Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Define HRM and differentiate it from traditional personnel management.

Define HRM and differentiate it from traditional personnel management. Write an overview on the HRM functions of your organization or an organization you are familiar with. Briefly describe the organization you are referring to.

Some experts assert that there is no difference between human resources and personnel management. They state that the two terms can be used interchangeably, with no difference in meaning. In fact, the terms are often used interchangeably in help-wanted ads and job descriptions.
For those who recognize a difference between personnel management and human resources, the difference can be described as philosophical. Personnel management is more administrative in nature, dealing with payroll, complying with employment law, and handling related tasks. Human resources, on the other hand, is responsible for managing a workforce as one of the primary resources that contributes to the success of an organization.
When a difference between personnel management and human resources is recognized, human resources is described as much broader in scope than personnel management. Human resources is said to incorporate and develop personnel management tasks, while seeking to create and develop teams of workers for the benefit of the organization. A primary goal of human resources is to enable employees to work to a maximum level of efficiency.
Personnel management can include administrative tasks that are both traditional and routine. It can be described as reactive, providing a response to demands and concerns as they are presented. By contrast, human resources involves ongoing strategies to manage and develop an organization's workforce. It is proactive, as it involves the continuous development of functions and policies for the purposes of improving a company’s workforce.
Personnel management is often considered an independent function of an organization. Human resource management, on the other hand, tends to be an integral part of overall company function. Personnel management is typically the sole responsibility of an organization’s personnel department. With human resources, all of an organization’s managers are often involved in some manner, and a chief goal may be to have managers of various departments develop the skills necessary to handle personnel-related tasks.
With human resources, work groups, effective strategies for meeting challenges, and job creativity are seen as the primary motivators.
When looking for a job in personnel management or human resources, it is important to realize that many companies use the terms interchangeably. If you are offered a job as a personnel manager, you may be required to perform the same duties as a human resource manager, and vice versa. In some companies, a distinction is made, but the difference is very subtle.
Human resource (or personnel) management, in the sense of getting things done through people. It's an essential part of every manager's responsibilities, but many organizations find it advantageous to establish a specialist division to provide an expert service dedicated to ensuring that the human resource function is performed efficiently.
Answer. HRM is the study of activates regarding people working in an organization. It is a managerial function that tries to match an organization’s needs to the skills and abilities of its employees.

Human Resource Management is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.

The concept of HRM
Many people find HRM to be a vague and elusive concept - not least because it seems to have a variety of meanings.

HRM is a strategic approach to the acquisition, motivation, development and management of the organization’s human resources. It is a specialized field that attempts to develop an appropriate corporate culture, and introducing programmes which reflect and support the core values of the enterprise and ensure its success.

HRM is proactive rather than reactive, i.e., always looking forward to what needs to be done and then doing it, rather than waiting to be told what to do about recruiting, paying or training people, or dealing with employee relations problems as they arise.

Broadly, there are three meanings attached to the concept of HRM. In the first place, persons working in an organization are regarded as a valuable source, implying that there is a need to invest time and effort in their development. Secondly, they are human resources which means that they have their own special characteristics and, therefore, cannot be treated like material resources. The approach focuses on the need to humanize organizational life and introduce human values in the organization. And thirdly, human resources do not merely focus on employees as individuals, but also on other social realities, units and processes in the organization.

Some functions that come under the purview of HRM are:
i) Human Resource Planning: It is a process for determination and assuring that the organization will have an adequate number of qualified persons, available at proper times, performing jobs which would meet the needs of the organization and which would provide satisfaction for the individuals involved.

ii) Recruitment and Selection: Recruitment is concerned with developing a pool of candidates in line with the human resources plan.

Selection is the process of matching people and their career needs and capabilities with the jobs and career paths. It ends with the ultimate hiring of a candidate.

iii) Training and Development: This involves identification of individual potentialities and helping in the development of key competencies through planned learning process. The competencies are to be developed to enable individuals to perform current as well as future jobs.

iv) Employee motivation: To retain good staff and to encourage them to give of their best while at work requires attention to the financial and psychological and even physiological rewards offered by the organization as a continuous exercise.

Basic financial rewards and conditions of service (e.g. working hours per week) are determined externally (by national bargaining or government minimum wage legislation) in many occupations but as much as 50 per cent of the gross pay of manual workers is often the result of local negotiations and details (e.g. which particular hours shall be worked) of conditions of service are often more important than the basics. Hence there is scope for financial and other motivations to be used at local levels.

v) Organizational Development: This element assures healthy inter and intra-unit relationships. It helps work groups in initiating and managing change.

vi) Career Development: It is assuring an alignment of the management. It is a process of achieving an optional match of individual and organizational needs.

vii) HR Research and Information Systems and Audit: This element ensures a reliable and proof HR information base. It is not only evaluates personnel policies and programmes but also highlights the need and areas of change.

viii) Provision of employee services: Attention to the mental and physical well-being of employees is normal in many organizations as a means of keeping good staff and attracting others. The forms this welfare can take are many and varied, from loans to the needy to counseling in respect of personal problems.

The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy. The long relationship between the two organizations, which began when the SAO moved its headquarters to Cambridge in 1955, was formalized by the establishment of a joint center in 1973.

Today, some 300 Smithsonian and Harvard scientists cooperate in broad programs of astrophysical research supported by Federal appropriations and University funds as well as contracts and grants from government agencies. These scientific investigations, touching on almost all major topics in astronomy, are organized into six divisions.

HR: Functions
• Hiring
• Promotions
• Reassignments
• Position classification and grading
• Salary determination
• Performance appraisal review and processing
• Awards review and processing
• Personnel data entry and records maintenance
• Consultation and advisory services to management and employees
• Conduct problems
• Performance problems
• Policy development
• Technical policy interpretation
• Work Permitting Immigration Visa Program
• Benefits
• Health care insurance
• Life insurance
• Disability insurance
• Retirement
• Voluntary accidental death and dismemberment insurance
• Leave Transfer Program
• Tuition Assistance Plan
• Training opportunities
• Combined Federal Campaign
• Employee assistance referral
• Workers' compensation

New Roles of the Human Resources Manager
The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of his changing organization. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change direction and customer-centered. Within this environment, the HR professional, who is considered necessary by line managers, is a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate and a change mentor.

Strategic Partner
In today’s organizations, to guarantee their viability and ability to contribute, HR managers need to think of themselves as strategic partners. In this role, the HR person contributes to the development of and the accomplishment of the organization-wide business plan and objectives.

The HR business objectives are established to support the attainment of the overall strategic business plan and objectives. The tactical HR representative is deeply knowledgeable about the design of work systems in which people succeed and contribute. This strategic partnership impacts HR services such as the design of work positions; hiring; reward, recognition and strategic pay; performance development and appraisal systems; career and succession planning; and employee development.

Employee Advocate
As an employee sponsor or advocate, the HR manager plays an integral role in organizational success via his knowledge about and advocacy of people. This advocacy includes expertise in how to create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated, contributing, and happy.

Fostering effective methods of goal setting, communication and empowerment through responsibility, builds employee ownership of the organization. The HR professional helps establish the organizational culture and climate in which people have the competency, concern and commitment to serve customers well.

In this role, the HR manager provides employee development opportunities, employee assistance programs, gainsharing and profit-sharing strategies, organization development interventions, due process approaches to problem solving and regularly scheduled communication opportunities.

Change Champion
The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of the organization results in the need for the HR professional to frequently champion change. Both knowledge about and the ability to execute successful change strategies make the HR professional exceptionally valued. Knowing how to link change to the strategic needs of the organization will minimize employee dissatisfaction and resistance to change.

The HR professional contributes to the organization by constantly assessing the effectiveness of the HR function. He also sponsors change in other departments and in work practices. To promote the overall success of his organization, he champions the identification of the organizational mission, vision, values, goals and action plans. Finally, he helps determine the measures that will tell his organization how well it is succeeding in all of this.

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