HRM act as the major factor

Introduction:

Planning Human Resources is the part of Human Resource management process. In general, human resource management is the management of people to achieve individual behaviour and performance that will enhance and encourages an organization's effectiveness. At present, HRM act as the major factor differentiating between successful and unsuccessful organization which is valued than technology or finance for reaching the competitive advantage. It should be emphasised again that in the modern-day organisation people are its most valuable resource.

Source: http://moodle.bl.rdi.co.uk/file.php/335/printer_friendly.htm [accessed 13.01.2010]

In depth, human resource management is defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization's most valued assets- the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the attainment of its objective. (Armstrong, 2006)

HRM process mainly divided into five areas and these all are related to performance in HRM that focus on corporate strategy for a company:

  • Planning
  • Staffing
  • Development and evaluation
  • Compensation
  • Maintaining effective work-force relations

According to HRM process, planning is the first step of the process. Planning Human Resources is forecasting of human resource needs and the projected matching of individuals with expected vacancies which is related to new technological emerging, volume of business likely next 5-10 years and the turnover rate and possibility of avoidance if any. (http://moodle.bl.rdi.co.uk/file.php/335/01_03_01.pdf )

Similarly, in the function of HRM planning is coming first. HRM functions are:

  1. Human resource management planning
  2. Recruitment and selection
  3. Training and development
  4. Payroll administration
  5. Reward management
  6. Employee record and personal policies
  7. Discipline maintaining
  8. Absence management
  9. Employee safety and work environment

In Planning Human Resources, plan for people in organisations involves to achieve the following things:

  • The right people
  • In the right numbers
  • ? With the right knowledge, skills and experience
  • In the right jobs
  • In the right place
  • At the right time
  • At the right cost

These messages emphasise the need for quality in human resources - the right knowledge, skills and experience. In other words, organisations seek to build core competencies and organisational capabilities that are aligned to their strategy. In today's world of global business 'in the right time, at the right place' is also vital. Global corporations seek to build a flexible and mobile workforce, as well as a workforce, which when geographically distributed, is able to work collaboratively using new technology.

Source:http://moodle.bl.rdi.co.uk/file.php/335/printer_friendly.htm[accessed 13.01.2010]

Figure shows the stages in the HR planning process. Crucial in this process is the matching of existing resources (stage 1) against projections of future resource requirements (stage 2). This is not just matching of numbers but careful matching of resource profiles, and the questioning of whether strategic reshaping of skills is required to meet the resource needs of the future.

According to the assignment task it is better to go through that after getting the brief idea about human resource.

Task One:

One thing should be clear that HRM is the basis of management activity, but it is not the basis of business activity. Human Resource Planning is mainly known as 'manpower planning' and this is related with planning and controlling the both quantity and quality of employees of an organization. For developing any organization, there should have some plan, strategy, structure, proper utilize of technological advantage and to do this effectively the HR specialist distributing the job from top to bottom level management. Planning HR is totally depend on it right strategy and this is called corporate strategic planning. The main strategy is to plan for meeting broad goals such as profitability, quality and quantity. Planning strategy is mainly making for three levels, i.e.

  • Organization
  • Business unit
  • Department

According to the different level, it is clear that different level managers are working together for a company and the Strategy is the company's long-term plan for how it will balance by SWOT analyzing which includes its internal strengths and weaknesses with its external opportunities and threats to maintain a competitive advantage in the business. Strategic planning is mainly depending on its Human Resource Planning role. According to Banfield and Kay (2008), the HR professionals are taking the challenges and issues that would have been faced with:

  • How many people do we want?
  • When do we need them?
  • What skills and competences do they need to have?
  • Where can we found them?
  • What is it going to cost us to employ them?
  • How we can ensure that we have neither too many nor few in relation to construction or production requirements?
  • How can we reduce our labour force in ways that reflect social and legal norms, and maintain our reputation as an employer, ensure that labour costs stay within budget, but also maintain the organization's commitment
    to the welfare of its employees?

Before go through the senior manager role, it is better to getting some idea about HRM and Planning roles:

  • Health and safety at work.
  • Linking with organisational or corporate strategy
  • job analysis
  • demand forecasting
  • HR recruitment
  • Employee development
  • Managing employee relations
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Redundancy

By knowing the HRP roles, it is easier to understand the role of senior managers. The role of senior managers in developing an organisation's overall Human Resource Strategy is very effective for an organization which are:

  1. Based on organization's objectives: The senior managers go through the organization's basic objectives and strategic aims. Senior managers are mainly HR specialist. When expansion of plans is required, they can
    upgrade the skills by combination of technological advantages.
  2. Flexible: The senior manager needs to change in order to ensure that organizational objectives are met in the event of unseen demand or change.
  3. Built-in contingencies: There may aspect of plan for the manager that allow for resource to be diverted elsewhere in the event of unplanned events.
  4. Examine whether or not it truly adds value. Sometimes, an increased number of staff committee meetings with the intension of improving communications may actually escalate the number of complaints and encourage
    more time away from productive work.
  5. Regularity reviewed: Objective set early in the year may no longer be relevant as the year progresses.
  6. Timeline identified: Plan should include a timeframe over which activity will be completed.
  7. Priorities identified: Senior manager are trying to follow aspect of HR plan that are more important than others and activity may be prioritized, particularly if there are seasonal demands.
  8. Resource identified: Different levels of HR support may be required for different aspects of the plan and senior managers are maintaining that and they tried to take account of the availability of staff to support activity.
  9. Acknowledges reactive requirements: Allowing time for the day-to-day reactive issues is just as important and often more valued. A prompt reaction to an unexpected challenge can stop problems from quickly escalating
    further and effective plans acknowledge this valuable role.

From the above discussion, it is clear about the role and reasonability of senior managers is very effective for developing organization's HR planning and strategies.

Task Two:

Focuses on the line manager as a key stakeholder in the human resource development process. Considers the general trend towards devolvement of human resource activities to line specialists. Examines issues involved in devolving training and development to the line, with specific emphasis on the potential difficulties. Recent empirical evidence is represented. Concludes that the shape of things to come, at least for the foreseeable future, will be a sharing of responsibilities between the specialist and the line. (Heraty and Morley, 1995).

Line managers are very important for any organizations and they are always doing a great job for the company by implication and reduce the stress. If any problem come in a company, that are faced by them at first then they go through the top management. There are various barriers in line management. Stress is the main barrier for the line manager. It mentally shocked the employees and company's achievement is not going on properly. The major barriers which may prevent line manager becoming more involved in HRP&M are as follows:

  • Lack of accountable leadership
  • Lack of making multi skilled team
  • Lack of identification with employer goal
  • Problems of work overload
  • Limited investment in training and development
  • Lack of knowledge about modern technology
  • Lack of experience
  • Avoiding of taking responsibility
  • Limitation of employee security
  • Lack of job satisfaction
  • Failure to apply organizational rules
  • Lack of proper HR policy

In the summary of Marchington and Wilkinson (2005), ''In HR, management is act as sharing common interests and prospective. The real thing is, there may be many conflict between the prospective held by HR specialists and the line managers. In practice operational pressures may take priority over HR considerations and directives from HR specialists tend to have less force than those coming from a production director. It helps to explain why line managers are often hostile to rules that emanate from the HR specialists who are often castigated for not 'living in the real world'. Thus , the HR policy that appears well formulated, embodies the basic rules of good management practice and ensures uniformity and consistency may appear very differently when viewed from the position of the line manager. Under this situation, HR specialists need to be able to persuade line managers that procedures are valuable tools rather than the confidential of good practice. Procedures therefore have to be a role which will be giving to the line managers a clear perspective on the direction in which the organization is moving, its objectives, and the general standards applied in relation to all aspects of the employment relationship. While line managers may not have the time to become experts in all these should know the broad parameters of actions, as well as where and when to look for advice. HR specialists clearly play a key role both in providing information and acting as a sounding board''. From this statement, it's giving the brief suggestion in HR planning practice for involvement of the line manager.

In other way, by following the proper model is the best way to prevent the barriers and involve not only the line manager, but also the all level of manager are involve in a whole system in real life business practice. Any framework and model of HRM of a company emphasises on the following criteria:

  • reach in management
  • behavioural management
  • contingency
  • team management

In Fomburn, Tichy and Devanna 1984 model of human resources management, the main objective is to emphasize the interrelatedness and the coherence of HRM activities. Also, this model is a one-way model. In this model contains selection, appraisal, development and rewards aim to increase organizational performance.

Source: Adapted from Fomburn et a l. (1984)

When this model created, it was working for the organization's re-organizing . This model was very useful for any company for their HRM strategies; specially on their selection stage and so prescriptive as well. It was also expresses the coherence of internal HR policies and the importance of 'matching' them to external business strategy. But, it has some problem that is it ignores stakeholder's interests, situational factors and notion of strategic choice. Also, this model suggests only internal matters. So, this model is not suitable for the modern competitive market. After that, a model come with all solution i.e Harvard model. The Harvard Model is very suitable for company's HRP strategies and very effective for overcoming the barriers inpractice and better chance to involvement.

THE HARVARD MODEL

Source: Beer et al (1984)

It is known to all that The Harvard Business School generated one of the most influenced model of HRM. In the model, employee interpreted as resource. Employees are significant stakeholders in an organization. They have their own needs, involve with other groups such as shareholders and customers.

The Harvard model outlines four HR policy areas which made HR director to take this model to make sure the proper involvement of the line manager:

  1. Human resource flows - recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, appraisal and assessment, promotion, termination, etc.
  2. Reward systems - pay systems, motivation, etc.
  3. Employee influence - delegated levels of authority, responsibility, power
  4. Work systems - define/design the structure of work and alignment.

Also, by taking the HR policy of Harvard Model, The company AN achieved the four important but invisible resources; such as

  • Commitment
  • Congruence
  • Competence
  • Cost effectiveness of people.

To continuing and perfect the HR management can include a good motivation system and for this reason they can follow the most recent & powerful employee motivation model which is created by Nitin Nohria, Boris Groysberg and Linda-Eling Lee. (Harvard Business Review/July-August 2008)

In the model, the writer's intention for getting people to do their best work. Firstly, the four drives that underlie motivation that is drive acquire, drive to bond, drive to comprehend and drive to defend. Secondly, the organizational lever of motivation which is includes the reward systems, culture, job design and performance-management & resource-allocation process. Thirdly, the role of the direct manager.

In HRM& P strategy, the line managers also become more effective in practice by following some HRM strategy theory which is preventing the barriers as well. There are three HRM strategy theories:

  1. Contingency perspective: In contingency perspective, organizations will be most successful when strategies 'fit' environments and successful when HR strategies 'fit' organizational strategies. Here, firms should tailor HR
    activities.
  2. Best practices approaches: In this theory, some practices work better than others and some practices more progressive than others(e.g. paid family leave). Also, the organizations imitate HRM leaders.
  3. Resource-Based Approach: This is a method of invent unique practices or combinations of practices. It also, imitates successful practice in other companies and tailor to any company and integrate it with that company's
    systems.

Task Three:

There are so many risks inherent in line-managers becoming more involved in HRP&M on the aspect of employment law. The HR policy make sure all employees legal rights and if the company follows the rule and regulation there is no problem, if the line manager more involved in Human Resource planning and management strategy. According to the company's mission and vision, it gives clear messages to every manager on how employees are to be treated. When the whole policies have been distinct, HR specialist can then write definite actions that will support all the employees to work to achieve the organizational goal.

According to Armstrong (2006), there are seven concepts which are treated as HR policy which are as follows:

1) Equity: It consist of some three factors which make sure the employees equal opportunity.

  • Are men and women treated equally?
  • Is everyone paid an equal amount for doing the same work?
  • Are people protected from unfair decisions taken by a manager?

2) Consideration: In a particular situation of a employee (e.g. having a family, being disabled, etc.) considered when decisions are made about their future prospects, wages, and other related factors.

3) Organisational learning: In this concept it state that in what ways are the learning and development needs of individual employees to be satisfied and How will they be balanced with the learning and development needs of the organisation?

4) Performance through people: It relates to attitudes such as performance management, constant development, generous and effective feedback, defining and supportive reciprocal expectations.

5) Work-life balance: Organisations can help their employees by enabling them to find a suitable work-life balance between their work and personal commitments.

6) Quality of working life: This policy can be enhanced by swelling employee's sense of satisfaction at work place. E.g. through increasing the involvement of line manager at work place i.e. by giving the independence and responsibility and by reducing deadliness and so on.

7) Working conditions: The working conditions practiced by employees must be safe and healthy, and should as far as is achievable, it will be more pleasant.

In HR strategy, line manger involvement will be more fruitful and it will be more risk inherent when the company follows the unauthorized perception. While the HR specialist recognized that discrimination is an everyday feature of employment, not based on justifiable, merit based needs of an organization, are unacceptable, offensive and potentially damaging towards those who are disadvantaged by such treatment. In this case they are follws the following act:

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Part-time Workers Regulations 2002
  • Addendum to Sex Discrimination Act 1999
  • Employment Equality( Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
  • Employment Equality( Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • Employment Equality( Age) Regulations 2006

In HR policy, line manager become more effective when the company can make sure about the equal pay system. According to Banfield and Kay (2008), there are nine recommendations to promote equal opportunities. Such as;

  • Policy
  • Action plan
  • Communication
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Training and development
  • Promotion
  • Corrective action
  • Equal pay
  • Monitor

In the words of Banfield and Kay (2008), 'Breaches of health and safety legislation can involve both criminal and civil liability. Unlike breaches of employment law, which are usually addressed through employment tribunals, breaches of health and safety legislation are usually addressed with a chain for damages through the civil courts (such as the county or high courts)'. This statement also, make sure the employee of a company are so considerable Also, the line manger have to giving the harassment free working environment which will reduce the risk inherent to involve then in the HRP&M strategy.

Managing disciplinary and grievance also reduce the risk inherent of line manager involvement in HRP&M. The management of HR for discipline and grievance focuses highly on their company agenda. The main problem is coming from employee misconduct and the following are the major factors:

  • Deficiencies and failing on the part of the individual
  • External pressures and circumstances that have a temporary effect on individual performance and behaviour
  • Management style and practice
  • The working environment
  • Personal relationship
  • Changes in people's employment status and security
  • Misunderstanding and genuine mistakes
  • Changes in standards, exceptions and social norms, resulting in behaviour that was previously considered acceptable becoming unacceptable.

From the above factors the HR specialists have to make regarding those misconduct which will be very efficient for line manger involvement in a company.

Through the discussion of task three, it clear that, how risk inherent the line manager involvement in HRP&M in aspect of employment law.

Task four:

Today's business world is running on globalization and naturally day-by-day upgraded modern technological development assist the process of facilitating greater line-manager involvement in HRP&M.

According to Ulrich (quoted in Armstrong p. 104) considers that multinationals increase their chance of success by balancing the need to integrate globally with the need to respond to local conditions and adopt local activities. Ulrich suggests six capabilities:

  1. Distinguishing between core activities and non-core activities.
  2. Achieving consistency while allowing flexibility.
  3. Building global brand equity while honouring local customs.
  4. Obtaining leverage (bigger is better) while achieving focus (smaller is better).
  5. Sharing learning and creating new knowledge.
  6. Engendering a global perspective while ensuring local accountability.

From the above capabilities it is clear that to stay in competition, it really important to involve the all employee to introduce with each every kind of modern technology, so that they become more effective.

To make the involvement of line manager in a HRP&M strategy, the HR expert need to train then two very effective issues. Firstly, the cultural concerns that they are likely to face and secondly, the particular technical, functional and strategic elements that relate to their role.

In HR development is very effective, if the line manger develop personally that will make faster using the technological development and the involvement of line manager for a organization will very effective.

The personal development of line manager consists of a number of stages:

  1. Evaluate the present situation, for example using the appraisal meeting from the performance management process.
  2. Set goals for development. The employee may decide to gain a specific qualification, learn a specific skill, and so on.
  3. Prepare an action plan. What learning is needed? When and how will it be carried out?
  4. Implement the action plan. Carry out the learning.
  5. Evaluate progress. Re-assess knowledge and skills and plan further learning as necessary.

According to Research Development International (RDI) Achieve (2009), the term e-HR (or 'virtual environment HR') is used for many different approaches to using computer technology. Such as:

  1. publicising vacancies through the company's website or web-based recruitment agencies
  2. encouraging recruits to apply for posts on line
  3. creating e-learning training courses that can be easily updated
  4. using the Web to give learners up-to-date information during training courses
  5. recording and processing HR data on spread sheets and databases
  6. Using Human Resource Information Systems (HRISs) to analyse human resource supply and demand, and forecast future requirements.

In this virtual environment of HR mainly emphasis on three primary uses i.e. data collection and analysis; recruitment; and e-learning. In general it can be said that, in a company Human Resource Information Systems are using to utilize the e-HR system. Human Resource Information Systems (HRISs) use computer technology and sophisticated statistics to store and analyse HR data. For example they can analyse human resource supply and demand and can give accurate forecasts.

So, it is very effective for all level of management for involving in an organization's strategy. By technological development the line manager can access into the any supportive information and getting the updated version of any information. Also, the information's are relevant.

From the above discussion it is understandable that how technological developments can assist the process of facilitating greater line-manager involvement in HRP&M.

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