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They perform mainly three different types of roles, while meeting the requirements of employees and customers, namely administrative, operational and strategic. 1) Administrative Roles: The administrative roles of human resource management include policy formulation and implementation, housekeeping, records maintenance, welfare administration, legal compliance, etc. i. Policy maker: The human resource manager helps management in the formation of policies governing talent acquisition and retention, wage and salary administration, welfare activities, personnel records, working conditions, etc. He also helps in interpreting personnel policies in an appropriate manner. Administrative expert: The administrative role of an HR manager is heavily oriented to processing and record keeping. Maintaining employee benefit claims, answering queries regarding leave, transport and medical facilities, submitting required reports to regulatory agencies are examples of administrative nature of HR management. Advisor: The personnel manager performs his functions by advising, suggesting, counseling and helping the line managers in discharging their responsibilities relating to grievance redressal, conflict resolution, employee selection and training.
Housekeeper: The administrative roles of a personnel manager in managing the show include recruiting, per-employment testing, reference checking, employee surveys, time keeping, wage and salary administration, benefits and pension administration, wellness programmes maintenance of records, etc. Counselor: The HR manager discusses various problems of the employees relating to work, career, their supervisors, colleagues, health, and family, financial, social, etc. and advises them on minimizing and overcoming problems, if any. Welfare officer: HR manager is expected to be the Welfare Officer of the company. As a Welfare Officer he provides and maintains canteens, hospitals, crèches, educational institutes, clubs, libraries, conveyance facilities, co-operative credit societies and consumer stores. Legal consultant: HR manager plays a role of grievance handling, settling Line and Staff Functions of disputes, handling disciplinary cases, doing collective bargaining, enabling the process of joint consultation, interpretation and implementation of various labour laws, contacting lawyers regarding court cases, filling suits in labour courts, industrial tribunals, civil courts and the like. 2) Operational Roles: These roles are tactical in nature and include recruiting and developing employees; coordinating HR activities with the actions of managers and supervisors throughout the organization and resolving differences between employees.
Recruiter: HR managers have to use their experience to good effect while laying down lucrative career paths to new recruits without, increasing the financial burden to the company. Trainer, developer, motivator: HR managers have to find skill deficiencies from time to time, offer meaningful training opportunities, and bring out the talent potential of people through intrinsic and extrinsic rewards which are valued by employees.
Coordinator/ Linking pin: The HR manager is often deputed to act as a linking pin between various divisions of an organization. The whole exercise is meant to develop rapport with divisional heads, using PR and communications skills of HR executives to the maximum possible extent. Mediator: The HR manager acts as a mediator in case of friction between two employees, groups of employees, superiors and subordinates and employees and management with the sole objective of maintaining industrial harmony. Employee champion: In order to deliver effective results HR managers have to treat their employees as valuable assets. Such an approach helps to ensure that HR practices and principles are in sync with the organisation’s overall strategy. 3) Strategic Roles: An organisation’s success increasingly depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities of its employees, particularly as they help establish a set of core competencies. The strategic role of HR management focuses attention on how to enable ordinary employees to turn out extraordinary performance, taking care of their ever-changing expectations. The key areas of attention in this era of global competition include:-
Change agent: HR’s role as a change is to replace resistance with resolve, planning with results and fear of change with excitement about its possibilities. HR helps and organisation identifies the key success factors for change and asses the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses regarding each factor. Strategic partner: HR’s role is not just to adapt its activities to the firm’s business strategy, nor certainly to carry out fire-fighting operations like compensating employees. Instead, it must deliver competent, consumeroriented work force. While implementing strategies, HR should develop appropriate ways to restructure work processes smoothly.
A philosophy is a system of thoughts, based on some orderly, logical statements of objectives, principles and policies and general method of approach to the solution of some aspects of problems. Definition of HRM philosophy:“The fundamental beliefs, ideas, principles views had by management with respect to organizing and treating individuals at work” – R. P. Calhoun Personnel Policies: A policy is a plan of action. A predetermined guide established to provide direction in decision making. As guides, rather than as hard and fast rules, policies are somewhat flexible, requiring interpretation and judgments in their use. They can exert significant influence on how managers accomplish their jobs. HR policies ensure consistency and uniformity in dealing with people. Though principles and policies are often bundled together in the HRM policy statement of an organisation, they are distinctly different. Principle is the fundamental truth established by research, investigation and analysis.
EVOLUTION OF HRM TRENDS IN HRM
The early part of the 20th century saw a concern for improved efficiency through careful design of work. During the middle part of the century emphasis shifted to the availability of managerial personnel and employee productivity. Recent decades have focused on the demand for technical personnel, responses to new legislation and governmental regulations, increased concern ofr the quality of working life, total quality management and a renewed emphasis on productivity.
From earlier concept of treating employees as mere commodity to acknowledgement of employees as stakeholders in the business, HRM has well and truly evolved in a long way. The different phases of evolution can depicted as follows: • Early Phase: Though it is said that HRM discipline is of recent growth, it has its origin dating back to 1800 B.C. The Chinese, as early as 1650 B.C. had originated the principle of division of labour and they understood labour turnover even in 400 B.C. The span of management and elated concepts of organisation were well understood by Moses around 1250 B.C. and the Chaldeans had incentive wage plans around 400 B.C. • Legal Phase: The early roots of HRM in India could be traced back to the period after 1920. In view of legal compulsions and the enumerations of duties the entire approach of organisations towards their personnel was to comply with the laws and keep the welfare officers busy with routine functions. • Welfare Phase: During the 1960’s the scope of personnel function has expanded a bit, covering labour welfare, participative management, industrial harmony, etc. “In this period, the human relations movement of the West had also had its impact on Indian organisations”. The legalistic preoccupations slowly gave way to harmonious industrial relations and good HR practices. • Development Phase: In 1960s and 70s the HR professionals focused more on developmental aspects of human resources. The emphasis was on striking a harmonious balance between employee demands and organizational requirements. HRD has come to occupy a centre stage and a focal point of discussion in seminars, conferences and academic meets. The two professional bodies, IIPM and NILM, were merged to form the National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) at Kolkata.
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