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Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment, management and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. It also deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration and training.
Human Resource Management Functions :
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.
Major human resource functions are :
* Human Resource Planning
* Job Analysis
* Training and Development
* Performance Appraisal
* Career Planning
* Labour Relations
* Record Keeping
* Personnel Research
HR Functions in Zonora Technologies Pvt. Ltd :
I am working as a freelancer for Zonora Technologies. Zonora Technologies Pvt. Ltd is a leading player in the world of solitaire card games for windows with 640 games and 9 packages with clients in 50 countries with major share from USA and Europe. The company is based in Chennai and has been profitably providing solitaire games on the internet since 1998. In addition to card games development Zonora also offers web based solutions, Embedded systems development, Software Consultancy, Client-Server Computing, Product Development, E-Commerce Solutions, Embedded & Real Time Systems and Application Development.
Zonora Technologies HR department performs the following functions:
Human Resource Planning :
The HR manager in Zonora will decide the total number of employees needed for the functioning of the organization. He also decides the number of employees needed for each activity like product development, web designing, marketing, internet marketing, consultancy etc.
Job Analysis :
The next step is job analysis in which type of jobs carried out by the company are analysed and the expertise needed for the functioning of these jobs are decided. The requirements of a particular job must therefore be clearly delineated through a minute study of the duties to be performed in that job. The job description describes the work duties of the employees and it help the managers as well as the employees to perform well in their field of work.
The important function of the HR department in Zonora Technologies is Staffing, which is the selection and recruitment of employees. In Zonora, the HR staff will have to browse through the numerous resumes in the company database to select qualified candidates for each position. Also, the posts are advertised in job websites on the internet. The databses of these websites are also searched for suitable candidates. The most qualified applicants are selected through interviews by the managers.
Training and Development of the Staff:
After selection of the employee, he or she is trained for the specific job for which they are appointed. During the training phase he/she will be given small tasks which are to be completed in the given time. This will enable them to develop their skills and will get to know their job better. The new employees are given enough time to adjust to their new work environment. The experienced employees are also sent for orientation programmes to further develop knowledge in their work field and to promote them to higher levels with more responsibilities.
Employee Evaluation or Performance Appraisal :
An organization needs constantly to take stock of its workforce and to assess its performance in existing jobs to improve organizational performance via improving the performance of individual contributors, to identify potentials of the employees and to provide an equitable method of linking payment to performance where there are no numerical criteria. Performance appraisal is needed for giving higher pay to the staff, for taking disciplinary action against poor performers and for the finding out the development of the employees in the organization.
Salary Decisions or Compensation and other Benefits:
The HR personnel in Zonora takes care of the compensation of the staff. They determine how much an employee is to be paid for his work in the company. The compensation package provides platform for the employees to perform better and advance their career to higher levels. Zonora offers good payments to its employees in exchange for the work performed by them. The benefits for the employees include the legally required items and those taht the company offers to its staff. These benefits are also decided by the HR department.
Managing Labour Relations:
Labour relations refers to interaction with employees represented by trade unions or employee associations. The negotiations about wages, benefits, work conditions are to be discussed with the employee associations. But in Zonora Technologies, employees does not represent any trade union.
Record keeping is performed by HR staff in Zonora. The office records maintains information about the employees, their employment history, medical and health records, payment details, staff address and other contact information, absence records and other employee data. Complete and up-to-date employee records are essential for personnel records.
The HRM function and HRD profession have undergone tremendous change over the past 20-30 years. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the "Personnel Department," mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the "HR Department" as playing a major role in staffing, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organization are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.
Question 2 .Explain the concept and purpose of mobility. Take an account of the demotion practice in your organisation or an organisation you are familiar with and give a brief note on that. Describe the organisation you are referring to.
Answer 2 .Mobility is an organisational activity to cope with the change in the requirements of the organization. This includes the change in the structure of the organization, the increase or decrease in the need for the organisational product, change in the methods of work etc. The organisational mobility includes promotion, transfer and demotion.
Purpose of Mobility :
Mobility serves the following purposes :
* improvement of the organisational effectiveness
* maximisation of employee efficiency
* coping with the change in the organisation
* ensuring discipline in the organisation
Promotion refers to an advancement or an upward movement to a more senior job or a higher rank, grade or position. It can also be defined as the permanent or a temporary movement of a staff member from a position in one job class to a position in another job class of increased responsibility or complexity of duties and in a higher salary range.
Advantages of Promotion :
* Promotion recognize employee's performance and commitment and will drive him to perform better.
* It develops competitiveness among employees to acquire knowledge and skills for higher level jobs
* Promotion helps organizations to retain skilled and talented employees
* Organizations can efficiently utilize employee's skills
* It will attract suitable employees to the organisation
Types of Promotions :
There are different categories of promotion like the following :
* Multiple Chain Promotion : Provides linkage of each position to several others
* Up or Out Promotion : In this type of promotion, an employee is either earns promotion or he looks for employment anywhere else with higher pay scale
* Dry Promotion : The person will be promoted to a higher level with out an increase in salary
Basis of Promotion :
Promotion in an organisation is based on many criteria like Seniority, Merit and Seniority-cum-merit
* Promotion based on Seniority :
In some organizations, promotion is given on the basis of seniority. This type of promotion gives satisfaction for senior employees, reduces labour turn over and it is easy to measure. But it has some disadvantages also. After a certain age, people does not learn much and it will affect the person's performance. It kills a person's ambitions also, when he gets promotion without any other criteria other than seniority. In India, promotions in Government offices is based on Seniority.
* Promotion based on Merit :
Merit of the employee like his skills and performance record also act as a basis for promotion. When promotions are effected based on merit, the skilled people will work hard to improve performance and this will help the organisation to have more efficient man power. The disadvantage of merit-based promotion is that the merit of the employees is difficult to judge. Merit may be based on the past achievement records, but the person may not be able to perform the same way in future also. This type of promotion may also make the older employees insecure. Indian private sector organizations give promotions based mostly on merit.
* Promotion based on Seniority-cum-Merit :
Since the promotions based on merit and seniority suffer from some disadvantages, a good promotion policy should be based Seniority-cum-merit. A minimum number of years of service should be prescribed, relative weight age should be assigned to seniority and merit, qualification should also be taken into account and the seniority should be considered for selecting from eligible candidates. In India, public sector organizations offer promotions based on both seniority and Seniority-cum-Merit.
A transfer is a lateral move to a position in the same pay range or to a position with comparable duties and responsibilities. An employee can be transferred to another job, section, department or position at the same place or a different place. Transfers are effected for increasing the effectiveness of the organisation, to increase the competence of the key positions, to correct incompatibilities in employee relations, to relieve monopoly and to punish the employees for some mistakes or indiscipline.
Types of Transfers :
Employee transfers may be classified as follows :
* Production Transfers :These type of transfers are made to meet the company requirements. The efficient employees in one department may be transferred to other sections or places to meet the requirements. These transfers will stabilize the employment.
* Replacement Transfers : This type of transfer replaces a new employee who has been in the organisation for a long time thereby giving old employees some relief from heavy workload.
* Versality Transfers :This type of transfer is also called rotation. Employees are transferred to different jobs thereby making them all-rounders and reduces boredom and monopoly.
* Personnel or remedial Transfers :This transfer is made to rectify mistakes in the employee selection and placement. The wrongly placed employee will be posted to the more suitable job.
* Shift Transfers :When the organisation follows shift pattern of work, then this type of rotation occurs. Employees will be assigned to different shifts.
Demotion means the lowering down of the status, responsibilities, rank and salary of an employee. This is used as a disciplinary action in many organisations. Violation of rules of the company, poor attendance, bad behaviour with other employees, rudeness to higher officials etc will cause an employee to be depromoted.
Causes of Demotion :
Demotion is caused by a number of factors like adverse business condition, incompetency of the employee, technological changes and disciplinary action.
Demotion Practice in XYZ Company
'XYZ Company' is based in Pondicherry and it is a Sorbitol (a bulk liquid used in toothpastes, medicines etc as sweetener) manufacturing company with Starch as the raw material. I have some familiarity with XYZ Company.
XYZ Company has become a sick unit due to adverse business conditions like labour problems and rising cost of raw materials. The management could not find funds for the running of the company and salary of the employees. This lead to the demotion of a major part of the employees of the company. The Plant managers were demoted to the position of Plant supervisors and a salary cut was also introduced. But this lead to the maximization of labour unrest in the organisation.
There were some employees who were performing badly with respect to their job and with regard to attendance. Some of them took leave for unspecified reasons for a long time. Many employees did not report to the company on time. All these employees were depromoted to a lower level by the management. Some of the very poor performers were dismissed from service also.
Whenever a change in technology was introduced in the plant, some employees could not adjust to the new working conditions. After repeated training by the higher level staff also, these people were unable to understand the changes. So these employees were either depromoted or transferred to other sections.
Disciplinary measures were taken against some employees who were found guilty in some cases of theft also. They were warned and depromoted to a lower level.
The demotion practice occurs not only in organisations alone, but also in other sectors like Sports, games and all other industries.
Question 3. Differentiate between assessment and development centers with the help of examples. Do you feel assessment centers are necessary in the present context? Substantiate your view citing cases.
Answer 3.An Assessment Center consists of a standardized evaluation of behavior based on multiple evaluations including job-related simulations, interviews, and/or psychological tests. Job Simulations are used to evaluate candidates on behaviors relevant to the most critical aspects of the job. Multiple trained observers and techniques are used. Judgments about behaviors are made from specifically developed assessment simulations. These judgments are pooled in a meeting among the assessors or by a statistical integration process. Assessment centers thus help a company to hire and/or promote the best people.
Development Centers explicitly focus on personal development. They help an individual gain an insight into their own strengths and weaknesses to create a personal development plan. To assist in the process, fully computer-based business simulations may be employed.
Differences Between Assessment and Development Centers
It is very rare to find centers devoted to pure assessment or development. Beacons Consultants run both Assessment Centers and Development Centre for organizations throughout the UK and also in Europe. According to them there are a number of differences between Assessment and Development Centers. An Assessment Centre should be used for selection purposes, and a Development Centre for personal development - leading to team and organizational development.
Assessment Centers :
1. Assessment Centers have a pass/fail criteria
2. they are intended towards the selection of people for filling up the job vacancy
3. emphasis on what a candidate can do
4. may have fewer assessors and more participants
5. have very little pre-centre briefing
6. assessors involve line managers
7. assessors get the role of judges in assessment centers
8. immediate needs of the organisation are assessed
9. Self-assessment is less emphasized
10. Used with external candidates, that is for the selection and appointment from outside the organisation
11. Needs of the organisation are only considered by the assessors
12. The organisation controls the information obtained from the assessment
13. may give no feedback to the individual
Development Centers :
1. Development Centers doesn't have a pass/fail criteria
2. focus on the development of the individual
3. emphasis on candidate's potential
4. can have a 1:1 ratio of assessor to participant, depending on client requirements
5. have a substantial pre-centre briefing
6. assessors does not involve line managers
7. assessors receive the role of a facilitator
8. long term needs of the organisation are considered
9. Higher emphasis is on self-assessment
10. Used with internal candidates, that is because development centers focus on personal development of the employees
11. Needs of the organisation as well as that of the individual employees are considered by assessors
12. Individual has the control of the information obtained from assessment, ie, the ownership of the precise detail and comments about their personal performance remains in the hands of the participant
13. The outputs are discussed within a few days of the event in a one-to-one meeting between participant and Beacons facilitator
A well-designed customized Assessment or Development Centre is an effective tool for measuring the key behaviors important to employees' present success and future potential.
Necessity of Assessment Centres :
Assessment Centres are necessary in the present context. Usually only larger organisations use Assessment Centres, since they are time consuming, labour intensive and can be costly. However, research indicates that they are one of the most reliable methods of selection. You are being assessed on your ability to analyze information, think clearly and logically, exercise judgment, express yourself verbally and on paper, both individually and as a team.
Because assessment centers give candidates opportunities to demonstrate behaviors and skills that are manifestly job related, the results of these evaluations are more readily accepted by candidates and by the individuals they will lead than the results of equally valid objective tests.
Example: ABC Medical Ltd.
I am familiar with ABC Medical Ltd.
Task : To ensure that successful candidates demonstrated team player skills, as well as a capability to learn and develop.
About ABC Medical Ltd.: Description of the company should be given here.
Assessment Process :
As the initial step, a wide consultation with the employees were done in order to identify and refine the core competencies for the various positions. The Assessment Centre was then designed and piloted with a group of assessors drawn from managers and team leaders as part of their development. The competencies, tasks and overall framework were then modified in the light of this experience.
The assessor group were trained in giving telephone feedback to all candidates as ABC were keen to ensure that the assessment process was a positive experience for all, not just those who were successful. By maintaining a high level of integrity within the process, the local community, on whom ABC will continue to rely for future recruitment, saw the company as a responsible employer. Learning and development were an integral part of the process. A wide range of criteria including group activity and aggregations of higher-level, managerial competences were all part of the assessment.
* Greater opportunity for personal development through the identification of individual strengths and development needs
* Better quality of new recruits
* Better public relations and community perception of ABC Medical
* Created a pool of talent for succession planning
ABC. continue to run, design and develop their own Assessment Centres in-house.
Therefore with the help of the above case of ABC Medical Ltd., we can conclude that Assessment Centres are widely regarded as the most accurate recruitment and selection process and certainly more effective than the traditional interview. Compatibility between the appointee and the job or organisation is more certain and the consequent fall out from inappropriate recruitment is therefore greatly reduced.
Question 4. Discuss the characteristics and benefits of empowered organisations. Cite an empowered organisation which you are familiar with and narrate the mode of operations of that organisation. Describe the organisation you are refering to.
Answer 4 .An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success. Empowerment is the process by which leadership transfers authority and responsibility to the lowest field level in order for these people to make implementation and application decisions.
Research has shown that the degree of total empowerment in an organization consistently correlates with business performance. The more everyone feels they can influence the organization for it's own good, the better the organization's performance.
Characteristics of an Empowered organisation
Some of the characteristics of an empowered organisation are as follows :
* Empowered organizations do not have much in the way of hierarchy. The organisational hierarchy is flat
* Organizational empowerment is about ensuring that people can influence decisions commensurate with their positions and interests in the organization
* Satisfaction of the employees is very important in empowered organisations
* Companies with high level of job autonomy invest a lot of effort and time in hiring people. This is to make sure that all recruits can handle freedom in the workplace
* High quality performance is expected from the employees
* The empowered organisation gives flexible guidelines to the employees so that they know their decision-making parameters
* Open behaviour and work is expected from the employees
* Strong communication is encouraged among the employees
Benefits of Empowered organisation
Empowerment benefits the organisation and its employees in many ways :
# increased employee contribution and high degree of employee involvement
# less conflict as employees will more likely agree with changes if they can get involved in the decision making process
# Employees get increased work satisfaction and high self-esteem
# lower absenteeism is a major benefit
# Empowered organisations has better productivity
# The organization harnesses individual talents to the full. Changes the managers' mind-set and leaves them with more time to engage in broad-based thinking, visioning, and nurturing.
# The department/team becomes more enthusiastic, active, and successful. Facilitates teamwork and harnessing of collective power of employees.
# Because there are no hierarchy in the empowered organisation, there is no fear and greed factors. This will give benefits like faster responses, loyal customers, high quality products at low costs and employee orientation
Mode of operations in MT Computers:
I am familiar with MT Computers. MT Computers is an international IT consulting company that delivers affordable business and technology solutions through global software development.
MT Computers has empowered teams for Project Management. The mode of operations of these teams are as
Every member in a team is empowered to a degree where they feel responsible not just for their own work, but also for the entire team. All activities are done in a participatory fashion ensuring the use of collective wisdom and consideration of diverse viewpoints. The environment cultivates true teamwork and collaboration. The final result of such teamwork shows that the whole product is always much greater than the sum of the parts.
Members of such teams realize that they know more about their job context than what their supervisor does. The team jointly determines the path to be followed and evolves their way of working.
These teams are non-hierarchical in nature and all members are encouraged to express viewpoints freely. Constructive arguments take place at all levels and the team resolves issues and moves forward on a common ground. The team respects each and every member.
Access to information for all members is one of the key elements for a team to work effectively. Forums exist for communication to happen between team members and the information present with one team member is always available for others. Knowledge management, harvesting and sharing are critical elements in the functioning of such teams; openness and transparency are added key attributes of such teams.
To ensure that tasks undertaken by different members are aligned to the goal, the team arrives at a common vision. Members of the team are aware of it while performing their activities. The team revisits the vision regularly and modifies it as per the requirements.
In such teams, quality consciousness is inherent in each person and is not imposed from any outside source. Each person wants to deliver work with the greatest quality and does not wait for any external inputs.
Team members are disciplined and understand that greater empowerment also means greater responsibility. They become self-disciplined and receptive to self-improvement. Once they become leaders of their own self, they become ready to lead the others as well.
Project Manager's Role
The project manager provides the motivation needed for the team. He sees to it that they have the knowledge and the information required available to help perform their job effectively. The project manager plays the role of a facilitator who inculcates a culture of empowerment within the team. He/she listens to the opinions of each team member and arrives at the best course of action collaboratively. He/she constantly ensures synergy between different members, resolves conflicts and steers the team in the right direction.
This will ensure growth and satisfaction for each and every member, which will transform into success of the entire project!
Question 5. Summarise the recent trend of reward systems in India. Analyse it with respect to your organisation or an organisation you are familiar with and discuss its impact on productivity. Describe the organisation you are referring to.
Answer 5. Reward systems helps in increasing performance and creating happier employees. The greatest management principle is that the things that get rewarded get done. All reward systems are based on the assumptions of attracting, retaining and motivating people. Financial rewards are an important component of the reward system, but there are other factors that motivate employees and influence the level of performance.
Those organisations which gives the maximum reward attracts and retains most people. Higher rewards will give higher satisfaction. This will lead to lower turnover and more job applicants. It is difficult to retain the best performers in any organisation. They will get higher offers from competitive organisations and may leave the company. For retaining the best performers, the organisation needs to reward people at a level above the reward standards in similar organisations.
In some organisation, reward system is based on performance and skills of the employees. So higher rewards will motivate skilled employees to perform better. In hierarchical organisations, reward system acts as a motivation for lower cadre employees to learn those skills which will lead to promotion to the higher levels. The reward system contribute to the overall culture and climate of organisations.
Reward systems are a major cost factor in many organisations. There are some criteria for building effective reward systems.
* Give Value for the employees preference in the reward system. Employees prefer rewards in different ways like cash awards, plaques, recognition in award ceremonies and company newsletters.
* Reward systems should simple and specific. Easy understanding of the system will make the system work effectively. Elaborate procedures, evaluations and review by different levels will lead to confusion among people. A line of sight should be maintained between rewards and actions.
* Rewards should be timely. The recognition/rewards should be provided frequently enough to make performers feel valued for their efforts.
* Reward systems should be fair and effective.
* It should be reliable, that is, the program should operate according to its principles and purpose.
* Involve people in the formulation of the reward system. By ensuring the participation of the people in the reward system, the company can empower them to do the needful.
For most people, the most important reward is the pay they receive for their work. Effectively planned and administered reward systems will enhance motivation thus performance also. Employees who work hard and produce better quality products should get higher pay than the poor performers. The employees should be satisfied with the rewards they receive for their good work. They should be given extrinsic rewards like pay, promotion and other status symbols. This will give them a feeling of competence, achievement, personal growth and self-esteem.
In India, rewards are given in the form of financial benefits, incentives, profit sharing, gain sharing and stock options. Financial rewards are given to employees for their achievements. Pay is of many types like Competence related pay, Skill-based Pay, Team-based pay and merit pay.
Reward system in SS Starch Industries :
I am familiar with SS Starch Industries, give description of the company here.
At SS Starch rewards are clearly linked to performance. About half of pay is tied to company and divisional performance. The reward system reinforces the company's high expectations of its employees to grow, learn, and lead. The appraisal and reward system is aimed at increasing employee involvement in the goals and objectives of the organisation, and encouraging individuals to go beyond their scope of work, undertake voluntary projects that enable them to learn, and contribute innovative ideas in meeting the targets of the company. Reliance places great emphasis on soft, conceptual and cross-functional skills, especially at managerial levels.
The company's reward system improve performance throughout the organization. The employees are given good pay packets. SS is a hierarchical organisation. So the higher pay and benefits of higher positions motivates lower cadre employees to perform well and acquire promotions.
Strategies for rewarding employeesââ‚¬â„¢ performance and contributions include both non-financial and financial mechanisms. Some of the primary ones are discussed below.
* Progression through the salary range - Employees receives salary increases to recognize the attainment of new and/or the enhancement of existing skills/competencies or for assuming increased responsibilities within the scope of the current position. The salary increase represents a progression through the salary range approved for the position.
* Promotions - Promotions are typically associated with an increase in salary, and the increase may be any amount up to 10% of an employeeââ‚¬â„¢s current salary. The new salary also will be within the salary range approved for the position.
* Merit Pay - Supervisors gives employees an annual merit increase to recognize consistently meritorious performance or successful completion of a project that had a significant impact on a department or the company itself. To be eligible for a merit increase, employees must have been employed for at least six continuous months and at least six months must have elapsed since the employee's last salary increase or promotion.
* Praise/recognition from supervisors - Praise and recognition from supervisors is consistently found to be among the most important motivators. Employees want to be recognized and feel their contributions are noticed and valued.
* Bonus - Bonuses are paid on the basis of firm performance relative to the industry and on customer satisfaction.
* Paid Leave - Supervisors may award employees up to 32 hours of paid leave annually in recognition of meritorious performance
* Informal rewards - When warranted, supervisors may choose to give employees informal rewards for specific accomplishments/contributions. Supervisors can be creative in identifying informal rewards.
Impact on productivity :
The reward system has worked very well in SS starch. The employees developed new skills. This helped the company to produce quality products. SS' products are considered as high quality by the customers and orders are piling up. The managerial staff in the R&D department are also paid and rewarded for their contribution to the development of new products. Productivity has increased with the team effort of all the employees from the General Manager to the go down workers.
Human resources strategies, compensation and reward strategies and the culture the company has built are critical to maintaining the environment needed to attract the types of workers who will allow the firm to stay on the cutting edge of changing technologies and markets in its industry. Its social contract therefore focuses on providing a financially and psychologically rewarding place to work.