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MB0043 - Q.1 What are the functions that HR attempts to fulfill in any organization.

A human Relations Programme thereby attempts at enhancing employee motivation and workplace morale through an improved three-way communications and through employee participation in the decision making processes. Human relations seek to emphasise 'employee' aspects of work rather than technical or economic aspects. For example while it might be
in the best interest of an organization to have a employee skilled and completely proficient in one job/ set or responsibilities, today’s organization provide’s opportunities for employees to multi-skill and acquire knowledge of new yet related jobs/responsibilities. These acts as a motivator for employees as they benefit by learning new skills / jobs and given an opportunity can perform and excel in another job. It also seeks to make employment and working conditions less impersonal. The human relations approach emphasises policies and techniques designed to improve employee morale and job satisfaction. For example it is common place in organizations to provide for / encourage employee empowerment where-in the team brings about creative measures to reduce cost/ improve customer satisfaction. Such teams design and implement self-driven initiatives to bring about the business result. It is believed that this is accompanied by increased employee efficiency and reduction in employee dissatisfaction.
An understanding of emerging workplace human behaviour can be summarised as:
i) Assist the manager to develop a better realization of how his own attitudes and behaviour play a part in everyday affairs of the team and its morale;
ii) Assist the manager to develop a keener sensitivity towards the team members and interpersonal dynamics.
iii) Partner with the managers in helping him drive the business goals and take part ownership of work challenges and how best to resolve them .
iv) Enable him to anticipate and prevent problems, or at least to resolve more effectively those that he cannot avoid; and
v) Network with other teams with related dependencies and help resolve inter-team business impacting challenges.

This Scope of Human Relations springs up from the problems which have many different causes and perspectives. Halloran has stated these as:

•Every person brings a unique set of talents, ambitions and work experience to a job. These personal attributes change over time, often as a result of the degree of success or failure the person experiences in the work world. Matching so many unique sets of personal qualities to a standardized technology can create problems.

•The organizational aspects of a company, such as its size, geographic location, economic health, and degree of automation, define the scope of work and the activity in each work division. These frequently arbitrary, structural definitions often cause difficulties in human relations.

•Innovations in technology and production methods generally require the restructuring of job roles and responsibilities. Radical changes in basic organizational structure can cause severe strains between employees and management and create intense problems in human relations.

•Promotion of individuals to positions of greater responsibility and authority generally creates a need for changed behaviour patterns between the new supervisors and their former peers, which in time, can create human relations problems.

•Inexperienced employees may not be able to perform their roles or tasks in work groups in a competent manner. The time they take to adjust can not only create problems with production schedules, but can also create particular kinds of human relations problems between them and their coemployees and supervisors.
The variety of causes of human relations problems lead to the conclusion that no one programme or single approach can create conditions for good human relations. Therefore, as shared earlier it in common for organizations and individuals in organization to constantly innovate and resolve challenges that will benefit both the organization as well as the employee.

This helps understand the key HR objectives which can be best illustrated by understanding the functions that HR attempts to fulfil in any organization:

i) Human Resource Planning – estimating the need for resources in order achieve the desired business results. HR plans can be both short term/immediate as well as long term / strategic. The HR team partners with the line managers to understand the business goals and targets for the year and then together plan the HR needs in order to meet the goals.

ii) Acquisition of human resources – staffing the organizations with the right mix of skills and competencies at the right time. It also includes HR initiatives like promotions and internal job posting to fulfil this requirement for human resources. Staffing teams in organizations are usually a separate group of specialists who work closely with the line managers to understand the skills and competencies needed for the job and engage together to select the best talent for the open positions.

iii) Training and employee development – focuses on managing training activities to upgrade skills and knowledge as well as soft skills like team building and leadership. The training team is again a group of HR specialists who propose the training program and consult with the line managers to ensure that the program achieves the desired outcomes.

iv) Building performance management systems – focuses on the right processes to set goals for performance as individuals/teams and related measurement methods. This is a core HR activity and is supported by the HR generalist.

v) Reward systems – establishing appropriate compensation systems and reward mechanisms that would reward the desired outcome and results in accordance with the corporate values. This again forms a part of the HR generalist’s tasks. How employees progress in a organization how they are paid w.r.t. internal and external market factors, what employee benefits are offered, are some aspect that this function redresses.

vi) Human Resources Information Systems that would take care of the operational transactions from the time an employee joins till the time the employee exits, like personnel files, compensation administration, payroll, benefits administration and issuing letters and testimonials. This task is supported by as separate HR operations team who act as a HR helpdesk and provide information to the employees/managers.


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