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Functions of Personnel Management: Managerial, Operative and General Functions

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Everything you need to know about the functions of personnel management.

The functions of Personnel Management / Personnel Manager / di­rector are very comprehensive and varied and they are determined by such factors as the size, nature and location of the organisation, business or industry, its short and long – term objectives, the nature of industry and its product, market conditions, extent of competition among rivals, its social, economic, cultural, political and legal environments the structure of the executive and administrative officers, the mental make-up of personnel officers and the overall organisational philosophy of business.

Functions of personnel management are categorized under:- 1. The Managerial Functions 2. The Operative Functions and 3. General Functions.

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A: The Managerial Functions:- 1. Planning 2. Organising 3. Directing 4. Co-Ordinating and Controlling.

B: The Operative Functions:- 1. Procurement 2. Development 3. Compensating 4. Maintenance 5. Integrating and 6. Separation.

C: General Functions:- 1. Employment 2. Promotion, Transfer and Termination 3. Training 4. Wages and Other Incentives 5. Service Activities and Collective Bargaining Employees Representation.

Whatever functions are listed therein, the main objective of these functions is to bring together expertise in a scientific way and to create attitudes that motivate a group to achieve its goals economically, effectively and speedily.


Functions of Personnel Management – Managerial, Operative and General Functions

Functions of Personnel Management – Two Major Categories of Personnel Management Functions Classified by Experts

Personnel management is the management of human resources in an organisation and is concerned with the creation of harmonious working relationship among its participants and bringing about their utmost individual development. Such management is concerned with leadership in both groups and ‘individual relationship’ and ‘labour relations’ and ‘personnel management.’

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It effectively describes the process of planning and directing, development and utilization of human resources in employment. In fact, personnel management undertakes all those activities which are concerned with human elements or relations as well as with material elements in an organization.

Whatever functions are listed therein, the main objective of these functions is to bring together expertise in a scientific way and to create attitudes that motivate a group to achieve its goals economically, effectively and speedily.

Every function in Organisation includes a flow of inputs (materials, energy or information), and transforming these into outputs (the product or services and waste).

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Functionally, “personnel management” is the planning, coordinating, and controlling of a network of organisation and facilitating work pertaining to recruitment, selection, utilisation, development of human resources.

The function include the most vital aspects of personnel management- leadership, justice determination, task specialisation (job and organisation design), staffing, performance appraisal, training and development, compensation and reward, collective bargaining, and organisation development.

Broadly speaking, experts have generally classified the functions into two major categories, viz., managerial functions and operative functions.

Function # 1. Managerial:

“Management is a multi-purpose organ which has three jobs, two of which are directly related to personnel managing a business- ‘managing managers’ and ‘managing workers’ and the work.” Lawrence Appley says that, “Management is the accomplishment of results through the efforts of other people.” In the opinion of Harold Koontz, “It is the art of getting things done through people and with informally organised groups.”

In our view, management may be thought of as the process of allocating an organisation’s inputs (human and economic resources) by planning, organising, directing and controlling for the purpose of producing outputs (goods and services) desired by its customers so that organisation objectives are accomplished. In the process, work is performed with and through organisation personnel in an ever-changing business environment.

Management is, thus, personnel administration. It is the development of the people and not the direction of things. Managing people is the heart and essence of being a manager. Thus, a Personnel Manager is a manager and as such he must perform the basic functions of management. He exercises authority and leadership over other personnel.

His functions involve (what Luther Gullick calls) POSD CORB, i.e., planning, organising staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting the work of those who are entrusted with the performance of operative functions. In other words, managers procure, process and peddle, find and employ resources, develop services, and find markets for their output.

i. Planning:

Is a predetermined course of action. According to Allen, “it is a trap laid to capture the future.” Terry is of the view that “planning is the foundation of most successful actions of any enterprise.” Planning is the determination of the plans, strategies, programmes, policies, procedures, and standard needs to accomplish the desired organisational objectives. In fact, “planning today avoids crisis tomorrow.”

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Planning is a hard job, for it involves the ability to think, to predict, to analyse, and to come to decisions, to control the actions of its personnel and to cope with a complex, dynamic fluid environment. They bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to go. For this purpose, they determine personnel programmes well in advance.

The two most important features of planning are research and forecasting. These two are interrelated, for forecast is possible only as a result of research. Personnel administration should be able to predict trends in wages, in labour market, in union demands, in other benefits and in personnel policies and programmes.

The task of forecasting personnel needs in relation to changes in production or seasonal variations and the leveling out of differences in production is extremely important, both for employees and for management.

Therefore, planning or decision-making has to be undertaken much in advance of an action so that unforeseen or anticipated problems and events may be properly handled. This is also stressed by the saying- “Good managers make things happen.”

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ii. Organising:

After a course of action has been determined, an organisation should be established to carry it out. According to J.C. Massie, “An organisation is a structure, a framework and a process by which a cooperative group of human beings allocates its tasks among its members, identifies relationships and integrates its activities towards common objectives.”

This is done by designing the structure of relationships among jobs, personnel and physical factors. An organisation is the wedding of authority and responsibility because, in its essentials, it consists of the assignment of specific functions to designated person or departments with authority to have them carried out, and their accountability to management for the results obtained.

It seeks to achieve the maximum return with minimum effort by decentralisation, whereby the power of decisions is brought down as near as possible to the individual concerned. How far this can be done will depend upon the top management’s philosophy and appreciation of the benefits of delegation and decentralisation.

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In the words of Drucker, “The right organisational structure is the necessary foundation; without it, the best performance in all other areas of management will be ineffectual and frustrated.”

iii. Directing:

Directing the subordinates at any level is a basic function of the managerial personnel. According to McGregor, “many managers would agree that the effectiveness of their organisation would be at least doubled if they could discover how to tap the unrealised potential present in their human resources.”

Directing is involved with getting persons together and asking them (either through command or motivation) to work willingly and effectively for the achievement of designated goals. Directing deals not only with the dissemination of orders within an organisation units and departments, but also with the acceptance and execution of these orders by the employees.

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The decisions are taken by the top management, but only after consultation with the personnel department. A review or checking of the safety installments, wage-rate ranges, disciplinary action and general wage changes are all the responsibility of the personnel department.

Final action is taken only when the green signal has been obtained from it. However, securing acceptance and execution generally requires a certain amount of motivation of individuals and groups. Otherwise, the actual performance level may be well below that which is desired.

iv. Co-Ordinating and Controlling:

Co-ordinating refers to balancing timing and integrating activities in an organisation, so that a unity of action in pursuit of a common purpose is achieved. In the words of Terry, “Co-ordination deals with the task of blending efforts in order to ensure a successful attainment of an objective.” Co-ordination in the management of personnel takes place at all levels, from the top management through to the supervisor and those for whom he is responsible.

The personnel department has to co-ordinate the tasks of developing, interpreting and reviewing personnel policies, practices and programmes, such as safety programmes, employee benefits, job evaluation, training or development, and communication. These activities are generally put into operation by and through the line people; but it is the personnel department which follows them through, unifies them, and checks to see how they work.

Controlling is the act of checking, regulating and verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan that has been adopted, the instructions issued and the principles established. It is greatly concerned with actions and remedial actions.

“It is not just score- keeping. It is not just plotting the course and getting location reports; but rather it is steering the ship.” It is through control that actions and operations are adjusted to predetermined standards; and its basis is information in the hands of the managers.

“By check, analysis, and review, the personnel department assists in realising the personnel objectives. Auditing training programmes, analysing labour turnover records, directing morale surveys, conducting separation interviews, interviewing new employees at stipulated intervals, comparing various features of the programme with other organisation programmes in the area, industry and nation — these are some of the means for controlling the management of personnel.”

This monitoring process provides management with actual performance information for comparison with predetermined performance standards. If there are unavoidable deviations from the planned performance, corrective action can be taken immediately.

This last function of control closes the system loop by providing feedback of significant deviations from the planned performance. The feedback of pertinent information can affect the inputs or any of the management functions.

Though all the above functions are performed at all levels of management, the amount of time devoted to each function varies for each management level. The top management performs planning functions more than does the supervisory management. On the other hand, supervisors at the third rung of the management pyramid devote more of their time to directing and controlling production.

Function # 2. Operative:

The operative functions of personnel management are concerned with the activities specifically dealing with procuring, developing, compensating, and maintaining an efficient workforce. These functions are also known as service functions.

i. Procurement Function:

The procurement function is concerned with the obtaining of a proper kind and number of personnel necessary to accomplish an organisation’s goals. It deals specifically with such subjects as the determination of manpower requirements, their recruitment, selection and place (comprising activities to screen and hire personnel, including application-forms, psychological tests, interviews, medical check-up reference calling), induction, follow-up, transfers, lay-offs, discharge and separation, etc.

a. Job Analysis:

Organisations consist of jobs that have to be staffed. Job analysis is the procedure through which the Personnel Manager determines the duties and responsibilities of these jobs and the characteristics of the people to hire for them.

b. Manpower Planning:

It is the process of deciding what positions the firm will have to fill and how to fill them. It is a process of analysing the present and future vacancies that may occur as a result of retirements, discharges, transfers, promotions, sick leave, leave of absence, or other reasons, and an analysis of present and future expansion or curtailment in the various departments.

Plans are then formulated for internal shifts or cut-backs in manpower, for the training and development of present employees, for advertising openings, or for recruiting and hiring new personnel with appropriate qualifications.

c. Recruitment:

It is concerned with the process of attracting qualified and competent personnel for different jobs. This includes the identification of existing sources of the labour market, the development of new sources, and the need for attracting large number of potential applicants so that a good selection may be possible.

d. Selection:

Selection process is concerned with the development of selection policies and procedures and the evaluation of potential employees in terms of job specifications. This process includes the development of application blanks, valid and reliable tests, interview techniques, employee referral systems, evaluation and selection of personnel in terms of job specifications, the making up of final recommendations to the line management and the sending of offers and rejection letters.

e. Placement:

It is concerned with the task of placing an employee in a job for which he is best fitted, keeping in view the job requirements, his qualifications and personality needs.

f. Induction and Orientation:

Induction and orientation are techniques by which a new employee is rehabilitated in his new surroundings and is introduced to the practices, policies and people. The new recruit is introduced to the principles which define and drive the organisation, the mission statement and values which form its backbone.

g. Internal Mobility:

It is the movement of employees from one job to another through transfers and promotions. Transfer process is concerned with the placement of an employee in a position in which his ability can be best utilised. This is done by developing transfer policies and procedures, counseling employees and line management on transfers and evaluating transfer policies and procedures.

Promotion is concerned with rewarding capable employees by putting them in higher positions with more responsibility and higher pay. For this purpose, a fair, just and equitable promotion policy and procedure have to be developed; line managers and employees have to be advised on these policies, which have to be evaluated to find out whether they have been successful.

ii. Development Function:

The development function is concerned with the personnel development of employees by increasing their skill through training so that job performance is properly achieved. Drafting and directing training programmes for all levels of employees, arranging for their on-the-job, office and vestibule training, holding seminars and conferences, providing for educational and vocational counselling and appraising employee potential and performance are undertaken under this function.

The development function is mainly concerned with three specific areas:

a. Training:

It is complex process and is concerned with increasing the capabilities of individuals and groups so that they may contribute effectively to the attainment of organisational goals.

This process includes:

1. The determination of training needs of personnel at all levels, skill training, employee counseling, and programmes for managerial, professional and employee development; and

2. Self-initiated developmental activities (formal education), during off-hours (including attendance at school/college/professional institutes); reading and participation in the activities of the community.

Under this area, the training needs of the company are identified, suitable training programmes are developed, operatives and executives are identified for training, motivation is provided for joining training programmes, the line management is advised in matters of conducting training programmes, and the services of specialists are enlisted. The effectiveness of training programmes has to be evaluated by arranging follow-up studies.

b. Executive Development:

It is a systematic process of developing managerial skills and capabilities through appropriate programmes.

c. Career Planning and Development:

‘Career’ may be defined as the occupational positions a person has had over many years. Career Planning is the planning of one’s career and implementation of career plans by means of education, training, job search and acquisition of work experiences.

Career Management is a process of helping employees to better understand and develop their own skills and interests and to use these skills and interests most effectively both within the company and after they leave the firm. Career Development is concerned with a lifelong effort on the part of an individual aimed at fulfilling a person’s career ambitions, expectations leading to career success and fulfillment.

iii. Compensating Function:

The compensating function is concerned with securing adequate and equitable remuneration to personnel for their contribution to the attainment of organisational objectives. Functions related to wage surveys, establishment of job classifications, job descriptions and job analyses, merit ratings, the establishment of wage rates and wage structure, wage plans and policies, wage systems, incentives and profit-sharing plans, etc., fall under this category.

a. Job evaluation through which the relative worth of a job is determined. This is done by selecting suitable job evaluation techniques, classifying jobs into various categories, and then determining their relative value in various categories.

b. Wage and salary programme consists of developing and operating a suitable wage and salary programme, taking into consideration certain facts such as the ability of the organisation to pay, the cost of living, the supply and demand conditions in labour market, and the wage and salary levels in other firms.

For developing a wage and salary programme, wage and salary surveys have to be conducted, wage and salary rates have to be determined and implemented, and their effectiveness evaluated.

c. The incentive compensation plan includes non-monetary incentives which have to be developed, administered and reviewed from time to time with a view to encouraging the efficiency of the employee.

d. The performance appraisal is concerned with evaluating employee performance at work in terms of predetermined norms/standards with a view to developing a sound system of rewards and punishment and identifying employees eligible for promotions. For this purpose, performance appraisal plans, techniques and programmes are chalked out, their implementation evaluated, and reports submitted to the concerned authorities.

e. Motivation is concerned with motivating employees by creating conditions in which they may get social and psychological satisfaction. For this purpose, a plan for non-financial incentives (such as recognition, privileges, symbols of status) is formulated; a communication system is developed, morale and attitude surveys are undertaken, the health of human organisation diagnosed and efforts are made to improve human relations in the organisation.

The line management has to be advised on the implementation of the plan and on the need, areas and ways and means of improving the morale of employees.

iv. Maintenance Function:

The maintenance function deals with sustaining and improving the conditions that have been established. Specific problems of maintaining the physical conditions of employees (health and safety measures) and employee service programmes are the responsibility of the personnel department.

Flippo rightly says, “The purpose of all of these activities is to assist in the accomplishment of the organisation’s basic objectives. Consequently, the starting point of personnel management as of all management must be a specification of those objectives and a determination of the sub-objectives of the personnel function. The expenditure of all funds in the personnel department can be justified only insofar as there is a net contribution toward company objectives.”

a. Health and Safety:

Personnel Managers must take care of all statutory provisions governing the health and safety of employees. They must ensure a work environment that protects employees from physical hazards, unhealthy working conditions and unsafe acts of other personnel. Through proper safety and health programmes, the physical and psychological well-being of employees must be preserved and even improved.

b. Employee Welfare and Social Security Measures:

Employee welfare includes the services, amenities and facilities offered to employees within or outside the establishment for their physical, psychological and social well-being. Housing, transportation, education and recreation facilities are all included in the employee welfare package. Managements provide social security to their employees in addition to fringe benefits.

These measures include:

(1) Workmen’s compensation to those workers (or their dependents) who are involved in accidents;

(2) Maternity benefits to women employees;

(3) Sickness benefits and medical benefits;

(4) Disablement benefits/allowance;

(5) Dependent benefits;

(6) Retirement benefits like Provident Fund, Pension, Gratuity, etc.

v. Integrating Function:

The integration function, after the employee has been procured, his skill and ability developed and monetary compensation determined, the most important, yet difficult of the personnel management is to bring about an “integration” of human resources with organisation, and to cope with inevitable conflicts that ensue.

“Integration” is concerned with the attempt to effect a reasonable reconciliation of individual, societal, and organisational interests.

a. Grievance Handling:

A grievance is any factor involving wages, hours or conditions of employment that is used as a complaint against the employer. Constructive grievance handling depends first on the manager’s ability to recognise, diagnose and correct the causes of potential employee dissatisfaction before it converts into a formal grievance.

b. Discipline:

It is the force that prompts an individual or a group to observe the rules, regulations and procedures, which are deemed necessary for the attainment of an objective.

c. Trade Unions:

A Trade union is an association either of employees or employers or independent workers. It is a relatively permanent body formed by workers, generally speaking, with the primary objective of countering exploitation and harassment.

It strives towards providing economic and social benefits to the labour community. Trade unions have always played a powerful role in improving the lot of workers in India, using aggressive bargaining tactics.

After 1990s, of course, there is a dramatic change in the thinking of both workers and management — as both parties seem to have realised the need to get along with each other — instead of trying to confront each other on every issue which was the practice previously — in order to survive and flourish in a tough, competitive environment.

d. Collective Bargaining:

It is the process of agreeing on a satisfactory labour contract between management and union. The contract contains agreements about conditions of employment such as wages, hours, promotion, and discipline; lay-offs, benefits, vacations, rest pauses and the grievance procedure.

The process of bargaining generally takes time, as both parties tend to make proposals and counter-proposals. The resulting agreement must be ratified by unions, workers and management.

e. Industrial Relations:

Harmonious industrial relations between labour and management are essential to achieve industrial growth and higher productivity. When the relationship between the parties is not cordial, discontentment develops and conflicts erupt abruptly. It is not always easy to put out the fires with the existing dispute-settlement machinery, created by the government. Hence, both labour and management must appreciate the importance of openness, trust and collaboration in their day-to-day dealings.


Functions of Personnel Management – Enumerated by Edwin B. Flippo

Personnel management is the management of human resources in an organization and it is basically concerned with the creation of harmonious working relationships among its participants and bringing about their utmost individual development. All the functions of personnel management have a basic objective to bring together expertise in a scientific way and to create attitudes that motivate a group to achieve its goals economically, effectively and speedily.

The major objective of every organization is survival and growth. The various people at work put their best efforts so as to achieve these organizational objectives. But during a period of time the organization is deprived of the services of some of its employees because of various reasons such as death, retirement, dismissal, disablement, turnover, etc. So these are to be replaced by new hands.

Moreover, as an organization grows, it requires more manpower. The function of a personnel department is to assist with the acquisition, development and retention of the human resources necessary for the success of the organization.

Hence, the objectives of personnel department can be described as follows:

(i) Attracting and securing appropriate hands capable of performing effectively the organization’s specific tasks;

(ii) Utilizing the manpower effectively; and

(iii) Generating maximum individual development of the people working in the organization.

Edwin B. Flippo has enumerated two functions of personnel management:

(a) Managerial functions; and

(b) Operative functions.

(a) Managerial Functions:

A manager is one who exercises authority and leadership over other personnel. As a manager, the Personnel Manager must perform the basic functions of management. The listing of major management functions varies with the experts. Perhaps the original listing was that of Henri Fayol in General and Industrial Management.

He proposed a sequence of planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Luther Gullick calls these functions as POSDCORB i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, directing, co-ordinating, reporting and budgeting.

Others suggest:

(1) Planning, organizing and controlling;

(2) Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, innovating and representing; and

(3) Just planning and controlling. The differences are in emphasis rather than in content. Let us consider the managerial functions under four headings of planning, organizing, directing and controlling.

(i) Planning:

Planning means, for the personnel manager, the determination in advance of a personnel programme that will contribute to goals established for the enterprise. Planning is concerned with conscious determination of course of action required to achieve the predetermined objectives.

The two most important features of planning are research and forecasting. These two are inter-related since forecast is possible only as a result of research. The personnel manager should be able to predict trends in wages, in labour market, in union demands, in other benefits and in personnel policies and programmes.

He has to perform another very important task of forecasting personnel needs in relation to changes in production or seasonal variations and the leveling out of differences in production. He has to decide in advance what, when, where, why, how and by whom it is to be done.

(ii) Organizing:

After a course of action has been determined, an organization must be established to carry it out. Organizing is an important activity of personnel manager by which he brings together the manpower and material resources for the achievement of organizational objectives. Organization involves “identification and grouping the activities to be performed and dividing them among the individuals and creating authority and responsibility relationships among them”.

(iii) Directing:

Directing means “moving to action and supplying stimulating power to group of persons” in the opinion of G. R. Terry”. Direction involves issuance of orders and instructions and providing guidance and motivation to subordinates to follow the path laid down in advance. Directing essentially involves getting people to go to work willingly and effectively.

(iv) Controlling:

Controlling is the most important function of management. Controlling means regulating the activities of the personnel in accordance with the personnel plans. It involves the observation of action and its comparison with plans and the correction of any deviations that may occur. At times it also involves the realignment of plans and their adjustment to unchangeable deviations. Controlling is seeing that actual performance is guided towards expected performance.

(b) Operative Functions:

An operative is one who has no authority over other but has been given a specific task or duty to perform under managerial supervision. Operative functions of personnel management are also known as service functions or routine functions and they are concerned with the activities like procuring, developing, compensating, integrating and maintaining an efficient workforce.

(i) Procurement:

This operative function of personnel management is concerned with the obtaining of the proper kind and number of personnel necessary to accomplish organization’s goals. It deals specifically with such subjects as the determination of human resources requirements and their recruitment, selection and placement. The actual hiring process entails a multitude of activities designed to screen personnel, such as reviewing application forms, psychological testing, checking references, conducting interviews etc.

(ii) Development:

Development function has to do with the increase of skill, through training, that is necessary for proper job performance.

This function covers activities like drafting and directing training programmes for all levels of employees, arranging for their on-the-job, office and vestibule-training, holding seminars and conferences, providing for educational and vocational counseling and appraising employee potential and performance.

(iii) Compensation:

Compensation function is defined as securing the adequate and equitable remuneration of personnel for their contribution to attain organization objectives. It includes activities related to wage surveys, wage policies, wage systems, job classifications, job descriptions, job analyses, merit-ratings, wage-rates, incentives, profit-sharing plans etc.

(iv) Integration:

After the employee has been procured, his skills and abilities developed, and monetary compensation reasonably determined, the most important task of personnel management is to integrate the individuals with organization. Integration is concerned with the attempt to effect a reasonable reconciliation of individual, societal and organizational interests. This has to do with the feelings and attitudes of personnel in conjunction with the principles and policies of organizations. It also deals with problems like grievances, disciplinary action, labour unions etc.

(v) Maintenance:

Maintenance function deals with sustaining and improving the conditions that will perpetuate a willing and able work force. The maintenance of willingness is heavily affected by communication with employees. The physical condition of employees – their health and safety has to be maintained. Employee service programmes is the responsibility of personnel management.

(vi) Separation:

If the first function of personnel management is to secure the employee, 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 organization is responsible for meeting certain requirements of due process in separation, as well as assuring that the returned citizen is in as good shape as possible. Flippo rightly discusses this function dealing with retirement, lay off, out-placement, and discharge.

Flippo says, “The purpose of all the activities both managerial and operative, is to assist in the accomplishment of basic objectives. Consequently, the starting point of personnel management, as of all management, must be a specification of those objectives and a determination of the sub-objectives of the personnel function. The expenditure of all funds in the personnel area can be justified only in so far as there is a net contribution towards basic goals”.

It is important to note that personnel management, in order to be effective and efficient, cannot afford to neglect either of these two major functions.

In this respect, John F. Mee comments that “it is essential to grasp the significance of this dual division of personnel functions if the mistake of becoming preoccupied with the demand of detailed problems to the neglect of managerial duties is to be avoided. It is easy, as many executives have learned to their regret, to become so busy with such tasks as hiring, transferring, counselling and training that they fail to foresee shifting conditions which call for changes in operative functions, they fail to organize the work of subordinates satisfactorily, and they fail to keep a good check upon the work of subordinates”.


Functions of Personnel Management – General Functions of Personnel Management Provided by W.R Spriegal

The functions of Personnel Management / Personnel Manager / di­rector are very comprehensive and varied and they are determined by such factors as the size, nature and location of the organisation, business or industry, its short and long – term objectives, the nature of industry and its product, market conditions, extent of competition among rivals, its social, economic, cultural, political and legal environments the structure of the executive and administrative officers, the mental make-up of personnel officers and the overall organisational philosophy of business.

W. R. Spriegal has divided the functions of Personnel Department into six categories:

Function # 1. Employment:

i. To cultivate and maintain adequate source of labour supply.

ii. To get information regarding job requirements and prevailing wage rates.

iii. To hire through the effective use of application blanks, tests, physical examination interviews and checking references, records of supervisor approval.

iv. To maintain records of prospective employees, present employ­ees and former employees.

v. To introduce the new employee to company policies and his supervision and to follow him up for an early.

Function # 2. Promotion, Transfer and Termination:

i. To aid the establishment of times of promotion and to follow up, as far as possible in order to see that company policies are followed.

ii. To aid in the establishment of company policies regarding transfers for the convenience of the company and employee, to correct misplacement of employees, to increase flexibil­ity of employees as a part of a work stabilisation programme and to provide the necessary records to carry out the policies.

iii. To aid in the formation of policies regarding termination, as well as separation.

iv. To remove as much as possible the causes for discharges.

v. To check the cause of all voluntary separations to strive to remove the cause when possible and to maintain adequate records at all separations.

Function # 3. Training:

i. To aid in the formulation of policies governing training of new employees, employees being upgraded apprentices, and supervisors and in some cases to supervise same aspects of training.

ii. To provide for training in safety and company policies.

iii. To co-operate in the preparation of a special annual report for employee.

iv. To co-operate in promoting employee suggestions.

Function # 4. Wages and Other Incentives:

i. To collaborate with others or be responsible for wage plans.

ii. To write job specifications and evaluate all jobs.

iii. To participate in the formulation of policies, governing pay­ment pension plans, profit sharing, programmes, mutual savings, programmes credit unions etc.

Function # 5. Service Activities:

i. To supervise restaurants and recreation facilities.

ii. To provide counselling concerning personnel affairs.

iii. To publish the plant magazine.

iv. To engage in any activity not directly related to the work situation but designed to-improve morale.

Function # 6. Collective Bargaining Employees Representation:

i. To conduct union negotiations and to co-operate with union responsibilities.

ii. To co-operate with an employee’s club which is not on the union level

iii. To participate actively in handling grievances.


Functions of Personnel Management – Scope and Functions of Personnel Department of a Business Organisation

The personnel department of a business organi­sation has to perform various functions, some of which are vital and basic for the organisation. The manning of the organisation in the most pru­dent way for the realisation of its goals is the es­sence of all the functions of personnel management.

Right from man-power planning, recruitment and selection, personnel management moves on with the organisation with its functions and pursues an employee till his retirement and even still further to the point where he settles his retirement bene­fits or starts getting the retirement benefits.

So, truly speaking, the personnel management is with an employee from his birth in the organisation till his death outside the organisation. We can quote here Edwin B. Flipps – “The personnel function is concerned with the procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of the personnel of an organisation toward the accom­plishment of that organisation’s major goals or policies.”

Our National Institute of Personnel Management also indicated the personnel func­tions more or less on this line. Employment, Educa­tion & Training, Wages, Joint consultation, Health and safety and Employee services and Welfare – all have been considered as functions of personnel management by the National Institute of Person­nel Management.

The activities of the personnel department, so to say, are spread over three areas – Recruitment, Retainment and Retirement. To these 3R’s of ac­tivities, various subsidiary functions crop up and upon the successful management of all these func­tions depends the attainment of the goals of an or­ganisation.

The functions of the personnel department may be classified as – (a) Staff functions (b) Service func­tions (c) Functional activities and (d) Welfare ac­tivities.

To highlight the problems of the human re­source by disseminating information to the line au­thorities constitutes the basic function of the per­sonnel department. This department, as a matter of fact, acts as liaison between the workers and management. The personnel manager has to endea­vour to create an atmosphere where free exchange of ideas and information between the workers and the management is possible.

Through the person­nel department, the top management of the organ­isation will keep contact even with the common workers. This department will carry on its activi­ties to facilitate easy communication from the top to the bottom; there will not be any difficulty, be­cause of this department, in the matter of express­ing the views and feelings of the workers to the top management personnel – the line staff. Thus, the personnel department of the personnel man­agement will discharge its staff functions.

As to its service functions, the personnel depart­ment explores the sources of recruitment, selects the best candidates and makes arrangements for their training. Merit rating, devising, suitable and satisfactory method of promotion, and main­taining of workers’ discipline come within the pur­view of the personnel department of an organisation.

It is also not a mean function of the personnel department to find out mutually satisfactory methods of wage payments with incentive ele­ments to ensure better labour-capital relation and higher productivity. To provide for various retire­ment benefits and recreational facilities for the employees, at present have become very impor­tant function of the department.

To ensure better service of the organisation, the personnel department is to maintain proper records relating to employees and these activities can better be termed functional activities of the per­sonnel department.

The welfare activities meant for the benefit of the employees such as provision for first aid, gen­eral medical services, and devices for minimisation of the risks of accidents are becoming more and more important in the Welfare State.

Scope of Personnel Management:

Human resource management (HRM) traditionally referred to the organizational policies, practices, norms, and systems that influence employee behaviour, attitudes, and performance. Today, HRM practices are considered essential for achieving business objectives and goals.

With liberalization, privatization, globalization, and increased career opportunities, there are a number of factors that have made the traditional approach to personnel management obsolete. The present situation demands a complete, holistic, and strategic approach to HRM. An organization’s HRM strategy must fit in the overall organizational strategy because it involves long-term implications.

The modern approach to management acknowledges the interest of the employees who are the major stakeholders in an organization. Thus, a knowledge of the group dynamics is crucial for success. In addition to the interest of the employees, process and performance are the other requirements.

An organization cannot function without the application of information technology, strategic manage­ment, competency development, total quality management, leadership and team building, managing change for success, etc. For all these processes to run smoothly, HRM has to manifest its importance.

However, with the introduction of HRM, the usual practice of personnel management (PM) can­not be ignored. It is important to consider the various aspects of PM along with the new practices of HRM for the organization to run smoothly.


Function of Personnel Management – Various Functions of Personnel Management

An organization can be a manufacturing firm, an insurance company, a government agency, a social organization, a hospital, a university, a public school system, or even a religious trust. Whatever be the organization, it needs people to perform tasks.

The duties and responsibilities of each person differ significantly in an organization. Organizational objectives are multiple, and each department strives to accomplish the departmental objectives to achieve the business goals of the organization.

In order to achieve these goals, a well-run establishment needs to work out a set of rules and regulations, policies, programmes, procedures, instructions, etc., common to all the departments. These are developed to assist the members of the organization in accomplishing the organizational goals effectively in a systematic manner.

It has already been said that people are the principal component of an organization, and one needs to invest considerable effort in them. This is important for using the manpower effectively and efficiently. Thus, managers need to plan, organize, lead, and control various activities. Personnel management is concerned with the effective use of the skills of people.

They may be salespeople in a store, clerks in an office, operators in a factory, technicians in a research laboratory, or a software developer in an information company. In a business, PM starts with the recruiting, hiring, and engaging of qualified people, and directing and taking control of the problems and tensions that arise in working towards established goals.

To summarize, the various personnel management functions are as follows:

1. Preparing the job description

2. Recruiting and selecting personnel

3. Induction and placement

4. Classifying jobs and preparing wage and salary scales

5. Counselling employees

6. Dealing with disciplinary problems

7. Negotiating with labour unions and service union contracts

8. Developing safety standards and practices

9. Managing benefit programmes, such as group insurance, health, and retirement plans

10. Providing for periodic reviews of the performance of each individual employee, recognition of his/her strengths and need for further development

11. Assisting individuals in their efforts to develop and qualify for more advanced jobs

12. Planning and supervising training programs

13. Keeping abreast of developments in the area of personnel management.


Functions of Personnel Management – Two Broad Categories of Personnel Management Functions

There are two broad categories of functions of personnel management, which are:

1. Management Function

2. Operative Function

These are explained as follows:

Function # 1. Management:

They are as follows:

a. Planning:

Planning is the basic function of personnel management. It can be described as the beginning of other functions. Planning can be described as a well-defined course of future action. Personnel department is required to determine the personnel requirements, personnel programmes, policies, procedures and methods, etc. Business operations are to be planned with reference to the overall objectives of the enterprise.

b. Organisation:

The function of organising refers to the creation of a structure of duties and function to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. According to Urwick “Organisation is determining what activities are necessary for any purpose (or plan) and arranging them in groups which may be assigned to individuals.” Organisation thus is concerned with activity-authority relationship. Under organisation, the personnel manager creates a structure of duties and functions to achieve the objectives of the enterprise.

c. Directing:

Direction can be described as the process of guiding and supervising the subordinates. In the enterprise, the work of different subordinates is to be guided and supervised. Personnel manager is required to give a specific direction to various activities in the office with a view to its proper functioning. He is required to guide and to supervise the work of different departments.

d. Controlling:

It is the last stage in management. Here, actual performance is compared with plans and taking corrective action when results deviate from plans. Under controlling, personnel manager evaluates and controls the performance of various employees working under him.

Function # 2. Operative:

Operative functions are discussed in the following manner:

a. Procurement:

This first operative function is concerned with the obtaining of the proper kind and number of personnel necessary to achieve the objectives of the organisation. This function is related to subjects like the determination of manpower requirements and their recruitment, selection and placement cover various activities designed to screen and hire personnel, such as application forms, psychological tests and interviews.

b. Development:

After the personnel have been taken, it becomes necessary to develop them. Development implies the enhancement of skill—through training, that is necessary for proper job performance. Development function will be influenced by various factors, like induction of new machines, promotions and transfers.

c. Compensation:

This function can be defined as the adequate and equitable remuneration of personnel for their contribution in achieving the objectives of organisation. Compensating remains one of the basic functions of personnel management. A proper subject like job evaluation, wage policies, wage systems and wage-incentive schemes.

d. Integration:

The function of integration relates to problems of communication, informal organisation and trade unions. Integration can be defined as an attempt to effect a reasonable reconciliation of individual and organisational interests. Integration must follow the above three functions of procurement, development and compensation.

e. Maintenance:

It refers to sustaining and improving the working conditions that have been established. However, it must be pointed out that it would be necessary to take care of physical well-being and mental well-being of the employees. In other words, it includes establishment of health, sanitation, safety standards and welfare facilities such as canteen, recreation rooms, group insurance, education of the employees children and so on.


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