What Is Human Resource Management

Introduction

The term management has a different meaning from a different point of view. The meaning changes with the person with whom it is referred to. In general, we can say that management is a process of planning managing resources to accomplish a certain goal and to get the best-produced results. When we talk about the resources its not only human resources but the other resources as well like: financial resources, machinery used, and raw material etc. it is common thinking that management involves only the managers and the people associated with this task but in reality, this is not the case, each and every person in the company has some task and he/she is abiding by the organization’s rules to fulfil the given task and then report to the higher authorities. Now a day each and every field has its own management method and personnel for managing it. The basic objective is to directing, staff, planning and organizing in order to achieve the goal by utilizing human, financial and material resources.

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This was a brief introduction about management; now let’s talk about (HRM) Human resource management. The HRM consists of a variety of activities which includes deciding which staffing needs you to have and do need to hire contractors or employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the most efficient employees, dealing with performance issues, managing approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policy issues. Usually, small business firms carry out these activities themselves because they can’t afford full-time help. But in a larger organization, the HRM department is properly setups so as to provide certain services related to employee motivation, and increasing efficiency plan. The HRM function has gone through great changes in the last 20-30 years. Many years ago large business firms look towards the ‘personnel department’ to carry out the paperwork hiring employees, managing them and paying them as well. But in the present era, the organizations have set up the ‘ HR Departments’ to perform the tasks of staffing, managing, paying, hiring and helping and advising people so as the firm and the people can work at their level best and can provide maximum efficient output. How useful is Human resource management? It is a very important question to be considered after knowing the concept of management and human resource management.

The concept of management and human resource management
Figure 1. The concept of management and human resource management

A British Foreign Office official-looking back over a career spanning the first half of the twentieth century commented: “Year after year the fretters and worriers would come to me with their awful predictions of the outbreak of war. I denied it each time. I was only wrong twice!” (Reilly P, 1996, pg1)

“Some would see this as the arrogant complacency to be associated with planners. Critics think of the inaccuracy and over-optimism of forecasting — the ‘hockey stick’ business growth projections. They regard planning as too inflexible, slow to respond to change, too conservative in assumptions and risk-averse. These points are made about any sort of planning”. (Reilly P, 1996, p. 1)

When we talk about human resource it is commonly observed criticism that it is related to the quantitative measure and not the qualitative measures of the resources. But basically, this term represents not how many people are employed but that the entire employed pole is working at their full capacity and efficiency. There are still some people who believe in the quantitative aspect of HRM. They do not consider the importance of the importance of factors of production (employees) is trained. But others have an implicit or explicit wish to get a better combination of decision-making and resource across the whole organization. Human resources management in practical term is very much beneficiary, optimistic and the use of resources in making them more flexible and useful. For organizations the need to acquire and to grow skills, which takes time in its development, is supreme. If they fail to meet the business demand and the skill required and even then they supply then the image of the firm regarding its quality and efficiency will be endangered. In dealing with the point of the usefulness of human resource management there can be many things among which the major are:

Number of People Employed At a New Place

If an organization is expanding its size and location it may experience the underutilization or excess of employees. Moreover, if the staff employed is more than the capacity of input provided then the efficient processing will not be achieved and the staff will be overstretched making it not possible to meet the quality level expected. The HRM department of the firm usually deals with these matters. They decide the existing capacity of input provided to the employees to process as well as after expanding the actual need of increasing the number of employees with regard to the load of work. If even after expanding the existing staff can meet the workload and can complete it with efficiency then there is no need to employ more people this will only make the existing ones lazier because less work will be divided into more people. And when input is less than the workforce the output is not qualitative.

Maintaining Highly Skilled Staff

Issues about maintenance are a very important key to be kept an eye on. Resignation of employees should have a proper pattern and accepting resignations should be considered as a highly important matter. This is because losing efficient and skilled workers is always a big loss to the whole organization. Sometimes very efficient and skilled people move just because of good incentives or pay scales offered at other firms. So the HRM department keeps these things under consideration and advises the higher authorities to increase the pay scale or to offer certain incentives to the existing as well as those employees who are willing to move. Since if these highly skilled and experienced people will work somewhere else naturally they will contribute to the progress of those organizations and this will create a bad situation for the business.

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Managing an Effective Program Planning

This issue is related to the management of the staff recruited. Fewer employees and more work. This should be done due to the cut in expenditures and providing more efficient output, which will lead the business to its successful paths. The HRM department makes such policies, which will cut the expenditures of the organization and introduce methods and programs are planned in such a way to make the most of available resources and productivity.

A Proper Recruitment Plan

The proper recruitment plan is as important in an organization as it is to have a proper infrastructure, inputs, workplace, and management etc. the HRM department is responsible solely for the best recruitment plan in any organization. The proper person employed at a proper place will surely produce the desired result. The recruitment policy should be so designed and effective that it must bring the best potential out there. The educational background plus the other abilities of an individual counts a lot. If the employees are kept without the proper procedure of recruitment as designed by the HRM department then the firm will not get the required staff and irrelevant people will be assigned the tasks which most probably they will not be able to fulfil according to the requirement.

The appropriate recruitment, operational, divisional policies can be applied to meet the business needs and a proper HRM department setup is equally useful and important as other factors in the business. Otherwise, processes can be incompatible and disorganized. The wrong sort of staff will be put at the wrong place this will be expensive, embarrassing and difficult to make such mistakes correct.

The usefulness of HRM is not at all negligible. However, the term HRM consists of many other factors and question, which arises in the mind of people, either related to or not related to this term. The HRM is itself a very wide field to discuss its usefulness is discussed above now we will discuss, How proper training programs can be implemented in an organization?

There are a number of uses of the term ‘program’ in organizations. In general, we can say a program is a collection of organizational resources that are set up to accomplish a certain major goal or many goals. They have experienced traditional career paths that are now disappearing. They have to bring senior staff from elsewhere to train and conduct the programs implemented and handled properly. The issue of proper training programs can be studied through the following points:

  1. The present career system and requirements of the employees should be kept under consideration.
  2. The interests of the people, plus the programs, will make the work advanced, and more interesting.
  3. The organization capacity of the financial support in this regard.

The present career system and requirements of the employees is a very important thing to be kept under consideration while thinking of implementing any sort of training programs. The training system will only give results when it is chosen according to the needs of the firm and the employee as well as the right person is selected to go for that training. The program supervisor should be a sharp thinker and a fast planner. When you are going to implement a task you should be fast enough to find ways. Because any training program’s sole purpose is to teach the techniques and methods to the people being taught which can help them work more efficiently and save the firm from facing any losses.

The second thing is to consider the interest of the people that either the employees are willing to go for such training or not. And also the training program should be in the best interest of the firm i.e. it should be so designed that it modifies the programming. If the implementation is done so that it is not including the most modified and up-to-date courses then obviously it will be useless to go for it.

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The third thing to be considered is the organization’s capacity to implement such programs either the organization can bear the expenses or not if it cannot bear the overall expenses then at some point the training program will be terminated or has to stop. It should be in continuity without any gaps only then the interest of the employees will be maintained. This procedure can help in fulfilling the program requirements. To make this term proper training program more understandable let’s take an example of a bank, which organizes yearly training programs for its employees. The first thing this organization should keep in mind is that the latest are subjects and issues in the market, which can help the bank progress better in its business. As it is known that the bank is such an organization, which does not have any of its proper products, except the loans it grants to people the credit cards or the interest rates paid on saving. Now in this scenario what can one think of boosting this business?

Definitely, there can be only such training programs useful for the employees of this firm which include ways to study the consumer psyche to purchase such services to a greater extent and o trust the organization for keeping their money and assets. Thus the proper implementation requires the perfect selection, plus the potential and interest in the employee to learn new ways of banking. If the course designed is not following these steps it will definitely be useless to waste time, money and efforts. This way the proper training program can be implemented in an organization.

The proper implementation of any training program is the sole of the whole task designed. But besides that, there should be some motivational strategy for your organization.

The terminology ‘motivation’ can be defined as:

Before talking up drawing up a motivational strategy for the organization, let us consider why there is a need to motivate employees? Often motivated workers are needed in our rapidly changing workplaces. Motivated employees help the organization to stay for a longer period in business and to survive in a better way. Motivated employees are always preferred by every organization there is a need for the managers to think that what motivates employees? And what can be a better motivation strategy for their organization? The best motivational strategy should include:

  1. Job security
  2. Help and sympathy in personal problems.
  3. Interesting tasks assigned
  4. Good working environment
  5. Good salary packages
  6. Promotions and incentives
  7. Appreciation of work done
  8. Due to respect and importance

We will discuss all these factors of a best motivational strategy one by one in detail.

Job Security

The security of the job is the first and foremost thing to expect efficient output from any employee. Let’s suppose if a person works in an insecure environment i.e. anytime he/she can be fired then naturally the working efficiency and interest in the project given will not be as much as it should be. On contrary the secure job owner will feel comfortable in the workplace and will feel like the member of the firm he/she is working in. this way the responsibility given to that person will be his/her priority.

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Help and Sympathy in Problems

Man is a social animal a very famous saying. This is not only a saying but very true in real life. No matter the person is your employee, your family member or your friend everyone needs sympathy and care. Sometimes a very skilled employee is not giving his/her best and lacking inefficiency; this may be due to the personal problems being faced by him/her. A little emotional help can be a very big contribution and can really work in motivating the person to find a solution. Maybe the solution you suggest can help and the person will feel better and come back to the original position.

Interesting Tasks Assigned

It is also observed in many organizations that the employees feel hopeless regarding their jobs due to the work assigned to them might be below their qualification or far from their interest. This is not at all a good practice. To motivate the employee to never feel abysmal working in your organization always introduces change, and keeps an eye on the interest of the employee. Who enjoys doing what? Assign work according to the interest and ability of the person and give the required time and space for any suggestions or modifications, this will surely bring charm and energy to the project.

Good Working Environment

The environment in which the people work is also very important to look up to. Environment not only means the physical features but also the behaviours of the co-workers with each other and the higher officials with their staff. If the overall environment is not comfortable the people will not give their best. The cabins should be proper, the tea break should be there, the provision of stationery and other required stuff is a must plus the relationship of the co-workers with each other, as well as their supervisors to his/her staff, should be friendly and calm. Harsh and rude people usually keep others away from them and this way they will not be able to know their staff potential and capabilities.

Good Salary Packages

The salary package is a matter of great concern. Not necessary that if an employee is offered a certain package sometimes backs he/she is still willing to work on it. Everyone needs money in this era and would like to jump up as soon as possible. A little bit increase if not much can bring hope and energy to the employee. It will let him/her think that being with your organization is a better idea which can help him/her to have more and more high pay scale in upcoming years, then to move somewhere else and start as a fresher again. This will let the person think before resigning

Promotions and Incentives

Promotions and incentives mean appreciation and progress. This means a person is not standing in one place without any change. Promotions play a very important role in motivating employees. A typical working pattern is obviously hard to bear for years. Stop. The time is for a change, one should assign the different task a maybe bigger responsibility. This seems hard but life asks for risk. Risk is a basic factor in everything you want to be good. First, it’s the risk you take then the result is good or bad.

Appreciation to Work Done

No matter the task given is smaller or larger, hard or easier if it is done successfully as required and on time the employee deserves to be appreciated. This appreciation motivates him/her a lot that even if all the past did work was full of mistakes this first best attempt being appreciated will help to progress toward flawless work in future.

Due Respect and Importance

Every human being in this world has some self-respect. People working in some organization after having a proper degree and many years in a well-disciplined academic environment expect the same respect from the place they work. this is the right of every employee that they should be given due respect by their co-workers as well as their supervisors and bosses.

All the above-mentioned points should be pondered to apply a better motivational strategy in any organization. The motivational strategy works a lot in the overall progress of employees. But is there a need for groups in an organization? And are the groups always problematic or useful as well?

In any organization, there are many people belonging to different casts, religions, races, countries, classes and areas. These people have different thinking, liking, way of living etc No human can be exactly same, the difference in ideas and thinking is very normal and this basically divides people into groups. Sometimes even like/dislike in a TV show or a celebrity divides people into groups. Working less than one roof means daily discussion and sitting. May it be in a lunch break or any free time available whenever people talk about their interests, current affairs, games, problems etc there is a common practice of being divided into certain groups according to their point of view. Or certain tasks and projects can be assigned in groups as well rather than to individuals. Because in some projects single mind cannot produce what many minds can collectively make being at one place focusing on one point.

In this way, grouping is positive and natural like it can be anywhere. But on the other hand, it can be negative as well. Let’s say in a certain organization there are two groups one: which supports Iraq war and US invasion and second: which opposes Iraq war and the US occupation o its oil fields. Now this matter as it is known is a sensitive one to be discussed and so discussed in working places that it dividends people in two groups. Now, what will happen eventually that if the war takes a turning point one group become pleased and tease other and if the war results in continuous occupation of US this will please the other. This practice will bring a rivalry or you can say a cold war among the co-workers, which is really a bad and conflicting situation and will take them far apart from each other. So the bottom line is that the working environment accepts grouping in one sense and opposes in other. As far as it is related to general terms it’s fine but when it becomes sensitive and conflicting then grouping should be avoided.

Most companies are likely to implement the HRPP. Normally, these procedures are antiphonal to change and many assumptions can be modified. In this regard, the basic function of these processes is to organize a firm’s fluidity to skills. To run these processes organizations need appropriate demand models, good monitoring and correcting actions procedures, comprehensive data about the employees and labour market. However, any firm if rejecting to apply HRP techniques can still give work direction but in this case, the advantages will be less. George Bernard believes that “‘to be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer. It is better if decision-makers follow this maximum in the way they make and execute resource plans” (Reilly P, 1996, p.1).

HRPP
Figure 2. HRPP

Human Resource Planning Process

Many things are there to keep under consideration while running a successful business but basically any business runs on a powerful foundation. And the people working under one roof make the foundation stronger. If the recruitment plan is so designed that it completely keep an eye on the skills, the energy, the hopefulness and sincerity besides the academic qualification of an individual before being employed then the staff selected for working will be the best-suited people to the needs of your organization. And will be able to produce 100% of desired results. Giving an interview is as nerve racking as having one. The best strategy for recruitment and selection can be defined widely and can be adopted easily. Being an interviewee you are required to gain as much information from the interviewee as you can, so to accomplish this task you have to be nice and friendly with them. By making the environment calm and peaceful both you and the interviewee will get the best from the interview. Before interviewing think clearly about what question you need to ask this will help you write an outline of the questions or some hints or keywords, which you will not forget, and can remember to ask easily while interviewing. This way the interview will go smoothly and no tension will be experienced. Be patient and a good listener, it is equally important for you to listen to the answers with full concentration from the interviewee. Try avoiding lots of questions at once, but try to ask questions one-by-one in a proper manner and give two to three options to the candidate to decide and then tell you exactly. Don’t stop here. After asking questions from the interviewee give him/her the option to ask any question regarding the job or organization if he/she wants to. The common questions might be:

  • Who are our customers?
  • Will I be required to travel?
  • What will my responsibilities be?
  • Will training be provided?
  • Salary/bonuses/holidays etc

These questions should be considered as boldness and confident attitude of the person to be employed. This shows how sharp, quick and concern as well as interested he/she is in the job he/she is there for. The employer should also consider the questions, which are best to be asked at the interview table. If they are prepared with a bit of planning and approach to find the best potential out there it will definitely lead you to the leaders of tomorrow.

The most suitable questions can be:

  • Do you feel annoying or enjoying working on complicated tasks?
  • Have you achieved your desired goals?
  • Do you have some kind of initiatives?
  • Have you ever achieved in your carrier something which you thought difficult to achieve?
  • Have you ever shown enthusiasms for different tasks?
  • What are your accomplishments? (HR Guide Personnel Selection: Interview Questions, n.d., pg,1)

The next step in a recruitment strategy is to have a personnel assessment tool. In this regard, all process and test employ to evaluate personal career or employment related qualifications dealt with as an individual’s appraisal plan. Normally, this plan comprises lore knowledge and abilities test such as projective instruments, subjective processes and so forth. Furthermore, individual’s skills evaluation tools used for various purposes like selection, recruitment, counselling of career, job promotion and so on. Most importantly, all the evaluation tools are designed for job hiring and placement processes, which also includes, assessment of professional qualifications and standardization needs

Assessment tools are completely for career exploration and counselling and for selection during the employment process. But the personnel assessment pan only shows the part of the picture the true ability of the person can be only judged after the complete face-to-face interview.

Tests, inventories, and proceduresare assessment tools that may be used to measure an individual’s abilities, values, and personality traits. They are componentsof the assessment process.
 resume evaluations
 application blanks/questionnaires
 bio-data inventories
 interviews
 work samples/performance tests
 physical ability tests
 honesty/integrity inventories
 drug tests
 medical tests
Assessment process
An ordered and planned approach that combines and evaluates all the necessary information gained from examining and employing it to make an individual’s career or employment-related decisions

Assessment Procedure and Tools

A proper recruitment strategy can be designed in an above-mentioned way. By adopting this strategy one can expect a true procedure plus the true people to work with. With the introduction of more and more firms and industries, it is sure that the problems in the relations either it is industry-industry relation or industry too is people relation is a very common hurdle in its way of success. Any sot of changes in workers relations in a firm is frequently affected by the management rules and policies. Here the question of the industrial relation problem arises. The employees due to the difficulties in understanding the rules and regulations and the strategy made by the producers, which are so inflexible that they are not easily acceptable, by the employees, generally face industrial relation problems. In order to correct the uncertain bargaining rights between worker and employer with regards to labour wages and incentives, industrial relations adopted a degree of labour market regulation.

Industrial relations are based on the theory of the employer-labour relationship which can be said in other terms as “master-servant relationship. In this matter, the labour is always a weaker one who cannot take a stand and the employer has a hold on every decision. These problems, which arise between the industry and the labour, can be only solved through proper policymaking, planning and law enforcement, which should be in the interest of both the industry and the employer. The main reasons, which lead to the industrial problems, maybe:

  • The poor labour-employer relationship
  • The matter of an increment of salaries
  • The proviso of incentives and compensations
  • The problem of granting bonuses and loans
  • The matter of vacations
  • The quality of the work done, which is due to poor input quality and not the workforce.
  • The elimination of any employee without a genuine reason etc

There can be a number of ways suggested to solve such problems let us discuss a few in detail. A sound industrial system is not capable of comprehensive definition. Every industrial relation system has to consider cultural factors. Systems cannot be able to change the culture but there are always behaviours, which help in adjusting within a certain environment. A sound industrial relationship can be one in which the relation between the employer and the employees is harmonious and peaceful and not conflicting at all. This will bring economic as well as social progress and productivity, which will bring trust and motivation among employees and a successful business for the employer. Writing at the end of the 1980s, Wolfgang Streak stated:

Regardless of the fact that Germany has a small population, it is considered as one of the biggest exporters of manufactured goods, and ahead of both Japan and the United States.

Moreover, among some of the bigger organizations, West Germany is more than any other exposed to global market pressures. “It is only against this background that the high degree of stability and mutual cooperation in West German industrial relations can be understood, and it is this stability and cooperation that has in the past accounted for part of the country’s competitive success in world markets.” (De Silva, n.d., pg 1)

There can be a number of ways suggested to solve such industrial problems among which few will be discussed in detail:

Freedom of Association

There should be full freedom of association and all labour-related activities to the labour from the organization and the employer. May it be the union of labourers association or any function organized for them, they should be given full freedom to choose and decide what they have to do and where they have to go.

Labour policy formulation

There should be a proper and well-organized labour policy, which should be so designed that it supports the interests of not the firm only, but its people as well. Their rights should be respected in the policy according to the laws. Any compensation, incentives, bonuses etc should be given properly and regularly. This will help in avoiding any sort of conflict. The labour will feel their rights given and will not go for any harsh activity like striking etc.

As expressed by H.A. Clegg, pluralism’s, “Theme is that men associate together to further their common interests and desires; their associations exert pressure on each other and on the government; the concessions which follow help to bind society together; thereafter stability is maintained by further concessions and adjustments as new associations emerge and power shifts from one group to another”

Law Enforcement

The laws in any industry are implemented to maintain discipline and to make the people aware of their rights as well as their duties. The punishments according to the law should be given but there must be certain conditions. The laws defined in any organization must not be too harsh that they become completely blind and in any way harm the employee. If a person is guilty he/she should surely be punished but after some hearings and giving time and space to the accused.

Labour law has amply demonstrated the sociological theory that “Law is a social institution which seeks to balance conflicting interests and to satisfy as many claims as possible with the minimum of friction. Since the law must necessarily determine those interests, who most urgently require protection over and above other interests, those of labour, where they lack self-reliance, have invariably formed a significant class of interests, which the law protects. Hence, especially in some developing countries, the legal rules of an industrial relations system have been judged to some extent by the degree to which they further this end”.

The setting of Minimum Wage

The setting of minimum wage is a very sensitive issue. Usually, the government sets the minimum wage and it is kept into consideration the needs of the people the overall situation and the inflation condition in the country. But sometimes government does not consider the overall situation due to any reason and set the minimum wage above the current inflation level. If this the situation then naturally the efficiency of the labour will be loosened to fight against such a situation the employer should consider the situation and purely those who are living even below the poverty line should be granted financial aid on some conditions.

Human resource management is a combination of several activities and points, which combined make up the entire system of organization work. Its sole purpose is to take efficient works from the employees and introduce ways to eliminate if there are any problems and hurdles in the way of progress and efficiency. It is also responsible for designing such policies, which help in coping against any organizational difficulty. Hence the HRM department is a must to establish in today’s world for running a successful business and to compete in the challenging business world. A firm without the HRM department is just like a body without a soul, which can look good, but cannot perform any good at all!!

References

  1. Heathfield, Susan M, (n.d.), What Is Human Resource Management. .Web.
  2. John Sullivan’s New (or revisited) HR Planning Tools
  3. James S. Vuocolo,D.Min, Soul Business Life-Coach Consulting, (n.d.) Web.
  4. Marchington Mick, (n.d.), Human Resource Management Journal
  5. Reilly P, (1996), Human Resource Planning: an Introduction, IES Report 312,
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