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Planning is very important to our everyday activities. Several definitions have been given by different writers what planning is all about and its importance to achieving our objectives. It is amazing that this important part of HR is mostly ignored in HR in most organizations because those at the top do not know the value of HR planning. Organizations that do not plan for the future have less opportunities to survive the competition ahead. This article will discuss the importance of HR planning; the six steps of HR planning that is : Forecasting; inventory, audit, HR Resource Plan; Actioning of Plan; Monitoring and Control.
Definition of HR Planning
Quoting Mondy et (1996) they define it as a systematic analysis of HR needs in order to ensure that correct number of employees with the necessary skills are available when they are required.
When we prepare our planning programme, Practitioners should bear in mind that their staff members have their objective they need to achieve. This is the reason why employees seek employment. Neglecting these needs would result in poor motivation that may lead to unnecessary poor performance and even Industrial actions.
Importance of Planning
Planning is not as easy as one might think because it requires a concerted effort to come out with a programme that would easy your work. Commencing is complicated, but once you start and finish it you have a smile because everything moves smoothly.
Planning is a process that have to be commenced form somewhere and completed for a purpose. It involves gathering information that would enable managers and supervisors make sound decisions. The information obtained is also utilized to make better actions for achieving the objectives of the Organization. There are many factors that you have to look into when deciding for an HR Planning programme.
HR Planning involves gathering of information, making objectives, and making decisions to enable the organization achieve its objectives. Surprisingly, this aspect of HR is one of the most neglected in the HR field. When HR Planning is applied properly in the field of HR Management, it would assist to address the following questions:
How many staff does the Organization have?
What type of employees as far as skills and abilities does the Company have?
How should the Organization best utilize the available resources?
How can the Company keep its employees?
HR planning makes the organization move and succeed in the 21st Century that we are in. Human Resources Practitioners who prepare the HR Planning programme would assist the Organization to manage its staff strategically. The programme assist to direct the actions of HR department.
The programme does not assist the Organization only, but it will also facilitate the career planning of the employees and assist them to achieve the objectives as well. This augment motivation and the Organization would become a good place to work. HR Planning forms an important part of Management information system.
HR have an enormous task keeping pace with the all the changes and ensuring that the right people are available to the Organization at the right time. It is changes to the composition of the workforce that force managers to pay attention to HR planning. The changes in composition of workforce not only influence the appointment of staff, but also the methods of selection, training, compensation and motivation. It becomes very critical when Organizations merge, plants are relocated, and activities are scaled down due to financial problems.
Inadequacy of HR Planning
Poor HR Planning and lack of it in the Organization may result in huge costs and financial looses. It may result in staff posts taking long to be filled. This augment costs and hampers effective work performance because employees are requested to work unnecessary overtime and may not put more effort due to fatigue. If given more work this may stretch them beyond their limit and may cause unnecessary disruptions to the production of the Organization. Employees are put on a disadvantage because their live programmes are disrupted and they are not given the chance to plan for their career development.
The most important reason why HR Planning should be managed and implemented is the costs involved. Because costs forms an important part of the Organizations budget, workforce Planning enable the Organization to provide HR provision costs. When there is staff shortage, the organization should not just appoint discriminately, because of the costs implications of the other options, such as training and transferring of staff, have to be considered.
Steps in HR Planning
HR Planning requires that we gather data on the Organizational goals objectives. One should understand where the Organization wants to go and how it wants to get to that point. The needs of the employees are derived from the corporate objectives of the Organization. They stern from shorter and medium term objectives and their conversion into action budgets (eg) establishing a new branch in New Dehli by January 2006 and staff it with a Branch Manager (6,000 USD, Secretary 1,550 USD, and two clerical staff 800 USD per month. Therefore, the HR Plan should have a mechanism to express planned Company strategies into planned results and budgets so that these can be converted in terms of numbers and skills required.
After knowing what human resources are required in the Organization, the next step is to take stock of the current employees in the Organization. The HR inventory should not only relate to data concerning numbers, ages, and locations, but also an analysis of individuals and skills. Skills inventory provides valid information on professional and technical skills and other qualifications provided in the firm. It reveals what skills are immediately available when compared to the forecasted HR requirements.
We do not live in a static World and our HR resources can transform dramatically. HR inventory calls for collection of data, the HR audit requires systematic examination and analysis of this data. The Audit looks at what had occured in the past and at present in terms of labor turn over, age and sex groupings, training costs and absence. Based on this information, one can then be able to predict what will happen to HR in the future in the Organization.
HR Resource Plan
Here we look at career Planning and HR plans. People are the greatest asserts in any Organization. The Organization is at liberty to develop its staff at full pace in the way ideally suited to their individual capacities. The main reason is that the Organization’s objectives should be aligned as near as possible, or matched, in order to give optimum scope for the developing potential of its employees. Therefore, career planning may also be referred to as HR Planning or succession planning.
The questions that should concern us are:
Are we making use of the available talent we have in the Organization, and have we an enough provision for the future?
Are employees satisfied with our care of their growth in terms of advancing their career?
Assignment of individuals to planned future posts enable the administration to ensure that these individuals may be suitably prepared in advance.
Actioning of Plan
There are three fundamentals necessary for this first step.
Know where you are going.
There must be acceptance and backing from top management for the planning.
There must be knowledge of the available resources (i.e) financial, physical and human (Management and technical).
Once in action, the HR Plans become Corporate plans. Having been made and concurred with top management, the plans become a part of the company’s long-range plan. Failure to achieve the HR Plans due to cost, or lack of knowledge, may be a serious constraints on the long-range plan. Below is an illustration of how HR Plan is linked to corporate Plan.
The link between HR Plan and Strategic Management
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT -> HR PLANNING ƒ STRATEGIC PLAN
Organizational goals Values Organizational goals
Strong and weak parts Mission Strong &weak points
Opportunities and threats Goals and Priorities Opportunities & threats
Sources of Competitive advantage Resource Allocations Source of Competitive advantage
Identify People related matters Define HR strategies, Implement Hr Processes
Goals & plans Policy & Practices
HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING
Bohlander et as (2001)
Monitoring and Control.
This is the last stage of HR planning in the Organization. Once the programme has been accepted and implementation launched, it has to be controlled. HR department has to make a follow up to see what is happening in terms of the available resources. The idea is to make sure that we make use of all the available talents that are at our disposal failure of which we continue to struggle to get to the top.
Do you have an HR Plan in action?
Let us all check where we are working and see whether there is really a Human Resource Plan. If its not available, let use try to develop one and you would see how you will make a difference. It is quite true that HR plan is the basis of Human Resources Management. If we do not know how to develop it, then we are not doing an services to our Organizations and our impact will not be felt in the management pool.
Human resource planning has traditionally
been used by organizations to ensure that the right person
is in the right job at the right time. Under past conditions
of relative environmental certainty and stability, human
resource planning focused on the short term and was dictated largely by line management concerns. Increasing
environmental instability, demographic shifts, changes in
technology, and heightened international competition are
changing the need for and the nature of human resource
planning in leading organizations. Planning is increasingly the product of the interaction between line management and planners. In addition, organizations are realizing that in order to adequately address human resource
concerns, they must develop long-term as well as shortterm solutions. As human resource planners involve
themselves in more programs to serve the needs of the
business, and even influence the direction of the business,
they face new and increased responsibilities and challenges.
In an early treatment of the topic, 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. (p. 15)
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
i n their forecasts and programs are needed.
Because a major objective of planning is facilitating
February 1990 â€¢ American Psychologist
Copyright 1990 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0003.066X/90/$00.75
Vol. 45, No. 2, 223-239
Human Resource Planning
Challenges for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists
Susan E. Jackson and Randall S. Schuler
New York University
an organization’s effectiveness, it must be integrated with
the organization’s short-term and longer term business
objectives and plans.’ Increasingly this is being done in
leading organizations, although in the past business needs
usually defined personnel needs and human resource
planning, which meant that planning became a reactive
process. The reactive nature of the process went handin-hand with a short-term orientation. Now, major
changes in business, economic, and social environments
are creating uncertainties that are forcing organizations
to integrate business planning with human resource
planning and to adopt a longer term perspective. For example, according to Kathryn Connors, vice president of
human resources at Liz Claiborne,
Human resources is part of the strategic (business) planning
process. It’s part of policy development, line extension planning
and the merger and acquisition processes. Little is done-in the
company that doesn’t involve us in the planning, policy or finalization stages of any deal. (cited in Lawrence, 1989, p. 70)
John O’Brien, vice president of human resources at
Digital Equipment Corporation, describes an integrated
linkage between business and human resource plans as
one by which human resource and line managers work
jointly to develop business plans and determine human
resource needs, analyze the work force profile in terms
of future business strategies, review emerging human resource issues, and develop programs to address the issues
and support the business plans. According to O’Brien,
such joint efforts occur when human resource planners
convince corporate business planners that “human resources
HRM is the legal liason between the organization and the employees,they are to uphold the employment and safety laws (osha, and civil rights act) as well as follow the practices, which may differ within federal guidelines, that the employer authorizes.
Corporations are always searching for better ways to produce goods and services. When new technological developments give some organizations a competitive advantage, their rivals try to catch up by adopting and improving on the new technologies.
Ford has put many of Toyota’s technical advances to work in its own plants, and General Motors has spent over $50 billion in the last decade to modernize its production facilities to develop skills in flexible manufacturing.
A large part of this growth is the Human Resources department of these companies, who are responsible for hiring the people with the knowledge to bring new technology into a company. To be successful in the automotive market, these companies needs a highly skilled, flexible and committed work force, a flexible and innovative management, the ability to retain developed talent, and a strong partnership between management and labor unions.
To achieve these goals, the company needs a talented HR department. Besides hiring the right people to manage and perform specific jobs, HR managers have to build up commitment and loyalty among the workforce by keeping them up to date about company plans, and laying out the implications for job security and working conditions. Such was the case when I worked at Velco.
From the interview process to my exit interview at the end of the summer, the HR department was every employee’s main connection between the production floor and the upper management. The HR department kept us informed via bi-weekly meetings, a company newsletter, and bulletin-board postings throughout the plant. Whenever a question arose, instead of asking middle-management, an employee could go straight to the HR rep they were assigned to. From my experiences, it seemed like the HR reps knew everything there was to know about the company and how it is run. And I found that to be a very valuable asset. I imagine the same takes place at large corporations around the world, be it Velcro or General Motors.
The backbone of any successful company is the HR department, and without a talented group of people to hire, culture, and inform employees, the company is doomed for failure.
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