Research Paper: Human Resource Management the First Organized Employment

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Human Resource Management

The first organized employment structures were formed during the Industrial Revolution, as mechanized work was introduced and the need for labor force in factories increased. From that point on, a massive process of urbanization was commenced and, through it, people moved from the rural to the urban sites in search for better lives. What they found was however not as fruitful as initially hoped. The first employment structures were exploiting the individuals by having them work long hours, in risky conditions, for miserable pay checks; by forcing women and children to do men's work and then underpaying them. Gradually, the first unions were formed and the rights of the employees began to shape. Today, the organizational staff member in developed countries is respected and cherished for his ability to generate additional value for the organization. And this value is not only created through the ability to operate the machines and serve the customers, but also through the intellectual capital possessed by the employees.

In order to best put this technical and intellectual capital to work, organizational leaders develop and implement a wide series of human resource strategies. The basic aim of these strategies is that of stimulating the employees to take a more active role in the accomplishment of organizational goals by increasing their performances, commitments, loyalty to the firm and so on. At the technical level, six distinctive dimensions of human resource management are identified and a question is being posed relative to the interactions between them in the support of the primary HRM function. As this question is answered, several lessons are learnt.

2. The Six Functions of Human Resource Management

In order to attain the pre-established goals and stimulate employees to better support organizational goals, the managerial team develops and implements the HRM strategies in six different directions, as follows:

1. Equal employment opportunities and affirmative action

2. Human resources planning, recruitment, and selection

3. Human resources development

4. Compensation and benefits

5. Safety and Health

6. Employee and labor relations.

2.1. Equal employment opportunities and affirmative action

Affirmative action and equal employment opportunities were traditionally perceived as components of the emancipation movement by which women and other races would militate for the same employment rights as the white males. At a more specific level, the insurance of equal employment opportunities is constructed on the following principles:

The hiring of employees based on criteria relevant solely to the position and not any other irrelevant criteria

Employee selection based on merit criteria

Employee remuneration based on performance and potential

Improvement of career developments for all staff members, including those with disabilities

The creation and maintenance of a working environment free from harassment and bullying (Liverpool City Council).

2.2. Human resources planning, recruitment, and selection

The planning of the Human resources refers mainly to the assessment of the organization's staffing needs at the overall company level, as well as at the specific levels of organizational departments. The process is complex as it includes elements of past trends, future expectations, market conditions, technicalities of positions and so on. Additionally, the importance of adequate recruitment and selection is given by the disadvantages generated by an inadequate recruitment and selection. "Recruiting people who are wrong for the organization can lead to increased labor turnover, increased costs for the organization, and lowering of morale in the existing workforce" (ACAS).

2.3. Human resources development

In a most simplistic formulation, the development of the human resource refers to processes by which the skills and professional abilities of the employees are enhanced with the final purpose of having them better support the accomplishment of the organizational goals. Techniques through which human resource development is implemented include training programs, mentoring, coaching, tuition assistance or employee career development (Heathfield).

2.4. Compensation and benefits

Compensation is generically understood as the sum of money through which the efforts of the employee are remunerated. Aside the actual salary, a difference in the employee's commitment to reaching organizational goals can be offered by the benefits, such as retirement plans, insurances (normally life, health and disability), vacation, flexible working schedules, employee stock ownership plans and so on (McNamara).

2.5. Safety and Health

Unlike the previous functions, the safety and health at work are more deeply legalized in the meaning that economic agents have to comply with several legal stipulations (HRM Guide, 2007).

2.6. Employee and labor relations

Finally, the labor relations refer to the totality of interactions which interfere between the employer and the staff members. Fruitful labor relations include elements such as integrating the disabled employees, promoting communications within the entity (both between employer and employees as well as among employees themselves), providing guidance or adequately implementing employment policies (University of Baltimore).

3. The Interrelations between the Six Functions in Reaching the HRM Objective

The focus on human resource motivation is not just an act which occurs at the level of the HRM department, but it is in fact a business model in which the emphasis on employee on the job satisfaction and motivation is promoted throughout all organizational departments. In essence, it is integrated in the overall organizational culture. In turn, the human resource strategies cannot be regarded as isolated dimensions of the staff management, but they are all combined and unified to implement all six dimensions, at all organizational levels. In order to better understand this relationship, the following links should be presented:

1. Equal employment opportunities are implemented in respect to the assessment of the staffing needs, in the recruiting of the candidates and in the selection and hiring of the future staff members. Firms do not discriminate against any candidate based on any criteria, such as gender, race, age, religious or political appurtenance and so on. Furthermore, equal employment rights are also promoted at the level of employee development, compensation, benefits, health and labor relations. And while it would traditionally be assumed that such strategies are implemented mostly within for profit entities, they are also present in public agencies. Governmental documents at the UNT Libraries note: "total integration of equal employment opportunity (EEO) into every aspect of human resource management policy and practice in the selection, placement, training, and advancement of civilian employees of the federal government is vital to creating and maintaining a federal workforce that is truly reflective of our nation's diverse citizenry."

2. The process of selecting and hiring the most adequate staff members refers no only to the technical skills of the candidate, but also to their personal characteristics, such as their ability to follow orders or their ability to become integrated in a group and work as part of a unified team. In a situation in which the company is unable to hire such individuals, several problems could occur within the human resource management dimensions of human resource development, safety and health or human resource relations.

3. The human resources development function is probably the one which reveals the most obvious relation to the accomplishment of organizational goals. Through its various techniques, HRD enhances the skills and abilities of the employee, which in turns leads to increased levels of organizational productivity and subsequently increased company revenues. Aside this functional role of productivity stimulation, employee development is also useful as it stimulates the professional path of the employees and as such motivates them. More specifically, when an employee is skilled and trained, he has an increased sense of security in finding another job, if the current one is no longer available. This security increases the employee's commitment, performance and loyalty to the organization and materializes in an incremental support in the accomplishment of the overall company goals.

4. The final example is offered by the combination of several financial and non-financial incentives, represented in fact by three dimensions of human resource management: compensation and benefits, safety and health and employee and labor relations. All these three components stimulate the satisfaction of the employee and increase his motivation and as such commitment to supporting the company reach its overall goals.

4. Applications of the Lessons Learnt within the Workplace

At a broad level, the lessons learnt would help the researcher better understand the organizational context and as such better adapt to it. Relative to the personal frustrations felt in regard to the poor human resource strategies implemented within the current employment facility, these would be reduced due to the understanding of the complexities of a fully integrated human resource strategy. Yet, also due to the knowledge acquired, the researcher would be likely to become a more pretentious staff member. It is quite a paradox to state that one would be more understating, but that they would also be more pretentious. The explanation is however simple: one understand the complexities of the human resource endeavor and does not expect the process to be perfect over night; yet, since one understands the mechanisms and the functions, one has expectations and expects them to be met. It is possible for the sustained observation of ongoing poor implementations of human resource strategies to eventually force the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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