The activities of human resources management


The human resources of an organization consist of all people who perform its activities. Human resource management (HRM) is concerned with the personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce.  In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of the organization concern the HRM function. The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding the needs of staffing 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 the personnel and management practices conform to various regulations [Arthur, J. B, 1991]. Activities also include managing the approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies.

It is noted that there is a debate about the hard and soft approaches of human resource management. The hard approach of human resource management is instrumental and it is need to have a close combination work of human resource policies and the businesses strategy of the organization. The base line success is confirmed by human resource role as a managerial job and throughout the process it is needed to have attentiveness.

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In contrast, soft HRM stresses the active participation of employees, whereby their commitment, adaptability and skills contribute to the attainment of common organizational goals. Employees are seen as capable of development and worthy of trust and collaboration through participation in the management process [Arthur, J. B, 1991]. Human Resource Management (HRM) is seen by practitioners in the field as a more innovative view of workplace management than the traditional approach. Its techniques force the managers of an enterprise to express their goals with specificity so that they can be understood and undertaken by the workforce and to provide the resources needed for them to successfully accomplish their assignments. As such, HRM techniques, when properly practiced, are expressive of the goals and operating practices of the enterprise overall. HRM is also seen by many to have a key role in risk reduction within organizations.


Human resource management is concerned with the development of both individuals and the organization in which they operate. HRM, then, is engaged not only in securing and developing the talents of individual workers, but also in implementing programs that enhance communication and cooperation between those individual workers in order to nurture organizational development.

The primary responsibilities associated with human resource management include: job analysis and staffing, organization and utilization of work force, measurement and appraisal of work force performance, implementation of reward systems for employees, professional development of workers, and maintenance of work force.

Job analysis consists of determining-often with the help of other company areas-the nature and responsibilities of various employment positions. This can encompass determination of the skills and experiences necessary to adequately perform in a position, identification of job and industry trends, and anticipation of future employment levels and skill requirements. Staffing, meanwhile, is the actual process of managing the flow of personnel into, within (through transfers and promotions), and out of an organization [Arthur, J. B, 1991]. Once the recruiting part of the staffing process has been completed, selection is accomplished through job postings, interviews, reference checks, testing, and other tools.

Organization, utilization, and maintenance of a company's work force is another key function of HRM. This involves designing an organizational framework that makes maximum use of an enterprise's human resources and establishing systems of communication that help the organization operate in a unified manner [Becker, B. & Gerhart, B, 1998]. Other responsibilities in this area include safety and health and worker-management relations. Maintenance tasks related to worker-management relations primarily entail: working with labor unions; handling grievances related to misconduct, such as theft or sexual harassment; and devising communication systems to foster cooperation and a shared sense of mission among employees.

Development of business strategy:

The different types of human resource and the organization's business strategy have been investigated by Schuler and Jackson in 1987 and they have designed special type of attitude of employees and the human resource management system. To offer something exceptional and new is in the center of this strategy.

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Human resource processes are central to the implementation of strategic business change. Recruiting, selection, assignment, and other staffing actions are crucial in matching available resources with required staffing levels and mix of capabilities. Managing performance aligns individuals and teams with the objectives of the business [Becker, B. & Gerhart, B, 1998]. Training, education, and job-related learning are crucial to the development of needed capabilities and performance. Managing change and building organizational effectiveness are central to effective business repositioning, including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and strategic shifts in markets, products, and services. Finally, employee and union relations are important to establish the mutual commitment required among constituents in a successful organization.

The strategy that has been considered as a successful is involved with the people factors. In the processes of business strategies formulation it is needed to feed by enhanced information [MCGEE, R. and RENNIE, A. (2009)]. Business strategies included innovation and quality enhancement. The argument for focusing on these two strategies is the hypothesis that HR practices contribute more to technology-intensive organizations when they pursue quality and innovation strategies [Becker, B. & Gerhart, B, 1998]. Respondents were asked to rate each item on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). These items were factor analyzed using the principal factor with varimax rotation method. The factor structure of business strategy accounted for 61.74 percent of the total variance explained. Following are examples of these types of strategies:

1. Quality enhancing: The company has strict quality management procedures.

2. Innovative: The company is usually the first to introduce new products or services in the market.

Effectiveness of given human resource strategy [MCGEE, R. and RENNIE, A. (2009)]:

Step 1: To illustrate the condition of the business:

The corporate strategies should be understood.

There are some certain forces those are very important for the business namely the process of distribution, the condition of the market, the technology currently used in the business. Those must be highlighted.

It is important to find out the main forces of the people side in the business.

It is needed to find out the contribution to the base of the business of the key people in the business.

Step 2: Develop a Mission Statement or Statement of Intent

A vision statement is very important for a organization. This is the statement in which a organization set up their target. To make it successful this should be resonated by all the employees of the organization so that they will feel proud to get a chance to participate in this process of meeting the goal of the organization. This is the vision which should be stretched by the organization's key capability and image of the organization. A shape of the future should be generated from this vision statement. Also it is important to find out that what types of contribution the people can provide in this process.

Step 3: Conduct a SWOT analysis of the organization

SWOT analysis is an important tool to review an organization and its present condition and as well as its future opportunities. This is the first stage of planning a strategy and helps the marketer to give a focus on main issue. It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors while opportunities and threats are external factors [ THOMAS, B. (2009)].

Situation of the current market position of a business is focused by the strengths and weaknesses of a SWOT analysis:

The target markets in the business meetings are the customers.

Customers compare the needs with the other competitors. So, competitors are the better way to meet the customer needs in the business.

The effective use of the company's internal resource is one of the important factor to meet customer needs and as well as deal with market competition.

By having proper SWOT analysis a company should find out its weakness and also in the opportunities. An organization should work hard to meet with its opportunities which can be get by them to capture the better position in the market.

Step 4: Conduct a detailed human resources analysis

Concentrate on the organization's COPS (culture, organization, people and HR systems)

Step 5: Determine critical people issues

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Go back to the business strategy and examine it against the SWOT and COPS Analysis

Identify the critical people issues namely those people issues that must address. Those which have a key impact on the delivery of business strategy.

Prioritize the critical people issues.

Step 6: Develop consequences and solutions

For each critical issue highlight the options for managerial action generate, elaborate and create - don't go for the obvious. This is an important step as frequently people jump for the known rather than challenge existing assumptions about the way things have been done in the past. Think about the consequences of taking various courses of action.

Once worked through the process have done it should then be possible to translate the action plan into broad objectives. These will need to be broken down into the specialist HR Systems areas of:

employee training and development

management development

organization development

performance appraisal

employee reward

employee selection and recruitment

manpower planning


Develop the action plan around the critical issues. Set targets and dates for the accomplishment of the key objectives.

Step 7: Implementation and evaluation of the action plans

The ultimate purpose of developing a human resource strategy is to ensure that the objectives set are mutually supportive so that the reward and payment systems are integrated with employee training and career development plans.

Role of employee evolution and strategies for management development:

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 [PURCELL, J., KINNIE, N. and HUTCHINSON, S. (2003)]:

-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

For management development [RICHARDS, J. (2007)]:

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.

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) [PURCELL, J., KINNIE, N. and HUTCHINSON, S. (2003)]. 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.

Self managed learning and its importance in the organization:

Self-managed learning includes the learner initiating the learning, making the decisions about what training and development experiences will occur, and how. The learner selects and carries out their own learning goals, objectives, methods and means to verify that the goals were met.

Probably the most important skill for today's rapidly changing workforce is skills in self-reflection. The highly motivated, self-directed learner with skills in self-reflection can approach the workplace as a continual classroom from which to learn [THOMAS, B. (2009)].

Self-directed learning programs hold numerous advantages over traditional forms of classroom instruction for employees in the workplace, whether they are leaders, managers, or individual contributors. Bouchard (Self-directed Learning in Organizational Settings (working paper), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) explains, "Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that traditional approaches to program design and delivery in the workplace and in associative organizations present some important weaknesses.

Strategies for coping with poor performance: The impact of poor performance is widespread and affects the whole team including the manager and the wider organization. Great managers master the essential management skill of dealing with underperformance. The key is to be consistent and using the following process will help avoid the anxiety associated with dealing with underperformance for both manager and employee.

Check that Poor Performance Exists

It is vital to be certain that genuine poor performance actually exists and to be sure where the real issue lies. True underperformance occurs when someone has not achieved agreed outcomes. Clarify the issue, whether the outcomes were never defined; or were defined badly, making it impossible to determine whether the outcomes were met; or if there really is an underperformance problem.

The first management step is to determine whether a problem exists and identify the real issue [THOMAS, B. (2009)].

Define the Desired Performance Results

Once the issue has been identified, collect all the facts and information available, including the impacts of the underperformance. Explaining why an outcome is important can be helpful during the performance meeting.

Managers must work out what results are required, both in terms of outcomes for the future and more immediate improvements to be made. These results must be realistic and achievable by the employee.

Conduct the Poor Performance Meeting

It is important to remove opinions and emotions from any poor performance discussions, present facts and be respectful towards the employee at all times. This is not a personal attack it is a problem to be solved and actions to be taken must be agreed upon. Give the employee time to prepare for the meeting. Explain the situation from a management point of view and invite comments and questions.

Follow up and Review Performance Results

The final step in managing underperformance is to follow up on agreed upon actions, monitor the situation and review results. If performance is not improving, then follow these steps again and conduct another meeting. Do not wait until the scheduled meeting date. Reinforce all performance improvements immediately. The size or scope of improvement is less important than the general direction.


By doing complete analysis of evolution of HRM the conclusion is their will be modern trends will be occurring in HRM like strategic human resource management it is mandatory for every organization to treat all employees in a well manner because they are the assets of an organization which helps in achieving organization goal. Corporate social responsibility also plays an important role in the development of an organization. CSR agenda is to inspire, challenge and empower employees, to positively contribute to local communities and environment; to help create a substantial business future for all of us.