Some of the roles of an HR manager are as follows:- 1. Role of HR Manager in Organisation 2. Roles of HR Managers in MNCs 3. Strategic Role of the HR Manager 4. Roles of HR Manager identified by American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) 5. Role of HR Manager on Policies 6. Roles of HR Manager in Modern Days.
Role of HR Manager – Evolving roles of HR manager
The HR manager plays a variety of roles depending upon the needs of his organisation.
Some of the other evolving roles of HR manager are briefly discussed below:
i. Change Facilitator or Agent:
The human resource manager can serve as a change agent to initiate and spearhead necessary improvements in human resource practices. He can also help in introducing and implementing major institutional changes in the organisation.
To be an effective change agent, the human resource manager should analyse the needs and changing environment of the organisation and design and implement suitable human resource strategies to introduce changes in the organisation smoothly.
In many organisations, the HR managers also play the role of counsellors. As a counsellor, the HR Manager discusses the various problems of the employees relating to work, career, superiors, peers, health, family, etc., and suggests those ways and means to minimise or overcome these problems.
iii. Strategic Role:
Perhaps the most striking change in the role of HR manager today is his growing involvement in developing and implementing corporate strategy. Strategy is the company’s plan to match its internal strengths and weaknesses with the external opportunities and threats in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.
Strategies are formulated for launching a new product, entering a new market, joint venture with another company, restructuring the operations and so on. The HR manager plays an important role in strategy formulation by giving inputs about the availability of human resources with the required skills and capabilities and the need for acquisition of fresh talent and development of human resources.
Effective implementation of strategies depends on building committed work teams and this puts HR manager in a central role.
In the fast changing, globally competitive and quality oriented industrial environment, it is often the HR manager who undertakes the responsibility of developing human resources to create a competitive advantage for the company. It is the quality of human resources that determines the success in implementation of corporate strategies.
Role of HR Manager – In MNCs
Culture not only influences the MNCs overall approach to IHRM, but also plays a critical role in determining the activities of HR managers within foreign subsidiaries. In feet culture has a potential impact on every HR function.
The role of a subsidiary HR manager is to develop HR practices which are:
(a) Acceptable within the local culture.
(b) Acceptable to management at the MNCs headquarters. The balancing of these two requirements is a particularly difficult task for a home or third country, for HR manager working within a foreign subsidiary. These managers bring their own “cultural baggage”, which may affect their ability to accommodate cultural differences in the host workforce. The same may be said of host country.
HR managers’ cultural background makes it difficult for them to understand the HR policy needs of headquarters. Employees in a subsidiary may consist of a mixture of home, host and third country nationals — all with their own distinct cultural backgrounds and preferences.
The country HR managers must help home and third country nationals to adopt the HR practices operating in the subsidiary, even though these practices may be derived from different cultures.
1. HR Planning:
The importance of HR planning has received considerable attention of late; particular in MNCs with strategic global objectives planning for the efficient use of human resources is essential if the MNCs are to meet their goals. However, the implementation of HR planning procedure may be more difficult in some subsidiaries than in others.
Cultures which are oriented towards the present would not view long-term planning as valuable. In cultures oriented towards the past, planning would tend to focus on purely historical data and the use of these data in predicting future HR needs. Such an approach might be appropriate for firms which operate in relatively stable environment but would not work well for firms operating in highly variable environments, where the past has little to do with the future.
2. Sources of Managers:
There are several ways to classify international managers, local ones are citizens of the countries where they are working. Expatriates are non-citizen of the countries in which they are working. Home country nationals are the citizens in which the multinational company’s headquarters is based.
Third country nationals are citizens of country – for example a British executive working in Tokyo subsidiary of a US multinational bank. Expatriates represent a minority of managers. Thus most managerial positions are filled by locals rather than expatriates in either headquarters or foreign subsidiary operations.
There are several reasons to reply on local, host country management talent for filling the foreign subsidiary’s management ranks. Many people simply prefer not working in a foreign country and in general the cost of using expatriates is far greater than the cost using local management talent.
There are also several reasons for using patriots – either home country or third country nationals for staffing subsidiaries. The major reason is reportedly technical competence. In other words, employers can’t find local candidates with the required technical qualifications.
3. Staffing in MNCs:
A subsidiary HR manager ought to use a hiring process that fits the local labour market, e.g., a MNC may need the services of a local personnel selection agency to identify the sources of skilled employees. Local employment laws must be adhered to, and premium salaries may have to be offered to lure highly qualified individuals away from local firms.
In Japan, the collective nature of Japanese society has traditionally made it difficult for foreign companies to hire qualified Japanese employees. These individuals are not foreign employers. Although during the downturn in the Japanese economy during the early 1990s these attitudes become less prevalent, it still remains problem.
The development of a selection system may be complicated by the fact that selection tests used in the home country of the MNC may be culturally biased and inappropriate elsewhere. Issues of race, age and sex discrimination can cause considerable difficulties for the subsidiary HR manager.
In Singapore, with a fairly hierarchical and masculine culture, it is acceptable and legal to place job advertisements that specially state the race, age range and sex of employees being sought. This would blatantly violate American EEO laws. There also can be unexpected disadvantage associated with hiring particular types of local employees, e.g., in a multi-cultural society, the use of an employee’s, e.g., in a multicultural society.
The use of an employee from an ethnic group in a managerial position may not be acceptable to members of other ethnic groups. In India, the caste system which has historically played a prominent role in Indian society could make it inappropriate to hire someone from a lower caste to supervise employees of a higher caste. In some countries, it may be inappropriate to hire a younger person for a job that has supervisory responsibilities over older employees.
4. Training in MNCs:
One of the major problems associated with hiring less developed countries is that the skill level of individuals may be less than desired. In such circumstances, it is important to invest, considerable time and effort in the selection process and to provide training to local employees when they arrive on the job.
However, much like the problem of transferring HQ based selection procedures to subsidiaries, training programmes designed in the home country to teach employees the skills needed to perform their jobs may be inappropriate for use in other cultures. Translating training materials may be difficult In addition, now people learn and the methods of training with which they are comfortable very across cultures.
5. Compensation in MNCs:
The whole area of international compensation presents some tricky problems to management. On one hand, there is certain logic in maintaining companywide pay scales and policies, for intense divisional marketing directors throughout the world are all paid within the same narrow range. This reduces the risk of perceived inequities and dramatically simplifies the job of keeping track of disparate country wage rates.
Yet not adapting pay scales to local markets can present a HR manager with more problems than it solves. The fact is that can be more expensive to live in some countries than other; if these cost of living differences aren’t considered, it may be almost impossible to get managers to take “high cost” assignments.
The most common approach to formulating expatriate pay is to equalize purchasing power across countries a technique known as the balance sheet approach. The basic idea is that each expatriate should enjoy the same standard of living he or she would have had at home.
With the balance sheet approach four main home country group of expenses – income tax, housing, goods services and reserve are the focus of attention. The employer estimates what each of these four expenses is for the expatriate’s home country and also what each is expected to be in the expatriate’s host country. Any difference- such as – additional income taxes or housing expenses – are then paid by the employee.
6. Performance Appraisal in MNCs:
Culture helps determine what aspects of performance should be appraised and how that appraisal should be conducted. Organisations use a variety of methods to assess employee performance Management by Objectives (MBO) or other forms of goal setting are widely accepted in managing and appraising performance. Culture may also influence in determining whether performance appraisal of any type will be accepted or resisted.
During the 1980s, the Singapore government encouraged local organisation to develop performance appraisal systems. The government hoped that individual appraisal combined with performance based merit pay systems would increase productivity and efficiency in Singapore. Initially the development of appraisal systems met with resistance.
Role of HR Manager – Strategic Roles
A good strategy guides the organisation normally for a long period. Time is required to plan a proper strategy. Once the strategy is formed, it is difficult to change it easily. It always is the key features that are important in the progress of organisation.
Strategy always proceeds with every action. It provides the momentum in over powering to achieve goals. It provides the organisation with a sense of progressive action; over and above, the strategy controls the relationship of enterprise in internal and external environment.
Strategic role of the manager can be summarised as follows:
1. Monitoring the assigned mission or role within the organisation or in business establishment.
2. Making note of the kind of excellence achieved to be stressed upon the work group.
3. Ensure that management makes the major move or initiative in appropriate time.
4. He must have the thorough knowledge of the area of activity (domain) and one or more related niches within the area of operation.
5. He must also have the idea of differential advantage serving that domain, e.g., access to raw material, better personnel, need technology, low cost price and competitive advantage in providing the product and services.
The HR Role of Managers and Supervisors:
Students who are now preparing for careers in organizations will find that the study of HRM will provide a background of understanding that will be valuable in managerial and supervisory positions. Although HR managers have the responsibility for coordinating and enforcing policies relating to the HR functions, all managers and supervisors are responsible for performing these functions in their relations with subordinates.
It is in such positions of leadership that the majority of students will be employed. Strategic management of human resource is therefore oriented to help you in managing subordinates more effectively, whether you become first-line supervisor or chief executive officer.
Discussions concerning the role of the HR department can serve to provide one with a better understanding of the functions performed by this department. A familiarity with the role of the HR department should help you to cooperate more closely with the department’s staff and to utilize more fully the assistance and services available from this resource.
The present status of Human Resource Management was achieved only after years of evolutionary development. You need to understand the forces that have contributed to this process and to become more aware of forces acting today that will have an effect on HRM in the future.
Role of HR Managers – 9 Distinct Roles of HR Manager
HR managers perform nine distinct roles, which are described below:
1. The HR strategic adviser consults strategic decision makers on HRD issues that directly affect the articulation of organisation strategies and performance goals. Output includes HR strategic plans and strategic planning education and training programmes.
2. The HR systems designer and developer assist HR management in the design and development of HR systems that affect organisation performance. Outputs include HR programmes designs, intervention strategies, and implementation of HR Programmes.
3. The organisation change agent advises management in the design and implementation of change strategies used in transforming organisations. The outputs include more efficient work teams, quality management, intervention strategies, implementation, and change reports.
4. The organisation design consultant advises management on work systems design and the efficient use of human resources. Outputs include intervention strategies, alternative work designs, and implementation.
5. The learning programmes specialist (or instructional designer) identifies needs of the learner, develops and designs appropriate learning programmes, and prepares materials and other learning aids. Outputs include programmes objectives, lesson plans, and intervention strategies.
6. The instructor/facilitator presents materials and leads and facilitates structured learning experiences. Outputs include the selection of appropriate instructional methods and techniques and the actual HRD programmes itself.
7. The individual development and career counselor assists individual employees in assessing their competencies and goals in order to develop a realistic career plan. Outputs include individual assessment sessions, workshop facilitation, and career guidance.
8. The performance consultant (or coach) advises line management on appropriate interventions designed to improve individual and group performance. Outputs include intervention strategies, coaching design, and implementation.
9. The researcher assesses HR practices and programmes using appropriate statistical procedures to determine their overall effectiveness and communicates the results to the organisation. Outputs include research designs, research findings, and recommendations and reports.
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has identified the major development roles of HRM as given under:
1. Need Analyst – Identifies gaps between ideal and actual performance as well as causes for their discrepancies.
2. Programme Designer – Prepares objectives, defines content and selects sequences for specific HRD activities.
3. Researcher – Identifies, develops and tests new information for HRD utilisation.
4. Materials Developer – Produces and adapts written or electronically mediated instructional material.
5. Instructor/Facilitator – Identifies, directs structured learning experiences and manages group discussions and group processes.
6. Evaluator – Identifies the impact of HRD intervention on individual or organisational effectiveness.
7. Organisation Change Agent (Consultant) – Influences and supports changes in organisation behaviour
8. Administrator – Provides coordination and support services for the delivery of HRD programmes and services.
9. Marketer – Markets and contracts for HRD programmes and services.
10. HRD Manager – Plans, staffs, leads and supports the HRD functions and links that work with the whole organisation.
11. Career Development Advisor – Helps individuals to assess personal competencies, values and goals to identity, plan and implement career and personal development action.
HR manager plays different roles while dealing with employees and management on HR policies and procedures. The role played by him depends upon the situation prevailing in the organisation.
A few examples are given below:
1. HR Role – He advises management on HR policies and procedures and effective management of human resources. He is responsible for manpower planning, recruitment, selection, and development and performance measurement of employees.
2. Welfare Role – Advice and assistance in areas such as working conditions, recreation, welfare amenities, co-operative society, housing, transport and canteen.
3. Administrative Role includes salary and wage administration and maintenance of records.
4. Legal Role – Handling of grievances, settlement of disputes, disciplinary and legal matters, collective bargaining, etc.
5. Change Agent- One of the important challenges of globalisation and liberalisation is the need to increase the ability of the organisation to compete in the global business environment. He works as a change agent and convinces the top management of the need for starting organisational development programmes.
6. Counsellor – He plays the role of a counsellor while dealing with employee problems related to health, career growth, interpersonal relationship, etc.
7. Trainer – As a trainer, he conducts classes for the employees during training programmes.
8. Problem Solver – HR manager also acts as a problem solver with respect to issues that involve human resources.
9. Mediator/Peacemaker to settle disputes among employees as well as groups.
10. Evaluator – Identifying the impact of an intervention on individual and organisational effectiveness.
Roles of HR Manager – Seven New Roles Envisaged for the Modern Days HR Manager
The nature and scope of human resource management has undergone a serious transformation in the past couple of decades. What used to be once a purely ‘hire and fire’ function mostly executed by administrative people has changed into treating employees as assets or resources and managing them in a way so as to create competitive advantage for the firm and win- win proposition for both. The purely back-office personnel function has changed into a strategic board room game. HRM from being a game-bench has changed into the new game-changer.
The conventional wisdom has been turned upside down. Employees have changed from workers to value-creators. As a result the role of manager and the CEO have also undergone a transformation. In the earlier concept of customer being the king, although the customer had been given the ultimate tag, however that did not ensure that the ‘king’ would end-up on the winning side always.
The new wisdom however ensured that the customer (minus the decorative tag) always end-up as the winner in the process, something every business-firm would badly want today in the era of competition to seal better customer loyalty and retention.
Human Resources cannot operate in a silo and if it does it hardly has any relevance except being a blocker in the entire process of change. HR transformation is driven by the business imperatives that any firm faces, which in turn are driven by the macro-environmental variables.
The macro-environmental variables like Political factor, Economic factor, SoCultural Factor, Legal factor and cial Factor, Technological factor influence the business imperatives of any firm. This shapes the business strategy of the firm which consequently shapes the HR imperatives or the HR strategy. To understand the new age HRM it is important to understand the dynamics of the New Age HRM Model.
The change in the macro-environmental variables has dictated change in the way people are managed in organizations. This in turn calls for the new age HR leaders to don new roles to fulfill the new HR imperatives.
The seven new roles envisaged for the modern day HR manager are:
1. Flexible Jump Boxes:
Jump boxes help in explosive jump and speed training. Modern day HR calls for change and quick adaptation.
As flexible jump boxes HR leaders are expected to:
a. Bring structural changes in the organization to create non- threatening yet accountable systems.
b. Bring greater transparency in HR operations.
c. Create flexible and challenging jobs that can fuel innovation.
d. Create sustainable HR policies that has common framework but customized offerings for its internal customers (employees).
e. Ability to manage aspirations of people through role-rotation, early responsibilities, early leadership roles, etc.
f. Devise HR strategies to address legal & security concerns in a country/region.
2. Partner Pal:
No HR leader today can afford to stay aloof from the business and the people. HR leader has to be like a partner-pal with people and with the business & the strategy. Only then HR can appreciate the true state of business and understand the strategic directions, to align HR policies and efforts.
3. Tech-Savvy Pro:
Technology has pervaded organizations. This permeation has dictated creation of smarter, quicker and efficient systems.
As a tech-savvy pro, the HR leader is expected to:
a. Integrate technology with HR systems.
b. Integrate Social-media applications in HR.
4. Inclusive Agents:
Today the workforce is more diverse than it used to be any time before.
HR leaders are supposed to become inclusive agents to:
a. Manage diversity and cross-cultural management.
b. Making organization conducive for women and recognizing women workforce for their contributions.
5. Value Creators:
Process efficiency is not enough anymore. Value- creation is equally important. That value-add may be small yet is significant.
HR leader must act like value-creators and add value through:
a. Manpower acquisition (exploring newer avenues like temp- hiring, social media recruitment, hiring, outsourcing, outsourcing talent, etc.).
b. Total reward concept rather than mere compensation.
c. Continuous audit of HR processes and improvement of the same.
6. Talent Catalyst:
Today every organization has severe dearth of talent. Right kind and number of talent is required to speed-up the progress of any organization.
HR leaders are expected to act as talent – catalyst to:
a. Nurture and manage talents.
b. Develop and replenish contemporary skill-sets in people and build their competencies.
c. Develop competency-based performance management systems.
7. Engagement Architect:
Finally, today any HR leader is expected to create true engagement for all its employees and create entrepreneurial mindset among them. The employees become virtual owners of their processes and eliciting voluntary behaviour towards achievement of organizational goals is key.