What Is Human Resource Management?
The process by which an organization, whether commercial or otherwise manages its relations with its employees is called human resource management. Most of the modern organizations whether small or big have a department that deals with human resources matters. Such departments are concerned with the designing and managing matters such as employees’ benefits, training and development and recruitment.
Moreover, this department is the one concerned with the appraisal and the rewarding of employees. Indeed, the motivation of employees lies mainly at the doorstep of this department. In some other definitions, you will find it defined as a function in an organization that is concerned with the recruitment of, management of and giving of direction for the people who work in a firm.
The history of the management of the human resources aspect of an organization as we know it today only started in the early 20th Century. In earlier days, managing an organization wasn’t really that hard as there were slaves and masters. However, there still existed the need for the masters to treat their subjects in a humane manner. Treating one’s subjects brought with it better yields in the farms or factories and overall better relations between master and workers. It is from the realization that the way a worker is recruited, his work related needs are handled, appraised and promoted and even fired that the human resources management function in organizations grew.
The history of human resources in organizations
Human resources emerged as an independent function in organizations at the start of the 20th Century. The need to recognize it as an important function of a business arose from the fact that industries needed to perfect their production processes. Fredrick Taylor among other intellectuals helped define the roles that this part of an organization plays in the success of the industries. Over the span of the 20th Century, many people came up with ideas on how employees can be stimulated to perform better even without financial compensation. Today, almost every other organization no matter how small has a human resources policy that helps it manage its worker-organization relations. The governments have also stepped in to ensure that there are basic laws that employers and workers have to follow in order to provide safe working environments in societies.
The people who are mandated with the roles of managing worker-organization relations must have undergone some basic educational training. This is to enable an organization get the best out of its employees and vice versa for the employees.
The different roles of the human resources department
In many organizations, the roles the human resources department and personnel are well defined. In any case, many labor relations departments in most governments have a policy on the roles such departments should play. The roles include;
- Recruitment– The department’s success is measured by the rate at which it recruits employees to fill in positions in the organization and how fast this takes. Recruitment includes an advertisement of positions, interviewing of candidates, short listing of appropriate candidates and the actual hiring and orientation of the new employee.
- Employee relations– This is the area where the department decides the way it’s going to relate with the employees. It can allow employees to be unionized or not. The employer will, however, manage its relations with its employees bearing in mind the labor laws in place.
- Compensation and benefits– The HR function when it comes to salary management should be handled by an expert. There should be a well laid out human resource management salary structure that captures the roles of all positions in an organization. The department should strive to make its pay structure, competitive and commensurate.
- Training and development– The employer should provide the employer with the tools necessary to enable them to perform better. It is for this reason that the HR department is ever involved in formulating training modules and seminars to use to ensure that the employees are well trained for their respective job roles. Training can be for the newly appointed employees or for the existing employees. There are diverse ways through which an organization can train and develop its employees such as in-house training, going back to school, mentoring of junior employees by seniors and so on.
- Compliance– It is the role of the HR department to ensure that the organization abides by the laws of the country that relate to labor relations. It should ensure that employees are paid appropriately, there is no child labor and leave days are properly calculated and so on.
Using HRAs a Strategic Tool
In the recent past, many organizations have been using human resource management for strategic reasons. You will find organizations, laying off employees, aggressively recruiting or setting up a training college for its employees. All of these are HR strategic steps used by organizations to achieve an overall goal to get or maintain a competitive advantage against its competitors.