What is human resource management ?

Human Resource Management, broadly defined, refers to the effective management of people within the organization. However, it has a far deeper meaning. It involves managing people not as impersonal resources such as raw material in a factory, but, as individuals with their own unique strengths. It attempts to align the prowess of the individual with the goals of the company. In that sense, it can be defined as a theory that concerns itself with managing a workforce. The term ‘management’, however, does not just concern itself with getting work done, but in motivating the employees and addressing their concerns and needs and providing them with the skills required for their job.

It enables clear goal setting and enables the employee and the management to measure the progress towards those goals. Thus, it eliminates ambiguity and brings clarity. Human Resource Management also includes, what has traditionally been known as personnel management. Personnel management concerns itself with the recruitment, maintenance of employee records and other regular jobs such as payroll processing.

As a theory of management, Human Resource Management borrows liberally from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, etc. As mentioned earlier, Human resource management involves treating people not as commodities but as individuals who have a contribution to make to the organization and also to society. In fact, ISO 9000 stipulates that every person in the organization must have a job description. Prior to beginning the selection process to fill a position, a thorough job analysis is required to be conducted. The selection of an individual should consider a number of factors such as the skills required, current market trends, organizational culture, future plans of the organization etc.

Once the individual has joined, the objective of Human Resource Management shifts from selection to grooming and motivation. The progress of the employee is continually monitored with inputs from the superior. Training and orientation are given to equip the employee to discharge his duties. Mentoring by a senior employee is often helpful. The employee should be given an opportunity to voice his concerns and grievances and get them addressed. Besides, the employee should feel that the company is genuinely concerned about him and his wellbeing and does not simply treat him like a workhorse. This notion of the “caring company” has a great impact on employee loyalty. Human Resource Management has a big role in building and sustaining this image. Human resource management has a duty in ensuring that the benefits that the organization offers the individual are easily accessible. With the revolution in Information Technology, these functions can be easily implemented. Customizable modules have been developed for each of the functions of the Human Resource Management.

For instance, the payroll module generates information on emoluments by calculating the variables such as attendance, tax etc.

Human Resource management is a concept that is gaining importance as organizations understand the advantages of a motivated workforce. Proper mapping of skills and competencies can ensure optimum usage of resources which is an advantage to the organization. In this age of open markets and shortage of skilled manpower for many positions, retaining talented employees is a big concern for organizations and professional management of Human resources will go a long way towards this end.