?The goals of the human resource management department may vary widely from
organization to organization, but there are some key goals that should be the same,
regardless of industry or company size. The human resource department should be
strongly linked to the strategic goals of the organization and any activities should
contribute to achieving those goals.
The first goal of the human resource management department is increasing
productivity. Organizations that are focused on increasing productivity will make sure
that the human resource department participates in all decisions that affect the
implementation of strategies that will result in better productivity. Resources are
devoted to the human resource management department in order to resolve current
issues before new issues are presented. In addition, the human resources personnel in
these organizations develop programs that contribute to productivity increases and
communicate with line managers to assess program effectiveness. Finally, the
organization's staff members all share responsibility for developing policies and
administering programs that allow for increases in productivity.
The second goal of the human resource management department is increasing the
quality of work life for an organization's employees. Many employees want more
challenging work and more control over the way their work is performed. It is up to
the human resource management department to develop policies and programs that
increase the quality of work life for employees. Policies that may contribute to a high
quality of work life include extended vacation policies, sick policies that offer
extended time off for emergencies, and compensation policies that give not only cash
compensation, but stock options, profit sharing, and incentive opportunities. Programs
that contribute to a high quality of work life may include departmental awards
programs, sales incentives, employee day care services, and job sharing.
Legal compliance is another goal for the human resource management department.
Because of the legislation that affects employers and employees, the human resource
management department must be careful to maintain appropriate documentation of all
compliance activities and follow each piece of legislation carefully. Recruiting
professionals must be careful not to discriminate based on age or gender.
Organizations must be careful not to structure compensation plans based on any
protected status. Organizations must also be careful to respond to all complains of
sexual harassment, workplace violence, and safety concerns to ensure that these issues
do not become the basis for costly litigation by employees.
Finally, gaining competitive advantage within an industry or region is also a goal of
the human resource management department. Because organizations must allow the
human resources department to participate in strategic decision-making, gaining
competitive advantage becomes a priority of the department. The human resource
management department must respond to this challenge by structuring policies and
programs to encourage employees to maintain a high level of productivity and to
develop creative solutions to competition-related issues.
The human resource management department has come a long way since it was
known as the personnel department and performed basic functions such as
recordkeeping and distributing employee paychecks. With the transformation into a
strategic business unit, the human resource department must strive to meet these goals
while developing policies and programs that meet the needs of employees.