Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management

Personnel policy plays an important and strategic role in fulfilling the long-term objectives of an organisation. It can also be used as an instrument to change the corporate culture. The objective of  modern personnel management is to optimise the performance of all personnel across the organisation, for which it uses instruments such as recruitment and selection, training and career development, motivation and reward.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the major form of modern personnel management. Human Resource Management is based on two premises:

  • Personnel management should contribute to the objectives of the organisation. If organisations have to respond better and more quickly in an environment which changes ever more quickly, then this will affect the deployment, quality and number of personnel.
  • Giving employees in the organisation the opportunity to develop and use their skills will benefit the organisation.

The three approaches to HRM:

  • The hard approach – Sees human resources as means of production which have to be organised as effectively and efficiently as possible. As the corporate strategy is determined by economic technical and market factors, the same applies to personnel policy. This approach places different values on employees. Some core employees are strategically more important than peripheral employees who are easily replaceable. For example, a company might choose to permanently employ only core  personnel, and for the rest use a pool of contract personnel.
  • The soft approach – Emphasises that making the best possible use of human potential and opportunities to invest a lot in their work. For this reason, their personnel  must be identified early and developed continuously. When selecting its strategy and policy, the business must base its choices on the talent and potential of its employees.
  • The integrated approach – Looks at the shared interest of personnel and management in an organisation. To reach the objectives of the organisation there will have to be good inflow, movement and outlaw of personnel. Changes in the market and the organisation (e.g. development in technology) lead to constant changes in the need for skills.

All aspects of personnel policy have to be carefully coordinated. The movement of employees in the organisation, determining and developing skills (Competence), and promoting mobility in the internal labour market are becoming increasingly important in organisations.

The quality of service provided by an organisation will benefit if the best use is made of the potential of its employees. This facilitates continuous improvement. Instrument for quality management in personnel policy include:

  • Policy Deployment – Communicating to each employee how and to what extent their task contributes to realising the objectives of the organisation. An important condition for the success of policy deployment is that it extends to all layers of management.
  • Empowerment – Giving employees the opportunity to organise  and implement their task in consultation with the organisation. The degree of empowerment determines the extent to which employees can be held responsible for the quality of the work they provide.
  • Accountability – As the result of policy department and empowerment. If an employee has had explained what is expected of them, and if they have had the opportunity to arrange and implement the task as why wanted, then they can be held accountable for it. This could used as a basis for assessing and rewarding employees. The reward may be tangible (Salary) or intangible, for example appreciation, new opportunities for development and career opportunities.
  • Competence Management – This is both a means to use the competence available in an organisation as effectively as possible, and as a way to systematically develop the competence the organisation needs. This approach charts the competence required by the processes and projects as well as the competence of the employees. When organising employees, the focus is not only on obtaining a good match between the required and available competence, but also on the opportunities to develop competence, transfer expertise, and learn skills. Mentors or coaches may support employees. Setting up skills groups can also support the exchange can also support the exchange of experience and encourage the development of new competence.

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Eddie Potts

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