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Essay on Human Resource Roles and Responsibilities

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Human Resource Roles and Responsibilities

Human Resource is a key to the success of a company by keeping in connection with the organization's objectives and business strategies. Human Resource maintains a healthy work environment between company policies and individuals. Human resource management focuses on securing, maintaining, and utilizing an effective work force, which organizations cannot survive without. Human resource management can also be described as the relationship between the employer and the employee. There are basic functions all managers perform which are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. These represent what is often called the management process. Staffing, personnel management, or human…show more content…

There are many responsibilities involved with human resource management. Gary Dessler (2000) explains that, "human resource management refers to the practice and policies you need to carry out the people or personnel aspects of your management job." Dessler lists these roles as "conducting job analyses, planning labor needs, recruiting and selecting job candidates, orientating and training, managing wages and salaries, providing incentives and benefits, appraising performance, communicating, training and developing and building employee commitment (p. 2).?

At PC Innovation, human resources is responsible for overseeing the policies and procedures, business conduct guidelines, the confidentiality agreement, benefits and compensation (when eligible), recruitment, new hire orientation and training, and the performance management. It is clear that human resources encompass a wide range of roles and responsibilities in our organization. Human resource manager must actively develop training and assist the performance reviews for each employee at PC Innovation. Managers must then effectively review the employee performances to provide feedback and address an performance issues. Performance appraisals should be unbiased and focused on substantive performance issues.

The role of human resources has definitely changed over the years and is still consistently changing. For example, human resource managers are

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Human Resource Management Essay

HRM Strategy and Organisational Change

With the pressures of intensive competitive forces throughout the textiles manufacturing industry radical organisational changes need to be confronted and adopted by Tenrose. Its pressures have mainly come from the increased competition from cheaper overseas manufacturers along with new and established local competitors. The closure of Textile which was based in Leicester resulted in concerns in relation to strategic human resource management linked with organisational changes. As a result the traditional personnel management model and lack of established policies dealing with the training of staff which because of the strong power of trade unions historically within the UK generated critical challenges for the company. The traditional personnel management model focused on controlling or namely it can be suggested that the origins of personnel management lie in the exercising of power over workers. Therefore it is workforce centred model, (Torrington et al, 2002). In contrast HRM is directed at management in viewing employees as an important strategic resource for an organisation with a significant emphasis being put on planning, monitoring, motivating and mediation rather than control orientated functions alone, (Torrington et al, 2002). Accordingly these organisational changes and external competitive environmental forces forced Tenrose to adopt a strategic HRM approach in solving emerging conflicts and issues related to employees in particular during the organisational change process it was undergoing.

Torrington, Hall and Taylor (2005) suggest that human resource management is about getting the right people to work in the most productive way in the positions most suited to their abilities. Thus managers at Tenrose first of all have to strike a balance between people's needs including employees and management as well as shareholders within the framework of what are its organisational objectives. In order to reduce long-term costs which is able to create competitive advantages, HRM activities are held to be those which focus on the quality of the human resource available such as the maintenance of know-how expertises and specialists. According to Boxall and Steeneveld (1999) the quality of HRM is a significant element in the performance towards achieving a firm's strategic objectives. However based on the old personnel management model Tenrose rarely engaged in formal employee training programs which reflected its organisational culture and management style as a traditional organisation rather than one which could be called a learning organisation. Obviously the most important trends in terms of globalisation and developments in new technologies require Tenrose to compete internationally thus it is useful to consider human resource management strategically in a national context along with the organisational culture. This needs to address essential perspectives such as employee training and development, organisational culture, leadership styles, team work as well as performance management, (Dowling & Welch, 2004).

Building Corporate Culture and Leadership

Leadership is defined as the process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contributions to the realisation of group goals, (Haslam, 2001). Due to the positive impact on other people's behaviour this concept is widely used in conceptualising strategic HR management. However as a traditional textile manufacturer the management team in Tenrose tended to be demographically focused on such characteristics as gender, age and background in the composition of its employees. The upper management team in one of its subsidiaries was composed completely of men while the production team were mostly women. In addition the management style rarely drew attention to creating leadership units among or in subsidiaries. The changing external environment though has caused new challenges and shaped the nature of management styles in terms of leadership in Tenrose. More importantly it has been suggested that the development of technology may have negative effects on the relationship between middle management teams and production employees, (Dopson & Stewart, 1993). At this stage the use of technology generated challenges correspondent to the pay levels of staff as well as within the information transformation process between management teams and employees. In addition the pace of globalisation generates new demand for leadership in managing people from different backgrounds. In the case of Tenrose in one of its subsidiaries' management team had except for one Indian team member a team that was wholly Caucasian in contradistinction to the mix of employee backgrounds in production. Therefore in order to take advantage of internationalisation in that Tenrose more and more cooperates with international partners it can be said to be essential for the human resource management team to adopt a leadership strategy and recruitment drive sensitive to diverse background within the company and its international partners.

The environment in which people work in not only refers to the physical entity but also includes intangible elements in terms of organisational culture. This can be defined as the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group of people has invented, discovered or developed in learning to cope with external adaptation to environments and internal integration of members, (Schein, 1990). Following from this the concept of culture has been widely deployed in organisational theory as it is a key method of understandings people's value and performance within an organisational context. Kahn (1998) argues that building an organization is a sustained process of re-establishing people's culture in terms of a shared sense of history and value system in order to generate acceptable behaviour followed by members of an organisation. Therefore building a strong organisational culture is an essential part of the strategic HRM planning for Tenrose. Particularly the closure of Textile resulted in high anxiety levels among employees ranging from the management team to production staff. The different organisational cultures in different subsidiaries to some extent led to conflicts between management members in their transformation from old Textile managers with other local management teams. It is believed that feelings of ‘unfitting' with corporate beliefs have a powerful impact on individuals and their work performance. As such then the leadership form and organisational culture were important elements of the organisational change process. The starting point in building organizational culture should always be the building of processes of communication. In considering the expanding and developing strategies exploited by Tenrose, the building up of a strong organisational culture and leadership style will play a vital role in adapting to revolutionary change and balancing the conflicts and problems arising out of these changes to the physical organisational architecture.

Building team work

An organisation is composed of individuals who are organised in certain ways in order to achieve organisational objectives. However some organisations put stress on team working while others focus more on individual work activities, (Brooks, 2003). The impact of globalisation has increased diversity within the workforce and the development of new technology requires a more effective model of team working for the company. Additionally with the aim of creating innovations in new technological based economies companies have also begun to concentrate on Individualism in order to encourage creativity within employees, (Nonaka, 1988). However this style in terms of organisational behaviour largely depends on the cultural context within which an organisation is situated. Tenrose as a traditional UK manufacturer is characterised by high-dependent relationship among its employees both within subsidiaries as well as between different organisations. The success of Japanese companies who exploited team working in order to create competitive advantage has had an important influence on strategic HR management activities in UK companies. This is because group work is defined as a security and protection of collective work, (Brooks, 2003). In this way efficiencies are able to be created by team working and the sharing of information and knowledge. For example individual performance which is based on financial rewards can be improved through cooperation with team members. Additionally team working can be a basis for improved efficiency in production systems especially when difficulties related to the adoption of new technology occur. Here team support will help the production line solve problems effectively and quickly. Advantages of team working in Tenrose are also linked with the radical organisational changes in that learning is a key element in building a new corporate culture.

Employee development and Training

In general national VET and training in the UK has failed to deliver the skills base which companies require to gain competitive advantages, (Stewart, 1999). Particularly, this problem appears to be more serious due to globalisation and new technological developments which require effectively trained human resource capital. This is the case in the textile manufacturing industry in that Tenrose as a traditional manufacturer made only a limited effort in relation to training and relied instead on the passing on of skills from old staff to new employees in an informal manner. In addition, unlike Japanese managers, UK managers do not view investing in vocational training as a good policy due to the uncertainty of recovering costs with the mobility of workers from job to job in different organisations.

Research has demonstrated that the development and training of employees contributes to effective production performance at lower costs with increased successful employee retention and motivational levels also resulting, (Beardwell, Holden and Claydon, 2004). From this perspective the most important HR issue facing managers in modern business is with developing effective strategies in response to competition in the marketplace. As a result the key action taken by Tenrose as a textile manufacturer was highly related to cost reductions in terms of material purchasing, production processes, delivery logistics as well as factors in its human resource functions. From an organisational point of view education mainly signifies the training and development of employees in helping to achieve economic objectives, (Mullins, 2005). However the national education system to some extent determines the general skill level and also perhaps people's awareness of on-job training. The UK government recently proposed a significant re-focusing on the development of the national education system in seeking to provide a solid skills base for companies to create competitive advantages in the new global environment.

Individualised learning among employees and its impact on organisational learning is particularly important. This is because organisations learn from individuals within the context of individual learning. Hence the capabilities of organisational learning are directly and indirectly affected by individual learning. Particularly in order to change the image of traditional manufacturers as being less likely to be high-tech aware Tenrose sought to introduce new production lines in order to take advantage of R&D in creating competitive capabilities in terms of higher quality at lower cost. Based on this a corporate objective of organisational learning is vital. More importantly the manner of organisational learning is largely related to the corporate culture and leadership style of the organisation. Social scientists argue that in order to promote learning it is vital to reduce organisational routines that pose a barrier to actionable learning, (Argyris, 1977). Cyert and March (1963) claim that organisational learning is concerned with sharing and adaptive learning, (Neilson, 1997). This suggests that team work can be extremely effective during the learning process through benefits flowing from sharing and communicating of information between team members. This series of theories detail action oriented forms of learning in terms of creating, acquiring and creating knowledge flows. It is also suggested that organization learning is closely linked to creating and maintaining an organisation's competitive advantages. Therefore the HR management team should seek to illustrate ways of building an appropriate organisational culture and management style which encourages learning, (Edmondson & Moingeon, 1996).

Psychological well-being and work performance

Psychological well-being is dealt with in psychological literature in terms of mental health. However a psychological perspective has become increasingly important in human resource management literature as well as in organisational behavioural research. This is because of the suggested relationship between an individual's psychological condition and their job performance, (Bradburn, 1969; David and Smeeding, 1985; Wright and Cropanzano, 2004). Researchers suggest that psychological well-being in terms of happiness maximizes both personal health as well as job performance and raises organisational productivity generally. During the organisational change process in Tenrose anxiety and stress levels were increased and employees felt insecure in terms of job and pay level. Staff from Textile generally changed their work environment due to the closure and inefficient information transformation and communication among subsidiaries generated barriers and a sense of panic among employees. As mentioned before human resource is perhaps the most important strategic resource and its performance directly influences organisational competitive capabilities. It is useful then to adopt effective information systems in order to improve communication levels with employees. This along with the development of a strong leadership style in order to create an organisational culture will in turn ensure that employee motivation can be raised during difficult transformational stages. Monetary rewards are not the only approach in improving employee motivation level but may also be achieved through the provision of comfortable working environments, increased job satisfaction through effective communication and a strong inclusive organisational culture. Staff retention needs to be a key part of organisational strategies as satisfied employees are more productive and contribute more to creative and innovatory processes, (Wright and Cropanzano, 2004).

In conclusion continued significant challenges faced by Tenrose mean that a strategic HRM policy should be a priority for the company in dealing with its human resources.

References

  • Beardwell, I., Holden, L. & Claydon, T. (2004) Human Resource Management: a Contemporary Approach 4th edition, Harlow UK, FT Prentice Hall.
  • Boxall, P. & Steeneveld, M. (1999) Human Resource Strategy and Competitive Advantages: a Longitudinal Study of Engineering Consultancies, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 36, No.4.
  • Bradburn, N.M. (1969) The Structure of Psychological Well-Being, Chicago USA, Aldine Publishing Company.
  • Brooks, I. (2003) Organisational Behaviour: Individuals, Groups and Organisation, London UK, Prentice Hall.
  • David, M. & Smeeding T. (1985) Introduction, in David, M. & Smeeding, T. (eds) Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, National Bureau of Economic Research, Studies in Income and Wealth, Vol. 50.
  • Dopson, S. & Stewart, R. (1993) What is Happening to Middle Management, in Mabey, C. & Mayon-White, B. (eds) Managing Change 2nd edition, London UK, Paul Chapman Publishing.
  • Dowling, P. & Welch, D. E. (2004) International Human Resource Management: Managing People in a Multinational Context 4th edition, London UK, Thomson Learning.
  • Edmondson, A. & Moingeon, B. (1998) Organizational Learning as a Source of Competitive Advantege, in Edmondson, A. & Moingeon, B.(eds) Organisational Learning and Competitive Advantage, London UK, Sage Publications.
  • Haslam, S.A. (2001) Psychology in Organizations: The Social Approach, London UK, Sage Publications.
  • Kahn, S. (1998) Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders, USA, NASW Press.
  • Mullins, L.J. (2005) Management and Organisational Behaviour 7th edition, Harlow UK, FT Prentice Hall.
  • Neilson, R. (1997) Collaborative Technologies & Organizational Learning, London UK, Idea Group Publishing.
  • Nonaka, I. (1988) Self-Renewal of the Japanese Firm and the Human Resource Strategy, Human Resource Management, Spring, vol. 27, no. 1.
  • Schein, E. (1990) Organizational Culture, American Psychologist, Vol.45 Issue 2.
  • Stewart, J. (1999) Employee Development Practice, London UK, Financial Times Professional Limited.
  • Torrington, D., Hall, L. & Taylor, S. (2002) Human Resource Management 5th edition, Harlow UK, FT Prentice Hall.
  • Wright, T.A. & Hobfoll, S.E. (2004) Commitment, Psychological Well-Being, and Job Performance: An Examination of Conservation of Resources Theory and Job Burnout, Journal of Business and Management, Winter Vol.9 Issue 4.

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