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The term "human resource management" has been commonly used for
about the last ten to fifteen years. Prior to that, the field was generally
known as "personnel administration." The name change is not merely

Personnel administration, which emerged as a clearly defined field by the

1920s (at least in the US), was largely concerned the technical aspects of
hiring, evaluating, training, and compensating employees and was very
much of "staff" function in most organizations. The field did not normally
focus on the relationship of disparate employment practices on overall
organizational performance or on the systematic relationships among
such practices. The field also lacked a unifying paradigm.

HRM developed in response to the substantial increase in competitive

pressures American business organizations began experiencing by the
late 1970s as a result of such factors as globalization, deregulation, and
rapid technological change. These pressures gave rise to an enhanced
concern on the part of firms to engage in strategic planning--a process of
anticipating future changes in the environment conditions (the nature as
well as level of the market) and aligning the various components of the
organization in such a way as to promote organizational effectiveness.
Human resource management (HRM), also called personnel management,
consists of all the activities undertaken by an enterprise to ensure the
effective utilization of employees toward the attainment of individual,
group, and organizational goals. An organization's HRM function focuses
on the people side of management. It consists of practices that help the
organization to deal effectively with its people during the various phases
of the employment cycle, including pre-hire, staffing, and post-hire.
The pre-hire phase involves planning practices. The organization must
decide what types of job openings will exist in the upcoming period and
determine the necessary qualifications for performing these jobs. During
the hire phase, the organization selects its employees. Selection practices







ultimately selecting those who are deemed to be the most qualified.

In the post-hire phase, the organization develops HRM practices for
effectively managing people once they have "come through the door."
These practices are designed to maximize the performance and
satisfaction levels of employees by providing them with the necessary

knowledge and skills to perform their jobs and by creating conditions

that will energize, direct, and facilitate employees' efforts toward meeting
the organization's objectives.







Human resource management has changed in name various times
throughout history. The name change was mainly due to the change in
social and economic activities throughout history.
Industrial Welfare
Industrial welfare was the first form of human resource management
(HRM). In 1833 the factories act stated that there should be male factory
inspectors. In 1878 legislation was passed to regulate the hours of work
for children and women by having a 60 hour week. During this time
trade unions started to be formed. In 1868 the 1st trade union
conference was held. This was the start of collective bargaining. In 1913
the number of industrial welfare workers had grown so a conference
organized by Seebohm Rowntree was held.

The welfare workers

association was formed later changed to Chartered Institute of Personnel

and Development.
Recruitment and Selection

It all started when Mary Wood was asked to start engaging girls during
the 1st world war. In the 1st world war personnel development increased
due to government initiatives to encourage the best use of people. In
1916 it became compulsory to have a welfare worker in explosive
factories and was encouraged in munitions factories. A lot of work was
done in this field by the army forces. The armed forces focused on how to
test abilities and IQ along with other research in human factors at work.
In 1921 the national institute of psychologists established and published
results of studies on selection tests, interviewing techniques and training
Acquisition of other Personnel Activities
During the 2nd world war the focus was on recruitment and selection
and later on training; improving morale and motivation; discipline; health
and safety; joint consultation and wage policies. This meant that a
personnel department had to be established with trained staff.
Industrial Relations
Consultation between management and the workforce spread during the
war. This meant that personnel departments became responsible for its
organization and administration. Health and safety and the need for
specialists became the focus. The need for specialists to deal with
industrial relations was recognized so that the personnel manager
became as spokesman for the organization when discussions where held
with trade unions/shop stewards. In the 1970's industrial relations was
very important. The heated climate during this period reinforced the

importance of a specialist role in industrial relations negotiation. The

personnel manager had the authority to negotiate deals about pay and
other collective issues.
In the 1970's employment legislation increased and the personnel
function took the role of the specialist advisor ensuring that managers do
not violate the law and that cases did not end up in industrial tribunals.
Flexibility and Diversity
In the 1990's a major trend emerged where employers were seeking
increasing flexible arrangements in the hours worked by employees due
to an increase in number of part-time and temporary contracts and the
invention of distance working. The workforce and patterns of work are
becoming diverse in which traditional recruitment practices are useless.
In the year 2000, growth in the use of internet meant a move to a 24/7
society. This created new jobs in e-commerce while jobs were lost in
traditional areas like shops. This meant an increased potential for
employees to work from home. Organizations need to think strategically
about the issues these developments raise. HRM managers role will
change as changes occur.
Information Technology
Some systems where IT helps HRM are: Systems for e-recruitment; Online short-listing of applicants; Developing training strategies on-line;
Psychometric training; Payroll systems; Employment data; Recruitment








managers offload routine tasks which will give them more time in solving
complex tasks. IT also ensures that a greater amount of information is
available to make decisions.
Table 1 identifies some of the major milestones in the historical
development of HRM. Frederick Taylor, known as the father of scientific
management, played a significant role in the development of the
personnel function in the early 1900s. In his book, Shop Management,
Taylor advocated the "scientific" selection and training of workers. He also
pioneered incentive systems that rewarded workers for meeting and/or
exceeding performance standards. Although Taylor's focus primarily was
on optimizing efficiency in manufacturing environments, his principles
laid the ground-work for future HRM development. As Taylor was
developing his ideas about scientific management, other pioneers were
working on applying the principles of psychology to the recruitment,
selection, and training of workers. The development of the field of
industrial psychology and its application to the workplace came to
fruition during World War I, as early vocational and employment-related
testing was used to assign military recruits to appropriate functions.
The Hawthorne Studies, which were conducted in the 1920s and 1930s
at Western Electric, sparked an increased emphasis on the social and
informal aspects of the workplace. Interpretations of the studies
emphasized "human relations" and the link between worker satisfaction
and productivity. The passage of the Wagner Act in 1935 contributed to a

major increase in the number of unionized workers. In the 1940s and

1950s, collective bargaining led to a tremendous increase in benefits
offered to workers. The personnel function evolved to cope with labor
relations, collective bargaining, and a more complex compensation and
benefits environment. The human relations philosophy and labor
relations were the dominant concerns of HRM in the 1940s and 1950s.
HRM was revolutionized in the 1960s by passage of Title VII of the Civil








presidential executive orders that required many organizations to

undertake affirmative action in order to remedy past discriminatory







mandates greatly complicated the HRM function, but also enhanced its
importance in modern organizations. As discussed more fully in a later
section, these responsibilities continue to comprise a major part of the
HRM job. Finally, changes in labor force demographics, technology, and
globalization since the 1980s have had a major impact on the HRM
function. These factors also are discussed in more detail in a later

Table 1:

Milestones in the Development of Human Resource


Frederick Taylor develops his ideas on scientific management.


Taylor advocates scientific selection of workers based on

qualifications and also argues for incentive-based compensation

systems to motivate employees.
Many companies establish departments devoted to maintaining
the welfare of workers. The discipline of industrial psychology

begins to develop. Industrial psychology, along with the advent


of World War I, leads to advancements in employment testing

and selection.
The interpretation of the Hawthorne Studies' begins to have an


impact on management thought and practice. Greater emphasis

is placed on the social and informal aspects of the workplace
affecting worker productivity. Increasing the job satisfaction of
workers is cited as a means to increase their productivity.
In the U.S., a tremendous surge in union membership between
1935 and 1950 leads to a greater emphasis on collective


bargaining and labor relations within personnel management.

Compensation and benefits administration also increase in
importance as unions negotiate paid vacations, paid holidays,
and insurance coverage.


The Civil Rights movement in the U.S. reaches its apex with


passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The personnel function

is dramatically affected by Title VII of the CRA, which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, and
national origin. In the years following the passage of the CRA,
equal employment opportunity and affirmative action become

key human resource management responsibilities.

Three trends dramatically impact HRM. The first is the
increasing diversity of the labor force, in terms of age, gender,
race, and ethnicity. HRM concerns evolve from EEO and
affirmative action to "managing diversity." A second trend is the
globalization of business and the accompanying technological

revolution. These factors have led to dramatic changes in

present transportation, communication, and labor markets. The third

trend, which is related to the first two, is the focus on HRM as a
"strategic" function. HRM concerns and concepts must be
integrated into the overall strategic planning of the firm in order
to cope with rapid change, intense competition, and pressure for
increased efficiency.
Some experts assert that there is no difference between human
resources and personnel management. They state that the two terms can
be used interchangeably, with no difference in meaning. In fact, the
terms are often used interchangeably in help-wanted ads and job
For those who recognize a difference between personnel management and
human resources, the difference can be described as philosophical.
Personnel management is more administrative in nature, dealing with
payroll, complying with employment law, and handling related tasks.
Human resources, on the other hand, is responsible for managing a

workforce as one of the primary resources that contributes to the

success of an organization.
When a difference between personnel management and human resources
is recognized, human resources is described as much broader in scope
than personnel management. Human resources is said to incorporate
and develop personnel management tasks, while seeking to create and
develop teams of workers for the benefit of the organization. A primary
goal of human resources is to enable employees to work to a maximum
level of efficiency.
Personnel management can include administrative tasks that are both
traditional and routine. It can be described as reactive, providing a
response to demands and concerns as they are presented. By contrast,
human resources involves ongoing strategies to manage and develop an
organization's workforce. It is proactive, as it involves the continuous
development of functions and policies for the purposes of improving a
companys workforce.
Personnel management is often considered an independent function of
an organization. Human resource management, on the other hand, tends










management is typically the sole responsibility of an organizations

personnel department. With human resources, all of an organizations
managers are often involved in some manner, and a chief goal may be to
have managers of various departments develop the skills necessary to
handle personnel-related tasks.

As far as motivators are concerned, personnel management typically

seeks to motivate employees with such things as compensation, bonuses,
rewards, and the simplification of work responsibilities. From the
personnel management point of view, employee satisfaction provides the
motivation necessary to improve job performance. The opposite is true of
human resources. Human resource management holds that improved
performance leads to employee satisfaction. With human resources, work
groups, effective strategies for meeting challenges, and job creativity are
seen as the primary motivators.
When looking for a job in personnel management or human resources, it
is important to realize that many companies use the terms
interchangeably. If you are offered a job as a personnel manager,
you may be required to perform the same duties as a human
resource manager, and vice versa. In some companies, a distinction
is made, but the difference is very subtle.
While most firms have a human resources or personnel department that
develops and implements HRM practices, responsibility lies with both HR
professionals and line managers. The interplay between managers and
HR professionals leads to effective HRM practices. For example, consider
performance appraisals. The success of a firm's performance appraisal
system depends on the ability of both parties to do their jobs correctly.
HR professionals develop the system, while managers provide the actual
performance evaluations.

The nature of these roles varies from company to company, depending

primarily on the size of the organization. This discussion assumes a large
company with a sizable HRM department. However, in smaller companies
without large HRM departments, line managers must assume an even
larger role in effective HRM practices.


















practices, and advising/assisting managers on HRM-related matters. HR

professionals typically decide (subject to upper-management approval)
what procedures to follow when implementing an HRM practice. For
example, HR professionals may decide that the selection process should
include having all candidates (1) complete an application, (2) take an
employment test, and then (3) be interviewed by an HR professional and
line manager.
Usually the HR professionals develop or choose specific methods to
implement a firm's HRM practices. For instance, in selection the HR
professional may construct the application blank, develop a structured
interview guide, or choose an employment test. HR professionals also
must ensure that the firm's HRM practices are properly implemented.
This responsibility involves both evaluating and monitoring. For example,
HR professionals may evaluate the usefulness of employment tests, the
success of training programs, and the cost effectiveness of HRM
outcomes such as selection, turnover, and recruiting. They also may
monitor records to ensure that performance appraisals have been
properly completed.

HR professionals also consult with management on an array of HRMrelated topics. They may assist by providing managers with formal
training programs on topics like selection and the law, how to conduct an
employment interview, how to appraise employee job performance, or how
to effectively discipline employees. HR professionals also provide
assistance by giving line managers advice about specific HRM-related
concerns, such as how to deal with problem employees.
Line managers direct employees' day-to-day tasks. From an HRM
perspective, line managers are mainly responsible for implementing HRM
practices and providing HR professionals with necessary input for
developing effective practices. Managers carry out many procedures and
methods devised by HR professionals. For instance, line managers:

Interview job applicants

Provide orientation, coaching, and on-the-job training

Provide and communicate job performance ratings

Recommend salary increases

Carry out disciplinary procedures

Investigate accidents

Settle grievance issues

The development of HRM procedures and methods often requires input

from line managers. For example, when conducting a job analysis, HR
professionals often seek job information from managers and ask
managers to review the final written product. Additionally, when HR
professionals determine an organization's training needs, managers often

suggest what types of training are needed and who, in particular, needs
the training.


Human resource as defined by Dessler (2004) is the strategy for
acquiring, using, improving and preserving the organisations human
resource. It could be well agued that in most cases the human aspect is
forgotten in relation to how they manage people, leaving most staff
unsatisfied creating a high staff turn over which affects organisational
performance. It is therefore an utmost importance that people as
opposed to just employees-need to be managed in away that consistent
with broad organisational requirement such as quality or efficiency. As in
most cases organisational effectiveness depends on there being a tight
'fit' between human resource and business strategies.

Human resource as could be said is all about making business strategies

work. It is therefore important that emphasis is placed on how to best
match and develop ''appropraite''human resource management (HRM)
approach/system of managing people in the tourism hospitality and
leisure industry (THL). Thus, we would therefore be looking at some of
the HRM approaches used such as the Harvard model; hard and soft
approach in conjunction with the real world of the THL industry and to
determine whether the hard approach is more appropriate.

Human resource management (HRM) as described by Kleiman (2000) has

a concept with two distinct forms; soft and hard approach, where the soft
approach of HRM is associated with human relation and the hard on the
other hand sees people as human resource.

The Soft HRM is the notion that workers respond better when an
organisation recognises their individual needs and addresses them as
well as focusing on the overall business objectives. The work of Maslow in
stating that humans have a 'hierarchy' of needs, which they will exert
considerable energy towards achieving, claims that organisations that
recognises and addresses these needs will have a happier, more fulfilled,
more loyal and productive workforce (SHRM Online). As argued by Noe
(2006) the way to success is through deep empathy of other people either
by observing how to best 'connect' with others in the workplace, and
motivate and inspire them as a result. As illustrated by Simon (1960) all
of these soft HRM can of course be balanced by hard HRM; the notion
that successful organisations are those that best deploy their human
resource in the way that they would deploy any other resource.

The Hard HRM on the other hand therefore sees people as human
resources. Holding that employees are a resource in the same way as any
other business resource and they must therefore be; obtained as cheaply
as possible, used sparingly, developed and exploited as much as possible.
As indicated by Kleiman (2000) under this model of HRM, control is more
concerned with performance system, performance management and tight
control over individual activities with the ultimate goal being to secure
the competitive advantage of the organisation. The hard HRM therefore is

primarily concern to promote human resource strategy and align with










performance management, hence downsizing or work intensification,

sees workers as another resource to be exploited and can operate against
the interest of workers.

The Harvard model on the other hand as indicated by Lado and Wilson
(1994) sees employees as resource, but human where the managers are
responsible to make decisions about the organisation and employee
relation. The employment relation is seen as a blending of business and
societal expectations and because it recognises the role societal
outcomes play, it could be argued that the Harvard model provides a
useful basis for comparative analysis. The Harvard model also cover the
four HRM policy areas which are human resource flows, reward system,
employee influence, work system, which leads to the four Cs; competence







organisation/employees goals and cost effectiveness of HRM. As could be

agued striving to enhance all four Cs could lead favourable consequences






effectiveness either as long- term consequences.



Human Resource Management Functions

Introduction to HRM

Human Resource Management

Scope of Human Resource Management

Significance of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management functions

Human Resource Management Model

HRM Vs Personnel Management

Human Resource Development

Human Capital Management

Talent Management

3 Benefits of Talent Management for a Company

Knowledge Management

About Human Resource Manager

HRM environment in India

Changing role of HRM


The role of human resource management is to plan, develop, and

administer policies and programmes designed to make expeditious use of
an organisations human resources. It is that part of management which
is concerned with the people at work and with their relationship within


Its objectives are:

1. Effective utilisation of human resources;
2. Desirable working relationships among all members of the
organisation; and
3. Maximum individual development.
The major functional areas in human resource management are:
1. Planning,
2. Staffing,
3. Employee development, and
4. Employee maintenance.
These four areas and their related functions share the common objective
of an adequate number of competent employees with the skills, abilities,
knowledge, and experience needed for further organisational goals.

Although each human resource function can be assigned to one of the

four areas of personnel responsibility, some functions serve a variety of


example, performance





appraisal measures







administration purposes. The compensation function facilitates retention

of employees and also serves to attract potential employees to the
organisation. A brief description of usual human resource functions are
given below.

Human Resource Planning: In the human resource planning function,

the number and type of employees needed to accomplish organisational
goals are determined. Research is an important part of this function
because planning requires the collection and analysis of information in
order to forecast human resources supplies and to predict future human
resources needs. The basic human resource planning strategy is staffing




Job Analysis: Job analysis is the process of describing the nature of a

job and specifying the human requirements, such as skills, and
experience needed to perform it. The end product of the job analysis
process is the job description. A job description spells out work duties
and activities of employees. Job descriptions are a vital source of
information to employees, managers, and personnel people because job
content has a great influence on personnel programmes and practices.

Staffing: Staffing


the recruitment and selection



human resources for an organisation. Human resources planning and

recruiting precede the actual selection of people for positions in an
organisation. Recruiting is the personnel function that attracts qualified
applicants to fill job vacancies. In the selection function, the most
qualified applicants are selected for hiring from among those attracted to
the organisation by the recruiting function. On selection, human
resource functionaries are involved in developing and administering
methods that enable managers to decide which applicants to select and







Orientation: Orientation is the first step toward helping a new employee

adjust himself to the new job and the employer. It is a method to
acquaint new employees with particular aspects of their new job,
including pay and benefit programmes, working hours, and company



Training and Development: The training and development function

gives employees the skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively.
In addition to providing training for new or inexperienced employees,







employees whose jobs are undergoing change. Large organisations often

have development programmes which prepare employees for higher level
responsibilities within the organisation. Training and development
programmes provide useful means of assuring that employees are






Appraisal: Performance



appraisal function



employee performance to ensure that it is at acceptable levels. Human

resource professionals are usually responsible for developing and
administering performance appraisal systems, although the actual
appraisal of employee performance is the responsibility of supervisors
and managers. Besides providing a basis for pay, promotion, and
disciplinary action, performance appraisal information is essential for
employee development since knowledge of results (feedback) is necessary






Career Planning: Career planning has developed partly as a result of the

desire of many employees to grow in their jobs and to advance in their
career. Career planning activities include assessing an individual
employees potential for growth and advancement in the organisation.

Compensation: Human resource personnel provide a rational method for

determining how much employees should be paid for performing certain

jobs. Pay is obviously related to the maintenance of human resources.
Since compensation is a major cost to many organisations, it is a major

in human





staffing in that people are generally attracted to organisations offering a

higher level of pay in exchange for the work performed. It is related to
employee development in that it provides an important incentive
in motivating employees to higher levels of job performance and to higher





Benefits: Benefits are another form of compensation to employees other

than direct pay for work performed. As such, the human resource
function of administering employee benefits shares many characteristics
of the compensation function. Benefits include both the legally required
items and those offered at employers discretion. The cost of benefits has
risen to such a point that they have become a major consideration in
human resources planning. However, benefits are primarily related to the
maintenance area, since they provide for many basic employee needs.

Labour Relations: The term labour relations refers to interaction with

employees who are represented by a trade union. Unions are organisation
of employees who join together to obtain more voice in decisions affecting
wages, benefits, working conditions, and other aspects of employment.
With regard to labour relations, the personnel responsibility primarily
involves negotiating with the unions regarding wages, service conditions,
and resolving disputes and grievances.

Record-keeping: The oldest and most basic personnel function is

employee record-keeping. This function involves recording, maintaining,
and retrieving employee related information for a variety of purposes.
Records which must be maintained include application forms, health and





held,promotions, transfers, lay-offs), seniority lists, earnings and hours

of work, absences, turnover, tardiness, and other employee data.
Complete and up-to-date employee records are essential for most
personnel functions. More than ever employees today have a great
interest in their personnel records. They want to know what is in them,
why certain statements have been made, and why records may or may
not have been updated.

Personnel records provide the following:


A store of up-to-date and accurate information about the

companys employees.


A guide to the action to be taken regarding an employee,

particularly by comparing him with other employees.


A guide when recruiting a new employee, e.g. by showing the rates

of pay received by comparable employees.


A historical record of previous action taken regarding employees.


The raw material for statistics which check and guide personnel


The means to comply with certain statutory requirements.

Personnel Research: All personnel people engage in some form of

research activities. In a good research approach, the object is to get facts

and information about personnel specifics in order to develop and
maintain a programme that works. It is impossible to run a personnel
programme without some pre-planning and post-reviewing. For that
matter, any survey is, in a sense, research. There is a wide scope for
research in the areas of recruitment, employee turnover, terminations,
training, and so on. Through a well-designed attitude survey, employee
opinions can be gathered on wages, promotions, welfare services,
working conditions, job security, leadership, industrial relations, and the
like. Inspite of its importance, however, in most companies, research is
the most neglected area because personnel people are too busy putting
out fires. Research is not done to put out fires but to prevent them.

Research is not the sole responsibility of any one particular group or

department in an organisation. The initial responsibility is that of the
human resource department, which however should be assisted by line
supervisors and executives at all levels of management. The assistance
that can be rendered by trade unions and other organisations should not









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 organisation; its keynote is a crossfertilisation of ideas from different organisations. Periodic social audits of





HR professionals have an all-encompassing role. They are required to

have a thorough knowledge of the organisation and its intricacies and

complexities. The ultimate goal of every HR person should be to develop a
linkage between the employee and the organisation because the
employees commitment to the organisation 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 organisation in particular. The employees should know








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.

The primary responsibilities of a human resource manager are:

1. To develop a thorough knowledge of corporate culture, plans and
2. To act as an internal change agent and consultant.

3. To initiate change and act as an expert and facilitator.

4. To actively involve himself in companys strategy formulation.
5. To keep communication lines open between the HRD function and
individuals and groups both within and outside the organisation.
6. To identify and evolve HRD strategies in consonance with overall
business strategy.
7. To facilitate the development of various organisational teams and
their working relationship with other teams and individuals.
8. To try and relate people and work so that the organisation
objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently.
9. To diagnose problems and to determine appropriate solution
particularly in the human resources areas.

To provide co-ordination and support services for the

delivery of HRD programmes and services.


To evaluate the impact of an HRD intervention or to conduct

research so as to identify, develop or test how HRD in general has

improved individual or organisational performance.
Human resources activities
Virtual Human Resources
Technology has had a significant impact on human resources practices.
Human Resources is transitioning to a more technology based profession
because utilizing technology makes information more accessible to the
whole organization, eliminates time doing administrative tasks, allows
businesses to function globally and cuts costs. Information technology
has improved HR practices in the following areas:


Recruiting has been the most influenced by information technology. In

the past, recruiters had relied on printing in publications and word of
mouth to fill open positions. HR professionals were not able to post a job
in more than one location and did not have access to millions of people,
causing the lead time of new hires to be drawn out and tiresome. With
the use of e-recruiting tools, HR professionals can post jobs and track
applicants for thousands of jobs in various locations all in one place.
Interview feedback, background and drug tests, and onboarding can all
be viewed online. This helps the HR professionals keep track of all of
their open jobs and applicants in a way that is faster and easier than
before. E-recruiting also helps eliminate limitations of geographic
location. Jobs can be posted and seen by anyone with internet access. In
addition to recruiting portals, HR professionals have a social media
presence that allows them to attract employees through the World Wide
Web. On social media they can build the companys brand by posting
news about the company and photos of fun company events.

Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)

Human resources professionals generally process a considerable amount

of paperwork on a daily basis. This paperwork could be anything from a
department transfer request to an employees confidential tax form. In
addition to processing this paperwork, it has to be on file for a
considerable period of time. The use of Human Resources Information
Systems (HRIS) has made it possible for companies to store and retrieve
files in an electronic format for people within the organization to access

when needed. This eliminates thousands of files and frees up space

within the office. Another benefit of HRIS is that it allows for information
to be accessed in a timelier manner. Instead of HR professionals having
to dig through files to gain information, it is accessible in seconds via the
HRIS. Having all of the information in one place also allows for
professionals to analyze data quicker and across multiple locations
because the information is in a centralized location. Examples of some
Human Resources Information Systems are PeopleSoft, MyTime, SAP,
Timeco, and JobsNavigator.


Technology makes it possible for human resources professionals to train

new staff members in a more efficient manner. This gives employees the
ability to access onboarding and training programs from anywhere. This
eliminates the need for trainers to meet with new hires face to face when
completing necessary paperwork to start. Training in virtual classrooms
makes it possible for the HR professionals to train a large number of
employees quickly and to assess their progress through computerized
testing programs. Some employers even incorporate an instructor with
virtual training so that new hires are receiving the most vital training.
Employees can take control of their own learning and development by
engaging in training at a time and place of their choosing, helping them
manage their work-life balance. Managers are able to track the training
through the internet as well, which helps to reduce redundancy in
training and training costs. Skype, virtual chat rooms, and interactive
training sites are all resources that enable a more technological approach








title=Human_resource_management&action=edit&section=8#w hire.
Behind the production of every product or service there is human mind,
effort and man hours (working hours). no product or service can be
produced without help of human being. Human being is the fundamental
resource for making or constructing anything. Today many experts claim
that machines and technology are replacing human resource and
minimising their role or effort. But even machines and technology have
been build by the human aid and besides companies have been
continuously in search for talented, skilled and qualified professionals to
further develop latest machines and technology, which again have to be
controlled or used by humans to bring out products.

Why name human resource management?

Human: refer to the skilled workforce in the organisation.

Resource: refer to limited availability or scarce.
Management: refer to maximise or proper utilisation and make best use
of limited and a scarce resource.

Altogether, human resource management is the process of proper and

maximise utilisation of

available limited skilled workforce. The core

purpose of the human resource management is to make efficient use of

existing human resource in the organisation. The Best example
at present situation is, construction industry has been facing serious
shortage of skilled workforce. It is expected to triple in the next decade

from the present 30 per cent, will negatively impact the overall







Every organisations' desire is to have skilled and competent people to

make their organisation more effective than their competitors. humans
are very important assets for the organisation rather than land and
buildings, without employees ( humans ) no activity in the organisation
can be done. Machines are meant to to produce more goods with good
quality but they should get operated by the human only.
"you must treat your employees with respect and dignity because in the
most automated factory in the world, you need the power of human
mind. That is what brings in innovation. If you want high quality minds
to work for you, then you must protect the respect and dignity. "
---Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Ltd >>.

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in

education. The human mind is our fundamental resource. - John F.

Great Quotations

The greatest tragedy in America is not the destruction of our natural

resources, though that tragedy is great. The truly great tragedy is the
destruction of our human resources by our failure to fully utilize our
abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with
their music still in them. - Oliver Wendell Holmes.

The human mind is our fundamental resource. - John F. Kennedy.

Origin of HRM

Historical Milestones In Hrm Development >>

The Historical Background Of Human Resource Management >>

Father of Personnel Management >>

Torrington and Hall (1987) define personnel management as being:

a series of activities which first enable working people and their
employing organizations to agree about the objectives and nature of their
working relationship and, secondly, ensures that the agreement is
fulfilled" (p. 49).

While Miller (1987) suggests that HRM relates to:

".......those decisions and actions which concern the management of

employees at all levels in the business and which are related to the
implementation of strategies directed towards creating and sustaining
competitive advantage" (p. 352).

The studies conducted by George Elton Mayo (1880-1949), especially the

Hawthorne Studies is credited as the foundation of the Human Relations
Movement in management.
Facts [+]

It's believed that the first personnel management department began at

the National Cash Register Co. in the early 1900s, according to an HR
Magazine article. After several strikes and employee lockouts, NCR leader
John H. Patterson organized a personnel department to handle
grievances, discharges, and safety, as well as training for supervisors on
new laws and practices.

Human Resource management includes:

1. conducting job analyses,

2. planning personnel needs, and recruitment,
3. selecting the right people for the job,
4. orienting and training,
5. determining and managing wages and salaries,
6. providing benefits and incentives,
7. appraising performance,
8. resolving disputes,
9. communicating with all employees at all levels. Formerly called
personnel management.

Maintaining awareness of and compliance with local, state

and federal labor laws.


These are also called as functions of human resource

management for the purpose of effect you utilisation of human


Societal objective.To be socially responsible to the needs and challenges
of society while minimizing the negative impact of such demands upon
the organization. The failure of organizations to use their resources for
society's benefit may result in restrictions. For example, societies may
pass laws that limit human resource decisions.

Organizational objective. To recognize that HRM exists to contribute to

organizational effectiveness. HRM is not an end in itself; it is only a
means to assist the organization with its primary objectives. Simply
stated, the department exists to serve the rest of the organization.
Functional objective.To maintain the department's contribution at a level
appropriate to the organisation's needs. Resources are wasted when HRM
is more or less sophisticated than the organisation demands. A
department's level of service must be appropriate for the organisation it

Personal objective. To assist employees in achieving their personal





as these

goals enhance



contribution to the organisation. Personal objectives of employees must

be met if workers are to be maintained, retained and motivated.

Otherwise, employee performance and satisfaction may decline, and






Nature of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management involves management functions like
planning, organizing, directing and controlling

It involves procurement, development, maintenance of human


It helps to achieve individual, organizational and social objectives

Human Resource Management is a multidisciplinary subject. It

includes the study of management, psychology, communication,
economics and sociology.

It involves team spirit and team work.

It is a continuous process.

Why Is Human Resource Management Important to All Managers? Why

are these concepts and techniques important to all managers? ' Perhaps
it's easier to answer this by listing some of the personnel mistakes you
don't want to make while managing. For example, you don't want to:
Hire the wrong person for the job

Experience high turnover

Have your people not doing their best

Waste time with useless interviews

Have your company taken to court because of discriminatory


Have your company cited under federal occupational safety laws for
unsafe practices










inequitable relative to others in the organization










Commit any unfair labor practices

The principal responsibilities of the human resources executive are


Formulate and recommend human resource objectives for inclusion






Objectives help the people who are involved in an organization to work

knowing where they want to reach. They are the goals set for people to
meet and make the organization successful. Here is where the human
resource executive comes in and set these objectives for the staff to
follow. By doing this, they make sure people stay in line and do not get
out of the line to do other things that are not beneficial to the company










opportunities that can be realized through improved effectiveness in




Every organization has problems that can make it fail if they are not
taken care of. Problems need to be managed and resolved for maximum
profits. The human resource department looks for ways to take care of
these problems. After identification, they take proper steps into resolving
them. An example of a problem would be way of disposing the waste that
is gotten after production. They look for ways in which the waste can be
disposed without interfering with the lives of those that are near the
















Managers are the people who over look different departments in an

organization. Sometimes they tend to over use their power and hence
they need to be given laid down responsibilities so as to have the very
best results in the work place. They are an important people because
they put the subordinate staff in line. The human resource department
hence help the managers out in knowing what they are supposed to be




They also provide the necessary tools, techniques, and methods which
foster the development of a business climate conducive to employee



Every organization has specific goals to be achieved depending on what it

is about. With this in mind it is important to know that the tools and
techniques used are different based on what is to be achieved. For

instance road sweeping company would need tools like brooms and dust
pans which would not be useful in a bakery company which would
mainly make use of cookers and baking equipment. The human resource
department spells out the tools, techniques and methods necessary to
make the employees work efficiently and feel comfortable while they are
at it. It becomes easier for the employees to work where all the necessary



These are just some of the roles of the human resource department in an
organization and through these roles; they make the work place run
smoothly without any trouble.

Author Bio: More than several years Mark Long has written numerous
articles on Human Resource Dubai and Road Sweeping in Dubai.
Recently he is researching on human resource process in wish to



important concepts





Importance of HRM

We have discussed the basic concept of HRM and the ways in which it
helps the organization meet its goals. In this article, we discuss the
reasons for organizations to have a HRM strategy as well as the business
drivers that make the strategy imperative for organizational success.
It is a fact that to thrive in the chaotic and turbulent business
environment, firms need to constantly innovate and be ahead of the
curve in terms of business practices and strategies. It is from this

motivation to be at the top of the pack that HRM becomes a valuable tool
for management to ensure success.
The Evolving Business Paradigm
One of the factors behind organizations giving a lot of attention to their
people is the nature of the firms in the current business environment.
Given the fact that there has been a steady movement towards an
economy based on services, it becomes important for firms engaged in
the service sector to keep their employees motivated and productive.
Even in the manufacturing and the traditional sectors, the need to
remain competitive has meant that firms in these sectors deploy
strategies that make effective use of their resources. This changed
business landscape has come about as a result of a paradigm shift in the
way businesses and firms view their employees as more than just
resources and instead adopt a people first approach.
Strategic Management and HRM
As discussed in the articles on modern day HRM practices, there is a
need to align organizational goals with that of the HR strategy to ensure
that there is alignment of the people policies with that of the
management objectives. This means that the HR department can no
longer be viewed as an appendage of the firm but instead is a vital organ
in ensuring organizational success.
The aims of strategic management are to provide the organization with a
sense of direction and a feeling of purpose. The days when the HR
manager was concerned with administrative duties is over and the

current HRM practices in many industries are taken as seriously as say,

the marketing and production functions.

Importance of HRM for Organizational Success

Scope of HRM

Human resources are undoubtedly the key resources in an organization,

the easiest and the most difficult to manage! The objectives of the HRM
span right from the manpower needs assessment to management and
retention of the same. To this effect Human resource management is
responsible for effective designing and implementation of various
policies, procedures and programs. It is all about developing and
managing knowledge, skills, creativity, aptitude and talent and using
them optimally.
Human Resource Management is not just limited to manage and
optimally exploit human intellect. It also focuses on managing physical
and emotional capital of employees. Considering the intricacies involved,
the scope of HRM is widening with every passing day. It covers but is not
limited to HR planning, hiring (recruitment and selection), training and
development, payroll management, rewards and recognitions, Industrial
relations, grievance handling, legal procedures etc. In other words, we










relationships at workplace and striking a balance between organizational

goals and individual goals.
The scope of HRM is extensive and far-reaching. Therefore, it is very
difficult to define it concisely. However, we may classify the same under
following heads:




Management: This




manpower management that involves manpower planning, hiring

(recruitment and selection), training and development, induction
and orientation, transfer, promotion, compensation, layoff and
retrenchment, employee productivity. The overall objective here is
to ascertain individual growth, development and effectiveness
which indirectly contribute to organizational development.
It also includes performance appraisal, developing new skills,
disbursement of wages, incentives, allowances, traveling policies
and procedures and other related courses of actions.

HRM in Employee Welfare: This particular aspect of HRM deals

with working conditions and amenities at workplace. This includes
a wide array of responsibilities and services such as safety
services, health services, welfare funds, social security and
medical services. It also covers appointment of safety officers,
making the environment worth working, eliminating workplace
hazards, support by top management, job safety, safeguarding
machinery, cleanliness, proper ventilation and lighting, sanitation,
medical care, sickness benefits, employment injury benefits,







benefits and family benefits.

It also relates to supervision, employee counseling, establishing
harmonious relationships with employees, education and training.
Employee welfare is about determining employees real needs and
fulfilling them with active participation of both management and
employees. In addition to this, it also takes care of canteen
facilities, crches, rest and lunch rooms, housing, transport,
medical assistance, education, health and safety, recreation
facilities, etc.

HRM in Industrial Relations: Since it is a highly sensitive area, it









addressing their grievances and settling the disputes effectively in

order to maintain peace and harmony in the organization. It is the








management) relations, joint consultation, disciplinary procedures,

solving problems with mutual efforts, understanding human
behavior and maintaining work relations, collective bargaining and
settlement of disputes.
The main aim is to safeguarding the interest of employees by
securing the highest level of understanding to the extent that does









establishing, growing and promoting industrial democracy to

safeguard the interests of both employees and management.

The scope of HRM is extremely wide, thus, can not be written concisely.
However, for the sake of convenience and developing understanding
about the subject, we divide it in three categories mentioned above.

Various Processes in HRM

Each organization works towards the realization of one vision. The same
is achieved by formulation of certain strategies and execution of the
same, which is done by the HR department. At the base of this strategy
formulation lie various processes and the effectiveness of the former lies
in the meticulous design of these processes. But what exactly are and
entails these processes? Lets read further and explore.
The following are the various HR processes:
1. Human











2. Employee remuneration and Benefits Administration
3. Performance Management.
4. Employee Relations.
The efficient designing of these processes apart from other things
depends upon the degree of correspondence of each of these. This means
that each process is subservient to other. You start from Human
resource Planning and there is a continual value addition at each step.
To exemplify, the PMS (performance Management System) of an
organization like Infosys would different from an organization like
Walmart. Lets study each process separately.

Human Resource Planning: Generally, we consider Human Resource

Planning as the process of people forecasting. Right but incomplete! It
also involves the processes of Evaluation, Promotion and Layoff.

Recruitment: It aims at attracting applicants that match a certain

Job criteria.

Selection: The next level of filtration. Aims at short listing

candidates who are the nearest match in terms qualifications,
expertise and potential for a certain job.

Hiring: Deciding upon the final candidate who gets the job.

Training and Development: Those processes that work on an

employee onboard for his skills and abilities upgradation.

Employee Remuneration and Benefits Administration: The process

involves deciding upon salaries and wages, Incentives, Fringe Benefits
and Perquisites etc. Money is the prime motivator in any job and
therefore the importance of this process. Performing employees seek
raises, better salaries and bonuses.
Performance Management: It is meant to help the organization train,
motivate and reward workers. It is also meant to ensure that the
organizational goals are met with efficiency. The process not only
includes the employees but can also be for a department, product,
service or customer process; all towards enhancing or adding value to
Nowadays there is an automated performance management system (PMS)
that carries all the information to help managers evaluate the

performance of the employees and assess them accordingly on their

training and development needs.

Relations: Employee





organizations especially in industries that are hugely competitive in

nature. Though there are myriad factors that motivate an individual to
stick to or leave an organization, but certainly few are under our control.








Environment, Employee heath and safety, Employee- Employee conflict

management, Employee- Employee Conflict Management, Quality of Work







programs, Counseling for occupational stress. All these are critical to

employee retention apart from the money which is only a hygiene factor.
All processes are integral to the survival and success of HR strategies
and no single process can work in isolation; there has to be a high level
of conformity and cohesiveness between the same.

What is Human Resource Planning ?

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the process of forecasting the

future human resource requirements of the organization and
determining as to how the existing human resource capacity of the
organization can be utilized to fulfill these requirements. It, thus,
focuses on the basic economic concept of demand and supply in context
to the human resource capacity of the organization.

It is the HRP process which helps the management of the organization in

meeting the future demand of human resource in the organization with
the supply of the appropriate people in appropriate numbers at the
appropriate time and place. Further, it is only after proper analysis of the
HR requirements can the process of recruitment and selection be
initiated by the management. Also, HRP is essential in successfully
achieving the strategies and objectives of organization. In fact, with the
element of strategies and long term objectives of the organization being
widely associated with human resource planning these days, HR
Planning has now became Strategic HR Planning.
Though, HR Planning may sound quite simple a process of managing the
numbers in terms of human resource requirement of the organization,
yet, the actual activity may involve the HR manager to face many
roadblocks owing to the effect of the current workforce in the
organization, pressure to meet the business objectives and prevailing
workforce market condition. HR Planning, thus, help the organization in
many ways as follows:

HR managers are in a stage of anticipating the workforce

requirements rather than getting surprised by the change of events

Prevent the business from falling into the trap of shifting workforce
market, a common concern among all industries and sectors

Work proactively as the expansion in the workforce market is not

always in conjunction with the workforce requirement of the
organization in terms of professional experience, talent needs,
skills, etc.

Organizations in growth phase may face the challenge of meeting

the need for critical set of skills, competencies and talent to meet
their strategic objectives so they can stand well-prepared to meet
the HR needs

Considering the organizational goals, HR Planning allows the

identification, selection and development of required talent or
competency within the organization.

It is, therefore, suitable on the part of the organization to opt for HR

Planning to prevent any unnecessary hurdles in its workforce needs. An
HR Consulting Firm can provide the organization with a comprehensive
HR assessment and planning to meet its future requirements in the most
cost-effective and timely manner.
An HR Planning process simply involves the following four broad

Current HR Supply: Assessment of the current human resource

availability in the organization is the foremost step in HR Planning.
It includes a comprehensive study of the human resource strength









competencies, qualifications, experience, age, tenures, performance

ratings, designations, grades, compensations, benefits, etc. At this
stage, the consultants may conduct extensive interviews with the
managers to understand the critical HR issues they face and
workforce capabilities they consider basic or crucial for various
business processes.



Demand: Analysis





requirements of the business is the second step in HR Planning.

All the known HR variables like attrition, lay-offs, foreseeable
vacancies, retirements, promotions, pre-set transfers, etc. are
taken into consideration while determining future HR demand.
Further, certain unknown workforce variables like competitive
factors, resignations, abrupt transfers or dismissals are also
included in the scope of analysis.

Demand Forecast: Next step is to match the current supply with

the future demand of HR, and create a demand forecast. Here, it is
also essential to understand the business strategy and objectives
in the long run so that the workforce demand forecast is such that
it is aligned to the organizational goals.

HR Sourcing Strategy and Implementation: After reviewing the

gaps in the HR supply and demand, the HR Consulting Firm
develops plans to meet these gaps as per the demand forecast
created by them. This may include conducting communication






recruitment and outsourcing, talent management, training and










implemented taking into confidence the mangers so as to make the

process of execution smooth and efficient. Here, it is important to
note that all the regulatory and legal compliances are being
followed by the consultants to prevent any untoward situation
coming from the employees.

Hence, a properly conducted process of HR Planning by an HR

Consulting Firm helps the organization in meeting its goals and
objectives in timely manner with the right HR strength in action.

The HRM Function

The Changing Role of the HR Function










Management) function is a critical component of any organization.

Apart from finance, which serves as the lifeblood of the organizational
support functions, the HRM function more than any other support
function, has the task of ensuring that the organizational policies and
procedures are implemented and any grievances of the employees are
taken care of. For instance, it is common for the HRM function in many
organizations to combine hiring, training, providing assistance during
appraisals, mentoring employees, and deciding on pay structures and
grades. This means that the HRM function has its task cut out wherein it
has to take care of the people side of the organizational processes.
Considering the fact that the ascent of the services sector (IT, Financial











organizations, the importance of the HRM function has grown by leaps

and bounds thanks to the preponderance of the services sector. This has
given impetus to many aspiring HR professionals to try and make a
career for themselves in the HR field thanks to the burgeoning demand
for HR professionals.
Change in Conception from Reactive to Proactive

Many people think of the HR manager as someone who attends to

complaints from employees, appears at the time of appraisals, and
generally is useful only when there is a genuine need for him or her. This
is the classic old world thinking wherein HR managers were confined to
these activities alone. The reason for such conceptions is that most of us
are used to our parents and other older generation people referring to HR
managers as labor officers whose sole function is to take care of payroll
and disputes. However, times have changed and in the recent decades,
the HR function has emerged as a key function in itself wherein the
HR professionals are proactive and preemptive in nature. What this
means is that HR managers anticipate the crises and preempt them from
happening instead of waiting for the crisis to appear and then resolve it.
Further, unlike in earlier generations where there were chances of strikes
and lockouts of the organizations in the manufacturing sector, the
services sector does not have any place for these and hence, the role of
the HR professionals have evolved to a point where they have moved from










multinationals, the HR professionals regularly have what are known as

one-on-ones or individual meetings with the staff to try and understand
their grievances, seek feedback, and overall focus on how to prevent any
kind of crisis from happening.
The HR Professionals and Demand for HR courses
Indeed, apart from hiring, training, and payroll, which still have lot of
importance to the HRM, function, the addition of the activities mentioned
above has lent a touch of glamour to the otherwise staid and dull

profession. It is no wonder that in institutes like XLRI have seen a surge

in demand for their courses in HR. Moreover, even in other management
institutes, there is an increase in the number of graduates who are
choosing HR as their specialization. All these trends point to the
conclusion that the HR profession is now well sought after and
something that is not relegated to the sidelines.
HR Professionals Have Fun as Well
The changing role of the HRM function is especially visible in the IT and
BPO sector where they are also engaged in organizing offsite events,
which are held in a resort or in a hotel and which provide the employees
with a chance to brainstorm about issues in a relaxed and slow manner
outside of the confines of the office. This trend has made the HRM
function very busy because a lot of planning goes into organizing these
events and indeed, in multinationals like Fidelity, this is now handled by
dedicated HR staff apart from the regular staff.

Functions of a Human Resource Manager

A Human Resources Manager has several functions in a company:

Determine needs of the staff.

Determine to use temporary staff or hire employees to fill these


Recruit and train the best employees.

Supervise the work.

Manage employee relations, unions and collective bargaining.

Prepare employee records and personal policies.

Ensure high performance.

Manage employee payroll, benefits and compensation.

Ensure equal opportunities.

Deal with discrimination.

Deal with performance issues.

Ensure that human resources practices conform to various

Push the employees motivation.

Managers need to develop their interpersonal skills to be effective.

Organizations behavior focuses on how to improve factors that make
organizations more effective.

Staffing Role of the HR Manager

Staffing and Recruiting during the Boom Years

One of the key areas that the HRM unit works with is the staffing
function. Hiring and on boarding of employees remains a critical activity
that many HR managers are yet to master. This is mainly because of the
unevenness of the demand and supply in the market for talent. For
instance, during the heady years of the IT boom in the early years of the
last decade, it was common for many division heads and line managers
to walk into the HR managers office and give him or her target of
employees to be recruited over the next three months in the quarter.

In the US, the situation was that many HR managers were asked to take
in as many H1B or temporary workers to the country on board to meet
the critical shortage in staff. In Asia, because of this very reason where
many techies had headed to the US and Europe, hiring became a
challenge for even the most seasoned HR professionals. The implications
for the HR manager are many as his or her appraisal depends on a
number of targets including how many they have recruited over the last
quarter or the year.

Strategies to Deal with Shortage of Talent during the Boom Years

The way to deal with such a situation was to ensure that the number of
people being taken in was based on current and future demand
scenarios and identify gaps and surpluses in key skill sets. For instance,
in the US, the shortage of those with Java skills was so huge that anyone
with an elementary knowledge of the skill was immediately taken in the
companies. This meant that the HR unit was simply filling up positions
without any strategic planning. Hence, many organizations realized that
hiring people without the requisite skills just to fill up positions would do
more harm than good to the companies and hence, a conscious decision
was taken by the HR managers in conjunction with the line managers to
have forecasts of how many employees they would need over a quarter.
The point here is that the constant bickering between the HR managers
and the line managers took a toll on organizational efficiency and hence,
this compromise was arrived at wherein the demand for specific skill sets
had to be forecasted by the line managers and the HR managers would
then deal with hiring accordingly.

The third aspect of the staffing and hiring activity is that many HR
managers during the boom years advised the line managers to find
employees from other divisions who wanted a change in their job profiles
and roles. This internal filling up of positions by inter-division and intra
company movement was effective in many companies like Fidelity.
Further, overtime by key resources and hiring temporary workers were
the norm in many companies. Of course, the overtime work was
adequately compensated and employees who were doing so were given
additional benefits.

Staffing Strategies during the Ongoing Recession

With the boom years over, the HR managers in recent years are breathing
easy as they no longer have to run around trying to meet recruitment
targets. Of course, the current challenge before the HR managers to
manage the downturn and smoothen the downsizing underway in many
organizations. To ensure these objectives in these economically harsh
times, HR managers are resorting to passive measures as the first line of
action wherein they indicate to the employees that they are on PIP or
Performance Improvement Plans and this usually results in natural
attrition. Next, instead of downsizing, the HR managers are reducing
recruitment so that they do not have to fire employees and instead, these
employees can be accommodated elsewhere in the organization. These

are some of the aspects of the strategic workplace planning within the
hiring and staffing activity that some respected companies follow.

Role of HRM in Leadership Development

Leadership Development in Successful Companies

The previous articles have discussed how the HRM function is now seen
as a critical and crucial component of the organizational support









management goes a long way in ensuring better economic performance.

Among the components of people, management that the HRM function
does is the aspect related to leadership development.
Research into the HRM practices of successful companies has shown
that these companies significantly outperform their peers in terms of
economic profitability by following the leadership development practices
discussed in this article. By successful companies, we mean those
companies in the Fortune 100 list that have managed to retain their
position in the firms over a decade. To put this in perspective, it needs to
be remembered that many companies that were in the Fortune 100 list
for a few years failed to retain their positions in subsequent years and
hence, the fact that these companies have managed to stay in the hunt
means that they have outperformed their peers and competitors.
The Components of Leadership Development
The leadership development programs in these companies follow the
philosophy of grounding them in value, the expected contributions from
the leaders are defined, and the organizational culture geared towards

inspiring leaders. Next, the performance management system in these

companies is tied to the companys business strategy and it includes








articulated clearly and succinctly. In other words, promotions are based

on individual performance as well as people development activities and
these in turn are linked to the business strategy and objectives.
These companies also have a leadership pipeline, which means that the
leadership development is embedded in their strategic workforce
planning which is comprehensive, and longer term oriented. These
companies also ensure that they divide their workforce into job families
and the potential leaders are identified and groomed for higher roles and
responsibilities. In many of these companies, it is common to find lists of
potential leaders known as high potentials who are earmarked for fast
track career progression based on the organizational assessment of the
skills and capabilities of these leaders. Further, the recruitment and
training of new employees is based on longer-term analysis of demand
and supply patterns, which ensure that newer generation of leaders, are
hired into the company to replace those who have made it to the higher
Collaboration between the HRM Function and Senior Management
The HRM functions in these companies work on a collaborative model
with their potential leaders which means that the job of people
development is not left to the HRM function or the leaders alone. Instead,
the potential leaders are identified and then their performance is linked
to the enabling and empowerment of others to move up the chain. In

other words, the ability to spot talent and identify leaders for the future
is done by both the HRM function and the senior management who work
in tandem in this effort.
Research into these successful companies has shown that the people
management in these companies is world class and the contributing
factor that differentiates these companies from others is that the HRM
function plays a critical role throughout the employee lifecycle and not at
the recruitment and training phase alone. The other factor is that the
leaders in these companies are expected to have skill sets that match the
need for adapting to the challenges of the 21st century business
landscape. In other words, these companies groom the leaders of the
future right from the middle management level.
Closing Thoughts
Finally, leadership is a combination of natural abilities and the
organizational nurturing of the employees with those skills. Hence, this
interplay between nature and nurture is what determines the success or
otherwise of the HRM function and the senior management efforts to
develop leadership in these companies.

Role of HR in People Empowerment

People Enabling and People Empowerment

Until now, we have discussed the role of an HR manager in various
processes related to the HR function. The emphasis was on a general
overview and a description of the various activities instead of specific
This article discusses a couple of the crucial functions that an HR
manager has to perform and those are related to enabling employees
to perform to their potential and empowering the employees to lead
fulfilling careers. In the earlier decades, organizational theory and
practice limited itself to ensuring that employees are well paid and their
benefits and other perks taken care of. There was little by way of
ensuring personal fulfillment and job satisfaction. This was because of
the predominance of manufacturing in the economies of the 1970s and
the 1980s which meant that the workforce was to be treated as cogs in
the machine instead of assets that the modern day HRM theory and
practice follows.
With the advent of the services sector, a branch of HRM known as SHRM
or Strategic Human Resource Management grew in response to the
changing profiles of employees and this approach when combined with
the systems approach of management thought meant that the enabling
of employees and the empowerment of employees were the buzzwords for
HR managers.

Specific Aspects of the Twin Objectives

Concomitant with this trend, the HR managers in most firms these days
focus on these aspects by constantly seeking feedback, suggesting
improvements, and providing people support to the employees. in
multinational companies, it is usually the case that the employees above
the team leader level have one-on-ones with the HR staff where all the
issues concerning them are discussed threadbare. These meetings also
provide the employees with an opportunity to articulate concerns and
point to any grievances that they might have with regards to their jobs,
work, or the organization in general.
The team members are usually assigned a people manager who performs
these tasks and ensures that the employees are performing to their
potential. Moreover, the HR function in conjunction with the line
managers conduct periodic trainings in soft skills like communication,
personal relations, and leadership. Indeed, many organizations like
Fidelity have established a set protocol for employees to attend leadership
development trainings that bring out the leaders in them and groom
them as future managers and future CEOs. Hence, the twin objectives of
people empowerment and people enabling are thus met in this paradigm.
How this works in the Real World
Of course, this does not mean that the whole situation resembles utopia
where employees and the managers along with the HR staff are one big
happy family. On the contrary, in most real world settings, the HR
managers have a tough time convincing the employees that the
organization means well for them and that they ought to look on the

bright side of things instead of complaining and being bitter about issues
and grievances all the time. This is where the HR managers skills and
personality come into the picture as the ability to persuade, enlighten,
and if necessary wield the stick play a crucial role in people
management. In other words, the HR manager has to tread a fine line
between giving in to the employees and following the organizational
mandate. This means that a variety of strategies are usually employed by
the HR managers that include some of the skills listed above in addition
to the personal equations that the HR manager has with the employees.
Closing Thoughts


























understanding the employees and their motivations and how well these
stack up against organizational goals, the HR managers would be able to
perform the critical function of people enabling that is very much
required in contemporary management practice.

Talent Management and HRM

Talent Management by Successful Companies

The previous articles discussed how successful companies develop and
nurture leaders and groom them for higher roles as their career
progresses. The role of the HRM function is critical, as there needs to be
excellence all around and not just in one area. In other words, it is not
enough if a company has a brand image in the market that attracts top

quality talent but is not doing well once this talent starts working in the
Take for instance, the Indian IT behemoth, Infosys. Though working there
is a dream come true for many graduates, in recent months, the
company has been hit with astounding attrition, as the company is not
doing well in terms of retaining and nurturing talent. On the other hand,
companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple not only attract the best
talent in the market but also manage them well leading to their practices
becoming a model for other companies to follow.
This article analyzes the best talent management practices of
successful companies and the role of the HRM function in nurturing
and grooming talent.
Some Aspects in Talent Management
The first aspect for global companies is to not be parochial in their hiring
practices and instead, welcome diversity by recruiting international
talent, employees from different backgrounds, and in general diversify
the employee base. Next, is the identification and grooming of high
potentials that would give the organization a pool of leaders from which
they can draw upon when faced with a situation where leaders are
needed. Though this is a practice that is followed in many companies, the
successful companies also identify emerging leaders and not only those
who have established themselves. The point here is that successful









management to draw up a list of potential leaders at both ends of

the talent development chain.
In other words, these companies start from the lower levels and go on till
the middle and senior management levels. The third aspect of successful
talent management is the provision of both vertical and horizontal job
opportunities for the existing employees. This means that the employees
are provided with a menu of career options that would enable them to
shift role and find fulfillment in the role of their choice. The reason why
this aspect is very important is that often many companies stifle their
employees by not providing change of job functions or roles leading to
widespread dissatisfaction among the employees.
Creating a Fulfilling Work Culture
The fourth aspect of successful talent management is that these
companies provide their employees with a change of work location where
the reason for such a move is not to simply move talent to locations
where there are shortfalls but also the need for the employees personal
development is taken into consideration. The point here is that
successful talent management requires that employees feel privileged
working for the company and their needs for self-actualization and
fulfillment be taken care of by the company.
Indeed, successful companies often have people first policies where the
focus is on creating a stimulated and fast-paced environment that
encourages and fosters individual growth and the work environment is
much more engaging than a workplace that is solely concerned with

Closing Thoughts
Finally, successful companies often have lower attrition rates even if their
compensation practices match the industry standard but are not higher
than other companies. In other words, as mentioned in the introductory
paragraph, successful talent management requires all around excellence
in the realms of leadership development, talent management, and
performance management. While the first two topics have been covered,
the performance management in successful companies would be covered
in the next article.

Performance Management as a HR Management Concept

The very mention of appraisals, reviews and ratings is enough to make

seasoned professionals cringe and rejoice alike. For some, these are
occasions when they would come out smiling out of the review whereas
for others, there is nothing memorable about the whole process. So, what
is it that is so important about performance management? For
starters, performance management is the process of reviewing an
employees performance during the preceding year or cycle and
deciding where he or she stands as far as their peers in the same
band are concerned.
The process of reviewing results, arriving at a rating and then deciding
upon the bonus or salary hike is what performance management is all
about. Before we look at the topic sentence, it is important to understand

what goes into the decision making process and who is involved in the
Typically, the process of performance management starts a month or two
before the appraisal cycle ends. The appraisal cycle can be half-yearly or
yearly depending upon the policies of the organization. Further, the
appraisal cycle can be based on the calendar year or the financial year
i.e. it can run from April to March of the following year or January to
December of the same year. In the same vein, it can be half-yearly as
There are different rounds to the appraisal process.
1. In the first round, the people who participate in an employees
appraisal are the employee and his or her manager. In this round,








performance after giving a chance to the employee to self-assess.

2. The second round consists of the manager and the managers
manager. This round is mostly about deciding the band in which
the employee falls post the rating and in comparison with his or
her peers. This process of rationalizing the employees performance
with others is called normalization. In some organizations, this
takes place in the third round where the HR manager is involved
as well. In any case, the ratings cannot be decided without the HR
managers assent to the same. Once these rounds are over, the
bonus level or the salary hike are decided.
What we have described in the above paragraphs is the way the system
ought to work. However, as any HR professional or Industry magazines

would tell you, the performance management process as it exists in many

organizations leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, surveys and studies have
found that the majority of employees who quit organizations do so
because of differences over their ratings. In other words, attrition is in
many cases a direct consequence of the way in which the performance
management process is managed.
The question as to why this happens can be best understood if we
understand the dynamics inherent in the process. For instance, despite
exhortations from HR professionals and experts about letting personal
biases and prejudices affect the process, in many cases, if the manager
and the employee do not see eye to eye on many issues, the appraisal and
the ratings are the place where this difference of opinion comes out into
the open. Further, the organizations are themselves to blame in some
cases as the process of normalization means a winner takes all
approach which leaves the moderate performers bracketed with the poor
performers. The point here is not to belittle the competitive environment
that is the reason for this. On the other contrary, what is needed is a
more holistic approach towards performance management that takes into
account the varying needs of employees and a broader appreciation of
differing working styles and motivations.

Hiring Strategies

People are the lifeblood of any organization. Whether the organization is

in the traditional sectors like manufacturing or it is a new economy

based one like IT and ITES, it needs to be staffed with people of caliber
and mettle. Hence, the kind of people that an organization hires is
critical to the success of the organization. In this respect, the hiring
strategies followed by organizations take on prominence in the
competitive business environment of the 21st century.
Hiring can take place in many ways and at many levels. It can be for
entry level positions or lateral hiring where people with experience are
taken on board. Further, hiring people can be based on competitive
exams (entry level) and the personal approach favored by HR managers
for senior level positions. In recent times, hiring for the entry level has
taken on an entirely new dimension with the campus recruitment
procedures that rely on getting the best talent available from the
campuses for companies wishing to hire for entry level positions. The
other way of hiring is through selective approach where the Staffing
department entrusts the placement consultants with the task of
identifying potential employees by picking profiles from employee
databases and the consultants own database as well.
As outlined above, the different hiring strategies are for different levels in
the organization. The most niche hiring takes place at senior levels where
the essence is discreetness and hence dedicated consultants or HR
professionals approach people at higher levels on a one-one basis.
Whatever be the hiring strategy deployed, the essential components of
the process remain more or less the same. These include choosing from
the available candidates, taking a decision as to the pay and perks,
making an offer and finally, getting them on board. The hiring process

ranges from as less a month or so to drawn out affairs for niche

placement. The strategic imperatives that underpin hiring depend on the
ability of the organization to effectively leverage its reputation, flexibility
in the roles that are available, availability of skilled resources and finally,
the package that the organization is willing to offer.
Most debates in organizations on the hiring process hinge on the length
of time it takes to hire a person for a particular role and the package that
the organization is willing to offer. The term fitment is often used as HR
jargon which is all about whether a particular person is suitable for the
role that is being filled and how well he or she fits the job profile. One of
the reasons for attrition in organizations is the fact that many employees
join them with a set of assumptions about their role only to have their
hopes dashed in reality. Hence, in recent times, industry experts have
focused on this aspect of ensuring that people are hired only if they are
of the right fit.
In conclusion, hiring people is a key component of a companys
internal strategy and hence something that needs detailed attention
and focus. We have touched upon the hiring strategies and the overview
of the process. In subsequent articles, we would explore the topic further.

Retention Strategies

Any employee retention strategy would necessarily include a plan

for redressing employee grievances and ways and means to address
employee issues. This would mean that the employees would be enabled
to take their issues regarding pay, their work, their role etc. to the HR
manager for each division and expect to get a fair hearing in the process.
There should be a plan where the HR manager in conjunction with the
manager of the employee who has raised the issue works towards
resolving the issue.
Components of a Retention Strategy
Taking each of these strategies in turn, job rotation is the practice of
moving the employees around divisions and within divisions with a clear
emphasis on making sure that they operate in domains other than the
ones assigned to them initially. This would mean that the employees get
trained on competencies beyond that of their assigned plant and this
would lead to greater motivation to pick up additional skills and motivate
them to perform better. The importance of grievance redressal and
mitigation cannot be emphasised more. This is the most critical and
crucial component of the HRM plan as research has shown that an
employee with pending issues awaiting resolution is twice more likely to
quit the company than the other employees. Hence, all efforts must be
made to redress the grievances of the employees.
Grievance Redressal

An effective retention strategy would focus on preventing as well as

addressing grievances. Though it is not the contention that all grievances
can be prevented, they can be pre-empted by actively listening to the
employees from time to time. This strategy of listening to the employees
would revolve around a concept of one-one meetings between the
employees and the manager and employees and the HR representative for
the unit or division. The idea of the regular one-one meetings would be
to identify potential causes of friction among the employees and any
issues they may have vis--vis their job and benefits. These issues need
to be brought out into the open before they become contentious resulting
in the employee feeling frustrated and quitting the job. Hence, all efforts
must be made to identify sources of employee dissatisfaction and
hygiene factors that must be taken care of for proper functioning of the
Ways to Mitigate Job Dissatisfaction
Management theorists often emphasise the fact that one of the reasons
for low employee morale in organizations is the fact that the
employees and often feel alienated and cut off from the larger
purpose. The contention is that the employees feel themselves to be part
of an impersonal setup and perceive themselves to be unable to make a
difference to the whole unit. Hence, there is a need to involve the
employees in the larger picture and provide them with perspective on the
bigger picture. In engineering units with assembly line manufacturing,
the engineer is often responsible for his or her part of the chain and is
not in a position to relate to the bigger picture. Hence, there should be

effective strategies like job rotation, interaction with other units, timely
promotions and cross functional teams wherein the engineers would feel
themselves to be contributing to the larger goal of the company.

Hiring in the Shadow of Stagnating Growth

How the times have changed for potential recruits

There was a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the software
companies were hiring anyone with some basic computer skills. A
popular joke that did the rounds was about a leading software company
having the message of Trespassers would be recruited. Such was the
demand for software professionals that graduate from all fields were
eager to join the bandwagon. The situation now is completely different
with stringent entry norms, raising the skills bar, and paying the
minimum salaries instead of large pay packets and associated benefits.
Indeed, there is a sea change from the time when candidates used to
take calls from other companies when the interview for a particular
company was going on. This is an indication of the change from the
exuberant times in the 1990s and the early 2000s to the present where
the overall mood is of stagnation and low growth.
Hiring Strategies in a Low Growth Economy
The hiring strategies have similarly changed with the change in the
economic scenario. Earlier, the HR function used to be given a target of
the number of employees to be recruited in a specified period and their
performance and the bonuses were measured in terms of how well they
met these targets. The present scenario is one where the HR function is

given qualitative limits instead of quantitative limits. What this means is

that quality matters more than numbers and companies are no longer
tolerating low skilled or low quality candidates. This has increased the
pressure on both the recruiters as well as the HR functions. Whereas in
earlier years, the pressure was on finding the high number of people
required, now the pressure is on finding the right candidate.
Some Strategies for fresh graduates
These trends have implications for those who are graduating now and
those who have graduated in the last couple of years. The best bet even
now remains campus interviews and targeted placements as these
avenues of recruitment are still numbers driven. The other aspect is that
the fresh graduates have to invest their time and effort in upgrading their
skills and learning more skills as that would make them stand out from
the competition. The key aspect here is that one must be distinctive in
order to score over the competition and as the hiring now is tougher and
based on finding the fit between the employee and the role, it is advisable
to study the requirements of the role thoroughly and then prepare for the
test and the interview accordingly.
Closing Thoughts
Finally, when times are tough, the tough get going and so, the hiring of
those with mental toughness and the ability to work under pressure is
the norm. Apart from this, the fact that the hiring is more location based
because of various factors means that proximity to the major cities would
be an added advantage. The recent encouragement of the development of

Tier Two cities means that candidates who are not near to the cities can
still benefit if they are located in these up and coming cities.

Employee Separation Process

Employee Separation is the process of ensuring that an employee who
quits the company is exited in a structured and orderly manner. The
process of employee separation is taken quite seriously by many firms
and there is a dedicated department to handle employee exits from the
company. In this article we discuss the process of employee separation
and the differences between voluntary and involuntary exits.
Voluntary and Involuntary Separation
Employee separation can be voluntary as well as involuntary. The former
is when the employee quits the company on his or her own accord. This
is the most common form of employee separation though in these
recessionary times, involuntary separation or the act of asking the
employee to leave by management is quite common. This form of
employee separation where an employee is asked to quit is called
involuntary separation. The difference in these two forms of separation is
that for voluntary exits, the employee stands to get most of the benefits
and perks due to him or her whereas when an employee is asked to leave,
he or she might get a separation package or in instances where
disciplinary or performance related exits take place, the employee might
not get anything at all.
Components of the Employee Separation Process

The employee separation process starts from the time the employee gives
notice to his or her employer about the intention to quit. This is usually
called putting in ones papers because in earlier times, an employee was
required to submit a formal resignation letter, though in recent times,
this is being done by email. Once the employee gives notice, all the
financial transactions and records of the employee are frozen by the HR
department and the employees manager is tasked with the process of
ensuring proper handover and closure of work tasks allotted to the
employee. Usually, the notice period ranges from a month to two to three
months depending on the level at which the employee is working.
Further, there has to be a well defined handover plan drawn up by the
employees manager that covers all aspects of closing out on the work
that the employee is performing.
Participants in the Employee Separation Process
Typically, the employee separation process proceeds along two parallel
tracks. One involves the employee and the manager and is concerned
with the handover of work and other tasks. The other track is by the
separations team and deals with the employee benefits accruing as a
result of separation as well as other benefits like PF (Provident Fund),
Gratuity (If applicable) etc. The HR manager is needed at all steps of this
process and in the final exit interview that is conducted to assess the
reasons for the employee leaving the company and taking the employees
views on work and the company in general as well as any de-motivating
factors that might have caused the employee to resign.

In recent years, with the high levels of attrition in the service sector, it
has become imperative for firms to have a structured separation plan for
orderly exits of employees. Of course, the concept of pink slips or
involuntary exits are another matter altogether and involve some
bitterness that results because of the employee losing his or her job. In
conclusion, it is our view that employee separations must be handled in
a professional and mature manner and though attrition is a fact that
concerns everyone in the industry, once an employee decides to leave, the
separation must be as smooth as possible.

The HRM Function and Its Role in Recessionary Times

The Case for the Importance of the HRM Function even in
Recessionary Times
In these recessionary times, it is tempting for the companies to cut the
budgets of the HRM function and focus on cost control and trimming as
a means of profitability. Further, with the squeeze on hiring by many
companies, one of the key activities of the HRM function, which is the
hiring, and on boarding activity remains frozen. Therefore, there is more
the case for pruning the HR budgets. However, companies need to realize
that there is a strong correlation between people management and
economic performance that has been conclusively proved in recent
research by the consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group or BCG. The
research that focused on how companies that do well on talent
management, leadership development, and performance management
have been shown to have significantly higher economic performance.

What adds to this research is the anecdotal evidence from many

multinationals that seems to prove the hypothesis that excellent HR
policies makes for a well-motivated workforce that can ramp up their
performance to match the increased expectations of companies during
recessions. The implications are that in case organizations want to do
more at the same cost, they must focus on Processual cost cutting
instead of on HR budgets alone.
Handling Laid off Employee Separations
The second aspect of the HRM function during recessionary times is that
it is often the case that the HRM staff are asked to handle the








colloquially as pink slips have to be handled with grace and respect for
the employee instead of condescension and arrogance. The point here is
that when employees are asked to leave, the HR managers and the HR
staff have the unenviable task of making sure that the message is
communicated to those employees who are being asked to leave and to
handle their exits in a structured manner. With the pressure on the HR
staff growing with the increased incidence of layoffs, it is not easy for the
HR managers not to get affected and take things personally. However, the
key aspect here is that the HR managers have to perform well under
pressure and ensure that the outgoing employees are offered assistance
with their job hunts for alternative jobs by giving them the use of the
office space and the facilities for a week or so after their last day at work.
The point here is that gestures like these go a long way in convincing the
other employees that the company is not an opportunistic employer who
is a fair-weather friend to them.

Managing the Motivation Levels of Employees

Talking about the impact of layoffs on the employees who have remained
in the organization, the HR staff also has the challenging task of keeping
these employees motivated and not making them look over their
shoulders periodically to check whether they are next in line to be laid
off. Indeed, this is a delicate and often-diplomatic exercises that must be
carried out with finesse in the same manner exits are handled. The other
aspect of the recessionary times is that more often than not, companies
do not hand out pay hikes and bonuses and hence, there tends to be a
slack in morale among the employees. This is another of those tasks that
the HRM function has to manage in recessionary times. Given the fact
that many companies are struggling to stay afloat and which leads to
resignations from key employees who do not see a future for themselves
in the companies, it is important to remember that the HRM function
must be bolstered rather than cut down to handle these unpleasant
Closing Thoughts
Finally, the HRM function also has to cooperate with the organizational
imperatives on the need to reduce costs and hence, must play its role
and part in ensuring that the organization practices what it preaches
and does not merely indulge in cost cutting, layoffs, and freezing of pay
hikes and bonuses.
The Increasing use of Contract Staff and Temp Workers in the
Corporate World

Hiring Temps and Contract Staff

Of late, a trend that has been noticeable in the corporate world
pertains to the increasing use of contract staff and temporary
workers or temps as part of the organizations operations. The trend
that started a couple of decades earlier has now accelerated into a
phenomenon where nearly 25 to 30 percent of the workforce in major
companies is made up of contract staff and temporary workers. What
was hitherto reserved for the peripheral functions like HR, Admin,
Finance, and services has now spread to the core functions like project
management, testing, and even whole teams being contracted out to
outsourcing providers. There are many implications of having contract
staff and the key reason why many companies go in for contract workers
and temps is the cost factor which is primary and the secondary factors
like hiring at short notice, reducing overheads, and finding the right
skills which the outsourcing providers can supply to the companies. We
shall examine each of these factors in subsequent sections. It would
suffice to state here that the ongoing recession has also contributed to
hiring more temporary workers as the convergence of cost and other
factors combined with the fact that once the project is over, the
temporary workers can be made redundant all are reasons for the
upswing in hiring contract workers.
Advantages of Hiring Temps
Given the fact that cost is a key consideration for hiring temporary
workers, it is natural that companies are tempted to hire them. The
companies need to worry about paying for their healthcare or social

security nor do they have to worry about contributing to pension funds

and other benefits. Added to this is the fact that hiring at short notice is
often difficult for many companies because there is a lead-time to
onboard new employees and by hiring temporary workers, the lead-time
can be done away with. Further, sometimes companies might not find
employees with desired skills who can be hired at short notice. With
outsourcing providers ready to step in such situations, it becomes easier
for companies to rely on temporary workers who can ramp up quickly.
Apart from this, they can be made redundant once the project is over
which cannot be done in the case of permanent employees. Moreover,
some functions like testing and quality control require niche expertise
that might not be available in-house and therefore, temporary workers
can fill in this scenario.
Disadvantages of Hiring Temps
Of course, this does not mean to say that contract workers represent a
magic bullet for the factors listed above. On the contrary, there are many
downsides with hiring temps and these include accountability, adherence
to policies, vague contracts leading to disputes, and overall responsibility
and control over the resources. For instance, in many companies,
managers find that though the temporary workers work better than
permanent employees because of the need to please the employer to get
more work for their companies, the issue of overall control and
accountability apart from responsibility needs to be addressed. The point
here is that temporary workers are after all part of another company and
hence, critical functions and jobs cannot be assigned to them because of
these aspects. Apart from this, disputes arise in case the temporary

workers do not perform according to expectations and when they leave

midway between projects. There are many examples in the corporate
world where the temporary workers have failed to fulfill their contractual
obligations leading to protracted disputes between the companies and the
outsourcing providers. Next, many temporary workers do not have a
sense of ownership with the project because they know that they are just
in-between employees and this can lead to dicey situations as well.
Concluding Thoughts
Finally, after the positives and the negatives have been tallied, it is found
that the practice of hiring temporary workers does add value to the
companies and provided they are managed well and contracts drawn up
in clear and unambiguous terms, the practice or hiring temporary
workers can result in cost savings and increased productivity and

Role of HR in Performance Appraisals

Human resource department plays an important role in designing and

implementing performance appraisals. Infact, the HR team acts as
mediator between the functional heads or reviewing authorities and the
employee. It is the human resource teams responsibility to ensure a
smooth implementation of the appraisal process.
Let us go through the role of HR in performance appraisals in detail:
The first and the foremost responsibility of HR team is to design the
entire appraisal process. Make sure the process is simple and does not
take too much time. The HR team needs to know the responsibilities
assigned to each and every employee for them to create and design a
system where their overall achievements can be rated with respect to
their key responsibility areas. An individual representing the MIS team
cannot rate himself/herself on the KRAs of a marketing professional. As a
HR professional, you need to sit with the functional heads of all
departments so that you exactly know what all tasks have been assigned
to which all team members.
The employees need to be fully aware of the performance appraisal
process. The criterion of performance appraisal needs to be very
clear and transparent. Provide proper training to employees so that they
take the entire process of performance appraisal gracefully and
sportingly. You need to make them understand that appraisals are done
not to downgrade or insult anyone but help individuals set realistic goals
and expectations for themselves and work towards it. There are
employees who do not appreciate the idea of performance appraisal and
feel it is just a waste of time and energy filling elaborate forms. It is the

HRs responsibility to change this perception. Performance appraisal is

just not a method to increase ones salary but provide feedbacks to
employees and guide them accordingly. Call employees on a common
platform and make them understand the importance of appraisal process
and how would it help them in their respective careers.
The HR team also needs to sit with the reviewing authorities to
ensure appraisals are done on time and only the deserving
employees get the benefits. Appraisals should not be for everyone but
only for those who have worked really hard all through the year. You need
to help and sometimes also guide the managers and supervisors so that
a fair appraisal is done and no deserving employee is at loss. You can
also give your valuable feedback to the functional heads based on your
day to day interaction with the employee concerned. Apart from his /her
routine work, how one behaves at the workplace, what is his relation
with superiors/ fellow workers, punctuality, and discipline also play an
important role in performance appraisal.
Once the appraisal is done, it is your responsibility to hand over the
increment letters or review reports. Make sure the letter is handed only
to the employee concerned and not to anyone else. Appraisals and
increments ought not to be discussed in public. Your role does not end
here. As a HR professional, you need to ensure employees are satisfied
with the appraisal process. You need to explain an individual as to why
he/she has got or not got a salary hike .Immediately arrange a meeting
with his superior if you are not able to handle the situation or find a
solution. Many people start looking for a change or quit immediately after
the appraisal process.

This happens because either the doubts are not addressed properly or
individuals who have got a decent hike look for better opportunities
outside. Take feedbacks from employees as to what they feel about their
appraisal and whether they are satisfied or not?

Managing Downsizing in Organizations

What is Downsizing ?
Downsizing or layoffs is the term used to refer to the practice of firing
employees for various reasons in organizations. These reasons can range
from poor performance by the employees, the poor performance of the
organizations in economic downturns that necessitates laying off
employees to save costs, and for disciplinary reasons. There are other
reasons as well which include the shuttering or the closing of the
Whatever be the reason, downsizing is a painful process for both the
employees and the organization and more for the former. Therefore,
the Human Resources Function must handle downsizing with utmost
care and caution and with sensitivity.
Payment of Compensation
For instance, when laying off employees, it is usually the case that the
organization pays severance packages and some additional pay to
compensate the employee for the sudden event or occurrence of losing

his or her job. Of course, when employees are laid off for disciplinary
reasons, there is usually no severance pay since the employee has
violated the code of conduct and hence, is not liable for any
compensation. Having said that, it must also be noted that the law
mandates payment of compensation in the other forms of downsizing.
However, the reality is that very few companies follow the law because in
gloomy economic conditions, even the government which is eager to
please the businesses does not really enforce the laws.
Policies and Procedures to Handle Downsizing
In addition, when the employee is informed that he or she is going to be
laid off, most organizations have set policies and procedures to handle
such occurrences. It is usually the case that the employee is called to a
meeting with his or her immediate manager and the HR manager along
with additional people depending on the rank and the role of the
employee. This meeting is usually tricky for both the employee and the
other attendees since breaking bad news is painful as well as traumatic
for the employee.
Downsizings must be Handled with Care
Therefore, it is indeed the case that downsizings have to be handled with
utmost sensitivity wherein the reasons for the layoffs are explained
clearly and the employee is given a sympathetic hearing. Moreover, the
organization must also take into account the fact that the employee can
sue the company if the reasons are not convincing enough.

The history of Corporate America is littered with examples of how the HR

botched up the downsizing process which led to the employee(s) taking
the organizations to court and in some cases, if the evidence is strong,
winning Multi-Million Dollar lawsuits against the organizations for
wrongful termination.
Lack of Communication might Lead to Good Employees Leaving as
Now, let us see how downsizing can also lead to exceptional employees
leaving the company in case the organization does not handle the process
well. It is the fact that if layoffs are being announced or there are
rumours circulating about them, many employees start to feel jittery and
begin looking out for other jobs.
If the organization does not handle layoffs properly, it is at the risk of
losing even those who are not likely to be downsized. This is because
these employees who are good performers would decide that they would
anyway get jobs elsewhere and instead of sticking around in an
organization that is on the verge of economic debilitation, they might as
well move jobs. Therefore, any organization that is planning to downsize
must approach the same in a calculated and careful manner.
Downsizing due to Poor Performance of the Employee(s)
Turning to the downsizing related to poor performance of the employees,
it must be mentioned that unless they are given sufficient notice that
they have to pull up their socks and ramp up their performance, the
organization might not have sufficient grounds for laying them off.

All organizations have something called a performance improvement plan

wherein the employees whose performance is suspect are told about the
same and their performance put on watch. During this period, they are
monitored by their immediate managers along with the HR manager and
if they do not improve even after the mandatory watch period is over,
they are then let go with the reasons for the same being stated clearly
and in writing.
Organizations have to be Humane but Firm
As mentioned in the introduction, downsizing is very painful to the
employees since their source of livelihood is being taken away from them.
Especially in these gloomy economic times when everyone wants job
security and assured income, downsizing can be extremely traumatic to
the employees. Therefore, it is indeed the case that a humane approach
must be adopted so that the employees do not feel that they have been
treated unfairly. Having said that, no organization exists for charity and
hence, they too need to be firm on when to downsize and whom to
downsize. These are complex challenges that need creative and humane
approaches and this is where the personality of the HR manager comes
into question since he or she must be responsible and balance the
competing needs of the employee and the organization.

Rise of the Temp Jobs and the Freelance/Sharing Economy

The Emerging Uber Economy

Most if not all of us would have heard of the ride sharing cab aggregator
Uber. Anyone who has taken a ride with the associated drivers belonging
to Uber would be aware that the cabs and the drivers who work for the
company are not regular full time employees but just about anybody who
has a car and has signed up with the company on a part time basis.
This is the business model where unlike in the traditional rent a cab
model, Uber works by allowing anyone to register with them and work for
them on a freelance basis. Similarly, this sharing model is now being
adopted by other companies such as AirBnB which lets house owners let
their spare rooms to be used as Bed and Breakfast motel rooms
without necessarily turning their homes into full fledged hotels.
Further, there are many freelance work sites such as Upwork-Elance,
Craigslist, and People per Hour that connect freelancers with potential
clients and thereby facilitate the exchange of work between buyers and
sellers on a part time basis. Indeed, some estimates suggest that nearly
one third of the total workforce in the United States is now engaged in
some form or the other of freelance work.
The Rise of the Temp Economy and its Implications for Workers
This has implications for the upcoming generation of workers who would
find that lifelong employment and a stable and secure job are things of
the past. Instead the motto for the future is sharing ones skills and
expertise through online and mobile portals with potential buyers for a
fee and where the mode of working is temporary and devoid of any longer
term contractual and stable work arrangements.

Employers Benefit More than the Workers

This trend of increasing instances of employers hiring workers for the
shorter term without any longer term commitments and without having
to pay for their healthcare, social security, pensions, and other benefits
that characterize longer term employment means that employers save
huge amounts of money.
Further, they can hire according to seasonal demand and whenever a
project comes up instead of hiring employees and keeping them on the
bench until the projects are finalized. Already employers are saving on
the benefits by hiring temps and added to this is the purely temporary
nature of work which results in savings in areas ranging from idle
capacity to easier hiring and firing.
Therefore, this temp economy or the gig economy does indeed benefit the
employers and one of the reasons for employers worldwide pushing for
temp work is the very tangible benefits that they get from this business
Goodbye to Stable and Secure Longer Term Employment
On the other hand, things are becoming harder for the workers as
they no longer have what is called as a stable and secure job. Instead,
they flit from assignment to assignment and from gig to gig all the time
remaining on the margins. Though employers claim that temp work is
priced higher and that the workers benefit, it is undeniable that
competition from lower wage workers from other countries such as the
emerging and the developing countries in Asia and Africa not to leave out

Latin America means that workers in the developed world are being hit
by a double whammy of lower wages and no secure and stable work.
Workers Worldwide Better Be Prepared
Indeed, globalization and technological advances means that any
employer anywhere can hire workers for temp work anytime and every
time from everywhere. Unless one is talking about purely geography
dependant work such as Uber, most of the work available in the gig
economy can be done from anywhere. While this presents opportunities
for workers in the Third World since all they need is a stable power and
internet connection and the ability to work hard as well as be innovative
and inventive, the same cannot be said about workers in the developed
world who have to contend with the problems of lack of permanent
employment and to rub it in, the very real prospect of declining wages
both in absolute terms and relative terms.
The emerging temp economy has been variously called the Uber economy
and the gig economy and the reality for workers around the world is that
in future job and work are not things that one can take for granted but
instead, one has to work harder and be agile and nimble all the time
thereby remaining competitive. Indeed even workers in the developing
world have to be on the lookout for competition from even lower wage
workers from the bottom of the heap. This race to the bottom means
that unless one is constantly reinventing oneself, there is no guarantee
that one can find work all the time.
How Workers Can Remain Competitive

While it is beyond the scope of this article to analyze the ideological

aspects of this emerging economy, nonetheless the fact remains that
what we are witnessing is a transformation of work itself and the way the
social contract between workers and employers is being redefined.
Therefore, our advice here for prospective graduates and those entering
the workforce is to ensure that they update their skills on a continuous
basis and develops that X Factor which would distinguish them from
the competition so that they remain in the reckoning.
On a concluding note, we would also like to point out that all workers
everywhere better realize that the good old days of stable and secure
employment are being converted to a ruthless marketplace for workers
where the ability to bid lower, the ability to go beyond customer
satisfaction and instead, aim for customer delight and customer wow are
the things that would serve them well in the future.


The penalties for not being correctly staffed are costly. Planning staff
levels requires that an assessment of present and future needs of
the organization be compared with present resources and future
predicted resources. Appropriate steps should then be planned to

bring demand and supply into balance. The central aim of modern
human resource management is to enhance the effective use,







organization. This, clearly, requires a great deal of information

accretion, classification and statistical analysis as a subsidiary
aspect of personnel management. What future demands will be is
only influenced in part by the forecast of the human resource
manager, whose main task may well be to scrutinize and modify the
crude predictions of other managers.