Human resources may be defined as the total knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents and aptitudes of an organization's workforce, as well as the values, attitudes, approaches and beliefs of the individuals involved in the affairs of the organization. It is the sum total or aggregate of inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills represented by the talents and aptitudes of the persons employed in the organization.
The human resources are multidimensional in nature. From the national point of view, human resources may be defined as the knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents and aptitudes obtained in the population; whereas from the viewpoint of the individual enterprise, they represent the total of the inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills as exemplified in the talents and aptitudes of its employees.
Human Resource Management: Defined
Human Resource Management has come to be recognized as an inherent part of management, which is concerned with the human resources of an organization. Its objective is the maintenance of better human relations in the organization by the development, application and evaluation of policies, procedures and programmes relating to human resources to optimize their contribution towards the realization of organizational objectives.
In other words, HRM is concerned with getting better results with the collaboration of people. It is an integral but distinctive part of management, concerned with people at work and their relationships within the enterprise. HRM helps in attaining maximum individual development, desirable working relationship between employees and employers, employees and employees, and effective modeling of human resources as contrasted with physical resources. It is the recruitment, selection, development, utilization, compensation and motivation of human resources by the organization.
Human Resource Management: Evolution
The early part of the century saw a concern for improved efficiency through careful design of work. During the middle part of the century emphasis shifted to the employee's productivity. Recent decades have focused on increased concern for the quality of working life, total quality management and worker's participation in management. These three phases may be termed as welfare, development and empowerment.
Human Resource Management: Nature
Human Resource Management is a process of bringing people and organizations together so that the goals of each are met. The various features of HRM include:
• It is pervasive in nature as it is present in all enterprises.
• Its focus is on results rather than on rules.
• It tries to help employees develop their potential fully.
• It encourages employees to give their best to the organization.
• It is all about people at work, both as individuals and groups.
• It tries to put people on assigned jobs in order to produce good results.
• It helps an organization meet its goals in the future by providing for competent and well-motivated employees.
• It tries to build and maintain cordial relations between people working at various levels in the organization.
• It is a multidisciplinary activity, utilizing knowledge and inputs drawn from psychology, economics, etc.
Human Resource Management: Scope
The scope of HRM is very wide:
1. Personnel aspect-This is concerned with manpower planning, recruitment, selection, placement, transfer, promotion, training and development, layoff and retrenchment, remuneration, incentives, productivity etc.
2. Welfare aspect-It deals with working conditions and amenities such as canteens, creches, rest and lunch rooms, housing, transport, medical assistance, education, health and safety, recreation facilities, etc.
3. Industrial relations aspect-This covers union-management relations, joint consultation, collective bargaining, grievance and disciplinary procedures, settlement of disputes, etc.
Human Resource Management: Beliefs
The Human Resource Management philosophy is based on the following beliefs:
• Human resource is the most important asset in the organization and can be developed and increased to an unlimited extent.
• A healthy climate with values of openness, enthusiasm, trust, mutuality and collaboration is essential for developing human resource.
• HRM can be planned and monitored in ways that are beneficial both to the individuals and the organization.
• Employees feel committed to their work and the organization, if the organization perpetuates a feeling of belongingness.
• Employees feel highly motivated if the organization provides for satisfaction of their basic and higher level needs.
• Employee commitment is increased with the opportunity to dis¬cover and use one's capabilities and potential in one's work.
• It is every manager's responsibility to ensure the development and utilisation of the capabilities of subordinates.
Human Resource Management: Objectives
• To help the organization reach its goals.
• To ensure effective utilization and maximum development of human resources.
• To ensure respect for human beings. To identify and satisfy the needs of individuals.
• To ensure reconciliation of individual goals with those of the organization.
• To achieve and maintain high morale among employees.
• To provide the organization with well-trained and well-motivated employees.
• To increase to the fullest the employee's job satisfaction and self-actualization.
• To develop and maintain a quality of work life.
• To be ethically and socially responsive to the needs of society.
• To develop overall personality of each employee in its multidimensional aspect.
• To enhance employee's capabilities to perform the present job.
• To equip the employees with precision and clarity in trans¬action of business.
• To inculcate the sense of team spirit, team work and inter-team collaboration.
Human Resource Management: Functions
In order to achieve the above objectives, Human Resource Management undertakes the following activities:
1. Human resource or manpower planning.
2. Recruitment, selection and placement of personnel.
3. Training and development of employees.
4. Appraisal of performance of employees.
5. Taking corrective steps such as transfer from one job to another.
6. Remuneration of employees.
7. Social security and welfare of employees.
8. Setting general and specific management policy for organizational relationship.
9. Collective bargaining, contract negotiation and grievance handling.
10. Staffing the organization.
11. Aiding in the self-development of employees at all levels.
12. Developing and maintaining motivation for workers by providing incentives.
13. Reviewing and auditing man¬power management in the organization
14. Potential Appraisal. Feedback Counseling.
15. Role Analysis for job occupants.
16. Job Rotation.
17. Quality Circle, Organization development and Quality of Working Life.
Human Resource Management: Major Influencing Factors
In the 21st century HRM will be influenced by following factors, which will work as various issues affecting its strategy:
• Size of the workforce.
• Rising employees' expectations
• Drastic changes in the technology as well as Life-style changes.
• Composition of workforce. New skills required.
• Environmental challenges.
• Lean and mean organizations.
• Impact of new economic policy. Political ideology of the Govern¬ment.
• Downsizing and rightsizing of the organizations.
• Culture prevailing in the organization etc.
Human Resource Management: Futuristic Vision
On the basis of the various issues and challenges the following suggestions will be of much help to the philosophy of HRM with regard to its futuristic vision:
1. There should be a properly defined recruitment policy in the organization that should give its focus on professional aspect and merit based selection.
2. In every decision-making process there should be given proper weightage to the aspect that employees are involved wherever possible. It will ultimately lead to sense of team spirit, team-work and inter-team collaboration.
3. Opportunity and comprehensive framework should be provided for full expression of employees' talents and manifest potentialities.
4. Networking skills of the organizations should be developed internally and externally as well as horizontally and vertically.
5. For performance appraisal of the employee’s emphasis should be given to 360 degree feedback which is based on the review by superiors, peers, subordinates as well as self-review.
6. 360 degree feedback will further lead to increased focus on customer services, creating of highly involved workforce, decreased hierarchies, avoiding discrimination and biases and identifying performance threshold.
7. More emphasis should be given to Total Quality Management. TQM will cover all employees at all levels; it will conform to customer's needs and expectations; it will ensure effective utilization of resources and will lead towards continuous improvement in all spheres and activities of the organization.
8. There should be focus on job rotation so that vision and knowledge of the employees are broadened as well as potentialities of the employees are increased for future job prospects.
9. For proper utilization of manpower in the organization the concept of six sigma of improving productivity should be intermingled in the HRM strategy.
10. The capacities of the employees should be assessed through potential appraisal for performing new roles and responsibilities. It should not be confined to organizational aspects only but the environmental changes of political, economic and social considerations should also be taken into account.
11. The career of the employees should be planned in such a way that individualizing process and socializing process come together for fusion process and career planning should constitute the part of human resource planning.
To conclude Human Resource Management should be linked with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational cultures that foster innovation and flexibility. All the above futuristic visions coupled with strategic goals and objectives should be based on 3 H's of Heart, Head and Hand i.e., we should feel by Heart, think by Head and implement by Hand.