What is Human Resource Management ? Objectives and Functions of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management: Introduction

Human beings are one for the major components of any organizational/ institutional ecosystem. The capacity  and ability of humans to perform and to manage, determine the extent of the organization. Humans acquire the capacity and ability to perfirm from continuous learning and experience. Later, we, humans, carry forward this learning and understanding in managing problems and fulfilling responsibilities at our workplace.

Scientific Human Resource Management is a new discipline but the practices of human resources management can be dated back to 2000 B.C. when Chinese used employee-screening technique and Greeks used an apprentice system to select and train individuals for jobs. The rapid industrialization of  Great Britain during the late 1700s and early 1800s witnessed the evolution in Human Resource Management.

Human Resource Management: Definition

Human Resources Management(HRM) is related with all the aspects of how people are employed and managed in organizations. HRM is a strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the job market and development and well-being of the people working in organizations. It is the process through which management  builds the workforce and tries to create the  human performances that the organization needs.

To define it, Human Resource Management is a process of bringing people and organizations together so that the goals of both can be met. Human Resource Management (HRM) is a management function which is concerned with hiring, motivating, and maintaining people in an organization. The main focus of this management function is on people working in/for the organization.

Definitions from Scholars

According to M.L. Cuming,“Human Resource Management is concerned with obtaining the best possible staff for an organization and having got them looking after them so that they want to stay and give their best to their jobs.”

Edison defines Human Resource Management as the science of human engineering.

Dale Yader defines  Human Resource Management as that part of the phase management progress which is primarily concerned with the human constituents of an organization.

Objectives of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management function basically focuses on the human and the management aspect of any organization. Hence, the objectives of HRM glorifies the workforce in the organization and the actions, values and concerns of those workforce to fulfill organizational short-term and long-term goals. Some of the well-defined objectives of human resource management are;

  1. To develop an effective coordination and communication within the organization.
  2. To define an organizational structure which drives employee and organizational productivity.
  3. To align and integrate individual and group goals with the organizational goals.
  4. To identify and define the individual and group needs and necessities such as fair wages/salaries, incentives concern, social security, recognition and rewards etc.
  5. To strengthen and maintain a healthy relation between management and the organizational workforce.
  6. To continuously strengthen the human assets through proper training and development programs.
  7. To maintain a healthy relationship among the employees and to establish a favorable working environment.
  8. To motivate the employees and keep their morale high.
  9. To manage employee and organizational data and to manage related compliances.

Functions of Human Resource Management

It is well established that HRM is a defined function in any organization. It is required at all levels of organization. Top level management are responsible for formation of strategies and their application whereas other levels execute the formed strategies. Some of the functions of HRM can be classified into;

1. Recruiting and Hiring

Recruitment and Hiring process is one the important HR functions in any organization. Hiring and recruiting talent is a crucial responsibility, also in the present day, HR is not only restricted to attending job fairs and skimming resumes for potential candidates. Now, the HR department is also responsible for workforce planning, writing job descriptions, advertising the opening, screening candidates, interviewing candidates and assisting managers. In addition, talent management is a new horizon in recruiting and hiring. The main objective here is to get the right people in the right place.

2. Compensation Management

Compensation management deals with shaping salary, benefits and incentives for the employees. Moreover, the HR department is also responsible for defining the salary ranges and providing the compensation according to the roles and responsibility assigned. The HR department working together with front-line supervisors and managers, is responsible for setting strategies to ensure competitive and equitable wages, salary, compensation, benefits and incentives. 

3. Performance Management

HR departments are indulged in performance management of all the employees.  It basically means evaluating how employees are performing at individual and group level. Along with it, HR responsibility includes motivating employees to perform well for which they create programs and plans. 

Not only this, the HR department is responsible to take proper action to those who do not perform well or violate policies. All disciplinary policies fall under performance management.

4. Benefits Management

Benefits are the form of compensation given to employees. Fringe benefits given in a job makes a job competitively attractive and motivates employees. To illustrate, education benefits, holiday benefits, child care benefits, health coverage, accommodation and travelling benefits etc. are essential benefits in a workplace. 

HR function evaluates the performance and determines the benefit packages for the employees.

5. Professional Development and Training

The work environment is dynamic and its human nature to try things out of curiosity. Such behavior leads humans to grow and learn new things. Employers, to capitalize this desire for growth and development, need to orient training to the employees considering the changing environment. HR function is responsible for training employees and improving the human competencies

For instance, training sessions, procedural orientations, strategy meetings, employee meetups, on and off the job training, technical training etc. are regular in any organization. All such activities are HR functions and contribute to professional development and training.

6. Employee Relations

The HR department plays an important role by acting as a bridge between employee and employer. They invest to make the employee-employer relation stronger. Also, employers share their expectation to HR departments and employees can put their request to the employer via HR. Besides such direct responsibility, the HR department is constantly looking for the benefit of the employer and employee. 

7. Worker Safety and Health

HR function is responsible for all the human-related issues in an organization. They are the authority to look after the voices and actions of all the employees. For this purpose, worker’s safety is a prime concern in today’s employment world. An ignorance can cost a huge sum of money to the company. Therefore, the HR department regularly plans and implements policies and procedures that make employees safe and the work environment healthier. 

Also, when it comes to workers’ health, HR is concerned with the mental health of the employees. Furthermore, activities like team gathering, counseling sessions, paid leaves, adjustable work hours etc. are some small adaptations which lead to workers safety and health.


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