Human resource Planning and Leadership roles


Human Resource Planning is the process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kind of people, at the right places, at the right time, capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will help the organization achieve its overall objectives (Decenzo and Robbins 2000). Vetter (1967) defined human resource planning as the process by which management determines how the organization should move from its current manpower position to its desired position. Through planning, management strives to have the right number and the right kinds of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing things which result in both the organization and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefits.

Human resources planning should be a key component of nearly every corporation's strategic business planning. To ensure their competitive advantage in the marketplace, organizations must implement innovative strategies that are designed to enhance their employee retention rate and recruit fresh talent into their companies. In today's corporate environment, it is viewed as a valuable component for adding value to an organization. Both employees and the company will often realize many benefits of planning over the long-run.

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Contemporary human resource planning occurs within the broad context of organizational and strategic business planning. It involves forecasting the organization's future human resource needs and planning for how those needs will be met. It includes establishing objectives and then developing and implementing programs (staffing, appraising, compensating, and training) to ensure that people are available with the appropriate characteristics and skills when and where the organization needs them. It may also involve developing and implementing programs to improve employee performance or to increase employee satisfaction and involvement in order to boost organizational productivity, quality, or innovation (Mills, 1 985b). Finally, human resource planning includes gathering data that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing programs and inform planners when revisions in their forecasts and programs are needed.

Strategic collaboration between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the large businesses they partner can take many forms, such as locating a SMEs facility in close proximity to a buyer's facility to enable just-in-time delivery of raw material, inputs and components; collaborating on research and development and product design to build organizational competencies and capabilities; collaborating on supply chain activities to manage costs and promote operational efficiency; or delivering outsourced human resource management activities (Doz and Hamel 1998). For large businesses, forming strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships can be critical to their ability to seize technological opportunities, to build critical resource strengths and competitive capabilities, to improve supply chain efficiencies and deliver value to their customers (Kaplan and Hurd 2002). Often these partners are small and medium sized enterprises, that are expected to perform as full partners (Ijose, Olumide).

However, there has been little to no attention paid to the role the strategic human resource management (SHRM) practices of SMEs play in their ability to be valued and trusted strategic partners in the value chain of big businesses. Like any other organization, the sophistication of their human resource management practices can lead to operational inefficiencies that can affect their ability to meet their obligations to corporate buyers (reference and relate sentence to big businesses where this has been proven). Factors that enable operating excellence include having a strong management team, recruiting and retaining talented employees, viewing training as a strategic activity, structuring the work effort in ways that promotes successful strategy execution, deploying an organizational structure that facilitates the proficient performance of strategy critical activities, instituting policies and procedures that facilitate good strategy execution, instilling a strategy supportive culture and tying rewards and incentives to individual and team performance outcomes that are strategically relevant (Higgins 2005).

Human resource planning involves plans for future needs of personnel, their required skills, recruitment of employees, and development of personnel (Miller, Burack, &Albrecht, 1980).  Human resource forecasting and human resource audit are the two most important components of this type of planning. Human resource forecasting refers to predicting an organization's future demand for number, type, and quality of various categories of employees. The assessment of future needs has to be based on analysis of present and future policies and growth trends. The techniques of forecasting include the formal expert survey, Delphi technique, statistical analysis, budget and planning analysis, and computer models. The human resource audit gives an account of the skills, abilities, and performance of all the employees of an organization (Werther & Davis, 1982).

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Recruitment refers to the process of attracting, screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm. For some components of the recruitment process, mid- and large-size organizations often retain professional recruiters or outsource some of the process to recruitment agencies. Types of recruitment are:

1. External Recruitment Methods

Develop relationships with guidance and career counselors at colleges and universities and ask for help in recruiting for open positions. Reach out to professional organizations that are in line with the organization's mission, and ask to them to list open positions in their newsletters and emails to members. Organizations with financial resources should consider working with a recruitment firm, especially if the position is at a higher level or requires a specific skill or type of experience.

2. Internal Recruitment Methods

Be clear about the skills and experience an applicant must possess. Post an open position internally first to assess whether there are qualified candidates within the organization. Consider interns, volunteers, temporary workers or consultants who may have been working in a similar capacity to the open position( managementstudyguide [online]).

A typical selection process consists of the following steps: completed job application, initial screening, testing, indepth selection interview, physical examination, and job offer (French, 1982). In general, extension organizations use a simple knowledge test and a brief interview to select extension personnel.

An interview is the most common form of selection as it is relatively cheap to undertake and is the chance for an employer to meet the applicant face to face and so obtain much more information on what the person is like and how suitable they are for the job. Examples of information that can only be learnt from interview and not on paper from a CV or application form are:

Conversational ability- often known as people skills

Natural enthusiasm or manner of the applicant

See how applicant reacts under pressure

Queries on comments or details missing from CV or application form

There are though other forms of selection tests that can be used in addition to an interview to help select the best applicant. The basic interview can be unreliable as applicants can perform well at interview but not have the qualities or skills needed for the job. Other selection tests can increase the chances of choosing the best applicant and so minimise the high costs of recruiting the wrong people. Examples of these tests are aptitude tests, intelligence tests and psychometric tests. Once the best candidate has been selected and agreed to take up the post, the new employee must be given an employment contract.

The training of personnel contributes directly to the development of human resources within organizations. "Training programmes are directed towards maintaining and improving current job performance, while development programmes seek to develop skills for future jobs" (Stoner & Freeman, 1992, p. 388).  Training based on actual field experience should be emphasized. Methods such as coaching, job rotation, training sessions, classroom instruction, and educational institute-sponsored development programmes are used to train managers.

An important aspect of human resource management which needs special attention in organizations is the development of a reward system which will attract, retain, and motivate extension personnel, as well as provide training and promotional opportunities.

Skinner's reinforcement theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, Maslow's need-hierarchy theory, Adams' equity theory and Herzberg's two- factor theory are the five main approaches that have created the understanding of motivation.

In 1943, Maslow gave a list of five types of needs of employees i.e.: ego, safety, physiological, self- actualizing and social. Maslow said that all type of needs of employees should be fulfilled in some priority levels, as the fulfillment of their needs would bring a great deal of motivation in the employees. Motivators and hygiene were the two categories in which Herzberg divided motivation in 1959. Job satisfaction is provided by recognition and achievements of employees which contribute to intrinsic factors and motivation. Job dissatisfaction is developed as a result of low pays and insecurity of jobs that contribute towards extrinsic factors or hygiene.

Performance was the major area of relevance which contribute towards rewards and further increased performance according to Vroom in 1964. There may be positive or negative categories of rewards. The motivation of an employee depends upon the rewards as positive rewards motivate the employees and negative rewards demotivate them.

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According to Adams equity among workers plays a major role in motivating employees. "Equity is achieved when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs" (Adams, 1965).

In 1953, Skinner mentioned that the positive behavior of the employees should be motivated to be repeated and negative behavior should be strictly dealt so that it shouldn't be repeated. Behavior of employees should be observed strictly by managers. Managers should be made liable to enforce the positive behavior of employees that lead to positive results and demotivate the negative behavior of employees that leads to negative outcomes.

The importance of certain factors in motivating employees was studied by James R. Lindner in 1998, who was Research Associate at Ohio State University. Ten motivating factors were revealed by the study as following: (a) interesting work, (b) ) tactful discipline, (c) good wages, (d)job security, (e) feeling of being in on things, (f) sympathetic help with personal problems, (g) personal loyalty to employees, (h) full appreciation of work done (i) good working conditions, and (j) promotions and growth in the organization

Some interesting factors into employee motivation were revealed by comparison of above results to Maslow's need-hierarchy theory. Interesting work is a self-motivating factor which is considered rank one motivation factor. Good wages is a physiological motivation factor which is ranked two. High appreciation of work done is another major esteem factor which is ranked at number three. Job security known as the safety factor is another major motivation facto ranked at number four. In 1943, Maslow declared that interesting work, safety, esteem, physiological and social factors are the most important motivation factors that must be satisfied first. Good pay and increase in pays will be second most important factors that should be addressed by managers. Range of motivational factors suggested by Maslow's study is challenged by the following study. This study doesn't confirm that Maslow's conclusion of ascending order of motivational factors to be satisfied. Ken Shah and Prof. Param J. Shah revealed the properties that a manager should have as following:

Evaluate yourself- In order to motivate, encourage and control your staff's behaviour, it is essential to understand, encourage and control your own behaviour as a manager.

Be familiar with your staff- The more and the better he knows his staff, the simpler it is to get them involved in the job as well as in achieving the team and organizational goals. 

Provide the employees certain benefits- Give them bonuses, pay them for overtime, and give them health and family insurance benefits. Make sure they get breaks from work. 

Participate in new employees induction programme- Induction proceeds with recruitment advertising. At this point of time, the potential entrants start creating their own impressions and desires about the job and the organization. The manner in which the selection is conducted and the consequent recruitment process will either build or damage the impression about the job and organization.

Provide feedback to the staff constantly

Acknowledge your staff on their achievements

Ensure effective time management

Have stress management techniques in your organization

Give the employees learning opportunities

Listen effectively

Develop and encourage creativity

Adopt job enrichment- Job enrichment implies giving room for a better quality of working life. It means facilitating people to achieve self-development, fame and success through a more challenging and interesting job which provides more promotional and advancement opportunities.

Respect your team

Set realistic goals : Set moderate goals. Setting too high a task creates a feeling of non-achievement, right from the beginning itself. 

Think like a winner : A manager has to handle two situations, "The Winning" and "The loosing". The crux is to think like a winner even when all the odds seem against you. It is necessary to equip yourself with all the tools of a winner.

An executive must have the right leadership traits to influence motivation. Both an employee as well as manager must possess leadership and motivational traits. An effective leader must have a thorough knowledge of motivational factors for others. He must understand the basic needs of employees, peers and his superiors. Leadership is used as a means of motivating others.

According to Keith Davis, "Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals."( managementstudyguide [online])

Characteristics of Leadership

It is a inter-personal process in which a manager is into influencing and guiding workers towards attainment of goals.

It denotes a few qualities to be present in a person which includes intelligence, maturity and personality.

It is a group process. It involves two or more people interacting with each other.

A leader is involved in shaping and moulding the behaviour of the group towards accomplishment of organizational goals.

Leadership is situation bound. There is no best style of leadership. It all depends upon tackling with the situations.

Leadership and management are the terms that are often considered synonymous. It is essential to understand that leadership is an essential part of effective management. As a crucial component of management, remarkable leadership behaviour stresses upon building an environment in which each and every employee develops and excels. A manager must have traits of a leader, i.e., he must possess leadership qualities. Leaders develop and begin strategies that build and sustain competitive advantage. Organizations require robust leadership and robust management for optimal organizational efficiency. (managementstudyguide [online])

Differences between Leadership and Management

Leadership differs from management in a sense that:

While managers lay down the structure and delegates authority and responsibility, leaders provides direction by developing the organizational vision and communicating it to the employees and inspiring them to achieve it.

While management includes focus on planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling; leadership is mainly a part of directing function of management. Leaders focus on listening, building relationships, teamwork, inspiring, motivating and persuading the followers.

While a leader gets his authority from his followers, a manager gets his authority by virtue of his position in the organization.

While managers follow the organization's policies and procedure, the leaders follow their own instinct.

Management is more of science as the managers are exact, planned, standard, logical and more of mind. Leadership, on the other hand, is an art. In an organization, if the managers are required, then leaders are a must/essential.

While management deals with the technical dimension in an organization or the job content; leadership deals with the people aspect in an organization.

While management measures/evaluates people by their name, past records, present performance; leadership sees and evaluates individuals as having potential for things that can't be measured, i.e., it deals with future and the performance of people if their potential is fully extracted.

If management is reactive, leadership is proactive.

Management is based more on written communication, while leadership is based more on verbal communication. 

The leadership style varies with the kind of people the leader interacts and deals with. A perfect/standard leadership style is one which assists a leader in getting the best out of the people who follow him. There are three main categories of leadership styles: autocratic, paternalistic and democratic (tutor2u[online])

Autocratic (or authoritarian) managers like to make all the important decisions and closely supervise and control workers. Managers do not trust workers and simply give orders (one-way communication) that they expect to be obeyed. This approach has limitations but it can be effective in certain situations. For example: When quick decisions are needed in a company (e.g. in a time of crises).

Paternalistic managers give more attention to the social needs and views of their workers. Managers are interested in how happy workers feel and in many ways they act as a father figure. They consult employees over issues and listen to their feedback or opinions. The manager will however make the actual decisions (in the best interests of the workers) 

A democratic style of management will put trust in employees and encourage them to make decisions. They will delegate to them the authority to do this (empowerment) and listen to their advice. This requires good two-way communication and often involves democratic discussion groups, which can offer useful suggestions and ideas. Managers must be willing to encourage leadership skills in subordinates.

Because the purpose of human resource planning is to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time, it must be linked with the plans of the total organization. Traditionally, there has been a weak one way linkage between business planning and human resource planning. Business plans, where they exist, have defined human resource needs, thereby making human resource planning a reactive exercise. Thus a final challenge in human resource planning is balancing current needs-of organizations and their employees-with those of the future. The criterion against which this balancing act is measured is whether employees are currently at the right place doing the right things but yet are ready to adapt appropriately to different activities. To ensure this, a harmonious relationship between employer and employee, and effective leadership style is essential.