Chapter 1 HRM
-A leader explained that everyone has a personal knapsack of things they carry around with them. It is
therefore important to recognize individual differences and vary your style accordingly.
-Successful organizations are particularly good at bringing together different kinds of people to achieve a
common purpose. This is the essence of human resource management.
WHAT IS HRM?
Human resources management is a integrated set of processes, programs, and systems in an
organization that focuses on the effective deployment and development of its employees.
WHAT ARE THE HRM PROCESSES AND ACTIVITIES
1) Organizational, work, and job design -- determining what tasks need to be done, in what
order, with what skills, and how individual tasks fit together in work units.
2) Planning -- ensuring that people in the organization are the right people with the right skills
at the right time in right place.
3) Recruitment and selection -- sourcing, attracting, and hiring the people with the necessary
skills and background.
4) Training and development -- providing the resources to assist employees in developing the
necessary knowledge and skills to do their job today and in the future.
5) Performance Management -- ensuring that there are appropriate mechanisms in place to
provide feedback to employees on a regular basis.
6) Compensation (pay and benefits) -- developing and administering pay and benefits
programs that will attract and retain employees.
7) Occupational health and safety -- ensuring that the safety and health of employees are
8) Employee and labour relations -- ensuring that there are positive and constructive relations
between the employees and their supervisors or managers and/or union representatives.
-While the above lists the more traditional areas, a number of areas are emerging as the field of HR
grows and responds to the concerns of both employees and employers. Some of these are:
1) Organizational development and learning (an extension of training and development)
2) High-performance work groups or teams (an extension of job design)
3) Flexible work arrangements (ways to engage employees and address demographic issues)
4) HRIS -- human resource information (and management) systems (talked about later). WHY STUDY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
The line manager or supervisor is the key link between the employee and the organization.
ROLE OF LINE MANAGER
- Although HR professionals may have responsibility for coordinating programs and policies pertaining to
people-related issues, managers and employees themselves are ultimately responsible for making the
organization successful. All line managers, in effect, are people managers -- not the HR professional or
-In a survey, it was noted that employees tend to trust information from their direct managers more
than other managers and that these same direct managers have a huge influence on the reasons
employees stay with the organization. For example, when an organization wishes to place an increased
emphasis on the growth and development of its people, it is the line manager who is front-and-centre in
identifying the gaps in any skill sets.
-Managers or supervisors have “line authority” -- being directly responsible for the product or service.
Unlike line managers who are directly responsible for a product or service, HR professionals are typically
“staff” -- people who help and support the line manager.
- HR professionals may have “functional authority”; that is, they have the legitimate authority in HR
areas, such as recruitment strategies or developing organizational programs, to recognize employees. In
today’s organizations, most HR professionals no longer have total functional authority and are expected
to provide advice and guidance to the line. In dire situations, the HR professional will be expected to
provide advice in a strong and influential way ensuring that the line manager understands the impact on
the organization prior to taking action.
-An HR professional can assist the supervisor in developing steps to improve the performance of a
ROLE OF THE HR PROFESSIONAL
Besides knowing how to recruit and pay people appropriately, HR professionals need sound business
knowledge, good problem-solving and influence skills, and personal credibility (trust and the ability to
build personal relationships).
-The HR practitioner’s primary role in today’s organizations is to help equip the line manager with the
best people practices so that the organization can be successful. HR professionals can provide service
activities, such as recruiting and training. Further, they can be active in policy formulation and
implementation in such areas as workplace harassment, healthy work environments, and change
management. Lastly, an HR professional can be an employee advocate by listening to employee
concerns and ensuring that the organization is aware of and responding to those concerns. THE ONGOING PARTNERSHIP
The key is to find ways to develop and utilize the talents of employees so that they reach their greatest
potential. If an organization has an HR unit, the HR professionals are there to provide guidance and
assistance as internal consultants to the line manager or to help design and deliver programs and
services to better equip employees, supervisors, and managers to contribute to organizational success.
-In organizations that have an HR unit, HR managers assume a greater role in top-management planning
and decision making, a trend that reflects the growing awareness among executives that HRM can make
important contributions to the success of an organization.
CURRENT BUSINESS CHALLENGES
Organizations (like Conference Board of Canada) conduct ongoing studies of the most important
competitive trends and issues facing firms:
1) Global economy
-globalization: moving local or regional business into global marketplace-effects of globalization on
-When managers start to “go global,” they have to balance a complicated set of issues related to
different geographies, cultures, laws, and business practices.
2) survival of firms and business sectors
-Organizations have tried a number of approaches to lower costs, particularly labour costs. These
include downsizing and outsourcing, each of which has a direct impact on HR policies and practices.
-Downsizing is the planned elimination of jobs
-Through studies, it has been demonstrated that it can take 6-18 months for a company to realize
the savings from job cuts
-Outsourcing and Employee Leasing
-Outsourcing: contracting outside the organization for work that was formerly done by internal
employees. The small-business owner saves money, time, and resources by outsourcing tasks such
as accounting and payroll.
-Outsourcing simply means hiring someone outside the company or bringing in a company to
perform tasks that could be done internally. -Interest in outsourcing has been spurred by executives who want to focus their organization’s
activities on what they do best. Increasingly, activities such as maintenance, security, catering, and
payroll are being outsourced in order to both increase the organizations flexibility and to lower
-Since there is a risk in outsourcing, here are some things to