In this article we will discuss about Personnel Management! Learn about:

1. Personnel Management- Introduction 2. What is Personnel Management 3. Philosophy 4. Personnel Management as a Discipline, Art or Science 5. Nature 6. Scope 7. Concept 8. Features 9. Objectives 10. Principles 11. Functions 12. Importance 13. Roles.

Personnel Management: Definition, Nature, Scope, Concept, Objectives, Functions & Importance

Personnel Management – Introduction to Personnel Management

Over the years, many sweeping changes have contributed to the emergence of a new discipline called Human Resource Management. As a result, the clerical, record keeping, administrative aspects of personnel function, too, had to undergo a rapid transformation.

Far from being a strict administrator, vigilant appraiser of performance, a legal advisor the personnel man is compelled by circumstances to assume a different set of roles. He would no doubt be performing the mediating and firefighting roles — apart from the pivotal role of being a policeman supervising work from close quarters.


Additionally, he is forced to assume the mantle of being a change agent, integrator, trainer, educator, developer, counselor, coach, mentor and a problem solver. He is also made to participate in the decision-making process at the highest level. He is also made to exchange notes with cross-functional teams and inculcate the team spirit among the rank and file.

Far from being a cost centre, the personnel department is being viewed as a valuable investment, a kind of an irreplaceable, outstanding asset with great promise and potential to yield concrete results for years to come.

The personnel man is supposed to play a proactive and strategic role in transforming the attitudes of people, in bringing management to the table to discuss all organisation-related issues and problems in an open and transparent manner, and in setting strategic goals in sync with demands of the environment — keeping the expectations and aspirations of people in mind.

He is supposed to monitor progress, undertake course corrections, and put people on track. The rapid technological advances, the innovations, and other shocks brought in by competitive forces must be constantly observed so as to prepare people for the emerging challenges. Integrating corporate goals with employee expectations is the other major challenge that the personnel people are expected to handle with competence.


Other important issues such as attracting and retaining talent, keeping the organisation agile and flexible, managing inter- group and intra-group relations and looking after the welfare issues of the vast army of people working in an organisation would also merit constant attention in the new scheme of things.

What is Personnel Management (with Definition)?

HRM / Personnel management can be seen as that part of the management task which is concerned with the human resources of the organization and their contribution to its effectiveness.

HRM/Personnel management’s central concern is the efficient utilization of human resources. The Institute of Personnel Management in U.K. says that personnel management is that part of the management process concerned with recruiting and selecting people; training and developing them for their work; ensuring that their payment and conditions of employment are appropriate, where necessary negotiating such terms of employment with trade unions; advising on healthy and appropriate working conditions; the organization of people at work, and the encouragement of relations between management and work people.

Definition of Personnel Management:

C.H. Northcott defines Personnel Management as follows:


“Personnel Management is an extension of general management, that of prompting and stimulating every employee to make his fullest contribution to the purpose of business.”

According to Dale Yoder “The management of human resources is viewed as a system in which participants seek to attain both individual and group goals.” He maintains that “its objective is to understand what has happened and is happening and to be prepared for what will happen in the area of working relationships between the managers and the managed.”

In the view of Scott, Clothier, and Spriegel, “Personnel Management is that branch of management which is responsible on a staff basis for concentrating on those aspects of operation which are primarily concerned with the relationship of management to employees and employees to employees and with the development of the individual and the group. The objective is to attain maximum individual development, desirable working relationship between employers and employees, and effective moulding of human resources as contrasted with physical resources”.

According to Michael Jucius, Personnel administration can be defined as:


“The field of management which has to do with planning, organizing, directing and controlling various operative functions of procuring, developing,’ maintaining and utilizing a labour force, such that the- (a) objectives, for which the company is established are attained economically and effectively; (b) objectives of the levels of personnel are served to the highest possible degree; and (c) objectives of the community are duly considered and served.”

Thus, this definition tries to co-ordinate the objectives of the company, objectives of the personnel, and objectives of the society. Accordingly,’ personnel administration is concerned with the managerial functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling as well as the operative functions of procurement, development maintenance, and utilization so as to attain all the goals economically and effectively.

Edwin B. Flippo offer a comprehensive definition as follows:

“Personnel management is the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accomplished”. This definition covers both the management functions and the operative functions. The purpose of all these functions is to assist in the accomplishment of basic organizational, individual, and societal goals.


The Institute of Personnel Management in U.K. defines personnel management as follows:

“Personnel management is that part of the management function which is primarily concerned with the human relationships within an organization. Its objective is the maintenance of those relationships on a basis which, by consideration of the wellbeing of the individual, enables all those engaged in the undertaking to make their maximum personal contribution to the effective working of that undertaking.” (1945).

This definition has also been adopted by the Indian Institute of Personnel Management.

The Institute of Personnel Management in U.K. modified their definition in 1965 as follows:


“Personnel management is that part of management concerned with people at work and with their relationship within an enterprise. Its aim is to bring together and develop into an effective organization the men and women who make up an enterprise and having regard for the well-being of the individual and of working groups, to enable them to make their best contribution to its success”.

This definition essentially makes it clear that personnel management is basically concerned with “men-at-work” and with their “group relationships” with a view to achieve the objectives of the organization through their maximum personal contribution towards the work-goal achievement.

Personnel Management – Philosophy

Over the years, Personnel Managers have witnessed the sweeping changes that have hit the industrial world from every part of the globe. The journey from regimentation and tight control to democratisation and peaceful coexistence is not a smooth one. It was the employer who had the final say initially.

The entry of trade unions has changed the rules of the game, more or less, permanently. Unions celebrated their victorious march on several occasions, for a painfully long time though. The 1980 and the 1990s saw competition heating up all over the world. The battle for survival began and more and more companies had to enter the global race in order to survive.


As customers started demanding more efficient and effective services from companies, both the employers and employees have realised the importance of working cooperatively in order to realise their own dreams, aspirations and expectations. With every turn and twist in this journey, the beliefs, attitudes and actions of Personnel Managers have undergone a rapid change.

They have also come to realise the dramatic shift in their roles. The emotional baggage of yesteryears is left at the gate itself. They have learnt the art of getting along with people through transparent policies, supportive communication, democratic principles, and mutually satisfying benefit plans and reward packages.

Let us recount these experiences in a systematic manner, thus:

1. Tight Controls Do Not Produce Results:

The philosophical roots of personnel management are very strong. Gone are the days when employees are treated like commodities. The fallacious reasoning that people work for money only is also put to rest.

Discussions about getting things done through people using coercive steps, control measures, arm twisting tactics, etc. are not encouraged in the industrial world these days. Employers have also realised the painful fact that such tight controls, strong supervision and rigorous disciplinary steps may work only in emergency situations but not always.


2. People Want Freedom:

People resist any steps that would come in the way of their democratic rights and personal freedom. In the name of higher productivity, you cannot put people to tasks which they do not like, tasks which demand too much, tasks which are boring and monotonous. People want to be recognised, praised and appreciated. They need the company of others.

3. People Love the Company of Others:

They want to share their concerns, feelings, thoughts with others while at work. You cannot erect barriers between people and prevent them from having fun while at work. Any attempt to do so will be resisted strongly. The industrial history has proved this point on more than one occasion. People have a genuine hunger for interaction. After all, man is a social animal.

4. Make People Happy and Satisfied:

Instead of turning the factory into a fortress, managers should focus attention on how to make people happy and satisfied. This can happen only when people are treated with respect and dignity — when they are given an opportunity to utilise their talents fully, when they are put on jobs which are interesting and rewarding, when they become partners in the progress of a company.


5. The Factory is Not the Personal Property of Employers:

The factory is not to be used as a platform for personal aggrandizement. It is to be looked at as a place where people come to spend their time, energies and resources in order to make a decent, happy and comfortable living. The factory is not the personal property of the owners. It does not belong to members of an ivory tower club. The sooner the factory owners realize this, the better.

6. Employee’s Attitude Also Changing:

There is, no doubt, a discernible change in the attitude of both employers and the employees’ nowadays. The employees also have realized that beyond a point militancy does not work, especially when the firm’s very future is threatened by cut throat competition. You cannot put the factory to rest on silly grounds and flimsy causes.

When you incite people to strike work for reasons that do not stand the test of economic logic, then there will be question marks over the trade union philosophy and its continued existence.

Personnel Managers, too, have realised the importance of taking people into confidence on every major decision affecting the lives of large majority. They have come to know that to make things work, they need to move closer to the hearts of employees. Ivory tower decisions will not produce results.


They have to step down and mingle with the mainstream in order to get superior results. A large part of their lives need to be spent with workers in order to put the finger on the problem causing trouble — like an expert surgeon. As long as the worker is not getting a fair share of the cake, no amount of persuasion and proselytization would work.

So the rules of the game are pretty clear. You need to make people smile in order to obtain superior performance. That’s what excellent companies like South West Airlines, Google, and FedEx have done over the years.

There are important lessons to be learnt while running the show. If the shown must continue, then you need to learn the art of getting along with people smoothly — understanding their beliefs, concerns, attitudes, aspirations and expectations and fulfilling them to the best of your abilities — always.

Personnel Management as a Discipline, Art or Science

Personnel management is now recognised as an academic discipline, so much so that practically every university in India and elsewhere offers courses leading to a diploma or degree in personnel management.

These courses generally deal with the concept of personnel management, selection techniques and employment, training and development of employees and executives, salary and wage administration, health and safety management, human relations, group dynamics, etc.

Courses in personnel management are either offered by departments of business administration or by specialised institutions of personnel management and relations or institutes of management or institute of public administration. The universities also conduct these courses under the departments of sociology and social work.


In the last three decades, a large body of literature, research papers, textbooks, etc. has been produced by university professors and practicing executives which are based on their experience and research findings. A large number of professional journals are also published for the benefit of those in personnel field.

Personnel Administration – An Art or a Science?

Personnel management has been recognised as science as well as an art. A science is “an exact and systematic classification of knowledge of some subject. In view of this definition, personnel management may definitely be regarded as a science, for its principles, concepts, laws, rules and procedures, methods and techniques have been presented in a systematic way. They are not static and rigid, but flexible and adaptive; they can meet the changing circumstances of an organisation”.

On the other hand, “an art is an application of skill or knowledge in a unique and creative manner”. To identify personnel management as a career implies that artistic qualities are associated with personnel practices, which are recognised as a result of unique creative management styles rather than as a result of set personnel rules and procedures.

Personnel Management – Nature

HRM/Personnel Management is an integral part of General Management; and the principles and functions of general management are applicable to this area of management also. Lawrence Appley stresses that management is the development of people and not the direction of things.

Thus in his view, “management and personnel administration are one and the same. They should never be separated. Management is personnel administration”. This view has some basic truth in it since management is basically concerned with efficient and effective use of both human as well as non- human resources. Thus, personnel management is an integral part of the management process.

While understanding the nature of HRM / Personnel Management, it is important to recognize that personnel management is inherent in the process of management. A manager, whether he be in charge of a production or a marketing function, deals with human beings and gets his job done through and with people. This function is performed by all the managers throughout the organization rather than by the personnel department only.

Pigors and Myers have Rightly Observed:


“Personnel administration permeates all types of functional management, such as production management, financial management, sales management, and research management. It applies in non-profit institutions, and armed services. Unless these managers themselves expect to perform all the duties for which they are responsible, they have to secure the co-operation of other people within their part of the total organization. In short, every member of the management group, from top to bottom, must be an effective “Personnel Administrator” because he depends on the co-operative efforts of his sub-ordinates.

As far as nature of personnel management is concerned, there is difference of opinion among management writers. Some consider ii as a line function, while others put it to the staff functions. Some regard it as both.

Personnel function can rightly be said to be line function, because all the functions co-operate in the process of earning profits for the organization. All activities are carried out by individuals and personnel department controls the functions of these individuals. It plans, organizes and channelizes their effort towards the common goals of the organization. The personnel manager motivates them, creates an atmosphere of sound human relations, industrial peace and so on.

This work is of such great importance that a separate department is created for this purpose. Hence personnel department can rightly be said to be a line department. As an activity or function too, the personnel function is a line responsibility, because each manager has to deal with people. So he must have sufficient knowledge about how to deal with them.

Personnel function is a staff function also. Mostly in business organizations, the main function of a personnel manager is to advise the Board of Directors (or General Manager as the case may be) in personnel matters. He helps in formation of sound personnel policies, maintaining good industrial relations between the management and the workers. Besides, he assists and serves the workers and other departments too. He provides efficient workers to different departments through proper recruitment and training etc.

He keeps necessary personnel records, makes job evaluation, makes performance appraisals and chalks out the programme of executive development, workers training, etc. He acts as a mediator between the management and workers’ unions in case of industrial disputer. In actual practice, personnel department enjoys both the ranks-line department as well as staff department. Comparatively, it has greater importance as a specialized staff function.

Generally speaking, personnel management has been considered, in traditional terms, a “staff” function within the organization. In the newer systems terminology, it is said to have a support role.

According to Indian Institute of Personnel Management, “Personnel Management is a responsibility of all those who manage people as well as being a description of the work of those who are employed as specialists. It is that part of management which is concerned with people at work and with their relationships within an enterprise”.

It is important to note that HRM/personnel management is essentially of a continuous nature; to quote George R. Terry”- “It cannot be turned on and off like water from a faucet -it cannot be practised 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”. Thus, personnel management has to be consistently applied and practised throughout the organization for highest positive results.

Personnel Management – Scope

The scope of personnel management is very wide as is obvious from the fact that it is called by several terms such as “Labour Management”, “Manpower Management”, “Employee Relations”, “Industrial Relations”, “Human Relations”, “Human Resources Management” and so on.

The subject matter of personnel management is “human being” or “People at work”. It is the art of acquiring, developing and maintaining competent workforce so as to accomplish with maximum efficiency and economy, the functions and objectives of an organization. Broadly speaking, the scope of personnel management revolves around three “R” that is – recruitment, retainment and retirement. Thus, personnel management has to look after the workforce right from recruitment to retirement.

Formerly, the scope of personnel management was very limited. The business organizations were mainly one man show. Proprietor, manager and even worker was the one and the same person. But with the development of modern industries and management techniques, the organization structure became complex and functions became differentiated.

Due to the increase in the size of the industrial units and company organization, there developed indirect relationship among workers and management. Besides, there came significant change in the viewpoint and attitudes of the workers as well as management. Due to all these changes, the scope of personnel function has become very wide.

The Indian Institute of Personnel Management has laid down scope of Personnel Management as follows:

Academically, the three aspects of Personnel Management are:

(i) The welfare aspect concerned with working conditions and amenities such as canteens, creches, housing, personal problems of workers, schools and recreation.

(ii) The labour or personnel aspect concerned with recruitment, placement of employees, remuneration, promotion, incentives, productivity, etc.

(iii) The industrial relations aspect concerned with trade union negotiations, settlement of industrial disputes, joint consultation and collective bargaining. All these aspects are concerned with human element in industry as distinct from the mechanical.

Strauss and Sayles have included the following functions within its scope:

(i) Recruitment of labour, selection and placement

(ii) Analysis, description and evaluation of the work

(iii) Compensation and schemes of appraisal work

(iv) Keeping records of the personnel

(v) Welfare programmes

(vi) Special services like safety, inspection and control

(vii) Training and educational programmes

(viii) Labour relations

(ix) Public relations

(x) Personnel appraisal and development.

Dale Yoder has classified the scope of Personnel Management in terms of the following functions:

(i) Setting general and specific management policy for organizational relationship and establishing and maintaining a suitable organization for leadership and co-operation.

(ii) Collective bargaining, contract negotiation, contract administration and grievance handling

(iii) Staffing the organization, finding, getting and holding prescribed types and numbers of workers.

(iv) Aiding in the self-development of employees at all levels providing opportunities for self-development and growth as well as for acquiring requisite skills and experience.

(v) Developing and maintaining motivation for workers by providing incentives.

(vi) Reviewing and auditing manpower management in the organization.

(vii) Industrial relations research carrying out studies designed to explain employees behaviour and thereby effecting improvements in manpower management.

Thus, it can be seen that the scope of personnel management is very wide. It is also important to note that the personnel function is not limited to industrial and business field only. Its importance is equally extended to every type of organization whether commercial, religious, social or political wherein people work in groups of more than one at a time.

This is so because the art of taking work from the individuals, making them contribute their best to the organization, is personnel management. Working with, for and through people is the way in which a manager accomplishes his job.

Seeking cooperation from co-workers is an important aim of management and superiors. Maintaining good human relations is a manager’s responsibility. Providing human satisfaction from work output and relationship is a manager’s obligation. Hence, the use of personnel management extends to all kinds of enterprises big or small, efficient or inefficient, commercial or non-commercial, private or public enterprises.

Conclusively, it can be said that the scope of human resource management is widely spread to all types of organizations private or public, industrial or political, religious or social, big or small.

Personnel Management – Concept

In order to understand the concept of HRM / personnel management, it is necessary to know the specific characteristic features.

By studying the various definitions we can see that the following characteristics of HRM/ Personnel Management emerge:

(1) HRM / Personnel Management is a functional area of General Management; it is management of people at work.

(2) HRM / Personnel Management is concerned with the effective utilization of human resources.

(3) HRM / Personnel Management considers the development of individuals at work, as an individual and as a member of the group.

(4) HRM/Personnel Management is concerned with the achievement of common goals as well as integration of individual efforts with the common goals.

(5) HRM / Personnel Management is concerned with helping the people at work to develop their potentialities and capacities to the maximum possible extent, so that they may derive great satisfaction from their job.

(6) HRM/Personnel Management is a staff activity requiring special knowledge and skill in understanding and predicting individual behaviour, inter-personal behaviour, group behaviour and organizational behaviour.

(7) HRM / Personnel Management has the central responsibility of organizing human effort and stimulating and releasing individual motivation for successfully achieving individual, organizational and societal goals.

When we consider all these specific characteristics for having a clear perspective about the concept of personnel management, it can be said in brief that-

“HRM/Personnel Management is an approach, a point of view, a technique of thinking, and a philosophy of management.”

It is basically concerned with the overall development of individuals at work with a view to make optimum utilization of the available human resources.

Personnel Management – Features

Personnel management aims at getting the best out of people. Keeping the concerns and aspirations of people at work, personnel people generally design strategies aimed at meeting the individual, organisational and societal goals. Incentives and rewards are put in place in order to boost up performance from time to time.

The principle of equity — that is every one getting paid in a fair and equitable manner, when compared to their counterparts working inside and outside the company — is also taken care of. The emphasis is on creating a healthy work climate where people can work with freedom and autonomy.

Let us look into these aspects closely:

1. Achievement of Goals:

Personnel Management aims at achieving organisational goals through the effective and efficient use of human resources. Effectiveness involves choosing the right goal. Efficiency is the ability to do things right. It is an input-output concept. Managers who are able to minimise the cost of the resources needed to achieve the goals are acting efficiently.

2. Focus on People at Work:

The focus is always on people at work — both as individuals and as a group — and their relationships with each other. Personnel Management helps people to grow and realise their potentialities to the extent possible. Through fair and equitable policies, it tries to put people on the right job and encourage them to give their best to the organisation.

It is also concerned with the behavioural, emotional and social aspects of personnel. More importantly, it is action- oriented. It puts the emphasis on action — rather than on record keeping, written procedures, methods and rules. The multifarious problems of employees are solved through actions that are in sync with employee expectations and aspirations.

3. Fair Policies and Programmes to Take Care of Talent:

Attracting talent and putting the same to best use through fair and equitable policies and programmes is the principal job of a personnel man. These policies are reviewed, modified and put in place on a continuous basis — in sync with trends in the labour market. Personnel management, therefore, is a continuous process demanding frequent reviewing, upgradation and integration.

4. Healthy Climate:

Another important task of personnel management is to take care of the man at the wheel through welfare programmes and pave the way for healthy relations between trade union(s) and management. Personnel management attempts at getting the willing co-operation of the people for the attainment of the desired goals, for work cannot be effectively performed in isolation without the promotion and development of an esprit de corps.

5. Integrative and Continuous in Nature:

Personnel management is not a one shot deal. It cannot be practiced only one hour each day or one day in a week. Personnel management requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in everyday operations.

Personnel management can be of full value to an organisation only when it is consistently thought out and applied at all levels and to all management functions; in corporate policies, in the systems, procedures and in employment practices, etc. This integrative aspect of personnel management is, therefore, of vital importance.

Basically, three objectives of personnel management are expressed in the above definition:

(i) To maintain good relationships within an organization.

(ii) To enable each person to make his maximum personal contribution to the organization as a member of the working group.

(iii) To achieve these things through respect for human personality and the well-being of the individual.

In the opinion of Lawrence Appley, former President of the American Management Association, Personnel Management is “a function of guiding human resources into a dynamic organization that attains its objectives with a high degree of morale and to the satisfaction of those concerned. It is concerned with getting results through people.”

Analysis of all these definitions reveals in a nutshell that managing people in the organization is HRM / Personnel Management. It is basically concerned with people at work, their development, well-being, and satisfaction.

The basic objective of personnel management is to assist the entire organization from top to bottom in bringing about an improvement in knowledge, skill, habits and attitudes that will ultimately express itself productively in work.

Personnel Management – Objectives

The principal job of a personnel manager is to manage human resources effectively and efficiently. He must encourage people to give their best without rubbing others on the wrong side. Maintaining peace and harmony inside an organisation is equally important while realising goals. The individual employee must become the focal point of attention and given all incentives, benefits in line with competition.

On the personnel, men lies the responsibility for ensuring a satisfactory accomplishment of the objectives of an organisation and of its employees, for if they are not reasonably achieved, the basic objectives of the organisation will suffer. It is for this reason that, while framing company personnel objectives, care is taken to consider the interests and needs of the employees and of employee goals.

This is done by integrating the employee interests and the management interests with a view to achieving the objectives of the entire organisation.

The important objectives of personnel management may be listed thus:

1. Achievement of Goals:

Personnel management tries to put resources to best use while trying to meet the objectives. The declared goals could be in the form of profitability, productivity, innovation, excellence, growth, survival, etc. Human effort is guided along desired lines keeping the above objectives in the background.

2. Healthy Relations between People:

To establish and maintain an adequate organisational structure and a desirable working relationship among all the members of an organisation by dividing of organisation tasks into functions, positions, jobs, and by defining clearly the responsibility, accountability, authority for each job and its relation with other jobs/personnel in the organisation.

3. Meet the Expectations of People in a Harmonious Manner:

To secure the integration of the individuals and groups with an organisation, by reconciling individual/group with those of an organisation in such a manner that the employees feel a sense of involvement, commitment and loyalty towards it. In the absence of such an integration, friction may develop in an organisation which may lead to its total failure.

Friction produces inefficiency. Friction may result from political aspirations, from difficulties in communication, and from faults inherent in a particular organisational structure. The behaviour of individuals and groups in any organisation also involves frictions — personal jealousies and rivalries, prejudices and idiosyncrasies, personality conflicts, cliques and factions, favouritism and nepotism.

4. Provide Opportunities for Growth:

To generate maximum individual/group development within an organisation by offering opportunities for advancement to employees through training and job education, or by effecting transfers or by offering retraining facilities.

5. Incentives and Rewards for Performance:

To recognise and satisfy individual needs and group goals by offering an adequate and equitable remuneration, economic and social security in the form of monetary compensation, and protection against such hazards of life as illness, old age, disability, death, unemployment, etc., so that the employees may work willingly and co-operate to achieve an organisation’s goals.

6. Keep the Morale High:

To maintain a high morale and better human relations inside an organisation by sustaining and improving the conditions which have been established so that employees may stick to their jobs for a longer period.

Personnel management tries to improve morale by giving adequate training to workers and by achieving for itself a knowledge of human nature which is “the totality of motives that cause human actions; it is a mosaic of reflexes and instincts, of inherited and acquired habits, of individual and group traditions.”

Prerequisites for the Achievements of the Objectives of Personnel Management:

In brief, the objectives of an organisation may be, the fullest contribution of human resources for the achievement of the organisational goal, of long and short-term plans, and of the operations of the organisation in an environment of high morale and vitality consistent with profitability and social milieu, with the ethical values of society and with the policies and regulations established by the country’s legislature.

To achieve these objectives, the following prerequisites must be satisfied:

1. Get Talent:

Do everything possible to get talented people into the organisation. Invest your time, energy and resources to pick people possessing relevant qualifications, kills and experience.

2. Clarify Goals and Sell Your Dream:

Goal clarity is essential to get results from people. Any confusion will compel people to work at cross purposes. Duplication of effort, spending time on trivial jobs, incompetent handling of important jobs — are the most frustrating elements of this reckless and careless job. After all, the principal job of a personnel man is to orchestrate the various instruments in a harmonious way and produce mellifluous music.

3. Jobs with Stretch, Pull and Challenge:

You need to find ways and means to enrich jobs — jobs that excite people, that entice people, that help people to stretch themselves, that enable people to rise to the occasion and cross even seemingly insurmountable barriers. People give their best when they are put on jobs that are interesting, challenging and exciting.

Of course, it is not always possible to find such meaningful opportunities in the industrial world. To the extent possible, you must try to enrich their working lives by giving meaningful opportunities to people to explore their talents and realise their true potential.

4. Recognise and Reward Performance:

People have a genuine hunger for recognition. When you recognise good performance, it gives a kick in the belly and everyone would be motivated to put the best foot forward. Perspiration does not go too far without a little bit of inspiration. Appropriate rewards and incentives must greet employees whenever they are able to show superior performance and do an ordinary job in an extraordinary manner. Organisational excellence, in the end, is a just a matter of common men doing things in an uncommon way!

The Personnel Manager must try to make people realise that they are the respected members of a co-operative group striving to achieve goals. The one big happy family feeling enthuses people to give their best. They begin to move in sync with the expectations of management.

Management, on its part, must be willing to join the mainstream and say in a chorus that employees are the most valuable, irreplaceable, and most important assets of their organisation.

Personnel Management – Principles

From the philosophy are derived the guidelines or benchmarks, which are generally flexible. These principles change as conditions change, including human behavioural patterns.

The main principles of personnel management may be set forth as follows:

1. People are to Be Dealt with as Complete Individuals:

Persons are recruited because they possess the requisite technical, professional and other qualities. But whether they co-operate with one another, with the group and with the management is largely governed by their personal feelings, cultural and social attitudes, ethical standards and family background.

These and technical factors should be programmed into organisational operations. The management should be quick to understand how employees feel about contemplated work assignments, personnel policies, and decisions which affect their interests. Employees should, therefore, be treated as a whole and not piecemeal.

2. Employees Should be Made to Feel Worthwhile:

“Men do not live by bread alone.” There is something other than money which motivates them to work toward organisational goals. Personal feeling of accomplishment, pride in one’s work, harmonious relations with other co­workers and co-operation with the management — all these factors need to be taken into consideration by the management if the efficiency and productivity of the employees are to be maintained and increased.

3. Fairness and Justice:

These should guide a management’s policies and actions. Fairness in dealing with his employees would win for the employer the confidence of his employees.

4. Rewards Should Be Earned, Not Given:

The rewards to be given should be commensurate with the efforts put in to win them. Such rewards should be given to an employee because of what he has accomplished and not merely as a gift. Gifts are not so well appreciated as rewards for work well done.

5. Supply Employees with Relevant Information:

An organisation should have a properly developed two-way communication channel so that the necessary information, instructions, orders and rules are passed on to employees and a proper response is evoked. Information must be given at the right moment, otherwise much harm may result. Secrecy often breeds suspicion in the minds of employees.

6. Judge the Strength or Intelligence of the People Properly:

A knowledge of the strength of its employees will always bring management their co-operation. If proper opportunities are not made available to employees, resentment and frustration may result; or they may leave the organisation or resort to coercion. Therefore, employees should be associated with the decision-making process.

7. Sell the Personnel Programme:

Because if employees are not made aware of it, they will learn it from some other source. The selling of a programme should be done either orally or in writing.

8. Equal Wage for Equal Work:

All the employees irrespective of their sex or community but doing similar type of work, must be paid equally, and the wages paid must be adequate.

9. Set Examples:

Preaching alone will not bring the desired results. “Actions are louder than words”; and these convince the employees that the management really does what it says or means.

Personnel Management – Functions

The functions of personnel management are very wide. An agreement over them by the authors of management is very rare.

Broadly, speaking the personnel function can be divided into two parts:

(A) Managerial functions, and

(B) Operative functions;

They are as follows:

(A) Managerial Functions:

(1) Planning:

Planning is the main function of management in the context of personnel management, it is concerned with manpower planning; studying labour turnover rate, forecasting the future requirements of personnel and planning for selection and training procedures etc.

(2) Organising:

Organising involves the establishments of inter-relationships within organisaton. It provides a structure for the company by identifying the various sub-groups headed by individuals in managerial jobs as operation etc.

(3) Directing:

Personal management is directly concerned with direction function also. It includes issuing instructions to the workers, developing communication network, interpreting various industrial laws and integration workers.

(4) Controlling:

Personnel department help in controlling also, it provides basic data, for establishing standards, makes job analysis and performance appraisal, etc. All these techniques assist in effective control of the qualities, time and efforts of workers.

(B) Operative Functions:

These are services or routine functions of personnel management. They are as follows:

(1) Procurement of Personnel:

The first operative function of personnel management is concerned with the obtaining of the proper kind and number of personnel necessary to accomplish organisation goods. It deals specifically with such subjects as the determination of manpower requirements, their selection, placement and orientation, etc.

(2) Development of Personnel:

After the personnel have been selected they must be trained first before giving them the work to be performed. Development has to do with the increase of skill, through training, that is necessary for proper job performance. Various techniques of training, are used in this process in order to develop the employees. Framing a sound promotion policy, determination on the basis of promotion and making performance appraisal and the basis of personnel development function.

(3) Compensation Personnel:

Compensation means, determination of adequate and equitable remuneration personnel for their contribution to organisation objectives. It is one of the most difficult and important function of the personnel management to determine the monetary compensation for various jobs.

For choosing a suitable compensatory policy a number of decisions are taken into the function viz., job evaluation, remuneration policy, incentive and premium, plans bonus policy and co-partnership etc. In addition to this, it also assists the organisation for adopting the suitable wages and salaries policy and payment of wages and salaries at the right time.

(4) Maintaining Good Industrial Relations:

It is one of the most essential function of the personnel manager to create the harmonious relation between management and labour. It covers a wide field and is intended to reduce strikes, promote industrial peace, provide fair deal to workers and establish industrial democracy.

If the personnel manager is unable to make harmonious relations between the two that will be very harmful to the organisations. The industrial unrestness will take place and millions of man days will be lost. Therefore, it is the duty of personnel manager to make harmonious relation with the help of sufficient communication system and co-partnership.

(5) Record Keeping:

In this system personnel manager collects and maintains information which is concerned with the staff of the organisation. Recording is essential for every organisation because it assists the management is decision­-making such as in promotions.

(6) Personnel Planning and Evaluation:

Under this system different types of activities are evaluated such as evaluation of performance, personal policy of an organisation and its practices, personnel audit and morale survey etc.

(7) Personnel Research and Audit:

It is also an important function of personnel management. This function is concerned with the research and motivation techniques and auditing its effect on the workers of the organisation, etc.

Personnel Management – Importance

In the words of Aldrich, the importance of personnel management can be expressed in the following manner:

The nearest analogy is in the human body. Personnel management is not the brain, the controller, not only just a limb, a member; not yet the blood stream, the energizing force; it is the nervous system. It is a line channel, not just a duct, and in some respects has automotive force. It is used in enemy action; if it atrophies, partial paralysis results, if it gets out of balance, there issues instability, chaotic action, disequilibrium which can be found in all stages of advancement, in close parallel with neurosis.

But, above all, it is inherent in the whole body and intimately connected with its every movement. The nervous system can never be thought of as an adjunct of the body, no more can personnel management be an extraneous or superimposed element on the structure of an organization. The personnel function lies embedded in the structure, is inherent in the dynamism of that structure, and is an integral part of the process of management itself.

Managing people at work is most crucial job and the importance of human resource management is universally recognized from different standpoints. Social significance of personnel management is evident since it enhances the dignity of people at work by satisfying their social need.

Personnel management has professional significance since it provides healthy working environment and promotes team-work amongst the people at work. Personnel management has direct significance for the organization since it helps in accomplishing its goals. Individuals in the organization also realize ^the importance of personnel management since it facilitates their own growth and development and provides them maximum satisfaction in relation to work performance.

Thus, in the management of all the Ms-Money, Markets, Materials, Machines, and Men-the “Management of Men” is most fundamental and dynamic as well as challenging task. It is the men, not machines, not materials, not money, and not the markets who make or mar the organization.

Therefore, personnel management gains utmost importance in obtaining effective results through people at work and in gaining their commitment as well as winning their willing cooperation for the successful accomplishment of all desired goals. The vital significance of HRM / personnel management is largely due to the fact that the success of an organization heavily depends on the services of its loyal employees with genuine desire to be co-operative with the management.

Personnel Management – Role

It has been rightly apprehended that there are dangers of the personnel manager giving way to the new specialists who are coming up — the experts in information technology, in the management of research and development, and in manpower and planning, unless the personnel manager tries and acquires advance knowledge of and prepares for the change.

He should, therefore, concern himself with the following major areas of change which are emerging:

(a) Changing composition of workforce, with the white-collar gradually becoming a dominant group;

(b) Growing unionisation among the workforce is greatly increasing their strength to demand increasing participation in the decision-making activities influencing their interests;

(c) Increasing role of government in enacting protective legislation to bring about a balance in the interests and rights of the participants in the organisation;

(d) Revolution in information technology and other technological innovations, which might adversely affect the interests of the workforce and their occupational mobility;

(e) Rapidly changing jobs and skills requiring long-range manpower planning; and

(f) Increasing concern of many firms for accepting greater social responsibility.

In all these areas of change, personnel management people would be needing larger amount of training, retraining, and mid-career retraining. Furthermore, they must also be familiar with the findings of the Behavioural Sciences so that they could rely more on management by integration of professional goals with the goals of the organisation and by self-control rather than on management by centralized direction and control. They also cannot afford to neglect the “bread and butter” problems of day-to-day personnel administration.

Richardson considers that “Personnel” is “industrial counterpart of the Behavioural Sciences in the same way as Engineering is of the Physical Sciences.” But he observes that “This function seems to have lost any direct connection with business results it once may have had.”

According to him, “the personnel people live in a world untouched by business realities. But in future they will have to make an ‘integrative approach’ to systems analysis with a view to understanding the link between their activities and business outcome. For example, productivity might be one such link. Negotiations with a trade union for a wage increase might be another link which will have their effect on the probability of achieving desired future business results.”

People at work and their interpersonal relations are in a state of transition. Although personnel management and personnel departments have witnessed an almost universal recognition and acceptance by top executives of the important role that personnel management can perform in planning and administering systems of human resources, the coming decade presents major new challenges in various fields.

The individual is and will be the basic unit of activity. Individual human beings supply the knowledge, skills, and much of energy utilized in organisations. It would not be incorrect to presume that each individual human being will continue to have needs, drives, and expectations; but no two people would be identical in their goals, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses.

Such people may expect even more from their employment relationship. For example, Bennis has suggested that the increased level of education and mobility will change the values people have towards work. “People will be more intellectually committed to their jobs and will probably require more involvement, participation and autonomy in their work.”

The educational level of the workforce is expected to continue to rise. The workforce will become more diverse in backgrounds, age concentrations, and ideological philosophies. Groups previously considered to be minorities of the workforce (such as the women, the handicapped persons, the members of the scheduled castes, etc.) will increase in number and percentages, and their demands will become more vocal.

Many workers might be having more leisure time because of change in work patterns. Managers will be required to face a wide variety of demands from employees.

Changes in the institutions of the society – the family unity, religion, education, organised labour are likely to occur. The effect of these changes will be significant upon people at work.

The oversupply of unskilled labour, the under supply of skilled labour in some areas, and over education of some workers for jobs available will result in organisational stress.

Social organisations, both formal and informal, will have a large influence on the attitudes and behaviour of people at work. Because people are normally socially oriented, the attitudes and values of organisational peer groups, family members, off-the-job friends, and others to whom they may socially relate will influence heavily their perceptions and actions. The job of managing may, therefore, become more challenging and more variable than it has hitherto been.

The organisations of the future would be larger, more complex and with more interrelated structuring of the people. Accordingly, such organisations will become more impersonal and more dehumanising. Such organisations might be required to decentralise decision-making and other activities.

They might also expect that the employees should recognise a common set of objectives, plans, and goals so that they can contribute collectively toward mutually beneficial goals. High level managers will need to devote more of their time to integrative decision-making to unite the efforts of all organisational members.

Technology, discoveries and innovations will result in new pressures on organisations and individuals and call for changes in objectives of organisations and methods and procedures to achieve their objectives. Skill requirements will be altered as a result of technology.

In some instances, technology might cause workers and their tasks to become more interrelated, while in others there might be tendencies toward separation and even social isolation. Computer technology may result in the reshaping of a number of organisational roles and goals and will have a particularly significant impact on decision-making. These changes indicate the challenge that lies ahead for future managers.

Being human beings managers are and will be subject to their own mental and physical limitations, to their own philosophical commitments, to their own biases and prejudices, and to outside pressures from many directions.

However, future managers should be able to profit from the increasing body of knowledge and experiences of the present and past managers so that they are in a position to serve more effectively and more constructively the various sectors of people.