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Sample Undergraduate HRM Essay

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Reflective Paper- Human Resource Management

Introduction

Human resource management (HRM) is a designed function to maximize employees’ performance in an organization according to the organizational objectives (Torrington et al., 2007). The human resource unit is usually responsible for activities such as recruitment of employees, training, rewarding, and also performance management.

The department is also accountable for guaranteeing that the organization’s activities align with the government’s standards, regulations, and laws (Abdullah et al., 2009). When recruiting new staff into the organization, the HRM department requires several strategic points to recruit staff with the skills and specifications to help attain the set staffing goals.

Some of these factors include quality of the required workforce, cost of unfilled jobs, availability of labor, highly skilled applicants attracted by the proper advertisement of the job opportunities, employment ‘branding’ and image, and practicing internet recruiting.

Several questions have been raised concerning the impact of human resource management on the performance of a firm. Some argue (Abdullah et al. 2009; Beardwell and Claydon 2010) that adopting a strategic HRM will help develop unique practices and satisfy employees. Some have argued that strategic HRM can help firms gain an advantage over their competitors.

Other companies view human resource as a dark bureaucratic force that blindly implements nonsensical rules, opposes creativity, and hinder constructive change.

Issues in Human Resource Management

The HR department’s problem in almost every company is the obsession with matters relating to the employee’s pay and watching of rules and regulations (Vermeeren et al. 2008).

Traditionally, human resource professionals have been in charge of systematizing and acting as executive management’s policing arm.  They will never get involved in any strategic activities if they don’t show their influence on the firm’s performance. Theories suggest that organizations can enhance their competitive advantage and performance with strategic HRM practices that are effective (Huselid et al., 1997).

The main aim of an HRM department in an organization should be to positively influence a workforce’s productivity and determine the factors that affect the individual or performance of a team as a whole.

These factors include determining the firm’s foundations of productivity, the firm’s direction and aim, support factors, communication, information factors, resourcing, and other miscellaneous factors. This means that if the HRM works with the management, they can attract, hire and retain high-performing employees, learners, and innovators.

They should also continuously train their employees and ensure everyone in the firm delivers effectively and efficiently, actively used in JLR. Employees whose own goals align with the organizational goals tend to be more productive. Therefore, the HRM should not overlook this fact when building a corporate strategy to ensure total commitment.

Employees who perform well should be highly rewarded to ensure they are motivated, and also, there is competition within the organization (Huselid 1995). When building a team, the HRM should ensure that all the team members share the same objectives and offer trust and support. Lack of teamwork will hinder productivity.

The HR department should learn how to always say the right thing. At the grand level, what they tell the employees has to match what the company believes in. Also, when it comes to paying and benefits, they should clearly explain what has been done and why it has been done.

For HR to be taken seriously by the top management, they must demonstrate their impact on the business organization (Huselid 1995). To achieve this, they must cut off the individuals who get into HR and do not have functional skills. The people who work in HR should be competitive and sophisticated about its strategy and customers (Mondy & Gowan 2005).

Some employees see HR staff as stooges for management, and the management views them as annoying do-gooders representing the employees. The best employee supporters are the ones who are always concerned with advancing organizational and individual performance.

They should represent the management with honesty and integrity and at the same time support the employees to improve the company’s competence. They also need to foster proficiency and commitment among the workers, develop the abilities that allow managers to execute policy, help build connections with clients, and create assurance among stakeholders in the firm’s future value.

The department’s management roles need to be redefined to align its objectives with those of the organization as a whole. For any HR manager to start contributing to the firm’s performance, they need to consider themselves strategic partners. In this role, they will take responsibility and contribute to the accomplishment of the organizational objectives.

The objectives of HR will then be established to help attain the primary business objectives. The department representatives are also aware of the kind of work system designs they will contribute and succeed. Becoming a strategic partner will impact HR services such as hiring, designing work positions, rewarding, recognition, employee development, succession planning, and strategic pay (Mathis and Jackson 2003; Torrington et al. 2007; Mullins and Christy 2013).

Professionals in JLR’s HR department take part in these strategic roles thus are seen as strategic contributors to the firm’s success. Therefore, they have to act the part and take responsibility to be a successful business partner.

According to Youndt et al. (1996), the department manager should also play an employee advocate’s role. Being an employee advocate will require him to generate a work atmosphere that will encourage the employees and contribute to the firm’s success happily.

The manager should also foster effective goal-setting methods, empowerment, and communication to give the staff a sense of belonging in the company. It should be one of the HR professionals’ roles to create a climate that will give the workplace an effective and competitive mood to ensure customer satisfaction.

The employees also need to accept and embrace change in the organization. The frequent evaluations of the staff carried out by the HR department should help identify the sections where change is needed. The HR professionals are critical because of their ability to execute successful and effective change strategies.

If the employees understand change and link it with the organization’s strategies, there will be minimal employee dissatisfaction and resistance when applying the transformation.

New Learning of Human Resource Management

The modern view of HRM gained momentum in 1981 with its introduction on the MBA course at Harvard Business School, providing an influential interpretation of HRM with other such interpretations developed in Michigan and New York (Price 2007, p. 20). From that point onward, HRM became a new approach to managing people, which differentiated significantly from personnel management.

This is because HRM is portrayed as a more proactive approach by looking at people in a more economical term as either assets or costs that need to be actively managed (Price 2007, p. 21). Compared to personnel management, HRM is more strategic as it connects people to business objectives by working people, not just employees, in the long-term interests (Price 2007, p. 21).

According to Price (2007), HRM is also an integrated approach that can provide a coherent program by connecting people management aspects. Furthermore, HRM is thought to be holistic because it concerns the overall people requirements of an organization. With this theory, HRM had implied a significant shift towards a more conceptual and higher-level concern, including its structure and culture based on the provisions of required competencies.

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Application of HRM in the Workplace

Using the concepts of HRM, the current workplace that I am working in and the future workplace can invest heavily in its workforce, including a high level of development activities and relevant training, including intensive training. Using the concepts of HRM, the company’s workforce can be taken through two weeks of various job placements to help them experience operations.

There should be no provision for employees to move roles in their two years of employment. The workplace can sustain a precise balance of workload across a graduate scheme. It can invest heavily in a graduate school scheme, which offers its employees great opportunities to grow as individuals as they try different jobs in different departments.

The current workplace’s employees receive a lot of support and are encouraged to go out of their way and try out things that interest them. Focusing on personal development and a flexible approach to working hours, the company has a yearly fund to allow its employees to learn non-career-based skills. The role is engaging and fluid. It comprises project management and engages other supplier visits, contract management, and department.

The company provides lots of impetus behind it because of massive growth. They reward success and do not penalize failure because they believe one can learn and do one job well after failing. Currently, it has a very high workload. While this benefits employees who aim to make their careers, it has a detrimental effect on their work-life balance.

However, employees enjoy option that highlights different opportunities to ensure they adhere to the working hours (West 2014). In the purchasing department, there is an explicit reward for employees’ overtime working. Having overgrown in recent years, the company is struggled with the infrastructure to keep up with the ever-increasing number of employees.

The human resource department has a vision that is designed to align with long-term business goals. The department also has a set of rules and strategies, which it uses to engage with its employees. They include giving people the tools and resources to succeed. They also hire more inquisitive learners.

They ask questions on every issue that they cannot understand and need more clarification from their seniors. In case the learners fail, they always ask for guidance on improvements from their seniors. Also, when working on small projects, they work in small teams to avoid wastage of time.

There is the need to keep structures flat because as the company gets big, the information needs to flow up, and they also have to discuss everything they can publicly.

Potential Impact on Future Career

One of the most important priorities that I will implement in my future workplace is improving and maintaining gender balance. The company must have a women’s development program that encourages and motivates women to join careers usually dominated by making.

The company should operate a sponsorship scheme for female undergraduates. Under my role as an HR manager, the company will be recognized and awarded with the ‘Two Ticks’ symbol for its efforts to employ disabled staff and keep them and develop their abilities further.

The HR department should also employ training evaluation as one of the strategic responsibilities of the department. Organizations use training to facilitate learning skills, attitudes, and knowledge to improve work performance to achieve organizational goals.

Training is essential in every organization since it takes into consideration the long-term goals of the organization. Therefore, evaluation of all the employees’ training programs is an important part of strategic planning. Evaluation of training helps tell whether or not the investments made in training were effective.

Achievement of the previously set objectives is used as a basis while determining the effectiveness of training. They are different levels through which employee training programs can be evaluated. They include reaction, learning, impact on the organisation, and behavioral change (Dessler 2000).

Taking the participant’s feedback just after training is the reaction level. Feedback is taken on everything related to the training program, including their views on the facilitators, resources, methods used, among others. Knowledge and skills acquired are also determined at the end of the training program. For my future workplace, I would suggest that the company carry out this task through questionnaires, formal or informal interviews, getting feedback from the training unit,

manager’s feedback, making a cost-benefit analysis, among other methods. The behavioral change level is carried out at the workplace. The habits and attitudes of the participating employees are observed. The impact to the organizational level first focuses on the particular unit where the participating employees are assigned.

An improvement in the unit will reflect the overall performance of the company. The evaluators observe the level of customer satisfaction and product sales profit, which has been increasing at an impressive percentage lately.

References

Abdullah, Z., Ahsan, N., And Alam, S. S. (2009). The effect of human resource management practices on business performance among private companies in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Management. [Online] 4 (6).p. 65- 72. Retrieved from: http://ccsenet.org/journal/html

Beardwell, J. And Claydon, T. (2010). Human Resource Management. 6th edition. London: Pearson Education.

Dessler, G. (2000). Human Resource Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Huselid, M. A., Jackson, S. E., and Schuler, R. S. (1997). Technical and strategic human resource management effectiveness as determinants of firm performance. [Online] 40 (1).p. 171-188. Retrieved from: http://www.markhuselid.com/pdfs/articles/1997_AMJ_Technical_and_Strategic_SHRM.pdf.

Huselid, M. A. (1995). The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance. Academic of Management Journal. [Online] 38 (3).p. 635-672. Retrieved from: http://amj.aom.org/.

Mathis, L. And Jackson, H. (2003) Human Resource Management. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Mondy, R. & Gowan, M. (2005) Human Resource Management. Upper Saddle River, N.J; Pearson Prentice Hall.

Mullins, L. J. and Christy, G. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Price, A. (2007) Human Resource Management in a Business Context. 3rd edition. London: Thomson Learning.

Torrington, D., Hall, L. And Taylor, S. (2007) Human Resource Management. 7th edition. London: Prentice-Hall.

West, K. (2014) ‘Jaguar land rover blazes a trail for British car manufacturing’ The Guardian, 28 July. [Online] Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/28/jaguar-land-rover-blazes-trail-british-car-manufacturing.

Vermeeren, B., Kuipers, B. And Stejin, B. (2008) Human resource management and performance of public organizations: A study o HRM activities and public service quality of Dutch municipalities. EGPA Conference at Eramus University Rotterdam. [Online] Retrieved from http://soc.kuleuven.be/io/egpa/HRM/rotterdam/Vermeeren-Kuipers-Steijn&Vogelaar2008.pdf.

Youndt, M. A., Snell, S. A., Dean Jr., J. W., And Lepak, D. P. (1996) Human resource management, manufacturing strategy, and firm performance. Academy of Management Journal. [Online] 39 (4). p. 836-866. Retrieved from: http://amj.aom.org/.