Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What is Human Resources Management?

Human Resources Management (HRM) is concerned with the “people” dimension in management. Since every organization is made up of people, acquiring their services, developing their skills, motivating them to high levels of performance, and ensuring that they continue to maintain their commitment to the organization are essential to achieving organizational objectives. This is true regardless of the type of organization – Government, Business, Education, Health, Recreation, or social action. Getting and keeping good people is critical to the success of every organization, whether profit or nonprofit, public or private.

Those organizations that are able to acquire, develop, stimulate, and keep outstanding workers will be both effective (able to achieve their goals) and efficient (expending the least amount of resources necessary). Those organizations that are ineffective or inefficient risk the hazards of stagnating or going out of business. Survival of an organization requires competent managers and workers coordinating their efforts toward an ultimate goal. While successful coordination cannot guarantee success, organizations that are unsuccessful in getting such coordination from managers and workers will ultimately fail!

To look at HRM more specifically, we suggest that it is a process consisting of following four functions:

Acquisition
Development

Motivation and Maintenance of Human Resources

In less academic terms, we might describe these four functions as getting people, preparing them, activating them and keeping them.

Acquisition Function:

The acquisition function begins with planning. Relative to Human Resources requirements, we need to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. This includes the estimating of demands and supplies of labor. Acquisition also includes the recruitment, selection, and socialization of employees.

Development Function:
The development function can be viewed along three dimensions. This first is employee training, which emphasizes skill development and the changing of attitudes among workers. The second is management development, which concerns itself primarily with knowledge acquisition and the enhancement of an executive’s conceptual abilities. The third is career development, which is the continual effort to match long-term individual and organizational needs.

Motivation Function:
The motivation function begins with the recognition that individuals are quique and that motivation techniques must reflect the needs of each individual. Within the motivation function, alienation, job satisfaction, performance appraisal, behavioral and structural techniques for stimulating worker performance, the importance of linking rewards to performance, compensation and benefits administration, and how to handle problem employees are reviewed.

Maintenance Function:
The final function is maintenance. In contrast to the motivation function, which attempts to stimulate performance, the maintenance function is concerned with providing those working conditions that employees believe are necessary in order to maintain their commitment to the organization.
Within the confines of the four functions – Acquisition, Development, Motivation, and Maintenance – many changes have occurred over the years. What once was merely an activity to find a warm body to fill a vacancy has become a sophisticated process of finding, developing and retaining the best –qualified person for the job. But this metamorphosis did not occur overnight. It is the result of many changes in management thought, society, and the workers themselves.

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