According to Storey (1995), HRM is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques. An efficiently run human resources department can provide your organization with structure and the ability to meet business needs through managing your company’s most valuable resources – its employees.
There are several HR disciplines, but HR practitioners in each discipline may perform more than one of the more than six essential functions. In small businesses without a dedicated HR department, it’s possible to achieve the same level of efficiency and workforce management through outsourcing HR functions or joining a professional employer organization.
In this article, we will go over the 14 essential Functions of Human Resource departments and explain how they help move the organization forward. These functions are as follows:
Human Resource Planning
The first function of HR is all about knowing the future needs of the organization. What kind of people does the organization need, and how many? Knowing this will shape the recruitment, selection, performance management, learning and development, and all other HR functions. Human resources planning is similar to workforce planning. Both focus on where the organization is today and what it needs to be successful in the future.
The HR office handles numerous essential elements of your business. It is instrumental in giving work law consistent, record continuing, recruiting and hiring, pay, social help, and help with dealing with the explicit executive. These functions are critical because without those functions being completed, your company would not be able to meet the essential needs of management and staff.
In a unionized work environment, the employee and labor relations functions of HR may be combined and handled by one specialist or be entirely separate functions managed by two HR specialists with specific expertise in each area.
Employee relations is the HR discipline concerned with strengthening the employer-employee relationship by measuring job satisfaction, employee engagement, and resolving workplace conflict. Labour relations functions may include developing management response to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and rendering interpretations of labor union contract issues.
Recruitment And Selection
Recruitment process outsourcing is the process of captivating, screening, and selecting potential and qualified candidates based on objective criteria for a particular job. The goal of this process is to attract qualified applicants and to encourage the unqualified applicants to opt themselves out.
The recruitment and selection process is very important to every organization because it reduces the costs of mistakes such as engaging incompetent, unmotivated, and under-qualified employees. Firing the unqualified candidate and hiring the new employee is again an expensive process.
Training and Development
Employers must provide employees with the tools necessary for their success which, in many cases, means giving new employees extensive orientation training to help them transition into a new organizational culture. Many HR departments also provide leadership training and professional development. Corporate training may be required of newly hired and promoted supervisors and managers on topics such as performance management and how to handle employee relations matters at the department level.
In a unionized work environment, the employee and labor relations functions of HR may be combined and handled by one specialist or be entirely separate functions managed by two HR specialists with specific expertise in each area. Employee relations is the HR discipline concerned with strengthening the employer-employee relationship through measuring job satisfaction, employee engagement and resolving workplace conflict. Labor relations functions may include developing management response to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and rendering interpretations of labor union contract issues.
Compensation and Benefits
Like employee and labor relations, the compensation and benefits functions of HR often can be handled by one HR specialist with dual expertise. On the compensation side, the HR functions include setting compensation structures and evaluating competitive pay practices. A comp and benefits specialist also may negotiate group health coverage rates with insurers and coordinate activities with the retirement savings fund administrator. Payroll can be a component of the compensation and benefits section of HR; however, in many cases, employers outsource such administrative functions as payroll.
Labor Law Compliance
Compliance with labor and employment laws is a critical HR function. Noncompliance can result in workplace complaints based on unfair employment practices, unsafe working conditions and general dissatisfaction with working conditions that can affect productivity and ultimately, profitability. HR staff must be aware of federal and state employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act and many other rules and regulations.
Recognition and Rewards
Rewards & Recognitions are a way of making employees feel worthy of their work as appreciation serves as the best motivation. recognitions and Rewards can be monetary or non-monetary. A task or goal or performance linked to rewards, and further evaluation and reward is usually the cycle.
Rewards could be a sponsored vacation, raise in salary, bonus, performance-based pay. Recognitions could be a higher post, job security, growth opportunities, a good work environment, accolades, and offering credibility across the company. Rewards & Recognitions not only motivates employees but also helps to retain them.
Long-term advantages of rewards and recognition are –
- Rewards and recognitions have a direct impact on attrition rates.
- Performance can be enhanced through rewards & recognitions.
- Higher loyalty standards can be established.
- Better teamwork can be best explored.
- Absenteeism and negative behavior can be curtailed.
- Employees are engaged and enjoy their work.
Health and safety
Health & Safety is a prime HR function in the entire landscape of Human Resource Management. Employees spend most of their time at work and to bring them a safe environment, that is amicable and guarded is the prerogative of the organization.
Organizations should consider-
- Safety and health policies according to industry benchmarks.
- Safety and health training from time to time.
- Sexual harassment act for women employees.
- Health initiatives within the company premises.
Companies should focus not only on a plush working environment too. From the health perspective, various drives, seminars and workshops are an undisputed need in the interest of the employees. Free health camps and paid medical insurance policies for employee& family are some of the initiatives companies can engage in for their employee health & safety.
Maintaining Good Working Conditions
It is the responsibility of the human resource management to provide good working conditions to the employee so that they may like the workplace and the work environment. It is the fundamental duty of the HR department to motivate the employees. The study has been found that employees don’t contribute to the goals of the organization as much as they can. This is because of the lack of motivation.
Human resource management should come up with a system to provide financial and non-financial benefits to the employee from the various departments. Employee welfare is another concept which should be managed by HR team. Employee welfare promotes job satisfaction.
Another function of HR is its administrative responsibility. These include personnel procedures and Human Resource Information Systems.
Personnel procedures involve the handling of promotions, relocations, discipline, performance improvement, illness, regulations, cultural and racial diversity, unwanted intimacies, bullying, and so on.
For each of these situations, policies and procedures need to be developed and followed to successfully comply with the requests, or overcome these challenges.
As an HR function, succession planning is an initiative towards monitoring and working an existing employees’ growth path such that he can be promoted within. Companies can identify bright and promising employees inside an organization and work on developing their growth path. Employees who feel assured of a promising work environment within the company will not leave.
Companies should work out strategies for individual development, engage employees in grooming and challenging activities to develop them towards a higher role. Showing employees how their personal ambition can align with the future of the company helps to engage and retain them. For the organization, there are the benefits of better succession planning, higher productivity, and a stronger employer brand.
Industrial Relations as a HR function is primarily practised in manufacturing & production units. Unions rule industrial units with a motive that collectively speaks of the goodwill of the employees. A company in the production & manufacturing domain should have prevalent Industrial Relations practises and should continuously engage in talks with unions to maintain an amicable situation.
Industrial Relations aims towards a continuous production process, reducing production time and resource wastage, reduce serious disputes including strikes and protests, better and safer working conditions, meeting wage standards and expectation. Industrial Relations if handled sensitively can avoid lawsuits, protests, walkouts, loss of production time, and money.
Unionization is still very prevalent in Europe. In 2015, 92% of employees in Iceland were a member of a union, followed by Sweden (67%), Belgium (55%), Italy (37%), Ireland (27%) and Canada (27%). Maintaining good relations with unions will help to spot and resolve potential conflicts quickly and will also be beneficial in more difficult economic times when layoffs or other actions are required.
Performance management is essential in ensuring that workers stay productive and engaged. Good performance management involves good leadership, clear goal-setting, and open feedback.
Performance management tools include the (bi)annual performance review, in which the employee is reviewed by his/her manager. It also includes 360-degree feedback tools in which peers, managers, subordinates, and sometimes even customers review the employee’s performance. These kinds of tools can be very helpful in providing feedback.
Ideally, employees should be reviewed on a 360-degree scale, where peers, subordinates, seniors and even customers offer feedback on an employee’s performance. The performance management system is effective in identifying the gaps in performances that can be filled with training and skill enhancement.
Performance management system, in the long run, is a profitable affair. Clear accountabilities, better productivity, reduced conflicts, job satisfaction and enhanced productivity levels all, in the long run, materialize to lesser attrition.
Function evaluation is a more technical role of HR that involves comparing various functions in terms of qualification, the quality, and availability of workers, job location, working times, the economic situation, job responsibility, and how much value this job adds to the organization. The idea behind function evaluation is that similar jobs should be rewarded similarly.
There are different ways of internally ranking functions:
- Ranking Method: a method in which subject matter experts rank functions in terms of how much they contribute to the organization as a whole. Functions are paired and raters have to decide which one is more valuable. This is done with all functions and based on the outcome, a ranking is established.
- Classification method: jobs can also be classified in different categories using classification methods. In this case, jobs are categorized and then ranked within these categories to come up with a ranking. Categorizations can include education, experience, the degree of specialized skills needed to do the job, the degree to which these skills are in-demand, and so on.
- Points method: jobs are categorized according to the factors the organization believes contribute most to its success. Points are then awarded to each category for every job. These categories can include key competencies, like problem-solving, technical knowledge, communication and influencing skills, innovative capability, business acumen, and so on. These competencies will differ per organization
- Personal method: in this method, the job itself is not evaluated but the person doing the job is. Here, employees are rewarded based on their personal skills and competencies.
Apart from the above, the HR function involves managing change, technology, innovation, and diversity. It is no longer confined to the culture or ethos of any single organization; its keynote is a cross-fertilization of ideas from different organizations. Periodic social audits of HR functions are considered essential. HR professionals have an all-encompassing role.
They are required to have a thorough knowledge of the organization and its intricacies and complexities. The ultimate goal of every HR manager should be to develop a linkage between the employee and the organization because the employee’s commitment to the organization is crucial.
The first and foremost role of HR functionary is to impart continuous education to employees about the changes and challenges facing the country in general and their organization in particular.
The employees should know about their balance sheet, sales progress, diversification plans, restructuring plans, sharp price movements, turnover, and all such details. The HR professionals should impart education to all employees through small booklets, video films, and lectures.
I hope this article helped you in finding out what main purposes do the HR have and you found out ways to accomplish those. All the best!