Human Resource Management known as managing workforce expectations in relation to fulfil organisational objectives and settling both to ensure employee fulfilment and understanding of Management goals. Human Resource Managers are responsible for developing strategies that has direct impact on performance of the organisation. Increasing competition in the market, globalisation, rapid change in technology, the growth of workers diversity, increasing cost, and increasing customer power are current main challenges for every organisation. Human Resource Managers are now strategic partner of the organisations. Role of HR Manager is extremely important and becoming more vital to convert organisational mission, vision and objective to reality.
By understanding current dynamic scenario and taking the right decision by Human Resource Managers can convert all challenges into opportunities resulting employee well-being and success of organisation. Such as recruiting and selecting right person for the right place, providing appropriate training, motivating and facilitating workforce by ensuring right reward, punishment, compensation, and benefit system, establishing judgmental appraisal system and making sure that everyone works in a safe and healthy environment are key steps to improve performance.
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According to the Harvard Strategic Human Resource Management model, Organisational outcomes are dependent on the Human Resource policy choices. A balanced Human Resource policy can create high commitment, congruence, and cost effectiveness that have long-term consequences on individual well-being and organisational effectiveness then it incorporates recognition of a range of stakeholders (Beer et. Al 1984). It means if an organisation has a better Human Resource Management practice in place it makes employees more efficient, which then reflects on the organisational overall performance. The role of Human Resource Manager is becoming more vital for the success of any organisation.
Human Resource Management has been referred as Personnel Management which began around the end of ninetieth century. At that time, the focus was only to look after employee-employer relation. Employers played a central role at that period. However, the concept has gradually modified a lot. According to CIPD, today's HR Managers are more employee centred, they play different specialist and strategic roles including resourcing, employee relations, organisational development and design, learning and development etc.(http://www.cipd.co.uk).
As stated in Armstrong's handbook of Human Resource Management practice, Organisational performance directly depends on Human Resource practice.(Armstrong,2009) As mentions in the book, Human Resource Department has different types of practice area and each area is important to the organisational success. Attracting, developing and retaining high quality people could match people to the strategic and operational needs of the organization. To provide for the acquisition, development, and retention of talented employees can deliver superior performance, productivity, flexibility, innovation, and high levels of personal customer service and 'ï¬t' the culture and the strategic requirements of the organization. (Armstrong,2009). It means If Human Resource department maintain high-level quality practice then it helps organisation to find excellent work force and to retain existing talent thus creating high quality customer service due to high performance. However, in reality, Human Resource Department face many difficulties in many organisations. for instance, Profit oriented organisations always seek for high return in low cost, and recruiting and retaining talent and competent work force could become costly and might not be profitable in short term, therefore Human Resource Managers face conflict with investors or owners of the organisation in some cases.
Armstrong specified that, Human Resource Managers must create a high performance management system 'to develop a performance culture which encourages high performance in such areas as productivity, quality, levels of customer service, growth, proï¬ts, and, ultimately, the delivery of increased shareholder value. Empower employees to exhibit the discretionary behaviours most closely associated with higher business performance such as risk taking, innovation, and knowledge sharing and establishing trust between managers and their team members'. (Armstrong, 2009) conversely in actuality there can be different concern from different stakeholders, for example, shareholders wish to maximize profit by increasing sales but maintaining high quality and productivity at the same time rarely possible.
Organisational success depends on the performance of each member of the organisation as well as the contribution of different types of capital. Mainly, an organisation has four different capitals, natural capital, financial capital, manufactured capital (infrastructure, technologies and processes), and human capital. Human capital is the 'key' for organisational performance. It involves in every step of converting other capitals in to result. An organisations good financial condition, quality products, high demand of their product and service in the market can fail due to bad Human Resource Management. Badly managed human capital also create more conflict between employer and employee, for instance; absenteeism, strikes, inefficiency, etc. Human Resource Managers must develop strategy which can link each other's interest and make aware all parties that organisational performance is not only beneficial for one party for example investors, but also for workforce and remaining stakeholders.
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Gaining success depends on the strategies to generate organizational effectiveness which depends on engagement of workforce, better working environment and Culture, better communication between different departments and employees, Innovation, Good leadership, Strategy of the Management and talent Management system. Human Resource department must have strategies, power, and access to improve, control and establish these components.
In the context of rapidly growing competition, organizations need to become more adaptable, strong, and customer-oriented to succeed. In this challenging and dynamic environment, Human Resource Manager can play a key role by acting as a strategic partner of the organisation. To achieve organisational objective, Human Resource Manager must be business driven with an understanding of the organisational goal and be able to influence key judgments and plans. Human Resource Manager must focus on strategic employee's maintenance, talent development, and retention. He or she must be a coach, mentor, and succession planner to help motivate every member of the organisation and his or her loyalty. He must also promote values, ethics, and beliefs of the work force within the organization.
Competition in the marketplace, on the one hand, brings many competitive advantages for Human Resource function. There are a lot of choices in terms of labour or goods than before, processes are becoming quicker and easier. At the same time, it is becoming extremely hard to maintain competitive advantages. Too many choices create confusion to take decision. Customer is becoming more powerful, they have more choices, In this situation, Human Resource Manager must make sure that an organisation can produce highly committed and competent workforce to respond to fulfil customers' requirements efficiently.
In addition, globalisation and rapidly developing technology also add to opportunities for the organisational success, the world is now becoming a small village. Companies can buy or sell product and services from/to any corner of the globe. Peoples are now a global citizen. Companies can organise training through internet and E-learning. Collecting and sharing information is so easy and quick via internet. Multinational and foreign businesses are common. Even small companies are using raw materials from different countries and labour from different part of the world as outsourcing. Nevertheless, at the same time globalisation and changing technology is a challenge for the companies, especially for Human Resource Managers.
Under current scenario organisations need to have workforce with global standard, HR must have a strategic plan to make workforce more competence and to retain existing competent and talented employees with the organisation. If organisation cannot make such strategies then it might not get highly skilled employees and it might lose its existing experienced work force. For example, in Nepal, The Nepal Airlines, the government-funded airline has forty percentages of vacancies for pilot. It is not getting enough responses because pilots are opting for global market. There, they are offered good facilities than the local market. For this reason, HR Managers must understand global context and review the reward and other benefit system in the regular basis, otherwise it might not get or lose the existing competent talent employee, and organisation might not be able to achieve its objective.
Workers diversity is also a big challenge for businesses. Unmanaged diversity could lead to the organisational failure. Single organisation has workforce with different religion, language, age, race, ancestry, geographic location, gender, physical abilities/qualities, sexual orientation, educational background, and income. Cox in his book Cultural diversity in organisation says that 'the future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives, and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena'(Cox, 1994).
When organisation has diverse workforce, Human Resource Managers must generate equal opportunity and respect their variance as well. HR Managers must consider that there are legislation in many countries to protect and motivates diversity. In the UK, under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, no one must be treated, or proposes to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by law. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk). Breach of law could result hefty fine and/or closure of the organisation as well. Consequently, HR Managers must be very careful when dealing with diverse workforce.
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Fear or incentive motivation is not scientific for good performance. Work force must be self-motivated. Nowadays, Franchising, multi branches are common. Many employee does not get chance to meet business owner in their completely working life. In this scenario HR Managers must develop ideas to build workforce self-motivation. Different individual has different thought, belief, and needs. Nevertheless, HR managers must understand the factor that motivates individual. According to Abraham Maslow, motivation factors are depends on individual's stage. When a person fulfils his basic needs, he then moves to more advanced needs. (A. Maslow, 1943) Human Resource Managers must understand individual's phase and motivation factor. For example, someone motivates by increasing his wages. However, another by challenging task or changing different task.
In my view, Human Resource department is like antivirus software and or a trouble-shooter of the computer for any organisation. It defends and filters possible threat from unnecessary entry of bad applicant to make sure right person is in the right place, and it troubleshoot any future incidents caused by human capital and is able to take further action to save organisation from possible suffering. However, software itself might not have power to defend or protect, it needs permission from administrator of the computer. Antiviruses can just raise concern about harmful viruses and suggest for action. Meaning is, Human Resource Managers only cannot make organisation harmless. It needs support and co-operations from other departments of the organisation and all stakeholders.
Human Resource Managers not only look after the organisational Management and employees but also look after the organisational other stakeholder's interest. Organisations have different stakeholders for example shareholders, government, competitors, customers, suppliers, bank, and other financial institutions. Organisation cannot survive without addressing stakeholder's interest. For instance the government of every country seeks companies and organisations to fulfil legal requirements and pay required taxes. In this regard, HR Managers need to make sure that employees are updated about their rules and requirements. The organisations must recruit a law advisor and update him/her to avoid possible difficulties caused by changing laws, rules, and regulations.
Despite Human Resource department and managers has a lot of duties and responsibilities, there is no proper way to measure the result. Reducing labour turnover, increasing productivity, Organisational effectiveness and efficiency and employee empowerment are key success points to measure HR Managers success. Still others department sometimes claim that the success generated only from their department. Because of that, some questions arise that what contribution Human Resource Managers does for the organisational success. Most small-scale organisation has no separate Human Resource department. Some companies think that investing in Human Resource department as cost, not as investment. For example if company has growth in its sales, credit goes only to the sales department for growing sale. Meaning Human Resource Managers are invisible or just playing a role as an invisible power in many organisations.
In conclusion, Human Resource Managers must treat workforce as resource of the organisation, fulfilling organisational objective as a common destination. In addition, make appropriate strategic policies that can motivate workforce towards corporate goals and make sure employee wellbeing at the same time. Human Resource strategy must be updated, situation fit and contingent rather than Following the same model or the same practice in different scenario