HR Roles and Responsibilities

Published 13 Oct 2016

Any organization has two set of bodies functioning towards its growth and prosperity. The delivery team and support function are the essential units, wherein the former directly contributes to the productivity of an organization. On the other hand, the support body functions true to its name by backing up and supporting the delivery team. One of the most important support functions in an organization is the Human Resource (HR) department. At the end of the day, the most valuable resource that an organization has is its manpower, commonly known as human resources. Hence, it is only natural that human resource management plays a crucial role in determining the destiny of an organization. Given the diverse nature of human beings, human resources management cannot be based on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of a solution. It needs to be highly flexible to accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of various individuals. Considering the complexity of the task, effective management of manpower continues to be one of the biggest challenges for any company.

Changing role of HR Management

Throughout the course of industrialization the post-modern era, human resource management has continuously evolved, taking into consideration a variety of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, physiology and work ethics. Considerable efforts were made to understand individuals and factors that would influence and improve productivity. In an organizational setup, it is quite obvious that effective teamwork could boost the quantity and quality of work done. Hence, issues pertaining to group dynamics were given a great deal of attention in order to promote teamwork.

In the earlier days, diversity in human resources was merely based on gender. Hence, a lot of effort was put into analyzing gender stereotypes to creating harmony between the genders and thereby a conducive work environment. Now, the times have changed and rapid globalization has become an inevitable strategy for the success of any organization. Due to globalization, it has become indispensable for people of different communities, races and nationalities to work together as a cohesive unit to enhance business. Due to the outsourcing policy adopted by many organizations, effective communication between people belonging diverse cultural backgrounds has to be established. Hence, efficient human resource management is essential for tackling issues pertaining to diversity and building relationships between coworkers based on mutual respect.

Staffing is one of the most significant roles of the HR department, which includes the process of developing global professionals by inculcating skill sets essential for facing new professional challenges and sustaining ever-changing business environments. Cross-cultural competencies play a significant role in influencing the outcome a business venture. Various aspects of human resources in an organization include motivation patterns, leadership styles and training models. In a global multinational organization, the best way to cope up with such differences would be a deploy managers from different backgrounds, make them culturally aware of differences and train them to adapt to those situations by chalking out a concrete career plan.

In this epoch of information technology, the human resource management has evolved into Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) or HR modules. With the help of these modules, traditional HR functions such as planning of human resource deployment, time scheduling, travel reimbursement, benefits enrollment and payroll have been computerized using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

The rapid gush of technological innovations has led unprecedented changes in business models and the working of organizations. The use of advanced computers and telecommunication devices has become a standard necessity of organizations to keeping pace with the growing business requirements. This again calls for effective resource management, since these equipment have to be operated by appropriate personnel in suitable time schedules, in order to obtain optimum utilization of these resources.

Another important role played by the HR department is to sustain the core values of an organization. Each and every organization has a set of ethical considerations that forms the moral fiber of the organization. A manager may have his/her individual moral code of conduct. However, care has been to be taken to ensure that a conflict of ideologies does not arise between the organization and a manager. As time progresses, old ethical constraints are constantly replaced by new ones. However, certain ethical values have withstood the test if time; some of the important values in a professional scenario include fairness, equity, competence equality and democracy.

With the advent of e-commerce, several online goods and service providers have started operating from remote locations. Most of them do not even have direct interaction with its customers. Hence, it becomes all the more important for such organizations to be driven by its principles, rather than its principles being driven by objectives. It is the responsibility of the HR department in these companies to ensure that its employees do not lose sight of professional ethics while trying to reach professional goals and business targets.

Ultimately, the function of HR management in an organization is to rapidly evolve itself by keenly observing social and technological advancements. It has to be open-minded when it comes to learning from external sources beyond borders and overseas. This learning process has to pave the way for adopting these developments in its pool of human resources while managing to sustain the company’s identity, purpose, and core values.


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