Departments are the entities formed within an organization in order to carry out the tasks in an organized manner. The HR department of the organization has to ensure that the mission, vision, values is followed without a fail by every employee irrespective of his department and designation. HR departments within an organization are believed to have a strong impact on the culture of the workplace (Bobinski, 2016). HR department claims dominance over various organizational decisions that range from hiring to firing. The HR department is held responsible for maintaining the diversity of the workplace and implementing the policies and procedures of the organization.
Necessity of an Hr Department:
Argument- In my opinion, every company should have an HR department. The HR professionals have in-depth knowledge of a company's rules, policies and code of conduct. They have good interpersonal skills, ability to make rational decisions and delegate work to team members. They have excellent communications skills and credibility to influence the higher authorities. Confidence, passion, pro-activeness and the ability to accept challenges are some of the key qualities that an HR professional has. Recruitment, training and development, job designing, performance measurement, rewards & recognition, motivation and job satisfaction are the areas where HR professionals are supposed to get involved.
Counter Argument 1- HR department supposedly provides support to the employees of the organization and at the same time, the HR department has its loyalty towards the upper management for the purpose of performance measurement, maintenance of discipline and appraisal. Thus the clash of interests can lead to friction. In many cases, the HR department supports the upper management rather than supporting the employees.
It is worth giving a thought that apart from recruitment and training of suitable candidates, HR professionals have a vital role in employee development, motivating and retaining the employees of the company. They are always readily available when the employees need any kind of support or guidance. There are several instances where the HR department has come to the rescue of employees where ethics are involved (Bia.ca, 2016). For example, a situation where, a female employee is harassed by the head of the department. The HR department takes a stand and issues a warning letter to the head of the department.
Counter Argument 2- HR department does not deliver any value to the organization like the sales, retail, and marketing department help in generating revenues, attracting investors and creating a customer base. HR professionals spend most of their time in administrative and legal concerns of the organization. They have no idea about the existing and potential customers of the organization, their challenges and how an organization can expand its customer base (BusinessZone, 2013). In addition to this, they attach more importance to activities rather than their outcomes. In today’s competitive world, it is not important what you do, but you, what matters are what you deliver.
Yes, it is true that the activities performed by the HR professionals do not result in direct revenue generation, but they are responsible for managing the most important resource for the organization- manpower. It is the HR department only that ensures that all the prized employees are kept happy. They ensure that the salary and other benefits (like insurance, medical reimbursements, LTA etc.) Reach the employees on time. This is very important to keep the morale of the employees high to ensure high productivity.
Counter Argument 3- There are some people who believe that HR professionals are neither good leaders nor strategic in nature. They lack strategic management and change management. The HR department can readily provide data regarding a number of people hired in 1 year, numbers of employees retained in a year, the extent to which the employees are satisfied with their jobs etc. but they cannot link these parameters with business performance (Davenport, 2015). HR professionals lack business acumen. For example, the training that is imparted during the initial days of joining does not help to enhance the performance of the employees. The training modules designed for new joiners are not attuned to the job requirements. The HR department tries to bring in uniformity and standardization in a diverse and complex workforce. Thus, outsourcing is a better option for recruitment, learning and development programs, and health and well-being norms.
We should always consider the fact that the HR department always creates a distinction among the employees on the basis of their performance. The employees that perform well are given rewards & recognition, salary hike, job promotions, etc. HR professionals are involved in benchmarking the salaries against industry standards on the basis of qualification, work experience, function and profile of the employees. Each and every employee within the organization doesn't give the same benefits (Davidson, 2005). Training modules are designed for new as well as existing employees to improve performance. The training modules are revised from time to time, and vary on the basis of department and designation. Several modules are made available on business ethics and whistle blowing. This fosters harmony in the workplace. HR professionals provide strategic inputs during career planning, employee engagement, designing a communication/ feedback system, job designing employee empowerment initiatives, designing a remuneration system etc.
Counter Argument 4- Some employees feel that the HR departments operate at a very slow pace. For example, performance appraisals are very time-consuming. Documentation is required for each and every transaction. To make things worse, employees feel that the performance evaluations and performance appraisals are not fair (de Waal, 2013).
There is a reason why documentation is done. Over the past few years, several laws and regulations have been introduced by government bodies and regulatory authorities whom the organizations have to abide. For example, rules regarding health and safety of employees, fair labor wages, leave entitlement etc. Due to the complexity of these regulations, the HR department takes reasonable cautions. For the performance appraisals, the rating is done by the managers on the basis of various parameters like the ability to take initiative, ability to drive business, team management, risk taking ability, confidence, acceptance to change, tenacity etc (Harolds et al., 2014). The HR department has no say in the ratings given to the employees of an organization.
We can conclude the topic by saying that it is very essential for an organization to have an HR department. An HR profession should have the following qualities to raise the ladder of success and help the organization achieve its objectives in the best possible manner:
Talent development: It is the responsibility of the HR team to recruit the right candidates for the job openings in the company. Once an employee gets onboard, HR department needs to develop a training program in order to enhance his efficiency. It is important to monitor the performance of employees and recognize their talent and hard work.
Flexible: The most important role of the HR professional is being reactive, as the unexpected can happen anytime. There are situations like a breach of the code of conduct, issues related to discrimination and harassment, issues related to inter-departmental conflicts etc (Kazmi, Hasnu and Jamil, 2015). Each situation should be handled very tactfully.
Integrity: The behavior of HR professional should always exhibit honesty and truthfulness. Other employees of the organization look up to the HR department for the high behavioral standards. Code of conduct should be followed while dealing with situations.
Confidentiality: HR professional has access to a great deal of information that should not be disclosed such as payment records, disciplinary records, medical records, and previous employer’s reference (Mihalache, 2012)
Communication skills: An HR professional should have excellent communications skills and credibility to influence the employees of the organization and should be confident enough to put across his point.
Team management and leadership: It is very important for an HR professional being able to work as a team member and a team leader. It is important to understand the attitudes and behaviors of people in the group. There are different stages of group formation and the role of team leader varies in each stage(Merry, 2013). There has to be proper communication between team members and there should be group norms applicable to each team member. They should engage employees from all hierarchical levels to ensure organizational success.
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