Friday, July 10, 2009

Overall HR Functions

Human Resources Management is one of the most complex and challenging fields of management, it deals with the people dimension in management. Over the past eighty years, various approaches to human resource management have been adopted by companies. The human resource approach which is
currently in vogue, has redefined the way people are treated and managed in organizational contexts. This approach requires that employees of the work force be treated as resources and not just as factors of production (as in scientific approach) or emotional beings with psychological needs (as in the human relations approach).

Basically, HRM includes the four functions of acquiring, developing, motivating and managing the human resources. HRM functions are broadly classified into two categories:

1. Managerial functions

2. Operative Functions

Managerial functions include planning, organizing, directing and controlling. The operative functions of human resource management are related to specific activities of HRM such as recruitment, development, compensation and employee relations.

Human resources play an important role in the development of business and countries. An attracting, retaining, motivating and developing person with varied interests and expectations is a major human resource challenge. Moreover, challenges posed by the turbulent business environment, rapid technological changes, a diverse workforce, and the changing legal and governmental regulations also affect organizations. In this situation, a new role has emerged for Human Resources function, as a value provider, as a key player in organizational working and as a contributor to organization's strategy.

The specialist role of the Human Resource professional takes a number of forms: the auditor's role, the executive's role, the facilitator's role, the consultant's role and the service provider's role. Human Resource Management objectives should be in alignment with the organizational
objectives, and should balance them with the individual and social goals. Human Resource policies, framed after determining the objectives of Human Resource Management, are described as a set of proposals and directions that guide the managers in pursuit of the objectives.

Today's Human Resource professional has a lot of challenges to face in the form of changing composition and attitudes of the work force, growing emphasis on quality of products and services and the quality of the work life, fast paced technological changes, government policies, etc... He has to gear up to meet these challenges effectively by being more innovative and proactive.

Strategic Human Resource Management helps the organization in the achievement of long-term and short-term goals through optimum utilization of human resources. It involves the development of human resources objectives and their alignment with the organizational objectives. Strategic Human Resource Management is the optimum utilization of human resources to achieve the set goals and objectives in the business environment. This has to be in alignment with organizational strategy and in tandem with the strategies of other functional areas like finance and marketing. Objectives are achieved and visions realized only when synchronization takes place. Strategic Human Resource Planning involves designing Human Resource goals in alignment with the goals of the organization, identifying the human resources required to achieve these goals and then developing these resources internally or acquiring them from outside. It also includes the conception and implementation of new Human Resource initiatives required to accomplish organizational goals.

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