Being an HR manager means being a people person. Such a task might seem quite easy; however, a human resource manager has to face several challenges daily. To handle the enormous responsibilities of being a human resource manager entail, an HR specialist must be able to think both globally and locally.
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Speaking of the critical concepts of the course devoted to the issue of human resource management, it will be reasonable to consider the latter firsthand. Indeed, while several related ideas often spawn heated discussions, the very phenomenon of HRM rarely causes significant issues with scholars. Nevertheless, it should – defining the very nature of the HRM means understanding its purpose and, therefore, discovering its key strategies, as well as realizing its entire potential.
It is quite remarkable that York does not provide an exact definition of HRM – there is not a single paragraph in which the writer declares what human resource management is or supposed to be.
However, from what York says about HRM as a teaching and a phenomenon, it can be assumed that human resource management is a set of principles that allow for defining which members of staff can be assigned with which tasks and responsibilities so that a company could function in the most productive way, as well as designing the means of motivating the employees efficiently (Redman and Wilkinson 3).
As a proof that the given definition has a grain of truth in it, it would be reasonable to mention that, according to York, “Human Resource Management is only important for organizations that have people in them” (York xix). In other words, human resource management is a set of rules that are supposed to help managers and employees communicate efficiently.
I faced the principles of human resource management is put into practice on several occasions, the key moments occurring at the time when I worked as an HRM assistant in a local company. I have to admit, though, that in practice, human resource management looks considerably less cohesive and demands much m more effort than I ever thought it would. As the practical experience of human resource management has shown, it is impossible to satisfy the needs and wants of every single employee, as well as solve any conflict efficiently.
For instance, when the necessity to change the company’s environment and the standards of organizational behavior emerged due to the company’s decision to expand, the HRM team has encountered several obstacles, the key one being the unwillingness of the company’s staff to change their behavioral patterns. The interaction with the UAE companies and the associated gender profiling, which my company faced in the process has raised several questions concerning the possibility of establishing an actual partnership with the company.
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However, with the help of the company’s HRM specialists and the strategy that they have designed, it became possible to overcome the cultural differences and be able to cooperate with the UAE representatives without actually having to infringe the rights of the female employees working for the company.
As a result, a flexible system of compromises has been developing, finally leading to the company’s staff accepting some aspects of the UAE culture, such as the company’s male employees avoiding extended physical or eye contact with the UAE female employees, while the UAE company’s representatives accepted the fact that their U.S. female partners had the right to wear the attires other than those accepted I the United Arab Emirates.
The experience mentioned above is related directly to my workplace, seeing how it has taught me that human resource management demands that one should be able to compromise and be very flexible. More to the point, the experience with the UAE company has taught me that some of the staff members may disagree and even be dissatisfied with the choices made by the HRM specialist.
Therefore, one of the most important lessons that the given experience has taught me is that it is not the ability to conjure the solutions that every single member of the staff will be happy about that an HRM specialist possess, but the capability to eliminate the factors causing the conflict that a right HRM specialist must possess. The experience mentioned above is going to have a substantial potential impact on my career as an HRM specialist.
Another crucial issue that a real human resource manager must be able to coordinate, the employees’ safety should be discussed. Seemingly simple at first, the given concept embraces several issues, which are to be kept in mind. As Kenneth York explains, the need to ensure the staff’s safety and to protect employees from injuries and possible accidents are one of the prime responsibilities of an organization:
The organization must establish methods to appraise the job performance of workers, discipline, and grievance procedures to resolve conflicts between supervisors and workers, and programs to protect workers’ health and safety. (York 1)
It is remarkable that the idea of health and safety provision also includes the protection of workers from illegal labor practices, according to York (York 1). Therefore, it can be assumed that the concept of health and safety provision to employees can be defined as the establishment of a set of rules that help employees remain safe in the course of doing their daily professional duties.
Speaking of the new ways of looking at the concepts of health and safety of the employees, the interpretation suggested by York addresses the problems that are often overlooked by other researchers. For example, York puts a powerful emphasis on the necessity of “looking for unsafe work behaviors or conditions” (York 56). Thus, York raises the issue of job analysis, relating it to job safety and employees’ security. Speaking of which, one must mention that York also misses an essential element of workplace security in his discussion.
There is no need to stress that living in the age of information technologies means not only using the wonders of science and technology but also dealing with the threats that these technological innovations pose, the danger of personal data safety being the key one. Indeed, with all employees’ personal information being stored in the company’s database, there will always be the possibility of someone hacking this information and using it for their purposes.
A similar issue occurred during my work as an HRM manager in a minor company providing recycling and waste disposal services. After one of the employees suggested a very efficient way of saving on some of the logistics procedures, it has been revealed that the given strategy has actually been developed by another employee, whose project had been plagiarized and used as a platform for developing the approach mentioned above After a lengthy investigation, the author of the idea was appraised, and the plagiarist was appropriately punished.
The understanding of the methods that an HRM specialist can use to provide employees with safety and ensure them that their data is going to remain intact has had a significant influence on me as a future HR manager.
Real, it is hardly possible to ensure complete safety; after all, accidents may happen, since there will always be the human factor, which will affect the employees’ safety impressively. However, taking every single precaution measure to reduce the chances of an accident happening in the workplace to a minimum is the responsibility of an HR manager, which I recognize now as the top priority of an HRM specialist.
Finally, such an issue as human resource development should be given a mentioning as a major part of a human resource specialist’s work. While searching for a specialist and picking the person suitable for a particular job from a range of candidates is an integral part of being a human resource manager, it is also crucial to be able to provide employees with the opportunity to evolve and improve their skills.
According to the existing definition, human resource development is the process of helping employees acquire new skills and encouraging their professional growth (McGuire and Jorgensen 3).
However, the evolution of an employee does not necessarily presuppose the development of solely professional qualities; quite on the contrary, a good human resource manager encourages staff’s personal growth. The latter has gained an unusual significance in the light of the globalization process and the tendency for companies to expand and, therefore, conduct a multicultural corporate policy.
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The resulting necessity for employees to learn about the specifics of international communication has led to the introduction of the so-called cross-cultural training. As York explains, cross-cultural training is especially important in the process of “facilitating success in expatriate assignments” (York 343). The concept of human resource development and especially the importance of language training have become evident to me in the course of working as an assistant of an HRM manager in a local company.
While the company remained within the local market, the situation regarding the organizational culture and language seemed to cause no significant concerns; however, as soon as the company started to expand and look for overseas partners, it has become clear that the culture of the partner companies must be taken into account in the process of communication.
Mainly, the situation concerning the difference between the African and American business cultures mentioned above, and especially the gender issues, deserve being discussed. Because of the inconsistencies between the cultural values of the American employees and the UAE partners, the necessity to train the employees for the latter not to contribute to a culture clash and create the premises for conflict emerged.
Consequently, short courses were provided to the employees so that the latter could find out more about the specifics of the UAE culture and be able to communicate with the new partners efficiently. The given experience was the most memorable, seeing how it took quite long to think through the content of the courses and design the methods to teach the employees the basics of the UAE culture.
Being a human resource manager is a great responsibility. However, knowing the key objectives and defining the methods to achieve them, one will be able to handle the possible issues. Being an HR manager is a hard yet enticing task, and the emerging challenges only make the working process all the more impressive.
McGuire, David and Kenneth Molbjerg Jorgensen. Human Resource Development: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2011. Print.
Redman, Tom and Adrian Wilkinson. Contemporary Human Resource Management: Text and Cases. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2009. Print.
York, Kenneth. Applied Human Resource Management. 1st Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishing. 2010. Print.