Human Resource Management HRM in Today's Culture Essay
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Human Resource Management (HRM) in today's culture is very prominent and important. The most important resource with any organization is the human component and it is of extreme importance to manage and develop this crucial asset in a way that is in alignment with the strategic outlook of that organization.
The purpose of this reflective essay is to explain and contextualize the major areas of scholarly discussion of Human Resources Management. This essay will examine how the following areas impact the organizational performance of an organization by interjecting specific examples of its practices in my own career occupation within the Veterans Administration Call Center. These examples will be used to highlight my own subjective interpretation of the material presented in this course and serve as the criteria to weigh the effectiveness of each area.
The following areas of HRM will be included in this discussion:
EEO and Affirmative Action,
Human resources planning, recruitment, and selection,
Human resources development,
Compensation and benefits,
Safety and Health,
Employee and labor relations.
EEO & Affirmative Action
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a phrase that is often used by the federal government to refer to employment practices that ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental ability, medical condition, ancestry, or age. The ideals and objectives behind EEO is that everyone should have the same access to opportunities. EEO is legally mandated for all federal contractors, including the Veterans Administration where I work.
Affirmative action is another and more troubling aspect of the federal government's efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity. The purpose of affirmative action programs is to promote fairness and address the effects of past discrimination in employment by encouraging targeted outreach efforts to attract underutilized minorities and women. The trouble with this idea lies in the vague terminology. Discrimination is an important aspect in deciphering intelligence and modeling reality. To eliminate it suggests that the field is being diluted and weakened as a result.
While HRM is an important aspect in any organization, the lawful mandates that accompany such hiring practices as dictated by these ideas threaten the autonomy and integrity of any human resources department. The subject of equal employment opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative action are touchy issues within all facets of society including the bureaucratic environment of my workplace.
The ideas that bias and discrimination be discounted when evaluating good fits for important positions is not effective and is perhaps outdated. Kinsely (2012) agreed with some of this criticism when he wrote about its effect in the college system. "affirmative action results in blacks (and, to a lesser extent, Latinos) being admitted to colleges and graduate schools where most of the students are better qualified. The teachers aim their teaching at the median student, leaving the less-qualified students behind. Students resent the widespread assumption that they only got in because of their race, even though they share it." This trend continues in the workplace as the cultural norm is to default to certain qualities that have no bearing on job performance. Racial discrimination obviously continues to exist. But the disadvantages of class, by most measures, are larger today.
It is time for Human Resource Management to transcend the idea of race into a positive and celebrate and practically apply race in its best forum. By suggesting that someone is simply more qualified because of race is silly and insulting to many people of all colors.
Human Resources Planning
The most important aspect of any organization and its planning capabilities is the leadership component of that group. Leadership sets the goals and missions for the organization and sets a direction for one of the more important aspects of HRM; planning. Planning is the beginning or start of any action or change the organization wishes to direct and including the human element in all strategic planning serves an organization to a better performance.
Ryan (2013) argued that HR planning is about ensuring that the human element is represented in the strategic outlook of that organization. She wrote "HR people aren't in place to process vacation requests, but rather to view your team and your business through a human-colored lens, always asking, "What do I need to do to make sure this team is kept in the loop, listened to, appropriately equipped, and responsibly and ethically led in order to win in
our marketplace?" That's the fun part of HR, and the part that makes employers and their shareholders money."
Human Resources Development
Human Resources departments owe it to their organization to acquire and keep the best talent available. This appears one of, if not the most important areas of HRM. The challenges that are presented in the day-to-day task of my organization the VA, has demonstrated that constant change and upheaval requires a flexible and well-trained work staff to keep up with the demand. Hiring new people into the organization is a key task, but developing the human resources available allows for a more effective and economic approach to fulfilling the human resource needs of that organization.
Human resource departments typically conduct activities designed to train and develop company personnel, whether to address performance problems or help prepare an employee for a management role. In addition to formal training courses (such as instructor-led sessions, web-based training and seminars), human resources departments should offer flexible alternatives such as coaching, mentoring and job-rotation experiences. Developing employee capacity involves managing programs such as employee orientation sessions, policy and procedure awareness sessions, leadership development workshops and other options designed to enable your company (and employees) to succeed, ( Duggan, T. nd).
Development may come in a variety of ways and it is appreciated at my work place when new opportunities are offered to learn and grow as a professional. It is important for Human resources departments to understand that many employees wish to grow and flourish through sustained development and growth, it seems to be human nature. Career development is important in the workplace because it allows people to feel as if they are truly contributing to something larger and more important than themselves.
It is therefore very important for human resources managers to encourage growth and career development which adds value to both the employee and the organization itself. Improving skills and knowledge is one sure fire way to trigger this response in employees. Providing useful networks and educational systems that contribute to the strategic mission of the organization will serve everyone in the company well and create an environment of learning and the pursuit of excellence.
This task falls squarely on the shoulders of the human resources department. It is perhaps the most critical factor in the actual management of human capital. These types of developments can be found through mentoring, cross-training, internships, campus staff organizations, professional associations, committee and task force assignments, skill assessment programs, and university degree and extension programs.
Creating these types of programs and activities that provide skill development, such as job rotation, cross-training, mentoring, internships, coaching, and career strategy groups will pay off in the end if they are properly applied and managed. Recognizing the fact that the Human resources department role includes providing support and/or release time for staff members' development beyond their current jobs. Supporting requests for flexible work arrangements from staff members and serving as a role model by participating in career and professional development opportunities yourself also can help create the necessary environment for this type of development to flourish. This is sometimes a challenge but investing in the future can pay off big time in the end.
Compensation & Benefits
The most time and effort in many human resources departments is no doubt spent on the areas of compensation and benefits. The importance of this area is large but not necessarily the most important. Labor costs are significant and finding ways to reward employees in different and appropriate ways should always be considered to help increase a competitive advantage.
In my area of work in the VA call center, the nature of the organization and the pay structure is created at a much higher level within the federal government and appropriate pay scales and vacation time is afforded to individuals according to their GS rank. The system is extremely standardized and is quite different from the experiences of human resources departments in the more conventional and private organizations that focus on profits.
With private corporations and organizations, human resources departments have much more flexibility when offering compensation packages. There are many new trends and approaches that are allowed by technology for different ways of compensating employees. Hunt (2012) agreed with this idea when he wrote "A compensation model that encourages innovation should strike a balance between the risks and rewards associated with the work. Entrepreneurs and initial investors who launch a new company take on the risk of losing their wealth. If the venture succeeds, they are rewarded for that risk handsomely. In a mature organization, employees might not be taking a risk with their…
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