Role of HRM
of HRM is to plan, develop and administer policies and programs designed to
make optimum use of an organizations human resources. It is that part of
management which is concerned with the people at work and with their
relationship within enterprises. Its objectives are: (a) Effective utilization of human resources,
(b) Desirable working relationships among
all members of the organizations, and (c)
Maximum individual development.
resources function as primarily administrative and professional. HR staff
focused on administering benefits and other payroll and operational functions
and didn‘t think of themselves as playing a part in the firm‘s overall
professionals have an all encompassing role. They are required to have a
thorough knowledge of the organization and its intricacies and complexities.
ultimate goal of every HR person should be to develop a linkage between the
employee and organization because employee‘s commitment to the organization is
and foremost role of HR personnel is to impart continuous education to the
employees about the changes and challenges facing the country in general and
their organization in particular. The employees should know about the balance
sheet of the company, sales progress, and diversification of plans, share price
movements, turnover and other details about the company. The HR professionals
should impart such knowledge to all employees through small booklets, video
films and lectures.
primary responsibilities of Human Resource managers are:
develop a thorough knowledge of corporate culture, plans and policies. To act
as an internal change agent and consultant
initiate change and act as an expert and facilitator
actively involve in company‘s strategy formulation
communication line open between the HRD function and individuals and groups
both within and outside the organization\
identify and evolve HRD strategies in consonance with overall business
facilitate the development of various organizational teams and their working
relationship with other teams and individuals.
and relate people and work so that the organization objectives are achieved
efficiently and effectively.
diagnose problems and determine appropriate solution particularly in the human
provide co-ordination and support services for the delivery of HRD programmes
and services To evaluate the impact of an HRD intervention or to conduct
research so as to identify, develop or test how HRD In general has improved
individual and organizational performance.
to Dave Ulrich HR play‘s four key roles.
1. Strategic Partner Role-Turning
strategy into results by building organizations that create value;
2. Change Agent Role- making change happen, and in
particular, help it happen fast
3. Employees Champion Role—managing
the talent or the intellectual capital within a firm
4. Administrative Role—Trying
to get things to happen better, faster and cheaper.
HR in organizations has undergone an extensive change and many organizations
have gradually oriented themselves from the traditional personnel management to
a human resources management approach.
approach of HRM is to perceive the organization as a whole. Its emphasis is not
only on production and productivity but also on the quality of life. It seeks
to achieve the paramount development of human resources and the utmost possible
Current Classification of HR roles
to R.L Mathis and J. H. Jackson (2010) several roles can be fulfilled by HR
management. The nature and extent of these roles depend on both what upper
management wants HR management to do and what competencies the HR staff have
demonstrated. Three roles are typically identified for HR.
1. Administrative Role of HR
administrative role of HR management has been heavily oriented to
administration and recordkeeping including essential legal paperwork and policy
implementation. Major changes have happened in the administrative role of HR
during the recent years. Two major shifts driving the transformation of the
role are: Greater use of technology and Outsourcing.
has been widely used to improve the administrative efficiency of HR and the
responsiveness of HR to employees and managers, more HR functions are becoming
available electronically or are being done on the Internet using Web-based
technology. Technology is being used in most HR activities, from employment
applications and employee benefits enrollments to e-learning using
many HR administrative functions are being outsourced to vendors. This
outsourcing ofHR administrative activities has grown dramatically in HR areas
such as employee assistance (counseling), retirement planning, benefits
administration, payroll services, and outplacement services.
2. Operational and Employee
Advocate Role for HR
managers manage most HR activities in line with the strategies and operations
that have been identified by management and serves as employee ―champion‖ for
employee issues and concerns.
has been viewed as the ―employee advocate‖ in organizations. They act as the
voice for employee concerns, and spend considerable time on HR ―crisis
management,‖ dealing with employee problems that are both work-related and not
work-related. Employee advocacy helps to ensure fair and equitable treatment
for employees regardless of personal background or circumstances.
the HR‘s advocate role may create conflict with operating managers. However,
without the HR advocate role, employers could face even more lawsuits and
regulatory complaints than they do now.
operational role requires HR professionals to cooperate with various
departmental and operating managers and supervisors in order to identify and
implement needed programs and policies in the organization. Operational
activities are tactical in nature. Compliance with equal employment opportunity
and other laws is ensured, employment applications are processed, current
openings are filled through interviews, supervisors are trained, safety
problems are resolved, and wage and benefit questions are answered. For
carrying out these activities HR manager matches HR activities with the strategies
of the organization.
3. Strategic Role for HR
administrative role traditionally has been the dominant role for HR. However,
as Figure 1.4 indicates that a broader transformation in HR is needed so that
significantly less HR time and fewer HR staffs are used just for clerical work.
between the operational and strategic roles exist in a number of HR areas. The
strategic HR role means that HR professionals are proactive in addressing
business realities and focusing on future business needs, such as strategic
planning, compensation strategies, the performance of HR, and measuring its
results. However, in some organizations, HR often does not play a key role in
formulating the strategies for the organization as a whole; instead it merely
carries them out through HR activities.
executives, managers, and HR professionals are increasingly seeing the need for
HR management to become a greater strategic contributor to the ―business‖
success of organizations. HR should be responsible for knowing what the true
cost of human capital is for an employer. For example, it may cost two times
key employees‘ annual salaries to replace them if they leave. Turnover can be
controlled though HR activities, and if it is successful in saving the company money
with good retention and talent management strategies, those may be important
contributions to the bottom line of organizational performance.
of HR as a strategic business partner
is often described as ―having a seat at the table,‖ and contributing to the
strategic directions and success of the organization. That means HR is involved
in devising strategy in addition to implementing strategy. Part of HR‘s
contribution is to have financial expertise
and to produce financial results, not just to boost employee morale or
administrative efficiencies. Therefore, a significant concern for chief
financial officers (CFOs) is whether HR executives are equipped to help them to
plan and meet financial requirements.
even though this strategic role of HR is recognized, many organizations still
need to make significant progress toward fulfilling it. Some examples of areas
where strategic contributions can be made by HR are:
Evaluating mergers and acquisitions for
organizational ―compatibility,‖ structural changes, and staffing needs
workforce planning to anticipate the retirement of employees at all levels and
expansion in organizational strategic plans
site selection efforts for new facilities or transferring operations to
international outsourcing locations based on workforce needs
Instituting HR management systems to reduce
administrative time, equipment, and staff by using HR technology
with executives to develop a revised sales compensation and incentives plan as
It is the
era when for the competitive triumph of the organization there is a need to
involve HRM significantly in an integrated manner, which demands such
capabilities from the HR specialists.
of HR shifted from a facilitator to a functional peer with competencies in
other functions, and is acknowledged as an equal partner by others. The HR is
motivated to contribute to organizational objectives of profitability and
customer satisfaction, and is seen as a vehicle for realization of quality
development. The department has a responsibility for monitoring employee
satisfaction, since it is seen as substitute to customer satisfaction.
to McKinsey‘s 7-S framework model HR plays the role of a catalyst for the
organization. According to this framework, effective organizational change is a
complex relationship between seven S‘s. HRM is a total matching process between
the three Hard S‘s (Strategy, Structure and Systems) and the four Soft S‘s
(Style, Staff, Skills and Super-ordinate Goals). Clearly, all the S‘s have to
complement each other and have to be aligned towards a single corporate vision
for the organization to be effective. It has to be realized that most of the
S‘s are determined directly or indirectly by the way Human Resources are
managed, and therefore, HRM must be a
part of the total business strategy.