Changing Role of HR Managers

hrvetting April 13, 2012 0



Changing Role of HR Managers

Although the current economic climate and business environment looks gloomy, with business going into administrations, filing losses, one of the practices that organisations cannot do without is HRM. It is important that focus is on the Human Resource, making the most of them, motivating them to work for organisational prosperity that would indeed result in their own good in the long run.

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Roles of HR Practitioners

Traditional Role

Traditionally, HRM operates in large centralised departments. HR practitioners consider themselves enablers of change and keepers of resources. They believe HR needs to be involved in decisions directing change. HR practitioners have a tendency to assign any responsibility for a let-down on senior managers. They believe reasons for failure or underperformance is due to social issues, not HR ones. However, often HR managers cannot effectively cope with employee issues in the traditional role because they attribute most of the failures to social reasons.

Assistant Role

The role is more of a catalyst where employees are informed, trained and guided, so they make choices that result in lasting motivation and commitment, every employee has its own goals and needs, HR has the responsibility to aligning them and is responsible for their actions

Campaigner Role



HR practitioners in this role effect employee behaviour and guide employees in directions that they view as desirable. There is an understanding that HR managers cannot sustain  a successful organisation by themselves. They perceive themselves as visionaries that see what needs to be done and try to influence employee’s decisions towards their own desirable direction. However, HR people adopting a this role would view employees as targets rather than resources.

The advantage of this role is its emphasis on communication. Communication between management and employees or between different heads of departments is often infrequent. By establishing effective communication between different groups in the organisation in order to promote their own views, HR practitioners hope to increase their popularity and credibility.

Arguably HR has evolved over the period of time, with traditional role changing to Assistant role and now the campaigner role, HR Managers understanding their responsibilities, plus the management also considerate of the role HR could play in the performance of the business. It’s highly unlikely that HR department would take on the course of one single role, but it is very likely that HR managers are adopting all of the three roles from time to time depending on the micro and macro environment.

There is little point in investing in HRM for the sake of it. It should only be utilised if it can improve employee well-being and organisational performance, and reduce the overall cost. Throwing money at problems does not solve them. Management needs to set clear targets and standards, have a clear strategy, educate key players and create solid communication channels to enable on-going employee development

Source: hrnutshell

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