Human resources planning, structure and organization are all important to managing human capital -- or, human resources -- the most valuable asset in an organization. Aligning HR and business goals, managing talent, improving employee engagement and working together with executive leadership are several key components to HR management.
Business and HR Alignment
Aligning human resources practices with business philosophy is one of the most important aspects of human resources management. An organization's philosophy, mission and values pervade the entire company -- not just those who attend meetings in the boardroom. Consequently, human resources management supports values such as adopting fair employment practices, recognizing hard work and effort, motivating high-performing employees and developing the skills and talent of employees who show promise and demonstrate aptitude. Human resources leaders have control of whether employees succeed and, thus, the ability for an organization to become an employer of choice.
Talent management is a way to collectively describe the recruitment, selection, retention and promotion of employees. Human capital is the most important aspect of any business and its human resources department. Human capital represents the resources a company has available for achieving business objectives such as productivity, quality and variety of products and services offered, workplace safety and, most of all, profitability. Human resources staff recruits qualified applicants, determines which candidates are best suited for specific roles, provides professional development opportunities and evaluates personnel.
For some, the term "employee engagement" is just another buzzword in the human resources field. However, employee engagement can be a quantifiable aspect of employment. The meaning of employee engagement is very fluid -- it applies to front line workers, supervisors, managers and even executive leadership. Employee engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm, motivation, confidence and satisfaction employee have and how they feel about continuing to contribute their skills and talent to the workplace. Quantitative measurements of employee engagement come from employee opinion surveys, turnover rates, analyzing retention policies and expenditures and compensation studies.
Future HR and Business Goals
Developing a human resources strategy that complements overall business goals is another important factor of human resources management. From its beginning as personnel administration, the human resources field has evolved into a role as strategic partner with executive leadership. Of the primary goals of human resources experts, "getting a seat at the table" means human resources is finally considered an essential element of business success. While many organizations have C-level employees who contribute to corporate strategy, there are many more companies that must learn how important human capital is to their success.
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Human Resources Management
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Strategic Human Resources Management: Aligning with the Mission
- Rutgers University: Human Resources Planning: Challenges for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists
- Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd Edition: Human Resource Management