Roles and Modes of Human Resource Management

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					MANAGING A SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATION Roles and Modes of Human Resource Management

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Introduction

Human resource management involves all management decision and practices that directly affects or influence the people, or human resources, who work for the organization. Human resources management is a significant strategic lever and the sources of sustained competitive advantage. Therefore, human resource management practices should be central to the organizational strategy (Barney: 1995). Human resource management refers to the overall philosophy about the organization and how people should be managed and is not merely limited to certain specific functions. Human resource management focuses on congruence and commitment instead of compliance and control. In the present day turbulent reality, there is a need to develop industry specific human resource management policy and practices to remain competitive and to develop committed workforce. The role of the human resource manager is to act as a catalyst, focusing on facilitation and co-ordination.

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Picture 1: Four Roles and Modes of Human Resource Management

Source: Brewster, C. and Larson, H.H. (1993), ‘Human resource management in Europe evidence from ten countries? In European Developments in Human Resource Management, pp. 126-148. The matrix shown in Picture 1 identifies four modes of human resource management, based on two key dimensions: how well human resource management is integrated with business strategy, and to what extend human resource management is devolved to line management. Therefore it can be said here that the human resource management is fully integrated with business strategy and extensively devolved to line management

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Human Resources Management vs. Personnel Management

Human resources management has come a long way. The traditional version of human resources management, personnel management is a concept that can be conveniently related to the old model of organization, is bureaucratic in nature, with less flexibility, and higher degree of centralization and formalization, for example, adherence to rules and regulation. Human resources management, on the other hand, is compatible with the organic design of new organization. Such organizations have cross-functional and cross hierarchical teams. They are decentralized and flexible, with low formalization and somewhat looser control. The new look human resources management focuses more on commitment than on mere compliance. With the high costs involved in employee selection and recruitment, companies are increasingly concerned with retaining employees. Generating employee commitment is an important consideration for large and small organizations. Commitment is one of the factors of human resources management policy for an effective organization. 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 advertisements 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 management, 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 management is recognized, human resources are 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.

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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 involve 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. As far as motivators are concerned, personnel management typically seeks to motivate employees with such things as compensation, bonuses, rewards, and the simplification of work responsibilities. From the personnel management point of view, employee satisfaction provides the motivation necessary to improve job performance. The opposite is true of human resources. Human resource management holds that improved performance leads to employee satisfaction. With human resources, work groups, effective strategies for meeting challenges, and job creativity are seen as the primary motivators. According to P. C. Tripathi (2002), the difference between personnel management and human resource management can be seen as follows: 1. Personnel management is traditional, routine, maintenance-oriented, administrative function whereas human resource management is continuous, on-going development function aimed at improving human processes. 2. Personnel management is an independent function with independent sub-functions. Human resource management follows the systems thinking approach. It is not considered in isolation from the larger organization and must take into account the linkages and interfaces. 3. Personnel management is reactive, responding to demands as and when they arise. Human resource management is proactive, anticipating, planning and advancing continuously.
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4. Personnel management is the exclusive responsibility of the personnel department. Human resource management is a concern for all managers in the organization and aims at developing the capabilities of all line managers to carry out the personnel functions. 5. The scope of personnel management is relatively narrow with a focus on administering people. The scope of human resource management views the organization as a whole and lays emphasis on building a dynamic culture. 6. Important motivators in personnel management are compensation, rewards, job simplification and so on. Human resource management considers work groups, challenges and creativity on the job as motivators. 7. In personnel management improved satisfaction is considered to be the cause for improved performance but in human resource management it is the other way round (performance is the cause and satisfaction is the result).

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Human Resource Management and Its Function in Government Sector

In every departmental sectors of the Malaysia government, human resource management is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Organizations responsible of handling and managing human resources for the government such as Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA), Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia (SPA) and Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri (SPAN) deals with issues related to public servants such as compensation, wellness, hiring, benefits, performance employee management, motivation, organization development, safety, communication,

administration, and training. The core roles of human resource management for government sectors are grouped below into categories: 1. Planning and Organizing for Work, People and Human Resource Management a) Develop Human Resource plans and strategies aligned to the organization’s strategic direction and business (service) strategy. b) Provide tools and tactics to enhance execution of these strategies c) Integrate human resource management with current and pending legislation and socio-political changes. d) Integrate human resource management with general organizational management. e) Manage the interface between human resource management processes and systems. f) Formulate and communicate human resource management policies. public issues. h) Scan the environment (both international and national) and identify emerging trends that will affect the organization and the management of people therein. i) j) Assess the long-term impact of short-term decisions on people. Express (embody) the philosophy and values regarding people management in the organization. g) Act as the conscience of employer (representative of the government) with respect to

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2. Organizational design a) Analyze work processes and recommend improvements where necessary. b) Recommend options for organizational design and structure. 3. Change management a) Advise the government on implications of change for government employees. b) Co-ordinate & facilitate the change process. c) Facilitate changed relationships. d) Deliberate and proactive management of the changing environment and its implications for work and the organization. 4. People acquisition and development a) Deals with staffing in government departments b) Determine long-term human resource needs. c) Assess current resources. d) Identify areas of need. e) Determining requirements of jobs f) Appoint a representative committee with the task of conducting the job analysis. g) Decide on the use of job analysis information. h) Decide on the sources of job analysis information. i) j) Decide on the method for job analysis. Review the information, based on the outcomes of the job analysis, write job descriptions and job specifications k) Recruitment of staff for the organization l) Develop & implement recruiting strategy bearing in mind relevant legislation. m) Decide whether recruitment will take place externally or internally. n) Select methods of the recruitment (for example job posting, personnel agencies & advertising) o) Engage in recruitment.

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5. Selection of human resources a) Develop and implement selection strategy in line with relevant legislation. b) Select appropriate tools for selection. c) Validate selection tools in line with legislation. d) Provide selection short list for line management to make a decision. e) Placement of staff f) Place or transferring staff in ways that will have the potential to benefit both organization and employee g) Induction and orientation h) Act as a facilitator for induction and orientation of new employees 6. Management of a typical employment situations a) Management of termination b) Advise management regarding the strategic implications of terminating employment relationships. c) Conduct exit interviews. d) Develop a plan to replace competence lost. e) Analysis of staff turnover and advice management on pending problems and corrective action. 7. Training & development a) Develop a training & development strategy according to the requirements of legislation and with the improvement of productivity and delivery as outcome. b) Conduct a training needs-assessment including the assessment of prior learning and write training & development objectives based on the outcome thereof. c) Conduct training & development. d) Evaluate training & development with regard to the return on investment. e) Promote training & development in the organization. 8. Career management a) Design and implement a career management program aimed at integrating individual aspirations and organizational needs & realities. b) Manage career-related issues in the organization for example women, affirmative action and management of diversity with attention to legislation in this regards. c) Manage career-related issues surrounding organizational restructuring, downsizing and outplacement including provision of support.
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9. Performance management a) Design and implement a performance management system linked to relevant human resource management systems. b) Assess performance. c) Use outcome of performance assessment as the basis for decision-making. d) Management of individual as well as collective labor (organizational) performance. 10. Industrial/union relations a) Develop and communicate industrial relations policies and procedures in line with legislation. b) Involvement in grievance and disciplinary hearings c) Lead negotiations (where necessary). d) Implement termination procedures e) Assessment and management of organizational climate and employee relations f) Liaison with unions g) Implementation of outcomes of collective bargaining and negotiation

11. Administration of policies , programs and practices a) Compensation management b) Develop compensation strategies and policies in line with legislation and the organization’s business strategy. c) Attach meaningful monetary values to posts in the organization ensuring that the organization’s compensation is in line with market forces. d) Develop appropriate compensation systems for the organization. 12. Information management a) Provide current information regarding employees to be used in the decision-making process and measurement of human resource management’s contribution to the organization. b) Advise management regarding trends emerging from the data. c) Conduct survey and research with the aim of solving problems in the organization. 13. Administrative management a) Provide integrated human resource management and administration that is speedy and cost effective to receiver & administrator. b) Integrated employee data management
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14. Financial management a) Manage the budget for training and development, compensation, pension and employment fund/equity (EPF). b) Add value to the organization by demonstrating a sound understanding of the complexity of business. c) Measure the financial impact of human resource systems. As Malaysia aims to be a fully developed country before year 2020, public administration in Malaysia has gone from the traditional hire and fire role to a strategic partner and effective instruments to the people. The job of human resource management, as is the job of all government departments, is to ensure that the business gets the most out of its employees. Another way to put this is that the human resource management needs to provide a high return on the business's investment in its people. These changes have been seen sweeping over in public servant ways of thinking and attitude for the past 10 years with regards to maximize output from government employees by instituting various schemes and policies. The following are some of the human resources functions handled by the JPA, SPA and SPAN to improve government machinery and public servant working environment: 1. Compensation and rewards The Malaysia government realizes that human resources are responsible for tying incentives and rewards to certain positions and roles in order to maximize performance levels. This is a strategic thinking task because it affects every single person in the organization and has to be planned separately for each position, depending on level, department and goals. Some jobs need to be more goals driven, such as sales so salary can be basic but benefits can form the bulk of the remuneration, leading to more incentive to work effectively and better service to the people. 2. Performance management Regular, balanced and systematic appraisals must be administered consistently in order to evaluate the performance of each individual in the government organization. This allows human resources managers (the head of department) to pinpoint the weaknesses of an individual's work style and the strengths. They can then share this information with the employee in order to affect a change in performance. This in turn will lead to more productivity and potentially better returns on human investment.

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3. Point of contact and recruitment The human resource personnel form the point of contact for an employee with any type of difficulty or query about their remuneration or other aspects of employment with the business. It is essential for someone to be available to answer questions and provide guidance. This communicates to the employee that the business cares about his or her concerns and is available to address them. Another important task handled by the human resource function is the selection and retention of employees. If the right type of employees does not enter the organization, its days are numbered, because people drive almost any type of organization towards success. 4. Employee expectations The Malaysian government believes that human resources function fulfills a very important 'soft skill', unspoken task that of balancing employee expectations and the organization's expectations. Both need to be addressed and aligned for a business to be successful and one with satisfied employees. Only a content and motivated employee will deliver good work, so it is the job of human resources to keep track of the expectations of the employee and those of the organization to ensure both are met simultaneously.

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Conclusion

Managing a successful organization involves acquiring, developing and maintaining a wide range of resources. These resources include materials, buildings, land, equipment, technology and, crucially, people. Any organization needs good employees who have the right skills to achieve the company’s aims and objectives. Many factors are driving changes in organizations today including the use of technology, globalization, and changes in workforce demographics, eliminating the bureaucracies in organizational structures, and balancing work-family issues. Understanding the potential of an organization’s resources and optimizing the output of such resources given the changes, provides the impetus for human resource management of being the key source of creating the competitive advantage for the organization. In government sector, human resource management is the business function that focuses on the people aspects of an organization. It ensures the efficient management of people in the business. It is responsible for ensuring that an organization has the right people to deliver its overall business plan.

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REFERENCE Barney, J.B. (1995). Looking Inside for Competitive Advantage. Academy of Management Executive, 9, 49-61. Brewster, C. and Larson, H.H. (1993), ‘Human resource management in Europe - evidence from ten countries? In European Developments in Human Resource Management, Ed. A. Hegewich & C. Brewster, London: Kogan Page Buyens, D. and de Vos, A. (1999), The added value of the HR department? In International HRM - contemporary issues in Europe, Ed. C. Brewster & H. Harris, London: Routledge Hilary Harris, Chris Brewster, Paul Sparrow (2003) International Human Resource Management London: CIPD Publishing Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2003). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill. Official web site of Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia (JPA) at www.jpa.gov.my. Retrieved on 3 June 2009 P. C. Tripathi (2002), Human Resources Development, Sultan Chand & Sons: Delhi Storey, J. (1992), Developments in the Management of Human Resources, Oxford: Blackwell

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