The term Human Resource Management has been used to describe formal system devised to assist an organization in the management of its staff. The main purpose of HR is to ensure maximum returns by ensuring the optimization of its employees. The Human Resource personnel are therefore involved in acquiring, developing and retaining those employees identified to possess specific knowledge and skills (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). The HR works to harmonize the contribution of the employees in the realization of organization’s goals and objectives. All organizations have people working for them regardless of their sizes. Every organization, therefore, requires the input of Human Resource personnel to ensure that the capabilities of the employees are fully utilized for a better performance of the organization (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
The recognition of the importance of the HR management has dramatically grown even among the small organizations. The HR assists in shaping the corporate culture of any given organization. Integrating the HR at all levels of the management ensures that the strategic plan of the organization is in the line of its goals and objectives. The plans resulting from such a process can help the organization in acquiring, motivating and developing their human resources in the best way (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). Integration of the HR is also important because it is the HR that is involved in designing various employment positions and their roles. Their integration in every process will need the HR management team to acquire and retain personnel with high level of qualification for the realization of the organizational goals. Every organization must, therefore, seek to incorporate and integrate its HR across the entire company.
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Principles guiding the functions of HR
For an optimal functioning of the HR and the resulting optimal utilization of the employees, an organization must seek to observe the three key principles to the functioning of HR (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008). First, the organization must recognize that HR Managers are the most important assets of their organization. The organization must accept the fact that it can never be successful without effectively managing its resources. The only option would, therefore, be to fully incorporate the Human Resource Managers at all levels of the organizational operations (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008).
The second HR principle is that business success is most likely to be achieved if the personnel policies and the procedures of the enterprise are closely linked with objectives and strategic plans. To ensure the full operation of this policy, the HR who is fully responsible for all aspects of the policies guiding the personnel should be fully supported by the management. The HR will thus find it easy to influence the employees’ internalization of the organizational principles and guidelines (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008).
The third principle recognizes that it is the responsibility of the HR to find, secure, guide, and develop employees whose talents and desires are compatible with the operating needs and the future goals of the company (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). Apart from just having the knowledge regarding the organization, every HR must therefore be empowered to forecast into the future. This will enable the employees to adjust to various changes in the market and the totality of their working environment for the betterment of the organization (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008).
The position and structure of human resource management
Just like any other business, the position and structure of any organization is determined by the individual organization and its career requirements. Any organizational must seek to foster a system that maximizes on the contributions of its employees and other resources as part of the larger business strategies (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). The organization must also create and maintain various programs that would allow it to take advantage of any changes in its internal and external environment. The HR must also help the organization to ensure the development of its workforce by matching the individual employees with their career jobs within the organization. The HR should also ensure that every employee is provided with relevant training (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). These functions require that any organization strategically place and structure their HR department.
Human resource functions are best positioned near the central position of any organization. This will enable the HR to have access to all the departments of the organization. Noting that the work of the HR manager is basic to all the workers at all levels, Human Resource personnel should be allowed to participate in the top management of any organization. The top management of any organization should also give a maximum support to their HR. The HR department should also be strategically situated to enable an easy communicate with all other departments of the company (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
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The structure of the HR is determined by its type, size, and the philosophies that govern its operations. The common practice by most organization involves the positioning of the HR in a strategically central position. Some organizations especially the very large ones have completely independent HR departments organized based on their functions. Such organizations may structure their HR into the training and recruiting departments. In such an arrangement every major HR department serves the whole organizations (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
Today most organization are shifting from centralizing functions of their HR and are instead opting for a more integrated and decentralized support function. The shift is based on the argument that by decentralizing the HR, it is made able to be accountable to the managers in each department. However, some scholars have provided for an exception especially in areas which require specialized experts such as compensation and the staffing departments (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
The specific functions of the Human Resource Managers
It is the responsibility of the HR of any organization to help in designing the various job positions and the roles and responsibilities of the holders of such positions. The HR therefore determines the skills and experiences necessary for one to be competent in the positions. In so doing, the HR must research and have good knowledge on both the industry trends, and the anticipation of future employment levels and skill requirements (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
The HR is also responsible to carry out job analysis in any organization. The findings of the analysis is used as the basis for hiring and promoting employees, setting the wages to be paid, and in determining the specific areas in which training is required. The design provided by the HR is also considered by the management when making other important decisions relating to the employees. Such information may be useful in the analysis information to assists the organization in the recruiting new personnel or giving promotion rewards to excellent performance (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
The HR also utilizes and maintains the workforce of any organization. The HR manages the framework of the organization to maximize the use of the organizational human resource. It is also the function of the HR to establish communication systems that unifies all the functions of an organization. The HR should also ensure that the organization environment is safe for the employees to work (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). It is also the function of the HR to address the matters relating to health services such as setting of schemes and ensuring that the necessary health facilities such as hospitals are provided. The HR provides employee with a link to the various health agencies and the insurance bodies. The HR also provides a free working environment by handling the complaints of the employees like in cases of physical abuse (Lawler, 2011).
It is also the role of the HR to carry out performance appraisal in their respective organizations. They achieve this by devising various evaluation tools and carry out evaluation on the performance of their employees and make the necessary feedback to the employees. This enables the employees to identify the areas where they need to adjust their performance. On the other hand, the assessment reports are used by the management in the considerations of employees for promotion and in designing appropriate training programs. The workers who are under performing may also be dismissed or suspended (Lawler, 2011).
It is also the responsibility of the HR to manage the organizational reward systems. This is a motivational exercise for excellence performance by the employees. On the other hand, the system also provide for various discipline measures to be taken against the defiant employees. The overall aim of this function is to ensure that the employees’ duties are in line with the goal and specific objectives of the organization (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008).
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The HR must also find out the relevant training needs that exist in their organizations. They must then develop relevant training programs to address the identified needs. The training programs should take into account the new recruited employees who should be familiarized with the organizational goals, objectives and principles (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008). There may also be need to train the long time serving employees especially when there is need to familiarize them with a new technology.
The HRM Responsibilities and Achievements
The major concern of any Human Resource manager is in the development of both the individuals and the organization in which they operate. Apart of just ensuring the development of the talents of the staff, HR must also implement programs that enhance the sharing of information between the individual workers. This will assist them to ensure stability in the development of their organizations (Gowan & Lepak, 2010)
In summary, the responsibility of the Human Resource Managers in any organization can be categorized into three major areas of management. These include recruitment of staff, managing, processing and providing employee compensation and defining/designing work within an organization (Taylor, & Torrington, 2008). The HR must help the organizational employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The HR then devices the necessary programs to help correct the observed employees’ shortcomings, to enable them make their best contribution to the organization. The duties are accomplished through a variety of activities such as reviewing the performance of the employees, training and testing (Gowan & Lepak, 2010).
Challenges that may face the HR in the modern world
In analyzing the various challenges that face the HR managers today, it is good to note that there are several changes that have occurred in both the roles and the organizational view of the Human Resource Management (Kidwell & Castrogiovanni, 2010). Of importance to note is the impact of the new technologies on communication and the ways in which the employees interact and relate with one another. To satisfactorily address this challenge the HR must seek to establish various guidelines to regulate the use of such technologies by the employees for the overall good of the organization. The HR must therefore be technology literate to be able to address such challenges (Gowan & Lepak, 2010)
As various organizations move from industrial based to service based, HR is faced with the challenge of ensuring that the company’s traditions and guidelines are adjusted accordingly. The HR must therefore play a lead role in championing their firms’ movement into the service based sector to keep their employees motivated and productive (Kidwell & Castrogiovanni, 2010). Another transformational factor that poses a challenge to the HR is the increasing market globalization. This means that the employees of any organization are increasingly exhibiting diverse characters having originated from all over the world. The HR must therefore work to create a free working environment for all the employees irrespective of their background. The HR must also research into the global market trends to be able to provide direction to the employees (Jackson, & Mathis, 2008).
In conclusion, it is clear that every HR manager, employee and the organizational management has a role in ensuring the success of an organization. All these roles are better designed and coordinated by the HR. Every organization requires a well informed team of HR experts to ensure that the organizations have the right employees with the necessary skills. It is the work of the HR team to attract the right talents to their organizations and retain them while also developing them to meet the changing market expectations. On the other hand, the management of any organization needs to integrate their HR in their overall strategy to ensure the effective use their employees to maximize their returns on investment.
It is increasing being accepted that it is the role of the HRs to meaningfully contribution to the realization of the overall goal of their organizations. This is achieved through taking the measures that ensures the employees of the organization adhere to the work ethics, rule and guidelines of the organization. Today the HR ideas are also sought by the management to shape the performance of their various organizations through its increasing role in strategic planning.