[S]trategic human resource management is the process of linking the human resource function with the strategic goals of a business in order to improve and drive performance. On simple terms, human resource management involves recruiting, hiring and managing employees. However, a successful human resource system requires many more pieces of the organisation, involving organisational culture and administering health and safety. With an understanding of these elements of a HR management system, business owners and managers can effectively structure their business processes.
Organisational culture is the assembly of values, working rules, company vision, traditions and beliefs that a company has adopted over the years. The HR management system plays a vital part in influencing the organisational culture within a business. Establishing guidelines, procedures and company standards lets employees know and learn the behaviours that are acceptable in the workplace. For example, a policy may state that punctuality is important within the company, which promotes improved time management skills among employees, or the HR team may adapt a more flexible time management policy that values employees’ freedom to manage their own schedules – also referred to as ‘flexi-time’. Therefore, the organisational culture affects the way people do their work and cooperate with one another and with customers.
Planning for Change
The business world changes rapidly. Technology is changing and being updated constantly, employees come and go, and the finances of the business varies from time to time. It is the responsibility for the HR team to help stabilise the company for ongoing change and this cannot be ignored. Planning for change means helping employees understand their roles taking into account the larger picture of the company. It involves building bridges between departments and managers and getting people to talk about “what-if” circumstances. HR uses this information and develops a management plan for disasters, for changes in workflow and for reassuring employees in times of disaster or alarming change.
Training and Development
Nearly all employees, including ones that are highly qualified and skilled, require training at some stage due to the fact that each organisation does things differently to others. Policies and procedures need to be firmly conveyed to all staff as part of their on-boarding process – therefore having everyone on the same wavelength. The HR management system is also in charge of ongoing employee development. This continuing education keeps employees’ skills up to date so they bring original and modern ideas to the company.
Health and Safety
The HR management system plays a key role in ensuring health and safety in the workplace. This can be achieved through policies and procedures, but the HR function may go a step further to make sure employees understand the risks of certain activities. For example, if there is heavy machinery in the office, HR can post warning signs and posters listing the steps to take in case of an emergency. This minimizes the possibility that an accident will occur and helps to eliminate any subsequent legal action that might be taken against the company.
Recruitment and Retention
While recruitment and retention may seem like a given for HR management systems, it is the main hub for all HR’s policies and systems. Obtaining qualified workers, keeping them involved within the company, training them correctly to successfully complete their jobs and encouraging them to undergo further education, up skill, awarding them with benefits and compensation are all drivers to organisational success and should be continually on the minds of HR managers.
Developing and implementing the right Human Resource Management System for your business is important. While it is possible to take care of these functions manually, an automated system ensures there is plenty of time available for the human resources staff to develop and maintain the data that goes into those systems. Remember, a Human Resource Management System is not “one size fits all”, each company is different so find the right system that works best for you.
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