The Major HR Management Subsystems in Organizations Today
There are several ways to conceptualize the structure and means for organizing the HR system in an organization. The first, and perhaps most familiar, is the functional method (Rothwell, Prescott, & Taylor, 1998). In this approach, HR management is organized into units such as employee relations, training, compensation and benefits, and payroll. Each is considered a function because it bears specific responsibilities for the organization's total HR system. A second way of structuring HR management is the point of contact method. With this approach, which is much rarer than the functional approach, HR is organized around meeting the needs of its clients , stakeholders, and community. There are separate functions for worker input (such as recruitment, placement, and orientation), maintaining workers (such as payroll, training, compensation, and employee relations), and output (such as decruitment and retirement). A third way to think about HR management has become popular in recent years . This method divides those who do the work of the HR function into two groups. One group handles transactions, such as processing payroll, making name changes on benefit forms, and updating employee records. A second group extends the people management expertise of the HR function to line management groups, offering on-the-spot, real-time consulting advice to managers and workers who may be dealing with "people challenges." There are, of course, other ways of organizing the HR function. Basically, the HR subsystems of most organizations include recruitment, selection, performance management, job analysis and evaluation, compensation, payroll, development and improvement, and career and succession planning. But regardless of whether you are an HR specialist or generalist in one of today's organizations, you should be aware of how competency-based HR management differs from traditional workbased HR management.Figure 1 summarizes the differences in the two approaches. Competency-based HR management focuses attention on the people who do the work rather than on the work done by those people. We will examine this important distinction in the next chapter.
| Traditional HR Management
| Competency-Based HR Management
| Work analysis and job descriptions form the foundation of traditional HR management. Work analysis becomes the basis for recruiting, selecting, orienting , training, rewarding , appraising, and developing people. The job description delineates work activities. It does not state expected work results in measurable or observable terms.
| Competencies are the traits that individuals use for successful and exemplary performance. The identification, modeling, and assessment of competencies form the foundation of competency-based HR management. The HR function seeks to discover worker traits that lead to fully successful and exemplary performance and configures HR activities around cultivating them.
| Chief reasons for using the approach
| The approach is a known quantity and is geared toward achieving compliance. It categorizes individuals on organizational charts so they can be assigned identifiable tasks for which they are held accountable. U.S.college textbooks on HR management are devoted exclusively to traditional HR management.
| The approach stimulates productivity and uses human talent to the best competitive advantage. It recognizes differences in individual abilities to achieve work results. Exemplary performers are significantly more productive than their fully successful counterparts. If the organization finds or develops exemplary performers, it could be more productive with the same size workforce.
| Major challenges
| * Work changes rapidly , and job descriptions quickly become outdated . * The approach is rarely successful in providingleader ship on using human talent to greatest advantage.
| * The meaning of the termcompetency is not...
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