Human resource management is a vast area which covers the entire expanse of an organization. Given its vastness and the impact of its coverage, it needs to be classified into different dimensions for ease of understanding as well as operational efficiency. While there are many sub-disciplines and processes that exist within the gamut of HR and a variety of models to categorize them, one of the most common ways to do it is by creating the four dimensions of human resource management practices as defined by Noe et al ( 2010). Most of the HR management courses online will cover them.
Take a look at the four dimensions.
Managing The Human Resource Environment – This element covers everything that relates to company culture, compliance or regulation issues, the mission and vision of the organization and so on. What that means is that the environment or climate that exists within the company is the primary responsibility of human resources. Managing it in a way that it is conducive to encouraging good performance from the workforce, is what HR does.
Acquisition and Preparation of Human Resources – As we all know, human resources form the backbone of any organization. That means that acquisition of the right people is top priority. As is, the development of those people in terms of being able to maximize their potential. This is the second dimension of HR that needs to be strong at the foundational level itself. The acquisition is a crucial activity and one which can have a huge financial or business implication if not carried out correctly.
Assessment and Development of Human Resources – Assessment of the talent that exists within the firm is a big responsibility for HR. They need to work towards finding out the right people who can be developed for bigger and more crucial business linked roles. It is an important dimension to have as part of the entire employee lifecycle since it has a direct impact on whether an employee decides to stay with the firm or not in the long term. This forms the third pillar.
Compensation of Human Resources – All those who join an organization are not doing it only to remain employed. The main or end goal is to be compensated and rewarded for the work they do and the skills they bring to the table. Managing this aspect such that it remains fair and equitable is the job of human resources and the fourth dimension.
These are the ways in which we define the four dimensions of human resource management. All broad and essential activities can be fitted into any of these four dimensions.
Furthermore, there are some fundamentals that HR is deeply linked to, which arises from, and is sustained by. Without these it will not have the kind of identity and purpose that makes it a critical function.
Human resource management is a true combination of skills, knowledge and attributes. While attributes or traits are usually inherent and you need to spend time discovering which one is suitable for your role, skills and knowledge can be acquired. Skills are acquired mainly on the job itself while performing it and knowledge through a good quality and credible course or program. Spend time in looking through the various hr management courses to understand which one suits your needs. It should cover the fundamentals of HRM.
Meanwhile here is a brief overview of what those fundamentals are.
Organization – The organization, at the macro level, is what human resource management is connected to. The area of HRM arises because an organization comes into existence. Therefore, its structure, vision, roadmap and purpose are elements that define or shape up the human resources strategy. In addition to that, the performance scorecard of an organization is what gives HR its own goals.
People – This seems obvious but is the most challenging. The fundamentals of human resource management lie in people processes, programs, policies and practices. That entails designing them, implementing them and also tracking them to be revisited in case they are not meeting the desired purpose. The entire employee life cycle falls within the accountability of the human resources function – from Recruitment, Induction, Performance Management, Rewards, Talent and Leadership Development, and Employee exit. Each of these has many sub functions which are detailed out in good courses and should be understood well by the practitioner.
Business – Human Resources management is incomplete without a clear link of collaboration to the business. Business is the driver due to which recruitment takes place. It is also the reason why talent development happens or new leaders are developed. Without the connection to business, HR will be functioning in silos and will have no idea of how things work. That could have major implications such as loss of good talent and impact on business revenue.
External Market – Unlike what many people think, HR is not an inward focused function only. It needs to be aware of the external market environment and what takes place there. Awareness of the external market also needs to be matched with the right way to create an employer brand for the organization. That is a fundamental role of HR as well.