INTRODUCTION TO HRM
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This paper gives an overview of the concept of Human Resource Management, HRM. It describes the most important HRM processes and the prevalent ideas about the roles and functions of modern HRM. It is written primarily for the HRM professionals and managers in ministries and government institutions in order to provide basic knowledge on HRM in public administration for HRM training.
The content is based on practical experiences of implementation of modern HRM principles and methods in Sweden and other countries.
MODERN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGMENT
HRM in the context of reaching organisational objectives
The overall aim of modern human resource management is to ensure that the organisation is able to achieve its objectives through its staff. In order to reach its objectives an organisation needs not only qualified staff but also effective and efficient systems as well as access to and effective allocation of financial resources. Institutional development therefore involves not only putting the right person at the right place at the right time, but also that the organisation provides a conducive and effective work environment and systems and that the organisation has access to adequate financial resources. In addition to human resources, the organisation needs systems like computers and financial management system, transport to reach the client, medicines in a hospital, books in the school, etc. Top management must reach a harmonious balance between all such resources and push and pull factors.
HRM should develop objectives for its activities linked to the overall objectives of the organisation. The purpose of development of HRM objectives is to provide a direction for the HRM activities in an often turbulent environment so that, on the one hand, the business needs of the organisation, and, on the other hand the individual and collective needs of its employees can be met by the development and implementation of understandable and effective HR policies and practices.
HR polices and practices are linked to the HRM strategy. An HRM strategy is mostly an attitude of mind, a belief in the advantages in clarifying aspirations and to make sure that what is planned is appropriate for the aims of that specific organisation and that the various parts of the HR strategy in terms of policies and practices are integrated with each other.
The elementary questions for strategic planning are “ Where are we going?” and “What do we need to do to get there?”
An organisation needs to have a client/recipient focus. This means that the organisation should identify its clients/recipients (owners, government bodies or trustees, management, employees, customers, suppliers and public at large) and their needs in order to adapt to and satisfy them. An HRM strategy and
objectives therefore should be closely connected to a clear identification of its clients/recipients as well as which products/services that shall be delivered. What is HR strategy?
There are a multitude of schools for what an HR strategy should ideally contain. One suggestion is that an HR strategy or any kind of a strategy must have two key elements:
1. strategic objectives, e.g. things the strategy is supposed to achieve, and 2. a plan of action, e.g. the means by which it is intended that the objectives will be met.
The objectives should be defined in general terms of what needs to be done to satisfy the aim of the organisation and the individual needs of employees. HR strategies are simply the process in bringing together people plans and programmes of activities within an overall framework, designed to deliver against organisational objectives. The process of strategy formulation is the process by which many different perspectives come to be reconciled. The image below illustrates...
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