Human Resource Management and Organizational Effectiveness

1. Introduction

Organizational effectiveness depends on having the right people in the right jobs at the right time to meet rapidly changing organizational requirements. Right people can be obtained by performing the role of Human Resource (HR) function. Below is an outline and explanation of how to estimate the HR roles of an organization by using HR activities in an architectural firm as an example. Human resource management (HRM), as defined by Bratton, J. & Gold, J. (2003), is

A strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes that leveraging peoples capabilities is basic to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, this being achieved by a distinctive set of integrated employment policies, programmes and practices.

According to this definition, we can see that human resource management should not merely manager recruitment, pay, and discharging, but also should maximize the use of an organizations human resources in a more strategic level. To describe what the HRM does in the organization, Ulrich, D. & Brocklebank, W. (2005) have outlined some of the HRM roles such as employee advocate, human capital developer, functional expert, strategic partner and HR leader etc.

An important aspect of an organizations business focus and direction towards achieving high levels of competency and competitiveness would depend very much upon their human resource management practices to contribute effectively towards profitability, quality, and other goals in line with the mission and vision of the company.

Staffing, training, compensation and performance management are basically important tools in the human resources practices that shape the organizations role in satisfying the needs of its stakeholders. Stakeholders of an organization comprise mainly of stockholders who will want to reap on their investments, customers whose wants and desires for high quality products or sets are met, employees who want their jobs in the organization to be interesting with reasonable compensation and reward system and lastly, the community who would want the company to contribute and participate in activities and projects relating to the environmental issues. shared rules and procedures of human resource management must be adhered to by the organization which forms basic guidelines on its practices. Teamwork among lower levels of staff and the management should be produced and maintained to assist in various angles that would consider necessary in eliminating communication breakdowns and foster better relationship among workers. The management should press on good corporate culture in order to develop employees and create a positive and conducive work ecosystem

Performance appraisal (PA) is one of the important elements in the rational and systemic course of action of human resource management. The information obtained by performance appraisal provides foundations for recruiting and selecting new hires, training and development of existing staff, and motivating and maintaining a quality work force by adequately and properly rewarding their performance. Without a reliable performance appraisal system, a human resource management system falls apart, resulting in the total waste of the valuable human assets a company has.

There are two dominant purposes of performance appraisal: evaluative and developmental. The evaluative purpose is intended to inform people of their performance standing. The collected performance data are frequently used to reward high performance and to punish poor performance. The developmental purpose is intended to clarify problems in employees performing the stated task. The collected performance data are used to provide necessary skill training or specialized development.

2. Affirmative action has assisted many members of minority groups in creating equal opportunities in education and employment. Who could object to assisting these minorities, who suffered years of discrimination, in getting the equal opportunity they deserve? The problem is, affirmative action contributes racial preferences and quotas which cause mixed emotions. One time supporters of affirmative action are now calling out reverse discrimination. If we want a stronger sustain for affirmative action we need to get rid of the preferential treatments.

The back bone of affirmative action began with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. The amendment abolished slavery and any involuntary labor, is showed there was a calling for equal opportunity for all South Africans.

A comprehensive Human Resource Strategy plays a vital role in the achievement of an organisations overall strategic objectives and visibly illustrates that the human resources function fully understands and supports the direction in which the organisation is moving. A comprehensive HR Strategy will also sustain other specific strategic objectives undertaken by the marketing, financial, operational and technology departments.

basically, an HR strategy should aim to capture the people component of what an organisation is hoping to unprotected to in the medium to long term, ensuring that:-

o it has the right people in place

o it has the right mix of skills

o employees characterize the right attitudes and behaviours, and

o employees are developed in the right way.

If, as is sometimes the case, organisation strategies and plans have been developed without any human resource input, the justification for the HR strategy may be more about teasing out the implicit people factors which are inherent in the plans, instead of simply summarising their explicit people content.

An HR strategy will add value to the organisation if it:

o articulates more clearly some of the shared themes which lie behind the achievement of other plans and strategies, which have not been fully identified before; and

o identifies basic inner issues which must be addressed by any organisation or business if its people are to be motivated, committed and function effectively.

The first of these areas will require a careful consideration of existing or developing plans and strategies to clarify and draw attention to shared themes and implications, which have not been made explicit before.

The second area should be about identifying which of these plans and strategies are so basic that there must be clear plans to address them before the organisation can unprotected to on any of its goals. These are likely to include:

o workforce planning issues

o series planning

o workforce skills plans

o employment equity plans

o black economic empowerment initiatives

o motivation and fair treatment issues

o pay levels designed to recruit, retain and motivate people

o the co-ordination of approaches to pay and grading across the organisation to create alignment and possible unequal pay claims

o a grading and remuneration system which is seen as fair and giving proper reward for contributions made

o wider employment issues which impact on staff recruitment, retention, motivation etc.

o a consistent performance management framework which is designed to meet the needs of all sectors of the organisation including its people

o career development frameworks which look at development within the organisation at equipping employees with employability so that they can cope with increasingly frequent changes in employer and employment patterns

o policies and frameworks to ensure that people development issues are addressed systematically: competence frameworks, self-managed learning etc.

The HR strategy will need to show that careful planning of the people issues will make it significantly easier for the organisation to unprotected to its wider strategic and operational goals.

In addition, the HR strategy can add value is by ensuring that, in all its other plans, the organisation takes account of and plans for changes in the wider ecosystem, which are likely to have a major impact on the organisation, such as:

o changes in the overall employment market – demographic or remuneration levels

o cultural changes which will impact on future employment patterns

o changes in the employee relations climate

o changes in the legal framework surrounding employment

o HR and employment practice being developed in other organisations, such as new flexible work practices.

Finding the right opportunity to present a case for developing an HR Strategy is basic to ensuring that there will be sustain for the initiative, and that its initial value will be recognised by the organisation.

Giving a strong functional slant to the hypothesizedv strategy may help gain acceptance for the idea, such as focusing on good management practice. It is also important to build early or quick wins into any new strategy.

Other opportunities may present the ideal moment to encourage the development of an HR Strategy:-

o a major new internal initiative could present the right opportunity to push for an accompanying HR strategy, such as a restructuring exercise, a corporate acquisition, joint venture or merger exercise.

o a new externally generated initiative could similarly generate the right climate for a new HR strategy – e.g. Black economic empowerment initiatives.

o In some instances, already negative news may provide the right moment, for example, recent industrial action or employee dissatisfaction expressed by a climate survey.

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