The Relevance of Human Resource
Management Today :
Professional Management in context of Globalisation, Liberalisation and Competitiveness
It has long been said that a company does not work through its bank balance or its capital assets but the people who work for it and who put the bank balance and capital asset into effective use. It is this point of view that has basically generated a huge limelight for the importance of managing those human resources.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.
To describe in common terms, Human Resource Management (HRM) is a management function that helps managers recruit, select, train and develop members for an organization. It is concerned with the people’s dimension in organization.
As mentioned afore, it is the human factors that actually lead an organization to perform, deliver and grow. As a result, the management of these resources are extremely essential for any organization, whether profit-seeking or non-profit seeking, to achieve maximum productivity levels.
The objective of such management is to inject or deliver a professionally and technically competent workforce to the company, who are willing to execute their duties and responsibilities to the organization with ample dedication. It should also ensure that this workforce is willingly to do so.
However, in terms of a broader perspective, HRM can have secondary objectives as a four-point strategy.
SOCIETAL OBJECTIVES : It is to make sure that the organization in its functions is aware of the needs and challenges of the society. It must make sure that it is not breaking the pre-set boundaries, especially legal, of the society and rather make way for evolution. This includes maintaining cordial union-management relations and compliance to the legal obligations.
ORGANISATIONAL OBJECTIVES : An HRM process is of no use if it does not co-operate with the enterprise in achieving its basic goals. Regardless, of its other functions its first duty is to serve the organization. Employee relations, Selection and Placement with efficiency and HR planning are all part of the organizational objectives.
FUNCTIONAL OBJECTIVES :An important responsibility of the HR department is to ensure that the productivity of the other organizational segments or departments are in consonance with the current needs of the company. This is done through methods like appraisal and assessment.
PERSONAL OBJECTIVES: It is only obvious that when a person joins an organization for employment, he does not do so with the organization’s needs but his own professional requirements. The HR management has to ensure that the required job-satisfactory levels are maintained and the growth of the individual, professionally, is occurring. This prevents any disrespect and dissent towards the organization.
This is generally done through training and development, and compensations of various kinds.
The era of Globalisation and Liberalisation
The adoption of globalising and liberalizing policies for the economy of India was done in 1991. This was a time when the country was facing massive fiscal deficits, depleting forex reserves and huge debt obligations throughout the world.
The otherwise conservative Indian economy now became open to an extensive global participation. With liberalization, many of the industrial regulations binding organizations all over the country were done away with. This also increased the amount of private-player participation in the market. There are very many challenges that an HR department faces in the age of globalisation. It has to create a global-mindset for both the managers and the employees. To meet these challenges, organizations need to recognize HR as a strategic element of business. The HR department has to create an atmosphere of unity in diversity and co-operation throughout the corporation and a culture with a global approach. It has to understand the need of developing set-of practices that are meeting the needs of the organization anywhere and everywhere in the world. The organizations need to develop and train employees in a way that they are able to perform with efficency all over the world.
As a result, the masses observed a paradigm-shift in terms of employment duties and employers.
Presently, India hosts an enormous number of Multi-national companies, joint ventures and foreign-owned subsidiaries. Similarly, a large number of companies of Indian-origin are constructing bases all over the world.
When it comes to business, the world is indeed becoming a smaller place. More and more companies are operating across geographic and cultural boundaries. While most have adapted to the global reality in their operations, many are lagging behind in developing the human resource policies, structures, and services that support globalization.
There are very many challenges that an HR department faces in the age of globalisation. It has to create a global-mindset for both the managers and the employees. To meet these challenges, organizations need to recognize HR as a strategic element of business. The HR department has to create an atmosphere of unity in diversity and co-operation throughout the corporation and a culture with a global approach. It has to understand the need of developing set-of practices that are meeting the needs of the organization anywhere and everywhere in the world. The organizations need to develop and train employees in a way that they are able to perform with efficiency all over the world.
The Coca-Cola company is one of the most successful MNCs in the world. With operations in as many as 200 countries, 80 per cent of its revenues are generated from foreign operations. The US-based company believes in the famous motto of “ Thinking globally, acting locally”. The company has propagated a common HR policy within the company and developed a group of international minded mid-level executives for senior management responsibilities.
The structural adjustments policies initiated the process of opening up the closed economy of the country. There was a huge change in the politico-legal environment with deregulations and de-licensing on foreign investments. The FEMA and MRTP acts along with removal of public sector monopoly in certain industries occurred. This caused a major turbulence in the various organizations and made the business environment hyper-competitive.
In order to stay in the race, the companies required a new system in the HR processes.
Innovative practices started developing inside the companies to hire the best talent and retain them. In order to maintain a good rapport with the employees the companies started introducing them to the corporate culture of professionalism, which was required to stay ahead of the growing competition.
These days we observe many such innovations at work. One such example would be that organizations their senior-managers to attend Executive management programmes at B-schools which not only develops and grows their professional potential but, also imbibes a sense of loyalty toward the company.
In such a hyper-competitive environment, the HR managers look to develop certain skills amongst the employees that will enable their workforce and organization to become cutting edge.
This competitiveness has been synonymous to staying above the average and survival.
The environment of competition throws various challenges at a business. It is for the business to have perception, understanding and action strategies for such problems. If a company is ahead of its competition it should know what it has to do to keep rivals at bay. Constant upgrading is a must in such cases. The examples of Microsoft in Operating system software and Google in web-based search engines are apt.
Traits of lateral thinking, innovation, intrapreneurship and speed are high in demand.
HR policies must address the issue of enabling people to respond to environmental opportunities and challenges in the best interests of the company. Intrapreneurship and innovativeness in the people ensures that “out of the box thinking” is at work and value innovation is an ongoing exercise in the company. Self-discipline is an essential element of entrepreneurship in the companies. It is this attribute that enables people to act responsibly, and acts as a voluntary check over oneself. Speed is a critical factor today’s business environment. Any innovation if not capitalized in a short time is as good as a lost opportunity. Speed is not same as haste – again Self discipline helps in maintaining the divide between speed and haste.
If such traits can be encrusted into the policies and HR frameworks, the concern would gain a huge advantage over its competition. The institutionalization of such traits shall take the company to a higher plane of competitiveness.
The significance of HR in such environments reaches the indispensable levels. Without the proper management of Human resources, a company is most likely to wither away.
Reference:1.Human Resource Management and Personnel Management, Fourth edition,K. Ashwathappa
2.The Globalization of HR Practices, Shiela M.Rioux, Paul R. Bernthal and Richard S. Wellins , Development Dimensions International Inc.
3.Innovative HRM and corporate performance in context of economic liberalization, Ashok Som, International journal of Human Resource Management Vol.19,Issue 7
4.http//www.alesar.com/hr/index.php Last visited on 20.08.2009