Managing and Coordinating the Human Resources Functions

Managing and Coordinating the Human Resources Functions


Question 1

The functions of Human Resource (HR) vary based on various sectors such as business locality, retail or wholesale, industry, public or private, manufacturing or services delivery, and national or international business level. The variation in the functions of HR occurs due to different approaches used to handle different sectors. For example, international companies have to integrate the effects of culture, different legislations, different labor markets, and different languages in the functions of HR as opposed to the local companies that are affected by little variations (McDonald, 2017). Therefore, HR functions vary between different organizations and sectors to meet the varying demands from such organizations.

HR functions in larger organizations such as Unilever often use the Ulrich model to involve HR partners and share services. Such large companies apply the best practices approaches such as recruitment of graduates and talent management to remain the best in services delivery. The small and private sectors such as Emsys IT often use one person to manage different sectors through job learning and tight pay control practices (Haddock-Millar et al., 2016). The functions of HR in such small institutions are flexible to changes with high level of employees’ involvement unlike the large and public sectors.

The functions of HR in public sectors such as Nakilat value the importance of accountability since they focus on transparency in different areas, for example, workers’ performance, equality and diversity, compensation of workers, and recruitment and selection processes. Such institutions value transparency in order to maintain their reputations and achieve high competitive edges (Samwel, 2018). The public sectors also employ strict measures on the internal employees, use casual approaches to external employees, outsource unskilled labor and recruit executives on flexible rates. On the other hand, Global Multinational Corporations such as Ooredoo apply Ulrich model to vary the HR practices depending on the cultural factors (McDonald, 2017). Such corporations have consistent HR practices and benchmark from one another to determine their various HR procedures. The analysis shows that it would be important for companies or sectors to vary their HR practices depending on the type of industry, localities and sectors to maximize productivity.

Small and large companies display different sizes ranging from number of employees, office space, production levels, and number of customers served. HR departments in small companies have few employees between 1 and 10 and working as an HR professional in such companies would entail performing other duties besides the duties of HR (Samwel, 2018). on the other hand, larger companies such as KPMG have different management layers unlike the small companies that have flat management. Large companies also have large number of employees and HR manager overseeing the assistant while small enterprises have one HR performing different tasks ranging from operating as a manager, recruiter, and assistant.

Large and small companies also exhibit differences in the responsibilities of HR. The roles of HR in small companies overlap to ensure that the job is done.  For example, HRs in small companies perform both as manager and administrative assistant to the board of directors including the more reactive roles due to the constraints of the small team size (Haddock-Millar et al., 2016). Other than performing the literal HR functions such as organizing payroll and administering benefits, HRs in small businesses are also responsible for planning growth and development. On the other hand, the larger businesses set aside HR department to handle the HR tasks. The HR department is entirely responsible for organizing payrolls, workers’ benefits, workplace policies and recruitment procedures.

Question 2

One of the major HR functions is to manage employees. However, HRs are required to ensure that management of employees involves balancing between HR goals and the companies’ aspirations. The three examples of organizational objectives that HR function is responsible for delivering are survival, gaining market share or global recognition, and making profits. HRs play crucial roles in any organization in terms of workforce performance (Boroughs and Palmer, 2016). Therefore, the core function of HR in any organization is to staff the firm with adequate personnel to facilitate the achievement of the three objectives. HR department is responsible for processing payrolls, management of qualified employees and recruitment. The functions of HRs are categorized into recruitment and selection, human resource planning, workers’ performance management, evaluation of workers’ performance, rewards and compensations, and career planning (Johnson et al., 2016). Therefore, HRs are instrumental for achieving organizational objectives by addressing the prevailing changes in an organization such as shortages in skills which could hinder the competitive advantages of such organization. The major functions of HR that ensure delivery or organizational objectives include:

  • Human resource administration. HRs create policies and procedures that affect employees’ behaviors in an organization. HRs function as administrators and are responsible for designing organizational structure to align with the vision, mission and values of such organizations. HRs also maintain staff records while updating the internal databases to facilitate performance improvement and employees’ capabilities (Samwel, 2018). Therefore, HRs ensure that employees are properly engaged and the expectation satisfied to boost their performance and maximize productivity to generate more profits.
  • Organizational change management. HRs are the main agents of change in an organization through coordination of resources, mitigating the challenges caused by internal and external changes, and facilitating the achievement of change objectives to enhance organization’s survival.
  • Employees Staffing. HRs are responsible for sourcing new employees, recruiting, organizing workers’ training programs, and development of performance capacity to ensure that the company remains productive and globally recognizable. HRs also conduct induction and workers’ orientation to facilitate talents development and sustainable organizational growth (Johnson et al., 2016). HRs also ensure that workers remain efficient and up-to-date relevant to the technological changes to enhance company’s survival in the dynamic market.
  • Promoting healthy employees’ relationships. HRs are responsible for maintaining positive organization’s reputation by maintaining positive relationship among employees that contributes to improved overall performance of the organization (Boroughs and Palmer, 2016). HRs design and implement laws, policies and procedures of solving internal conflicts between workers to achieve good relationship that comprises of proactive strategies of mitigating future wrangles.

Evolution of HR Functions in the Contemporary Organizations

HR functions are dynamic and have undergone various changes between the past and present years due to the changes in the contemporary business practices which contribute to improved operations. For example, the transition from CIPD map of 2013 that provided support to employees to the new CIPD map of 2018 which is more flexible and comprehensively engaging the modern technology and future business operations (Thoman and Lloyd, 2018). In addition, HR functions were previously operated from a single department, separate from the other departments while the current HR department is actively coordinating all departments in an organization.

Currently, the roles of HRs include active identification of shared services for strategic business partnership and such roles often involve multiple stakeholders. Implementation of HR functions in the previous years involved application of physical departments unlike the recent years when HR functions are more of integrated practices (Samwel, 2018). The previous years also involve the use of different tools and techniques to achieve organizational objectives while the current business environment involves the use of electronic systems and psychometric tests to undertake the roles of HRs such as recruitment and selection, and payroll management.

Methods of Delivering HR Objectives

The two main methods of delivering HR objectives in an organization include the Ulrich-3-Legged and CIPD models. The Ulrich-3-Legged model comprises of shared services, outsourcing and HR business partners for delivering HR objectives. The paper will explain shared services and outsourcing.

Shared services involves delivering HR objectives through collaborative working environment that incorporates HR professionals, line managers and other relevant stakeholders. Shared services is effective especially when integrating business practices with the entire HR practices in an organization. The method promotes implementation of the HR objectives through collaborative approaches (Thoman and Lloyd, 2018). The other benefits include cost-effectiveness, provision of zero function duplication and focused HR approaches. However, the method limits integration of external players who are vital for understanding organizational diversities.

Outsourcing refers to the method of delivering HR objectives by obtaining diverse payroll and providing other relevant services for business operations. The method improves overall organizational efficiency and ensures the usefulness of organization’s expertise. Outsourcing involves integration of the use of Employee Self-Service and Managers Self-Service to enhance flexibility and ease of managing employees’ performance and organization’s development (Johnson et al., 2016). The method is also cost-effective and increases workers’ efficiency. However, outsourcing exposes an organization to high possibility of losing sensitive data since the method makes HR to know less about organization’s operations.

Question 3

Professional. HR functions are necessary for professional management of organization by operating within the organization’s visions, values and purpose. HR functions are also required to integrate knowledge and employees’ practices to ensure that all the stakeholders work together to maximize overall organization’s performance. For example, the CEO of KPMG says that managing the company professionally through the efforts of its HR allows the company to compete and succeed in the business environment (Banfield and Royles, 2018).

Ethical. Managing human resource in an ethical manner involves applying ethical values to regulate organizational and employees’ behaviors through cultural practices and increased integrity and staffing. Ethical management of HR requires design and implementation of ethics programs to support and realize organizational values. Ethical management of HR is important for an organization since it boost morale, create healthy relationship between workers and clients and enhance organization’s reputations for challenging the potential competitors (McDonald, 2017). Ethical management of HR also promotes employees’ engagement and organization’s credibility.

Just manner. Various practices such as planning workforces, addressing regulations, high level of inclusivity and diversification and integration of organization’s policy are necessary for managing HR in just manner. Managing HR in just manner is important for mitigating discriminations in an organization and providing equal opportunities and management practices for the employees (Boroughs and Palmer, 2016). Moreover, managing HR in just manner promotes high level of integrity especially for the clients to increase profits and dominance over the potential competitors.

Question 4

Theories of change management

Changes in an organization occur due to various forces such as customers’ needs, market conditions, labor market conditions and technological changes. The various changes that have adverse effects on an organization if not effectively mitigated include losing market position, dismissal of a senior manager, leaving employees and loss of stakeholders’ trust (Hayes, 2018). Therefore, it would be necessary to understand and apply the change theories for supporting change management initiatives in an organization. The two theories that would be explained in this section are Lewin’s Change Model and McKinsey 7S Model.

Lewin’s Change Model. The model involves three stages such as unfreeze, change, and refreeze while employers have to instruct employees about the potential issues related to the desired change. Therefore, knowledge sharing and employees’ involvement are crucial when managing change using the model.

  • Unfreeze- Unfreezing is the first stage of managing change that involves preparing for the change. Organizations are required to prepare for change by learning the necessities of such changes and to prevent possible resistance from employees and other stakeholders by breaking status quo. The stage also involves explaining to the stakeholders the reasons for changing the existing ways and how the proposed change would generate more profit to the organization (Hayes, 2018). Therefore, the affected organization has to look into its core principles and values to re-examine the projected benefits of change.
  • This is the second stage of applying Lewin’s change model where an organization transits from the old to the new ways of doing things. The second phase may take long time since people spend adequate amount of time to embrace the new changes (Bose and Gupta, 2021). The stage also requires good leadership to effectively manage the change by involving all the stakeholders and steering the group to the right direction. Maintaining communication is also vital at the stage for successful implementation of change.
  • This is the last stage that occurs once the change has been accepted and implemented by the stakeholders and the organization begins to be stable. The stage is characterized by things going back to normal pace and routines, and it requires contributions from all the stakeholders to ensure successful continuity of the change even after achieving the desired objectives. The other features of the stage include sense of stability, confidence and comfort among employees.

McKinsey 7S Model

The model has seven stages of managing change.

  • The stage involves creating plans to outdo competition and achieve the desired goals by developing the step by step procedures and strategies of implementing the change.
  • The stage involves dividing the organization into different structures that suit the required change.
  • The stage involves developing the systems (new ways of undertaking the day-to-day activities) as a result of the change.
  • Shared values. Shared values comprise of the core values that an organization would like to consider when implementing the change.
  • this involves developing the manner in which the changes and new leadership would be adopted when the change is implemented.
  • Staffing involves recruiting and developing the required workforce and number of employees to work out the change.
  • It involves acquiring the relevant competencies and skills for working out the change.

McKinsey 7S model is effective when implementing change since it provides ways to understand the organization’s culture and practices and deep insight into how the change would work (Bose and Gupta, 2021). The model also integrates emotional and practical components of change to allow employees deal with the transition challenges. In addition, the model provides vital direction for guiding the organizational change. However, application of the model requires high level of expertise due to its complex nature compared to the other change models.

Example of Change in an Organization

An example of change that can be managed through Lewin’s change model is entering a new market by firms.

  • At this stage, the firm would be getting ready to enter the new market. Unfreezing also involves conducting force field analysis to determine the pros and cons of entering a new market. The benefits and needs of entering a new market are communicated to all the stakeholders such as employees and top leadership for approval and acceptance (Smith et al., 2020). However, firms should be ready to mitigate potential resistance by ensuring that the pros of such change outweigh the cons.
  • Change (Transition). The stage involves moving forward to enter the new market after the change is accepted by the stakeholders. A good leadership is required to effectively involve everyone and seek support from the executives to facilitate training and coaching of employees who will be responsible for successful change implementation (Ten Have et al., 2018). Keeping communication is very vital at this stage to facilitate the success of the process.
  • The stage involves solidifying new behaviors and norms of operating in the new market. Employees get used to their new roles, new location, new workplace and new culture especially when the new market entries are in different countries. The major outcome is to habitualize the new organization culture and styles for managing the different work environments. The major impact of such changes include training workers, acquiring new employees, increased profit generations, customer acquisition and retention, and globalization (Bose and Gupta, 2021).

Question 5

Success of every organization depends on successful application of HR functions and the most appropriate strategic move for successful HR functions is to harness the HRM resources to meet demands from the highly dynamic business environment. The success of such strategy is measured by quantifying the observable results. However, various criteria could be used to estimate HR strategy contributions to determine the success rate of such strategy (Ten Have et al., 2018).

My criteria of estimating the contributions of HR functions to organization success would involve using reports and recommendations from the line managers to understand the performance of each employee. The criteria would work since the HR function comprises of various activities and the process of tracking the operations of each employee would be relatively complex. Line managers have concise appraisal of employees’ achievements since they provide connection between employees and HRs (Hayes, 2018). I would also conduct employees’ survey to determine the HR function’s contributions. Conducting employees’ surveys would involve assessing various factors such as business climate, effectiveness of organizational culture and employees’ engagement and the survey results would be used to determine whether the HR functions and policies have been successfully implemented.

I would also use various data and tools such as metrics, statistics, and ratios to evaluate the contributions of HR functions. I would use company averages and ratios to determine the performance of an organization relative to other organizations. Various metrics, for example, Return On Investments (ROI) would be used to determine the effectiveness of HR functions. I would also use balanced scorecard strategy to evaluate the HR performance by considering the perspectives of organization’s finances, customers’ relations, internal organizational structures and innovation learning. I would use the balanced scorecard strategy due to its ability to mitigate the dynamic nature of current businesses while focusing on harnessing human capital to promote continuous company’s growth (Banfield and Royles, 2018).

Question 6

Identification and Evaluation of Research Evidence Linking HR Practices with Positive Organizational Outcomes

Adequate evidence is necessary to prove the positive impacts of investing in HR practices on an organization by focusing on the organization’s financial results and market values. Having read the article, I have found out that HR operational practices positively affect employees’ productivity, which constitutes organizational success that depends on employees’ efforts and contributions. I have also found out that HR strategies and practices are instrumental for developing organizational capacity in terms of employees’ knowledge and skills and workers’ relationship. The findings are valid since HR functions and practices mainly focus on enhancing human productivity, for example, through creation of new management styles and digitalization of traditional HR practices (Chahal et al., 2016). Digitalization of HR practices and creation of new management styles improve HR services and empower employees to enhance relationship between employees and their productivity.

I have also found out that HRs use operational, relational, and transformational practices to improve the quality of services delivery and overall organization’s productivity. Operational practices improve administrative contributions of HR functions to allow organizations to achieve their transactional goals and reduce the overall costs of HR activities. Operational practices also help organizations to improve performance by attracting and retaining highly skilled workers. On the other hand, relational practices are important for focusing on interpersonal relationships between the employees by ensuring procedural and organizational justice among the workers (Zhong et al., 2016). Transformational practices focus on aligning the attitudes and behaviors of employees with organizational strategies. The findings are persuasive since HR practices focus on maintaining free and open communications, enhancing transparency, and facilitating ethical behaviors within an organization to fully engage workers and improve their productivity.

Impacts of High Performance Working and Human Capital Investment on Organizational Practices

High performance practices in an organization characterize the involvement of employees in decision making and other organizational activities to improve the overall performance. Such practices also help organizations to establish high-performance cultures that support high-performance levels. High-performance work practices create a favorable environment for managing and empowering employees for enhancing effectiveness and efficiency through substantial investment in human capital and development of employees’ knowledge, skills, and competencies (Chahal et al., 2016). On the other hand, empowered employees have the abilities to adapt to the rapidly changing market conditions while improving their operational efficiency within the organization. High performance practices contribute to implementation of highly selective recruitment and selection processes, provision of secured employment opportunities, implementation of the comprehensive training and education programs for the employees, compensation of employees based on their performance levels and promoting teamwork among the staffs.

High performance practices improves organization’s social structures to facilitate collaboration, teamwork, and effective communication. According to Zhong et al. (2016), high performance practices provide employees with the freedom to express their opinions and their complaints could be considered by the line managers. Such practices also promote employees’ engagement that contribute to improved overall performance within an organization. Therefore, organizations are required to implement the high performance practices to improve skills, knowledge, and competencies of employees and subsequent organizational performance (McDonald, 2017). Organizations should also empower their employees to motivate them and realize more benefits to the organization.

High performance practices within an organization is also characterized by various negative impacts. For instance, the practices overlap and diverse employees’ goals making it difficult to consider individual interests and opinions during decision-making. The practices are also characterized by the use of strict regulations that increase demands and expectations from the employees. Moreover, the practices hinder employees’ personal life by exposing them to heavy workloads and longer working hours to realize the organizational goals. According to Banfield and Royles (2018), the high performance practices assume that employees are uniform and have similar interests and complaints yet employees have unique and different values and life pursuits in real world.

Human capital investments are used to measure the organization’s economic values in terms of employees’ levels of knowledge, skills, and competencies. Thoman and Lloyd (2018) define human capital investment as significant investment that focuses on continuous improvement of employees’ contributions and productivity. Therefore, human capital investment is mainly concerned with the contributions of employees and the impacts on organization’s performance. Furthermore, human capital contributes to sustainable organization’s competitive edges since such organizations are likely to reap more from investing in their employees (McDonald, 2017). For instance, human capital is characterized by high levels of employees’ satisfaction, which increases the chances of improving employees’ productivity. Human capital also improves workers’ retention rates whereby the less-skilled workers are more likely to seek further training and development of skills to remain relevant to the organization.

Human capital investment saves an organization from unnecessary expenses such as the costs on employees’ replacement. Investing in employees improves employees’ loyalty following the provided career advancement opportunities and additional remuneration. Investing in employees’ development such as increased salary, perks and benefits improves the organization’s return on investment by enhancing overall performance of the organization (Johnson et al., 2016). The article also supports the benefits of human capital investment stating that happy employees help organizations to outperform their potential competitors by about 25% and 2.0% increase in revenue generated. Therefore, the article recommends that organization should invest in human capital to enhance employees’ happiness and subsequent organization’s productivity.

Human capital investment is also characterized by various challenges such as possible failure to attract and retain skilled labors, and complex or tight labor market conditions. Development of skilled workforce also contributes to stiff competition for the employees, especially when the rival organizations are lured by the improved skills and productivity. Such stiff competition from the rival companies hinder employees’ retention rates and subsequent loss due to cost on human capital investment (Johnson et al., 2016). In addition, human capital investment is an expensive strategy since the current labor marketplace is rapidly changing and employees are required to have advanced skills and capabilities of handling technological applications in business operations. Therefore, an organization could fail to upgrade and meet the existing labor market standards thus reducing the overall performance.

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