The Challenging Role of Human Resource Management
“Downsizing” used to be associated with a contracting economy. Today, however, downsizing occurs even when the economy is expanding. By reengineering workplace practices and procedures, many firms are gaining increased efficiencies that allow them to compete in the global marketplace. Unfortunately, those efficiencies often result from reductions in a firm’s workforce, placing considerable emotional and financial strains on the workers who are affected.” The inevitable result for HR management will be more challenges and more importance attached to HR effectiveness. This additional importance will also mean additional responsibilities. The traditional duties of obtaining, maintaining, and retaining a qualified workforce will be expanded by additional roles that will demand even greater professionalism from the department leader and support staff.
Increasingly, HR managers are expected to contribute to the organization’s strategic thinking. Marketing, production, and finance strategies depend on the abilities of the firm’s people to execute these plans. To assist with the “people side” of implementation, HR directors will be forced to continuously uncover, through audits and research, the causes of and solutions to peoplerelated problems. Their diagnostic ability to assess current and potential human issues will be needed as they and their staffs increasingly serve as internal consultants to others who are facing HR-related challenges. Then they will be called on to facilitate changes in the organization that maximize the uman contribution. In short, the traditional administrative skills associated WJ h HR management must grow to accommodate diagnostic, assessment, consultative, and facilitative skills.” At the same time, HR professionals must continue to address societal, organizational, functional, and personal objectives that challenge the organization.