IntroductionHuman ResourceManagement (HRM) is a characteristic of organisational management that focuseson the management of personnel. HRM is used to establish structures devised for the management of peoplewithin an organization. It focuses mainly on management needs rather thanemployee needs and concentrates on the provision and deployment of employees.
It is considered to be a very important feature of people management based onthe theory that human resources, if implemented efficiently and effectivelycould determine the success of an organisation. Many organisations have faileddue to the fact that the importance of HRM was not recognised. An organisationneeds to be competitive and employing the right people to ensure that the organisationsgoals are achieved is imperative to its success. HRM is aimed at recruitingcapable, adaptable and dedicated people, managing and rewarding theirperformance and developing key competencies (Cole & Kelly, 2011). HRM needsto be part of an organisations strategic plan to ensure that objectives are metnot only in the short term but also in in the long term. Core HRM Activities There are a number ofcore functions of HRM that must be looked at to understand its concept and howit contributes to the overall success of an organisation in the competitivemarket. The core functions ofHRM in an organisation are;· Strategic role, for HRM to help anorganisation to set their long and short term goals that will be included inthe strategic plan.
To set out HRM plans that will integrate with theorganisations main objectives and goals. An example of this can be seen in theHealth Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan 2017 where it states thatone of their main goals within the organisation in relation to their HRM policyis “we will engage, develop and value ourworkforce to deliver the best possible care and services to the people whodepend on them”. · Employee resourcing, which covers a widerange of functions including planning, recruitment and selection.
This functionis essential within the HSE as specialists such as analysts and technologyexperts are being brought on board to make sure we keep up to date with a fastpaced changing society. · Employee development, to ensure that staffare given training and opportunities to develop. Under workplace initiativeswithin the HSE, employees can be supported to undertake education opportunitiese.g.
degree to help develop their roles within the organisation etc. · Pay and Reward management, such asincrements within the HSE or financial rewards or health benefits in privateorganisations.· Employee Relations, which covers HRMactivities such as communications, dealing with Trade Unions and employeewelfare.· Administration, looking after employeerecords, ensuring employment policies and practices are adhered to and alsodata protection.
The benefits of HRMwithin an organisation can be seen on a number of different levels. For theemployee it’s about reaching their maximum potential while making a commitmentto the organisation. For the organisation there are numerous benefits, theyhave a skilled and motivated workforce, who are high achievers and strive toensure the organisation is successful. This workforce will also aim to meet theorganisations objectives set out in the strategic plan.
Factors impacting HRM approach.There are a number ofdifferent factors which influence organisations in their approach to HRMactivities. There are internal as well as external factors which can be examinedto access their impact on an organisation. 1) EnvironmentalFactors;An organisation needsto decide the importance of including HRM in their strategic plan. If it isincluded each employee needs to accept that it is vital to the success of thecompany. If the company is not performing well or there is a downturn in theeconomy this will constrict the HRM function in utilising its full capacity.
For example, if the budget is not there it will be hard to hire the specialistsrequired to fill certain functions.The external factor isoften out of the control of an organisation. PESTLE analysis (political, economic, socio-cultural,technological, legal and environmental) describes a support structure of environmentalscanning, which is a component of strategic management. It is part ofan external analysis conducted by an organisation which examines the differentmacro-environmental factors to be taken into consideration when considering theimpact each of these factors would have on the organisation. It is a strategictool for understanding market growth or decline, business position and potential.In the public sector such as the HSE, implications of e.
g. political decisionsand policies could have a huge impact on HRM. The recent moratorium onemploying or recruiting Civil and Public sector staff was seen as detrimentalto the efficient day to day running of all services.
Since the moratorium endedstrategic planning of HRM is prevalent in the current HSE National Service Plan2017 and is seen as an important factor in achieving the organisationsobjectives and goals.There are a number ofinternal factors that will also determine the different approaches to HRMwithin an organisation. The factors to be examined are;· Theorganisations structure and size.
Organisations need adefined and systematic system or structure through which they can communicatewith each other and coordinate their efforts. The defined relationships in anorganization, namely people, tasks, structure, information and controlprocesses – is known as organization structure. Organisation structure is thesystematic arrangement of people working for the organisation in order toachieve objectives and goals. The type of organisation structure will bedetermined by the size of your organisation and consideration also has to begiven to a growing organisation and if the structure needs to changeaccordingly to reflect this. · Theprofile of your workforce.It isvery important to know your employees within your organisation, to know the demographicof your existing workforce. To understand what makes them “tick”, if they areskilled or unskilled, if they need training or development opportunities.
It isimportant to know their strengths and how to manage any weaknesses you couldencounter. It is also very important when recruiting new people into theorganisation to know exactly what sort of person you need to get the job done. Organisations need tocompete for talented employees. It is important to understand that potentialemployees have differing expectations and organisations need to think aboutwhat will attract job seekers to the workplace. Organisations need to be cleverin the way they advertise job opportunities to encourage and entice the bestpeople to fulfil their job specifications and ultimately the organisationsobjectives. · EstablishedHuman Resource practices.Established Human Resources (HR) practices offer a more open,flexible and considerate management style so that staff will be motivated, feelsupported and valued.
Good HRM practices are instrumental in helping achievethe organisations objectives and enhance productivity. · Culturewithin an Organisation.The culture that exists within your organisation can alsogreatly affect the efficient function of HRM.
Organizational culture is a system of sharedassumptions, values and beliefs, which will guide how people behave in organizations. These shared valueshave a strong impact on the employees in an organization andsets the direction in how they act and perform their jobs. For example, a poorwork ethic in a certain departments can have a detrimental effect on theoverall productivity in this area. It can lead to problems with new staff whooften feel they have to “follow the pack”. It can be hard to motivate thiscohort of staff as often they have been in the same job doing the same thingfor a long number of years and they do not like change or new polices orpractices.2) Strategic Choice;Strategic Choice describesthe role that senior managers or leading groups play in influencing anorganization through making choices and decisions which will impact on how theyview the importance or not of the HRM function when formulating the strategicplan. Senior managers can have the power to distribute resources as they seefit often serving their own ends. If they view the HRM function as an integralcog in the success of the organisation, this will influence and impact on HRMdecisions and polices throughout the organisation.
More importantly HRM willinfluence the strategic plan thus setting goals and objectives and be on anequal level with the other departments within the organisation. 3) Managerial valuesand ideology:There are two styles ofmanagement to examine when considering the factors which impact the HRMapproach within an organisation. There is the Unitarist manager who assumesthat everyone in an organization is a member of a team with common goals andobjectives. It illustrates a central theme of HRM, that an organization’semployees, whether managers or lower-level employees, should share the sameobjectives and work together amicably.
From this perspective, conflictingobjectives are seen as negative and can be debilitating. Pluralist managersfocus on control and management over employees rather than motivation (IPANotes, 2017). Pluralist managers believe that the way to achieve goodindustrial relations is to acknowledge that the various groups of employeeshave different requirements and demands. It is important for the managementthat each employee has a voice or opinion and that compromises are made. Theorganisation does not expect the loyalty of their employees where unitarismworks on the concept that everyone in the organisation is a family. Impactof an Organisations Size on the HRM Approach.There are twodifferent approaches to look at when considering how an organisations sizeimpacts on HRM, recognising that each organisation small or large has theirown unique needs. Basic objectives and activities will remain the same in bothorganisations.
One of the clear differences that define smaller and largeorganisations is the bureaucratic nature of the larger business aligned with amore hierarchical structure. Due to the amount of employees within alarge company, they are naturally more hierarchical. Often this leads to teamsworking in silos, or without fully understanding what the rest of the organisationdoes. This structure allows for employees to specialise in their job, asanything that falls out with their remit will often come under the remit ofanother department.
In a smaller company, due to the flatnature of the management team, it is easier to interact with decision makers asthey will probably be within a few feet of you. HRis very important in small organisations because of the significant impact oneor a few employees can have on the organisation. There will always be a need todevelop a fairly comprehensive human resources program, using HR strategic planningtechniques and building those techniques and strategies into your overallplan.
Some of the key activities will include recruitment, training and development,performance management and administrative support. Line managers will also playa significant part in the HRM function as often in smaller organisations it istheir responsibility to deal with all matters that relate to HR and will be an employee’sfirst point of contact for queries. The payroll will be a smaller organisationslargest costs and it is important that effective usage of HR can significantlyincrease performance and profitability (IPA, 2017). Normally there is no HRspecialist needed due to the small number of employees. It is the responsibilityof the organisation to ensure they provide adequate training and encourage developmentfor their existing employees. Recruitmentis very important in small organisations because poor selection can have a seriouseffect on the organisation. Larger Organisations andthe complexity of these organisations will have higher levels of specializationand formalization of HRM.
They will have a wide and multifaceted HRM policiesand procedures that all employees must adhere to. Formalization is the extentto which an organization’s policies, procedures and rules are written and accuratelyarticulated. Formalized structures are those in which there are many writtenrules and regulations e.g. Employee Handbooks.
These structures control employeebehaviour so that employees have little autonomy. An advantage of formalizationis that the organisation can expect certain behaviours from employees. Employeesrespond to problems in a similar way across the organization and can refer totheir handbooks to see what the procedures are that they must follow.
Anotherfunction of HRM seen in large organisations is the employment of a specialist. TheHR specialist assesses the employment needs of the organisation and tries tomeet them. The specialist will examine the strategic plan and see what staffinggoals need to be met.
It is the responsibility of the specialist to get theright person for the job.