Definition of Human Resources and Its Mission
Human resources refer to the people who lend their skills and talents to the organization. Any individual willing to trade their time, knowledge, or labor for compensation to help the company reach its set goals is a human resource (Nankervis, Baird, Coffey, & Shields, 2019). Therefore, it does not matter whether one is working full-time, part-time, freelancing, or contract employees.
Mission: The human resources department’s mission is to recruit qualified human resources, retain them, and provide them with growth and development opportunities to promote individual success as well as improve overall value to the company.
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In the context of management, philosophy entails an integrated set of beliefs regarding how things are the purpose of certain activities. Human Resources philosophy revolves around the relationship between employees and the organization. Thus, it entails beliefs about human resources’ nature, needs, values, and approach to work. The beliefs determine how a company treats its human resources (Nankervis, Baird, Coffey, & Shields, 2019).
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Notably, the current personal human resource philosophy embraces the humanistic approach, whereby the organization treats employees as psychological human beings instead of physiological beings. As such, the HR philosophy is based on the following five beliefs that define the employee-organization relationship.
- Human resources are the most critical assets of the company.
- Human resources can be developed to a greater extent through continued learning – the company believes in its employees’ inherent potential.
- Human resources feel committed to the company if they develop belongingness with it – employees are more likely to develop a feeling of belongingness if the company takes care of them and satisfies their needs.
- Human resources contribute optimally if provided with the opportunity to discover their full potential and utilize it effectively.
- It is the company’s responsibility to create a conducive and motivating work environment characterized by openness, trust, collaboration, enthusiasm, and mutuality.
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A robust body of research shows that the above highlighted beliefs inform an effective human resource philosophy. Concerning the first belief, according to Hughes, Gosney, and Sims (2019), an organization’s success is mainly dependent on its human resource. Hughes, Gosney, and Sims elucidate that employees provide a positive and creative contribution that allows a company to efficiently achieve its set goals, thus facilitating its growth and development. Therefore, human resources are the most critical assets of the company. This belief will inform the company to value human resources by taking care of them and satisfying their needs.
Regarding the second belief, an organization can help its employees grow and developed to a greater extent. As per Caldwell, Hooper, and Atwijuka (2018), at any given time, human resources always have room for improvement, which necessitates the need for an organization to invest in practices aimed to facilitate their growth and development. Opportunities for growth and development help human resources expand their knowledge as well as hone skills and abilities. The improved competencies lead to increased productivity (Michael, 2019). Moreover, growth and development opportunities increase employees’ job satisfaction and motivation, which leads to positive gains for the organization (Thakkar, 2020). Thus, the company needs to invest in ensuring employees’ continued learning.
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The third belief relates to organizational citizenship behavior. According to Michael (2019), employees with high workplace belonging are more productive than their counterparts with a lower sense of workplace belonging. Additionally, companies that invest in promoting enhanced organizational citizenship enjoy a decline in turnover rate (Thakkar, 2020). It is worth noting that employees are more likely to develop a feeling of belongingness if they take care of them and satisfy their needs. This includes giving employees a sense of purpose, inspiring them, and treat them in a manner that makes them feel a sense of connection to their work (Michael, 2019). Hence, the company must ensure its human resources management practices incorporate these considerations.
The fourth belief focuses on workforce effectiveness, whereby the company must provide human resources with the opportunity to discover their full potential and utilize it effectively. Human resources need jobs that challenge them to apply creativity and push their limits (Michael, 2019). An organization should provide employees with challenging tasks that allow them to discover their full potential and help them learn how to maximize their abilities. This entails providing them with proper tools and creating an enabling climate that allows employees to try new things without fear of failure (Nankervis, Baird, Coffey, & Shields, 2019). Consequently, this facilitates self-actualization leading to increased creativity and productivity.
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Finally, the company needs to uphold its belief regarding the creation of a conducive working environment. According to Nankervis, Baird, Coffey, and Shields (2019), a conducive work environment boosts employees, productivity, and creativity by ensuring a comfortable workspace and strengthening office ties among employees and between managers and subordinates. Therefore, a favorable working environment positively influences human resources’ motivation, job satisfaction, collaboration, and happiness.
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Operationalizing Human Resource Philosophy
HR Management System
A human resource management system (HRMS) is instrumental to the operationalization of the above-explained philosophy. HRMS is a combination of systems and processes that link human resource management with information technology through human resource software. The system collects human resources data, consequently making it possible for managers to understand every employee’s needs. The data also helps organizations become employee-centric (Diaz‐Carrion, López‐Fernández, & Romero‐Fernandez, 2018). This aligns with the beliefs underpinning the human resource philosophy. The company believes that employees are the most valuable asset, and, as such, the organization must invest in ensuring their needs are satisfactorily addressed.
Organizational culture is also essential to the success of human resources philosophy. In this context, organizational culture involves collecting values and practices that guide and inform human resources’ actions. According to Harrison and Bazzy (2017), the key to ensuring a successful employee-organization relationship has a culture that is based on a firmly held set of beliefs, supported by structure and strategy. Relatedly, the company will emphasize its values geared towards ensuring fairness, tolerance, and trust (team orientation). The values will also emphasize results and achievements (outcome orientation) as well as collaborations (team orientation). The company will also promote a culture of innovation and creativity by encouraging experiments and risk-taking to motivate human resources to discover their full potential. An effective two-way communication system will also serve as a crucial component of the organizational culture. This will be supported by a horizontally-inclined organizational structure that balances flexibility with stability.
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The following Human Resource practices will help operationalize human resource philosophy:
- Recruiting qualified individuals.
- Providing meaningfulness and work security for human resources.
- Regular employee training.
- Making information easily accessible.
- Encouraging creativity and risk-taking.
- Conducting performance management.
- Observing fair employee relationship practices.
- Investing in human capital.
- Motivate and inspire employees in the workplace.
- Establishing and maintaining a conducive working environment.
- Effectively communicating practices and policies with employees.
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