The Real Purpose of the Human Resources Function

When we think of the human resources function in an organization, it is often about the discrete activities that fall under its domain. Recruitment, orientation, job descriptions, discipline, performance management, compensation and benefits, etc. are certainly all part of the human resources umbrella. Yet, the most important dynamic that is part of this function is people development. Unfortunately it is often overlooked or put on the back burner.

It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing sistema de remuneraciones the human resources function as discrete activities listed above. Increasingly, as the years have passed, the complexity of laws pertaining to human resources in an organization, the complexity of a wide variety of benefit needs, and the need to meet ever demanding worker expectations have gobbled the time of those responsible for the human resources function. Nevertheless, it is critical for the organization that the human resources function see people development as its most important dynamic.

Two factors impact how an organization meets the dynamic of people development. The first involves the people themselves. The second involves the environment in which they work.

When we stop to consider the “people” in our organization, we realize we are dealing with a complex set of aspects. These include:

-the person’s view of life in this organization: paycheck, career, a place to interact with others, a place where I contribute to the making of a product or service that our customers buy and use, etc.

-the responsibilities this person has outside the work place: family, relationships, community, etc.

-the problems the person faces outside of work: financial, relationships, health, etc.

Before people can be open to development, they have to feel comfortable with the basics of the life they are living.

Does the organization provide employee assistance through a program or insurance that supports personal and confidential counseling and assistance when necessary?

The second factor that impacts the human resources dynamic is the environment that exists for employees in the organization. Environment creates a climate. It includes:

-payment of a fair wage for the work the employee does and belief by the employee that it is a fair wage.

-payment for good performance rather than pay for time put in.

-additional things the organization does to support its people such as providing flex time, a gym or exercise area, occasional social events that create a community spirit, etc.

-conducting organizational “climate surveys” on a regular basis to see what people in the organization think about the environment.

-the organization taking steps to make the environment more attractive and supportive.

Once there is a sound foundation of the basics described above, the human resources function can then concentrate on real people development. People always have a wealth of potential that they have not developed or utilized. Most of that potential will never be developed in the work place unless there are means available to support development.

In the contemporary work place, there are many means of development available:

-return to a formal educational provider such as a community college or university with or without the organization providing some financial assistance for this.

-training programs that are work and skill related, provided inside or outside the organization.

-self-development opportunities offered through on-line training, video courses etc.