There’s something every single company needs to operate, regardless of the industry or product, and that’s people.
Just as there are professionals who specialize in managing products and services, there’s also a need for human resource management.
Learn what it is and the key functions every HRM needs to operate.
- What is human resource management?
- 5 Main Functions of Human Resource Management
What is human resource management?
Human resource management refers to the process of handling employee-related matters at the workplace, from recruitment and performance to compensation and career development.
Recently, we’ve heard the term “People Operations” used much more frequently than human resources. Are they the same? Not exactly. People ops is technically considered a subset under HR. However, in many companies, they are used interchangeably.
While human resources focus on the structural and legal pillars such as hiring, compliance, compensation, and benefits, people ops look at the cultural implications and focus on things like employee satisfaction, productivity, and diversity and inclusion.
5 Main Functions of Human Resource Management
1. Recruitment and Staffing
When you think of HR, recruitment and staffing is probably the first thing you think about.
HRM requires working hand-in-hand with recruiters to identify top talent, set budgets, conduct background checks, and negotiate compensation and benefits.
In addition, they must be well versed in employment law to know how to comply with federal and state legislation regarding worker rights, discrimination, and more.
HRM also oversees onboarding, the process of integrating a new hire into the company. This involves setting up training, providing equipment and access to necessary software, and team introductions.
Knowing how new employees are responding to them can be helpful in ensuring the employee’s long-term success at the company.
In fact, a 2021 data by Microsoft revealed that new hires are 3.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their onboarding experience if their manager played an active role.
By knowing this information, they can tweak the process to increase managerial involvement in onboarding.
2. Employee relations
A 2021 HBR study found that 89% of workers were not satisfied with their jobs – 85% said that their well-being had declined and 56% said that their job demands had increased.
For HR, that’s a major concern because that can directly lead to high attrition. HR professionals are tasked with identifying these issues through internal NPS surveys, meetings, and other methods, then putting systems in place to address them.
In addition to these responsibilities, conflict resolution is another major aspect of employer-employee relations at the workplace. This can be anything from friction between two employees who don’t get along to a sexual harassment claim.
Human resources management is tasked with investigating these claims and taking appropriate action to maintain a safe workplace for all.
Beyond conflict, a communication standard can also be set by HR to promote transparency and encourage openness. This can look like mandatory weekly one-on-one meetings between managers and direct reports, monthly skip-level meetings, quarterly AMAs, and more.
3. Learning and Development
According to 2021 Glint data, having opportunities to learn and grow is now the top factor that people say defines an exceptional work environment.
The survey also found that employees who rate their culture highly are 25% more likely to be happy at work and 31% more likely to recommend working at their organization.
This is why investing in employees’ development can directly impact a company’s bottom line.
This can look like allocating stipends for role-related courses, providing access to third-party providers, and hosting management training. Having options that cater to both individual contributors and managers is essential to making sure all employees are growing.
Once these programs are up and running, HR must evaluate their effectiveness and make changes as needed.
4. Performance Management
Performance management is another key function of HR, which involves setting performance metrics, review schedules, conduct guidelines, and more.
For instance, what happens if an employee underperforms during the quarter? What are the steps they and their manager can take? This process should be determined by HR.
From probation to termination and everything in between, HRM has it covered.
5. Company Culture
A company’s culture is the set of values, beliefs, and behaviors that define its way of doing business.
Culture is incredibly important because it affects every aspect of a company, from how employees interact with each other to how they serve customers. Unhappy employees make for unhappy customers.
HRM entails figuring out what employees want and care about and balancing them with company resources. For instance, there has been a shift to remote work since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
While this may seem separate from company culture, how easily companies adapted to this shift is representative of their culture.
In 2020, a Glint report found that a sense of belonging is the second-highest driver of work culture, behind opportunities to learn and grow. How do you create that belonging?
That’s where HRM comes in – creating this environment and making sure it’s scalable and flexible.
Human resources management is an essential part of every organization, making sure that their most important asset - the people - has everything they need to succeed.