Human Resources plays a role in helping organisation s resolve “People’s Issues,” such as the impact of changing jobs responsibilities, the need for training new systems and business processes and resistance to change that are critical to the successful implementation of enterprise application as stated by Prof of Information Systems at New York University’s Stern School of Business and Management, Kenneth & Laudon and Management Consultant Jane Price Laudon. Human Resource Management can be simply defined as the Management function that deeds with the recruitment, placement, training and development of organisation members.
HRM function is specially important in today’s Business World. The Human Resources Management Process includes 7 (seven) basic activities. They are as follows:-
Human Resource Planning
Socialization or Orientation
Training and Development
Promotions, transfers, demotions, separations
In brief, Human Resources Planning can be called planning for future personnel needs of an organisation , taking into account both internal activities and factors in the external environment. It’s a two way process – between employer and employee.
Now we will discuss the Employer’s Responsibilities. The fundamental basic principle is that an employer is responsible for maintaining the Rights of Employees. Therefore, an employer must uphold legislation on equal opportunities in both the recruitment process and during employment. They should abide by contract of employment. Further, the employer is responsible for the health and safety of employees. Also, he has to deal with matters relating to insurance, salaries, pay as you earn (Paye), pension, etc. Even the Training and Career Development is the responsibility of the employer.
A contract of employment is prepared and drawn up, when a new staff member is recruited.
What do you mean by a contract?
It is a legal term meaning an agreement between parties and sides which can be enforced by law. The contract document includes – the name of the employer and employee, date when employment began. The contract gives both parties a degree of protection, certainty and security. The employer is paying money. The employee is performing work. Legally, this is known as “Consideration.” In the contract, the name of the employer and employee, job title, the date when employment began, pay scale, hours of work, holiday entitlement, terms relating to notification of sickness and sick pay, the length of notice which an employee is entitled to receive and must give, disciplinary rules appeal and grievance procedure, etc., should be included. Health and Safety
The Employer must pay attention to health and safety measures. A First Aid Box should be available in office or work place. All employees are required to keep accurate pay records. Attention should also be drawn on Employee Rights and their training and career development. If the people are to continue as efficient members in an organisation, staff training is essential and a must.
Listening to learned guest lecturers on subjects like Public Relations, Marketing, Sales, Courtesy and Mannerism, Business Etiquette, the value of team work, discipline, and behavior patterns will help your employees to motivate and enhance their productive level. The employees should consider the good image of their company as the mirror of their own personality and image.
The employee should be committed to his or her work. (1) Comply with the terms of contract of employment, (2) Work to achieve the objectives of the organisation, (3) Behave responsibly towards your customers, (4) Meet quality standards are some of the employee responsibilities.
However much an Employer looks after his employees, either side will have some kind of complaint. Although employment law sets out the rights and responsibilities of employer and employee, an organisation will need to set up procedures to be used when either side has a complaint. An employer will use a Disciplinary Procedure against an employee. An employee should have recourse to a grievance procedure against the employer. If the results of the procedures are disputed, then either side should have the Right to appeal.
What is the best practice you should follow?
Never dismiss for first minor offence
All rules and regulations should be in black and white or in writing. The type of disciplinary action should be clearly described. It is always better, people should be told, if complaints are made about them.
Apart from summary dismissal for major offences, no one should be dismissed for first minor offence. This should be a cardinal principle you should follow.
Let us now study briefly the disciplinary procedures that should be followed.
It can be categorized into five main headings:
(A) Suspension – For example – an employee would involve in a fight with a worker. Better to suspend him, till the inquiry is over. You suspend on full pay until the matter is investigated.
(B) Oral Warning – First warning – when an employee fails to meet the organisation’s required standard of work or behavior.
© Formal Warning – This may be oral, but it is more likely to be an oral and written warning.
Final Warning - This should be an oral and written warning issued for a persistent offence when the employee has ignored or failed to achieve the required standard.
Dismissal – For a very serious offence or when all forms of warnings failed an employee may be dismissed. (Check the contract)
All these factors should be carefully studied and the employer should follow the labour rules of the country to the letter.
Role of Trade Unions
Trade Unions play a vital role in the Business Environment of a country. A trade Union is defined in law as an organisation whose principle purpose include the regulation of relations between workers and employers or between workers and employers’ associations.
Some of the rights that employees enjoy have been won as a result of Trade Union Action.
The Trade Union represent the interest of their members. Negotiating with employers to improve pay and conditions, which is called “Collective Bargaining,” representing the interest of their members in disputes, giving advice and legal support, providing education and training and specially acting as a pressure group on government to gain legislation and policies, which will grant benefits to its members.
When negotiations between Employers and Employees completely fail, only employees should take strike action. A strike is a withdrawal of labor by the “unionized workforce”. The strikes should be your last resort. It is beneficial for both parties – Employer and Employee to settle their problems through discussions and amicably. Strike action is serious both for the management, who lose production. In the case of employees, they lose their pay.
As I mentioned earlier, the efforts of the Human Resource Management are directed in improving the performance of the employees. What motivates the staff? According to an experiment done by Elton Mayo, titled “Hawthrone Experiment”, in 1920 it revealed that people respond positively, if they are Recognised. Elton Meyo emphasized the importance of group cohesion or feeling part of the team.
Abraham Maslow in his “Theory of Human Motivation” in 1943, believed, motivation comes from a desire to satisfy needs. Effective motivation is necessary for good performance. Motivation is very complex brain program. It is influenced by stimuli which arises outside body. Extrinsic, arise from body intrinsic – pride and personal satisfaction.
It should be mentioned here that marketing programs are implemented by people. Successful implementation requires careful Human Resources Planning.
At all levels, the company must fill out its structure and systems with people who have the skills, motivation and personal characteristics needed for strategy implementation.
The American society of personnel administrators changed its 40-year-old name to the Society to Human Resource Management in 1980. It is interesting to note, that survey conducted by Watson Wyatt worldwide consulting firm that deals primarily with Human Resources and Personnel Division Dept. that more than fifty three percent (53%) of companies place employee communication under human resources and whereas only thirty (30) percent put it under Public Relations.
Akia Morita, the Founder of Sony Corporation says there is no “Magic” in success of Japanese Companies in general and Sony in particular. The secrets of their success is simply the way they treat their employees. Words of wisdom.