Human resource management is the process of managing people in their places of work and it involves activities like controlling, evaluating, organizing, planning, and directing the workforce to achieve the organizational set objectives. This paper discusses the roles of human resource managers in creating a competitive edge in line with the universal human resource functions.
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Firstly, the human resource manager is responsible for setting up a conducive and effective environment in the workplace by coming up with good structures of organization, relationship systems, and communication channels which are very helpful to the firm when it comes to exchanging information between the top management and the juniors (Ulrich, 1996).
Secondly, the human resources manager balances the demands of all the stakeholders in the organization, for instance, those of employees with the management. Also, the interests of other groups like suppliers, customers, government, and shareholders are harmonized by human resources managers through striking a balance to ensure that organizational objectives are met. He also merges the needs of the company, suppliers, financiers, and those employees to improve public relations and trust.
The human resources manager is entirely involved in the selection and recruitment of employees into the organization. He is expected to source qualified workers who are highly motivated and responsible (Ulrich, 1996).
Another human resource function is carrying out the staff development and career progression through the provision of training programs to enable employees to adapt to the changing work environment like providing employees with computer skills, guidance, and counseling among others. This is very useful for employees because it helps them to gain motivation thus becoming competent.
The human resource department is also expected to carry out employee maintenance and sustenance programs. This would involve programs such as health, safety, insurance packages, education, leisure services, transport, housing, medical, fridge benefits, and maternity/paternity leaves. These programs go a long way in sustaining the workforce and in reducing employee turnover rates.
The human resources manager would actively get involved in research and other developmental activities including research in distinct specialized areas like handling emergency matters, handling the change of programs, jobs redesigning and reengineering, attitude survey, analysis of work, and organizational planning (Lengnick-Hall, 2003).
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Most importantly, the human resources manager is also responsible for managing rewards and compensation for the employees. He develops effective wage and salary schedules that ensure that employees are competitively remunerated and that they are equitable and adequate to meet employee needs. Also, he ensures that the wage or salary is able to attract and sustain people in the organization.
The human resources manager ensures that the workforce is well encouraged and motivated by providing a good working environment to make sure that output and productivity are maximized. This entails employee performance management and it deals with the development of workable strategies and providing employees with the necessary tools in carrying out their roles.
The human resources manager also has roles in the surrounding environment both internally and externally particularly on their impacts on the firm, for example, the human resources manager has to study the effects of technology on the employee’s performance and the quality improvement in production. The manager should also consider the effects of the economic changes and may consider providing employees with salary increments in case inflation rates are too high. He should also look at the effects of the legal environment and be conversant with the new regulations, by-laws, and regulations on matters affecting the workforce.
In conclusion, the human resources manager is indispensable for the survival of any business organization particularly with the prevailing cutthroat competition between firms. This position creates a very strong competitive edge for the business.
Dave Ulrich. Personnel management, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.
Lengnick-Hall, M. and Lengnick-Hall, C. Human resources management, San Francisco: Berrett- Koehler Publishers, 2003.