Human resources facts for kids
Human resources (HR) is the set of people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, industry, or economy. A narrower concept is human capital, the knowledge and skills which the individuals command. Similar terms include manpower, labor, personnel, associates or simply: people.
The duties include planning, recruitment and selection process, posting job ads, evaluating the performance of employees, organizing resumes and job applications, scheduling interviews and assisting in the process and ensuring background checks.
A human resources manager can have various functions in a company, including to:
- Determine the needs of the staff/personnel.
- Determine whether to use temporary staff or hire employees to fill these needs.
- Determine do's and don'ts.
- Train and develop management styles
- Recruit and/or interview the best employees
- Train employees and upgrade their learning knowledge
- Supervise the work
- Evaluate the work
- Establish discipline work culture in the organization
- Avoid politics in the office.
- Apply HR software for the ease of work in the organization.
- Manage employee relations. If there are unions, perform collective bargaining
- Prepare employee records and personal policies.
- Manage employee payroll, benefits, and compensation
- Ensure equal opportunities
- Deal with discrimination
- Deal with performance issues
- Prepare remote work and hybrid work policy
- Ensure that human resources practices conform to various regulations
- Motivate employees
- Mediate disputes
- Disseminate information in the organization so as to benefit its growth
Managers need to develop their interpersonal skills to be effective. Organizational behavior focuses on how to improve factors that make organizations more effective.
Human resource management used to be referred to as "personnel administration". In the 1920s, personnel administration focused mostly on the aspects of hiring, evaluating, and compensating employees. However, they did not focus on any employment relationships at an organizational performance level or on the systematic relationships in any parties. This led to a lacked unifying paradigm in the field during this period.
According to an HR Magazine article, the first personnel management department started at the National Cash Register Co. in 1900. The owner, John Henry Patterson, organized a personnel department to deal with grievances, discharges and safety, and information for supervisors on new laws and practices after several strikes and employee lockouts. This action was followed by other companies; for example, Ford had high turnover ratios of 380 percent in 1913, but just one year later, the line workers of the company had doubled their daily salaries from $2.50 to $5, even though $2.50 was a fair wage at that time. This example clearly shows the importance of effective management which leads to a greater outcome of employee satisfaction as well as encouraging employees to work together in order to achieve better business objectives.
During the 1970s, American businesses began experiencing challenges due to the substantial increase in competitive pressures. Companies experienced globalization, deregulation, and rapid technological change which caused the major companies to enhance their strategic planning – a process of predicting future changes in a particular environment and focus on ways to promote organizational effectiveness. This resulted in developing more jobs and opportunities for people to show their skills which were directed to effectively applying employees toward the fulfillment of individual, group, and organizational goals. Many years later the major/minor of human resource management was created at universities and colleges also known as business administration. It consists of all the activities that companies used to ensure the more effective use of employees.
Now, human resources focus on the people side of management. There are two real definitions of HRM (Human Resource Management); one is that it is the process of managing people in organizations in a structured and thorough manner. This means that it covers the hiring, firing, pay and perks, and performance management. This first definition is the modern and traditional version more like what a personnel manager would have done back in the 1920s. The second definition is that HRM circles the ideas of management of people in organizations from a macromanagement perspective like customers and competitors in a marketplace. This involves the focus on making the "employment relationship" fulfilling for both management and employees.
Some research showed that employees can perform at a much higher rate of productivity when their supervisors and managers paid more attention to them. The Father of Human relations, Elton Mayo, was the first person to reinforce the importance of employee communications, cooperation, and involvement. His studies concluded that sometimes the human factors are more important than physical factors, such as quality of lighting and physical workplace conditions. As a result, individuals often place value more on how they feel. For example, a rewarding system in Human resource management, applied effectively, can further encourage employees to achieve their best performance.
Origins of the terminology
Pioneering economist John R. Commons mentioned "human resource" in his 1893 book The Distribution of Wealth but did not elaborate. The expression was used during the 1910s to 1930s to promote the idea that human beings are of worth (as in human dignity); by the early 1950s, it meant people as a means to an end (for employers). Among scholars the first use of the phrase in that sense was in a 1958 report by economist E. Wight Bakke.
In regard to how individuals respond to the changes in a labor market, the following must be understood:
- Skills and qualifications: as industries move from manual to more managerial professions so does the need for more highly skilled staff. If the market is "tight" (i.e. not enough staff for the jobs), employers must compete for employees by offering financial rewards, community investment, etc.
- Geographical spread: how far is the job from the individual? The distance to travel to work should be in line with remuneration, and the transportation and infrastructure of the area also influence who applies for a position.
- Occupational structure: the norms and values of the different careers within an organization. Mahoney 1989 developed 3 different types of occupational structure, namely, craft (loyalty to the profession), organization career path (promotion through the firm), and unstructured (lower/unskilled workers who work when needed).
- Generational difference: different age categories of employees have certain characteristics, for example, their behavior and their expectations of the organization.
Criticism of the terminology
One major concern about considering people as assets or resources is that they will be commoditized, objectified, and abused. Human beings are not "commodities" or "resources", but are creative and social beings in a productive enterprise.
Some businesses and companies are choosing to rename this department using other terms, such as "people operations" or "culture department," in order to erase this stigma.
Human resource companies play an important part in developing and making a company or organization at the beginning or making a success at the end, due to the labor provided by employees. Human resources are intended to show how to have better employment relations in the workforce. Also, to bring out the best work ethic of the employees and therefore making a move to a better working environment.
Human resources also deals with essential motivators in the workplace such as payroll, benefits, team morale and workplace harassment.
Administration and operations used to be the two role areas of HR. The strategic planning component came into play as a result of companies recognizing the need to consider HR needs in goals and strategies. HR directors commonly sit on company executive teams because of the HR planning function. Numbers and types of employees and the evolution of compensation systems are among elements in the planning role. Various factors affecting Human Resource: planning organizational structure, growth, business location, demographic changes, environmental uncertainties, expansion etc. Additionally, this area encompasses the realm of talent management.
Human resources Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.