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Understand how SHRM contributes to the achievement of organizational objectives: Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is concerned with the personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce. In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of the organization concern the HRM function. Furthermore Armstrong (2006, p.4) defined it as a strategic and coherent approach of an organisation's most valued assets. - the people working there, who individually and collectively contribute to the achievements of the objectives of the business. The term Human resource management is therefore also widely known as "Personnel Management" as a description of the process of managing people in organisations. In a constantly changing world, which requires flexible responses, with strong competition from nearly every continent, due to increased globalisation, it is important for organisations to have some kind of competitive edge. Especially in the service industry, but more generally spoken throughout every industry, the human leverage is the most contributing factor to being competitive and making a difference to customer satisfaction and general organisational performance. Strategic human resource management is designed to help companies best meet the needs of their employees while promoting company goals. Human resource management deals with any aspects of a business that affects employees, such as hiring and firing, pay, benefits, training, and administration. Human resources may also provide work incentives, safety procedure information, and sick or vacation days. Strategic human resource management is the proactive management of people. It requires thinking ahead, and planning ways for a company to better meet the needs of its employees, and for the employees to better meet the needs of the company. This can affect the way things are done at a business site, improving everything from hiring practices and employee training programs to assessment techniques and discipline.

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Companies who work hard to meet the needs of their employees can cultivate a work atmosphere conducive to productivity. Human resource management is the best way to achieve this. Being able to plan for the needs of employees by thinking ahead can help to improve the rate of skilled employees who chose to remain working for a company. Improving the employee retention rate can reduce the money companies spend on finding and training new employees. When creating a human resources plan, it is important to consider employees may want or need and what the company can reasonably supply. A larger company can usually afford training and benefit programs that smaller companies cannot afford to offer. This does not mean that a smaller company should not engage in strategic human resource management. Providing specialized on-site training, even if provided by senior members of the company, and offering one-on-one assessment and coaching sessions, can help employees reach peak performance rates. An important aspect of strategic human resource management is employee development1. This process begins when a company is recruiting and interviewing prospective employees. Improved interviewing techniques can help to weed out applicants that may not be a good match for the company. After being hired on, a strong training and mentoring program can help a new member of the staff get up to speed on company policies and any current or ongoing projects they will be working on. To help employees perform at their best, a company can follow up with continual training programs, coaching, and regular assessment. Investing in the development of its employees can allow a company to turn out more consistent products.

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The Organization which I chosen for this case is IBM:

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. As of December 2011, IBM was the third-largest publicly traded technology company in the world by market capitalization. The company was founded in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation through a merger of three companies: the Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Corporation. CTR adopted the name International Business Machines in 1924, using a name previously designated to CTR's subsidiary in Canada and later South America. Its distinctive culture and product branding has given it the nickname Big Blue2. In 2011, Fortune ranked IBM the 18th largest firm in the U.S., as well as the 7th most profitable. Globally, the company was ranked the 31st largest firm by Forbes for 2011. Other rankings for 2011/2012 include #1 company for leaders (Fortune), #2 best global brand (Interbrand), #1 green company worldwide (Newsweek), #5 most admired company (Fortune), and #18 most innovative company (Fast Company). At December 31, 2010, IBM had over 426,751 employees serving clients in over 170 countries, with occupations including scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals. IBM holds more patents than any other U.S.-based technology company, and has nine research laboratories worldwide

John Harwood (2011). The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design,

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Task: 1.1 Importance of SHRM In Organizations: Every industry requires certain prerequisites for its functioning namely; raw materials, finance and funding, machinery, etc. similarly, it requires manpower. And this manpower is the Human Resources and in order to manage the manpower, Human Resource Management is necessary. HRM involves managing manpower in order to improve individual, group and organizational effectiveness.

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It is important to manage human resources as they help in the prosperity and progress through the committed and creative efforts and competencies of their human resources. Edwin Flippo defines the term, HR management as planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational, and social objectives are accomplished. HRM emphasizes mainly on the accomplishment of individual or personal objectives of the employees (eg : promotions), encouraging team work, attaining higher profits, social development, etc. Recruitment and maintaining good people is essential to the success of every organization, whether profit or non-profit, public or private. It is important that organizations, manage human resources on a continuous basis, due to the growing expectations of employees. HRM works on the availability of competent and diligent manpower, ensures effective use of manpower through appropriate placements, constant provision of rewards ,

acknowledgements and incentives to the employees encourages and motivates them to do their best. HRM also attempts to devise the best possible compensation packages to the employees. HRM encourages team work, facilitates career development and makes an effort to create the right environment to develop careers of managers within the organization. A healthy environment can occur only when the working relationships between all the employees are established, leading to an overall development of every individual employee as well as the organization on a whole. Dr. W.E. Deming once remarked- Abundance of natural resources is not a requirement for prosperity. The wealth of a nation depends on its people. HRM also looks into the grievances and issues faced by the employees and industrial relations. Thus HRM acts as a fuel for the smooth functioning of an organization and its overall development and progress.

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HR practices at IBM: At IBM, we have always set high standards for the way we conduct business in areas from corporate and social responsibility to sound business ethics, including compliance with all applicable laws3 and regulations. These Conduct Principles apply to all IBM employees. However, they are not meant to describe the full scope of IBM human resource policies or practices. More detailed statements of policies, procedures and practices are contained in documents such as the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. Wages and benefits IBM will, at a minimum, comply with all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime hours, piece rates, nonexempt or exemption classification and other elements of compensation, and provide legally mandated benefits. Working hours IBM will not exceed maximum hours of work prescribed by law and will appropriately compensate overtime. Employees will not be required to work more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, except in extraordinary business circumstances with their consent or where the nature of the position requires such work, as for exempt employees and employees in executive, managerial or professional positions. In countries where the maximum work week is shorter, that standard shall apply. Employees should be allowed at least one day off per seven-day week. Non discrimination and harassment IBM will not discriminate in hiring, promotion, compensation of employees and employment practices on grounds of race, colour, religion, age, nationality, social or ethnic origin, sexual

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orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, disability or veteran status. IBM will create a work environment free of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or veteran status. Freedom of association IBM will respect the legal rights of its employees to join or to refrain from joining worker organizations, including labour organizations or trade unions. IBM complies with legal requirements worldwide regarding employee and third-party involvement. IBM respects the rights of employees to organize, and makes managers at all levels aware of those rights. The company's long-standing belief is that the interests of IBM and its employees are best served through a favourable, collaborative work environment with direct communication between employees and management. IBM endeavours to establish such favourable employment conditions, to promote positive relationships between employees and managers, to facilitate employee communications, and to support employee development. Health and safety IBM will provide its employees with a safe and healthy workplace in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Consistent with these obligations, IBM will have and will implement effective programs that encompass things such as life safety, incident investigation, chemical safety, ergonomics, and will provide safe standards of health and safety in any housing and transportation provided for our employees by the company. Protection of the environment IBM is committed to worldwide leadership in environmental protection. In addition to complying with applicable environmental laws and regulations, every employee must comply with IBM's environmental policy and the corporate directives and requirements that support

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that policy. Employees are expected to report any environmental concern or violation of environmental law or IBM requirements to their management. Managers are expected to take prompt action. Ethical dealings IBM expects its employees to conduct business in accordance with the highest ethical standards, and maintains Business Conduct Guidelines that employees are required to follow. IBM strictly complies with all laws and regulations on bribery, corruption and prohibited business practices. Privacy IBM is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of information about its employees. IBM recognizes that under the laws of some countries certain information about employees such as information regarding racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and health or sex life should be considered "sensitive." Whenever possible, such sensitive information should be processed in aggregate or anonymous form so that a particular individual is not identifiable. Where this is not feasible, IBM will process the information only in accordance with applicable local law (and any designated safeguards provided therein); and with employee consent where required; or where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims. Conclusion: Effective development and implementation of an HR strategy requires HR professionals who are conversant in finance, negotiation, change management, and the overall operations of the organization. An HR strategic plan aligns the HR function to the corporate plan. Good knowledge about the organization, its objectives, systems and processes, can assist HR people in doing this task well.

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Task: 1.2 Assesses the purpose of SHRM activities in an organization: Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) idea is that human resources management is used to gain competitive advantage. SHRM practice is coupled with business strategy. SHRM elevates human resources management from micro level (individual personal level) to the macro level (business strategy level)4. SHRM includes analysis of business and sociopolitical environment. HR professionals must be aware of global business and social trends and should be able to perform environmental scanning. SHRM also includes internal human resource analysis. HR professionals must analyze human resources against current and future business strategies and identify the gaps between them. SHRM is also intended to assist management in the best use of internal labour market. Hence an absolute requirement for analysis would be effective use of computer based human resource information systems. SHRM includes organizational analysis and design. Hence HR professionals had to provide management not only with analysis, but also organization-design recommendations. Benchmarking against successful internal and external organizations is useful tool that helps in this process. SHRM is part of the business plan. Strategic HR considerations are more important than the traditional planning elements. The strategic HR considerations are as follows: a) Is the organizational culture supporting the long-term business strategy? b) Is the organizations structure consistent with the business strategy? c) Is managements executive staffing adequate? Are skills adequate? d) Are the management-performance systems properly focused?

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Strategic Human Resource Activities in IBM: IBM has retained its position as one of the Worlds Top Employers of Choice over these years because of its three-fold initiatives for the employees. The attributes that qualify these 3Cs5 are the Top Reasons that people come to work at IBM. CAPABILITY Moulding Global Leaders and Fostering Employee Talent: One of IBMs key strategies and policies is to attract, motivate and retain the best talent in our industry, and develop them into global leaders. The company makes sure talented employees are recognized for their achievements and encourages them to seek fresh challenges and learn new skills through training and mentoring programs.

Besides offering a myriad of technology avenues for employees to work on and innovate on newer ones, IBM offers employees several programs for employee development, to help IBMers become more effective in their jobs. Some of these initiatives include Mentoring, Study assistance plan, Leadership development, Individual Development Plan, and Certification & IBM Certified Professionals, and well-defined and comprehensive Training Programs.

CLIMATE: Flexibility @Work and Employee Wellness Programs: IBM believes in empowering employees as partners to success, offering a global work culture and best workplace amenities. At IBM, cubicles are out and mobile offices are in! Workforce flexibility is a competitive advantage for IBM. It helps make us the Employer of Choice for new hires, and enables us to retain our top talent. IBM has a wide array of HR policies and programs to creating a more flexible work environment so that individuals produce results with as much autonomy as possible.

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Some of IBMs workplace flexibility programs include individualized daily work schedule, Flexible (or Compressed) Work Week, Regular Part-Time, Leave of Absence, and Remote/Mobile Work Options. IBM strives to make life more convenient for the employees so they can save their energy and be more productive at work. The idea is to ensure IBMers work better even when they are home, or on the move. CULTURE: Workforce Diversity: Diversity in IBM means welcoming all people to the workplace regardless of factors unrelated to job performance. The mission of IBMs Global Workforce Diversity is to lead in creating a business environment which recognizes and leverages our individual differences as a competitive strength and a critical requirement for our success in the global market. This environment fosters the success of our employees, enhances our ability to satisfy our clients and advance IBMs continued growth. At IBM, they work hard to build a culture of inclusion, one that is committed to providing an equal workplace to individuals who are differently-able and need special care. IBM has received innumerable awards for workforce diversity. Recently, an IBMer in India, Jyotindra Mehta was awarded the Helen Keller Award 2004, by the National Center for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People. Conclusion: Human Resource management has a major impact on individual and so on productivity and organizational performance. Effective strategic management requires effective human resource management. Strategic Human Resource Management implies the ways in which HRM is crucial to organizational effectiveness. Hence organizations have to carefully design strategies and relate to human resources for effective utilization in achieving greater competitive performance.

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Task: 1.3 Evaluate the contribution of strategic human resource management to the achievement of an organizations objectives: "Human resource management (HRM) is concerned with the personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce. In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of the organization concern the HRM function." HRM cares for the professional development of their workforce and the planning, who is working where with which skills needed. This is mostly done through a job description and people get hired to for fill a certain position in the organisation. For this reason HRM can influence organisational performance beforehand through hiring highly qualified, educated and/or skilled people, which bring all of the required and desired characteristics with them to enhance organisational performance through effective work performance delivered through optimised work processes. Employees can be hired through sophisticated selection procedures designed to screen out the best potential employees. Additionally it would be a cut above to hire multi skilled staff, which is able to cover other staff in cases of sickness, maternity leave and so on. Corporate importance: Through Human Resource Management, an organization can achieve its goals more efficiently and effectively in the following ways: a) Motivating and retaining the required talent by effective human resource policies such as human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, orientation, compensation and promotion etc. b) Proper utilization of the available human resources. c) Developing the necessary skills through training and development, performance appraisal etc among the employees. d) Establish the willing co-operation of employees through motivation and participation.

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Thus, SHRM is based on HRM principles, which integrate the concept of business strategy. Strategy here refers to the pattern of organizational moves and managerial techniques or approaches used to attain organization objectives and to pursue the organizations mission6 Strategy is also considered as the process by which the basic mission and objectives of the organization are set, and the process by which the organization uses its resources to achieve these objectives. Organizations must choose and follow the diverse approaches in order to achieve success or gain competitive advantage. Benefits of SHRM 1. Identifying and analyzing external opportunities and threats that may be crucial to the company's success. 2. Provides a clear business strategy and vision for the future. 3. To supply competitive intelligence that may be useful in the strategic planning process. 4. To recruit, retain and motivate people. 5. To develop and retain of highly competent people. 6. To ensure that people development issues are addressed systematically. 7. To supply information regarding the company's internal strengths and weaknesses. 8. To meet the expectations of the customers effectively. 9. To ensure high productivity. 10. To ensure business surplus thorough competency.

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For Human Resource Departments, Performance Management Tools Reduce Paperwork Most enterprise human resource divisions have a similar complaint they spend all their time keeping up with the growing needs of their work force, and have little time for the kind of strategic planning that would allow them to serve their workforce better. To solve this problem, many HR managers have turned to the kind of performance management initiatives that have been credited with turning around entire enterprises. Such programs are designed to improve performance of a company or division by adopting tools and resources that allow management to get a clearer picture of how things are going and why, and to better envision and communicate how things should be going. But without the proper technology, these initiatives often require a great deal of human oversight and paper-pushing defeating the very purpose of the initiative. For a world-class solution to this human resource performance management dilemma, consider IBM.

IBM Provides Human Resource Performance Management Solutions For more than 35 years, IBM has provided business intelligence solutions to many of the world's biggest companies. Today IBM is the world leader in performance management solutions for the enterprise. IBM Cognos7 software is the only solution that integrates all the key steps in the management cycle, communicating information metrics, key indicators and decisions across the entire organization. The benefits for human resource managers are twofold: while a penetrating view of the entire organization gives HR a clear understanding of the needs and trends in the organization, critical intelligence about the HR department itself allows the division to perform more efficiently, better serving the needs of the company and its workforce. Ultimately, IBM performance management tools help human resource departments minimize tactical and reactive tasks and maximize time for strategic activities.

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Management of Business and Human Performance Made Simpler with Superior Software Resources The IBM suite of software provides companies and human resource managers with tools for managing and executing all areas of a performance management campaign. A score carding component provides the critical information about how the company is doing by reporting results against specific performance metrics. Business intelligence tools allow management to understand why the organization is performing as it is. And planning and budgeting software make it simple to develop and share a vision for the how the company should perform going forward. By uniting these tools along with detail on best practices within a single technology platform, IBM enables organizations to measure, analyze and communicate with a minimum time demand on human resources.

Conclusion: Strategic human resource management is essential in both large and small companies. In small companies, this may be as simple as the owner or manager taking a little time every day to observe, assist, and assess employees, and provide regular reviews. Larger companies may have a whole department in charge of human resources and development. By meeting the needs of the employees in a way that also benefits the company, it is possible to improve the quality of staff members. Taking the effort to provide employees with the tools they need to thrive is worth the investment. As global business competition shifts from efficiency to innovation and from enlargement of scale to creation of value, management needs to be oriented towards the strategic use of human resources. Strategic human resources management practices enhance employee productivity and the ability of agencies to achieve their mission. Integrating the use of personnel practices into the strategic planning process enables an organization to better achieve its goals and objectives. Combining human resource practices, all with a focus on the achievement of organizational goals and objectives, can have a substantial affect on the ultimate success of the organization. To manage future operations effectively, it is essential that companies produce "business leaders" and "innovators" through SHRM Approach.

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Bibliography: 1. 2. John Harwood (2011). The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 3. 4. pdf 5. 6. 7.

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