Three important functions of personnel management are : (i) Managerial Functions (ii) Advisory Functions (iii) Operative Functions.
All managers have direct responsibility for the human assets (people) in an organisation and are responsible for activities and decisions concerning personnel.
In this sense all managers are personnel managers. Still most organisations have a separate department whose main job is to coordinate all personnel activities. There is need for a close interaction between the personnel department which has the responsibility for the administration of personnel and line managers who have responsibility for optimizing the use of their resources, viz., physical, financial and human. The Personnel department is then required to maintain personnel information systems and comply with government’s level a regulatory framework and union-management agreements.
Functions of Personnel Management:
There are three categories of functions which the personnel manager is expected to perform. These are: managerial, (ii) advisory, and (iii) operative.
(i) Managerial Functions:
Personnel manager is a member of management. So he must perform the basic managerial functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling in relation to his department.
(ii) Advisory Functions:
Personnel Manager has specialised education and training in managing human relations He is an expert in his area and so can give advise on matters relating to human resources of the organisation. He offers his advice to:
(a) Top Management:
Personnel manager advises the top management in formulation and evaluation of personnel programmes, policies and procedures. He also gives advise for achieving and maintaining good human relations and high employee morale.
(b) Departmental Heads:
Personnel manager offers advise to the heads of various departments on matters such as manpower planning, job analysis and design, recruitment and selection, training performance appraisal, etc.
(iii) Operative Functions:
The operative functions are those tasks or duties which are entrusted to the personnel department under general supervision of personnel manager. These are concerned with the employment, development, compensation integration and maintenance of personnel of the organisation.
The personnel department performs the following operative functions:
The first operative function of personnel department is the employment of proper kind and number of persons necessary to achieve the objectives of the organisation. This involves recruitment, selection, placement, etc. of the personnel. Before these processes are performed, it is better to determine the manpower requirements both in terms of number and quality of the personnel.
Recruitment and selection cover the sources of supply of labour and the devices designed to select the right type of people for various jobs. Induction and placement of personnel for their better performance also come under the employment or procurement function.
(b) Training and Development:
Training and development of personnel is a follow up of selection. It is a duty of management to train each employee properly to develop technical skills for the job for which he has been employed and also to develop him for the higher jobs in the organisation.
Proper development of personnel is necessary to increase their skills in doing their jobs and in satisfying their growth need. For this purpose, the personnel department will devise appropriate training programmes.
There are several on-the-job and off-the-job methods available for training purposes. A good training programme should include a mixture of both types of methods.
It is important to point out that personnel department arranges for training not only of new employee but also of old employees to update their knowledge in the use of latest techniques.
This function is concerned with the determination of adequate and equitable remuneration of the employees in the organisation for their contribution to the organisation goals. The personnel can be compensated both in terms of monetary as well as non-monetary rewards.
Factors which must be borne in mind while fixing the remuneration of personnel are their basic needs, requirements, of jobs, legal provisions regarding minimum wages, capacity of the organisation to pay, wage levels afforded by competitors, etc.
For fixing the wage levels, the personnel department can make use of certain techniques like job evaluation and performance appraisal.
(d) Working Conditions:
Merely appointment and training of people is not sufficient, they must be provided with good working conditions so that they may like their work and work place and maintain their efficiency.
Working conditions certainly influence the motivation and morale of the employees. These include the measures taken for health, safety, and comfort of the work-force.
The personnel department also provides for various welfare services which relate to the physical and social well-being of the employees. These may include provision of cafeteria, rest rooms, counseling group insurance, education for children of employees, recreational facilities.
Employees work in the organization for the satisfaction of their needs. In many of the cases, it is found that they do not contribute towards the organisation goals as much as they can.
This happens because employees are not adequately motivated. The personnel manager helps the various departmental managers to design a system of financial and non-financial rewards to motivate the employees.
(f) Personnel Records:
Personnel department maintains the records of the employees working in the enterprise. It keeps full records of their training, achievements, transfer, promotion, etc. It also preserves many other records relating to the behavior of personnel like absenteeism and labour turnover and the personnel programmes and policies of the organisation.
(g) Industrial Relations:
These days, the responsibility of industrial relations is mainly discharged by the personnel managers Personnel managers help in collective bargaining, joint consultation and settlement of disputes if they arise.
This is because personnel manager is in possession of full information relating to personnel and has the working knowledge of various labour enactments.
The personnel manager can do a great deal in maintaining industrial peace in the organisations as he is deeply associated with various committees on discipline, labour welfare, safety, grievance, etc.
He helps in laying down the grievance procedure to redress the grievances of the employees. He also gives authentic information to the trade union leaders and conveys their views on various labour problems to the top management.
Unions expect the personnel management to bargaining in good faith, establish equilibrium in power relations and implement agreements in latter and spirit. The government expects the personnel to implement its policies and meet statutory requirements.
The role of the personnel department should bear relationship with the expectations and demands placed on them by these various client groups. Satisfying the multiple objectives of these diverse groups productively is a major challenge facing personnel executives.