Hrm in Small Organizations

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Abstract:

Much of our knowledge of human resource management involves large organizations with dedicated human resource departments and staff, but what about small organizations? Small organizations recruit, compensate, do performance management, and many of the same tasks as large organizations. There are certain things that can be mapped effectively from large to small organizations, but what happens to the rest that do not map? A small organization can not simply let things slip through the cracks based on size or ignorance of laws, rules, or requirements. This is what makes human resource management not only important in small organizations, but essential for their long term success.

Human resource (HR) management is an issue that affects every type of organization large and small alike. The majority of research and information that is easily accessible though is for larger organizations with a staff of human resource professionals. While it is true that much of the information for larger organizations can be applied to smaller organizations the majority of things do not. This raises the question: is the practice of human resource management necessary in small organizations or is it simply for the Fortune 500 companies of the world? I propose that not only is human resource management important to small organizations, but it is essential for their long term success.

Traditionally, Small organizations have always had limited resources. Many times they completely overlook the importance of a human resources department. In doing so, they elect to omit the department in their business model. This common oversight shifts the burden of specific HR responsibilities to other members of the staff. Most often, these members of management are not trained or experience in human resource management, nor are they schooled in policies and procedures. Because of this, many HR tasks fall through the cracks. These short falls do not negate laws, rules, and other employer responsibilities that cover human resource management. These regulations still apply to all organizations regardless of size. The lack of understanding creates a liability for small organizations because they feel that they are exempt based on their size. They simply do not have an understanding of all the laws, rules, and other responsibilities that an educated human resource professional would.

Without a dedicated HR department, the small business lacks a proper understanding and vision of human resource policies and procedures. This deficiency will also create problems for a small organization. Typically, most small organizations are focused on increasing sales, adding new products and services, and increasing profits. All these objectives are to be met with the aforementioned limited resources.

What many small businesses overlook is that proper understanding and implementation of HR policies and procedures is vital to any business. This should be the center piece of any organization; large or small. Small businesses should create a solid foundation by creating a policies and procedures manual. While creating a policies and procedures manual is time consuming, it is essential for successful employee relations. These policies and procedures not only create an understanding between management and employee of what is expected, but most importantly, what is not expected. Often time’s small organizations assume that common sense should be the guide in determining human resource practices. This leaves too many things open to interpretation and can lead to liabilities that can damage or even end a small organization.

Policies on sexual harassment, retaliation, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and a host of other legal policies must be stated and understood by everyone in the workplace. There are many legal institutions just waiting for organizations to ignore these laws. Creating a policies and procures manual will put in...
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