Both Line And Hr Managers In Hrm Needs To Be Re Assessed Business Essay


It is within human resource management (HRM) that their involvement has been placed centre-stage as a core element of an HR approach.

The article concludes that participation of both line and HR managers in HRM needs to be re-assessed, as line involvement in HRM is a problematic initiative for organisations to adopt.

Renwick, Douglas (Editor). Line Manager Involvement in HRM.

Bradford, , GBR: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2003. p iv.

Copyright © 2003. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.

Competitive business pressures are leading to streamlined organisational structures, flatter management layers, adoption of team-working processes and employee empowerment, which offers line managers a key role in contributing to strategic HRM outcomes by encouraging knowledge sharing in teams. Reviews and discusses the impact of such devolved HR responsibilities on the role of line managers. Intends to explore: the role of line managers facilitating creation and transfer of tacit knowledge in teams; to summarise barriers concerning the transfer of tacit knowledge between individuals and teams; and finally to outline the importance of developing line managers as facilitators. Aims to construct an agenda outlining future research in this field.

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Renwick, Douglas (Editor). Line Manager Involvement in HRM.

Bradford, , GBR: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2003. p v.

Copyright © 2003. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.

How many boxes should be in the Black Box?

To examine the impact of HR practices on firm outcomes, the common research design

assesses a firm's HR practices and then statistically relates these practices to some financial outcome such as profitability. specifying the intervening variables between the measure of HR practices and the measure of firm performance. Virtually all authors have implicitly or explicitly treated the black box as a linear causal process consisting of one or more smaller boxes. For example, Becker and Huselid (1998) suggested one causal model. In this model, the HRM system impacts employee behaviors, which leads to strategy implementation, which consequently determines operating performance, leading to overall firm performance.

Theoretical and Empirical Challenges in Studying: The HR Practice - Firm

Performance Relationship Patrick M. Wright Timothy M. Gardner

Working Paper 00 - 04 Advancing the World of Work CAHRS / Cornell University

187 Ives Hall Ithaca, NY 14853-3901 USA Tel. 607 255-9358

Much of this research has demonstrated statistically significant relationships between measures of HR practices and firm profitability (Delery and Doty, 1996; Guthrie, 2001; Huselid, 1995).

vTo date, Becker and Huselid (1998) offer the most logical and definitive model of the

processes through which HR practices affect firm performance. They suggest that HR

practices have a direct impact on employee skills, motivation, job design and work

structures. These variables elicit certain levels of creativity, productivity and

discretionary effort, which subsequently translate into improved operating

performance. This has an impact on profitability and growth, which in turn have a

direct impact on the firm's market valuation.

HR practices (eg specific selection processes and practices, pay systems, performance management systems, training and development strategies and practices)


Patrick M. Wright, Timothy M. Gardner and Lisa M. Moynihan

Work Environment

A safe and happy workplace makes the employees feel good about being there. Each one is given importance and provided the security that gives them the motivation and incentive to stay. This is usually achieved through internal surveys to find out whether they are satisfied and if not what they think needs to be changed.

Open Management

Employees don't like the feeling of being kept in the dark about what is happening in the company. They feel motivated and develop enthusiasm only when the management opens up to them and discusses the company policies, sales, clients, contracts, goals and objectives. This encourages participative management. Asking them for ideas on how to improve will get their creative juices flowing. Being open about everything related to the company will help in building trust and motivating the employees. This open management policy can be practiced using several tools.

Performance Incentives

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Every good performance is appreciated in the form of a pat on the back, bonuses or giving some other compensation for a job well done. Organizations that struggle to keep up with the attrition rate are mostly those that think employees are "just" doing their job. Even if it is the employee's job, completion in an appreciable manner calls for an incentive, and this goes a long way in boosting the staff morale. These incentives can be implemented at the individual as well as the team level and it has been seen that this works wonders in getting the best out of the employees. But it is important to keep in mind that these bonuses should not be given without a reason, unless it is a commitment for annual bonuses or some such thing. Doing so will only reduce the perceived value of the bonuses.

Performance Feedback

This is one the methods that is being followed by many organizations. Feedback is not only taken from the boss, but also from other seniors and subordinates. Previously, appreciation was only sought from the immediate boss or the management, but now organizations understand the importance of collecting performance feedback from several quarters. The opinion of everyone matters, especially for someone who is in a leadership role at any level. Each person in the team is responsible for giving constructive feedback. This kind of system helps in identifying people who can perform well as leaders at higher levels in the organization. Even the senior level managers can use this system to their advantage, as a tool to improve themselves.

Employee Evaluation

Every company has an employee evaluation system in place but a good system links individual performance to the goals and priorities of the organization. This works well when achievements are tracked over an year. For a fair review of each employee, the evaluation, apart from being done by the boss, should be done by another person at a higher level, for whom the employee's contribution is important. Ratings can also be obtained by other employees. This ensures a fair and accurate rating of each and every employee.

Sharing of Knowledge

Knowledge sharing is a wonderful strategy that helps in the betterment of the employees and their work. Keep all the knowledgeable information in central databases that can be accessed by each and every employee. For example, if an employee is sent on some training, the knowledge that is acquired by that employee can be stored in these databases for others to learn from it. Even innovative ideas that the management deems fit for employees to see, can be stored here for all to see.

Publicize Good Performances

Every company has some employees who outperform others. Such performances should be highlighted and displayed where other employees can look at them; such as on the display boards and intranet etc. This will encourage others to give their best. A proper system should be set up to make a list of high performances at specific times in a year.


Successful organizations nurture ideas and they understand that employees who are actually working and know the business can provide the best ideas. The management should have discussions with employees to get these ideas out of them. There can also be suggestion boxes to capture these ideas. Through this system, managers can find talented employees and develop them.


While recognition of talent is highly important, this recognition has to be made public and what better way than holding ceremonies and announcing to the whole world (the employees), the achievements of a fellow employee. There can be nothing better for an employee than the heady feeling from a resounding applause.

The Surprise Factor

Who doesn't like a surprise? Surprise deserving employees - when they are least expecting it. It could be a gift certificate or a small reward of some sort. This surprise doesn't have to be limited to the best performers, but it can be randomly given to others as a motivating factor too. Anyone can be given this surprise reward.

Such healthy HR practices encourage the growth of the organization as employees after all play a major role in the well-being of a company. Making an employee feel like a million dollars pays in the form of the success of an organization.

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Strategic human resource management  By Randall S. Schuler, Susan E. Jackson


Human Resource Management (HRM) is a planned approach to managing people effectively for performance. It aims to establish a more open, flexible and caring management style so that staff will be motivated, developed and managed in a way that they can give of their best to support departments* missions. Good HRM practices are instrumental in helping achieve departmental objectives and enhance productivity. For the purpose of sharing experience and providing reference in launching HRM initiatives, we have gathered in this booklet some good examples introduced by departments.

HRM Good Practice Indicators


Good Practice Indicator

Articulation of Vision, Mission and Values (VMV)

Sense of purpose reflected in the department's VMV

Elements of service culture captured in the department's VMV

Involving staff in discussions and meetings to generate ownership

Management commitment shown in resource allocation in achieving department's VMV

Clear and effective communication programme in place to promote VMV

Offering training to develop skills and behaviour in living the VMV

Customer-focused culture reflected in departmental policies,procedures and practices

Measurement system in place to track performance improvement

Demonstration of understanding of VMV and observable behaviour

Drawing up HRM Plan

The HRM Plan developed under the leadership of the senior management

Department's strategic direction clearly articulated by the top team

Debate and endorsement of strategic and ongoing HR issues by the top team

HR actions to address HR issues debated, approved and prioritized by the top team

Department's VMV revisited as part of the strategic review process

An environment scan conducted to identify strategic HR issues

Staff's input on ongoing HR issues sought through, for example, staff opinion survey, focus group meetings, interviews, etc

Specific objectives and sets of actions clearly spelt out in the HRM Plan and clearly explained as to how each will help address certain HR issues in achieving departmental Vision and Mission,

Responsibilities to implement the HRM Plan clearly assigned

Realistic implementation plan with adequate resource support,

Review system in place

Development of a human resource information system

Manpower Planning

A systematic information system in place

A clear plan with action programmes in place to bridge supply and demand gaps, succession gaps, and competency gaps

Posting policy published and career paths made known to staff

Competency profiles of key job grades developed and made known to staff

Information derived from succession plan fed into training and development plans for individual officers

Career interviews arranged for staff to gauge staff aspiration and offer career guidance offered

Regular review and update of the plan and competency profiles

Performance Management System

Senior management's support and commitment in allocating the required resources and according priority to this function

Objective setting starting from the top and systematically cascaded and linked to the departmental objectives

All appraisers have been properly trained on PMS good practices and the required skills

Mechanisms to ensure openness, fairness and objectivity of the appraisal process

The system being competency-based to help identify training and development needs for staff and their potential for taking up higher responsibilities

Information gathered from the performance cycle linked to other human resource functions

Staff recognizing that performance management is a joint responsibility of the appraisee and the supervisor

Staff performance management being an ongoing process, not an annual event

Review of the performance management system

Training and Development

Individual and departmental Training and Development plans in place and strategically linked to departmental strategic objectives

A diverse set of training and development activities (e.g. overseas attachment, overseas training, secretariat attachment)

Training and Development integrated with PMS and Succession Plan / Manpower Plan

Timely induction training provided to all new staff with management training to be provided systematically afterwards

Regular review of the Training and Development policies

Evidence of improvement in work quality and efficiency,

Managers'positive feedback on learners'performance

Training courses rated highly in quality and relevance

Service Quality Enhancement

Customer focused culture as reflected in programmes, policies, procedures and practices

Productivity and efficiency enhanced

Staff taking more initiative to serve

Measurement in place to track performance improvement

Mode of operation being service oriented

Public image enhanced

Gazprom is one of the largest energy businesses in the world. Is the most profitable company in the world and it was fully privatized. It was owned by the Russian Federation when it was founded. The shares were sale between 1993 and 1995 and it belongs to a more than 1 million citizens of Russia.

To create comfortable labor conditions they provide several social guarantees, benefits and compensation that are governed by some documents such as the General Collective Agreement, Industry Agreement for the companies engaged in the oil and gas industry, Industry Tariff Agreement in the electric power industry of the Russian Federation and the Provision on the Continuous Corporate Professional Education for Managers and Specialist that is the most important one. The Provision on the Training of Young Specialists with Higher or Secondary Professional Education, the Provision on Psychological Support in Gazprom, the Provision on Medical Support for Gazprom's Employees, Retired Pensioners and their Families, etc. A crucial social guarantee is payment of extra pensions by Gazfond Non-State Pension Fund. to improve the employees' operational capabilities and living standards, the Company builds the system of life support, medical and ecological

the Company developed a telemedicine network.

developed and endorsed the Personnel Management Policy for Gazprom and its Subsidiary and Associated Companies.

The Policy is aimed at establishing an efficient human resources management mechanism based on social partnership.

In order to ensure financial interest of Gazprom's management staff in the Company's efficient development, in 2006 Gazprom introduced a financial motivation system for the management of Gazprom and its major subsidiaries, which includes an annual bonus system and a program for allocating Gazprom's shares as a bonus.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a company with more than 75,000 employees who manage the car business of more than one million vehicles around the world. Since its foundation, the most important thing was the customers before than the profits. Thus their principal business objectives are: customer satisfaction, fleet growth, employee development and profitability.

Everyday people as a customers are more demanding and they expect a particular service. Therefore Enterprise uses Enterprise Service Quality Index in order to have a trustily measure of the quality of its service. This guides to growth both the business and profitability.

Enterprise in their recruitment process looks for motivated people with leader skills as a core competence to help the company growing. They may take decisions that improve customer service and they are trained to provide different service depending on each customer. They are leaded to be flexible and responsive with customers to give the service according to the customer.

When a leader needs to take a decision he discuses that with the staff and then all of them works together in order to achieve the scope of the decision. Instead of use autocratic decision, that is not the best option in routines, the staff uses both persuasive democratic management, it means that employees follow the leader; and consultative democratic management when the leader ask its group to contribute to find the decision focus in the best customer service in this competitive market where managers and staff might to take decisions according the changing needs of customers.

Every employee takes its own decisions so every office makes its decisions; they are decentralised and follow "Laissez-faire" policies.

However, some people are not able to make the correct decision or they do not motivate themselves. Thus staffs receives regular training and feedback

Depending upon the circumstances, leaders will use different leadership styles. By

developing leaders who are able to make decisions at a local level, Enterprise can respond more closely to customer needs within a competitive service industry. Its high levels of customer service provide it with competitive advantage over its rivals.

Lloyds TSB Group employs more than 66,000 people in 27 countries worldwide. They have over 16 million customers. They compete in a rapidly changing market on a global scale with customers that expect their services available 24 hours a day. Therefore they adopted innovative human resource management policies to motivate and giving the highest levels of performance to its employees and customers. The main issue they found after an study with their employees is the needs for stuff such as family life, leisure activities and hobbies. The way they faced this global issue was creating and introducing a flexible working policy in order to help employees to achieve a better work life balance. That's why they can motivate, attract and retain the best employees and they will keep customers happy and it makes grow profits.

In order to face another change in external environmental factor such as a higher number of women working around the world, they might treat equally all employees and been more conscious of their family responsibilities. Therefore, Lloyds has offered flexible work options to its employees not just as a benefit but it makes excellent business sense as well. Additional when they can manage their hours at work, they are more productive and present less stress. That is how Lloyds retain existing employees that at the end of the day is cheaper than train new staff.

Nowadays many Lloyds staff are allowed to do homeworking thanks to tele-woking technology like email, mobile phones and video conferencing.

Changing work patterns

at Lloyds TSB


Tarmac is a multinational business for building and maintaining roads that serves different types of customers. In order to maintain its competitive advantage through the external factors of changes, Tarmac might to have employees with really high levels of skill. Thus, it provides career development opportunities in many job roles. Tarmac's change management programme ensures that managers work closely for developing their employees.

Tarmac has 12,500 employees and an annual turnover of £2.1 billion and to keep growing, they focus on attracting the right employees who have the right skills and expertise for each of one of their different jobs. In order to achieve their aims and objectives and to satisfy customer needs, Tarmac has support services in Human resources that include planning for forecasting staff requirements, and managing recruitment and selection. They ensure that managers apply Human Resources policies and procedures across the business. In Tarmac the priority is development of employees. Its Organisational Development team promote a culture of learning and development. This team coordinates all trainings, learning and development opportunities to enable people to acquire skill and expertise working within a culture of continuous improvement.

Zone Managers have a set of agreed key performance indicators (KPIs). These show

targets that they need to achieve. All staff in the zone need to understand their roles in

helping to meet these KPIs. It is the manager's job to help them get the best performance by:

• motivating the team through coaching and leadership

• identifying priorities for continuous improvement

• encouraging and rewarding staff who contribute improvement ideas and actions

• emphasising the importance of developing skills and capabilities.

Tarmac employees have the opportunity to contribute their ideas on how to achieve results.

This helps individuals gain a greater understanding of the business. They are more motivated

because they feel a part of the whole structure and not simply a small fish in a large pool.

Tarmac aims to build the capacity and capability of its people to achieve their full potential.

This strategy strengthens the business in the long term.

An HR manager's role is to ensure that business managers apply HR policies and procedures

consistently through all business units. This helps to develop partnerships across different

teams, which supports corporate aims and objectives.