Human Resource Management – Evolving as a Science with Inspiration from Psychology

- Dr. Sandeep Kuulshrestha Human Resource Management is a field of study which has emerged out of the old concept of Personnel Management. From the bureaucratic era of Wage Administration in late 1900’s to trade unionism and subsequently, the Personnel Management concept and then finally to Human Resource Management, this field of study has grown and expanded in mammoth proportion. In the current times, the HR function is still evolving into a complete science in itself, with strong influence of Psychology, more so as organizations are increasingly dependent upon skilled staff resource to work at the optimum level, along with the high performance expectations. The reason why Human Resource Management has become a Psychology linked science can be attributed to the following factors: a. Growth in the Service Sector: In countries like United States and India, the growth of service sector has been phenomenal and it has overtaken the manufacturing sector in giving employment. Services, including IT/IT Enabled services/Telecom/Retail etc depend upon the high-calibre human resources, that too in fairly large numbers. To groom them and to motivate them to take up high-skilled jobs, the in-depth study of Human Psychology is required. b. Performance Expectations: Modern organizations have developed and implemented sophisticated tools to map individual and team performance. Tools like Development Centre are increasingly becoming popular where individuals or teams are given some mock tasks to handle and subsequently, the strengths, weaknesses and areas of development are shown to the concerned individuals/teams. Every business organization needs to prove itself to the customers/end users and the same should be reflected on the bottom lines and industry recognitions. To map the performance, knowledge of human psychology is a must as it is required to fill in the performance gaps by mentoring, coaching, motivating etc c. Employer Branding: Modern organizations off late have become employee-friendly and wish to project themselves “the best” in their Human Resource Policies. Companies like Nestlé advertise their HR and employment related policies on their website and allow anybody to download the same. There are research organizations who conduct research to rate the “Best organizations to work with” in almost every country. Some companies take help of Psychologists in conducting job

interviews. The increase emphasis on employer branding has made HR quite close to Psychology and allied disciplines. d. Change in Human Behavioural Pattern: The current generation (in their mid-20’s) is averse to being dominated and follows its own path of quick money, partying and lack of respect. This has an impact on an organization’s functioning and there is a need of coaching and mentoring such kinds of employees in an organization, for which the managers and senior executives have to use psychological tools. Besides Psychology, Human Resource profession has to take inputs from the following disciplines, to make it a complete science in itself a) Political science and diplomacy b) Country specific knowledge to Manage diversity c) Spirituality and religion (inspiration has to be taken from practices like Christian Counselling etc) d) Financial Management e) Economics f) Laws g) Anthropology Considering the tremendous growth in the global economies, including a revolutionary growth in the service sector, there is a huge demand to recruit new people and then to retain the performers. Considering this, the HR function is very relevant in today’s context. Along with a HR department, every manager of different departments/teams has to take up a role of a HR professional in the sense of coaching, mentoring, mapping the performance and leading by example. © Dr. Sandeep Kuulshrestha

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