A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice | Michael Armstrong

Summary of: A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
By: Michael Armstrong


Delve deep into the world of human resource management with ‘A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice’ by Michael Armstrong. Gain insights into HRM’s strategic and coherent approach, focusing on enhancing an organization’s most valuable assets: its people. Learn about the expansive roles and responsibilities of HR professionals in today’s ever-changing corporate landscape. This summary unravels the key aspects, ranging from organizational tasks to performance management, employee welfare, and the administration of HR policies. Discover different HRM approaches and the crucial aspects that shape an effective HR professional.

The Strategic Role of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management (HRM) encompasses an organization’s policies and practices regarding its employees’ recruitment, hiring, retention, and development. HRM can be a proactive partner that supports business goals and contributes to achieving high levels of organizational performance. When HR is involved in strategic planning, it can help define the organization’s direction, identify and recruit the right people, assess work practices, streamline processes and systems, improve customer service, raise morale, lower absenteeism, halt turnover, foster participation, create a better workplace, support supervisors, and manage change. However, some organizations treat HR strictly as a service department and do not see its strategic value. The approach taken by an HR professional depends on factors such as the organization’s size, management’s acceptance of new ideas, the firm’s specific purpose, the HR team, and corporate culture. Ultimately, HRM is much more than hiring and firing and can contribute significantly to overall organizational success.

Simplifying HRM

HRM is an essential process for many businesses, as it selects employees whose skills and dedication will best align with the company’s goals. Once the employees have been hired, HRM provides the support needed to foster a sense of job satisfaction while managing the relationships between employees and managers. HRM responsibilities involve nine categories, which include organizational tasks, employee development, and performance management.

HRM is a crucial part of fostering the success of a business by finding and recruiting employees who are skilled and committed to the company’s growth. In order to achieve this, HRM must have the support of upper management, which ensures that there is an understanding of the company’s goals, objectives, and culture. HRM is further responsible for nurturing employees, rewarding them appropriately, and building the organization’s intellectual capital, which is critical in retaining employees.

There are various types of HR departments, ranging from small internal operations to independent bodies performing HR functions for outside organizations. Depending on each company’s unique structure, HRM decisions may be made at the top, or in some organizations, the entire HR function may be outsourced. HR department managers must define objectives and effectively communicate the business case to justify the budgets needed to achieve those objectives.

HRM philosophy can be sharply divided into two categories: hard HRM and soft HRM. Hard HRM is centered on metrics and quantitative measures, while soft HRM emphasizes communication, relationships, and client commitment. Most organizations tend to adopt a mix of both hard and soft HRM approaches.

There are nine broad categories of responsibilities that fall within HRM. These include organizational tasks, resources for the organization, performance management, employee development, reward management, employee relations, health and safety, employee welfare, and administration. Each category is equally important and must be well-executed in order to achieve a thriving business culture.

Lastly, good management fosters trust, which is a critical outcome in HRM. Although trust cannot be managed, the proper management of HRM functions can lead to its development. Overall, HRM involves a diverse set of responsibilities that ensure that an organization’s employees are well suited to the company’s goals, while fostering a culture of employee satisfaction and growth.

The Multifaceted Role of HR Professionals

HR professionals have evolved to become strategic partners in the growth and success of their organizations. They possess a diverse skill-set, including problem solving, leadership, communication, cultural awareness, and innovation, among others. Job design aims to align individual needs with organizational objectives. To align HR policies with business strategies, it is crucial to understand the company’s values and culture. Continuous policy reviews, legal compliance, and feedback from management and employees aid in developing effective HR policies. Ultimately, a successful HR professional focuses on achieving results through others while keeping the business and its customers in mind.

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