HRM’s Role in Managing Human Capital

Employees are Human Capital

A firm’s human resources are the people in an organization that are crucial to its performance and the quality of work life within it. Unlike computers, human beings are assets that have the potential to grow and develop, to increase depth, complexity, and capacity over time.

Human resource management can be defined as designing management systems to ensure that human talent is used effectively and efficiently to accomplish organizational objectives. Managers and leaders should focus on investing and developing their human resources who have the capacity to make significant contributions to the organization’s overall mission.

Many organizations have noticed the importance of continuously training their employees and offering educational incentive programs to help keep employees up-to-date in their fields because people actually can get worse at their jobs over time. Performance can be enhanced if an employee learns new ways of conceptualizing complex situations and deciphering abstract information. An employee should have knowledge of new research and advancements in his or her respective field to adapt and overcome any organizational change.

Through HR planning, managers anticipate the future supply of and demand for employees and the nature of workforce issues, including the retention of employees. These factors are used when recruiting applicants for job openings. Recruiting and retaining the “best” employees have been difficult tasks for most HR managers. The “best” employees are not necessarily the most qualified individuals (e.g., the most educated or with the most work experience); rather it is the individuals who provide value to an organization, who complement the organization, who understand and embrace the organization’s mission, and who fit the culture of the organization. This quandary is a result of a number of different variables such as: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance, and motivation. 

By performing at higher levels and being productive, an employee starts creating value for an organization. Most employees are evaluated by the value they create. When employees feel appreciated, they tend to perform at higher levels, producing more value.

Unfortunately, most organizations are unable to “indulge” their employees and as a result, there are employees still all over the world who feel neglected and inundated. Interestingly enough, Schwartz, Jones, and McCarthy (2010) explain that:

Only 38 percent of employees worldwide believe their senior managers are genuinely interested in their well-being. More than 50 percent feel they’re treated as if they don’t matter at all or that they’re just another part of the organization to be managed. Only one out of ten employees feel they’re treated as vital corporate assets (p. 162).

With employees all over the world feeling like they “don’t matter” in their organizations, it is important for upper level administrators to continuously develop their leadership strategies. Furthermore, with organizations constantly evolving, strategic human resource management is the optimum way to enhance performance levels. At IBM, for example, a thousand software developers working in different time zones have been given the flexibility to decide when they work. Different strategies should be implemented in organizations all over the world to help “humanize” the workplace.

Reference: Schwartz, T., Jones, J., & McCarty, C. (2010). The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working. New York, NY: Free Press.

In this course we will focus on human resources with steps into the future.  We will experience the transition from workplaces where employees feel neglected and inundated, to workplaces where employees are valued and given the opportunity to grow, develop and become human capital. And as human capital, they are assets that contribute to their organization’s success.  

To begin your study of HRM, view this video giving an overview of the challenging Human Capital Management/HR Management field.

Now, continue by viewing the following two tutorials:  Key Functions of HRM and HRM Fundamentals.

Also, read this article: Overcoming Top Myths In HR

Today’s HR professionals have the opportunity to contribute to the bottom line of an organization. In high-performing companies, each element of the HR system is designed to reflect best practice and to maximize employee performance. The different parts of the HR system are strongly aligned with company goals.

Workplace Diversity

Read this article: Workforce Diversity

The concept of diversity is framed in a number of ways–as economic payback (people who have previously been excluded from the workplace are typically more reliant on social service programs) and as social responsibility (improving the quality of life for disenfranchised groups of people). You should identify and process each of the diversity frameworks and the potential impact they can have on human capital management and, therefore, business success.

Employment Law

There’s been an explosion in the number of employee lawsuits in the U.S. during the past few years, and manager mistakes are at the center of many of them. That’s why it’s important to know at least the basics of employment law. In the following video, Business Management Daily’s editorial director Pat DiDomenico describes the top five manager mistakes that cause lawsuits:

Also, see the U.S. EEOC webpage for Information for Employers.  Then view the EEOC webpage for Information for Employees.

Module 1 Wrap-Up:

In Module 1 you had the opportunity to learn about Human Capital Management (HCM), and the role of Human Resource Management (HRM) professionals in the HCM process.  The HCM approach perceives employees as assets (human capital) whose current value can be measured and whose future value can be enhanced through investment.  Also included were strategies for HR management and planning, diversity, and the legal framework for equal employment.

Now that you have completed the Background portion of Module 1, be sure that you also finish the graded assignments in Module 1; don’t miss completing and submitting your Case 1, preparing for and successfully passing the SLP 1 Quiz, and contributing to the discussion forum with the rest of your peers. 

We hope that you recognize the importance of HRM in organizations.  The field has changed over the years and today more than ever there is a key role HR professionals play in an organization’s success.

Source:  Human Resource Management, anonymous author.  Provided by Saylor Academy. Located at License: CC BY 3.0

Module 1 – Case

Case Assignment

Write ten short journal entries (at least one-half page each).  In each entry highlight:

1. One specific topic/issue related to Module 1 that you would like to write about in this journal entry.

2. Discuss your reactions to what you learned so far concerning that specific topic/issue as it relates to human capital management. Cite at least one of your module sources.

3. Discuss what more you would like to learn concerning that topic/issue and why.

4. List one valid source not listed in this module where you could learn more about the specific topic/issue.  Look to the Trident online library and/or the internet for valid sources. (The goal is to broaden your resource list, so do not list the same specific source more than once across your journal entries.) 

Assignment Expectations

Your submission will be assessed on:

The criteria found in the grading rubric for this assignment:

· Meets assignment requirements

· Critical thinking

· Writing and assignment organization

· Use of sources and mechanics

· Timeliness of assignment