Human resource management comprise the formal systems designed to manage people in organizations. To best understand human resource management, we’ll take a look at brief history, understand the roles of human resource management and review a model to best organize the functional areas of HR management.

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What Is Human Resources?

What is now called human resource management has evolved a great deal since its beginnings around the year 1900. It’s believed that the first personnel management department began at the National Cash Register Company in the early 1900’s. Personnel departments, at least in the United States, were largely concerned with technical functions. What began as a primarily clerical operation in large companies, concerned with payroll and employee records, began to face changes with social legislation of the 1960s. HRM developed in response to increase in competition experienced by the late 1970s, as a result of deregulation and rapid technological change in the 1990s. Globalization and competition required human resource departments to become more concerned with costs planning and the implications of various HR strategies for both organizations and their employees.

The role of human resource management professionals has dramatically evolved over the years. If an organization has a formal HR group, perhaps an HR department, there are typically three different roles that group might play in an organization. Which of the roles, or whether all three roles are performed, depends highly on what management wants HR to do. This also depends on what competencies HR staff have demonstrated.

The Primary Role Of HR Department

The primary role is of an HR department is strategic. The goal is to help to find business strategy relative to human capital and its contribution to organizational results. The strategic role helps link human resource strategy with the organizational mission and the work of people in the organization.

The operational and employee advocate role manages most HR activities in keeping with organizational strategy and serving as an employee champion. The goal is to balance the issues of employees and employer.

The Administrative Role

Finally there is the administrative role. This role focuses on clerical administration and record-keeping including essential legal paperwork compliance and policy. Resource management has played an important role in the life of organizations throughout modern history.

In the past the personnel function was highly administrative and clerical in nature. The past role focused on transactional activities related to processing of people related activities. This included payroll and more. A heavy emphasis on compliance led to the personnel function, policing policy and procedure, and left little time for the important strategic role of HR.

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The present role of human resource management has evolved to focus on the strategic contributions of human resource management to organizations. As organizations strive to realize their greater results, the critical role of people is recognized by the strategic role of human resource professionals. They provide technical expertise, champion employees and lead strategically in their organizations. Human resource management is a value added function of the organization influencing key organizational outcomes.

An HR Model

Now let’s explore a simple human resource management model. The pinwheel model suggests that the management of human resources in an organization centers on eight key functional areas. These functions are a collection of specialized human resource management work for each functional area. Human resource professionals are responsible for key activities. Let’s define each functional area and discuss those associated activities.

Human strategy and planning identifies and manages current and future needs to achieve organizational goals. The activities of strategy and planning include analysis, planning, effectiveness metrics, and technology

Complying With Federal And State Laws

Compliance Is doing what is asked or required by federal state and local governments. In the management of people, the activities of compliance include equal employment opportunity compliance with federal state and local employment laws and regulations.

Talent management are the integrated processes to attract, motivate, and retain productive and engaged employees. These activities of talent management include recruitment, talent, acquisition selection interviewing and onboarding

Training And Development Role

Training and development is about the betterment of people and performance through information. They will use the activities of training and development. This includes training development and career planning.

Performance management are the processes to ensure the organization connects mission with the work of employees. The activities of performance management include performance, appraisal improvement, and intervention.

What Are Total Rewards?

Total rewards are there financial and non-financial tools used to attract, motivate and retain employees. The activities of total rewards include compensation, benefits recognition, and work-life effectiveness.

Employee safety and health is about ensuring the safety, health, and welfare of people at work. The activities of safety and health include employee safety, security and worker’s compensation Employee and labor relations. Employee safety focuses on the relationship of employees with the organization and with each other. The activities of employee and labor relations include policy management, documentation, workplace investigations, labor relations, and employee rights.

This human resource management model, along with our brief history should give you the context to best understand and apply the important role of human resource management in today’s organization.