Human resources as an important source of advantage

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Executive Summary:-

Authoritative tasks of Human resource management are executing an perfectionistic part in all the organisations. Diversity of the Workforce can be a drastic issue in the Globalised economy for the recruitment and selection strategy in Human resource management. In a globalised economy the strategy of the Human Resource Management should be structured in such a way so as to focus on the strategic policy of its functions which can be feasible to understand the capability, calibre, potentials and superiority of the people which is helping to build a unified status of the team work in order to achieve the objectives and tasks of the business management.

Introduction:-

General Gist

Human Resource Management (HRM) is fundamentally another name for personnel management.   It is the process of making sure the employees are as creative as they can be.   HRM is a way of grouping the range of activities associated with managing people that are variously categorised under employee relations, industrial/labour relations, personnel management and organisational behaviour.   Many academic departments where research and teaching in all these areas take place have adopted the title department of human resources management.   HRM is a coordinated approach to managing people that seeks to integrate the various personnel activates so that they are compatible with each other.

Definition

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.

Purpose

Human Resource Management ("HRM") is a way of management that links people-related activities to the strategy of a business or organisation. HRM is often referred to as "strategic HRM". It has several goals:

- To meet the needs of the business and management (rather than just serve the interests of employees);

- To link human resource strategies / policies to the business goals and objectives;

- To find ways for human resources to "add value" to a business;

- To help a business gain the commitment of employees to its values, goals and objectives.

Main Body:-

The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. The organisation should always ensure that employees have -- and are aware of -- personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have.

Human resources management comprises several processes like -

Function 1: Manpower Planning

The penalties for not being correctly staffed are costly.

Understaffing loses the business economies of scale and specialization, orders, customers and profits.

Overstaffing is wasteful and expensive, if sustained, and it is costly to eliminate because of modern legislation in respect of redundancy payments, consultation, minimum periods of notice, etc. Very importantly, overstaffing reduces the competitive efficiency of the business.

Planning staff levels requires that an assessment of present and future needs of the organization be compared with present resources and future predicted resources. Appropriate steps then be planned to bring demand and supply into balance.

Thus the first step is to take a 'satellite picture' of the existing workforce profile (numbers, skills, ages, flexibility, gender, experience, forecast capabilities, character, potential, etc. of existing employees) and then to adjust this for 1, 3 and 10 years ahead by amendments for normal turnover, planned staff movements, retirements, etc, in line with the business plan for the corresponding time frames.

The result should be a series of crude supply situations as would be the outcome of present planning if left unmodified. (This, clearly, requires a great deal of information accretion, classification and statistical analysis as a subsidiary aspect of personnel management.)

What future demands will be is only influenced in part by the forecast of the personnel manager, whose main task may well be to scrutinize and modify the crude predictions of other managers. Future staffing needs will derive from:

Sales and production forecasts

The effects of technological change on task needs

Variations in the efficiency, productivity, flexibility of labor as a result of training, work study, organizational change, new motivations, etc.

Changes in employment practices (e.g. use of subcontractors or agency staffs, hiving-off tasks, buying in, substitution, etc.)

Variations, which respond to new legislation, e.g. payroll taxes or their abolition, new health and safety requirements

Changes in Government policies (investment incentives, regional or trade grants, etc.)

What should emerge from this 'blue sky gazing' is a 'thought out' and logical staffing demand schedule for varying dates in the future which can then be compared with the crude supply schedules. The comparisons will then indicate what steps must be taken to achieve a balance.

That, in turn, will involve the further planning of such recruitment, training, retraining, labor reductions (early retirement/redundancy) or changes in workforce utilization as will bring supply and demand into equilibrium, not just as a one-off but as a continuing workforce planning exercise the inputs to which will need constant varying to reflect 'actual' as against predicted experience on the supply side and changes in production actually achieved as against forecast on the demand side.

Function 2: Recruitment and Selection of Employees

Recruitment of staff should be preceded by:

An analysis of the job to be done (i.e. an analytical study of the tasks to be performed to determine their essential factors) written into a job description so that the selectors know what physical and mental characteristics applicants must possess, what qualities and attitudes are desirable and what characteristics are a decided disadvantage;

In the case of replacement staff a critical questioning of the need to recruit at all (replacement should rarely be an automatic process).

Effectively, selection is 'buying' an employee (the price being the wage or salary multiplied by probable years of service) hence bad buys can be very expensive. For that reason some firms (and some firms for particular jobs) use external expert consultants for recruitment and selection.

Equally some small organizations exist to 'head hunt', i.e. to attract staff with high reputations from existing employers to the recruiting employer. However, the 'cost' of poor selection is such that, even for the mundane day-to-day jobs, those who recruit and select should be well trained to judge the suitability of applicants.

The main sources of recruitment are:

Internal promotion and internal introductions (at times desirable for morale purposes)

Careers officers (and careers masters at schools)

University appointment boards

Agencies for the unemployed

Advertising (often via agents for specialist posts) or the use of other local media (e.g. commercial radio)

Where the organization does its own printed advertising it is useful if it has some identifying logo as its trade mark for rapid attraction and it must take care not to offend the sex, race, etc. antidiscrimination legislation either directly or indirectly. The form on which the applicant is to apply (personal appearance, letter of application, completion of a form) will vary according to the posts vacant and numbers to be recruited.

It is very desirable in many jobs that claim about experience and statements about qualifications are thoroughly checked and that applicants unfailingly complete a health questionnaire (the latter is not necessarily injurious to the applicants chance of being appointed as firms are required to employ a percentage of disabled people).

Before letters of appointment are sent any doubts about medical fitness or capacity (in employments where hygiene considerations are dominant) should be resolved by requiring applicants to attend a medical examination. This is especially so where, as for example in the case of apprentices, the recruitment is for a contractual period or involves the firm in training costs.

Interviewing can be carried out by individuals (e.g. supervisor or departmental manager), by panels of interviewers or in the form of sequential interviews by different experts and can vary from a five minute 'chat' to a process of several days. Ultimately personal skills in judgment are probably the most important, but techniques to aid judgment include selection testing for:

Aptitudes (particularly useful for school leavers)

Attainments

General intelligence

(All of these need skilled testing and assessment.) In more senior posts other techniques are:

Leaderless groups

Command exercises

Group problem solving

(These are some common techniques - professional selection organizations often use other techniques to aid in selection.)

Training in interviewing and in appraising candidates is clearly essential to good recruitment. Largely the former consists of teaching interviewers how to draw out the interviewee and the latter how to xratex the candidates. For consistency (and as an aid to checking that) rating often consists of scoring candidates for experience, knowledge, physical/mental capabilities, intellectual levels, motivation, prospective potential, leadership abilities etc. (according to the needs of the post).

Function 3: Employee Motivation

To retain good staff and to encourage them to give of their best while at work requires attention to the financial and psychological and even physiological rewards offered by the organization as a continuous exercise.

Basic financial rewards and conditions of service (e.g. working hours per week) are determined externally (by national bargaining or government minimum wage legislation) in many occupations but as much as 50 per cent of the gross pay of manual workers is often the result of local negotiations and details (e.g. which particular hours shall be worked) of conditions of service are often more important than the basics. Hence there is scope for financial and other motivations to be used at local levels.

As staffing needs will vary with the productivity of the workforce (and the industrial peace achieved) so good personnel policies are desirable. The latter can depend upon other factors (like environment, welfare, employee benefits, etc.) but unless the wage packet is accepted as 'fair and just' there will be no motivation.

Hence while the technicalities of payment and other systems may be the concern of others, the outcome of them is a matter of great concern to human resource management.

Increasingly the influence of behavioral science discoveries are becoming important not merely because of the widely-acknowledged limitations of money as a motivator, but because of the changing mix and nature of tasks (e.g. more service and professional jobs and far fewer unskilled and repetitive production jobs).

The former demand better-educated, mobile and multi-skilled employees much more likely to be influenced by things like job satisfaction, involvement, participation, etc. than the economically dependent employees of yesteryear.

Hence human resource management must act as a source of information about and a source of inspiration for the application of the findings of behavioural science. It may be a matter of drawing the attention of senior managers to what is being achieved elsewhere and the gradual education of middle managers to new points of view on job design, work organization and worker autonomy

Function 4: Employee evaluation

An organization needs constantly to take stock of its workforce and to assess its performance in existing jobs for three reasons:

To improve organizational performance via improving the performance of individual contributors (should be an automatic process in the case of good managers, but (about annually) two key questions should be posed:

what has been done to improve the performance of a person last year?

and what can be done to improve his or her performance in the year to come?).

To identify potential, i.e. to recognize existing talent and to use that to fill vacancies higher in the organization or to transfer individuals into jobs where better use can be made of their abilities or developing skills.

To provide an equitable method of linking payment to performance where there are no numerical criteria (often this salary performance review takes place about three months later and is kept quite separate from 1. and 2. but is based on the same assessment).

On-the-spot managers and supervisors, not HR staffs, carry out evaluations. The personnel role is usually that of:

Advising top management of the principles and objectives of an evaluation system and designing it for particular organizations and environments.

Developing systems appropriately in consultation with managers, supervisors and staff representatives. Securing the involvement and cooperation of appraisers and those to be appraised.

Assistance in the setting of objective standards of evaluation / assessment, for example:

Defining targets for achievement;

Explaining how to quantify and agree objectives;

Introducing self-assessment;

Eliminating complexity and duplication.

Publicizing the purposes of the exercise and explaining to staff how the system will be used.

Organizing and establishing the necessary training of managers and supervisors who will carry out the actual evaluations/ appraisals. Not only training in principles and procedures but also in the human relations skills necessary. (Lack of confidence in their own ability to handle situations of poor performance is the main weakness of assessors.)

Monitoring the scheme - ensuring it does not fall into disuse, following up on training/job exchange etc. recommendations, reminding managers of their responsibilities.

Full-scale periodic reviews should be a standard feature of schemes since resistance to evaluation / appraisal schemes is common and the temptation to water down or render schemes ineffectual is ever present (managers resent the time taken if nothing else).

Basically an evaluation / appraisal scheme is a formalization of what is done in a more casual manner anyway (e.g. if there is a vacancy, discussion about internal moves and internal attempts to put square pegs into 'squarer holes' are both the results of casual evaluation). Most managers approve merit payment and that too calls for evaluation. Made a standard routine task, it aids the development of talent, warns the inefficient or uncaring and can be an effective form of motivation.

Function 5: Industrial Relations

Good industrial relations, while a recognizable and legitimate objective for an organization, are difficult to define since a good system of industrial relations involves complex relationships between:

(a) Workers (and their informal and formal groups, i. e. trade union, organizations and their representatives);

(b) Employers (and their managers and formal organizations like trade and professional associations);

I The government and legislation and government agencies l and 'independent' agencies like the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Oversimplified, work is a matter of managers giving instructions and workers following them - but (and even under slavery we recognize that different 'managing' produces very different results) the variety of 'forms' which have evolved to regulate the conduct of parties (i.e. laws, custom and practice, observances, agreements) makes the giving and receipt of instructions far from simple. Two types of 'rule' have evolved:

'Substantive', determining basic pay and conditions of service (what rewards workers should receive);

'Procedural,' determining how workers should be treated and methods and procedures.

Determining these rules are many common sense matters like:

Financial, policy and market constraints on the parties (e.g. some unions do not have the finance to support industrial action, some have policies not to strike, some employers are more vulnerable than others to industrial action, some will not make changes unless worker agreement is made first, and rewards always ultimately reflect what the market will bear);

The technology of production (the effect of a strike in newspaper production is immediate -it may be months before becoming effective in shipbuilding);

The distribution of power within the community - that tends to vary over time and with economic conditions workers (or unions) dominating in times of full employment and employers in times of recession.

Broadly in the Western style economies the parties (workers and employers) are free to make their own agreements and rules. This is called 'voluntarism'. But it does not mean there is total 11on-interference by the government. That is necessary to:

Protect the weak (hence minimum wage);

Outlaw discrimination (race or sex);

Determine minimum standards of safety, health, hygiene and even important conditions of service;

To try to prevent the abuse of power by either party.

Function 6: Provision of Employee Services

Attention to the mental and physical well-being of employees is normal in many organizations as a means of keeping good staff and attracting others.

The forms this welfare can take are many and varied, from loans to the needy to counselling in respect of personal problems.

Among the activities regarded as normal are:

Schemes for occupational sick pay, extended sick leave and access to the firm's medical adviser;

Schemes for bereavement or other special leave;

The rehabilitation of injured/unfit/ disabled employees and temporary or permanent move to lighter work;

The maintenance of disablement statistics and registers (there are complicated legal requirements in respect of quotas of disabled workers and a need for 'certificates' where quota are not fulfilled and recruitment must take place);

Provision of financial and other support for sports, social, hobbies, activities of many kinds which are work related;

Provision of canteens and other catering facilities;

Possibly assistance with financial and other aid to employees in difficulty (supervision, maybe, of an employee managed benevolent fund or scheme);

Provision of information handbooks,

Running of pre-retirement courses and similar fringe activities;

Care for the welfare aspects of health and safety legislation and provision of first-aid training.

The location of the health and safety function within the organization varies. Commonly a split of responsibilities exists under which 'production' or 'engineering' management cares for the provision of safe systems of work and safe places and machines etc., but HRM is responsible for administration, training and education in awareness and understanding of the law, and for the alerting

Conclusion & Recommendation:-

In a globalise economy there is a strategic role of HRM in the organisation. The organisation has to maintain the skilled, qualified, talented staff in the organisation so as to make an effective use of the globalisation. The HR strategy of the recruitment and selection has a magnitude role to play as it focuses on the developing of the existing staff towards the strategic directions of the business with the selecting of the new staff in the feasible psychology at the workplace. Lean Model Enterprise is one of the advisable resource for the HRM strategy in a globalise economy.

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