alignment between the organisation's objectives and long-term performance. In HRM, the employees are given utmost attention so that their goals are aligned with the business objectives; both people and resources are efficiently utilised (Armstrong, 2006).
The personnel management is concerned more with meeting day-to-day activities and focuses on meeting the employees' current needs. Whereas, in HRM, the main focus is on the employees' long-term needs and providing them the opportunities to develop their skills and competencies so that they can be proactive and handle their responsibilities properly. In personnel management, employees were considered as a cost but in HRM, employees are valued as vital assets of the company (Srivastava, 2010).
Since HRM takes into account all the mandatory aspects required by the organisations to enhance their performance in the market and personnel management has become an outdated phenomenon, so a company should implement HRM function effectively in its business operations. When HRM policies will be properly applied, an effective and efficient workforce will be created which will help an organisation in boosting its performance level and increasing the rate of profitability as well.
Line Management's role in HR function
The line managers are the main people who are in direct relationship with the line employees. According to Brandl, Madsen and Madsen (2009), a line manager is an individual who is responsible for creation and maintenance of the organisational process along with the people who create the business offerings (product or service) which it will sell such as clothes or travel service. These line managers are simply those individuals who control the exact operations of an on organisation and they are in charge of their staff employees.
On the other hand, staff manager or HR manager does not have the power of controlling these line or staff employees. In other words, staff managers are the individuals who will advise the line management of a company about their area of expertise; these people act as internal consultants to provide them information about the legal and illegal aspects of working, the policies that are developed for the ethical code of conduct and rights that employees are eligible for rendering their services for the organisation (Qadeer, Shafique & Rehman, 2011).
Moreover, the line managers have dual responsibilities; the foremost is to get the work done by the staff employees and second is to make effective contribution in the HR function. The line management has to ensure that employees are provided safe and healthy work environment, assist them in developing their skills that can make them eligible for promotions and appraisals, motivate them to enhance the production and help in reducing the costs and give all rights to the staff related to their work and avoid violation of any laws related to the workers' employment.
Hence, line managers have to keep a balance between their roles as supervisors of the staff workers and assisting HR personnel in creating adequate policies for them. Therefore, the line management is the main link between the staff members and HR function and it has to fulfil its responsibility of increasing the effectiveness of HR function.
HR related legislations in Irish organisations
In order to protect the rights of the employees working in an organisation, the government has introduced certain laws and Acts so that the workers are not deprived of their basic privileges. Similarly, the government of Ireland has passed various Acts and Laws related to HRM that will protect the workers from any kind of violation undertaken by the employer. The major categories that are covered in the Irish Employment Law are employment contract, redundancy and dismissal, unfair treatment, health and safety at work, working time, minimum wages, harassment, leaves allowed and many more (Irish Employment Law, 2013).
Impact of legislations on staff and organisations
With the help of these legislation initiatives, the employees are well-informed about their working rights and they can sue an organisation in case the employer deprives them of their privileges that is given to them by the government. These legislations even allow the organisations to ensure compliance with the mandatory rules required for working in an ethically responsible way (Srivastava, 2010).
These laws allow the HR department to ensure that all of its policies are developed in accordance to the mandatory obligations and protect the organisation from any kind of legal claims that can be made by the staff. Hence, it is prudent for the HR professionals to develop an understanding about the employment laws so that they can save huge amount of legal costs that can arise because of non-compliance with any of the mandatory regulations.
The owner of the firm is making a wise decision by hiring a HR manager for the management of its staff and ensuring that the employment laws are properly implemented. By undertaking appropriate measures, the company will be able to develop a highly skilled and proficient workforce for the enhanced performance in its industry. It will allow the company to give all prudent rights to the employees so that they are satisfied and contended with the business policies and procedures.