1.1 Explain why all managers need to understand the basics of HRM.
In a modern organization, human resources are one of the primary means of creating a competitive advantage for the organization, because the ways we manage people directly affects their performance. Companies with the highest employee engagement over a 10-year period achieved 65% greater share-price increase; 15% greater employee productivity; 30% greater customer satisfaction; plus other significant advantages over their less engaged competitors.67 HRM provides all managers with tools to engage their employees and as a result increase employee productivity and company profitability.
1.2 Discuss how HRM helps meet management challenges to improve organizational revenues.
Today’s HR department acts as a productivity center rather than a cost center, enhancing the profitability of the company by improving employee productivity. HRM practices primarily help to improve organizational efficiency. Employees become more efficient if they are used correctly, which means that managers don’t use up their time (the valuable resource that we get from employees) in an inefficient manner. HR also assists in managing technology for efficiency, and managing the four dependent variables that concern line managers.
1.3 Describe the major HRM discipline areas.
- The legal environment: EEO and diversity management. This discipline deals with equal opportunity laws and regulations as well as management of a diverse workforce.
- Staffing. This discipline manages the processes involved in job analysis, recruiting, and selection into the organization.
- Training and development. This discipline has responsibility for the training processes within the organization, for developing curricula and lesson plans, and for delivery of training courses. It is also involved with development of talent within the company to provide a group of employees who will be able to move into more senior positions that become vacant.
- Employee relations. This area involves the coaching, counseling, and discipline processes, along with employee communication and stress management. It is also typically responsible for the management of job satisfaction and employee engagement.
- Labor and industrial relations. This discipline works with the laws and regulations that control the organization’s relationships with its workforce. It also works with any union-management contracts, including but not limited to union votes, grievances, contract negotiations, and bargaining with union representatives.
- Compensation and benefits. This discipline works with pay of various types and with benefits packages, all of which are designed to attract and keep the right mix of employees in the organization. It also deals directly with all of the federal and state compensation laws to ensure compliance.
- Safety and security. This discipline works to ensure that the environment on the job is safe for all workers so that on-the-job injuries and illnesses are minimized to the greatest extent possible. It also involves managing the organization’s planning for securing the workforce, both from being harmed by other people and from natural disasters such as earthquakes or tornados.
- Ethics and sustainability. This discipline bears responsibility for seeing to it that the organization acts in an ethical and socially responsible manner, to minimize harm to the environment and its various stakeholders. It involves managing the sustainability efforts in the organization to minimize the depletion of worldwide resources caused by the organization carrying out its processes.
1.4 Recall the primary difference between line and staff managers by their major HR responsibilities.
The HR staff have the primary responsibility of developing the policies and programs with its HR disciplines for everyone in the organization to implement on a daily basis. The line managers are responsible for implementing the HR policies and all other processes within their departments.
1.5 Summarize the major HRM skill sets.
The HRM skill sets include technical skills, interpersonal skills, conceptual and design skills, and business skills. Technical skills include the ability to use specialized knowledge, methods, and techniques to perform a task. Interpersonal skills provide the ability to understand, communicate, and work well with individuals and groups through developing effective relationships. Conceptual and design skills provide the ability to evaluate a situation, identify alternatives, select an alternative, and implement a solution to the problem. Finally, business skills provide analytical and quantitative skills, including the in-depth knowledge of how the business works and of its budgeting and strategic planning processes.
1.6 Identify the most common HRM certification programs and their parent organizations.
The primary certifications are carried out by SHRM, ATD, HRCI, and WorldatWork. SHRM’s “competency-based” certification programs include the SHRM Certified Professional and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP). ATD training and development certifications include the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) certification. HRCI maintains certification programs for Professional in Human Resources (PHR), a senior version (SPHR), and a global version (GPHR). Finally, certifications from WorldatWork include Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), Certified Benefits Professional (CBP), Global Remuneration Professional (GRP), and others.
1.7 Explain the practitioner’s model for HRM and how it applies to this book.
The practitioner’s model shows the relationships between each of the functions and disciplines within HRM. On the first level are the items that are absolutely critical to the organization if it is going to continue to operate (and stay within federal and state laws while doing so) and be stable and successful for a significant period of time. The second level encompasses those things that are required to identify the kinds of jobs that must be filled and then recruit and select the right types of people into those jobs so the company can maximize productivity over the long term. These items will allow the organization to get its work done successfully over long periods of time. In the third tier, we concern ourselves with management of the human resources that we selected in the second level. We have to get them training to do their jobs and allow them to perform those jobs for a period of time. We then have to appraise their performance and, if necessary, correct behaviors that are not allowing them to reach their maximum potential. As this is occurring, we need to ensure that we maintain positive relationships with our employees so they remain engaged and productive. In the fourth tier, we want to make sure we reward our workforce reasonably through fair and reasonable compensation planning to minimize unnecessary turnover and dissatisfaction. In the last tier, we provide for employee safety and health, and also turn our attention to organizational ethics and the issues surrounding global business operations because these issues will allow us to sustain our workforce and continue to thrive.