The human resource management is one of the vital departments in organizations. Its role has undergone various changes in the past decades, and it is still going through transformation to date. This is due to the changing patterns of business practices and the need to embrace new and upcoming systems in both the business world and other aspects of an organization. The transitioning role of HRM is, therefore, having an impact on management practices of organizations. In this essay, the changing role of HRM shall be discussed in three perspectives.
Factors that contributed to transformation of HRM primary function from functional operation to a strategic partner
Functional operation is where the human resources (employees) are given individual attention. Activities such as recruitment, payment and motivation are done at the individual level, which distinguishes them from other activities that lead to organizational goal achievement. On the other hand, strategic partner is where the HRM is incorporated and wholly involved in the strategic management process of the business for the overall goal accomplishment.
There are various factors leading to this and they include the cost of doing business, shrinking talent pool, Information Technology (IT) innovations, globalization, and company reinvention. Over the past decade, web innovation and automation have made it easier for more HR administrative actions to be done using various software. Self-service systems have filled the market, which give employees opportunities to cater for their needs in areas such as retirement plans, health benefits and change of life events. The new HR outsourcing service provides the means and chance for companies to lower non-important HR department expenditures, also using the recent technologies to provide better services. As a result, the HRM can attend to new roles for the company evolution and change (Burke & Cooper, 2005).
Another important factor is the increasing market globalization. Globalization has increased competition for jobs and customers. Operational theories such as Total Quality Management (TQM), new management, changes in health insurance, demographics, and federal together with state employment legislation have also contributed to this change.
According to Daniel (2001), organizational structure changes lead to a strategic partner. For instance, constant decline of manufacturing industries and rise in the service sector in USA and other nations and decline of unions in several industries have changed situations at work. Organization philosophies have also changed. Many companies have moved from the traditional, hierarchical structures to flatter organizational structures. This, in turn, has led to the need to reassess personnel management. Therefore, the HR will continue to change, and whatever the new roles are, the transition process will require time and patience.
How technology affects the HRM field
Technology is the use, making, embracing knowledge of tools, equipment, techniques, machines, systems and crafts in daily activities. Business technology, therefore, is the use of such or methods in an organization to solve business problems and run other activities of the business.
Daniel, (2001) outlines that HR technology can assist organizations to achieve their objectives and goals by firstly, helping managers to employ and deploy employees more effectively and efficiently. Secondly, by reducing costs for administering in the HR department. Thirdly, by making the process of assessment and recruiting of employees more better. Fourthly, by ensuring workers receive suitable training and development. Finally, by fastening the process of receiving information by managers and customers.
Technology, as Daniel (2001) says has changed the way traditional HRM activities are done. For instance, through better technology, information systems and payroll can be handled more efficiently and effectively. The use of e-learning and web recruiting has advanced tremendously. This is seen by larger use of technological learning opportunities like journaling on-line, blog, wikis, podcasts, on-line simulations and web discussions.
The change in demographic trends such as worker retirement causes labor shortages and hence firms might face problems in training, recruiting and engaging employees. Management of talent, therefore, is extremely vital. In addition, succession management has become an important issue as suitable succession management can be used as a tool for developing and retaining nice people.
According to Burke & Cooper (2005), technology also affects ethical issues in HRM. These have increased for organizations and managers and reputation may affect a firm’s recruitment and retention process either positively or negatively. HRM practitioners, therefore, should maintain changes in law and treat talent fairly.
How HRIS influence organizational culture and change
According to Burke & Cooper (2005), human resource information system (HRIS) is a system, which keeps records and employee data. It is used to keep watch of employee details and activities (Daniel, 2001). It has influenced the organizational culture and change in various ways as discussed below.
HRIS as an information system allows members of the organization to take part in making decisions and sharing information totally. HRIS has also made the organization meet its strategic goals. It also supports key processes such as employee training, interdepartmental integration and executive decision-making.
HRIS contributes management of knowledge, thus, advancing the learning of organization (Daniel 2001). Furthermore, HRIS enhances delivery of relevant training of knowledge management in a cost- and the time-effective way.
The role of HRM in organizations is vital in ensuring the success in these institutions. The organizations should, therefore, embrace the technology to have quality HR; this will go hand in hand with success in these organizations.
Burke, R.J. & Cooper. L.C. (2005). Reinventing human resource management. Mahway, NJ: Routledge.
Daniel, R.D. (2001). Managing organizational change in transition economies. Mahway, NJ: Routledge.