Reflective Paper On Human Resource Management Management Essay

Human resource management plays an integral role in assisting any organization attains its set objectives. HRM can be defined as the rational and strategic move towards management of a firm’s workforce. The workforce is the most valuable asset in any organization. Indeed, organizations are constituted by employees and not the processes and technology employed. The goals of any organization can only achieved by entrusting it to a committed workforce. According to Riccucci (2006), HRM functions in hiring people, ensures growth of employees’ capabilities so as to fully utilize them and compensate them commensurately for their contributions in making organization’s goals realization possible. As such, HRM exists to ensure employee productivity by addressing any hindrance occurring on employees’ performance. This paper explores the functions of HRM, major concerns in those functions and their relevance to the sum total goal of an organization. In addition the paper reflectively focuses on the impacts of the aforementioned functions to the employees’ current and future career. To achieve the organizational goals, HRM develops the employees and motivates the individual employee via proper communication of the social responsible and ethical behavior thereby expounding any performance gaps in the organization and providing remedies to them to ensure efficient working.

Human Resources planning and recruitment/selection issues

The process of HRM is guided by a HRM plan which clearly outlines the future of the undertaking. The plan relates the efforts of the employees within an organization with the organizational goals. Achievements of employees can only be relevant to the organization if they continually address the organizational goals. Organizational goals distinguish between organizations in the market and as such provide the competitive advantage of the organization. HRM office projects, in the plan, the human resource (HR) requirements into the future in efforts to enhance the achievement of the goals. The plan considers both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the HR to be recruited and/or maintained. The economic implication of the HR hired is a factor that goes hand in hand with the achievement of objectives of the organization. HR plan has a great implication on the current and future career aspects of existing employees as well as those in the contextual labour market. Indeed, the quality of HR required may mean staff training on the existing employees, retrenchment of those under qualified or stricter selection processes in efforts to match the job and the skills in employee. The recruitment process then follows.

During recruitment, HRM office advertises for the vacancy and after applications has been made, selection of the best candidate(s) is done. The right candidate(s) is inducted into the organization via an introduction of the colleagues, organization structure, work station and supervisor. Furthermore, the recruited employee is familiarized with the organization’s goals and policies all of which shape the organization culture. During induction there may be need for a training that may last from several days to several months depending on the intensity of disparity between skills level of the recruited employee and the job description. The contemporary society requires certain proportions of composition of genders in the organizations. Many organizations have actually adopted the affirmative action in ensuring equal employment opportunities (EEO) within their organizations. This serves both as legality conformance as well as a social acceptance tool for organizations.

EEO and Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a faction of particular and results-oriented undertakings structured towards correction of underutilization of women and minorities in the workstations. The idea is that employers and all involved in controlling employment procedures do not discriminate among candidates on the grounds of physical or mental challenge, nationality, color, sex, ancestry, religion, marital status, age or medical condition (Dowling et al, 2008). The qualified individuals in the job market should therefore access the available jobs equally. Within the working places, affirmative action and EEO ensures similarity in provision of benefits as well as services to the workforce. As such employees are consistently subjected to practices and policies equally. EEO is an all inclusive legal mandate for federal contractors. Affirmative action program is an endeavor to enhance fairness and deal with effects of previous discrimination practices in employment through attracting the target group that includes women and underutilized minorities. The impact of affirmative action and EEO on its level of implementation seriously impacts on the career aspirations and indeed personal lives of individuals since its implementation benefits the target group while it may compromise quality of the work force in some societies (Zügner & Ullrich, 2009).

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Implementation of the EEO and affirmative action programs implies that the percentage of the unemployed among the target group is increased thereby improving their personal living standards as well as career prospects. The challenge with the implementation of EEO and affirmative action may be the possibility of compromising the quality aspect of the workforce when the level of skills among the target population is wanting yet their percentage in an organization’s workforce has to be achieved. However, for social acceptance and legal conformity, the HRM office must try to apply the said policy. In enhancing employee productivity and the subsequent achievement of organization goals, HRM office must ensure proper compensation and commensurate provision of benefits to the employees. Compensation may be defined as the offer of money or a financial convertible material for purposes of remunerating for work done. The remuneration is presented as a compensation package which implies the value/worth placed on an employee.

Compensation and Employees’ Benefits

Compensation package is normally presented in three major categories. First, it can be non monetary such that the value intangible. Such compensation comprise of social as well as career rewards expressed as growth opportunity , subsidized housing, enhanced job security, flexible working hours, recognition, and elder care among others. The Second compensation package is direct which expresses the employee’s base salary/wage. Direct compensation may be in form of piece rate pay, hourly pay or salary pay. Finally, there is indirect compensation that includes provision of facilities like paid leave, health insurance, and child care. Any compensation is either based on time or activity level (Riccucci, 2006). In terms of time, compensation may be long-term or short-term. Short-term and long-term compensation reward performance for upto one financial year and beyond a financial year period respectively. The activity level approach, expresses a compensation package as either variable or fixed. Variable package is proportionately with employee’s performance level. This arrangement is usually called ‘pay at risk’. The implication is that compensation is re-earned and re-established each performance period. Variable package is availed as team-based pay, bonus programs as well as commissions. On the contrary, fixed compensation does not vary directly as performance and is also nondiscretionary.

Generally, corporate consensus advocate for a relation between pay and performance to enhance its effectiveness. This advocacy may however not apply in sectors where performance levels are dependent on factors without employee and organization control. Whichever presentation of compensation package is adopted, the motivation effect as well as implication on financial soundness of the organization must be considered. Compensation package affects the employees’ perception on the value placed on them and hence is a good motivation element/factor in the workplace. The compensation policy adopted by the organization dictates the living standards of a person as well as future career development of an employee. Some organizations cater for career developments costs for their employees while others reimburse a certain percentage of the cost. Moreover, other factors constant, high compensation packages can enable an employee to advance in career since it would cater for the training and other education expenses coincidental to career advancement.

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Human Resources Development

Human resources require a continuous development to match with the increasing demand for skills and levels of performance. Human resource development (HRD) may be defined as the structure designed to assist workers develop their personal as well as organizational skills, abilities and knowledge. HRD is more often than not a deliberate organizational effort expressed in terms of performance management, employee career development, employee training and mentoring programs geared towards positioning employees to properly face the dynamism of their duties (Dowling et al, 2008). The focus of HRD is to develop a superior workforce that will result to accomplishment of individual and organizational goals in serving customers. HRD may be formal or informal. Formally, HRD is conducted in a classroom setup where a course is offered. Informal HRD involves employee coaching by a supervisor within the working station.

In an organizational setup, performance management is defined as the process of putting up a work environment requiring the workforce to perform to the maximum level of their capabilities. Performance management system starts with the communication of duties and responsibilities of an individual employee, the actual performance of duties and an evaluation procedure. The whole process is facilitated by a feedback mechanism that serves to ensure adherence to organizational goals. Effective performance management as an element in HRD ensures the following. First, there is continued improvement in productivity both in the manner employees’ work and the subsequent outcomes. Secondly, effective performance management ensures a commensurate reward to employees’ contribution hence improvement in employee morale. Thirdly, top performers are retained when an effective performance management is employed. Retention arises from the employee loyalty and low labour turn over achieved when employees experience a sense of achievement (Zügner & Ullrich, 2009). Finally, organization enjoys increased profitability derived from employee loyalty which in turn leads to customer loyalty.

The HRM office conducts performance appraisals usually on quarterly basis of the performance period. According to Zügner & Ullrich (2009), career development can be enhanced through provision of paid study leaves and partial or full reimbursement of training expenses when employees seek training outside the organization. HRD equips the employees with better skills of doing work which boosts their performance levels. High performance levels in return generates better compensation package. Furthermore, HRD raises the self esteem of employees especially if their skills level were extremely low.

Employee and various labor relations issues

The practice HRM is responsible in ensuring adherence to the set labour relations policy. Employee/labour relation is the concern for the relationship and interaction between lower level employees and the organization’s upper management level (Burstein, 1994). Labor relation policy addresses the following issues in the organization. To start with, labour relations policy enacts proper administration procedures within the organization. Employees can correctly project the administrative issues that will be practiced in the organization. For example, workers can expect that they will have a unity of command and a clearly defined chain of command governing them. Moreover, employees are aware of the importance of their participation in decision making in whichever level. Second, labour relations policy ensures maintenance of an effective and positive discipline in the organization. The policy clearly outlines the legal issues that govern discipline and the remedial measures to be taken for correction.

When employees commit errors necessitating the need for effective dispute resolution in the workplace, they are not left under the mercies of the organization management alone, but rather labor relations policy provides the required guidelines in seeking amicable solution (Dowling et al, 2008). In case the organization infringes on the rights of the employees, the labour relations policy also comes into effect to define the extent of compensation that the employees are entitled to. Third, labour relations policy establishes the lines of communication in an organization which forms a foundation for employee morale. Fourth, the policies guarantees uninterrupted production since there is a continuous employment for employees and managers and a full utilization of resources. With maximum possible production, there is a predictable continuity in flow of income that enhances smooth running of organization. Finally, labor relations reduce wastage of HR, machines and materials thus protecting national interest of conservation. Adherence to labour relations is paramount to personal lives of employees as well as on their future career prospects. This is mainly because the policy provides an opportunity for mental revolution (Zügner & Ullrich, 2009).

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In fact the objective of labour relations policy is to enhance a complete mental revolution in the workforce. A peaceful coexistence ultimately lies in a changed appearance both on the organization and the employees. Management of organization needs to formulate relationships that enhance consonance with true democracy spirit. The organization and the employees must perceive themselves as members of a partnership that recognizes the contribution of each. Development of such an understanding improves the affective domain of an employee that is important in the modern social world. Social employees have a chance to develop in their careers as well as fit in their contextual organizations through the normal challenges that exist.

Safety and Health

On health and safety of employees in the organization, HRM ensures conformance both as a legal requirement as well as a care for humanity. Organizations depend on smooth running of operations as directed by employees. As such, the health and safety of employees need to be guarded. Health refers to the state of being in a human/ worker in an organization Dowling et al, 2008). The state of well being includes mental, emotional and physical wholeness of an individual. Safety may be defined as to the safeguarding of physical well being of a worker. Safety minimizes/eliminates risk of accidents due to fire or diseases as well as machinery. At large, Security encompasses protection of equipments and facilities from damage and unauthorized access. The HRM office coordinates safety programs and enhances awareness of the organization’s health and safety policies. In ensuring safety awareness, the HRM office should train the members of organization on handling safety equipments, maintenance of working conditions that are safe as well as developing appropriate safety reporting mechanisms (Riccucci, 2006). Health and safety of employees safeguards their lives thereby giving them opportunities to advance in their careers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the HRM function in an integral part of any organization in ensuring the realization of established goals. The said office harmonizes the dream of the founders of the organization, which is expressed as objectives or strategic plans, and the efforts that are applied by the workforce. Indeed, the essence of work is realization of the set objectives without which hard work would be meaningless. The functions of the HRM office are interrelated and interdependent. Their weights/importance is intertwined by the close relationships that they hold. As such no function can be said to hold more weight than the other. Sourcing of the workforce is however important as the first step that determines success and cost of operation in the other functions. Ensuring equality and fair practices under legal employee relations procedures in the workplace boosts firm’s commitment in attaining the set objectives.

References

Burstein, P. (1994). Equal employment opportunity: labor market discrimination and public policy. Piscataway, U.S.A: Aldine Transaction Publishers.

Dowling, P. J., Festing, M & Engle, D. A. (2008). International human resource management: managing people in a multinational context. Florence, KY: Cengage Learning EMEA Publishers.

Riccucci, M. N. (2006). Public Personnel Administration and Labor Relations. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Publishers.

Zügner, C. & Ullrich, S. (2009). Compensation and Remuneration. Munich, Germany: GRIN Verlag Publishers.


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