Human Resource Management is a management function concerned with hiring, motivating, and maintaining a workforce in an organization. Human resource management deals with issues related to employees such as hiring, training, development, compensation, motivation, communication, and administration. Human resource management ensures satisfaction of employees and a maximum contribution of employees to the achievement of organizational objectives.
Functions of HRM:
The personnel department gives assistance and provides service to all other departments on personnel matters. Though personnel or human resource manager is a staff officer in relation to other departments of the enterprise, he has a line authority to get orders executed within his department.
(ii) Operative and
(iii) Advisory functions.
1. Managerial Functions:
The Human Resource Manager is a part of the organizational management. So he must perform the basic managerial functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling in relation to his department.
Their functions are briefly discussed below:
Planning is necessary to determine the goals of the organization and lay down policies and procedures to reach the goals. For a human resource manager, planning means the determination of personnel programs that will contribute to the goals of the enterprise, i.e., anticipating vacancies, planning job requirements, job descriptions and determination of the sources of recruitment.
The process of personnel planning involves three essential steps.
Firstly, a supply and demand forecast for each job category is made. This step requires knowledge to both labor market conditions and the strategic posture and goals of the organization.
Secondly, net shortage and excess of personnel by job category are projected for a specific time horizon.
Finally, plans are developed to eliminate the forecast shortages and excess of particular categories of human resources.
Once the human resource manager has established objectives and developed plans and programs to reach them, he must design and develop organization structure to carry out the various operations.
The organization structure basically includes the following:
(i) Grouping of personnel activity logically into functions or positions;
(ii) Assignment of different functions to different individuals;
(iii) Delegation of authority according to the tasks assigned and responsibilities involved;
(iv) Co-ordination of activities of different individuals.
The plans are to be pure into effect by people. But how smoothly the plans are implemented depends on the motivation of people. The direction function of the personnel manager involves encouraging people to work willingly and effectively for the goals of the enterprise.
In other words, the direction function is meant to guide and motivate the people to accomplish the personnel programs. The personnel manager can motivate the employees in an organization through career planning, salary administration, ensuring employee morale, developing cordial relationships and provision of safety requirements and welfare of employees.
The motivational function poses a great challenge for any manager. The personnel manager must have the ability to identify the needs of employees and the means and methods of satisfying those needs. Motivation is a continuous process as new needs and expectations emerge among employees when old ones are satisfied.
Controlling is concerned with the regulation of activities in accordance with the plans, which in turn have been formulated on the basis of the objectives of the organization. Thus, controlling completes the cycle and leads back to planning. It involves the observation and comparison of results with the standards and correction of deviations that may occur.
Controlling helps the personnel manager to evaluate the control the performance of the personnel department in terms of various operative functions. It involves performance appraisal, critical examination of personnel records and statistics and personnel audit.
2. Operative Functions:
The operative functions are those tasks or duties which are specifically entrusted to the human resource or personnel department. These are concerned with employment, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of personnel of the organization.
The operative functions of human resource or personnel department are discussed below:
The first operative function of the human resource of personnel department is the employment of proper kind and number of persons necessary to achieve the objectives of the organization. This involves recruitment, selection, placement, etc. of the personnel.
Before these processes are performed, it is better to determine the manpower requirements both in terms of number and quality of the personnel. Recruitment and selection cover the sources of supply of labor and the devices designed to select the right type of people for various jobs. Induction and placement of personnel for their better performance also come under the employment or procurement function.
Training and development of personnel are a follow-up of the employment function. It is a duty of management to train each employee property to develop technical skills for the job for which he has been employed and also to develop him for the higher jobs in the organization. Proper development of personnel is necessary to increase their skills in doing their jobs and in satisfying their growth need.
For this purpose, the personnel departments will devise appropriate training programs. There are several on- the-job and off-the-job methods available for training purposes. A good training program should include a mixture of both types of methods. It is important to point out that personnel department arranges for training not only of new employees but also of old employees to update their knowledge in the use of latest techniques.
This function is concerned with the determination of adequate and equitable remuneration of the employees in the organization of their contribution to the organizational goals. The personnel can be compensated both in terms of monetary as well as non-monetary rewards.
Factors which must be borne in mind while fixing the remuneration of personnel are their basic needs, requirements of jobs, legal provisions regarding minimum wages, the capacity of the organization to pay, wage level afforded by competitors etc. For fixing the wage levels, the personnel department can make use of certain techniques like job evaluation and performance appraisal.
4. Maintenance (Working Conditions and Welfare):
Merely appointment and training of people are not sufficient; they must be provided with good working, conditions so that they may like their work and workplace and maintain their efficiency. Working conditions certainly influence the motivation and morale of the employees.
These include measures taken for health, safety, and comfort of the workforce. The personnel department also provides various welfare services which relate to the physical and social well-being of the employees. These may include the provision of the cafeteria, restrooms, counseling, group insurance, education for children of employees, recreational facilities, etc.
Employees work in the organization for the satisfaction of their needs. In many of the cases, it is found that they do not contribute towards the organizational goals as much as they can. This happens because employees are not adequately motivated. The human resource manager helps the various departmental managers to design a system of financial and non-financial rewards to motivate the employees.
6. Personnel Records:
The human resource or personnel department maintains the records of the employees working in the enterprise. It keeps full records of their training, achievements, transfer, promotion, etc. It also preserves many other records relating to the behavior of personnel like absenteeism and labor turnover and the personnel programs and policies of the organization.
7. Industrial Relations:
These days, the responsibility of maintaining good industrial relations is mainly discharged by the human resource manager. The human resource manager can help in collective bargaining, joint consultation, and settlement of disputes if the need arises. This is because of the fact that he is in possession of full information relating to personnel and has the working knowledge of various labor enactments.
The human resource manager can do a great deal in maintaining industrial peace in the organization as he is deeply associated with various committees on discipline, labor welfare, safety, grievance, etc. He helps in laying down the grievance procedure to redress the grievances of the employees. He also gives authentic information to the trade union leaders and conveys their views on various labor problems to the top management.
Since the first function of human resource management is to procure the employees, it is logical that the last should be the separation and return of that person to society. Most people do not die on the job. The organization is responsible for meeting certain requirements of due process in separation, as well as assuring that the returned person is in as good shape as possible. The personnel manager has to ensure the release of retirement benefits to the retiring personnel in time.
3. Advisory Functions:
Human resource manager has specialized education and training in managing human resources. He is an expert in his area and so can give advise on matters relating to human resources of the organization.