Human resource management practices form the operational engine of any organization. All the people who get hired to the organization or get fired from the organization have an impact on the image and general wellbeing of the organization (Jackson& Mathis 2004, pp.14-15).The strategic plan of an organization is usually all encompassing (Baker 2008, pp.13-15).
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This means that the practices of the human resource department are part and parcel of the wider strategy that an organization makes use of in its attempt to achieve its goals. It is indeed possible that the practices of the human resource management department can be different from the organization’s strategic plan. But this is a situation that any organization that operates on a rational ground is supposed to anything to avoid.
The consequences of having a strategic plan that contradicts the human resource management practices are not tenable (Ferrell & William2006, pp.36-37). There are many benefits of having congruence or uniformity between the strategy of an organization and the vision and practices of the human resource management department.
To begin with, the achievement of the organizational objectives is only possible of the organization has a strategy that is supported by the practices of the human resource department (Kotler & Keller 2006, pp.29-31).The fulfillment of the goals and objectives of an organization is undertaken by the people who work for the organization.
These people are hired by the human resource department. If the hiring process of the human resource department is not carried out in a way that is supposed to support the vision and wider strategy of the company or organization, then it is possible that the organization will not be able to realize its objectives.
If, for instance, an organization is set to produce the best goods and the human resource department goes ahead to hire unqualified personnel who are then allowed working without any form of training, it is possible that the objective of getting the best goods to the market will not be realized and therefore the strategy will have failed.
But if the human resource management goes ahead to hire the best workers who are then empowered through standard training, the objectives will be achieved and the strategy will be hailed as being successful. It is therefore clear that the success of the strategy in any organization is dependent on its human resource practices. Thus, it is not possible to have any level of strategic success if the two are not congruent.
Apart from the above, each and every organization operates on a vision that is normally founded on a solid strategy. The vision as well as the strategy on which its founded are formulated as targets to be met by the organization through the actions and practices of the human resource department (Miles 2003, pp 59-62).
In most situations, the experts normally consider industry dynamics and then come up with the vision which is shared among all the personnel that is put in place by the human resource department. It is a farfetched expectation to foresee success in an organization where the personnel are not in tune with the vision. In simple terms, the vision of the organization is at the mercy of the practices of the human resource management team.
The more in agreement the human resource management practices are with the vision, the more likely the organization is to strike the vision it has set for itself. On the other hand lack of congruence means that no vision will be realized. Organizations such as the giant energy company, Enron collapsed due to lack of uniformity in operations. The personnel working for the company were working towards different goals (Hamilton 2003, pp.14-15).
The third point of significance of congruence between an organization’s human resource management practices, structure and strategy is the raising of the ability of the organization to compete in a dynamic business environment.
The organization that gets it in modern business is the one that is full conversant with the reality that the systems theory is in full swing when it comes to operations (Pearce & Robnson2008, pp.45-48). The systems theory posits that the various sectors or departments in an organization work as a team to give the organization the overall image.
Working as a team for the various departments means that no department has ideals that run in the opposite direction when looked at from the perspective of another department within the same organization. When departments are on the same page, the organizational efficiency rises and therefore becomes not only relevant in the playing field but it gets the operational levels that can allow it to withstand the pushes and shoves that are part of industry competition.
Put in another way, congruence among all the departments gives the organization the competitive advantage it needs so as to not just survive but succeed in a highly competitive business world. This is not restricted to the business world only since even in the world of charity congruence between the strategy area and the human resource department defines the path to success for the organization.
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Thus, it is totally true that one of the aims of human resource management is to give the organization a competitive advantage. This is done through the practices the department of human resources engages in as it staffs the various departments within the organization. The quality of an organization is not any better than the quality of its personnel.
For example, the quality of marketing personnel determines the quality of the output of the marketing department (Laermer & Simmons 2007, pp.16-19).It is not possible to have good results from an organization that has poor quality staff (Singh &Kotler 1981, pp.32-34).Therefore, in a rational environment, there is a deliberate move to give the organization the best employees so as to ensure that the products that originate from the organization are of the best quality.
The ability of the organization to compete favorably in the wider industrial context is based on the quality of the staff. Therefore the competitive edge has its origins in the practices of the human resource management team (Porter 1980, pp.50-52).As it has already been stated, the hiring of high quality personnel is a deliberate move by the human resource department in any organization. It is therefore clear that one of the main aims of human resource management is to give an organization a competitive edge.
Thus, Stone (2008, pp.10-14) points out that the main aims of human resource management are achieving a match between organization business objectives and human resource function, achieving organizational commitment, achieving the contribution of the human resource activities to the competences development. It is also essential to understand that the main value of any organization is its personnel.
Human resource management should be aimed at building the corresponding organizational strategy which will lead to positive climate and culture within the organization. Such positive organizational climate can ensure that each employee is committed enough and tries to achieve organizational aims on particular level. Of course, congruence between the human resource management strategies and organization’s strategies is also important for defining the effectiveness of the HRM strategies.
For instance, Stone (2008, pp. 15-17) points out that organization business achievements reflect the effectiveness of human resource management strategies and policies. Thus, it is possible to say that HRM and business strategies reflect the effectiveness of each other. Admittedly, if there are some problems in business goals achieving, it is the first signal to implement changes in HRM strategies.
In conclusion, congruence between the actions and practices of the human resource management and the strategy and structure of an organization determines how well the organization is prepared to achieve its objectives, fulfill its vision and give the organizational competitive edge. More congruence between these areas is a sure step towards success. It is also clear that human resource management has the aim of giving the organization the ability to compete well in the industry.
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