Human Resource Management Practices
HRM contribute to the attainment of an organizations competitive advantage through the strategic implementation of a highly committed and competent workforce using an integrated range of cultural, structural, and personnel techniques (Storey, 1995). Effective HRM leads to an organization success by developing employees that contributes to the delivery of products and services bring customer satisfaction, business results, and shareholder value (Stone, 1998).
The main purpose of HRM is to improve the productive contribution of people wherein the employees are being heard by the management and helping the employees to find new resources that enable them to successfully perform their jobs (Ulrich, 1997). The role played by human resource functions is best explained by determining the key objectives that they seek to align strategies, develop effective policies, systems and activities which are significant to the firm’s overall success (Torrington, Hall & Taylor, 2002; Storey, 1995). HRM functions are critical in running an effective organization.
Organizations need to have a competitive HRM functions in order to maintain a competent workforce and attain business objectives (Newman & Hodgetts, 1998). HRM function includes planning, training and development, career development, performance appraisal, and employee relations. These functions help organizations to facilitate strategies that allow them to achieve efficiency and effectiveness (Stone, 1998). HRM functions must change in manner that it accomplishes new roles and new competencies. It also has to be transformed to deal creatively and practically with the emerging challenge.
Human Resource Planning. This function deals with the demand and supply of labor. It involves the acquisition, development, and turnover of employees. However, the practice of HRM planning has not received the same level of interest from line managers as planning for material, equipment, and financial resources for the reason that managers tries to attain different business objectives/expertise (Dessler, 2000). The purpose of HRM planning is to ensure that a fixed number of employees with the appropriate skills are available for future vacancies (Gupta & Singhal, 1993).
HRM planning process has four stages involving analyzing, forecasting, planning, and implementing (Noe, 2005). Analyzing deals with environmental factors, organization direction, and internal and external workforce. Forecasting focuses on demand and supply of workforce. Implementing deals with different changes in an organization. These are strategic, process, operational change, and evaluation and feedback. HRM planning should systematically recognize what must be done to assure the availability of the human resources needed by an organization to attain its strategic business objectives.
Furthermore, HRM planning direct managers in understanding organizational goals by supporting actions and strategies initiated by the department in improving performance. Proper planning involves employment security such as employee retirement income security which is designed to give employees increased security for their retirement and pension plans (Byars & Rue, 2004). It also requires strategic development of job descriptions that are aligned to the objectives of the organization. These would result to an efficient and effective organization (Stone, 1998).
Training and Development. Training and development are both concerned with changing employee behavior and job performance (Stone, 1998). Training is a planned effort by a company to modify, reform, and stimulate desired knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors through learning experiences that are critical for successful job performance (Stone, 1998; Noe, 2005). Training is an important activity in organizations. Newly hired and existing employees need to undergo training to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to perform their jobs.
It emphasizes immediate improvement in job performance via the procurement of specific skills (Stone, 1998; Torrington, 2002). On the other hand, development is future-oriented that involves learning that is not necessarily related to the employees’ current job. Development also involves preparation of employees to keep pace with the organization as it changes and grows (Noe, 2005). Career Development. Career development is the total gathering of economic, sociological, psychological, educational, physical, and chance factors that combine to shape one’s career (Jackson, 1990).
It is important to maintain a motivated and committed workforce. This is because job security today centers on being employable rather than being aligned with the goals of the organization (Dessler, 2000). Employees must continue to develop their skills to ensure they possess the competencies that their profession demands (Jackson, 1990). The primary purpose of career development is to meet the current and future needs of the organization and the individual at work, and this increasingly means developing employability (Torrington et al. , 2002).
Career development plays a major part in ensuring that the organization has competitive and knowledgeable work force (Schuler, 1987). One way to have a competitive advantage is to have a proactive environment in career planning. Furthermore, effective career planning contributes to the success of an organization because employees have an adequate development on their job (Storey, 1995). Performance Appraisal. Performance appraisal involves measuring how well an individual employee is doing his or her job against a set of criteria (Dessler, 2000).
Performance management promotes the organizational and employee behavior and performance required to improve bottom line results and provides a strategic link by auditing the organization’s employees in terms of their skills, abilities, knowledge and behaviors (Dessler, 2000). It generates information about how well the organization’s human resources satisfy the needs of the organization’s present and future business strategies (Storey, 1998). Performance appraisal is a key component in the organization’s performance management system and strategic management process (Cardy & Dobbins, 1994).
Performance management involves the process of creating a work environment that enables employees to perform to the best of their abilities (Langdon, 2000). However, many performance appraisal systems in practice are short term and divorced from the organization’s strategic business objectives (Stone, 1998). In short, performance management ensures that jobs are properly designed and that qualified personnel are hired, trained rewarded and motivated to achieve the organizational business objectives (Schwind, Das & Wagar, 1999).
Employee Participation Programs. Employee participation programs are workplace programs that embody quality initiatives, employee empowerment, continuous improvement and other similar change processes (Lawler, 1981). These programs are unique opportunities for employers and employees to collectively learn and plan business processes that best suits the interests of every member in the organization (Sagie & Koslowsky, 2000).
Employee participation programs have diverse forms, ranging from teams that deal with specific problems for short periods to groups that meet for more extended periods (Werther & Davis, 1996). These include solutions to various operational problems or efforts to reduce resistance to management during organizational change (McKenna & Beech, 2002). The programs contribute to organizational effectiveness by boosting employee commitment, autonomy, and control over their work leading to employee motivation, productivity, and satisfaction (Robbins, 2005).