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Functions of HRM

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Everything you need to know about the functions of HRM. Human resource management is concerned with the people dimension in management.

Since every organization is made up of people, acquiring their services, developing their skills, motivating them to higher levels of performance and ensuring that they continue to maintain their commitment to the organization are essential to achieving organizational objectives. This is true, regardless of the type of organization — government, business, education, health, recreation, or social action.

Human resource management has been described as a process of development of human resource through guidance, integration, motivation of personnel to achieve the organisational goals along with individual goals.

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This is a social process involving responsibility for economic planning and supervising activities of an enterprise keeping the ‘human factor’ in forefront of all activities.

Whilst it is not easy to ensure that all the functions of human resource management are interdependent, interrelated and depend upon the specific situation. Most functions are carried out as one single activity of management.

The functions of HRM can be broadly classified into two categories:- A. Managerial Functions B. Operative Functions.

A: Some of the managerial functions of HRM are:- 1. Planning 2. Organising 3. Staffing 4. Directing 5. Coordinating 6. Controlling.

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B: Some of the operative functions of HRM are:-

1. Procurement of Human Resource / Employment 2. Employee Compensation 3. Development of Human Resource 4. Developing Healthy Human Relations 5. Integration of Conflicting Interest 6. Safety and Health of Employees

7. Stability and Optimum Utilization of Employees 8. Personnel Research, Audit and Records 9. Motivation 10. Union-Management Relationship 11. Integration Function 12. Maintenance Function 13. Ascertaining the Effectiveness of HR Management


Functions of HRM – Managerial and Operative Functions

Functions of HRM  2 Important Categories: Managerial Functions and Operative Functions

“Human resource management is concerned with the people dimension in management. Since every organization is made up of people, acquiring their services, developing their skills, motivating them to higher levels of performance and ensuring that they continue to maintain their commitment to the organization are essential to achieving organizational objectives. This is true, regardless of the type of organization — government, business, education, health, recreation, or social action”.

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“Human resource management is series of integrated decisions that form the employment relationships; their quality contributes to the ability of the organizations and the employees to achieve their objectives”.

The functions of HRM can be broadly classified into two categories:

I. Managerial Functions.

II. Operative Functions.

I. Managerial Functions:

The HR manager is basically a manager and as such must perform the basic functions of management which are as follows:

1. Planning:

Defined in its simplest terms, planning is the determination of anything in advance of the action. It involves scanning of the external and internal environment, setting up of goals and objectives, preparing an action plan to achieve these objectives/goals, laying down policies and procedures, formulating standards of evaluation and allocating resources.

It requires anticipation, forecasting, predictions and so on. Thus, planning is a deliberate and conscious effort to utilise the resources to achieve the given ends. Planning is a link between the present and the future and is a continuous and never-ending process.

The goals set up under planning may be – (a) short term and (b) long term. Besides, these objectives may be – (a) financial, (b) non-financial and (c) mixed. Above all, planning should be flexible so that necessary adjustments could be made as and when needed.

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Thus, planning provides the basis for effective and most economical action in the future. It leads to integrated action and reduces considerably the probability of unanticipated crisis. It also leads to the use of effective and efficient methods and helps in accomplishing the desired goals of the enterprise through better control and coordination.

So far as an HR manager is concerned, he/she is required to determine in advance an HR programme that will contribute towards the achievement of goals specified for the organisa­tion. Thus, it involves planning of manpower requirements and related issues. Obviously, it is necessary that the HR manager should be an expert in the field of HRP.

2. Organising:

After plans have been developed and the course of action determined, organising is next in order. The process of organising is essential for accomplishing the objectives of the enterprise. Organising involves the establishment of an organisation structure through determination and grouping the activities, the assignment of activities to the specified individuals and departments, defining their role, establishing relationships, the delegation of authority to carry out the responsibilities and provision of coordination of men and work.

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So far as an HR manager is concerned, in order to execute the HR plans and programmes, he/ she also has to form an organisation. He/she is required to design the structure of the relationships among – (a) various jobs, (b) various personnel, (c) jobs and men (d) men and machinery, (e) a specialised unit and the rest of organisation (f) and other physical factors.

In case the relationships among these are well defined, it will leave practically no scope for any sort of confusion and thus lead to smooth sailing of the organisation towards the specified goals.

The HR manager is expected to procure the resources necessary to carry out the HR programme, design an appropriate system to carry out such a programme and also establish lines of authority and communication between the various people working with or receiving benefits from the HR programmes. However, the development of sound organisation requires certain principles.

3. Staffing:

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Staffing is a process of manning the organisation and keeping it manned. Needless to mention that the future of any enterprise is governed by the quality of the hired personnel. In case the enterprise has failed to get right man for the right job, the accomplishment of the objectives of the enterprise will be quite difficult.

So far as an HR manager is concerned, he/ she is required to recruit, select, train, place, compensate, promote and retire the personnel of the organisation at the appropriate time in a manner most conducive for accomplishing the objectives of the enterprise. The HR department itself is all about staffing.

4. Directing:

Having a plan and an organisation to execute it, the next step is getting the job done. As the process of management is concerned with getting work done through and with people, they require proper motivation. The management is required to lead, guide, motivate, supervise, communicate and inspire them towards improved performance.

An HR manager is also expected to do all these things in getting people to go to work will­ingly and effectively. Although all managers must unavoidably direct their subordinates, the HR manager should possess exceptional expertise in this regard.

5. Controlling:

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Controlling is a very important function of management. In an undertaking, control consists in verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued and the principles laid down. In this way, controlling is a measuring and corrective device.

Through control, we evaluate the performance against the goals and the plan. Two important things in the process of control are – (a) a comparison of actual performance as against standards and (b) taking corrective actions.

So far as the HR manager is concerned, he/she has to evaluate the results of the personnel activities in comparison with the desired objectives. Through control, he/she measures the progress of the HR programme along the lines laid out in the programme and determines how effectively the desired HR objectives were attained.

Thus, we can say that through direct observation, supervision report, records, audits and so on, the HR manager ensures that the enterprise is carrying out the HR programme on the desired lines and, if necessary, takes cor­rective steps.

II. Operative Functions:

Operative functions are performed by the human resource manager continuously and regularly. Its nature is like a routine type.

The Operative functions are as follows:

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1. Procurement of Human Resource / Employment:

The first important function of HRM is securing and employing the right type of personnel according to the needs or requirements of the organization. For effective performance of procurement function, HRM has to perform a number of functions such as manpower planning which gives the estimate of manpower requirements.

Job analysis includes job description and job specification which gives the idea of title and nature of job, duties and authorities on that job, specification of personnel required to perform on that job such as qualification, qualities, experience, skill, talent, training, abilities etc.

Then he has to perform the function of recruitment which involves the identification of sources of recruitments, selecting the right type of source for recruiting the personnel. Then he has to perform selection function. Selection procedure has to be chalk out and selecting the right man for the right job.

Then placing the personnel which involve allocation of job to the most suitable candidates. After placement arrange the induction programme for the new entrant and give the information about the company in detail and create a good image and opinion about the organization.

2. Employee Compensation:

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After procurement of employees the next operative function of HRM is compensation function. It means providing adequate, equitable, regular and fair remuneration to the employees. According to the services rendered by the employees, remuneration should be given.

For equitable and fair compensation, it should be based on job evaluation, merit rating Techniques. HRM has to look after the wage and salary administration. He has to formulate the incentives, bonus, fringe benefits, and social security measures in the interest of the employees.

3. Development of Human Resource:

Development of Human Resources is done through the training and development programme. Development process includes improving the skills and knowledge, creativity, ability, intellectual ability, capacities of employees.

Development process also moulds and changes the attitude and behaviour of the employees, improves their aptitude, commitment etc. Performance appraisal helps in employee development programme.

A systematic training programme has to be arranged by the HRM for employee and management development. He has to prepare career planning and development programme. HRM has to frame the policies and plans of promotion, demotion and transfer of employees.

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4. Developing Healthy Human Relations:

One of the most important operative functions of HRM is developing, maintaining and preserving the healthy, friendly, harmonious relationship between the management and employees or employer and employee.

He is also responsible for developing healthy relations between the employee and employer, between workers and trade unions and management. Due to healthy relations there are no disputes, clashes and misunderstanding. But it improves morale, team spirit, team work, cooperation, togetherness, and oneness among the employees.

5. Integration of Conflicting Interest:

HRM has to perform one more important function that is integration of individual employee interest and business organization interest. Employees are interested in higher wages and salaries, more facilities, bonus, social security, less working hours, overtime wages, best working conditions and so on.

On the other hand company is interested in more profit, higher production and efficiency, long working hours, minimum working condition, etc. HR managers have to integrate these conflicting interests in a way that both the parties should be satisfied.

6. Safety and Health of Employees:

HR manager has to take the care of safety and health of the employees. In case of employees whose work is risky, and hazardous, HR manager has to provide the safety measures to the employees. Regular medical checkup of the employees has to be done. Free medicines, treatment should be provided to the employees who fall sick.

7. Stability and Optimum Utilization of Employees:

HR manager has to maintain the employees in the organization and has to utilize them at the optimum level, He must ensure the best utilization of employees. For this he has to motivate the employees and to give them job satisfaction, job security, participate them in management.

Their grievances should be promptly resolved. Opportunities for career development should be given so that employees may prefer to stay in the same organization and company can enjoy the benefits of stable workforce.

8. Personnel Research, Audit and Records:

HR manager has to conduct research in various areas of human resource for example, research in motivational techniques, behavioural sciences, attitude, turnover, absenteeism, development, performance, morale and so on. Audit involves the periodical assessment and appraisal of employee performance.

Moreover he has to maintain the updated records of the employees since joining till their retirement by maintaining service books or records. These records would help at the time of promotion, demotion and transfer of employees.


Functions of HRM

The two important functions of human resource management:

(1) Managerial Functions:

The human resource manager is a part of the management of the enterprise. So he must perform the basic managerial functions of planning, organising, directing and controlling in relation to his department.

These functions are briefly discussed below:

I. Planning:

To get things done through the subordinates, a manager must plan ahead. Planning is necessary to determine the goals of the organisation and lay down policies and procedures to reach the goals. For the human resource manager, planning means the determination of personnel programs that will contribute to the goals of the enterprise, i.e., anticipating vacancies, planning job requirements, job descriptions and determination of the sources of recruitment.

II. Organising:

Once the human resource manager has established objectives and developed plans and programs to attain them, he must design and develop organisation structure to carry out the various operations.

The organisation structure basically includes the following:

(i) Grouping of personnel activity logically into functions or positions;

(ii) Assignment of different functions to different individuals;

(iii) Delegation of authority according to the tasks assigned and responsibilities involved;

(iv) Co-ordination of activities of different individuals.

III. Directing:

The plans are to be put into effect by people. But how smoothly the plans are implemented depends on the motivation of people. The direction function of the human resource manager involves encouraging people to work willingly and effectively for the goals of the enterprise.

In other words, the direction function is meant to guide and motivate the people to accomplish the personnel programs. The human resource manager can motivate the employees in an organisation through career planning, salary administration, ensuring employee morale, developing cordial relationships and provision of safety requirements and welfare of employees.

IV. Controlling:

Controlling is concerned with the regulation of activities in accordance with the plans, which in turn have been formulated on the basis of the objectives of the organisation. It involves the observation and comparison of results with the standards and correction of deviations that may occur.

Controlling helps the HR manager to evaluate and control the performance of the HR department in terms of various operative functions. It involves performance appraisal, critical examination of HR records and statistics, and HR audit.

(2) Operative Functions:

The operative functions are those tasks or duties which are specifically entrusted to the human resource department.

Such functions of human resource department are discussed below:

I. Employment:

The first operative function of the human resource department is the employment of proper kinds and number of persons necessary to achieve the objectives of the organisation. This involves human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, etc., of the personnel.

Before these processes are performed, it is better to determine the personnel requirements both in terms of number and quality of the personnel. Recruitment and selection cover the sources of supply of labour and the devices designed to select the right type of people for various jobs. Induction and placement of personnel for their better performance also come under the employment or procurement function.

II. Development:

Training and development of personnel is a follow up of the employment function. It is the duty of management to train each employee properly to develop technical skills for the job for which he has been employed and also to develop him for the higher jobs in the organisation.

Proper development of personnel is necessary to increase their skills in doing their jobs and in satisfying their growth need. For this purpose, the human resource departments will device appropriate training programs. There are several on-the-job and off-the-job methods available for training purposes.

A good training program should include a mixture of both types of methods. It is important to point out that human resource department arranges for training not only of new employees but also of experienced employees to update their knowledge in the use of latest techniques.

III. Compensation:

This function is concerned with the determination of adequate and equitable remuneration of the employees in the organisation for their contribution to the organisational goals. The personnel can be compensated both in terms of monetary as well as non-monetary rewards.

Factors which must be borne in mind while fixing the remuneration of personnel are their basic needs, requirements of jobs, legal provisions regarding minimum wages, capacity of the organisation to pay, wage level afforded by competitors, etc. For fixing the wage levels, the human resource department can make use of certain techniques like job evaluation and performance appraisal.

IV. Appraisal:

Performance appraisal is the systematic evaluation of the performance and contribution of each employee for taking important personnel decisions. The results of performance appraisal are used in determining training needs, and taking decisions about transfer and promotion of employees. The HR Manager designs the appraisal systems and arranges for training of managers in carrying out systematic appraisal of employees.

V. Maintenance (Working Conditions and Welfare):

Merely appointment and training of people is not sufficient; they must be provided with good working conditions so that they may like their work and work-place and maintain their efficiency. Working conditions certainly influence the motivation and morale of the employees.

These include measures taken for health, safety, and comfort of the workforce. The human resource department also provides for various welfare services which relate to the physical and social well-being of the employees. These may include provision of cafeteria, rest rooms, counselling, group insurance, education for children of employees, recreational facilities, etc.

VI. Motivation:

Employees work in the organisation for the satisfaction of their needs. In many of the cases, it is found that they do not contribute towards the organisational goals as much as they can. This happens because employees are not adequately motivated. The human resource manager helps the various departmental managers to design a system of financial and non-financial rewards to motivate the employees.

VII. Personnel Records:

The human resource department maintains the records of the employees working in the enterprise. It keeps full records of their training, achievements, transfer, promotion, etc. It also preserves may other records relating to the behaviour of personnel like absenteeism and labour turnover and the personnel programs and policies of the organisation.

VIII. Industrial Relations:

These days, the responsibility of maintaining good industrial relations is also discharged by the human resource manager. The human resource manager can help in collective bargaining, joint consultation and settlement of disputes, if the need arises. This is because of the fact that he is in possession of full information relating to personnel and has the working knowledge of various labour enactments.

The human resource manager can do a great deal in maintaining industrial peace in the organisation as he is deeply associated with various committees on discipline, labour welfare, safety, grievance, etc. He helps in laying down the grievance procedure to redress the grievances of the employees. He also gives authentic information to the trade union leaders and conveys their views on various labour problems to the top management.

IX. Separation:

Since the first function of human resource management is to procure the employees, it is logical that the last should be the separation and return of that person to society. Most people do not die on the job.

The organisation is responsible for meeting certain requirements of due process in separation, as well as assuring that the returned person is in as good shape as possible. The human resource manager has to ensure the timely release of retirement benefits to the retiring personnel in time.


Functions of HRM – 2 Important Functions: Managerial and Operative Functions

Modern business units generally have a human resource or personnel department headed by Human resource manager. This department performs a vital role of efficient management of human capital in the business. The department also assists and provides services to various other departments in the company on personnel matters.

The human resource manager acts as a staff officer to all the other departments of the enterprise. He is the one equipped with the power and authority to get his orders executed within his department and across the departments.

Functions of a human resource management may be broadly classified under 2 heads, viz.:

1. Managerial functions

2. Operative functions

1. Managerial Functions:

Since human resource management is component of organizational management, it is also expected to perform all the managerial functions such as planning, organizing, directing and controlling in the department.

The functions of human resource manager in this regard are briefly discussed below:

(i) Planning:

A manager performs important function of planning the future course of action in order to get things done from his subordinates. Planning is an essential activity to determine the goals of the organization and lay down policies and procedures to achieve these goals. Planning for a human resource manager involves activities like determination of personnel programs contributing to the goals of the enterprise, i.e., anticipating vacancies, planning job requirements, job descriptions and determination of the sources of recruitment.

Personnel planning process is carried out in three essential steps. First, forecasting demand and supply for each job category that is identified. This requires an extensive knowledge about labour market conditions and the strategic posture and goals of the organization. Second, an estimate of the net shortage and excess of people employed in each job category needs to be made for a particular period of time. Third, plans are developed to manage human resources as per the requirements of company by each job category.

(ii) Organizing:

The next step after determining the objectives of the firm and plan formulation to achieve them is to design and develop organization structure to carry out the various operations. Organization structure in a business firm takes into account – (a) categorizing of all the personnel activities into functions or positions; (b) delegating different functions to different set of individuals, (c) delegating authorities related to the tasks assigned and responsibilities involved; (d) coordinating activities undertaken by different individuals.

(iii) Directing:

Once the plans are made and responsibilities are delegated, it is the people who put these plans into action. The levels of effectiveness by which the plans are implemented and executed depend upon the level of motivation of the people. The direction function of a human resource manager comprises encouraging people to work willingly and effectively in order to pursue the goals of the organization.

We may also understand the function as guiding and motivating people to accomplish the personnel programs. Some of the measures which may be adopted by a personnel manager to motivate his employees are career planning, salary administration, ensuring employee morale, developing cordial relationships and provision of safety requirements and welfare of employees.

The motivation function performed by an HR manager is not a child’s play; rather it is a very challenging task. It is the manager who must be able to identify employees’ needs and fulfill them by taking into account the means and methods of the company to satisfy them. Motivation is an ongoing process as new needs and expectations are born among employees once old ones are satisfied.

2. Operative Functions:

Operative functions refer to all those activities undertaken by the department which are specifically entrusted to be performed by it. They are related to procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of personnel of the organization.

Different operative functions of the human resource department have been briefly discussed below:

(i) Procurement:

The first and the most important function that the directors entrust the human resource manager is to employ proper kind and number of persons required to meet the organization objectives. This involves recruitment, selection, placement, etc., of the personnel.

The manager has to first assess the number and quality of personnel required by initiating the recruitment process. Recruitment and selection cover the sources of supply of labour and the devices designed to select the right type of people for various jobs. Employment or procurement function also includes induction and placement of personnel for their better performance.

(ii) Development:

Once the personnel are hired or employed, their development follows. Responsibilities of an HR manager includes imparting proper training to the staff in order to develop technical skills for the job for which he is hired and also to develop or train him for the higher jobs in the organization.

In case the manager seeks to develop the potential of employees properly and satisfy their growth needs, he needs to pay special attention to development programs for employees. The department may also have to devise appropriate training programs for the same. There are several on-the-job and off-the-job methods available for training purposes.

A good training program should include a mix of both types of methods. It is important to mention here that the personnel manager not only undertakes the training programs for the new employees but also conduct training programs for the old ones time to time so as to equip them with changing techniques and latest technology.

(iii) Compensation:

The function relates to identification of adequate and equitable remuneration to the employees in line with their contribution made to the organizational objectives. Compensation does not only mean monetary aspect but also takes into account the non-monetary rewards as an important component.

Some factors which must be kept in mind while fixing remuneration of personnel are their basic needs, requirements of jobs, legal provisions regarding minimum wages, capacity of organization to pay, wage level afforded by competitors, etc. The personnel department makes use of certain techniques like job evaluation and performance appraisal to fix the wage levels.

(iv) Maintenance (Working Conditions and Welfare):

The job of the HR manager does not end with appointment of the appropriate staff. Rather, it is just the first step in the ladder. Once the appointments are made, they must be provided with good working conditions so that they may like their work and workplace and maintain their efficiency. Working conditions certainly influence the motivation and morale of the employees.

Such measures include the ones taken for health, safety, and comfort of the work-force. The personnel department also extends various welfare services for physical and social well-being of its manpower. These include provision of cafeteria, rest rooms, counseling, group insurance, education for children of employees, recreational facilities, etc.

(v) Motivation:

Employees work to satisfy their own needs and desires. Hence, at various occasions it has been identified that they do not contribute to the organizational objectives to the maximum extent possible. This happens because employees are not adequately motivated. The human resource manager helps the various departmental managers to design a system of financial and non-financial rewards to motivate the employees.

(vi) Personnel Records:

One of the important functions performed by human resource department is to maintain a database containing details of all the employees working in the organization. These records contain details of their training, achievements, transfer, promotion, absenteeism, labor turnover and other programs and policies employed by the organization. These records turn out to be very useful for the higher authorities while evaluating an individual’s performance and his contribution to the enterprise.

(vii) Industrial Relations:

Modern human resource managers are also responsible to develop cordial and deep industrial relations. Since personnel manager is well versed with the labour enactments and is well aware of the people working in the enterprise, he is in position to best guide his colleagues in collective bargaining, joint consultation and dispute settlement.

The personnel manager can actively get involved in maintaining industrial peace based upon his deep association with various committees on discipline, labour welfare, safely and grievances redressal. He is the one to devise best formula for grievance redressal and communication of these labour issues to top management. Hence, he may also be seen as an intermediate between top management and labor.

(viii) Separation:

The responsibilities of the procurement manager do not end with hiring the right people, their training and development but also their separation from the entity. Some people stop working before they die. It may either be because they switch over to some other organization or they attain the age of superannuation.

In both the cases, the HR manager is expected to settle their dues well in time and in good shape so that the persons leaving the organization to join society do not spread ill-words about the business unit.  


Functions of HRM

Several authors have classified HRM functions in 2 categories viz.,:

1. Managerial and

2. Operative functions.

1. Managerial Functions:

i. Planning:

a. Determination of objectives.

b. Collection and classification of relevant information to achieve

ii. Objectives:

a. To select alternate plan of action.

b. To establish policies, procedures, schemes, programmes, budget, etc.

iii. Organising:

It is a system, which enables to achieve predetermined objectives. It is a means to an end. Designing the structure of relationships among jobs personnel and physical factors forms an organisation. It includes the division of major tasks into smaller activities, assigning activities to personnel, delegating authority and responsibility thus creating authority-responsibility relationship.

iv. Directing:

HR Manager directs his staff and personnel to achieve the laid down objectives. A Manager is required to motivate, activate and guide his staff to go to working willingly and effectively.

v. Controlling:

This includes observation of employees’ performance, comparison with plans and the correction of any deviation that might occur. Rectification may result in change of modus operandi or the objectives.

2. Operative Functions:

i. Procurement:

It is concerned with obtaining of proper kind and number of personnel necessary to accomplish organisational goals. It includes job analysis, designing, human demand analysis, recruitment, selection and placement/orientation.

ii. Development:

After procurement, personalities have to be developed which is achieved through formal training necessary for proper job performance. This may be on the job and off the job training. Besides, HR department also conducts training for existing staff to upgrade their skills and re-orientate them to ensure better performance and increased productivity.

iii. Compensation:

This can be called as the adequate and equitable remuneration of personnel for their contribution to organisational objectives. Compensation encompasses job evaluation, Wages and salary survey, pricing the job and establishes pay levels, financial incentives system including retirement plans as well as non-financial incentives.

iv. Working Environment:

To cater for congenial working conditions for the entire operating staff to include hygienic conditions, bathrooms, rest rooms, canteen facility, entertainment rooms, drinking water, adequate ventilation and lighting, safe working conditions, maintenance of health centers and so on.

v. Welfare Activities:

Social welfare activities may include medical facilities, insurance, recreation, creches, housing, education for kids, playgrounds etc.

vi. Employee Relations:

Motivation of employment for ensuring job satisfaction, improvement in working conditions, career planning, promotions, etc., play a significant role in this field to increase productivity. In order to reduce the stress, the department has to undertake special counselling programmes and improve the communication system.

vii. Union-Management Relationship:

Employees form groups to compose and constitute association and unions. Personal Department negotiates labour agreement, handles grievances, settles disputes and maintains discipline etc.


Functions of HRM – Functions Performed by HR Managers

When we talk about the functions of management, it means getting things done through people. Human resource management has been described as a process of development of human resource through guidance, integration, motivation of personnel to achieve the organisational goals along with individual goals.

This is a social process involving responsibility for economic planning and supervising activities of an enterprise keeping the ‘human factor’ in forefront of all activities. Whilst it is not easy to ensure that all the functions of human resource management are interdependent, interrelated and depend upon the specific situation. Most functions are carried out as one single activity of management.

Functions of HRM can mainly be divided into two:  

I. Managerial Functions:

HR managers carry out managerial functions such as:

1. Planning:

Planning is the first and foremost function of management. Planning refers to determination of a course of action to achieve a desired result. It involves formulating objectives, policies, strategies and programs to achieve a predetermined course of action.

In the sphere of HRM, HR manager has to do the following in the planning sphere:

i. Determining the manpower needs of the organization.

ii. Determining the source of recruitment.

iii. Determining the training needs of human assets to ensure best performance.

iv. Engaging motivators to drive human assets to deliver best performance.

In determining the size of manpower, HR managers collect estimates of manpower requirements from various functional departments. Each department should be enlightened as to the methodology of calculating workload and arriving at manpower requirements there from. Each functional manager has to take into account additional manpower needed on account of potential growth and expansion needs. The HR function consolidates the needs of all departments and determines the total requirements of the organization as a whole.

The HR managers then plan for recruiting, selecting, training and motivating employees. In addition, the HR manager has to forecast needs of human resources, predict the trends in labour market, wages, union demands etc., and their impact on the organization and suitably advise the top management in policy making or policy modification as the case may be.

2. Organizing:

Organization is primarily concerned with the task of determining the total work to be done by employees of a unit, dividing it into number of work units; allocating the work to individuals based on their skill, competence, knowledge and specialization, entrusting the authority to perform the work allocated to individuals and making them accountable for the work delegated.

In the sphere of HRM, HR manager has to determine the work to be accomplished in his HR department; he has to group the work to be done in his department say, training, compensation, performance appraisal, grievance redressal, promotion, career counselling, welfare measures and so on. He has to determine the hierarchical relations among the manpower deployed in various functional domains falling under HR for the smooth functioning of the HR department; he has to provide facilities and authority to people concerned.

Finally he has to evolve accountability to various functional heads working in HRM department. In short, HR manager has to put in place a good organizational structure whereby everybody is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

3. Directing:

Directing is the process of motivating, activating, leading, communicating and supervising people.

The HR manager does the following:

i. Evolve workload norms for the employees working across the organization.

ii. Arrange training for employees working in various departments besides training the personnel deployed in various sub-functions of HR department.

iii. Advise financial and non-financial motivators to be put in place in the organization.

iv. Communicate HR policies to various functional departments.

v. Prescribe performance appraisal criteria for employees in various functional departments.

vi. Render advice on toning up the morale of the employees working across the organization.

vii. Render advice on leadership styles appropriate to a given organization climate.

viii. Clarify any doubt raised in the calculation of compensation, incentives bonus, etc.

4. Coordinating:

HR managers coordinate the functioning of various sub-functions performed under HR segments like compensation, training, welfare, career counseling, grievance handling, suggestion systems, performance appraisal, HR audit, industrial relations, etc. HR managers also coordinate HR functions carried out by various functional departments thereby directing these diverse functions towards accomplishment of overall objectives of the organization.

5. Controlling:

Controlling denotes the activity of ensuing that everything occurs as per the standard set and plan adopted. HR department measures the performance of employees engaged in its various sub-functions namely pay roll administration, training, performance appraisal, career development, grievance redressal, welfare, etc.

Besides, the HR manager tenders advice to various functional departments as norms/evaluation criteria, remedial training, etc. Further, it arranges to motivate the star performers through incentives, awards and rewards. All these contribute to regulating the flow of performance of employees according to design and organizational objectives.

II. Operating Functions:

The various operating functions rendered by the HR Department employee include procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance. Let us discuss briefly each of these operating functions.

1. Procurement of Manpower:

The first and foremost function of human resource management is procuring the manpower needed for the organization for accomplishing organizational objectives.

It encompasses the following sub-functions:

i. Job analysis – HR department collects information pertaining to operations and responsibilities of a specified job through a process called job analysis.

ii. Human resources planning – HR manager has to prepare manpower planning out of the manpower budget prepared by various functional departments thereby ensuring that right number of people work in the right place, doing the right work and at the right time.

iii. Recruitment – Under recruitment function, HR department has to identify the eligible persons for various jobs and encourage them to apply for the job so that the organization has a wider choice in the selection process.

iv. Selection – HR Department has to judge the suitability of different candidates for the jobs in the organization and choose the best fit by conducting different types of tests and interviews.

v. Placement – It implies placing selected candidates in the right job so as to match employee qualification with the job requirements.

vi. Induction – It involves familiarizing the new recruit with the company’s vision and mission, work environment, policies and practices.

2. Human Resources Development (HRD):

HRD envisages improving the knowledge, skillsets, aptitude and values of employees so that they can perform the present and future jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Human resource development function encompasses the following sub-functions:

i. Performance Appraisal:

It is the systematic appraisals of individual with respect to their current performance and their potential for development.

ii. Training:

HR department has to arrange for periodical training for employees to learn skills, knowledge, abilities and attitudes required to accomplish organizational goals.

iii. Management Development:

It has to organize executive training programs for those employees who are at the executive cadre to learn the latest developments unfolding in their respective fields of specializations and human relations skills very much required to manage human assets in the organization.

iv. Career Planning and Development:

It involves facilitating employees to plan their career and empowering them to accomplish their career plans thereby fulfilling the career aspirations of people concerned. It involves mobility of personnel in their career track through promotion and transfer.

v. Organization Development (OD):

Organization-wide organization development is a planned effort, made by the top management with the goal of increasing organizational performance through planned OD interventions like sensitivity training, skill training, team building, process consultation, transaction analysis, etc., and it focuses more on human dimension of the organization than on anything else. It seeks to modify the attitude of employees’ values, organizational structure and managerial practices pursued in the organization in order to improve the overall organizational performance.

3. Compensation:

Human resource department has to facilitate equitable and fair remuneration to employees.

It performs the following functions in this regard:

i. Job evaluation – This represents the process of ascertaining the relative worth of each job in the organization.

ii. Wages and salary administration – It implies developing and operating suitable wage and salary programme in the organization.

iii. Incentives – HR department has to aid in formulating, administering and renewing the schemes of financial incentives besides payment of fair and equitable wages/salaries to employees.

iv. Bonus – It involves payment of statutory bonus according to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.

v. Fringe benefits – Organizations pay a wide variety of supplementary benefits besides salary like rent free quarters, chauffeur-driven car, coupons, reimbursement of expenses, concierge service, etc.

vi. Social security measures – It implies payment of social security benefits besides payment of fringe benefit. These include workmen compensation, maternity benefit to women employees, disablement benefit, retirement benefits, dependent benefits, etc.

4. Integration Function:

Under this function, HR department seeks to reconcile the goals of the organization with those of its members. It is done in the following ways.

In other words, interests of employers and employees are synchronized by the functions specified below:

i. Putting in place monetary and non-monetary incentives.

ii. Redressal of employee’s grievances.

iii. Collective bargaining.

iv. Implementing job satisfaction measures.

v. Implementing worker’s participation in management schemes.

vi. Putting in place conflict resolution machinery.

vii. Developing sound relations between employer and employees.

viii. Career counselling.

ix. Installing quality of work life programmes in the facility.

5. Maintenance Function:

This function is mainly concerned with protecting and promoting the physical and mental well-being of employees.

In other words, the physical and mental health of employees are cared for in the following ways:

i. Implementing welfare measures like subsidized canteen facilities, subsidized housing, periodical health check-ups, providing hospitalization benefits, loan facilities, conveyance facilities, fitness studios, educational facilities, arranging tours and parties, celebrating events and anniversaries.

ii. Implementing social security schemes like provident fund, pension scheme, gratuity, maternity benefit, health, safety, group insurance, disablement benefit, etc.

6. Ascertaining the Effectiveness of HR Management:

Measuring the efficacy of various HR programmes is one of the important functions of HRM.

i. Organization Health:

The employee satisfaction points to the status of an organization’s health Employee satisfaction could be understood by levels of attrition, absenteeism, commitment and the like. For instance, absenteeism, poor productivity, frequency of work place accidents, disloyalty, etc., indicate poor job satisfaction experienced by the employees. Human Resource management frequently undertakes job satisfaction surveys to ascertain the overall status of organizational health.

ii. HR Accounting and Audit:

Effectiveness of HRM can be gauged through HR accounting. HRM is said to be effective when the value and contribution of HR to an organization is more than the cost incurred currently by the management on human capital.

iii. HR Audit:

HR audit denotes examination and evaluation of HR policies, procedures and practices to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of HRM.


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