After reading this article you will learn about the key points for maintenance of human resources.
Maintenance function of human resource management is concerned with protecting and promoting the physical and mental health of employees. In order to achieve these objective several types of fringe-benefits such as housing, medical and, educational facilities, conveyance facilities etc. are provided to the employees.
Social security measures like provident fund, pension, gratuity, maternity benefits, group insurance etc. are also arranged. Health, safety and welfare measures are designed to preserve the human resources of the organisation.
Maintenance of Employee’s Health:
This is an important function of personnel management. For this task, certain provisions are given in ‘Factory Act’, which must be strictly followed. In addition, when a new worker is appointed, he should first be medically examined to ensure that he is physically fit to perform duties. If a worker on a medical examination is not found fit, he should not be given appointment, otherwise it will cause increase in labour turnover and other troubles.
Proper sanitation in factory as well as in workers colony is essentially required to be maintained. To avoid monotony of work suitable rest pauses, recreational and cultural amenities hospital or dispensary should be made in the factory or colonies separately. All these will be conducive to health, worker’s morale will be high and they feel satisfied.
Maintenance of Employee’s Safety:
This is also an important function of personnel management. For this, some provisions are given in ‘Factory Act’; those are required to be enforced by the employer. Safety is obtained by proper inspection of plant and machinery, work place, fire protection, first-aid premises, and arranging safety education programmes.
Everyone working in the factory should know the causes of accidents and how to prevent them. If there are no accidents, large number of workers will be willing to compete for the job. Accidents discourage the workers and reduce output.
Labour welfare is the voluntary efforts by the employers to provide best conditions of employment in their own industries.
The object of introducing labour welfare scheme is to secure an improved standard of living for the workers, which results in the increase in their productive efficiency.
Labour (Personnel) welfare schemes are aimed at:
1. Making the employees healthier, sound thinking
2. To motivate people to carry out production in a better way,
3. To improve and maintain employees morale and loyalty.
4. To keep workforce in competition with other organisations,
5. To maintain better employee-employer relations.
6. To meet the social, recreational and cultural needs of the employees.
7. To reduce the labour turn-over, absenteeism.
Welfare measures can be categorised as:
1. Economic Welfare Measures:
(a) Health services and first aid,
(b) Paid holidays, reduced hours of work,
(c) Profit sharing,
(d) Pension scheme,
(e) Insurance scheme, including group insurance,
(f) Subsidised lunch, water, electricity, and
(g) Loans on reduced rate of interest.
2. Facilitate Welfare Measures:
(c) Canteen and lunch facility,
(d) Company stores for cheaper shopping,
(e) Sale of company products on discount to employees,
(f) Educational facilities,
(g) Rest rooms,
(h) Safety measures, and
(i) Measures to reduce fatigue.
3. Recreational Measures:
(a) Games and Sports.
(b) Recreational clubs.
(c) Cultural programmes.
(d) Social get-togethers.
Maintenance of Human Relations:
Labourers in India usually belong to poor and illiterate class. The wages given to them are not sufficient to maintain them and their families properly. Their standard of living is low and they do not possess any reserves, which can be utilised during sickness and unemployment.
Their wages are not enough even to meet their daily necessities. Their diet is poor and they have to live in small houses situated in unhealthy surroundings. They cannot afford modern costly medical aid.
Now, steps are being taken by the Government, to improve the living conditions of the labourers. Laws are made to safeguard their rights. Progressive employers have realised the importance and utility by improving their lodging, providing sanitary surroundings, supply of pure water and fresh air, sufficient medical aid, better working conditions. This had resulted in remarkable increase in productive efficiency of labourers.
Main object of welfare organization is to improve the human relation. In a developing country like ours human resources are the most important resources and industrial efficiency depends considerably upon the physical and mental efforts made by the management and labour. Employee-employer relations are mainly responsible to take the full use of physical energy, skill and mental aptitude.
Here it is important to note that it is not the economic factors only which influence the employer-employee relations but also the psychological factors. Thus in addition to wages, self-satisfaction and a sense of importance and other conditions of employment also play an important role to influence the relations? It is also essential that the feelings of workers are not crushed.
If we start thinking “Industry for man and not man for industry” most of the problems will automatically be solved. Here it is also necessary to keep in mind that one can buy man’s time and physical presence at a particular place but his enthusiasm, initiative, loyalty and devotion to duty cannot be bought. These can only be carried through the good employee-employer relations.
When the worker’s economic, social and physical wants are fulfilled and he is fully satisfied and is free from worries (may be connected with family or with services), he will work hard with his full physical and mental aptitude and enthusiasm and will improve the productivity and cooperation.
Thus the ‘Human-relations’ is the key to maximum productivity for both the employer and employee. The maximum prosperity for each employee does not mean only higher wages but also the development to the state of his maximum prosperity to the employer and with maximum benefits to each employee.
Factors Responsible for Human Relations:
We can summarise the important factors, which are responsible for affecting the human relations into the following categories:
1. Physiological needs.
2. Safety needs.
3. Social needs.
4. Self-realisation needs.
1. Physiological needs:
These are the necessities of food, cloth and shelter. These needs must be fulfilled so as to keep worker worriless. Workers also want a guarantee that these needs will also be met in future.
2. Safety needs:
An employee also wants security for job and protection against danger and threat.
3. Social needs:
Main social desires of a man are reputation, confidence, appreciation, independence and strength. These needs can be recognised by providing the participation of employees in the organisation.
4. Self-realisation needs:
Man always desires that he should be put to such job for which he is fit. A person will not remain happy on the post which is lower than that for which he is suitable.
Suggestion for the Improvement in Human Relations:
It is very necessary for the management to develop a climate which will motivate the employees to do more and will help to achieve the satisfaction.
To improve the human relations, following suggestions are being given:
1. Proper Wages:
A worker should get sufficient wages, so as to fulfill his minimum needs. For better human relations, decent wages should be paid to the worker. This will then result in increased production and more prosperity and will thus benefit both the employer and employee.
2. Special Inducement:
Fair wages satisfy only physiological needs of the employee, but to get the maximum output some incentives, in the form of promotion, bonuses etc. are necessary.
3. Mutual Trusteeship:
Mutual trust and social responsibility on the part of both labour and management reduces the conflicts and it will help in the increase of sense of cooperation.
4. Open Communication:
Exchange of views, information and feelings are very essential as a means of promoting communication among various sections. These help in understanding each other and making decisions. For this purpose Works Committee, Joint Management councils are framed having a suitable representation of labour and management.
5. Suggestion Programme:
By this scheme, employee takes live interest in the affairs of the company, specially in the matter of production. In the absence of such programme, employee generally criticises the management as a whole or the departmental head and the sectional supervisors.
In the performance of a task, the employees may have bright ideas about the way in which the things would or could be done. If workers are given the opportunities to put these ideas forward, a valuable idea may be received. Sometimes the suggestions are of immense value. The employee giving valuable suggestion may be awarded to encourage the persons to take more interest in the scheme.
6. Human Dignity:
It is the desire of every man that he should be treated with respect and dignity. Human-dignity is the moral basis for human relations. Each individual should therefore be recognised as a separate personality. Human-dignity cannot be wholly awarded by the management. Worker should also try himself to attend it by means of his personal growth.
Advantages of Labour Welfare:
(i) Make the employees healthier, more forward looking
(ii) Contributes for motivation and improving moral and loyalty
(iii) Interest for work is created
(iv) Helps in maintaining good industrial relations
(v) Satisfy the social, cultural and recreational needs of the employees
(vi) Reduces labour turn-over and absenteeism
(vii) Reduces relations amongst employees.
Maintenance of Personnel Records:
It is the duty of the personnel manager to evaluate periodically as to how effectively the human resources are being utilised. For exercising control over human resources, it is necessary to have personnel records, reports, research and audit. Personnel records include the documents and files relating to the human resources of the organisation.
The record contains information on manpower plans, recruitment, selection, training, compensation, appraisal, job changes. Job applications, test scores, results of medical examination, labour turnover and absenteeism data, morale surveys, wage and salary data are some of the examples of personnel records.
These records are maintained to serve the following purpose:
(i) To provide information required for taking decisions on personnel matters.
(ii) To provide an evidence of what has taken place in the organisation.
(iii) To provide a basis for evaluating, formulating and modifying the personnel policies and programmes.
(iv) To meet legal requirements under various labour laws.
Conducting Personnel Audit:
Personnel audit implies critical examination and evaluation of policies, programmes and procedures in the area of human resource management. It should be conducted periodically to measure the effectiveness of personnel management and to determine the steps required for more effective use of human resources.
The aim of personnel audit is to determine whether the personnel policies and practices are consistent with oganisational objectives. It also aims to find out as to how effectively the personnel policies and programmes have been implemented.
Personnel audit is actual evaluation of personnel policies, programmes and results. After the completion of audit the personnel auditor submits a written report containing actual data and recommendations.