Harvard Framework for Human Resource Management

One of the most important tasks that involve the personnel department in an organisation is human resources management (HRM). An organisation is only likely to achieve its objectives if their employees are used effectively. At the same time, planning how best to use human resources will help an organisation to achieve its objectives and goals. Human resources management has strategic implications. It means constantly looking for better ways of using employees to benefit the organisation. Strategic human resource management (SHRM) can be defined as a way of deciding on the plans and intentions of an organisation looking at the relationship between employment and the following human resource management processes and procedures within an organisation – development, recruitment, training, benefit and employee relations plans, performance management, strategies and procedures. It’s an approach to human resource management that has the goal of using people most wisely with respect to the strategic needs of the organisation. It is strategic way of managing the organisation’s most valued properties: the employees are individually and jointly contributing to the success and achievement of the organisation’s objectives.

There are several models and theories of strategic human resource management. Among these are best practice model and contingency model identified by Hope-Hailey. According to Michael Armstrong in his book titled ‘A handbook of Human Resource Management Practice’, best practice model of strategic human resource management otherwise known as outcome model is a model that emphasize commitment rather than compliance and advocates processes of culture management to achieve cultural control of an organisation. It is universalist approach. This model explains that all organisations will record achievements in organisations performance provided they identify, gain commitment to and put in place a set of human resource management practice e.g. reward practice. In this model, high commitment aspect binds with human capital, because it must have a very good high level of commitment, put in place by the ‘ideal set of practices”. This means that the best set of human resource practices have to be put in place for the improvement of work output and well-being of human capital, place priority on how human capital can be motivated, and an idea to accomplish the organization’s goals while contingency model concentrates on the achievement of fit between organisations/businesses and human resource strategies. It is a situation where definition of organisations aims, policies and strategies, lists of activities, and breaking down of roles of the department of human resource are updated and only if they are similar to the circumstances of the organisation. It is essentially about the need to achieve fit between what the organisation is and wants to become (its strategy, culture, goals, technology, the people it employs and its external environment) and what the organisation does (how it is structured, and the processes procedures, and practices it puts into effect).

Human resource management entails developing an organisation that caters for all the activities it requires. The generic functions that are performed by human resource managers in all organisations are (1) Rewards, (2) Performance management, (3) Selection and finally (4) Development. The major reason for human resource management in an organisation is to contribute to the organizational effectiveness and productivity so that its objectives can be achieved. The following listed strategies must be looked into by human resource personnel to meet the organisational goals and objectives – employment relationship; resourcing; performance management; human resource development; reward management; employee relations; health and safety etc. Organisations have renewed interest in management of human capital in recent years and have come to realize the importance of employees and their knowledge and skills as an asset of organisation. Every employee is important to the management of any organisation most especially at the point when an organisation needs to take decisions which are normally used as an ‘agenda for change’ in the organisation. This does place greater emphasis on motivation, customer care and training. It helps any organisation to seek for the right set of people to fill the vacant positions – the quality, type and number of people to be employed. The reason for this can be illustrated by the following example which explains a situation where changes in employees’ selection process contributed to improved organization success. This is a company that try as much as possible to look for best employees when it comes to recruitment although, the company do recruit student to work for this particular job role. This created problem for the organisation. The job role required the employee to stand in the warehouse for hours in a day inspecting the quality of the goods in the warehouse. The working environment is not conducive in term of dirt or uncleanliness. Employees do quite within shortest time of starting the work. The simplest way a newly employed HR manager handled this situation is by assigning the job to individuals that are not aiming high in term of career wise and other expectations as such. He also suggested rotating the job assignment between lots of employees within shorter working hours.

Harvard framework for Human resource management offered by Beer et al (1984) is practiced by solving the problems of historical personal management basically when general managers come-up with an idea of how they want to see employees participant and how they are imparted with one knowledge or the other by the organisation, and of what policies and practices of HRM that may achieve the organisation’s goals. Without either a fundamental idea and belief or a planned vision – which can be offered only by overall managers, Human resource managers are to remain group of independent activities; each is protected by their own practice or tradition. It is believed that lots of pressures are requesting a wider, more comprehensive and more strategic perspective with respect to the organisation’s human resources management. These pressures have done so much in creating the need for a longer period in managing people and in taking people as active assets after consideration instead as only variable assets. They were the first to highlight the HRM principle and theory that HRM belongs to line managers. They also specified that HRM involves all management determinations and deeds that affect the kind of the organisation and its workers-Its human resources. Harvard suggested that HRM had two properties. Firstly, line managers admit more obligation for ensuring the position of competitive strategy and personnel policies and secondly, personnel has the mission of setting policies to administer how personnel events are established and effected in conducts that make them more equally reinforcing.

Harvard Framework for Human Resource Management

The process of human resource management started when personnel management was in charge of employee needs and wants, how employees are paid, monitoring and ensuring they were motivated. This changed with the introduction of HRM in the early 1990s and it has become the most widely used approach to the management of people in all organisations. HRM processes that contribute to or underpin the activities of any organisation are as follows – HR planning, recruitment, selection, directing, training and development, and performance appraisal. Above listed stages has to be in place for effective human resource management functions to be observed in an organisation. The development of policy can be explained as a procedure for forming and defining a sense of control. It has also been described as a systematic, step-by-step situation, the result of which is an official written statement that provides a final guide to the organisation’s long term purpose. Strategy is an orderly process: first we contemplate, then we act on behalf of; we invent then we execute. But then we as well ‘exploit in order to think’. In putting into practice, ‘a realized strategy can come out in response to an developmental circumstances’ and the tactical planner is frequently ‘a sample organizer, a beginner if you like, who administers a procedure in which policies and ideas can materialize as well as be purposely invented.’

Every organisation exists to achieve a purpose. Strategic HRM practices are important for meeting the organisational objectives. The focus of the human resource policies and processes remain on the assessment of the roles and responsibilities, which are essential to be aligned for performing the duties optimally. It fosters the degree of transfer of knowledge among the diverse team members. When considering the roles of planned HRM, it is important to report the degree to which HR policy should take into consideration, the interest of all the stakeholders in the organisation, workers at large as well as owners and administrators. HR planning should objectives to encounter the requirements of the basic stakeholders group involved in people management in an organisation. Soft strategic HRM will place more importance on the human relations part of managing people, emphasizing on security of employment, continuous development, communication, involvement, the quality of work-life balance. Hard strategic HRM however will emphasize the return to be achieved by financing in human resources in the interest of the organisation.

The roles of strategic HRM in achieving organisational objectives are described as follows: Organisational development is concern with the strategic and putting into practice the programmes planed to improve the efficiency with which an organisation functions and responds to change. Overall, the aim is to adopt a planned and coherent approach to improving organisational effectiveness. Transformation is a change in the shape, structure, and nature of something. Organisational transformation is the process of ensuring that an organisation can improve and execute main change programmes that will ensure that it answers deliberately to new requests and continues to perform its roles effectively in the active situation in which it functions. Culture is managed by the leaders in the organisation, particularly those who are involved in shaping it in the past. Culture is studied for a certain period of time. People identify with visionary leaders-how they react to issue and their expectation. What such leaders pay attention to is noted and they are treated as role models. It’s also managed by important programmes from which new things are studied about necessary or unnecessary behaviour. There is need for culture managers to mention effective working relationships among organisation fellows, and this creates values and expectations. Lastly, cultures are influenced by the organisation’s surroundings. The external surroundings may be more or less dynamic or unchanging. Knowledge management is described as process or practice of sharing, acquiring, creating, capturing and using knowledge, wherever it exists in, to improve learning and performance in organisations. Knowledge management is about hoarding and imparting wisdom, understanding and expertise accumulated in an organisation about its procedures, methods and strategies. It considers knowledge as a main resource. Management of knowledge is involved with both stocks and flows of knowledge. Stocks include know-how and predetermined knowledge for example computer schemes. Flows means how knowledge can be transferred from one person to another person or from some people to a knowledge archive. Reward is about designing and putting in place the planning and programs that reward people fairly, equitable and regularly in compliance with their benefit to the organisation. It is about strategy, putting into practice and preservation of rewards exercises that are outfitted to the development of organisational, team and individual accomplishment. Reward management can be said to be an essential aspect of an HRM method to directing people. The overall planned purpose of reward management is to improve and execute the reward strategies, procedures and habits required to underpin the success of the organisation’s goals by helping to ensure that it has the skilled, competent, well-motivated and committed people it needs. Talent management is the process of ensuring that the organisation attracts, retains, motivates and develops the talented people it needs. There is nothing new about the various processes that add up to talent management. What is unusual is the occurrence of a more clear view as to how these procedures will join together with total objective-to get and nurture talent, wherever it is and wherever it is required, by using some independent policies and practices. Everyone in an organisation has talent and talent management procedures should not be restricted to the favored few, although they are likely to focus most on those with inadequate skills and high potential.

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