BE433-Human Resource Management . Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, Group HR Director at BBC, argues:
BE433-Human Resource Management. We are here in HR as an integral part of the BBC, providing support and services to enable the contributions of our people to be maximised. No matter what the business, for HR to function with integrity and impact, you have to have strong operational foundations in place and an HR team willing to fully commit to the organisation and to working together’ (Hughes-D’Aeth, 2019).
How far do you agree with this assessment of the role of HRM?
In answering this question, which should take the form of a properly structured short essay, you should:
• provide evidence of engagement with relevant sources, concepts and knowledge base acquired during the first part of the module – including your reading and understanding of the nature of strategic HRM;
• discuss the key characteristics of the role of HRM emerging from her view (e.g. relation between strategy and HRM; approach in managing employees)
• rely on illustrative examples and quotes from the full interview with Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth (https://www.thehrdirector.com/hr-interviews/valerie-hughesdaeth/). BE433-Human Resource Management
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT-;KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
Human resource management is concerned with the development of both individuals and the organization in which they operate. HRM, then, is engaged not only in securing and developing the talents of individual workers, but also in implementing programs that enhance communication and cooperation between those individual workers in order to nurture organizational development.
The primary responsibilities associated with human resource management include: job analysis and staffing, organization and utilization of work force, measurement and appraisal of work force performance, implementation of reward systems for employees, professional development of workers, and maintenance of work force.
Job analysis consists of determining-;often with the help of other company areas-;the nature and responsibilities of various employment positions. This can encompass determination of the skills and experiences necessary to adequately perform in a position, identification of job and industry trends, and anticipation of future employment levels and skill requirements. “Job analysis is the cornerstone of HRM practice because it provides valid information about jobs that is used to hire and promote people, establish wages, determine training needs, and make other important HRM decisions,” stated Thomas S. Bateman and Carl P. Zeithaml in Management: Function and Strategy. Staffing, meanwhile, is the actual process of managing the flow of personnel into, within (through transfers and promotions), and out of an organization. Once the recruiting part of the staffing process has been completed, selection is accomplished through job postings, interviews, reference checks, testing, and other tools.
Organization, utilization, and maintenance of a company’s work force is another key function of HRM. This involves designing an organizational framework that makes maximum use of an enterprise’s human resources and establishing systems of communication that help the organization operate in a unified manner. Other responsibilities in this area include safety and health and worker-management relations. Human resource maintenance activities related to safety and health usually entail compliance with federal laws that protect employees from hazards in the workplace. These regulations are handed down from several federal agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and various state agencies, which implement laws in the realms of worker’s compensation, employee protection, and other areas. Maintenance tasks related to worker-management relations primarily entail: working with labor unions; handling grievances related to misconduct, such as theft or sexual harassment; and devising communication systems to foster cooperation and a shared sense of mission among employees.
Performance appraisal is the practice of assessing employee job performance and providing feedback to those employees about both positive and negative aspects of their performance. Performance measurements are very important both for the organization and the individual, for they are the primary data used in determining salary increases, promotions, and, in the case of workers who perform unsatisfactorily, dismissal.
Reward systems are typically managed by HR areas as well. This aspect of human resource management is very important, for it is the mechanism by which organizations provide their workers with rewards for past achievements and incentives for high performance in the future. It is also the mechanism by which organizations address problems within their work force, through institution of disciplinary measures. Aligning the work force with company goals, stated Gubman, “requires offering workers an employment relationship that motivates them to take ownership of the business plan.”
Employee development and training is another vital responsibility of HR personnel. HR is responsible for researching an organization’s training needs, and for initiating and evaluating employee development programs designed to address those needs. These training programs can range from orientation programs, which are designed to acclimate new hires to the company, to ambitious education programs intended to familiarize workers with a new software system.
“After getting the right talent into the organization,” wrote Gubman, “the second traditional challenge to human resources is to align the workforce with the business-;to constantly build the capacity of the workforce to execute the business plan.” This is done through performance appraisals, training, and other activities. In the realm of performance appraisal, HRM professionals must devise uniform appraisal standards, develop review techniques, train managers to administer the appraisals, and then evaluate and follow up on the effectiveness of performance reviews. They must also tie the appraisal process into compensation and incentive strategies, and work to ensure that federal regulations are observed.
Responsibilities associated with training and development activities, meanwhile, include the determination, design, execution, and analysis of educational programs. The HRM professional should be aware of the fundamentals of learning and motivation, and must carefully design and monitor training and development programs that benefit the overall organization as well as the individual. The importance of this aspect of a business’s operation can hardly be overstated. As Roberts, Seldon, and Roberts indicated in Human Resources Management, “the quality of employees and their development through training and education are major factors in determining long-term profitability of a small business’¦. Research has shown specific benefits that a small business receives from training and developing its workers, including: increased productivity; reduced employee turnover; increased efficiency resulting in financial gains; [and] decreased need for supervision.”
Meaningful contributions to business processes are increasingly recognized as within the purview of active human resource management practices. Of course, human resource managers have always contributed to overall business processes in certain respects-;by disseminating guidelines for and monitoring employee behavior, for instance, or ensuring that the organization is obeying worker-related regulatory guidelines. Now, increasing numbers of businesses are incorporating human resource managers into other business processes as well. In the past, human resource managers were cast in a support role in which their thoughts on cost/benefit justifications and other operational aspects of the business were rarely solicited. But as Johnston noted, the changing character of business structures and the marketplace are making it increasingly necessary for business owners and executives to pay greater attention to the human resource aspects of operation: “Tasks that were once neatly slotted into well-defined and narrow job descriptions have given way to broad job descriptions or role definitions. In some cases, completely new work relationships have developed; telecommuting, permanent part-time roles and outsourcing major non-strategic functions are becoming more frequent.” All of these changes, which human resource managers are heavily involved in, are important factors in shaping business performance.