Approaches to Strategic Human Resources Management


A Human Resources Executive as a member of top management must determine what policies, programs, practices, and approaches will contribute most to the realization of the organization objectives. This means that in his new role he must be responsible for initiating and implementing-at all levels of management-the most effective utilization of the human assets.

The primary function of the human resources position is to make a major contribution to the development and realization of the organization short-term and long-range objectives while enabling each employee to develop to the fullest extent of his potential. This requires a catalyst and business effectiveness consultant as contrasted with the traditional role of the personnel director.

With these thoughts in mind, the position of the vice-president-human resources might be defined in this way. He reports to the president. His broad function is to formulate, recommend, and implement policies, procedures, and plans to assure the most effective planning, recruitment, selection, utilization, motivation, development, and compensation of the organization human resources; contribute to the development and achievement of the organization long-range and short-term objectives by initiating and implementing employee relations practices which will enable and encourage each employee to realize his personal goals while maximizing his contribution to business effectiveness; provide for the resolution of management problems and the realization of opportunities through innovative approaches to human resources management.

The principal responsibilities of the human resources executive are these:

• Formulate and recommend human resource objectives for inclusion in the organization overall objectives.

• Identify the potential contribution of good human resource management to organizational objectives.

• Identify management problems that can be resolved and opportunities that can be realized through improved effectiveness in human resource management.

• Formulate, recommend, and implement employee relations policies designed to improve individual productivity, job satisfaction, and profitability.

• Make managers aware of their full responsibilities in the management of the human resources entrusted to them.

• Provide the necessary tools, techniques, and methods which foster the development of a business climate conducive to employee innovation and development.

• Establish the necessary procedures and practices for human resource planning, recruitment, selection, utilization, motivation, development, and compensation. Insure that these are incorporated into every manager job performance evaluation.

• Develop and staff the employee relations function to make provision for innovative approaches to labor and union relations, personnel practices and services, training and development, communication, community relations, benefit plan development and administration, and problem solving. resource management services 

• Serve as a catalyst and business effectiveness consultant in initiating and implementing new approaches to human resources management.

This position can exert a tremendous influence on business results. Therefore, a few words need to be said about each principal responsibility.

Just as important as market position, technological leadership, return on investment, and profitability are organization human resources. Thus its objectives must reflect this hierarchy of importance.

Human resource objectives for any firm might include five points:

(1) Provide stable employment, equitable compensation, desirable working conditions, and opportunities for advancement for employees in return for their skill, care, efforts, dependability, and teamwork.

(2) Provide a climate conducive to the development of each employee potential in accord with his needs, interests, desires, abilities, and willingness to take on additional responsibility to realize his personal and professional career objectives.

(3). Manage the human resources to assure continuing vitality and growth of the company while realizing a profit and providing opportunities for public service.

(4) Provide a sound organization with enlightened leadership to assure maximum work satisfactions for each employee in a decentralized environment.

(5) Define clearly for each individual the responsibilities of his position, along with the commensurate authority that will enable him to make his best contribution to overall organization goals.

Every organization, regardless of its size, must provide for the needs, interests, and desires of its employees within the work environment if it is to earn loyalty, dedication, involvement, and commitment. This is necessary in order to compete effectively for superior talent in the marketplace. Just making these objectives known would serve to attract the kind of employees all organizations want to have. It is, of course, necessary to follow-up with good management of human resources, or high turnover will inevitably result.

To shed some light on the importance of human resource management, it is a good exercise to look at the objectives of a profit-oriented enterprise-a single-product company, in this instance and attempt to identify the potential contribution of effective management of our human assets. The objectives are:

• To obtain and hold 41 percent of the total available market.

• To return 25 percent on invested capital.

• To return 12 percent on sales.

• To be the technological leader in new product innovation.

• To be the leader in introducing new manufacturing processes, methods, and technology.

• To provide a reliable, dependable, safe product at quality levels superior to those of the competition.

• To build public confidence in the company product and services.

• To attract and retain investor capital by providing a favorable return to share-owners.

• To increase the value of the company stock.

• To cooperate with and provide a fair profit to our suppliers, distributors, retailers, and contractors.

• To be a good corporate citizen by discharging our social, civic, and economic responsibilities through commitment of funds and managerial talent.

That superior, dedicated people are needed at all levels of the organization to achieve these objectives is evident. The company seeks to maintain a superior position in markets, technology, product, service, quality, and internal and external relationships. In order to do this, all six concerns of top management in obtaining, utilizing, motivating, developing, compensating, and retaining good people must be satisfied. These should be incorporated into the objectives listed above.

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