Human resource management functions and strategy

Human Resource Management

Human resource (or personnel) management, in the sense of getting things done through people. It's an essential part of every manager's responsibilities, but many organizations find it advantageous to establish a specialist division to provide an expert service dedicated to ensuring that the human resource function is performed efficiently.

"People are our most valuable asset" is a cliché which no member of any senior management team would disagree with. Yet, the reality for many organizations is that their people remain

  • under valued
  • under trained
  • under utilized
  • poorly motivated, and consequently
  • perform well below their true capability

The rate of change facing organizations has never been greater and organizations must absorb and manage change at a much faster rate than in the past. In order to implement a successful business strategy to face this challenge, organizations, large or small, must ensure that they have the right people capable of delivering the strategy.

The market place for talented, skilled people is competitive and expensive. Taking on new staff can be disruptive to existing employees. Also, it takes time to develop 'cultural awareness', product/ process/ organization knowledge and experience for new staff members.

As organizations vary in size, aims, functions, complexity, construction, the physical nature of their product, and appeal as employers, so do the contributions of human resource management. But, in most the ultimate aim of the function is to: "ensure that at all times the business is correctly staffed by the right number of people with the skills relevant to the business needs", that is, neither overstaffed nor understaffed in total or in respect of any one discipline or work grade.

Functional overview and strategy for HRM

These issues motivate a well thought out human resource management strategy, with the precision and detail of say a marketing strategy. Failure in not having a carefully crafted human resources management strategy, can and probably will lead to failures in the business process itself.

This set of resources are offered to promote thought, stimulate discussion, diagnose the organizational environment and develop a sound human resource management strategy for your organization. We begin by looking at the seven distinguishable function human resource management provide to secure the achievement of the objective defined above.

Following on from this overview we look at defining a human resource strategy.

Finally, some questions are posed in the form of a HRM systems diagnostic checklist for you to consider, which may prove helpful for you to think about when planning your development programs for the human resources in your organization, if they are truely "your most valuable asset."

Next | HR Function 1 Manpower planning