The Importance of Evaluating Human Resource Management
The effectiveness of human resource management (HRM) needs to be evaluated due to the following reasons. First, it helps the organization to determine if its HRM practices are credible (Gibbs, 2010, pp. 58-75).
This is achieved through internal and external evaluations on the HRM practices. While the internal evaluation concentrates on the costs and benefits of HRM, external evaluation concentrates on the overall contribution of the HRM to an organization.
Second, the effectiveness of HRM is evaluated to enhance the performance of the business (Gibbs, 2010, pp. 58-75). It helps the firm to adjust its human resources accordingly in order to increase its profits, market share and quality of products. Finally, the evaluation helps the firm to ensure that its employees’ skills meet the requirements of the organization (Gibbs, 2010, pp. 58-75).
The effectiveness of HRM is measured by the following criteria. First, the evaluation should measure employees’ commitment. In this case the evaluation will seek to determine the degree to which organizational policies facilitate employees’ commitment to the firm (Mclean, 2006, pp. 143-156).
Second, the competency levels should be measured. Competency measures the ability of HRM policies to attract and retain talented employees. Third, the cost effectiveness of the HRM system should be considered.
This measures the “fiscal proficiency of HRM policies in terms of wages, benefits, turnover and absenteeism” (Mclean, 2006, pp. 143-156). Finally, the evaluation should measure congruence.
This means that the evaluation should analyze the ability of HRM policies to promote and maintain cooperation both within and without the organization (Mclean, 2006, pp. 143-156). The assessment process should also evaluate the efficiency of the HRM system in terms of its ability to reduce the time needed for a give task. The HRM system is considered effective it satisfies these criterions.
Managing Occupational Health and Safety
Managing occupational health is one of the responsibilities of the human resources department and it focuses on protecting the welfare of the employees and their families.
Most organizations focus on occupational health and safety management since it is a legal requirement (Robson, Clarke and Cullen, 2007, pp. 329-353). The labor laws require all employers to provide a safe and secure work environment.
Failure to observe this requirement can lead to sever consequences such as cancelation of licenses. Organizations also focus on occupational health and safety management in order to prevent injuries or loss of life at the workplace (Robson, Clarke and Cullen, 2007, pp. 329-353).
Even though occupational health and safety management involves a lot of costs, it is associated with the following benefits. It helps companies to avoid losses attributed to injuries at the workplace (Dellve, Skagert and Eklof, 2009, pp. 965-970).
Such injuries can lead to expensive law suites and compensations for damages if the court rules in favor of the injured employee. Research indicates that the physical wellbeing of employees has a direct impact on their productivity (Dellve, Skagert and Eklof, 2009, pp. 965-970).
This means that healthy employees will perform better as compared to those with poor health conditions. Occupational health and safety management practices such as behavior change programs help in improving employees’ health.
This translates into high productivity by preventing reduction in productivity due to cases of sicknesses (Dellve, Skagert and Eklof, 2009, pp. 965-970).
Besides, the employees will be highly motivated if their health and safety is guaranteed at the workplace. For example, workers in a chemical plant will be motivated to work if they are protected from the side effects of the chemicals they manufacture. Protecting the health and safety of workers also helps in improving the image of the firm.
Apart from managing occupational health and safety, the human resources department is also responsible for designing work for employees. Work design involves “dividing the roles and responsibilities among the employees or members of various groups in an organization” (Robertson, 2000, pp. 121-146).
Over the last two decades, the process of work design has tremendously changed in response to changes in the roles of human resources department, organizational needs and the business environment.
Job evaluation for instance has become an integral part of work design. It has become the basis for determining pay grades, responsibilities and even working conditions (Robertson, 2000, pp. 121-146).
The roles of the stakeholders in work design have also changed significantly. The managers have since increased their participation in the work design process since they are the main users of the information resulting from the process (Robertson, 2000, pp. 121-146). The role of the human resources officers has changed from dictating what should be done to giving guidance on how to embrace best practice.
The process of designing work in future will be influenced by the following factors or challanges. First, technological advancements will change the methods of production or service provision and this will impact on the roles of employees (Lewig, Xanthopoulou and Bakker, 2007, pp. 429-445).
Thus the challenge in work design will be how to avoid duplication of roles, prevent competition between machines and employees as well as utilizing the full potential of employees. Second, globalization presents the challenge of meeting international standards in work design (Lewig, Xanthopoulou and Bakker, 2007, pp. 429-445).
As globalization increases, firms will need flexible and internationally accepted work designs. Finally, economic factors such as high competition will lead to more mergers and takeovers. Thus the human resources department will face the challenge of designing work that takes into account the skills of employees from diverse backgrounds.
It is the responsibility of the human resources department to manage the performance of employees in order to enhance high productivity.
Performance management is linked to other functions of human resources management and this can be explained as follows. To begin with, performance management is linked to the process of employee recruitment (Nankerris and Stanton, 2010, pp. 136-151).
Based on the performance of existing employees and the needs of the organization, the human resources department will be able to identify and hire the right employees.
Performance evaluation being part of performance management helps in developing the goals and objectives of staff training and development (Nankerris and Stanton, 2010, pp. 136-151).
This is because it helps in identifying the training needs of the employees. It also helps in developing motivational and reward strategies. Performance management can help in assessing the effect of various reward strategies.
Managing the performance of employees is always characterized by the following challenges. Most organizations lack talented employees with sufficient knowledge of labor laws (Mitlacher, 2006, pp. 67-81).
Such organizations are not able to conduct performance management in line with the legal framework. Some human resources officers also lack essential performance management skills especially in performance appraisals (Mitlacher, 2006, pp. 67-81).
Most systems used in performance appraisals are less effective since they do not capture all aspects of the employees’ performance (Mitlacher, 2006, pp. 67-81).
This undermines the integrity of performance management. Effective performance management is also adversely affected by lack of resources to support it which leads to poor outcomes.
Dellve, L., Skagert, K. and Eklof, M. 2009. The impact of systematic occupational health and safety management for occupational disorders and long-term work attendance. Social Science and Medicine. 67(6), pp. 965-970.
Gibbs, S. 2010. Evaluating HRM effectiveness: the stereotype connection. Employee Relations. 22(1), pp. 58-75.
Lewig, K., Xanthopoulou, D. and Bakker, A. 2007. Burnout and connectedness among Australian volunteers: a test of the job demands. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 71(3), pp. 429-445.
Mclean, M. 2006. Evaluating the importance and performance of the human resources function: an examinations of a medium sized Scottish retailer. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. 13(2), pp. 143-156.
Mitlacher, L. 2006. The organization of human resource management in temporary work agencies. Human Resource Management Review. 16(1), pp. 67-81.
Nankerris, A. and Stanton, P. 2010. Managing employee performance in small organizations: challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management. 10(2), pp. 136-151.
Robertson, T. 2000. Building bridges: negotiating the gap between work practice and technology design. International Journal of Human-Computer studies. 53(1), pp. 121-146.
Robson, L., Clarke, J. and Cullen, K. 2007. The effectiveness of occupational health and safety management system interventions: a systematic review. Safety Science. 45(3), pp.329-353.