In today’s competitive world of increasing globalization, technological challenges, organizational alliances, structural changes and hierarchies, we understand the pressures that employees are put under, specially when HR professionals have to prioritize during interview of candidates and the selection process according to their capabilities, characteristics and skills, in comparison to hundreds of others who are equally qualified and require employment. Human resource professionals have always been playing a greater role then they had been earlier. They always have more to do as they are expected of, by their respective organizations. The human resource team work as the arms of the organization. Not long ago the job or HR managers was to organize paperwork for the functioning of the administration and personnel, only because at that time human resource was found mainly in Finance companies. It was the job of the HR management to discuss the organizational rules, regulations, benefits and expectations with candidates applying for jobs.
Their work simply to hire people, and make sure they are paid on time. The HR practices were very limited with just a few things to take care of, and this was not helpful for other types of organizations. In fact even in a financial institution later, the functions of HR professional began to be increased and now they are expected to do more and be much more. The HR professionals now have a responsibility of helping employees deal with the policies of the organization, financial issues, harassments, etc. They also have to practice explaining payroll details benefits of joining the firm, the requirement of the administration and the expectations from the employees.
If you are an employee working in a reputed organization, you will notice that in case if you have a session with your company HRM without you having to request for it, it is not considered a very positive factor. Employees usually try to get things resolved with their team leaders or managers before getting to the HR professional these days.
In today’s world, a human resource professional is expected to contribute towards the organizational success and at the same time meet the requirements of the employees as well as the employers. The responsibilities of an HR professional should involve practices like a strategic execution, a contribution towards the capacity for change and administrative efficiency. According to Dave Ulrich, human resource practices correspond to a few important things in the business and they are:
- The HRM has to be a strategic partner working to align the HRM and business strategy
- The HRM will be expected to work as an administrative expert to improve organizational processes and delivery of the most basic services
- The HRM has to be the champion among the employees who have to listen and respond to the employees as and when required
- The HRM would be responsible to improvise the effectiveness of the organization, and would have to manage to change and update different processes according to the need of the business.
The HR professional is expected to deliver all these values to an organization simultaneously, instead of one at a time. According to Johnson in 1997, the management at that time decided who they would like to hire, it was not the HR professional.
The CEO of the company would instruct the HR professional during the hiring process. At that time, more than normal employees, successful business partners were in demand and so were strategic thinkers and people who could take the pressures of the business. At that point of time a person who was a typical HR professional was not preferred as the best choice to meet the challenges of the business. This is not the case today, the HR practices now involves certain steps and activities which are likely to take the organization towards the steps of success. HRMs have new roles and require new leadership skills to be able to survive in today’s competitive market. To discuss this in detail, we have the following points elaborated.
- Leadership skills: HR practices cannot be considered strong if the leadership skills are weak. This means they need to have a clear vision and motivation. Other than that the expectations of the organizational management and the employees have to be taken care of. The promises have to be delivered, the professional also has to make sure that the leaders and employees are satisfied with their jobs, and pay scales.
- Organizing and managing: HR professionals are expected to practice workforce management keeping in mind factors like business influence, and associations of employees and clients while at the same time preparing for the development of the organization according to the changing environmental factors. HR professionals are considered responsible to quite an extent regarding how an employee works and continues to deliver values to the organization. Talking about organizing and managing, HR professionals have to practice their job in a manner that the business is running hand in hand according to the workplace trends, and keep the organization updated with changes in the environment of the company. HR professionals are also responsible to practice and develop ideas and recommend changes as and when required for the development of the business.
- Professional skills: The HR practices are expected to be flexible and creative. This is required because the environmental and social conditions are always changing. The professionals will be expected to be responsive towards updates and at the same time accepting and promoting changes as a priority. We all understand that traditional activities have never proven to be sufficient in today’s world. New technologies being introduced, accordingly the HR practices have to come up with unique ideas for increasing flexibility and creativity for the employees with every new change, new workforce, and new locations. This is what is going to bring results for the business, and HR professionals are expected to act like the brains of the business.
- Meeting expectations: Every characteristic of the HR professional has to be nothing less than perfect. The professional is expected to deliver value and nothing less, but this is not a new task for the HRM. People still aren’t sure of what all the HR professionals are responsible for, as they do not directly generate revenue for the business. However, HR’s do a lot more than other employees for a business. They also have to make sure that the expectations of the employees are met, as this directly affects the employees of the company, who directly affect the revenue generation. It is the responsibility of the HRM to hire proper work force. Just hiring them is not enough anymore, managing them well is required, appropriate pay grades to be chosen is of utmost importance, and at the same time understanding of gender differences and requirement of maintaining a peaceful environment is expected to be encouraged by the HRM.
Research studies done relating to the HR practices today according to the study by Bersin & Associates addresses requests from HR professionals to help them build their skills, and prioritize and align their HR strategies with the business to deliver the greatest returns. The following show the kinds of HR practices relevant in these times:
Governance and Development
The Governance and the business case has to be structured in nature. HR professionals have to have a beer before building that would be expected to serve. It is important that every business case has to be well waterborne and served by HR professionals according to the instructions of the leaders. It is in the hands of the HRM to achieve structured governance and developed business case together by involving the leaders of the business in the process of planning and governance. Businesses do appreciate the alignment of business which results in support and growth.
Planning and Workforce Capacity
Sophisticated forecasting and workforce analytics are supposed to be incorporated into the processes of the organization for a higher impact of the workforce. Apart from this external workforce segment data and business data are required so that these data could be workable inside, for sharing the performance of the business with leaders and managers.
It is important to see to it that the employees of the company are happy and wish to grow with the company in their own ways, whether by getting a promotion or by partnering with the company. The employees should want to commit themselves to create a pleasing work environment and motivate others to do so. If your employees are not positive about the company, professionals need to work a bit harder and clearly communicate what is expected of them while at the same time making sure their expectations have been taken into consideration so that together the mission to generate higher profit is accomplished. Innovation and collaboration can create an amazing place to work. The creativity of the employees should be promoted and encouraged regenerate efficiency in work.
The administrative work should not be much it should be used as far as possible for the human resource business partners. As mentioned earlier the HR professional and business leaders these days discuss everything related to the business and have access to all the required data tracking and analysis. The HR professional’s role varies according to the task they are supposed to focus on. The HR department focuses on workforce planning, decision making and support, leadership development and executive coaching at the point when they are supposed to advise senior business leaders.
This improves the credibility of the HR professionals as well as the business leaders while at the same time enhancing working relationships across the enterprise, and cultivating gain, influence and mutual understanding. The role has to be implemented properly with the focus on the duties and requirements so that the HRM’s ability to work is not reduced and instead is efficient and productive.
Measuring Process and Developing Skills
Measurement strategy is one of the best strategies that has a great impact on the efficiency of the workforce. The productiveness and effectiveness of the business depends upon the strategy. If the HR professional incorporates this strategy the operational measures that manages the HR functions and the people, it helps the business decisions to a great extent. On the other hand, developing skills can train the HR professionals and employees to be flexible and creative as far as possible. However, it is very important that the employee has certain skills to be able to successfully grow with the business or the organization. The field of HRM is continuously changing, flexibility is required here.
This is a skill that should be in built or cultivated in the professional environment, and checked for in every employee, at the time of hiring. HR professionals focus on developing team members, knowledge and promoting new ideas. They would require employees to be talented and willing to contribute towards the organization’s overall development.
Improving Capabilities and Strategic Early Outsourcing HR Services
Every customer is different, with different requirements, offers, and requests. These days high impact HR functions have moved their focus to enhance the capabilities of the line managers. This strategy helps the HRM and line managers to work in partnership instead of working apart, which has always resulted incompetency and ill-prepared demonstrations. High impact of HR organizational functions in the world of outsourcing enables their internal teams to prioritize on matters that or not outsourced, such as relationship building, former custom solutions developing, etc.
There are areas that can be improved through economies of scale, these organizations outsource such areas and even areas that require global expertise and coordination. Outsourcing is important but that again depends on how old the company is, and if it is in the budget of the company to outsource.
Organizational Design and Improvement of the HR System
The certain things that need to be taken into consideration by the HRM which could prove the HR organizations to be flexible. Flexibility is one of the most valuable features that works towards the success of the HRM. In situations where things go out of the professional’s hands, not much can be done, but accepting the challenges and going with the changes as far as possible, stabilizing and training the staff accordingly can help to keep the firm strong to a great extent. Talking about the HR system, what the employee is facing has to always be taken into consideration first. There has to be a dashboard created by the management and knowledge sharing portals for the benefit of the employees, and also for assisting the stakeholders and clients with what they need. If the HR system is friendly, the whole system is seen to be far more effective and efficient in functioning.
By academically researching on the matter, experts find that the performance of a firm depends a lot upon the efficiency of the human resource team. The last 25 years has shown a significant growth in the human resource management practices, and the idea behind it critically important for the company to yield major benefits. To understand the relationship between the human resource management and the organizational effectiveness from their practices one can test alternative conceptualisations. It is a fact that the relationship is complex, and requires advancement in technology, like people analytics, for a clearer picture of the concept. Studies have been conducted, and it has been proven that the HRM practices were originally implemented for enhancing the overall development of the organization. It has been noticed that effectiveness of an organization depends upon the participation of the employees.
Therefore, demanding strategic management with the systematic perspective to be approached by the HRM department. In comparison to how the HRM practices were conducted decades ago, the system now functions appealingly. To understand the complete system theoretically, there has to be clear specifications of the measurements and analytical tools of the HRM practices, and how they fit together positively for results. Ability, motivation and opportunity (AMO) are performance skills for the prevalence of critical human attributes for HRM practices to promote the organization. These days, each of these skills is necessary. However, any one of these skills alone cannot prove to be productive, the skills have to be used together for a sufficient condition as a result of the human resource practice. The full potential of these characteristics come into picture only if they all are put together as a skilled workforce for a better performance and the competitive advantage, which is what every organization requires for development and proper functioning.
We now understand that the performance of the work force depends upon the AMO of the employees. Now that we understand the characteristics of HRM workforce and its practices, we must know that the theoretical understanding of the HRM practices is very indirect while the framework of the performance is explicit in nature and this directly affects the workforce characteristics or the skills which are; ability, motivation and opportunity.
There are two factors that cause this:
- HRM practices can have work for performing with all the three characteristics at the same time. The pay level always has an effect on the workers performance which eventually will determine the ability of the work force. On the other hand, if the pay level is according to the performance it will result in motivating the workforce.
- Apart from the pay grades, the practices of the human resource management can influence the characteristic of the workforce. Selective staffing, training, and behavior makes a great difference in the outcome. HRM practices create a valuable workforce for the organizational performance even though the relationship of the different types of practices is complex. Proper HR practices is always about enhancing AMO, which could lead to the betterment of the organization.
HRM practices update from time to time. Employees require training sessions according to the updates. HRMs as well require that from time to time. For delivering results and bringing more value to the company HR professionals work really hard to respond to particular changes to the environment of the organization. These are a few strategies implemented by the HR practices today:
- Assignment of a business unit: There is a separate HR department assigned as a separate business unit especially for human resource professionals. This is done to enable them to focus on the relationship of the organization by developing and maintaining business with clients. The HR is given instruction to directly report to the leader of the business. This is a structure where the HRM group directly distributes information to the HR representatives, who then share the information to the business unit. This focuses on the creativity and flexibility how the HR professional’s way of working can be modified and tailored according to the update in the processes and services.
- Excellent delivery of value: If the organization has lots of employees, the HR practices should be according to that. Many times the organization has to duplicate the HR system which might turn out to be consolidating and leaving behind some areas of the business because of lack of credibility and knowledge that a proper HRM should possess. This might turn out to be downsizing the organization because of duplicative behavior. On the other hand, this could also be complementary. This might help develop certain groups to bring up new ideas and practices, and on the positive side it might end up with an excellent delivery of value to the company. This could introduce new skills and structures which might compete with the changing environment and help in the progress of the levels of expertise in several areas.
- Consultation: Consultation is of utmost importance. The HRM is also expected to have consulting skills. The HR practice involves consulting model of providing services that they take help from, at the time of negotiating with clients. The internal customers are considered to be clients for whom they learn skills for consulting to go an extra mile for the satisfaction of the clients. The internal client’s requirements cannot be fulfilled by the internal HR group alone. Therefore, the company also involves external service providers who could directly help as the HR professionals and fulfill the requirements.
- Improving efficiency: The HR people and the line management share within themselves several responsibilities for HR activities, this is a part of a future HR model. The future HRM practices is designed to function according to this. The approach is going to allow the organizers to be completely involved in improving and directing employees and workforce as a resource. There will be certain things that will be required and those managers would have the capacity required to resolve problems related to the business and the employees easily. It used to be that only HR professionals had certain information that they used to keep to themselves, but now line managers are getting involved and getting access to this information for the betterment of the company. The information that just the HR department had, now is accessible to all the managers of the company.
- Change and Flexibility: It is high time that the HR field understands the importance of change and flexibility in their profession. The pressure is increasing according to the enhancing technologies and the changing system every day. There are several new ways for managing employees, conducting researchers and improving human performance in terms of organizational growth. An HR professional has to have three basic attributes in today’s world; a strategic partner, the advocate of employees, and the champion of change. To describe all of these three attributes one at a time; a strategic partner is a contributor who is able to dedicate himself entirely to the development and growth of the organization. It would directly be connecting to the objective of being the HR professional of the company. Every business is different. However, HR professionals in every business have the same job to do. They do not directly generate revenue however contribute in a great big manner for revenue generation. The HRM has to have the knowledge of the whole firm, which means every single detail from the expenses to the pay scales to every other factor relating to people analytics has to be informed to the HRM.
- The strategic framework: There are decision made by HR professionals, for example; assigning designations, rewards and recognitions, hiring strategy, deciding pay scale, appraisal, promotions, employee and performance developments, etc. The HRM is considered to be a strategic contributor to the business when professionals are aligned in order with the business. Earlier, a few decades ago, this was not required, but now HR professionals have to think like a business personnel. They have to have skills relating to the business of the organization, they need to know how finance and accounting works. They need to understand legal procedures and accountability, cost reduction and measurements of the company’s progress and processes.
- The advocacy: An HR professional has to be an advocate of the employee as well as the employer. The HR has to make sure that employees are as satisfied as the employers are and this is not an easy task. This is an expectation from all the HR professionals. It is not something that is impossible, expertise in the field is all that is required to be able to accomplish these requirements with ease. The HRM should know how to create a proper work environment, also according to the gender of the employee at times. People need to be motivated to work, learn, and contribute for harmony. This means training sessions need to be given importance and conducted. The employees have to be well-versed with the core values of the company, and this is done by the HRM. Effective methods of planning, communication, performing step by step, taking ownership and accountability of the firm while fulfilling responsibilities, need to be taught to the employees of the company by the HRM. Every organization has its own culture of work and people have to show their competency and commitment to serve the purpose of the business. The HR department alone cannot manage everything, they have to train the employees and at the same time service the employers so that there is continuous growth, profit and opportunities. One of the most important skills is problem solving skills because problems are inevitable. Every organization has its own set of issues and problems coming up every day. To be able to resolve these problems quickly and in an effective manner requires exceptional age on professionalism and AMO skills.
- Champion in creativity and flexibility: Constantly being updated with the changes in the environment of the business is very important when you are an HR professional. HRM faces a lot of problems being updated with every single development in technology in today’s competitive world. Therefore the HRM is expected to be knowledgeable about strategy and processes in which to handle changes. Also at the same time, it is necessary to be flexible enough to approve them and implement them for the betterment of the organization. This is bringing exceptional value to the company, it is important that the employees are trained and upgraded according to the technologies well, while at the same time making sure that the employees get the benefits of this upgrade for themselves as well. If the employees are satisfied, they will work adequately proving better revenue for the company.
There is a discipline for the Change management strategy which generates additional challenges for HR professionals. Upgrading the organizational structure according to the requirement of today’s day, keeping employees as well as employer satisfaction in mind, the professionals are expected to measure strategies that are result oriented and organize initiatives that can be conducted and taken forward by the employees. The HRM is supposed to sponsor changes in bringing up new ideas promoting the views of the company employees that might prove beneficial and profitable. Success is gained with lot of hard work, and encouraged among the employees by the HRM.