The Changing Roles of Human Resource Management

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The Changing Roles of Human Resource Management

Dan Worth

Lansing Community College

Abstract

The field of Human Resource Management is constantly changing due to globalization. The roles that human resource (HR) departments traditionally played have had to evolve in order to coexist with other departments in order to maintain its own identity. The interview with Ms. Amy Abdo of the Office of Human Resources within the Michigan Department of Education resulted in identification of several challenges that were grouped into three main themes: the HR department’s role in management training; improving the quality of the culture of the organization; and increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. If the challenges that HR departments face is not altered, the existence of those departments has a great likelihood of becoming extinct. Having an open and creative mind will assist the HR departments of an organization to be successful and flourish and proving to the company why not only HR departments but also HR personnel are needed.

The Changing Roles of Human Resource Management

The field of Human Resource Management is constantly changing due to globalization. The roles that human resource (HR) departments traditionally played have had to evolve in order to coexist with other departments in order to maintain its own identity. I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Abdo who acts as the Labor Relations Specialist within the Office of Human Resources at the Michigan Department of Education. During our interview, I asked several questions pertaining to her role at the state level and the challenges she faces. She discussed different topics ranging from her educational and professional backgrounds, the continuing professional development that which she engages in, and the role she thinks HR plays in the current workforce and into the future. Several themes emerged from the interview. Specifically, there were three that stood out and warrant further discussion and they are: the HR department’s role in management training; improving the quality of the culture of the organization; and increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. The first challenge is the HR department’s role in management training. Besides HR staff doing their typical daily HR duties, the staff also needs to be involved in the training of managers on various topics. The more the managers know about basic forms and routine HR processes the more the HR professionals do not need to focus daily on these and can devote their time to the training and development of all staff in an organization. However, with the periodic hiring of new managers, the HR department would continue to educate management on which forms to use and the processes to follow. Ms. Abdo stated that training managers properly is one of the biggest things in the industry and includes them having knowledge of the human resource and labor laws. This is clearly supported by Freeman (1997): Human resources (HR) management professionals need appropriate training so that they can effectively assume their role as management’s business partners. Training and development programs for the ‘new’ HR must focus on how the HR department can help achieve the company’s business objectives. Traditional training will not do because it does not take into account the skills, characteristics, and motives that HR practitioners need to create a strong business partnership with line managers. Ms. Abdo stated, along with training, creativity is needed in HR management for a more strategic business approach. Many professionals need to look beyond their education and past experiential knowledge to think outside the box and utilize a creative aspect. “In a world enriched by abundance but disrupted by the automation and outsourcing of white-collar work, everyone, regardless of profession, must...
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