Everything you need to learn about the features and characteristics of human resource management.
According to V. P. Michael, the feature of the human resource management is to “reflect a new philosophy, a new outlook, approach and strategy, which views an organisation’s manpower as its resources and assets and not as liabilities or mere hands”. Thus, human resource or manpower is considered today to be the vital resource to develop the organisation.
Some of the important features and characteristics of human resource management are:-
1. Decision Oriented 2. Employee Oriented 3. Providing Opportunities 4. People Orientated 5. Individual Oriented 6. Continuous Process 7. Development-Oriented 8. Comprehensive Function 9. Multidisciplinary 10. Integration of Goals 11. Dynamic Function 12. Performance Oriented 13. Challenging Function 14. Pervasive Function 15. Universal Existence 16. Future Oriented and Few Others.
Features and Characteristics of Human Resource Management
Features of Human Resource Management – Top 10 Features of Human Resource Management
Human resource management has the following features:
Feature # 1. Universal Force:
HRM is universal in nature; it is present in all organizations and is applicable at all levels of the management in an organization. As a matter of fact, HRM is concerned and closely associated with the strategic decision making process of the organization involving all departments and functions in the organization. Thus even for a budding SME entrepreneur knowledge of HRM would be instrumental for successfully managing his people without having any formal HR systems in his organization.
Feature # 2. Decision Oriented:
HRM emphasizes on decisions, rather than on record keeping, written procedures or rules, which had long been the responsibilities of traditional personnel management practices. These decisions might involve those with respect to performance improvement through further training, or a promotion decision based on satisfactory performance by an employee.
Feature # 3. Focus on Individual Needs and Aspirations:
HRM emphasizes on identifying the individual needs and aspirations of an individual employee on the basis of through analysis of their capabilities and future potential. Thus, it makes an attempt to help these individuals to further develop their potential and encourage them to give their best to the organization.
Thus for a B School faculty, his/her promotions to higher designations might well be related to contributions in research and development or management consultancy and such decisions would be at the discretion of the management of these institutes depending on the nature and framework used to assess the performance of the faculties.
Feature # 4. Employee Oriented:
HRM is concerned about people. Conventionally HRM authors have denied concern for people with employees at work, both as individuals, as well as in groups and teams. But in today’s highly competitive business perspective, concern for people has a wider domain conceptually.
It mainly deals and revolves around the capabilities of the people rather than the individual. Thus the paradigm shift had been from assigning people on allotted tasks to utilize knowledge and human capabilities for higher performance outcomes.
Feature # 5. Development and Growth Oriented:
Development had been long conceptualized as an initiative taken by an organization to acquire better work related skills and behaviours. In the context where organizations are emphasizing more upon sharing and developing knowledge, the concept of development attains a wider or broader meaning in terms of realizing the capabilities of people/rather knowledge workers.
Behavioural scientists have argued that holistic development of people can be made instrumental if the former is coupled with reinforcement strategies ensuring the acquisition of the desired behaviour and capabilities among people. The reward and incentive structures of organizations are needed to be fine-tuned along with the development oriented initiatives taken by the organization.
Feature # 6. Binding Force of an Organization:
HRM has the additional responsibility of treating their employees as the “internal customers” of the organization. In this perspective HR professionals need to assume the role of experts (internal business consultants) in other functional domains of their organization like logistics, finance, supply chain management, total quality management, marketing and corporate relations so as to facilitate organizational effectiveness.
Feature # 7. Strategic Implication:
In the perspective of today’s highly competitive business environment, HRM should assume the role of the strategic decision making process in the organization. HR professionals in this regard need to assume the responsibility of being the strategic partners of the business and helping the organization to successfully achieve their business objectives by aligning people to the strategic goals of the organization.
Feature # 8. Support Functions:
The HR function of an organization is service oriented. HR executives provide support services to the line managers working in other departments not only just accomplish their administrative or HR-related work more effectively, they so provide consultation as internal consultants and extend “subject-matter-expert (SME)” help and assistances whenever required. HR activities like talent tracking, reward management are examples of the service function.
Feature # 9. Multi-Disciplinary Nature:
HRM is a multi-disciplinary practice drawing the knowledge and inputs drawn from various disciplines and studies like those of psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, quantitative techniques and statistical applications, econometrics, ergonomics (Quality of life and work environment designing), financial concepts (Human resource accounting and HR-audit) etc. The multi-disciplinary aspect of HR function, helps HR professionals assume the role of strategic partners as well as internal consultants of the organization.
Feature # 10. Ongoing and Forward Looking Nature:
HRM is an ongoing process that starts at the strategic level in the organization and pervades into each and every functional domain of the organization. Today’s HR practices are mostly forward looking and they constantly take into consideration the future needs and requirements of the business.
According to V. P. Michael, the feature of the human resource management is to “reflect a new philosophy, a new outlook, approach and strategy, which views an organisation’s manpower as its resources and assets and not as liabilities or mere hands”. Thus, human resource or manpower is considered today to be the vital resource to develop the organisation.
The feature of the Human Resource Management may be clearly understood from the following points:
1. Managing Employees:
Human Resource Management is primarily concerned with managing the employees of an organisation. It manages not only the organised or unorganised workers in the organisation but also every employee working therein. It covers all types of employees – skilled and unskilled, clerical and operating staff, executives and managers.
2. Motivating Employees:
Human Resource Management deals with employees both as individuals and as groups. It aims at motivating the employees for getting best results from them.
3. Providing Opportunities:
Human Resource Management provides suitable opportunities to the employees to develop their talent fully so that they will get job satisfaction and improve their performance at work.
4. All Pervasive:
Human Resource Management is all pervasive. It has universal application. Hence it may be applied in every type of organisation- small or big, manufacturing or trading, profit- making or non-profit making, government, semi-government or private industrial, commercial or public utility concerns. It is an integral part of the general management and it extends throughout and also beyond each organisation.
5. Continuous Process:
Human Resource Management is a continuous and ongoing process. It is not something which may be used casually or occasionally or here and there or now and then. According to George Terry, “It cannot be turned on and off like water from a faucet; it cannot be practiced only one hour each day or one day a week. Personnel management requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in everyday operations”.
A manager has to get the best from the employees, helping him to achieve the organizational target. The employees need multi-directional support from their manager. It is emphasized that managers should support instead of controlling their teams, since support is deterministic but control is probabilistic.
At the same time, it must be recognized that human resource management is an inherent management process. This function is performed by all the managers. A manager, to get the best of his people, must undertake the basic responsibility of selecting people who will work with him and then of motivating and guiding them.
However, in specific situations, a manager can obviously take the help of the specialized services of the personnel department in discharging this responsibility. Legal matter is an area where advice and intervention of legal experts can be sought.
Consideration of human factors is of vital importance in the effective and efficient management of human resources. Human relation experts attach great significance to human resources.
Few highlights of human resource management are listed below:
(a) HRM is an inherent part of management. Line managers are also responsible to manage human resources.
(b) HRM is a pervasive function of management. All managers are required to apply orchestral efforts to make human resource management effective. Line managers closer to the workforce help them to achieve department target. Line managers know the intrinsic needs of the workforce. An HR manager can render expert advice to solve the specific departmental problems.
(c) HRM pervades in all functional areas throughout the organization. For example- human resource management is essential in all departments engaged in achieving primary target as well as secondary target. Management of human resource is required in production, maintenance, financial management, marketing management, dispensary, security, fire brigade, etc.
(d) HRM is people centered and is relevant to white- and blue-collared personnel. Blue-collar persons are traditionally termed as ‘workers’ who work on machines and are engaged in loading, unloading, maintaining machines, cleaning, etc. White-collar persons perform clerical jobs. HRM is needed for managerial and non-managerial personnel, and professional (such as chartered accountant, cost accountant, company secretary, lawyer, etc.) and non-professional personnel.
(e) HRM encompasses several functions concerned with the management of people at the workplace. It includes manpower planning including recruitment and selection, placement, training and development, appraisal, and compensation of employees. For efficient performance of all these activities, a separate department known as Human Resource Department or Personnel Department is created in most of the organization.
(f) HRM is a continuous function to keep the human resource rejuvenated and to keep the wheel of production moving.
(g) HRM is concerned with inspiring the resources in the organization. Human beings should never be treated like physical factors of production. Every person has different needs, perceptions, and expectations. They come from different strata of the society. The managers should give due attention to these factors. They require human relations skills to deal with the people at work. Human relations skills are also required in training, performance appraisal, transfer, and promotion of subordinates.
HRM can be summarized as:
i. Inherent part of management
ii. A pervasive function
iii. Basic to all functional areas
v. A department that encompasses activities related to personnel
vi. A continuous process
vii. Based on human relations
The features of HRM is discussed below:
1. Integrating Mechanism – HRM builds and maintains cordial relations among people working at various levels in the organisation. It tries to integrate human assets in the best possible manner in the service of an organisation.
2. Auxiliary Service – HR departments exist to help and to advise the line or operating managers to do their personnel work more effectively. An HR manager is a specialist advisor.
3. Challenging Function – To channelise human resources is a difficult job as the people have dynamic nature. Their sentiments and emotions as such they cannot be treated like machines. As such it is essential to handle them tactfully. It is not simply managing people but administering a social system.
4. Inter-Disciplinary Function – HRM involves utilization of knowledge and inputs drawn from psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics etc. In order to unravel the mystery surrounding the human brain, managers require to understand and appreciate the contributions of all such ‘soft disciplines’.
5. Development-Oriented – HRM aims at developing the full potential of employees. The reward structure is tuned to the needs of employees. Training is offered to enhance and improve their skills. Employees are rotated on various jobs with the view to let them gain experience and exposure. Sometimes they are found working excellently in one particular place and hence, allowed to remain there. In this way every attempt is made to use their talents fully in the service of organisational goals.
6. Continuous Function – Terry Opines “HRM is not a short deal. It cannot be practiced only one hour each day or one day a week. It requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relation and their importance in every day operations”.
7. People-Oriented – HRM is concerned about people at work, both in individual capacity as well as members of groups. It aims to put people on assigned jobs in order to produce good results. The resultant gains are used to reward people and motivate them towards further improvements in productivity.
8. Pervasive in Nature – HRM is pervasive in nature and it is present in all enterprises. It spreads through all the levels of management in an organisation.
9. Future-Oriented – An effective HRM leads an organisation in achieving its goals in the future by providing for competent and well-motivated employees.
10. Action-Oriented – HRM focuses to attention of action rather than on written procedures or rules. The problems of employees at work are solved through rational policies.
11. Individual-Oriented – HRM tries to help employees to develop their potential entirely. It encourages them to provide out their best contribution to the organisation. It motivates to employees through a proper systematic process of recruitment, selection, training and development coupled with fair wage policies.
Features of Human Resource Management
The most important features of HRM may be listed thus:
I. Pervasive force HRM is pervasive in nature. It is present in all enterprises and permeates all levels of management in an organization.
II. Action oriented HRM focuses on action, rather than on record keeping, written procedures or rules. The problems of employees at work are solved through employee-friendly policies.
III. Individual oriented HRM seeks to get the best out of an employee. Each employee is treated with respect and dignity. Career opportunities are created so that employees do not leave a company. Necessary training is provided in order to help an employee grow.
IV. People oriented HRM is all about people at work, both as individuals and groups. The right jobs are assigned to the right people. Growth avenues are thrown open to all. Excellent performance is rewarded and encouraged. Every attempt is made to keep employees happy and contented.
V. Future oriented Effective HRM prepares people for current as well as future challenges. Employees are encouraged to take up assignments that match their skills and talents.
VI. Development oriented HRM intends to develop the full potential of employees. The reward structure is tuned to the needs of employees. Training is offered to sharpen and improve their skills. Employees are rotated on various jobs so that they gain experience and exposure. Every attempt is made to use their talents fully in the service of organizational goals.
VII. Integrating Mechanism- HRM seeks to strike a rapport between people working at various levels in an organisation. The whole attempt is to create a tension-free work environment. Issues that flare up emotions such as wage increases, work schedules, benefit plans and union-management relations are always given topmost priority so as to keep employees in good humour.
VIII. Comprehensive function HRM is concerned with managing people at work. It covers all types of personnel—workers, supervisors, middle and top managers. All issues relating to talent acquisition, development and retention are put to close examination.’
IX. Auxiliary service HR departments exist to assist and advise the line or operating managers to do their work more effectively. The HR manager is a specialist advisor, and HR is a staff function.
X. Interdisciplinary function HRM is a multidisciplinary activity, utilizing knowledge and inputs drawn from subjects such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics. Influences that affect employee behaviours, attitudes and performance are given topmost priority. The whole exercise is meant to understand the psychology of employees from various angles—as to why people behave the way they do.
XI. Continuous function HRM is not a one-shot deal. It cannot be practiced only one hour each day or one day a week. It requires constant alertness and awareness of human relations and its importance in everyday operations.
Features of Human Resource Management – 7 Significant Features of HRM
Human Resource Management is the process of planning, organising, directing & controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration, maintenance & reproduction of human resources to the end that individual, organisational & social objectives are accomplished.
“HRM is a series of integrated decisions that form the employment relationship. Their quality contributes to the ability of the organisation and the employees to achieve their objectives.”
Some significant features of HRM are:
Feature # 1. Comprehensive:
HRM covers all levels (lower, middle and top) and all categories (unskilled, skilled, clerical, technical, managerial and professional) of employees. It applies to workers, officers, supervisors, managers, executives and other types of personnel.
Feature # 2. Definite Principles and Policies:
HRM applies definite principles and policies for managing and developing the workforce.
Feature # 3. Integral Part of Management Process:
The process of HRM is not an isolated function of management. It is an integral part of the management process as a whole. It is embedded in the organization structure. HRM is pervasive in nature since employees are a vital resource of each organizational department.
Feature # 4. People Orientated:
Workers are considered as human beings with emotional, behavioural and social aspects. The whole philosophy of HRM is based on the fact that the worker is a human being. It emphasizes on motivating and developing the worker in the best interests of the organization.
Feature # 5. Individual Oriented:
The development of an individual worker’s skills, capacity, knowledge and potential is given utmost importance. HRM aims to achieve organizational growth by facilitating the personal growth and satisfaction of the individual.
Feature # 6. Continuous Process:
HRM is a continuous and ongoing process. Management of human beings is dynamic in nature because the motivation, desires, knowledge and skill levels of employees are ever changing. HRM requires constant awareness about human nature to motivate and develop the employees.
Feature # 7. Pervasive in Nature:
HRM is applicable to all types of organizations, whether corporations, not for profit sectors, religious institutes, educational institutes, armed forces, sports organizations, etc. as recruitment, selection, training and development of workforce is essential for all types of workforce.
Features of Human Resource Management – Universal Application, People-Oriented, Development-Oriented and Multidisciplinary
1. Universal Application:
HRM has universal application. It is applicable in all types of organisations. The principles and practices are applied irrespective of size, nature, scope and purpose of the organisation.
HRM is all about people at work both as individuals and in groups. It is concerned with procurement, development, integration, maintenance, and compensation of people in an organisation.
HRM intends to develop the full potential of employees. For the same training is given to sharpen and developing their skills. Employees are rotated to various jobs to gain experience and exposure. Job rotation is an important tool to develop the skills of an employee.
4. Key Elements for Solving Problems:
Today, we have rapid technological, managerial, economic and social changes. These changes bring many problems. HRM continuously tries to solve these problems.
5. Comprehensive Function:
HRM is concerned with organisational decisions which have an impact on the work force. HRM covers all types of employees irrespective of their positions in the establishment.
HRM utilises knowledge and input drawn from field such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics.
7. Integration of Goals:
HRM practices and principles help in integrating individual and organisational goal into a framework. As a result of which, employees are motivated towards higher level work performance for achievement of organisational goal.
HRM is a continuous process. It has to continuously change and adjust according to the changes in the environment, changes in the expectations of the staff, etc. according to Terry; it is not a one shot deal.
9. Dynamic Function:
It means HRM is a dynamic function whereby the procedures and practices are influenced by the environmental factors. Employees should gain an updated knowledge and ability to work in the changing environment.
Features of Human Resource Management
Human resource management is related with managing people at work. Simply, it does not refer to ‘rank and file’ employees but also covers higher personnel and unionized as well as non- unionized workers. In other words, human resource management comprehends all levels of personnel including white-collar and blue-collar employees.
HRM is concerned with recruitment, selection, development and utilization of skills of people in industry along but applies to all sorts of organizations whether government, private, profit or not- for-profit organizations, charitable, hospitals or educational institutions.
According to Pigors and Myres, “Personnel Management permeates all types of functional management such as production management, financial management, sales management and research management.”
HRM is about helping the employees to develop their potential to the maximum possible extent and to realize that potential so that their output is effective and maximized as well as the employees also derive great satisfaction from their job.
HRM is concerned with employees both as individuals as well as groups with the objective of getting their active involvement in the organization’s activities.
Human resource management requires constant efforts about human relations and their importance in everyday operations.
Each individual employee has his own attitudes, perception, beliefs and temperamental makeup. The factors that would motivate him are a matter of speculation. Yet personnel management is based on certain well defined principles, which have evolved after a great deal of research and experimentation.
The success of HRM lies in securing optimum contribution from total employees of the enterprise which arises from the appropriate match between an employee’s capability, interests and experience and the actual work given to him.
The aim of human resource management it’s the creation of team spirit among workers and managers which is possible only when employees identify themselves completely with the enterprise. It should also be ensured that employees derive maximum material and mental satisfaction from the tasks they perform.
Thus, these characteristics of HRM point out that human resource management is concerned with managing people, developing and directing them. It is a continuous process, based on certain principles using team building process optimize contribution of all employees in the enterprises.
Features of Human Resource Management – Pervasive, Dynamic, Performance and Development Oriented
1. Integral Part of Management:
Human resource management is an integral part in the process of management. This function is performed by all the departments in an organisation in addition to the personnel department. Human resource management helps in solving of the most difficult problems and the organization works more effectively and efficiently.
2. It is Pervasive:
HRM covers every level of management and all categories of employees of an organization. It is required in every department of the organization whether profit making or non-profit. It applies to workers, supervisors, officers, managers and other types of personnel. It controls and directs all the functional areas of management such as production management, financial management, and marketing management. It is pervasive as it is applied at almost every level.
3. It is a Continuous Process:
Beginning with human resource planning to performance appraisal, HRM operates a continues chain of tasks. It includes HR planning, recruitment, selection, placement, training and development, career development, job design, motivation, performance appraisal and reward management, labour relations, employee discipline, grievance handling, welfare, termination and also handling of affairs outside the organisation. It is a process to be performed continuously everyday if the organisational objectives are to be achieved smoothly.
HRM runs in the present scenario i.e., it cares of the present going conditions. It observes the trends in the environment and utilizes the various advancements (through knowledge, technology and inputs from psychology, sociology, economics etc.) in its operations. That’s why, it is called dynamic as it changes itself according to the changing surroundings.
5. Performance Oriented:
HRM examines and evaluates an employee’s performance by comparing it with present standards, and provides feedback to the employee to show where improvements are needed and why. It focuses on results. It encourages or motivates people to give their best. It is a process by which goals of both the people and organization together are achieved.
6. People Oriented:
HRM understands that to achieve an organisation’s goals the most important element is the human. HRM tries to help employees to develop their potential and to enhance and polish them so that they can be more valuable and productive. HRM has the responsibility of building the human capital. Organizational performance depends on the quality of its people and employees.
7. Development Oriented:
Human resource management sees for an overall development of an organisation. Besides making efforts for the organisation it takes care of its employees excellently. It ensures that while fulfilling organisational goals the employee’s goals are also accomplished.
Human resource management is concerned with development of employees, so that they obtain maximum satisfaction from their work and give their best to the organisation.
8. Human Relations Philosophy:
HRM is a philosophy which assumes that employees are human beings and not a factor of production like land, labour or capital. HRM recognises individuality and treats employees as assets of the organisation. The management gives attention to the different needs and expectations of each person in the organisation so that sound relations are maintained and the organisation works smoothly.
Features of Human Resource Management – People Oriented, Pervasive Function, Continuous Function, Development and Motivation
The essential features of human resource management are discussed below:
Feature # 1. Integral Part of Management:
Human resource management is an integral part of the overall management. As getting work done from employees is an essential part of a manager’s job, it is important for managers to possess human relations skills to get maximum cooperation from their employees. Every manager is concerned with the performance of human resource functions such as, training, motivating, communicating, performance appraisal and guiding.
Feature # 2. People Oriented:
The basic approach in HRM is to help people realise their individual goals effectively while contributing towards the realisation of the organisational goals.
Feature # 3. Pervasive Function:
Since people are a necessary element in any organisation, human resource management is pervasive at all levels in the organisation. It means that every manager from top to bottom working in any department has to perform the human resource functions.
Feature # 4. Wide Range of Activities:
It involves several functions concerned with the management of people at work, such as human resource planning, procurement, placement, training and development, compensation and maintenance.
Feature # 5. Continuous Function:
Management of human resource is an ongoing, never-ending exercise rather than a one-shot function.
Feature # 6. Development of Human Resources:
Human resource management is concerned with developing potential of employees so that they get maximum satisfaction from their work and give their best efforts to the organisation.
Feature # 7. Motivation of Human Resources:
HRM is concerned with the motivation of human resources in the organisation. The human resource manager gives due attention to differences in needs, perceptions, and expectations of employees and tries to motivate them accordingly with the help of both financial as well as non-financial incentives.
Feature # 8. Service or Staff Function:
The function of HRM is advisory in nature. It contributes to the success and growth of the organisation by advising the operating departments and top management on personnel matters.
Feature # 9. Multidisciplinary Approach:
Effective management of human resources involves application of knowledge drawn from several disciplines like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics etc.
Feature # 10. Nervous System:
Human resource management is similar to the nervous system in the human body. Like the nervous system, it lies embedded in the organisation structure. It is inherent in organisations functioning and an integral part of the process of management itself.
Features of Human Resource Management – With Functions
The features and functions of human resource management are as follows:
(i) People-Oriented Function:
Human resource management function is concerned with the management of employees as individuals as well as groups. It is basically dealing of human relationships with an organization. It is the process of bringing people and organization together so that the goals can be achieved.
(ii) Comprehensive Function:
Human resource management is concerned with managing people at work. All types of levels in the organization are covered like workers, supervisors, officers and managers.
(iii) Future Oriented:
It is concerned with helping an organization to achieve its objectives in future with the help of well-motivated and enthusiastic employees. It attempts to obtain willing cooperation of people for the achievement of the objectives.
(iv) Continuous Function:
Human resource management is a continuous function which is never ending process. In this personnel management requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in everyday activities.
(v) Action Oriented:
Human resource management focuses on action rather than on set procedures. It pays more emphasis on the solution of personnel problems so that organizational objectives and individual goals can be achieved simultaneously.
(vi) Challenging Function:
Human resource management is a challenging function as so many people perform different function and nature of work. People have some feelings and emotions so they cannot be treated like computers. Therefore, it is necessary to look after them and tackle them in a proper manner.
Therefore, it can be said that it is a challenging task due to different people doing different kind of work to achieve organizational goals.
(vii) Human Being Oriented:
Human resource management help employees to develop their capabilities and potential so that they can have maximum amount of satisfaction from the work they have done. It helps in getting the willing cooperation of the people for the attainment of the desired goals.
(viii) Wide Applicability:
Human resource management function is not only confined to business enterprises, but it is applicable to non-business enterprises also.
(ix) Inter-Disciplinary in Nature:
It uses various concepts drawn from various disciplines which increases the knowledge. In order to deal with human beings, problems in a proper way, a manager should have this knowledge.
(x) Individual Oriented:
Under Human resource management every employee is considered as an individual so as to provide services and programmes to facilitate employee satisfaction and growth.
(xi) Science and Art:
Human resource management is a science as it consists of organized body of knowledge with set principle and techniques. It is also termed as art because it involves the application of theoretical aspect in a creative manner.
Features of Human Resource Management – 11 Most Important Features
The feature of human resource management has been highlighted as under:
Feature # 1. Integral Part of the Process of Management:
Human resource management is inherent in the process of management. It covers all types of people at all levels of organisations. It applies to workers, supervisors, officers, managers and other types of personnel, it cannot be separated from the basic management function. This function is performed by all the managers throughout the organisations rather than by the personnel department only. HRM, being a part of management, draws heavily from management concepts, principles and techniques and apply these in the management of human resource.
Feature # 2. Persuasive Function:
Human resource management is comprehensive as well as persuasive. It is equally useful and necessary in government, armed forces, sports, organisations and the like. It applies to all functional areas e.g., production, marketing, finance, research, etc. Recruitment, selection, development and utilisation of people and is an integral part of any organised effort. Each and every manager is involved with human resource function. Thus, human resource management is not only a staff function but a line responsibility.
Feature # 3. Comprehensive Function:
Human resource management helps to manage people at work. It is a comprehensive function which covers all types of people at all levels of the organisation. This means that it applies to workers, supervisors, officers, managers and other types of personnel.
Feature # 4. People-Centered:
HRM is concerned with employees as individuals as well as groups. It is people centred and is relevant in all types of organisations. It is concerned with all categories of the personnel from top to the bottom of the organisation. It is the process of bringing people and organisation together so that the goals of each are met.
Feature # 5. Action-Oriented:
HRM is mainly related with the action oriented activities rather than record keeping actions. Its main stress is for the solutions of personnel problems to achieve both organisational objectives and employees’ personal goals.
Feature # 6. Continuous Process:
Management of human resource is an ongoing or never-ending exercise rather than a ‘one-shot’ action. It must be performed continuously if the organisational objectives are to be achieved smoothly.
Feature # 7. Science as Well as an Art:
HRM is considered as a science as well as an art also. It is a science as it contains organised body of knowledge consisting of principles and techniques. It is an art as it involves application of theoretical knowledge to the problems of human resource.
Feature # 8. Based on Human Relations:
Human resource cannot be dealt with like physical resource of the production. Every person has different needs, perceptions and expectations. The manager is required to act accordingly. It is the task of dealing with human relations within the organisation. It is the process of achieving the best fit between individuals, jobs, organisation and environment. It is the process of bringing people and organisations together so that the goals of each are met.
Feature # 9. Young Discipline:
As compared to the other areas of management, human resource management is considered as a young discipline. It started in the last part of the 19th century.
Feature # 10. Interdisciplinary:
HRM involves application of knowledge drawn from various other areas and subjects like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc. So it is an inter-disciplinary subject and is considered as a specialised job.
Feature # 11. Universal Existence:
HRM is not confined to business sector only. It is relevant to all functional areas of a business organisations like- production, marketing, finance, R&D etc. Every member of the organisation, from top to bottom, must be an effective resource manager because, to make the organisation, a successful organisation.
Features of Human Resource Management – As Explained by Eminent Management Thinkers
Keithsisson explains, some of the main features of HRM in the following:
i. Human resource management is stress on the integration of HR policies with overall planning and under-planning latter with the former.
ii. HRM is responsible for personnel management with specialist managers.
iii. It is also assumed by the senior line management.
iv. It mainly focus on shifts from management trade union relations to management employee relations, from collectivizing to individuation; macro to micro.
v. It is also related on commitment and initiative on the part of the employees.
Armstrong, explains, four fundamental principles of the HRM, in the following:
i. Human Resource is the organisation’s most important asset.
ii. Personnel policies should be directed towards achievement of corporate goals and strategic plans.
iii. Corporate culture exerts a major influence on achievement of excellence and must therefore be tempered with consideration of employee welfare.
iv. Whilst integration of corporate resources is an important aim of HRM, it must also be recognised that all organisations are “pluralist societies” in which people have differing interests and concerns, which they defend and at the same time function collectively as a cohesive group.
Features of Human Resource Management – 10 Prominent Features of Human Resource Management
1. Integral Part of Management:
HRM is integral part of management. Human resources management is the responsibility of every manager other than HR department only.
HRM is People centered and relevant in all organisation. HRM is the process of bringing people & organisation together so that goals of both are met. It is concerned with all categories of personnel from top to the bottom of the organisation.
(i) Blue Collar workers (i.e., working on machines)
(ii) White Collar workers (i.e., Clerical employees)
(iii) Managerial & non managerial personnel.
(iv) Professionals (such as Chartered Accountant, Lawyer etc., and non-professional personnel).
HRM is not a ‘one shot’ function. It is an ongoing or never ending exercise which requires a constant alertness & awareness of human relations & their importance in organization’s working.
4. Development Oriented:
It seeks to help the employees in realising their full potential so that they give their best efforts to organization & get maximum satisfaction.
5. Widen Scope of Activities:
HRM includes manpower planning, employment, placement, training, appraisal, development, compensation etc., for the performance of these activities efficiently, a separate department known as Personnel Department is created in most of the organization.
6. Based on Human Relations:
Its main object is to maintain better human relations in the organisation to optimise their contribution towards organisational objectives.
Human resources Management is multidisciplinary natured. HRM’s theories & practices are based on several disciplines like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economies etc.
8. Challenging Nature:
Handling of people at work is challenging job because they can’t be treated like machines, People have sentiments & emotions, so it’s necessary to handle them tactfully.
9. Science As Well As Art:
HRM contains an organised body of knowledge consisting of principle and techniques so, it is considered as science. And handling people at work is a great challenge but only by smart tactics one can manage people. Human resource management is doing one of the most creative arts of handling people.
10. Nervous System:
The nervous system is not only a part of body but is inseparable in the whole body. Just like that HRM is a natural element of whole organization structure HRM cannot be separated from the basic management function.
Features of Human Resource Management – Inter-Disciplinary Approach, Continuous Process, Dynamic Process and Universal Existence
Specific features of human resource management is as follows:
Feature # 1. A Functional Area of Management:
Human resource management is a functional area of management. Functional areas of management are based on major organizational functions. In a large business organization, these functions are production/operations, marketing, finance, and human resource. Each functional area contributes in a specific way to achieve organizational objectives.
Since human resource management deals with human resources and is responsible for ensuring availability of personnel to all functional areas, it has close relationship with these areas. Human resource management, being a functional area of management, draws heavily from management concepts, principles, and techniques and applies these in the management of human resources.
Feature # 2. Inter-Disciplinary Approach:
Human resource management is inter-disciplinary approach. The disciplines which contribute to human resource management are psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and law. Knowledge of relevant aspects of these disciplines is quite important to become an effective HR manager.
Feature # 3. Concerned with People:
Human resource management is concerned with people in the organization both present and potential. It is not merely concerned with the people presently available in the organization but with the people having potential to be brought in the organization. In fact, human resource management is the prime tool for bringing people in the organization.
Further, human resource management is concerned with all types of personnel in the organization — top management, middle management, supervisory management, and operatives.
Feature # 4. Continuous Process:
Human resource management is a process just like management process. A process is a systematic method of handling activities. As a process, human resource management consists of the following functions- acquisition, development, appraisal, motivating and maintaining human resources, and industrial relations.
Further, human resource management is a continuous process; not a one-shot action. In a continuous process, there is no apparent beginning or end of a particular activity. Thus, it is not necessary that each time, various human resource management functions are performed in the sequence of functions given here.
Feature # 5. Dynamic Process:
Human resource management is a dynamic process; not a static process. A dynamic process is one in which changes are incorporated according to requirements. A static process does not need any change; once it is set, it goes on working. Since human resource management is a dynamic process, human resource management practices have to be changed according to contextual variables which keep on changing.
Because of dynamic nature of human resource management process, human resource (HR) manager in an organization has to adopt dynamic approach for achieving human resource management objectives.
Feature # 6. Involvement of All Functional Managers:
In human resource management, all functional managers (production, marketing, finance, etc.) are involved besides HR manager. Strategies and policies of managing human resources are decided in consultation with all functional managers because most of the people work in these functional areas. These strategies and policies are implemented by other functional managers.
Feature # 7. Directed towards Achievement of Objectives:
Human resource management is directed towards achievement of specified objectives at the level of society, organization, organizational function, and personal by providing tools and techniques of managing human resource in the organization effectively. The achievement of objectives at various levels depends largely on the quality of its people and the way this quality is utilized in getting the things done.
Feature # 8. Universal Existence:
Human resource management is not confined merely to business organizations but is relevant to all types of organized activities. Thus, human resource management is relevant for non-business organizations like government departments, not- for-profit organizations, etc.
Features of Human Resource Management – Pervasive, Action Oriented, Individual Oriented, People Oriented, Future Oriented and Development Oriented
It is pervasive in nature; it means it is present in ail organizations and at all levels. It is not confined to industry alone but also it is necessary in Government, armed forces, sports organizations etc.
2. Action Oriented:
It emphasizes on action, rather than a record keeping, written procedures or rules. It stresses the solution of human resource problems to achieve both organizational and personal objectives. The problems of employees at work are solved through rational policies.
3. Individual Oriented:
It focuses on employees to give best to the organization. It tries to motivate the employees to the maximum through a systematic process of recruitment, selection, training and development combined with fair wage policies. Thus, every worker is considered as an individual and it provides good programmes to facilitate worker satisfaction and growth.
4. People Oriented:
HRM places right person on the right job so that he can perform his duty well. It considers employees as individuals as well as groups. It motivates each and every employee to get improvement in the productivity.
5. Future Oriented:
This HRM helps an organization meet its goals in the future by providing for competent and well-motivated workers.
6. Development Oriented:
It is concerned with developing potential of employees so that they get optimum satisfaction from their work and can contribute best effort to the organization. Proper training programmes will be organized to sharpen and improve their skills. Thus, every attempt of HRM is to utilize the skills of the employees to the maximum level in the service of organizational goals.
7. Integration Mechanism:
It tries to establish cordial relations between people working at various levels in the organization.
8. Comprehensive Function:
HRM is concerned with managing people at work. It covers all type of people at all levels in the organization. It means it applies to workers, supervisors, middle and top managers, officers and other types of personnel.
9. Auxiliary Service:
HR department exist to assist and advice the line or operating managers to do their personnel work more effectively. HR manager is a specialist advisor. It is a staff function.
10. Inter-Disciplinary Function:
It is multi-disciplinary means it involves application of knowledge from different disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology, economies, etc. Therefore, to deal with people in the organization, a manager should have the knowledge of other disciplines.
11. Continuous Function:
It is ongoing and never ending function. It requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in every day operations.
12. Challenging Function:
Due to dynamic nature of people, HRM is a challenging function. People in the organization can’t be treated as machines but they should be handled tactfully.
13. Science as Well as Art:
HRM is science because it is a systematic knowledge having both principles and techniques. But simultaneously, it is also an art because it involves application of the theoretical knowledge to the problems of human resources.
14. As a Process:
HRM is a process like management process. A process involves several activities and sub-activities. This HRM uses four basic processes of management i.e., planning, organization, directing and controlling in the area of recruitment, selection, development, motivation and maintenance of the people at work to achieve its objectives.
Features of Human Resource Management – With Considerations for Workers
The salient features of Human Resource Management are as follows:
1. The Human Resource Management consists of certain guiding principles that form the basis of organising and dealing with workers. These principles provide as a set of techniques for handling the workers.
2. The Human Resource Management is a continuous process. It requires constant alertness and awareness of human relations are their importance in every day operations.
3. The primary objective of Human Resource Management is the promotion of group satisfaction and building up of team spirit among the workers.
4. The fundamental aim of Human Resource Management is to get the best results from the workers employed in the organisation. The ultimate aim is to maximise the profits of the enterprise.
5. The aim of getting optimum contribution from the workers does not mean that workers are to be exploited.
While aiming at optimum contribution by the workers, the Human Resource Management keeps in mind the following considerations:
i. Every worker must be able to work to his maximum capacity.
ii. All his interests, his ambitions and his desires should get a proper place.
iii. Every worker should get opportunities to advance and to exercise his capacity and satisfy his interests,
iv. No worker should feel that the personality is being ignored or his status is being lost.
6. The workers should be skillfully handled both as individuals and as group members so that they give their best work to the organisation if they are apart. This means that the management must adopt democratic outlook rather than authoritative outlook towards the workers, since democracy is stronger and more effective than authoritarianism. If men and women employed in an organisation are free, they will be happier and work more effectively and efficiently than when they are regimented.
Features of Human Resource Management – As a System of an Organization
HRM is a subsystem of organization as a system. Therefore, it must be linked to other subsystems of the organization. However, when we consider at the level of subsystems, each subsystem can be treated as system. Thus, HRM is a system and, therefore, in order to understand it as a system, its features must be identified; its subsystems and their linkages must be delineated.
As a system, HRM has the following features:
Feature # 1. HRM as a Social System:
HRM is a social system and unlike biological or mechanical systems, it has the characteristics of social systems. HRM as a system consists of many subsystems which are integrated to constitute an entity.
Feature # 2. HRM as an Open System:
HRM is an open system and continuously interacts with its environment which has many external and internal factors. It implies that HRM is not free to decide the things on its own but due weight should be given to the environmental factors affecting management of human resources.
Feature # 3. Adaptive:
Since HRM is an open system, its effectiveness in a dynamic environment depends on the degree of its adaptability to environmental demands. Since HRM as a system has feedback mechanism, it can evaluate its effectiveness and take necessary corrective actions, if required.
Thus, HRM adopts dynamic approach, instead of static approach. In dynamic approach, emphasis is placed on bringing required changes in appropriate form and at right time.
Feature # 4. Probabilistic:
HRM is probabilistic and not deterministic. A deterministic model always specifies the use of model in a condition with predetermined results. Therefore, the outcome of an action can be predicted accurately. For example, if you want to get the total of 250 and 500, you can press the button of a calculator and get 750. This is possible because the outcome is certain.
In the case of probabilistic model, the outcome can be assigned only probability and not certainty. For example, if you toss a coin, the probability of getting a head or tail is 0.5. However, you cannot say with certainty that there will be 50 heads/tails out of tossing of a coin 100 times.
HRM, being probabilistic, points out only the probability and not the certainty of outcome of an action related to managing human resources. For example, an organization offers a financial incentive to employees in anticipation that productivity of the employees will go up.
However, productivity of employees may not go up as anticipated by the organization because there are many factors which affect employee productivity. This feature of HRM should be taken into account while taking any action related to managing human resources.
Feature # 5. Multilevel and Multidimensional:
Systems approach of management points out the multilevel and multidimensional features of HRM. It has both macro and micro approaches. At macro level, it can be applied to supra-system, say, a business system as a whole. At micro level, it can be applied to an organization.
Even it can be applied to a subsystem of an organization. However, it has the same characteristics at all these levels- supra-system level, system level, and subsystem level. Thus, both parts and whole are equally important in managing.
Feature # 6. Multivariable:
HRM is multivariable and involves taking into account many variables simultaneously. This feature of HRM suggests that there is no simple cause-effect phenomenon, rather an event may be the result of so many variables which themselves are interrelated and interdependent. This interrelatedness and interdependence make managing a quite complex process. Thus, it realizes the complexity of HRM.
Feature # 7. An Integrated Approach:
Systems approach of HRM takes an integrated view of managing human resources. It identifies the reason for a phenomenon in its wider context taking into account the total factors affecting the phenomenon. In other approaches, a particular phenomenon has been explained in terms of a single factor or cluster of factors.
HRM tries to integrate the various factors to find out the reasons behind a phenomenon. It emphasizes how the management of one subsystem of the organization should be taken in relation with others because other subsystems become environment for the given subsystem.
Thus, the problem in one subsystem should not be traced into the subsystem only but in a much wider context. This is true for the management of whole organization also.
Implications of systems and contingency approach in human resource management can be seen in two contexts- linking of various subsystems and tailor-made HRM practices.
i. Linking of Various Subsystems:
HRM is a subsystem of organization system. Therefore, HRM must be linked to the overall management pattern of the organization. It implies that HRM cannot be a stand-alone process but it must be derived from the corporate strategy of the organization. In fact, the effectiveness of HRM depends on how it is linked to the corporate strategy and how its internal processes are carried on.
Besides linking HRM to the organizational strategy, there is need for linking various subsystems of HRM; HRM can be treated as a system when actions are taken in the context of HRM. A subsystem of HRM can be identified by its objectives, processes, roles, and norms of conduct. Based on this feature, HRM may have five subsystems — acquisition, development, appraisal and compensation, motivation and maintenance, and industrial relations.
ii. Tailor-Made HRM Practices:
Systems and contingency approach of HRM implies that HRM practices, how good these may be, cannot be applied universally. HRM practices depend on environmental variables which vary at the national level as well as organizational level. Thus, HRM practices differ from one country to another country because of cultural differences.
For example, US HRM practices differ considerably from Japanese HRM practices because of cultural differences.
Similarly, HRM practices of two types of organizations of the same country differ because of differences in their work practices. For example, there are two groups of organizations in India — traditionally managed and professionally managed — based on the professional content in HRM.
In both these groups of organizations, HRM practices are different. Further, within a group, there may be different HRM practices in different organizations. This shows that HRM practices have to be tailor-made. Even if best- in-class world HRM practices are benchmarked, these are adopted with necessary modification.