Saturday, November 20, 2010

HR Manager Position – HR Issues To Rock This Planet

Whether private or public, all organizations are passing through difficult and uncertain times. The recession in the global economy, and the related financial crisis are having a great impact on both government and private sectors. The banks are increasingly reluctant to lend money. HR reacted to this crisis by large scale redundancy program and also by freezing the new recruitments.

Gradually this trend is changing and many of the big organizations are focusing more on work force planning. In the rush to downsize, eventually the company or organization loses so many talented employees.

The slow-down is obviously having an impact on most of the organizations world-wide. The private sector is focusing on reducing cost and increase profits. The HR Manager position is supposed to play a key role as a commercial function. Public sectors are not remaining untouched; consultants are also helping government and government owned organizations for making their operations more efficient. The strategy of the government, for their financial institutions, in many countries has been the bailout strategy. Budgets were fine-tuned, and in several countries the civil services were rationalized. In such situations, HR Managers should pilot the organizations through uncertain times.

hr manager position

HR Manager should support the cost-reduction measures, but at the same time the HR Manager position should remind the board of bigger picture, and other ways of cutting cost than head counts. These can include:

  • Exploring redeployment of employees, where ever feasible.

  • Placing strategy for talent retention and management in place.

  • Reassuring the employees remaining that they are valued

It should be HR Manager's duty to lead the organization in difficult times; and capitalizing on the opportunities presented by down turn. HR should also work closely with the Board to think creatively on understanding the performance of the organization, and make plans that would fulfill the organizational requirements. HR Manager should also be able to motivate and retain talented employees in uncertain environment.

It is the need of the hour that HR boosts up the spirits of the employees who are considered to be the lifeblood of the organization. It will assist the organization in the attainment of the corporate goals through satisfaction of the personal objectives of its employees. Further steps in an attempt to retain the valuable human resource of any organization may include the proper reward system being introduced in the organization. The motivation level of the employees has to be raised in order to have the better results on a larger scale.

To lessen the impact of the global recession, HR department holds the key responsibility to serve as a link between the management and the employees. The opinion of the senior employees in the hierarchy of any organization should be valued. In the light of their experience and professional expertise, HR needs to make some appropriate recommendations to the management so as to get the company out of the unforeseen and unpleasant business situations. It will be having a twofold affect; firstly, it will be beneficial for the organization to take full advantage of the competency of its employees, secondly; the employees will feel valued and will be encouraged to contribute more towards the betterment of the organization.

However, it is not only the HR Manager who is supposed to rescue the ship of the organization all alone. It needs the cooperation and assistance of the higher level management as well. That is to say that there has to be an air of cooperation and assistance from the management. The management lays down the policies for the organization and its employees, so a heavy responsibility lies on the shoulders o the management to watch the interest of the employees so as to retain the most of the hard working employees. There has to be a lenient approach when it comes to monetary punishments and deductions in the salary of the employees as it will dishearten them as there is an ever increasing inflation rate due to the Global Financial Crisis.

Moreover, it will be useful if the management gives an option to the employees about the method of doing a particular job. It will create an air of confidence and trust between the employer and the employee and they could be better able to contribute to the benefit of the organization.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Roles and Functions of the 21st Century HR Office.

Long gone are the days when the HR function could be handled by one person. The infamous “HR Lady” has now been replaced by a full staff of professionals with diverse functions. HR now seems to be the catch all when it comes to any facet of employee relations and company culture. Also, in the current employment environment, what constitutes Human Resources continues to evolve on a daily basis.

If you will give me a few minutes, I’m going to take a slightly tongue in cheek look at the HR function in a typical large company. It may seem like the world’s most strenuous job sometimes, but there are definite benefits. Once we go through the list, you may realize that a job in HR may be the hotspot for career advancement and even provide semi-security from the unemployment surge.

HR Function and its roles and responsibilities

Ok. First up are those brave and valiant souls we call HR Generalists. The front line of an HR office, they deal most with the company’s employees and are responsible for many of the day to day operations. Their duties include:

- Explaining to a tenured employee why they have no more PTO (Paid time Off) time available.

- Researching and explaining the complex web of employee benefits.

- Assisting with interviews.

- Receiving and processing the fifty million possible types of employee forms.

- Payroll - I don’t think I need to say any more about that.

A tenacious Recruiter is also critical to any HR department. Responsible for attracting and recruiting top talent, this person has their hands full. Also, guess who catches the heat if the employee from Hades makes their way through the screening process? Yep, you guessed right. This keeper of the gate is up to her elbows in:

  • Sifting through a thousand and one resumes (some abysmal) and cover letters.

  • Conducting phone screenings and scheduling interviews, in addition to listening to about a million voice messages.

  • Walking raw recruits through computerized testing. Hey, didn’t her application say she was proficient in all Microsoft applications?

  • Wading through qualifications, making offers, counter-offers, and pitching the company’s benefits.

  • Maintaining a smile all day long at the local job fair. Someone buy that poor girl a Starbucks.

Trainers are also on the front line of shaping the organization. Critical to individuals at all levels of the organization, a successful training team is invaluable. They often have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the needs and complaints of the employees, and are invaluable in planning new initiatives. Perhaps one of the most undervalued positions, these folks:
  • Conduct new-hire orientation and training. Someone has to get those raw recruits into shape.

  • Support the functional departments with process training

  • Shape the company culture through the use of soft skills and collaborative training modules.

  • Provide an ear for frustrated employees.

  • Perform the miracle of getting Susie in inventory control to become proficient in Microsoft Excel.

HR Managers are the glue that keeps it all together. Tasked with overseeing Generalists, Recruiters and Trainers, HR managers also have to ensure that the goals and objectives of Senior Leadership are being implemented across the organization. This can be a tightrope to walk, but the successful Manager knows how to maintain the delicate balance. Some critical responsibilities are:
  • Ensuring the smooth running of the HR office.

  • Gaining buy-in from the operations Managers and Supervisors for new policies.

  • Conducting town hall meetings to disseminate new programs and guidelines to employees. Anyone hear crickets?

  • Administering assimilations or team building exercises.

  • Overseeing recruitment efforts.

  • Developing incentive programs.

  • Investigating claims of racism, sexism, and every other ism you can think of.

  • Listening to the never ending list of employee issues and complaints.

  • Everything else under the sun.

All jokes aside, HR is one of the most versatile and hardest working functions of any organization. They impact every aspect of the company and are stewards of its vision. HR engages in leadership and management development, employee counseling, community outreach, and a whole lot more.

By working in Human Resources, you gain a diverse skill set that can be transferred into so many other positions. A company simply could not function without your expertise and dedication. So the next time you feel down about your job, remember that HR runs the show.

I’m just serious.