Human Resources in Today's Business Context Thesis

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Human Resources

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In today's business context, people matter. The field of Human Resources has been established to attribute to that fact, along with managing and protecting the human capitol each company and corporation has within it arsenal. Human Resources is a department which strives to maintain employee relations and acquire more and more human capitol for the various needs of the business, "The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill those needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations," (McNamara 2009:1). Essentially, Human Resources serves as the department which hires, fires, and handles all basic employee relations in between, "The people that staff and operate an organization […] as contrasted with the financial and material resources of an organization," (Heathfield 2009:1). Human Resources, however, are not defined simply by the hiring arm of the organization. It incorporates a multitude of different functions including employee and labor relations. Its primary focus leans towards dealing with the people involved in any particular organization, thus HR is "The organizational function that deals with people," (Heathfield 2009:1). In today's complex business environment, dealing with people means taking on a variety of various tasks to help motivate and increase employee performance, all while staying within the boundaries of productivity in the larger financial scope of each individual organization.

Thesis on Human Resources in Today's Business Context, People Assignment

Human resource departments all over the country have a wide variety of roles and functions, but primarily work within the context of employee activities and relations. Human resource staff is responsible for a number of employee related duties that go far beyond the initial hiring process. In fact, HR departments are also responsible for dealing with employee performance standards in an effort to make hired employees as efficient and productive as they can be. Thus, many Human Resource departments handle the training and execution of new training procedures within the organization. It is Human Resources duty to "Select training and development activities that match their career development objectives and job needs," (UC Regents 2007:1). This means that Human Resources plans, designs, and implements training of various employees within a particular organization. Once training is completed, it is also the HR department's job to properly follow up with recently trained employees to "follow up with employees after a learning activity to integrate new skills and knowledge into their responsibilities," (UC Regents 2007:1). Yet, training and hiring still only make up a small portion of the duties associated with employee activities and relations. Another major feature of employee relations is the emphasis on performance management. In this context, HR provides for the large organization by making sure company and employee goals are constantly being reached in a way that is productive for both the organization an the employee (McNamara 2008). In the larger scope, Human Resources are also meant to help keep productivity high and employees satisfied with their employment. The United States Department of Labor suggests that "In an effort to enhance morale and productivity, limit job turnover, and help organizations increase performance and improve business results, these workers also help their firms effectively use employee skills, provide training and development opportunities to improve those skills, and increase employees' satisfaction with their jobs and working conditions," (United States Department of Labor 2009:1). And so, it becomes clear that when involved with the context of employee activities and relations, the Human resources department holds much more weight than simple being active in the hiring process. Even with this long list of tasks, it is still HR's job to "stay informed of current policies and practices that support employee development," (UC Regents 2007:1). This keeps their organization up to speed with recent employee developments, and ensures all the employees of the organization that their needs are being met in the most appropriate and standard manner.

Going beyond employee activities and relations, the role of Human resource departments also covers the context f labor relations within any given organization as well. A productive and efficient Human Resource team will also encapsulate the position of handling labor disputes between management and employees. In any organization, whether it has a good or poor reputation in terms of work environment, there will be labor disputes. When these occur, organizations turn to the Human Resources departments within the larger body of the organization in order to provide the necessary information and handling of these disputes. For example, Human resources are responsible for providing both employees and managers the necessary information on both ends to begin negotiations within an already established labor dispute. Human resources is also largely responsible for interpreting contracts "with respect to grievances, wages and salaries, employee welfare, health care, pensions, union and management practices, and other contractual stipulations," (U.S. Department of Labor 2009:1). They provide proper interpretation and information regarding employee and management contracts, liabilities, and responsibilities. It is their role to serve not only as information provider but also as mediator in such disputes as to handle them efficiently and as rapidly as possible, for every second spent disputing means that the employee is not spending time working. Without the role of Human Resources, business would definitely not be conducted as efficiently as it is with its presence within the organization.

In fact, Human Resources departments within a wide cross section of different businesses have impacted modern business in so many ways, making it a crucial element for any productive organization. It allows for managers and executive staff to focus on the higher elements of their job position rather than distributing needed time across dealing with a wide variety of employee related issues. By allowing executive staff to focus strictly on their managerial role, Human Resources staff takes a huge burden off the company and distribute it towards a department that has the means and resources to deal with employee and labor relations. This way, managers can trust in the hiring process without having to implement it completely on their own. Human Resources staff also help support managerial staff in providing them information and interpretation of disputes and contractual obligations. This is another added benefit of allowing the executive staff to cover more ground with less wasted effort. With a talented and experience Human Resources department within the context of any organization, you really can't loose.

However, there are prospects for future growth in success and productivity within Human Resources department. There are several emerging policies and practices that can help boost the role of any Human Resources department as well as its efficiency in providing for the organization which houses it. As our current economic struggle continues to unfold, new developments in Human Resources can prove to be an important tool in keeping an organization afloat and providing for a better future in more prosperous times. As many organizations hit their absolute bottom line, it is common to see massive lay offs and a complete stoppage of the hiring process in order to cut costs and save as much capitol as possible. However, doing so without regard to the future proves a dangerous move "When looking to reduce human capital's huge share of a company operating budget, drastic cost-cutting measures such as slashing headcount, freezing hiring and suspending training can cause long-term collateral damage," (Tortorici 2009:1). Thus, it is now HR's job to balance cost cutting practices with proper growth strategies to ensure a light at the end of the tunnel. Without stepping in to limit the amount of layoffs and so on, Human Resources are doing little to secure a better future for the organization. Another recent practice which has been proving to improve the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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