Human Resources (HR) Practices

Human Resources and its Role in the workforce management

by Arun Kumar Bhat

  Updated on Nov 27, 2019

The writer William R Tracey, In the Human Resources Glossary, Defines Human resources as “ The People that staff and operate an organization…as contrasted with the financial and material resources of an organization.”

Human resources means number of people who are working in an organization in a job where products and services are delivered as a business.

Human resources department commonly known as HR department is one of the important department in the organization structure designed to take care of the people aspect of the organization.

In general these resources are commonly known as employees, team members, in software and service sector these people are called techies. Different industries have different nomenclature like in factory setup some time they are called workman, or operator. Whatever may be the name and industry they are working in the people aspect of the organization is taken care of this Human resources department

The realization of human values in the organization, as the most important resources in the success of any business, which  lead to evolution of human resources development from just managing workforce and payment to a complete employee management system. Which helps the needs of a human in all stages of their employees life.


The Term “Human Resource (Capital)” its history and evolution

Human resources was commonly known as personnel administration till late 1920s, The word “human resources” could be traced back to 1893 a book written by John R Coomons “ The Distribution of Wealth” .

Today most organizations calls all the employees , departments, part time , full time employees are commonly referred as Human capital or Human resource

In recent years we can trace back the word human resource in 1958. Currently every organization has a separate department which takes care of the people from recruitment to final separation activities smoothly called the Human resources Department.

Calling human resources is still a debate in some corner of the industry and think tanks, there is argument that people should not be considered as machines or land or materials and they cannot be treated like all other assets.

In 21st century these terms are becoming outdated and now most of the organization use employees as a team, associates, members of the family, talent etc. No matter what we call them, certainly they are all referring to human element of the organization that is the actual people.

Today line between ranks works to managers are getting blur and slowly people are referring as a team, job title and rank is only slowly fading away but still exist.


human resources


Functional Aspect of Human Resources

It is synonymous that Human Resources are also a common name for a department which takes care of the employee HR services like, Paychecks, Leaves, greviances, provident fund and retirement benefits.

No matter how technology grows people are needed to manage the technology. In today’s work environment people are the primary capital of the organization, one will have to onboard people, pay them well, engage and motivate them to work efficiently, develop skills and help them get promoted.

To take care of all these activities organization will have to create a department (HR) where their primary focus is people and customers are mainly internal (employees) and mostly accountable for human aspect of work,. They may not be accountable for output directly however they are very much involved in making a person successful, happy and progressing overtime.

HR professionals are the one who connects all the department heads and managers and educate them on the human aspect, process and policies. This involves even enforcing global compliances on a day today basis. So that there is a right balance between people who work in an organization and the people who manage. In a way HR department is the face of the organization especially in software and service sector.

HR Department will have a control over process, procedures, Skills management and Personal records and promotional activates.


Changing Role of HR Team in current scenario

Over the years role of HR team has enhanced and covers whole lot of other aspect of people. Professor Dr Dave Ulrich of the University of Michigan says there are three main roles of HR team in organizational growth, the first one is strategic partner, second one is Change champion and last one is Employee advocate. He believes when every HR member adds value to people life business grows.

As the year goes by role of a Human resources has taken a prominence

As per the professor Ulrich, he says the next phase of HR is to create a business value in competitive business environment. HR plays a key role in Strategic people and process management and also stockholders (customer, employees, and suppliers) management.

In today’s environment HR staff needs to have a broader view, and clear understanding their work like, sourcing key people, skill development and its impact on organizational level.

Senior Leaders in HR should have a review mechanism where every aspect of work is aligned to larger organizational mission.

It’s very important for HR to focus on finding a great talent and develop and retain them in the organizational system. It is also important to drive organizational culture and value system through leadership.

HR will have to take up an unbiased view on many practices that are outlived as a legacy. And will have to initiate transformation journey in the organization to live up to the competition. We are living in a past faced ever changing environment, Human resources development team also will have to change their attitude and policies to suit the generation Y.

A good organization cannot afford to have an old fashioned HR practices and just manage pay roll and attendance. They will have to engage people and motivate employees to work smarter than ever and create an environment where people put their best for the organization .


How Human Resources names have changed overtime

In this ever changing dynamic digital transformation era organizations are rethinking their people engagement strategy in a big way. Some of them have even initiated changing name to suit the current reality and connect with people.

For example Talent management, People Development, People management , people operations, HR Support all these names have cropped up in last couple of years to connect and manage human capital in a effective way.

As a result of these new changes in the organization we get to see new roles and designations in the job market such as Chief People Officer, Chief of Happiness, Director of Employee Engagement, Vice President Culture and organization.

HR should give attention to some key issues such as:

  • Recognition of contribution, token of appreciation
  • Career progression plan and employee development support
  • Security (for female) and respect for the role as a employee
  • Employee engagement activities, social and family engagement


Key Roles in Human Resources (HR)

In all organization HR do have a bottom to top level roles to fulfill the needs of the workforce.

For entry level

  • Executive HR
  • Associate,
  • Recruiter
  • HR Generalist
  • Team Lead HR

Mid Management

  • Recruitment Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Manager Compensation Benefits
  • People Manager

Senior Management

  • Senior Manager Human Resources
  • Associate/Assistant Vice President HR Resource
  • Vice President/ Director Human Resources


Career Tips to become HR professionals

Career in Human resources are a right choice for many who loves to connect and understand people. Also popular among the women employees as they have better emotional connect with people and their inbuilt strength in managing people. Today you will see most of the HR team is managed by women.

HR is an interesting role where one will get to see many people and engage them in various situations and help them .People say in Human Resources department there is no two days are same, it is so exiting. In this blog post we have covered the entire element which will help you to understand and see if HR is your cup of tea.

In our Course University we bring you all the skills needed to become good HR professionals; we have also listed the best courses (short as well as certification) which you can pursue and be successful.

On our discovery platform we have listed many training providers and their short term programs which will help you grow in HR field. Should you need any guidance and what course is the best for you and which is the right source, you can always get in touch with us through filling the form below, our team will handhold you.

You may also interested to read: Skills that Matters to our career growth


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