Based on the dynamics of the 21st century, an Human Resource (HR) Manager who refused to flow with the wind of change would be short-changed and also an organization who failed to abide with the caprice in the HR global village would be extinct.
Organizations today faced an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing environment characterized by a diverse labour market, advancement in Information Technology, Globalization, Deregulation, Continuous customer demands, and others.
Since organizations don’t operate in a vacuum as result of being a sub-system of the larger society, the 21st century HR manager must look beyond its superannuated “Hire and Fire” function and embrace the HR practices @ the speed of thought.
Human resources is the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy. “Human capital” is sometimes used synonymous ly with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view (i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization).
Likewise, other terms sometimes used include “manpower”, “talent”, “labour”, or simply “people”. Human Resource (HR) including the mix ( for example, demographic profile) skills and knowledge of employees and other people in an organization’s network.
Human Resource Management ( HRM) is the professional discipline and business function that oversees an organization’s human resources is called human resource management (HRM, or simply HR). HRM means employing people, developing their resources, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services with a view to contribute proportionately to the organization’s goal.
Human Resource (HR) practices are the set of practices that businesses use to ensure that they have an effective workforce in place to meet operational needs.
This include Selection, Benefits, Training, Performance Appraisal, Communication system, Standard Operating Procedures, Promotion, Employee Participation, Motivation, Organization Support, Job Satisfaction, etc.
Who is an HR Manager?
Human Resource (HR) manager is in charge of the department or support systems responsible for personnel sourcing and hiring, applicant tracking, skills development and tracking, benefits administration and compliance with associated government regulations.
An HR department is a critical component of employee well-being in any business, no matter how small. HR responsibilities include payroll, benefits, hiring, firing, and keeping up to date with state and federal tax laws.
Human resources managers handle personnel decisions, including hiring, position assignment, training, benefits, and compensation. Their decisions are subject to some oversight, but company executives recognize their experience and skill in assessing personnel and rely heavily on their recommendations.
Although physical resources — capital, building, equipment— are important, most companies realize that the quality and quantity of their output is directly related to the quality and commitment of their personnel.
Human resources professionals make sure that appropriate matches are made between support staff and producers, between assistants and managers, and between coworkers to enhance productivity, support the company’s business strategy and long-term goals, and provide a satisfying work experience for employees.
A human resources professional in a smaller firm is a jack-of-all-trades who is involved in hiring, resource allocation, compensation, benefits, and compliance with laws and regulations affecting employees and the workplace and safety and health issues.
This multiplicity of tasks requires individuals with strong organizational skills who can quickly shift from project to project and topic to topic without becoming overwhelmed. “You’re the last line of defense between your company and confusion,” wrote one human resources manager at a small firm, “and sometimes confusion wins.” Strong interpersonal skills are crucial for managers at small firms.
These managers spend much of their day handling questions, attending budgeting and strategic planning meetings, and interviewing prospective employees. The rest of the time, they take care of paperwork and talk on the telephone with service providers (insurance, health care, bank officers, etc.).
At larger firms, human resources managers often specialize in one area, such as compensation, hiring, or resources allocation. Compensation analysts work with department managers to determine pay.
According to Harper, Schmidt, and Hayes (2002), effective management of a firm’s human resource would be able to generate and increased knowledge, motivation, synergy, and commitment, resulting in a source of sustained competitive advantage for the organization.
This because HRM practices create condition where employees become highly involved in the organization and work hard to accomplish the organization goals.
To Morrison, how an organization manages its human resources (as reflected by its HRM practices) establishes the tone and conditions of the employee-employer relationships. Where such relationships are seen as that of reciprocity is central, employees would be more inclined to engage in positive work attitudes and behaviours.
STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (SHRM)
Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the linking the HR function with the strategic objective of the organization in order to improve performance. If a global company is to function successfully, strategic at different level needs to inter-relate.
An organization’s (HRM) policies and practices must fit with an strategy in its strategy in its competitive environment and with the immediate business condition that it faces.
This discipline covers the concepts and practices that guide and align Human Resource Management philosophy, tactical planning and practice with the strategic and long term goals of the organization, with a particular focus on human capital.
It deals with the macro-concerns of the organization regarding structure, quality, culture, values, commitment, matching resources to future needs and other longer term people issues
Strategic HRM gives direction on how to build the foundation for strategic advantage by creating an effective organizational structure and design, culture, employee value proposition, systems thinking, an appropriate communication strategy and preparing an organization for a changing landscape, which includes downturns and mergers & acquisitions.
Sustainability and corporate social responsibility come within the ambit of this discipline, especially with reference to organizational values and their expression in business decision making.
Most managers operates in a part of an organization where their day-to-day work is dominated by issues that are specific to that function, department, division,or project team. Managers and individuals at this level will control resources, activities, and business processes that are crucial to strategic success of the organization as a whole.
They are also likely to be most knowledge about changes in parts of the business environment with which they interface.
For example, HR specialist should understand the labour market, finance managers the money market, R and D specialists the technologically environment, and so on.
Therefore, these managers need to understand how the capabilities in “their” resource area contribute to the overall success of organizational strategies and be capable of managing those resources (Such as people, information, etc) strategically.
The knowledge and experience of people can be the key factors influencing the success of strategies. So people-related issues should be a central concern and responsibility of most managers in organizations and are not confined to a specialist HR function. Creating a climate where people strive to achieve success is also a crucial role of an manager.
Although formal HR systems and structures may be vitally important in supporting successful strategies, it is quite possible that they may hinder strategy if they are not tailored to the types of strategies being pursued.
Strategic capability is concerned with how these resources are deployed, managed, controlled, and in the case people, motivated to create competence in those activities and business processes needed to run the business.
This is a tough agenda in a rapidly changing world since the performance standard are constantly shifting in the upward direction. Much of this ‘hand’ side of HRM is concerned with the issues performance management.
So Traditional HR activities can help underpin successful strategies in the following ways:
a) Audit to assess HR requirement to support strategies and/or identify people-based core competences on which future strategies might be built.
b) Goal setting and performance assessment of individuals and teams.
c) In many organizations the planning of rewards has had to take on board the reality of more team working in delivery strategy. High geared individual incentives (often found in sale forces) may undermine this teamwork.
d) Recruitment and Retention are the key ways of improving strategic capability.
e) Many Training and Development plans have reduced the use of formal programmes in favour of more coaching and mentoring to support self-development.
In order to put in place and execute the HR strategies in all these areas, managers and HR professionals needs to be familiar with the organization’s strategies, how these might be changing the future and the implication to people’s competence. Many companies might attempt this alightment through formalized approaches to performance management -assisted by IT based systems.
However it is not enough simply to adjust the performance management processes to support changing strategies. Managers needs to be able and willing to envisage a future where the strategies and performance of the organization are transformed by exploiting the performance management capabilities of the organization better than their competitors.
For example, a capability in mentoring and coaching could provide an environment that will attract creative people who like to be challenged and to learn. In turn, this creates a workforce that are much more able than competitors to “think out the box” and to produce innovative product features and new ways of competing in the market.
The Author: Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. He is the Chief Operating Officer of HR Consulting Nigeria and he blogs on http://www.hrconsultingnigeria.wordpress.com
The article was first published on http://tinyurl.com/mjh8kv5
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