Organizations have come to realize, over the years that improving technology and cutting costs improve performance only up to some extent. After this, the organization’s people are its most important resource. Everything an organization does depends on people. Low cost, high quality cars are not just a product of accurate, CNC and automated machines. But they are a result of skilled and dedicated employees all working hard to produce the best cars that they can at the lowest possible cost.
The organization must provide a healthy work climate where they can exploit their talents fully while realizing goals assigned to them. They must have requisite skills to handle their jobs in a competent way. Above all, to get the best out of people, they must be managed well and this requires leadership. This is where human resource managers and other functional area managers play an important role between employee expectations and organizational needs by adopting appropriate human resource practices.
Human resources then, are vital important strategic resources. Successful organizations will be able to attract, motivate, develop reward and keep competent employees through appropriate human resource practices. They will be able to create an atmosphere of close cooperation and participation while trying to manage people. There is no one best way of getting results. The human resource practices must be in line with that of employees and in line with industry norms. Employees have also become more knowledgeable and demanding. They are very much aware of what is happening within and outside their industry. Enriched jobs, performance based rewards, flexible working hours and autonomous works spots have changed the entire personnel scenario in the 21st century.
Under the circumstances even the best known employers are under constant pressure to retain their most precious assets, the employees, within their fold.
Corporates are increasingly discovering that their core abilities lie not in particular products or product categories but in unique expertise or the knowledge pool and skills of their people.
Human resource management is the art of procuring, developing and maintaining competent workforce to achieve the goals of an organization in an effective and efficient manner. The biggest challenge for the HR managers, now a days is to shift their attention from current operations to developing strategies for the future. HRM is no longer a standalone staff function. It has to involve everyone to develop partnerships and programmes that permit the firm to succeed in a highly competitive environment.
HR policies are jointly developed and implemented by HR and Operating managers. HRM puts focus on quality, customer service, employee involvement, team work and productivity.
Competitive advantage refers to the ability of an organization to exploit profitable opportunities, thereby maximizing its return on investment. Competitive advantage occurs if customers perceive that they receive value from their transaction with an organization.
An organization should always try to be unique in its industry along dimensions that are widely valued by customers. In order, to enjoy the competitive advantage, the firm should be a cost leader, delivering value for money. Workers are most productive if they are loyal to the firm, informed about its mission, involved in teams which collectively decide how things are to be done and are trusted to take the right decision rather than be controlled at every stage by managers above them.
A good team of dedicated employees will deliver the goods if they are involved in all important business activities and are encouraged to develop goals that they are supposed to achieve. A new line of thinking known as strategic human resource management (SHRM) has emerged. SHRM views HR managers as partners both in the formulation and implementation of the company’s strategies in areas that are critical and important such as recruitment, training, performance appraisal, wage and salary administration, industrial relations etc.
A policy is a plan of action. Personnel policies constitute guides to action. They furnish the general standards or bases on which decisions are reached.
Personnel policies guide the course of action intended to accomplish personnel objectives. For example, one of the personnel policies of Indian Railways is to provide equal employment opportunities to minorities.
Broadly speaking policies are broad statements which express the organization’s principles and philosophies towards its human resource group, intentionally broad so that they may be applied to various situations. Policies do not include detailed statements describing specifically how the policy is to be implemented. Policies are implemented by procedures.