Sr Project Manager
Consultant / Professor
All the best,
23rd February 2005
ll send some more books 's name once i recall them correctly.
10th September 2005 From India, Madras
Presently trying to do a PGD course in HRM and that too after >20 yrs in industrial selling and engineering! Have been to classes last 4 weekends. Let me try and explain what i have read and written down as basic major functions of HRM:
Human Resource Management
Human resource (or personnel) management, in the sense of getting things done through people, is an essential part of every manager's responsibilities, but many organizations find it advantageous to establish a specialist division to provide an expert service dedicated to ensuring that the human resource function is performed efficiently.
"People are our most valuable asset" is a cliché which no member of any senior management team would disagree with. Yet, the reality for many organizations is that their people remain under valued, under trained and under utilized.
The rate of change facing organizations has never been greater and organizations must absorb and manage change at a much faster rate than in the past. In order to implement a successful business strategy to face this challenge, organizations, large or small, must ensure that they have the right people capable of delivering the strategy.
The market place for talented, skilled people is competitive and expensive. Taking on new staff can be disruptive to existing employees. Also, it takes time to develop 'cultural awareness', product/ process/ organization knowledge and experience for new staff members.
As organizations vary in size, aims, functions, complexity, construction, the physical nature of their product, and appeal as employers, so do the contributions of human resource management. But, in most the ultimate aim of the HR function is to: "ensure that at all times the business is correctly staffed by the right number of people with the skills relevant to the business needs", that is, neither overstaffed nor understaffed in total or in respect of any one discipline or work grade.
Functional overview and strategy for HRM
These issues motivate a well thought out human resource management strategy, with the precision and detail of any other strategy in the organization . Failure in not having a carefully crafted human resources management strategy, can and probably will lead to failures in the business process itself.
This set of resources are offered to promote thought, stimulate discussion, diagnose the organizational environment and develop a sound human resource management strategy for your organization. We begin by looking at the seven distinguishable functions human resource management provide to secure the achievement of the objective defined above.
HR Function 1 Manpower planning
The penalties for not being correctly staffed are costly. Understaffing affects the business economies of scale and specialization, orders, customers and profits. Overstaffing is wasteful and expensive and it is costly to eliminate because of modern legislation in respect of retrenchment payments, minimum period of notice etc. Most importantly, overstaffing reduces the competitive efficiency of the business. Staffing level planning requires that an assessment of present and future needs of the organization be compared with present resources and future predicted resources. Appropriate steps then be planned to bring demand and supply into balance.
Future staffing needs would get derived from:
· Sales and production forecasts
· The effects of technological change on task needs
· Variations in the efficiency, productivity, flexibility of labour as a result of training, work study, organizational change, new motivations, etc.
· Changes in employment practices (for example - use of subcontractors or agency staff, outsourcing etc.)
· Variations due to new legislations and changes in Government policies.
Once the future manpower need is derived, the HR Manger’s job will involve further planning of such recruitment, training, retraining, staff reductions (early retirement/retrenchment) or changes in workforce utilization to bring supply and demand into equilibrium. This will never be a one off exercise but as a continuing part of the HR Manager’s functions.
HR Function 2 | Recruitment and selection of employees
Recruitment of staff should be preceded by:
- Job Analysis
- Written Job description
- Finding out and assessing possible avenues of recruitment such as – internal promotion, recruitment through consultants, advertisements, word of mouth etc.
Interviewing a candidate is the next most important task. What all we need to look for are generally as follows:
· Knowledge relevant to the particular post
· General intelligence.
HR Function 3 | Employee motivation
To retain good staff and to encourage them to give their best while at work requires attention to the financial, psychological and even physiological rewards offered by the organization as a continuous exercise.
Increasingly the influence of behavioral science discoveries are becoming important not merely because of the widely-acknowledged limitations of money as a motivator, but because of the changing mix and nature of tasks. This demands better-educated, mobile and multi-skilled employees much more likely to be influenced by things like job satisfaction, involvement, participation, etc. than the economically dependent employees of yesteryear.
Hence human resource management must act as a source of information about and a source of inspiration for the application of the findings of behavioral science. It may be a matter of drawing the attention of senior managers to what is being achieved elsewhere and the gradual education of middle managers to new points of view on job design, work organization and worker autonomy.
HR Function 4| Employee evaluation
An organization needs constantly to take stock of its workforce and to assess its performance in existing jobs for three reasons:
o To improve organizational performance by improving the performance of individual contributors
o To identify potential, i.e. to recognize existing talent and to use that to fill vacancies higher in the organization or to transfer individuals into jobs where better use can be made of their abilities or developing skills.
o To provide an equitable method of linking payment to performance where there are no numerical criteria.
The immediate Manager and not HR staff should carry out these evaluations. The HR role is usually that of:
· Advising top management of the principles and objectives of an evaluation system and designing it for particular organizations and environments.
· Developing systems appropriately in consultation with managers, supervisors and staff representatives. Securing the involvement and cooperation of appraisers and those to be appraised.
· Assistance in the setting of objective standards of evaluation / assessment, for example:
o Defining targets for achievement;
o Explaining how to quantify and agree objectives;
o Introducing self-assessment;
o Eliminating complexity and duplication.
· Publicizing the purposes of the exercise and explaining to staff how the system will be used.
· Organizing and establishing the necessary training of managers and supervisors who will carry out the actual evaluations/ appraisals. Not only training in principles and procedures but also in the human relations skills necessary.
· Monitoring the scheme - ensuring it does not fall into disuse, following up on training/job exchange etc. recommendations, reminding managers of their responsibilities.
HR Function 5| Industrial relations
Good industrial relations, while a recognizable and legitimate objective for an organization, are difficult to define since a good system of industrial relations involves complex relationships between Workers, Employers and the government and legislation agencies wherever applicable.
The HR manager's involvement in the system of industrial relations varies from organization to organization, but normally he or she is required to provide several identifiable functions such as:
1. To keep abreast of industrial law (legislation and precedents) and to advise managers about their responsibilities relevant to legal and moral requirements.
2. To conduct (or assist in the conduct) of negotiations with employees or to act as the employer's representative in such negotiations. Even in case where the HR Manager is not directly involved it is his or her responsibility to advise other managers on the handling and possible outcomes of such negotiations.
3. To formulate, implement and monitor various HR policies
4. To correct the situations which go wrong. 'Human resource management' and the obscurity of its reasoning can be blamed for matters which go wrong at plant level and for unwelcome changes etc.
5. To provide the impetus and devise the machinery for the introduction of joint consultation and employee participation in decision making in the organization. Human resource management is very involved in promoting and originating ideas in this field.
6. To provide statistics and information about workforce numbers, costs, skills etc, to maintain personnel records of training, experience, achievements, qualifications, awards and possibly pension and other records, to produce data of interest to management in respect of personnel matters like absentee figures and costs, statistics of sickness absence, costs of welfare and other employee services, statements about development in policies by other organizations, ideas for innovations; to advise upon or operate directly, grievance, redundancy, disciplinary and other procedures.
HR Function 6 | Provision of employee services
Attention to the mental and physical well being of employees is normal in many organizations as a means of keeping good staff and attracting others. The forms this welfare can take are many and varied, from loans to the needy to counseling in respect of personal problems. Among the activities regarded as normal are:
· Schemes for occupational sick pay, extended sick leave etc.
· Schemes for bereavement or other special leave.
· The rehabilitation of injured/unfit/ disabled employees and temporary or permanent move to lighter work.
· Provision of financial and other support for sports, social, hobbies, activities of many kinds which are work related.
· Provision of canteens and other catering facilities.
· Possibly assistance with financial and other aid to employees in difficulty
· Provision of information handbooks.
· Care for the welfare aspects of health and safety legislation and provision of first-aid training.
Function 7 | Employee education, training and development
This is one of the most important functions of an HR Manager. In general, education is 'mind preparation' and is carried out remote from the actual work area. Training is the systematic development of the attitude, knowledge, skill pattern required by a person to perform a given task or job adequately and development is 'the growth of the individual in terms of ability, understanding and awareness'.
Within an organization all three are necessary in order to:
· Develop personnel to undertake higher-grade tasks
· Provide the conventional training of new and young
· Raise efficiency and standards of performance.
· Meet legislative requirements (e.g. health and safety).
· Inform people (induction training, on job training).
Evaluation of the effectiveness of training is done to ensure that it is cost effective, to identify needs to modify or extend what is being provided, to reveal new needs and redefine priorities and most of all to ensure that the objectives of the training are being met.
I am sure Rajat, Drji, Atom Leaf and other veterans in this field would put in their valuable feedback.
11th September 2005 From India, Madras