HR managers plays a vital role in an organization and helps in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the organization.
HR manager takes inputs from senior managers in developing performance appraisal system and the actual performance appraisal of the employee is carried out by the reporting manager.
Regional sales manager has responsibilities for identifying training needs, on the job coaching, setting key results areas, performance appraisal and development of salespersons. Similarly, Finance manager is responsible for development of people reporting to him.
HR Manager: Role, Functions, Responsibilities, Skills, Qualities, Challenges and Future
HR Manager – Role and Functions of HR Manager (Managerial and Operative Functions)
HRM processes are carried out by the HR managers to fulfill the goals and objectives of the organization. They perform two sets of functions, namely managerial functions and operative functions. All managers, irrespective of their departments, perform management functions. The operative functions, on the other hand, are specialised activities performed exclusively by the HR managers, usually for all the departments.
I. Managerial Functions:
i. Establishing goals and objectives to be achieved.
ii. Developing rules and procedures.
iii. Determining plans and forecasting techniques.
i. Giving each member specific tasks.
ii. Establishing departments and divisions.
iii. Delegating authority to the members.
iv. Establishing channels of authority and communication.
v. Creating a system to coordinate the work of members.
i. Determining the type of people to be hired.
ii. Recruiting prospective employees and selecting the best ones from them.
iii. Compensating the employees.
iv. Training and developing the employees.
v. Setting performance standards and evaluating the employees’ performance.
vi. Counseling the employees.
i. Getting work done through subordinates.
ii. Ensuring effective two-way communication for the exchange of information with the subordinates.
iii. Motivating subordinates to strive for better performance.
iv. Maintaining the group morale.
i. Establishment of standard performance.
ii. Measurement of actual performance.
iii. Comparison of actual performance with the standard.
iv. Initiation of corrective action, if there are any deviations.
II. Operative Functions:
i. Job analysis and design
ii. Human resource planning
i. Career planning and development
ii. Workers’ training
iii. Executive development
iv. Organization development
i. Job evaluation
ii. Performance evaluation
iii. Wages administration
iv. Incentives and benefits.
4. Maintenance and Motivation:
i. Employee well-being
ii. Social security
iii. Workers participation
v. Job rotation
vi. HR records, research and audits.
vii. HR information system.
i. Industrial relations
iii. Grievance redressal
iv. Dispute settlement
v. Collective bargaining.
HR Manager – Role and Responsibilities of HR Manager (With Examples)
The manager has to get things done through and with people. This involves allotting major activities to individual employees, guiding them in day to day working, motivating them to improve performance and controlling employees through performance appraisal system. Therefore he requires special assistance and HR manager is a specialist who provides expert advice to the managers on matters connected with human resources.
He plays different roles such as counsellor, trainer, problem solver, mediator, legal expert, HR advisor etc. while dealing with employees/managers in the organisation. He provides reliable inputs to mangers to achieve individual and organisational objectives. Implementation of various HR activities such as handling grievances and disciplinary issues, motivation and appraisal of employees has to be carried out by the concerned departmental manager.
A strict separation of the HR job between HR manager and concerned departmental manager is rather difficult under the changing business environment.
Examples – In many organisations, The HR manager takes inputs from senior managers in developing performance appraisal system and the actual performance appraisal of the employee is carried out by the reporting manager. Regional sales manager has responsibilities for identifying training needs, on the job coaching, setting key results areas, performance appraisal and development of salespersons. Similarly, Finance manager is responsible for development of people reporting to him.
While the manager is responsible for development of people working under him, HR is concerned with people dimension in the whole organisation and advises the management on HR policies and programmes. It co-ordinates with other departments in planning, manpower requirements, recruitment, selection, training, compensation and motivation of employees.
Therefore we can say that all managers are responsible for Human Resource Management. HRM is the responsibility of all managers since it is a total organisational activity and not the exclusive domain of a particular department. Otherwise there are possibilities that managers may resort to blaming or finger pointing to HR department for employees not sufficiently trained or motivated.
Managing people is an integral part of the responsibilities of all managers. HR managers provides specialised assistance to line managers and he performs three major functions.
a. The HR manager performs” line function” by supervising the activities of employees in his own department
b. He co-ordinates all HR activities with other departments in the organisation and ensures all HR policies, procedures and practices are implemented by line managers
c. Carries out “Staff Function” i.e. Service to line managers in areas such as recruitment, selection, training, compensation, performance appraisal, awards, rewards etc. He performs a supporting role and helps the line managers in their performance.
Various HR functions such as on the job coaching, performance appraisal, job knowledge etc. are carried out by line managers. Further they do play a major role in industrial relations area such as collective bargaining, dealing with trade union etc. Therefore HR has to enhance the capability of managers to shoulder their responsibilities for HR function.
In a business organization, HR department is a staff department.
In designing structure for undertaking various HRM functions there are basically following issues which should be taken care of:
1. Forms of Organisation Structure:
Designing of an organisation structure is based on the choice between numbers of alternatives.
The form of an organisation structure depends upon the following factors:
(a) Way an organisation groups its functions.
(b) Way of creating various units and sub units.
(c) Prescribing authority and responsibility relationships.
(d) Degree of rigidity and flexibility.
2. Positioning of HR Department:
The organisation of HR function depends upon the position of HR department in the overall organisation structure.
A higher positioning of HR department serves the achievement of HR objectives in the following ways:
(a) A higher positioning of HR department means that HR people will interact frequently with the top management which helps in the integration of HRM with corporate strategic management process.
(b) A higher positioning of HR department means that HR department is engaged in wide range of activities related to HRM rather than merely involving in routine industrial relations and routine record keeping functions.
(c) The positioning of HR department at higher level in the organisation suggests that organisation places high importance to HRM due to which it is greatly accepted in the organisation.
3. Responsibility of HRM Functions:
In an organisation the problem of defining responsibility for HRM functions between HR departments and other departments arrives because HR department deals with human resources which work for the other departments.
Primarily the responsibilities of HR department are as follows:
(a) Preparing the HR plans.
(b) In the context of overall organisational policies developing the HR policies.
(c) Recruitment, selection and placement.
(d) Development of HR department system.
(e) Making the appraisal system of personnel.
(f) Integration of people with organisation.
(g) Development and maintenance of employee welfare and social programmes.
(h) In consultation with the top management preparation of compensation packages.
4. Authority Relationships:
As authority and responsibility should match with each other it is necessary that authority relationships should flow out of responsibility relationships.
The authority relationships in HR department should be of three types:
(a) Line Authority:
Just like line managers, the HR managers enjoy the line authority over the employees working in his own department. He has the authority to take actions and therefore, he is responsible for the management of his own department.
(b) Functional Authority:
HR manager also has functional authority over all the activities of HRM which have been assigned to him. In order to ensure that HR programmes are followed uniformly and properly throughout the organisation, the HR manager has to continuously interact with the other managers in the organisation.
(c) Staff Advisory Authority:
In the matters which are related to his specialty, the HR manager also performs the advisory role. The HR manager gives his advice on the contemporary issues of management of human resources to the top management.
HR Manager – Skills of HR Managers (4 Basic Categories)
With such varied responsibilities, the human resource department needs to bring together a large pool of skills.
These skills fall into the four basic categories:
1. Human Relations Skills:
The ability to understand and work well with other people is important to virtually any career, but human relations skills are especially significant for human resource management today. Given the significance of human resources, many managers are calling for HRM to become the “source of people expertise” in the organization.
HR managers therefore need to know how people play a role in giving the organization an advantage against the competition as well as the policies, programs, and practices that can help the organization’s people do so. Today’s HR professionals must be skilled at communicating, negotiating, and team development.
2. Decision-Making Skills:
Human resource managers must make a wide variety of decisions that affect whether employees are qualified and motivated and whether the organization is operating efficiently and complying with the law.
Especially at organizations that give HRM departments a role in supporting strategy, HR decision makers also must be able to apply decision-making skills to strategic issues. This requires knowledge of the organization’s line of business and the ability to present options in terms of costs and benefits to the organization, stated in terms of dollars. Decisions must also take into account social and ethical implications of the alternatives.
3. Leadership Skills:
HR managers need to play a leadership role with regard to the organization’s human resources. In today’s environment, leadership often requires helping the organization manage change. Fulfilling this leadership role includes diagnosing problems, implementing organizational changes, and evaluating results, especially in terms of employees’ skills and attitudes.
Changes typically produce conflict, resistance, and confusion. HR professionals must oversee the change to ensure success. HRM provides tools for overcoming resistance to change, teaching employees to operate under new conditions and encouraging innovation. A survey of large corporations found that in 87 percent of the companies, organization development and change were managed by the HR department.
4. Technical Skills:
In any field, including management, “technical skills” are the specialized skills of that field. In human resource management, professionals need knowledge of state-of-the-art practices in such areas as staffing, development, rewards, organizational design, and communication.
New selection techniques, performance appraisal methods, training programs, and incentive plans are constantly being developed and often include the use of new software and computer systems. New laws are passed every year, and technical skills require knowledge of how to comply.
Professionals must be able to evaluate the worth of new techniques and critically evaluate them in light of HRM principles and business value to determine which are beneficial.
HR Manager – Qualities and Qualifications of HR Manager
The success or failure of HR manager depends on his qualities which may be personal or managerial and technical or job related which are described below:
HR Manager should be enough intelligent to understand the situation and react on it. He should be so intelligent that he must be capable of judging the situation without depending on others.
2. Emotional Stability:
HR manager should be emotionally stable. He should not loose temper and he should not be moody. Moodiness, short temper, inconsistency are the enemies of HR manager. He should be confident and objective in his approach. Whatever he does should be based on the facts and information that he collects and not on the rumour.
3. Communication Skill:
He should have good communication skill with a good command over the language he is using. Ability to express clearly, explain the policies and programmes precisely and convince the others quickly are the important qualities of good communication and HR manager should possess all these qualities.
4. Motivational Skill:
HR manager should have the qualities to motivate his subordinates. He should encourage and inspire his people by highlighting their positive nature. This requires study of his subordinates and understanding their requirement.
5. Analytical Skill:
He must be capable of analysing the problem scientifically and solving it quickly. He must be able to differentiate the “right and “wrong”, “important” and “un-important” and should have ability to judge accurately.
6. Leadership Skill:
He should have good leadership qualities to lead the entire team of an organization. He should have qualities to win the confidence of all of his subordinates. For this purpose, he must be unbiased, impartial and firm in his dealings. He should have physical fitness, moral courage and above all he must be sincere, loyal, regular and honest in his duties.
1. Technical Knowledge or Quality:
He should have the technical knowledge of the field or discipline relevant for human resource management. He must have thorough knowledge of concepts, principles and theories of human resource management and he must be able to apply these theories and principles in to practice. He should have the minimum knowledge of the product which his company is producing and he should be aware of general law, constitution & government policy towards labour and general economic conditions prevailing in the country.
2. Training & Experience:
HR manager must be well trained in industrial relation, industrial psychology and labour legislation so that he can carry out his work with confidence and zeal. Training and knowledge on these areas help him to maintain good relation with his subordinates who in turn help him to carry out his duties smoothly and satisfactorily.
3. Educational Qualification:
To be able to discharge his duties successfully, he should be well qualified in the discipline of HR management and other relevant discipline. He must be basically graduate in any discipline and post Graduate or Diploma with a specialization in HRM, MBA with HRM or MA in Sociology or social work or M.Com with HRM and degree in law will be an added qualification to become a successful HR manager.
Qualities and Qualifications of a Human Resource Manager:
The job of a human resource manager is quite complex and demanding and challenging. In order to be successful, several qualities are required in a human resource manager.
Some of these qualities are:
1. Personal Attributes:
a. Intelligence – Like any other manager, a HR manager must be intelligent. He must be competent to perform activities relating to personnel better than his subordinates. This includes skills to communicate, articulate and understand. A good command over language, ability to draft policies etc.
b. Communicative Skills – HR professionals have to communicate up to management, over to managers, out to potential, employees and down to all levels of current employees and they have to do it in writing, while speaking to large and small groups and increasingly through social media. They have to be convincing, caring and believable. They should have command over language, listening skill etc.
c. Human Skills – Employees like managers, who are human and who take advantage of their authority. HR managers have to be good with all at all times but he should know how to deal with the employees in a more prudent way. It involves an objective mind, empathy, ability to discriminate b/w right or wrong, just or unjust and merit or demerit.
d. Attentive Listener – A good HR manager is expected to handle difficulties and problems between employees at work and he will be required to listen to the problems with a sympathetic but objective ear. The need to be an attentive is very important. A HR manager makes sure that complete attention to the employees during meetings and discussions.
e. Executing Skills – HR managers should be able to execute issues with speed and accuracy. He should be able to set standards of performance, coordinates, control and implement policies and programmes.
f. Fairness and Firmness – HR managers use the key liaison b/w employees. These should remain unbiased while resolving issues. Firmness is required so that the softness is not taken for granted. He should be firm in his dealings with a soft approach.
g. Commitment – Commitment to projects and work is important. If a manager is committed, he will be able to pull the team forward in trying times. He holds a vision for the collective team and moves a team closer to the end result.
2. Experience and Training:
Training is industrial psychological, labour legislation and Industrial Relations are very useful for the HR manager. Experience in an organisation helps him to create a pertinent approach. To some extent, HRM is an art where practice makes one a successful manager.
a. Motivational Skill – This quality is required for keeping employees happy and satisfactory. The HR manager should be well versed with their employees interest, needs, hopes, desires and values without which adequate motivation is impossible.
b. Conflict Management and Problem Solving – Everyone does not always get along with everyone else. High productivity demands that people work together atleast civilly. HR has to find ways to allow that to happen and that’s to say nothing of the myriad other problems that hit HRs effective with problem-solving.
c. Must be Skillful – In order to maintain the environment where people can share the vision, know the goals, understand their roles and can take full responsibility of their actions. HR managers must be skillful and qualitative.
This can help towards an appreciation of the general management problems and a practical approach in meeting personnel problems.
3. Professionals Attitudes:
HRM is fast emerging as a profession. A professional approach to the management of human resources is required in the global environment. He should possess technical, administrative and behavioral skills. Knowledge of different disciplines like sociology, psychology, management, engineering, economics and law is required to develop such skills and approach.
a. Negotiation – Along with grey comes, the need to negotiate emdash. There are often two or more opposing views, and the successful HR manager, can find an acceptable middle ground. The goal is to end up with two parties that are satisfied with the outcome and that’s not often easy to achieve.
b. Discrete and Ethical – HR professionals are the conscience of the company as well as the keepers of confidential information. As the needs of top management, he also monitors their actions toward employees to be sure that policies and regulations are followed.
c. Empathetic – For a person to become a successful professional, it is very important for him/her to be empathetic. In fact, one should think from the employee’s point of view and be a patient listener while dealing with an employee’s grievances.
d. Trustworthy – The HR manager should function in such a manner that employees are able to trust him/her. An HR manager who is not trustworthy can never do justice to his job.
The following qualifications may be necessary to achieve success in additions to the above qualities:
a. Degree from a recognised university.
b. Post graduate degree/diploma in HRM/HRD/Labour Welfare/Social Work/ Psychology/Industrial relations/MBA in specialisation in HRM.
c. Degree in law (desirable/additional qualifications).
d. Knowledge of local language.
HR Manager – Challenges Faced by HR Manager
Today all business enterprises are facing an extremely challenging international as well as national environment. The economic as well as political pressures, socio-cultural pressures, technological changes are very prominent in the working of organizations. Successful organizations are those which change their structures in response to these needs.
Globalization, technical advances, deregulation, downsizing etc. are some emerging trends which need to be dealt with by the HR departments of the organizations very carefully. There are some other trends like diversity and other workforce changes which also need to be addressed in the present times by the human resource manager to ensure a competitive edge of the organization against others.
Globalization refers to the tendency of an organization to extend their manufacturing and sales activities to new markets in all parts of the world. Globalization in the past decade has been quite phenomenal. The rule of business today is to manufacture around the world by putting up your manufacturing facilities where they will have maximum cost advantage.
Many US firms are transferring operations abroad as the labour supply in those countries is very cheap. Toyota Camry, which is a Japanese automotive company, has started manufacturing cars in Georgetown, Kentucky with more than twenty five per cent parts made in US itself.
Therefore, today, globalization reflects the state of business which has no ‘global boundaries’. The rise of multinationals and transnational corporations places new requirements on the human resource manager.
In order to make human resources meet the goals of handling global assignments the following issues have to be handled by the human resource manager amicably:
(a) Language Challenge:
In a global environment language challenges are the first thing to be handled by HR Manager. Employees handbooks, programs, memos have to be therefore, communicated to people in multiple languages. A foreign employee may have enough skills that an organization requires but he may be someone who has little knowledge of English or French or Hindi.
Accordingly, an English organization will have to assist such an employee with his English and an Indian organization will have to assist their foreign employees with working knowledge of Hindi. Anything transmitted to employees in such organizations has to be multilingual communication. This will ensure adequate coverage of the messages.
(b) Cultural Challenge:
In addition to the language, human resource department should ensure that the human resource going overseas knows/understands the culture of the host country. All countries have different values, morals, customs laws. The HR Manager accordingly, must expose themselves to the culture of the foreign countries where they are sending their local staff.
When they get an insight into the foreign culture, they must educate the employees going overseas as to how that society will react to them. Many laws which guard Indian employees against employers discriminating against individuals on basis of sex, religion, race etc. may not exist in other countries.
Consequently, cultural considerations are critical to the success of any global organization. Flexibility and adaptability are key components for managers going abroad. Therefore, all issues crossing the national frontiers, the human resource manager will have to understand social systems globally, so that he can properly advice the employees who are going on global assignments.
HRM should be competent to develop mechanisms that will help multicultural individuals work together. With the cultural differences becoming more prevalent, employees conflicts will always arise. HRM must make effort to acclimate different cultural groups to each other, finding ways to build healthy teams of employees so as to reduce stress/conflict.
Extensive training is required to recognize the differences, work schedules etc. so as to change the way managers think about people different from themselves. This effort will lead to all positive outcomes. Companies like Deloitte, Tata Honeywell have already begun to formalize this process.
Technology has become so competitive in the globalized world that it has become a major challenge for organizations today. Every single product in the market whether agriculture based or industrial has changed its design, utility and efficiency with the innovations by entrepreneurs and scientists. Today we require people with theoretical as well as practical knowledge and skills.
There are a group professionals like technologists, management experts, computer programmers, software designers, systems analysts, etc. They are all referred to as knowledge workers and they occupy about one third of the total workforce in advanced countries like US and Western Europe.
HR Manager – Future HR Managers
The future HR managers should keep pace with changes, get very much involved in basic organization planning and help management to gear up human resources to new tasks. The effective use of employee is the most critical factor in the successful accomplishment of corporate goals.
Therefore, HR managers need to understand the needs, aspirations, face the challenges head-on and resolve issues amicably. HR manager is to participate in the process of change and make acceptance of this change smoothly and orderly.
This is possible by matching of employees with the new tasks and new method of work. Due to pace of change in the business environment, the self-development is a continuing feature which must be kept at all levels in the organization. Basically the business of HR managers is to manage human resource ensuring harmony, motivation, satisfaction and commitment.
The current business trend indicates that the organization will pay more attention is the area of Ergonomics. Due to the fast change of technology at the work place there will be a need to evaluate them in term of potential health hazards. A part from this, training, retraining and mid-career training of each and every level of employee is necessary for handling the advance technology. Because as we move further into the information age, more and more jobs will become obsolete.
The work force composition is changing over the years. The young and educated workers will lead to a demand of challenging jobs and no commitment to one job for a lifetime. The composition of union membership is also changing very fast.
Trade unions can be expected to become involved in new issues of interest to workers. The level of stress and frustration among the workforce is likely to increase in future. Managing heterogeneous and diverse groups is going to stretch the talents of HR Managers fully.
The change in nature of lifestyle of workforce will necessitate changes in current patterns of employment, compensation and benefits. In the future employers will be concerned with redesigning jobs in order to meet individual employee needs of personal growth, autonomy and recognition.
In the reflection of employees, the HR mangers should have a more decisive role and his views also taken into consideration while making decisions about training programmes. The creation of an environment should be conducive to effective work performance and it must relate to the maintenance of suitable working conditions are the sole responsibility of the HR managers. Employee participation will become the responsibility of managerial leadership.
The handling of grievances, consultation in matters of disputes, arrangements for negotiation and amicable settlement of issues should be some of the other functions of HR mangers. He should be a person who will move, mix and work with all employees in an organization, improve interdepartmental relations and promote team work through effective communication. In the light of new challenge, there are indications that HR manager will play an increasingly important role in an organization.
The HR manager is in an excellent position to establish credibility of human resource development programmes and processes as tools for managing in today’s challenging business environment. As organisations have adjusted to environmental challenges, the roles played by HR managers have changed.