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During the early stages of the industrial revolution, employees who worked in factories had to undergo extremely harsh conditions where they were underpaid and had to work for long hours under very poor conditions of hygiene. These conditions outraged the employees who worked in such factories and they initiated labor riots. As a result of these riots the government intervened to provide basic protection for labors or employees of such factories. This was done through the introduction of statutory regulations and all factory owners were required to comply with these statutory regulations. As a result the factory owners were forced to set up a department to look into employee wages, employee welfare and to address other issues concerning labor. This led to the development of Personnel Management.
The evolution of Human Resource Management could be said to have started with the industrial revolution when factories had established personnel departments to look in to wages and welfare of employees. It could be said that the Personnel Management approach gave way to the Human Resource Approach.
Personnel Administration: Personnel Administration concerns day to day activities and existing problems of employees. Personnel Administration could be identified as a reactive tool.
Scientific Management: Scientific Management suggests there is a specific or a best way of doing things. In Scientific Management human beings were considered as machines, their feelings and attitudes were disregarded. The main aim of Scientific Management was only to maximize the productivity of the organization.
Human Relations Movement: Human Relations Movement always anticipated the future unexpected occurrences before considering the current issues and believed in synergy.
Government Regulations: Government Regulations were put into place so that all employees would at least get basic protection from basic forms of unfair treatment. There are mainly four acts which were put into place for this purpose.
Equal Pay Act (1970) - This act prohibits and less favorable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. Here, the term pay is interpreted in a broad term and covers areas such as holidays, pension rights and company bonuses.
Sex Discrimination Act or Gender Discrimination Act (1975) - This act exists to protect men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex. The Sex Discrimination act is mainly in relation to employment, training, education, harassment, provision of goods and services and in the disposal of premises.
Race Relations Act (1976) - This act exists to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race. The act also covers discrimination on the grounds of color, nationality, ethnicity, provision of goods and services, education and public functions. This act also established the Commission for Racial Equality.
Disability Discrimination Act (1995) - This act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.
Human Resource Movement: With the Human Resource Movement greater attention was given towards social responsibility and social well being. There was more emphasis give to the relationship between employers and employees. Employee ideas and initiatives were encouraged.
Strategic Human Resource Management: In Strategic Human Resource the importance of human resource considerations in long range strategic planning has been recognized. Under Strategic Human Resource Management not only one section or department of the organization would be considered but instead the organization as a whole would be considered.
The Personal Management Approach (Early 20th Century)
The usage of Personnel Management Approach was prominent throughout the early 20th century even though it remained administrative in nature. The Personnel Management Approach mainly concerned itself with,
Keeping employee records
Ensuring compliance with stated policies
Implementation of functions such as recruitment, training and wage administration
Taking welfare oriented measures such as providing medical care and vaccinations
Attempting to increase productivity through wage increases and training, and enforcement of standards
Dealing with trade unions and trying to solve industrial disputes through collective bargaining and other industrial relations approaches
Conducting performance appraisals
The Personnel Management Approach tried to convince workers of the business interests, and convince management of workers interest and also increase awareness of business about social responsibility. Personnel Management was mostly not involved in the company's strategy and operations aspect.
The Traditional Human Resource Approach (Late 20th Century)
The Traditional Human Resource Approach evolved during the late 20th century with the development and introduction of new theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. In the Human Resource Approach the employees of an organization were considered as valuable resources. Unlike the Personnel Management Approach the Traditional Human Resource Approach was not merely a staff function but it was more and more involved with business operations. The following could be identified as the main differences between the Personnel Management Approach and the Traditional Human Resource Approach.
Motivation was given to employees through various forms such as free holidays, creating an active and social community within the workforce besides monetary incentives.
Training and Development was not only focused on providing work related skills but also focused on changing attitudes and development of basic skills
Wage and Salary Administration became more complex with the introduction of performance related payment schemes
The Strategic Human Resource Approach (21st Century)
The Strategic Human Resource Approach aligns individual goals and objectives with corporate goals and objectives, and rather than enforce rules or dictate terms, acts as a facilitator and promotes a participative approach. The following could be identified as the main differences between the Traditional Human Resource Approach and the Strategic Human Resource Approach.
Increased reliance on performance based short term contracts instead of long term employment
Direct linkage of compensation to the profitability of the enterprise and the employee's contribution towards such profitability
New dimensions for training and development function by encouraging and facilitating innovation and creativity
How Personnel Management and Human Resource Management Differ
Personnel Management can be viewed as a tool and it concerns organizational rules and regulations and also ongoing issues. Whereas, Human Resource Management first looks in to the long lasting future and analyzes Human Resource needs. Further, Human Resource Management uses an integrated approach to achieve those needs with the congruence of corporate objectives.
Human Resource Management
An independent function with independent sub - functions
Consists of interdependent parts
Exclusive responsibility of Personnel Department
Responsibility of all managers of the organization
Empowerment of people
Tries to improve the efficiency of people and administration
Tries to develop the organization as a whole and its culture
Role, Tasks and Activities of a Human Resource Practitioner
A Human Resource Practitioner has the opportunity to help shape the success of any organization. There are many roles, tasks and activities that a Human Resource Practitioner should do such as,
Maintain and implement an effective HR data system and also manage the filing system and records for the department.
Document and update job profiles for all employees.
Maintain and review approved manpower plan with the relevant stakeholders on a continuous basis as per the identified needs and requirements.
Develop and implement a Project Employment equity plan as champion / driver of the function.
Ensure timed contracting and processing of employment and compensation matters.
Ensure all terminations are processed timorously in that structured exit interviews are conducted for employees, leaving and relevant documentation completed.
Distribute records to and liaise with all relevant departments within the Company.
Assist in developing and implementing new and reviewing existing policies and procedures. Conduct roll-out sessions with staff.
Handle all HR / personnel related queries and correspondence timorously and escalate if needed.
Ensure orientation and induction for all new employees on HR related issues are conducted.
Implement, support, advise, coordinate, monitor and report on Performance Management System.
Reporting - compile and distribute reports on HR activities.
Maintain leave records and execute leave audits when required.
Role of a Line Manager
Line managers are managers who are responsible for an employee or work group. Many organization's line managers now carry out activities, which were traditionally within the remit of HR such as providing coaching and guidance, undertaking performance appraisals and dealing with discipline and grievances. In many cases, they also carry out recruitment and selection in conjunction with HR.
First, it is important for line managers to keep a positive relationship with their employees, so that the employees will have higher level of job satisfaction, commitment and loyalty, which are associated with higher levels of performance or discretionary behavior. A line manager can also attend to the above-mentioned if he or she does performance appraisal. In addition, Line managers also play a strong part in structuring people's actual experience of doing a job.
Never the less, it is important that line managers see through the weaknesses of the work force and guide, train or coach them with proper directions where the employees can perform their work in a higher manner. In the role of a line manager, they always involve the employees in communication, especially when it comes to taking decisions or solving a problem in the line - this also known as "employee engagement".
When working as a line manager and playing its role, the employees should feel easy and comfortable to discuss matters with their line managers. Therefore, the line managers should be opened to his or hers loyal work force. Last but not the least it is very important for a line manager to recognize the contribution of an employee to his work place.
Line Management Responsibilities
To have a good working relationship with the people who works under the line managers they will have to have some responsibilities that would make it effective. There are some factors that should be taken in to consideration such as,
The Line Manager should make an effort to build a relationship with the workers under him that would be productive to the company. When the manager builds a good relationship with the workers, the workers will be happy to work and they can have discussions and gain more ideas through the workers knowledge as well. The team work with the workers will be very effective and this will increase the productivity of the company.
The Line Manager should very careful when he conducts the performance of the employees since it might affect the employee positively or negatively.
The Line Manager must provide more opportunities to the employees to have more discussions, more work, and responsibilities of the activities they do in order to get them more confident on a regular basis. This will help the employees know what the targets are and they will be kept remembered. This will help them stay focused and work in order to achieve the target.
The focus on the performance and the work that the employee and manager do must be a two way process and both of them should be able to discuses and express their opinion about the performance and what are the factors that affect the final outcome.
The Line Manager should set an example in a way that he would be the first one to reference by any employee when a problem arises or when a decision must be made. This also means gaining the respect that is needed by a manager must be earned by the Line manager.
The Line Manager should provide regular updates on information and knowledge to the employees in order to keep them sharp. Some information and knowledge can be only accessed by the manager and it is up to the manager to ensure he updates on employees on their employees significant areas.
The manager must make sure he has regular meeting and discussions in order to inform the employees on the development, problems and also remind them the goals and objectives of the company. So the employees know what is happening around the company and how they must act to overcome the issues.
The Line Manager must identify the employee's strength and weakness personally and must be able to make use of it for the benefit of the company. If an employee has a particular strength the manager must use it to the advantage of the company and if the employee has a weakness then the manager must help the employee to overcome this weakness.
The Line Manager should appreciate the employees on their good work and as well as advice them on the inappropriate work. The manager must be able to send the message straight and make himself clear for the employees.
The Line Manager should provide advice and support when it is needed by the employees.
The Line Manager should support the fact that some employees need training and he must help them gain it.
To carry out all these responsibilities efficiently the Line Manager needs to know all the employees job description and work specification. So when the Line Manager has a clear view on that the clarity will exist when making decision and as well as the Line Manager will know the limits of each employees.
So being a Line Manager the managers responsibilities are mainly having a good relationship with the employees and understanding their needs and wants and leading them to do the activities that the manager requires them to do. Making the employees work in a way that they are satisfied with their work and letting them know that the company does care about them in order for them to work with their heart. Any manager must know how to get to any employee since not all the employees are the same and not everyone will be satisfied with the way the manager treats the employees. Hence, understanding the employee's demands and understanding a way to gain their respect is very vital.