8 Human Resource Areas Developed by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

1. Training and Development

2. Organisation Development

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3. Organisation/Job Design

4. Human Resource Planning

5. Selection and Staffing

6. Personnel Research and Information Systems

7. Compensation/Benefits

8. Employee Assistance

Areas

1. Training and Development:

Organisations and individuals should develop and progress simultaneously for their survival and attainment of mutual goals.

Employee training is a specialised function and is one of the fundamental operative functions of human resource management.

Training improves, changes, and moulds the employee’s knowledge, skill, behaviour, aptitude and attitude towards the requirements of the job and the organisation.

Training bridges the difference between job requirements and employee’s present specifications.

Management development is a systematic process of growth and development by which managers develop their abilities to manage. It is a planned effort to improve current or future managerial performance.

2. Organisation Development:

Management can effectively meet challenges of change through i systematic and planned effort.

Organisation development is the modern approach to management of change and human resource development.

According to Dale S Beach, organisation development is – “a complex educational strategy designed to increase organisational effectiveness and wealth through planned intervention by a consultant using theory and techniques of applied behavioural science”.

Organisation Development (OD) concentrates on those dimensions that are about people like norms, values, attitudes, relationships, organisational climate etc.

OD efforts broadly aim at improving the organisational effectiveness and job satisfaction of the employees. Humanising the organisations and encouraging the personal growth of individual employees can attain these aims.

3. Organisation/Job Design:

Organisation design deals with structural aspects of organisations. It aims at analysing roles and relationships so that collective effort can be explicitly organised to achieve specific ends. The design process leads to development of an organisation structure consisting of units and positions.

There are relationships involving exercise of authority and exchange of information between these units and positions.

Michael Armstrong has defined job design as – “the process of deciding on the content of a job in terms of its duties and responsibilities; on the methods to be used in carrying out the job, in terms of techniques, systems and procedures and on the relationships that should exist between the job holder and his superiors, subordinates and colleagues”.

Thus, job design is the process of determining the specific tasks and responsibilities to be carried out by each member of the organisation.

It has many implications for human resources management. Both the content and one’s job and the ability to influence content and level of performance affect a person’s motivation and job satisfaction.

4. Human Resource Planning:

Human resource planning may be defined as the process of assessing the organisation’s human resource needs in light of organisational goals and making plans to ensure that a competent, stable work force is employed.

The efficient utilisation of organisational resources – human, capital and technological – just does not happen without the continual estimation of future requirements and the development of systematic strategies designed towards goal accomplishment.

Organisational goals have meaning only when people with the appropriate talent, skill and desire are available to execute the tasks needed to realise goals.

5. Selection and Staffing:

After identifying the sources of human resources, searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation, the management has to perform the function of selecting the right employees at the right time.

The selection process involves judging candidates on a variety of dimensions, ranging from the concrete and measurable like years of experience to the abstract and personal like leadership potential.

To do this, organisations rely on one or more of a number of selection devices, including application forms, initial interviews, reference checks, tests, physical examinations and interviews.

All selection activities, from the initial screening interview to the physical examination if required, exist for the purpose of making effective selection decisions.

Each activity is a step in the process that forms a predictive exercise – managerial decision makers seeking to predict which job applicant will be successful if hired. “Successful” in this case means performing well on the criteria the organisation uses to evaluate personnel.

It is important to have a good organisation structure, but it is even more important to fill the jobs with the right people. Staffing includes several sub-functions:

(a) Recruitment or getting applications for the jobs as they open up.

(b) Selection of the best qualified from those who seek the jobs.

(c) Transfers and promotions.

(d) Training those who need further instruction to perform their work effectively or to qualify for promotions.

Importance and Need for Proper Staffing:

There are a number of advantages of proper and efficient staffing. These are as under:

(a) It helps in discovering talented and competent workers and developing them to move up the corporate ladder.

(b) It ensures greater production by putting the right man in the right job.

(c) It helps to avoid a sudden disruption of an enterprises’ production run by indicating shortages of personnel, if any, in advance.

(d) It helps to prevent under-utilisation of personnel because of over-manning and the resultant high labour cost and low profit margins.

(e) It provides information to management for the internal succession of managerial personnel in the event of an unanticipated occurrence.

6. Personnel Research and Information Systems:

The term research means a systematic and goal oriented investigation of facts that seeks to establish a relationship between two or more phenomena.

Research can lead to an increased understanding of an improvement in HRM practices. Managers make decisions and solve problems.

To make decisions about personnel and to solve human resource problems, managers gather data and draw conclusions from these data. Research can lead to an increased understanding of an improvement in HRM practices.

Infect, engaging in some type of research into what is happening in the HRM discipline can be viewed as necessary for one’s survival as a manager over the long term.

Research can additionally help managers answer questions about the success of programmes such as those for training and development – for which they may bear responsibility.

7. Compensation/Benefits:

Wages and salaries, the payment received for performing work, is a major component of the compensation and reward process which is aimed at reimbursing employees for their work and motivating them to perform to the best of their abilities.

In addition to pay, most employees receive benefits such as ESI, leave travel concession, and they receive non-financial rewards such as security, recognition and privileges.

Although individual employees vary in the extent to which they value pay in relation to other work rewards, for most people the pay received for work is a necessity.

Determining wage and salary payments is one of the most critical aspects of human resource management because:

(a) The organisation’s reward system has a profound effect on the recruitment, satisfaction and motivation of employees and

(b) Wage and salaries represent a considerable cost to the employer.

A carefully designed wage and salary programme that is administered according to sound policies and consistently applied rules is essential if human resources are to be used effectively to achieve organisational objectives.

8. Employee Assistance:

Employee assistance focuses on providing mechanism for personal problem solving and counselling individual employees.

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