Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a central role in any organization. This is because it leads to the increased performance of employees in a bid to achieve goals of an organization (Youssef, 2012). HRM is usually a wide area that includes planning, recruitment and selection. It also entails employees’ welfare in terms of health and safety. In addition, the compensation and benefits of the employees are stipulated through HRM. Further, it deals with the development of the human capital and coordination of employee and labor relations. Furthermore, HRM ensures that affirmative action and equal employment opportunity (EEO) are implemented. This essay outlines how these roles of HRM work together to achieve the common goal of an organization. In order to accomplish this task effectively, the essay identifies main issues in a HRM area and new learning achieved, especially through online involvement. Above all, the paper focuses on the specific applications of the new learning and the potential impact on a clinic coordinator. Throughout the course, information and communication technology was the major newly learnt aspect, which helps to consider human resources development and employee compensation the most important areas of HRM.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action
With the rise of modern firms, there has been a global as well as local push for respect and equal treatment for all persons. According to Condrey (2010), EEO is a policy that ensures that individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of any of the following: gender, ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, color, age or mental capabilities. Throughout the course and judging by my experience, it has become clear that EEO has a legislative backing as evident in civil rights laws. On the other hand, I understood affirmative action as a more rigorous way of enforcing EEO at workplace. I have been able to learn that through affirmative action, all types of organizations were or are in the process of achieving EEO in order to tolerate diversity among people.
The main issue behind EEO and affirmative action is the fact that there was massive unfairness perpetrated against people of a particular group. For instance, over the years, women did not have equal access to employment comparing to men. Nowadays, through affirmative action policies, managers are able to entrench and advocate for the rights of all employees (Condrey, 2010). Although there has been a lot of literature on EEO and affirmative action, I have learnt that there are deliberate efforts by present-day HR managers to reach out to the under-privileged minorities and women groups. To do this, most organizations are making use of the internet. For instance, some organizations could use intranet as a tool through which they receive complaints on discrimination and unfairness. However, this was not clear to me until we learnt about information systems in human resource management. There is no doubt that if such efforts are made, future workplace would be more inclusive, fair and conducive for everyone regardless of their religion, gender, or any other social categorization.
There has been debate on what HR area is most important. As a rule, it is important for managers to be conscious of the goals of the organization. It also appears that the most important aspect of human resource management depends on the type of an organization. In a health institution, EEO and affirmative action may not necessarily be the most significant aspects. This is because the goals of such an organization may be centered on the patients. Therefore, the quality of service delivery, dependent on human resource development and employee compensation may be the most important aspect of HRM for such an institution.
Human Resources Planning, Recruitment and Selection
Planning is a key element of human resources. This is because without a plan, execution would be impossible or uncoordinated. HR departments in organizations are known for their prior planning for the required employees’ number on the basis of company’s size. As a result, HR managers plan how recruitment and selection are carried out. However, a major issue under this area is the approach during selection of employees. For instance, there is wealth of literature indicating that interviewing may not help the panel to know the abilities of the candidate in a real work environment. Therefore, HR managers prefer to use capability tests, such as aptitude tests and personality tests (Compton, Nankervis & Morrissey, 2009). In addition to this consideration, HR managers are also aware of the cost of the exercise of recruitment and actually the whole idea of direct employment. In order to remain cost-effective, managers have opted to outsource labor force.
The above phenomenon, which is outsourcing, is a rapidly growing trend. In the course of my online involvement, I have been able to learn that companies are able to use internet to recruit and select employees or contractors. This is possible to realize through creation of online forms that employees or prospective contractors fill before online interviews are conducted. This is further possible to accomplish with help of Skype and Facebook video calls. More practically, uploading assignments on the website of a particular university is a perfect example of how offshore prospective contractors or employees are able to send their credentials to HR or hiring managers who are thousands of miles away. By so doing, the organization is able to achieve its goals in a cost-effective manner because employing people could be expensive.
This new learning could have immense benefits for future clinic coordinators. It means that such coordinators’ work would be easy due to the fact that they are able to recruit or coordinate team members in other parts of the world. In line with Compton, Nankervis & Morrissey’s (2009) view, future clinic coordinators will be able to be more cost-effective in their operations because there is bound to be easier methods of sending documents to offshore places.
Human Resources Development
Human resources development is perhaps one of the most important areas of HRM. An organization would not be able to achieve its goals and objectives without developing a vigorous human resource or team. This reflective essay considers human resource development as one of the most important areas of HRM. If the human resource is not well developed, the clinic coordinator will find it very difficult to execute his or her mandate. On the contrary, if the human resource is well developed, there is much efficiency in the execution of work.
There are several issues under human resource development. The first one, and perhaps the most critical, is the issue of employee training. Unless the employees are effectively trained, there are several possible outcomes. The first one is the fact that they would be bound to make many mistakes and are likely to cause accidents in their practice (Cornelius, 2001). Secondly, they would lack the confidence to work (Cornelius, 2001). These and other outcomes may lead to reduced productivity and service delivery for a clinic.
With the emergence of internet and computer-mediated applications, it is possible to train staff members and consequently improve their productivity. Apart from the new learning with regard to HR development and on the basis on the online class activities, there is a fact that information can be posted on an institution’s website for all employees to read. In addition, HR managers could link the employees’ e-mails with RSS feeds that contain the necessary information required in the day-to-day operation. In fact, a clinic coordinator needs to be always updated on the new trends in the industry; thereby communicating them to the team members.
Employee training is a subject of present and future application. Presently, there are many internet-based sources of information, such as online databases. In addition, HR managers are using computers in training employees. This is evident in, for instance, PowerPoint presentations and periodic staff training. With the rapid development of technology, it is envisaged that there are likely to be more sophisticated methods of employee training in the future. For clinics, there is bound to be more information systems or softwares for information dissemination.
Compensation and Benefits
Adequate compensation and payment of benefits to employees improves their morale. However, according to Rothwell and Kazanas (2003), an integrated Compensation and Benefits (‘C & B’) policy should be carefully drafted. In fact, according to them, the issue should be considered in the grand HR strategy of the company or organization. HRM must set its priorities in order to ensure that employees are well remunerated and stakeholders given their due. In reflecting on “C & B”, the other issues of concern are the future job needs for the organization, as well as the flexibility of the payment structures. In addition to these two issues, productivity of the team should be considered. In this context, the coordinator should weigh the productivity of the team in the clinic against their number and job groups or classes.
In the course of my online research, I leant that there are several methods of internet money transfer. For instance, there is the direct Electronic Fund Transfer and others, such as Payoneer and Paypal. Currently, HR managers could liaise with the finance departments to deliver employees’ salaries through the new methods. These methods could be used in disbursing overtime benefits or equity-based compensation. There is no doubt that organizations that use electronic money transfer are more efficient than those that do not. In the future, it is foreseen that companies that outsource work to overseas agents would benefit more from this arrangement. If these payment methods are adopted, it will be a good way of managers to show their compliance with law other than guaranteed pay. Employees should also receive variable paychecks.
Safety and Health
The major issues under this area of human resource management that a clinic coordinator should focus on include the following. It comprises understanding the criticality of employee health and safety, informing about the causes of industrial accidents and their related costs to the organization, knowing of the possible procedures and measures that could lead to prevention of such accidents, and understanding of the legal provisions that guide delivery of safety facilities and healthy environments for employees. However, in the course of my online research, I have found out that that most HR managers may not necessarily prioritize health and safety of employees (Randhawa, 2007). While employees would rate this issue among the top priorities, managers are mostly concerned with productivity. That is why this essay does not consider health and safety of employees, from a manager’s perspective, as the most important area of HRM.
Through online platforms, I was able to establish the provisions of the Job Safety and Health Protection Act. It states that employers must make work environments safe while employees must comply with the dictates of occupational health and safety. As a matter of current application, a clinic coordinator should be aware that he or she, together with a representative from the team of workers, should accompany government inspectors while checking the safety and health standards. In the future organizations, HR strategies should incorporate safety and health policies. If all managers understood the provisions of the act, there would be an overall employee safety across the country.
Employee and Labor Relations
A good HRM must enhance employee and labor relations. The main issues under this aspect of HRM consist in the fact that work commitments isolate employees from each other and reduce communication among team members. Instead of cooperating with each other, members of a team begin to compete. The total effect is that labor relations are jeopardized. According to Youssef (2012), it is the role of HR managers to promote teamwork among employees. In the case of clinic coordination, there should be a dispute resolution procedure in place. Such frameworks appear to increase the efficiency of relations among employees as well as between employees and managers.
Most of the new learning is based on the fact that information and communications technology is changing the field of human resource management. Owing to online activity, I have been able to discover many ways through which employees can interact. Consequently, a clinic coordinator can use them to easily communicate important information to the team members. This is mainly fulfilled through social media, which includes social networking sites, blogs, online forums, discussion boards, RSS feeds, Google Talk, Yahoo Groups and the like. Some of the commonly used social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkeIn, MySpace, and Zorpia among others. Both current and future HR managers could improve employee and labor relations by creating fan pages and blogs. This would definitely improve communication within the organization, thus, increasing productivity.
Among all the areas of HRM, this reflective essay considers human resources development and employee compensation and benefits as the most important areas. This is because they are directly correlated with productivity, which means the achievement of the organization’s goal. The essay also discussed the other areas by highlighting the major issues under each part. It discovered new way of learning or experience and its application in current or future HR situations. Indeed, without HRM, employees’ productivity would be reduced compromising the goals of the organization.