Role of Human Resource Department in Managing Power Balance Between Employer and Employee

Introduction

In Contemporary world, human resource management practices have extended its functions to include management of power balance that exists between the employer and the employee in an organization. This entails managing relationships with other systems of industrial relations such as workers and trade unions organizations; employers i.e. their managers, trade and professional organizations, employer representatives etc.; government agencies, legislation boards and international bodies. All these diverse relations are now being handled in some organisation’s human resource management departments. There exist a lot of conflicts between the employer and the employees within an organization that results from poor human managerial activities that are exhibited by responsible managers. There have been latest attempts by the Human Resource Department to manage this power balance within the organizations in order to promote the achievement of goals.1

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Roles of Human Resource Department

The most important role of Human Resource Department in managing the power balance that exists between employer and the employees is that of employee compensation. The issue of remuneration takes a centre stage in any organizations because employees would always demand higher salaries while the employee will prefer relatively low payments in order to maximize the profitability of business.

In various business organisations, we find that, many employees are neglected and are most often demoralised and are always not motivated in performing their duties in the particular organisation. Employers now days have introduced the system of performance contracts which ties the employees work performance to their respective payments.

The other role played by Human Resource Department in managing the power balance between the employer and the employee is that of decision making process. Decision making process is very crucial to any organization. Often many managers and executives of organizations neglect the employees in decision making process which has led to poor performance which in turn has led to decline in profitability of most organizations. Employees will feel respected and recognized when they are involved decision making.

The other role is that of manpower planning and organisational performance. Manpower planning within an organisation is very critical in that, cases of either overstaffing or understaffing is detrimental in one way or another. The economies of scale for the business together with specialization orders are lost if the organisation is understaffed. On the other hand, if overstaffing is sustained, it becomes a waste and also expensive for the organisation. These factors are therefore part of the planning process being carried out by human resource development officers. They ensure that the organisation’s workforce is certainly enough to meet the general duty requirement.2 When employees are understaffed they keep on complaining and thus they are not motivated to work hence may lead to low productivity. Workforce planning also provides a critical analysis and statistical criterion of the human resource needs for the organisation. This will help the organisation plan for any future actions that are necessary to streamline operations within the organisation. Such actions may include, labour reductions, redundancy or retirement if possible. Such moves by the organizations management may lead to misunderstanding between the employer and employees because employees will feel that they are being victimized.

The other role of Human Resource department is that of employee recruitment, training and selection processes in an organization. Organization’s management and especially the HR department are responsible in recruiting competent and qualified employees. The best method an organisation can directly improve its overall productivity performance in the first place is to employ, select and train the right personnel. This entails respective managers getting to understand the aspect of personnel management in an organization. Organizations now days have engaged in what is normally referred to as job-fit practice which has enhanced production efficiency and effectiveness of employees’ responsibilities. This practice is useful to organisations which do not want to have their employees undergo extensive training but rather conduct their duties right away using their skills gained elsewhere. Another strategy is person-organisation fit practice. In this case, the organisation seeks to recruit and select persons with good morals who are able to meet the organizations’ values, culture and structure.3

Human resource management practices have been utilized to measure the analysis of the task to be done. These practices will guide the management to select persons with desirable attitudes and characteristics suitable for the job description. To ensure that this process becomes a success, some organizations are seeking services from expert recruiters to assist them get the best in the market. Although the process might be very expensive for the organisation, it is considered to be worth the cost. This human resource practice is done with a sensible objective that will encourage potential employees to show up for the selection. It can be done by offering good remuneration package and other benefits. With qualified personnel such conflicts like go-slows and strikes can be avoided because there will be fewer conflicts between the employees and their employers because the former will do good job as a result of his/her competence and qualification.

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The other role is that of employee performance, monitoring, and evaluation. The most important aspect of human resource management practice is employee evaluation. The performance of any organisation is determined directly by the performance of the employees. It is possible to monitor the evaluation if the employees of any organization via the use of human resource evaluation systems. These systems are done continuously with a view to retaining useful employees. Sometimes employees feel that the management of their respective organizations uses harsh methods of monitoring and evaluating their performance. For example some workers might complain that their supervisors are too much on them such that they cannot even get time to go for lunch during their working time. Such things always cause conflicts between the employer and employees and thus the latter will always be unmotivated to perform their duties.4

Motivational practices are another role that Human Resource Department is involved in managing the power balance between the employer and employee. To be able to be successful in the current global and domestic markets, motivation, for an organisation’s workforce is key realizing competitive advantage. Human resource management therefore, has the ultimate function of retaining good staff members who are the main drivers of the organisation. It takes a considerable amount of time to train an individual to attain better standards for any specific duty. To lose such an employee at any stage of the production process is suicidal for the organisation. The human resource Department has moved from the stage of money motivation only and also provide other services that motivate the employees e.g. by identifying good promotional structures and providing other social amenities facilities e.g. provision of television sets, swimming pool among others. Such motivational structures are always encouraged by HRD in order to avoid conflicts that may lead to overall poor performance.5

Conclusion

Human resource management policies, strategies and practices are fundamental tools for any organisation. The most important asset for any organisation is its human resource and therefore all issues affecting the workforce will be affecting the organisational performance directly. It has been found that issues of planning, recruitment, selection, retention, motivation, evaluation and industrial relations for employees are of grave concerns and are usually addressed through effective human resource management practices. In various business organisations, we find that, many employees are neglected and are most often demoralised, not motivated in performing their duties in the particular organisation, therefore as a manager, one need to find a way in which its employees are enabled to get a frequent and significant recognition from their employer. If such conflicts are not avoided then performance will be low.

However, unwelcome changes in form of transfers, plant dysfunction and unprofessional interpretation of polices to employees are other issues that have been noticed in most Human Resource Department for most organizations leading to power imbalances between the employer and employee and thus poor performance, slower growth and less development opportunities.6

References

  1. Ann, P.B. (2003): Human Resource Management and Organisational Performance: Evidence from Retail Banking. Columbia Business School, Volume 57
  2. Dale, M. (2001): The Art of HRD: Developing Management Skills , Vol. 3, Crest Publishing House, New Delhi
  3. Hoyer. S (2001): HRM concepts, Practices and Strategies- 4th European Edition. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  4. Mark, D. (2001): Human Resource Management and organisational performance; 3rd Edition of the Institute of Management, Washington, U.S
  5. Thomson, C. and Rampton, L. (2003): Human Resource Management. Melbourne press, New York

Footnotes

  1. Thomson, C. and Rampton, L. (2003): Human Resource Management. Melbourne press, New York
  2. Ann, P.B. (2003): Human Resource Management and Organisational Performance: Evidence from Retail Banking. Columbia Business School, Volume 57
  3. Hoyer. S (2001): HRM concepts, Practices and Strategies- 4th European Edition. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  4. Dale, M. (2001): The Art of HRD: Developing Management Skills , Vol. 3, Crest Publishing House, New Delhi
  5. Mark, D. (2001): Human Resource Management and organisational performance; 3rd Edition of the Institute of Management, Washington, U.S
  6. Dale, M. (2001): The Art of HRD: Developing Management Skills , Vol. 3, Crest Publishing House, New Delhi
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