The Art of Managing Human Resources in an Organization

Organizations and corporations are multifaceted. Such complexity within a business necessitates the need to strategic approach to the management of the employees, whose task is to enable the business to achieve its objectives. Human capital is an imperative asset of an organization and proper use of a potent assent can construct a successful and resourceful organization. In an organization, human capital can make or break an objective or a strategy. The human resource department is the most important department of an organization. Almost all activities directed at attracting, developing, and maintaining effective workforce are implemented in this department. The functions of human resource management are, but are not limited to, hiring the right candidates, at the right time, and at the right price. It also involves training the existing employees, motivating them to give the best to the organization, resolving conflicts, discipline the employees who violate the organization’s rules and regulation, as well as downsizing of the staff strength. Managing human resource is difficult as the job deals with solely installing the organizational culture into employees and keeping them happy in the work environment. In essence, this can be accomplished in theory, but is quite difficult in practice.

The different aspects of human resource management can be broadly categorized into recruitment and selection, performance management, benefits and compensation, disciplinary and grievances, labor relation, and manpower planning. Recruitment involves the process of advertising job through magazines, newspaper, headhunting, employment agencies, internal sourcing, and organization’s newsletter. The purpose of recruitment is to attract as many candidates as possible, to enable the organization pick the most talented and motivated workers.… Read the rest

Manpower Planning

It is very natural that, the continual positive development of any business owe to its effective planning. Making all the necessary preparations and appropriate arrangements proactively basing upon what is expected to happen in future and performing a series of tasks and activities accordingly in a systematic and organized way is one of the important functions of management, which necessitates an effective and proactive planning process. Proper planning and designing an effective organizational structure by assigning an assortment of responsibilities to the concerned employees may help the business organizations to accomplish their set of objectives. Putting the right person at the right place and at the right time is essentially much important to any business as it comprises of a wide and comprehensive range of activities in relation to “the management of man“. Manpower planning, not only focuses on the effective utilization of existing human elements but also concern in fulfilling future manpower need of the organizations at the time of need. Manpower planning is “the process of determining manpower needs and the means and ways to meet those needs in order to carry out the integrated organizational plan.” It is very much indispensable for any organization to perform the activities efficiently and to produce desired results.

It is an apparently well known fact that, the success of any business highly rest upon the competent people that a business organization posses. Manpower planning is considered as crucial functions of human resource management. It gives due importance to the human element than that of material elements and strive to manage and maintain the good will of a business.… Read the rest

Appraising Employee Performance

Need for Appraising Employee Performance in Organizations

There are several reasons to appraise subordinates performance. First, appraisals play, or should play, an integral role in the employer’s performance management process; it does little good to translate the employer’s strategic goals into specific employees’ goals, and then train the employees. Second, the appraisal lets the boss and subordinate develop a plan for correcting any deficiencies the appraisal might have unearthed, and to reinforce the things the subordinate does correctly. Third, appraisals should serve a useful career planning purpose by providing the opportunity to review the employee’s career plans in light of his or her exhibited strengths and weakness. And, last but not least, the appraisal almost always affect the employer’s salary raise and promotional decisions.

In reviewing the appraisal tools we discuss below don’t miss the forest for the trees. It doesn’t matter which tool you use if you’re less than candid when your subordinate is under-performing. Not all managers are devotees of such candor, but some firms like GE are famous for hard-hearted appraisals. GE’s former CEO,  Jack Welch is of the opinion that, for instance, that there’s nothing crueler than telling someone who’s doing a mediocre job that he or she is doing well. Someone who might have had the chance to correct bad behavior or find a more appropriate vocation may instead end up spending years in a dead-end situation, only to leave when a tough boss comes along.

There are many practical motivations for giving soft appraisals: the fear of having to hire and train someone new; the unpleasant reaction of the appraisee; or a company appraisal process that’s not conducive to candor for instance.… Read the rest

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner in an Organization

The general scenario in most companies is as follows. HR management teams have well-developed visions of their departments, their roles and responsibilities. But, the senior management is generally skeptical of HR’s role in the firm’s success. They generally consider HR to just be another necessary appendage but not something that can contribute to the success of the company. Even if the senior management does believe that human capital is their most prized possession and asset, they cannot understand how the HR team can make this belief come alive.

There is one reason for all of this. Human capital is an intangible asset and HR’s influence on firm performance is difficult to measure. The standard elements of a firm’s resource architecture that are measured include total compensation, employee turnover, cost per hire, percentage of employees that undergo performance appraisals and percentage employee satisfaction. The question to be asked is: Are these the measures crucial to implementing the firm’s strategy? This is clearly not the case. Interesting attributes would include a committed workforce, competency development programs, etc. But, it is very difficult to imagine measures for these quantities. Hence, in the current state of HR there is a clear rift between what is measured and what needs to be measured.

The role of HR is no more just administrative. It has a much broader, connected and strategic role to play. But, these statements must be substantiated. The reasons why HR must be considered as a strategic asset must be highlighted. A strategic asset is something difficult to trade or imitate.… Read the rest

The Strategic Role of HR

As people become the key competitive advantage in any industry, the human resource (HR) development function will and should play a more strategic role. It should go beyond its mere administrative support function to operations and front line departments. Whether or not company views HR strategically may decide whether market share, sales, or profits would increase or not. An effective HR strategy becomes equally decisive as the company‘s marketing strategy.

Technology too is changing HR roles. As industries, specifically the services sector, and the way they compete become knowledge-based, HR performance indicators will shift from manpower and man-hours supplied to brainpower and brain hours delivered. The key result areas in people management will also shift from production and quantity to productivity and quality. Capability, measured in employee ideas generated and implemented, and productivity gained, will be more important than capacity, measured in man-hours available, man-hours lost, absenteeism, etc.

The current HR function is very much configured like the company‘s purchasing department. People, like parts and supplies, are requisitioned by user departments based on depletion and growth rates of their operations. Both resources are screened for quality control and cost or budget constraints. The only slight difference is that unlike purchased parts, people are trained or prepared before they are sent to the requisitioning parties which may train them further before actual deployment or usage. HR is also involved in the replacement, termination and retirement process of unusable people assets, much like the handling of depreciated equipment. In short, most HR systems exist only for replenishment and maintenance of a resource called people.… Read the rest

Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors

Edgar Schein, one of the founders in the field in modern organizational psychology, pointed out that, every one of us has a particular orientation towards work. As a result of which, we all approach our work with a set of priority and certain values. This concept is known as ‘Career Anchors’. It represents one’s combination of perceived career competence and includes talents, motives, values and attitudes that give stability and direction to a person’s career. It is regarded as the ‘motivator’ or ‘driver’ of that person. The Career Anchor depicts one’s highest priority needs and the factors of work lives one may not be willing to give up. Many people are not really clear about their need and competencies and make an inappropriate career choice, that lead to dissatisfaction and frustration at work. Knowing their Career Anchor properly, people develop sufficient insight to make intelligent and appropriate career choices.

Importance and Types of Career Anchors

Almost all organisations claim to serve the best interests of employees. In practice, they “manage” their workers careers with the best interest of the organization, not the employees. Very often, people tend to select a wrong career and find it incompatible at workplaces with their true values, resulting in feelings of unrest and discontent and lost in productivity. This necessitates becoming self-reliant, to choose and manage one’s career.

Career Anchors help an individual in conceptualizing his own perceived career. It encompasses one’s core areas of competence, motives, and career values. Very often, this perceived career anchor goes against organisational career plans and employees develop a sense of dissonance or certain incongruity about their career plans.… Read the rest