Discuss the functions of Human Resource Management in an organization. Enumerate the challenges of HRM in the present organizational context.

Q. Discuss the functions of Human Resource Management in an organization. Enumerate the challenges of HRM in the present organizational context.


Ans.     The functions of HRM can be broadly classified into two categories viz 1) Managerial Functions 2) Operative Functions :


            FUNCTIONS OF HRM

Managerial Functions Operative Functions
Planning Employment
Organising Human Resources Development
Directing Compensation
Controlling Human Relations
  Industrial Relations
  Recent Trends in HRM


1. Managerial Functions: Managerial functions of personnel management involve planning, organizing, directing and controlling.


Planning: It is pre-determined course of action. Planning pertains to formulating strategies of personnel programmes and changes in advance that will contribute to the organizational goals. It involves planning of human resources, requirements, recruitment, selection, training etc. It also involves forecasting of personnel needs, changing values, attitudes and behaviour of employees and their impact on the organization.


Organising : An organization is a means to an end. It is essential to carry out the determined course of action. An organization is a structure and a process by which a co-operative group of human beings allocates its task among its members, identifies relationships and integrates its activities towards a common objective. Complex relationships exist between the specialized departments and the general departments as many top managers are seeking the advice of the personnel manager. Thus an organization establishes relationships among the employees so that they can collectively contribute to the attainment of company goals.


Directing : The next logical function after completing planning and organizing is the execution of the plan. The basic function of personnel management at any level is motivating, commanding, leading and activating people. The willing and effective co-operation of employees for the attainment of organizational goals is possible through proper direction. Tapping the maximum potentialities of the people is possible through motivation and command. Co-ordination deals with the task of blending efforts in order to ensure successful attainment of an objective.


Controlling: After planning, organizing and directing various activities of personnel management, the performance is to be verified in order to know that the personnel functions are performed in conformity with the plans and directions of an organization. Controlling also involves checking, verifying and comparing of the actuals with the plans, identification of deviations if any and standards through controls. Auditing training programmes, analyzing labour turnover records, directing morale surveys, conducting separate interviews are some of the means of controlling the personnel management function and making it effective.



2. Operative Functions: The operative functions of human resources management are related to specific activities of personnel management viz, employment, development, compensation and relations. All these functions are interacted with managerial functions.


Employment:  It is the first operative function of Human Resource Management. Employment is concerned with securing and employing the people possessing the required kind and level of human resources necessary to achieve the organizational objectives. It covers functions such as job analysis, human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, induction and internal mobility.


Human Resource Development: It is a process of improving, molding and changing the skills, knowledge, creative ability, aptitude, values, commitment etc., based on present and future job and organizational requirements. It includes Performance Appraisal, Training, Management Development, Career Planning and Development, Internal Mobility, Transfer, Promotion, Demotion, Change and Organisational Development.


Compensation: It is a process of providing adequate, equitable and fair remuneration to the employees. It includes job evaluation, wage administration and salary administration, incentives, bonus, fringe benefits, social security measures etc.


Human Relations: Practicing various human resources policies and programmes like employment, development and compensation and interaction among employees create a sense of relationship between the individual worker and management, among workers and trade unions and the management. It is a process of interaction among human beings. Human relations is an rear of management in integrating people into work situations in a away that motivates them to work together productively co-operatively and with economic, psychological and social satisfaction. It includes:


–           Understanding and applying the models of perception, personality, learning, intra and inter personnel relations, intra and inter group relations.

–           Motivating the employees

–           Boosting employee morale

–           Developing the communication skills

–           Developing the communications skills

–           Redressing employee grievances properly and in time by means of a well-formulated grievance procedure.

–           Handling disciplinary cases by means of an established disciplinary procedure.

–           Counseling the employees in solving their personal, family and work problems and releasing their stress. Strain and tensions.

–           Improving quality of work life of employees through participation and other means.


Industrial Relations:  Industrial relations refer to the study of relations among employees, employer, government and trade unions.  Industrial relations include:

–           Indian labour market

–           Trade unionism

–           Collective bargaining

–           Industrial conflicts

–           Worker’s participation in management and

–           Quality circles


Recent Trends in HRM :  Human Resources Management has been advancing at a fast rate.  The recent trends in HRM include:

–           Quality of work life

–           Total quality in human resources

–           HR accounting, audit and research and

–           Recent techniques of HRM


The challenges of HRM in the present organizational context.


A goal seeking organizations especially one that seeks improvement over the current situation is a challenge, taking organization. When many such goals are pursued tremendous internal pressures some of them conflicting, tend to be generated. Unless the organization develops mechanisms for coping with these self-generated pressures, it may face major failure and suffer disastrous retreats from its goal.


Human Resource function cannot be performed in a vacuum. There are many challenges that it has to face to survive. All these challenges are discussed below.


1.         Technological factors: Just as necessity is the mother of invention competition and a host of other reasons are responsible for the rapid technological changes and innovations. As a consequence of these changes, technical personnel, skilled workers, computer operators and machine operators are increasingly required while the demand for other categories of employers has declined. Hence procurement of skilled employees and their increase in numbers to match the changing job requirements has become a complicated task.


2.         Human Resource in the Country: The structure, values and the level of education of human resource in a country influence much of the Human Resource function. The influence of manpower in the country can be studies through the changes in structure of employment.

a. Change in the Structure of Employment: The structure of employment in an organization changes with the entrance of workforce with different backgrounds (Social economic, region, community, sex, religion, traditions culture etc). There has been a significant change in the structure of employment with the entry of 1) candidates belonging to the schedule castes, schedules tribes and backward communities. 2) More female employees, due to increased career orientation among women to the suitability of women for certain jobs and to women becoming more acclimatized to the working climate and higher level of commitment. 3) The workforce consists of different regions but due to increased transportation facilities and mobile character of people. These changes in workforce are a challenge and a complicated task of HR function. It has to deal with employees with different backgrounds.


3.         Changes in employee Roles and their Values: Earlier the management could totally control its employees and get the desired output. Today the employees have to be considered as a partner in the organization.  Changing structure of workforce has led to the introduction of new values in organization. Among these are moves 1) emphasis on quality of life rather than quantity ii) equality and justice for employees over economic efficiency iii) participation over authority. iv) Workers now prefer flexible working hours to fixed time schedule. v) Level of education in recent years is comparatively very higher. Increased formal education has led to the change of attitude of the employees.


4.         Changing demands of employer: changes always are not on the side of employees. Organizations also undergo changes and consequently their demands on employees will also change. The information technological revolution and neck to neck marketing competition of most of the organizations due to globalization demand that the existing employees adopt to the ever-changing work situation and learn new skills, knowledge etc to cope with the new changes.


5.         Government and Legal factors: Until 1940 the government was not involved or interested regarding the problems of labor or industry. But the need for Govt., interference arose out of the belief that Government is the custodian of industrial and economic activities. The role of the government in business has after 1991 with the announcement of economic liberalization. However awareness of legislations is very important like the Factory Act, 1948, Trade Union act 1962, Payment of wages Act 1936, The Minimum Wages Act 1923, The Payment of Bonus Act 1965, The Employment Exchange Act, Standing Order Act 1946, Maternity Benefit Act 1961, and The Apprentice Act 1961. All these acts if not complied with can get the organization into deep trouble.


6.         Customers: Organizations produce products or render services for the ultimate consumption use by the customer. In other words organizations depend upon customers for their survival and growth. Customers revolt against employees, if the services rendered are less qualitative. The banks face such type of challenges. Customers may develop a negative attitude towards the organization, if it does not follow the social policies of the country. Hence the customers pose a challenge special ally in service industry.


7.         Social factors: Social environment consists of class structure, mobility social roles social values nature and development of social institutions caste structure and occupational structure, traditions, religion culture etc. To cater to everyone’s requirement and keep them happy is a big challenge faced by HR today.


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