What are the Main Functions in Human Resource Practice?
There are a number of basic Human Resource Function objectives, such as improving safety, increasing job satisfaction or enhancing employee health. However, the three basic fundamental objectives of HRM are to:
- Improve productivity and organisational performance through the development of critical competencies
- Ensure HR practices comply with legal and regulatory requirements
- Improve quality of work life and organisational culture using:
- Open communication
- Increased worker participation/involvement in their jobs
- Workplace decision making
The Range of HR Activities
To this end Human Resource Management covers a wide range of activities:
- Human Resource planning
- Job analysis and design
- Recruitment and selection
- Training and development
- Performance management
- Remuneration and rewards
- Workplace relations
- Workplace Health and Safety
Finding the Best Fit of Staffing
While all HR activities are important to some degree, the fundamental activity of most HR functions is to determine staffing requirements that are the best “fit” for the organisation’s objectives.
This is done by getting the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. This can be truly devastating to the business if done improperly.
To get it right, HR officers gather as much information as possible before making any staffing decisions; even just creating the position description.
HR professionals must consider questions such as:
- How many staff do we need?
- What skills should they have?
- Where should they be located?
- When are they required?
Most of the time, HR won’t have this information readily available (at least in the early stages of information gathering). These questions should be answered with the inputs of those directly linked to the position or role (ie managers, supervisors, peers, etc).
Balancing Needs is a Key HR Role
The HR function is also generally responsible to ensure the organisation meets its legal and social responsibilities for employees, including:
- Terms and conditions of employment
- Quality of working life
- Promotion of a healthy and safe working environment
- Equal opportunity for all
An organisation’s HR practices are strongly influenced by both the legal and industrial requirements, needs of the people supporting the business and the values of the organisation.
Are You Suited to HR Role?
Good HR practitioners are therefore people who can balance the needs of the organisation and the needs of individual staff; and keep that balancing act within the legal rules of the day. HR officers need to be great listeners, be thorough in gathering all information and be able to make sound judgements (even if they may not be popular decisions).
A HR career can be very rewarding for those who believe it’s possible to bring the best out of people, if they are given the right support.
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