HRM Line and Staff Aspects

In a sense all managers are HR managers as they all get involved in activities like selecting, training, compensating employees. Yet most firms now days have the HR department headed by a person with requisite qualifications in behavioral sciences. How do the duties of this HR manager relate to the line managers? HR duties would be an interesting question to answer. Line managers have the final responsibility for achieving the organization’s goals. They also have the authority to direct the work of subordinates. Staff managers usually help and advise line managers in achieving organizational goals. HR managers are staff experts. They assist line managers in areas like recruiting, selecting, training and compensating. Managing people, in a broader context, is every manager’s business and successful organizations generally combine the experience of line managers with the experience of HR specialists while utilizing the talents of employees to their greatest potential. HR managers have to win the hearts of employees working alongside line managers and deliver results in a cost effective manner. HR managers as indicated earlier are assuming a greater role in top management planning and decision making a trend that indicates the growing realization among executives that HRM can make significant contributions to the success of an organization.

HRM in the New Millennium:

Traditionally, the personal function centered around control and direction of employees for achievement of pre-determined goals. The human resource approach in direct contrast to this recognizes the worth of human being in the realization of corporate goals. It takes a supportive and developmental route to achieve results through the cooperative efforts of employees. When opportunities for growth and enhancement of skills are available people will be stimulated to give their best, leading to greater job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. The manager’s role, too, has undergone a dramatic change over the years. From control and direction of employees, he is expected to move forward clarifying goals and paths and creating a supportive and growth oriented environment, where people are willing to take up assigned roles willingly and enthusiastically. The effective use of people is the most critical factor in the successful accomplishment of corporate goals. To be effective therefore, Human Resource managers need to understand the needs, aspirations, concerns of employees proactively face the challenges head on and resolve issues amicably. They are expected to successfully evolve an appropriate corporate culture take a strategic approach to the acquisition, motivation and development of human resources and introduce programs that reflect and support the core values of the organization and its people This is easier said than done in view of constant changes in environmental characterized by the following things.

Future of HRM:

Size of workforce: Corporates have grown in size considerably in recent years, thanks to global competition in almost all fields. The size of the work force consequently has increased throwing up additional challenges before HR managers in the form of additional demands for better pay benefits and working conditions from various sections of the workforce constantly.

Composition of workforce: The workforce composition is also changing over the years. The rising percentage of women and minorities in to work force is going to alter workplace equations dramatically demands for equal pay for equal work, putting an end to gender inequality and bias in certain occupations, the breaking down of grass ceiling have already been met. Constitutional protection ensured to minorities has also been met to a large extent by HR managers in public sector units. The new equations may compel HR managers to pay more attention to protecting the rights of the other sex and ensure statutory protection and concessions to minorities and disadvantaged sections of society. The shifting character of workforce in terms of age, sex, religion, region, caste etc is going to put pressures on HR managers trying to integrate the effort of people from various spaces. Managing heterogeneous and culturally diverse groups is going to stretch the talents of HR managers fully.

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