Jan. 23rd, 2017
COMM 203 Textbook Notes
Chapter 1: Strategies, Trends, and Challenges in HR Management
Earning a Reputation as a Great Employer:
-Organizations strive to create an employment brand that attracts top talent and a reputation as a great
place to work.
-Human Resource Management (HRM):
● Practices, policies, and systems that influence employees’ behaviour, attitudes, and performance.
● Analyzing work and designing jobs
● Workforce Planning:
○ Determining how many employees with specific knowledge and skills are needed.
● Recruiting: Attracting potential employees
● Selection: Choosing employees
● Training and Development: Preparing employees for their jobs.
● Performance Management: Supporting their performance
● Compensation and rewards: Rewarding employees
● Employee & Labour relations: Creating a positive work environment.
Why Are People So Valuable?
-People are crucial to organizational success and the human and intellectual capital of an organization’s
workforce provides an opportunity for substantial competitive advantage.
● An organization’s employees, described in terms of their training, experience, judgement,
intelligence, relationships, and insight.
HRM → Type + Behaviour of human capital → Organizational performance
● High quality employees are needed to perform many critical functions.
● HR (especially high quality employees) are RARE
● HR cannot be imitated
● HR have no good substitutes
-High-Performance Work System:
● An organization in which technology, organizational structure, people, and processes all work
together to give an organization an advantage in the competitive environment.
● HRM must ensure that the organization has the right kinds of people to meet the new challenges.
● Ways to maintain High-Performance Work System:
○ Training programs
○ Recruitment of people with new skill sets
○ Establishment of rewards
What are the responsibilities of HR departments?
1. Administrative Services and Transactions: Requires expertise in the particular tasks.
2. Business Partner Services:
a. Developing effective HR systems that help the organization meet its goals for attracting,
keeping, and developing people with the skills it needs.
b. HR people must understand the business so they know what the business needs. 3. Strategic Partner:
a. For strategic ideas to be effective, the HR people must understand the business.
1. Establishing and administering HR policies
2. Ensuring compliance with legal requirements
Analyzing and Designing Jobs:
-Tasks are grouped in various combinations to form jobs:
● Grouped in a way that help the organization operate efficiently.
-Job Analysis: The process of getting detailed information about jobs.
-Job Design: Defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that a given job requires.
Recruiting and Hiring Employees:
● The process through which the organization seeks applicants for potential employment.
● Process by which the organization attempts to identify applicants with the necessary knowledge,
skills, abilities, and other characteristics that will help the organization achieve its goals.
● Add new employees, or transfer existing employees to new positions.
● Top 5 Qualities Employers Look For:
○ (1) Interpersonal skills
○ (2) Work ethic
○ (3) Initiative / Flexibility
○ (4) Honesty / Loyalty
○ (5) Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
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Training and Developing Employees:
-Training: Planned effort to enable employees to learn job-related knowledge, skills, and behaviour.
● The acquisition of knowledge, skills, and behaviours that improve an employee’s ability to meet
the challenges of a variety of new or existing jobs.
● Often focus on preparing employees for management responsibility.
● Process of ensuring that employees’ activities and outputs match the organization’s goals.
● Activities include:
○ (1) Specifying tasks and outcomes of a job that contribute to the organization’s success
○ (2) Providing timely feedback and coaching
○ (3) Comparing the employee’s actual performance and behaviours over some time period
with the desired performance and behaviours.
Compensation and Rewards:
● A company that wants to provide an exceptional level of service or be exceptionally innovative
might pay significantly more than competitors in order to attract and keep the best employees.
● Organizations need systems for keeping track of each employee’s earnings and benefits.
Maintaining Positive Employee and Labour Relations:
● Organizations often depend on HR professionals to help them identify and perform many of the
responsibilities related to providing satisfying and engaging work environments and maintaining
positive relations with employees. Establishing and Administering HR Policies:
● Organizations depend on their HR department to help establish policies related to hiring,
discipline, promotions, benefits, and the other activities of HRM.
Ensuring Compliance with Federal and Provincial Legislation:
● Governments have many laws and regulations concerning the treatment of employees.
○ Human rights, employment equity, employee safety and health, employee compensation
and benefits, and employee privacy.
○ HR professionals must be up to date with the changing legal landscape.
Why Focus on Strategy?
● HRM is a means to support a company’s strategy (Its plan for meeting broad goals)
● HR professionals are strategic partners with other managers. (Not just administrative HR)
● Identifying the numbers and types of employees the organization will require to meet its
● Includes how to handle or avoid layoffs.
● Collecting and using data to show that HR practices have a positive influence on the company’s
bottom line or key stakeholders.
-Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
● An organization’s commitment to meeting the needs of its stakeholders.
● Stakeholders: Parties with an interest in the company’s success.
● Ways to show CSR:
○ Minimizing environmental impact
○ Providing high-quality products and services
-Productivity: The relationship between an organization’s outputs and inputs.
Expanding into Global Markets:
● To survive and prosper they must compete in international markets as well as fend off foreign
competitors’ attempts to gain around in Canada.
● The Global Workforce:
○ Organizations with international operations hire at least some of their employees in the
foreign countries where they operate.
○ HR practices must take into consideration differences in culture and business practices.
● International Assignments:
○ Organizations must be prepared to send employees to other countries, and to carefully
○ Expatriates: Employees who take assignments in other countries.
Outsourcing: The practice of having another company provide services.
● Gives the company access to in-depth expertise and is often more economical as well.
Offshoring: Setting up a business enterprise in another country.
Mergers and Acquisitions: Are sometimes hard because of people issues.
-Mergers: Two companies becoming one
-Acquisitions: One company buying another.
What Competencies Do HR Professionals Need? (All require interpersonal skills)
1. Credible Activists: a. Being well-respected in the organization → You can influence the positions taken by
2. Cultural Steward:
a. Understanding the organization’s culture and helping to build and strengthen or change
that culture by identifying and expressing its values through words and actions.
3. Talent manager / Organizational Designer:
a. Knows the ways that people join the organization and move to different positions within it.
b. Must know the structure of the organization.
4. Strategy Architect:
a. Requires awareness of business trends and an understanding of how they might affect
5. Business ALlies:
a. Know how the business achieves its success, who its customers are, and why customers
support what the company sells.
6. Operational Executors:
a. Carry out particular HR functions (Administrative)
Ethics in HRM:
-Ethics: The fundamental principles of right and wrong.
● HRM decisions should be ethical.
● 3 Basic Standards for Identifying Ethical Practices:
○ (1) HRM practices must result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people