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This semester I have learned that Human resources is truly the backbone of any organization. A human resources team ensures not only that a company is staffed correctly, they handle employee benefits, federal and state work laws, and dictate all necessary training. At the beginning of this semester I truly believed I had no idea what human resource management entailed. Now that the course is ending, I have had the realization that I have in fact had some experience in this field. My last job I worked as an office manager for a small family owned company. My role was to not only manage the daily correspondence that came in and out of the office, but also, I was managing employees. Now, all the employees were technically contractors. A big thing that I had to maintain was employee files and had to ensure that each person whom received a paycheck was knowledgeable of their contract with the company and the required training was kept up with. One example of this is the contractors the company hired were required to keep with state regulations, like licensing. Per the state requirements the contractors were required to have a HAZMAT certification and licenses. It was my responsibility to keep up with the employee files and make sure each employee was up to date. We also had various contracts with major corporations, these companies would send work orders to be completed. When I scheduled these work orders to be completed I would have to insure the worker that was sent out had the correct qualifications, licenses, and certifications to not only work legally in the states eyes but in the eyes of the company that was requesting the work. When I applied for this job, I thought it was an easy reception position, boy was I wrong! I was completing several human resources tasks daily. The official tasks that I completed were: recruiting, interviewing, scheduling, compensation and benefits, training and development, and employee relations. Out of all o these tasks that I completed the employee relations was by far the most difficult. Working with contractors versus actual employees was a difficult transition. Contracted employees have a unique set of rules and in my experience, there was always grievances. Now, not to talk bad of my previous employer, but the owner was not the most organized or the most level headed. Being the office manager, all employee grievances came directly to my desk. To put It bluntly I was the mediator between the owner and the employee. What made the task extremely difficult was that the owner never saw any fault in his way of doing business. This caused a high turnover rate and poor office organization. I feel like that company would have benefited a lot from a professional human resources team. I personally think that there were several things that could have been updated in this company to bring it into the 21st century as well as several challenges yet to come to organizations across the nation.
Several things that that could be a challenge for an organization in the human resources profession in the 21st century would be; embracing change, recruiting, training and development, and managing diversity. With every year the world is changing and with it the way an organization operates. This gets more difficult when an organization attempts globalization. The most challenging of that list is diversity. Over coming diversity means understanding that each person in the world has their own personal traits and differences and accepting them. A “difference” can be something like gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Each culture will have its own standards of what is acceptable and what is not. As a company expands it must adapt to these new cultures by taking in the local culture and adapt the company’s product and or mantra to reflect it. The next challenge will be training and development, with technology rapidly expanding and changing. Companies will have to create more aggressive training programs to keep staff up to date. Human resources will also need to be sure to incorporate new development programs, to make sure current staff are also given the opportunity to develop and expand their own professional skills. Recruiting will evolve as well. We are starting to see how this is expanding with social media. With sites like zip requite and LinkedIn, society is slowing getting away from the more traditional paper resume and face-to-face interview processes. Most major companies now set up an online application process, and once a resume/application passes the initial pre-qualifications then a phone interview would be set up. Lastly a face-to-face interview. This ultimately gives companies a broader pool of applicants as well as saves time and money on the recruiting process. As the digital age is upon us, this will also evolve and change. The last challenge I fear the Human Resources professional will face is embracing change. For larger corporations, I foresee them adapting to change quickly. For the small business owner, I see it as a hurdle. Going back to the beginning when I mentioned that I worked for a small company. It was very difficult for my previous boss to digitize his company and participate in social media. Whereas a company does not have to using a commuter to function, they do allow the company to run more efficient and smoothly.
Anyone can get a degree in human resources and get a job in the field, but to become a successful, respected human resources manager one must have an array of characteristics. The quality’s that I believe that a human resources manager is; self-discipline, morality, knowledge, vision, and organization. Self-discipline is a must needed skill in any profession, especially human resources. Human resource professionals are essentially enforcers. A human resources professional handles employee grievance’s, misconduct, and even pay increases. It is a must that these professionals set the example for their coworkers as to not be a hypocrite. They also handle a lot of sensitive information, so morality is a solid characteristic of a human resource professional. This department handles employee files, interviewing and compensation. All these items are of a personal nature and must be handled with care and discreteness. Besides the obvious reasons of not sharing confidential information, trustworthiness is needed. If an employee doesn’t trust the department that enforces the culture of the company, then there is sure to be a high turnover rate. The more trust an employee has in the company they are for the high the retention rate, and higher the productivity. This leads us to vision. Vision is important because a human resource professional needs to be able to anticipate solutions to problems that don’t even exist yet. Like the economy crashing and having to implement a hiring freeze, or possibly boom in the industry and the need for a hiring event. Lastly this leaves us with knowledge. Knowledge of the industry and understating the organization that you work for. Knowing the industry is crucial, for example the restaurant industry. I have about ten years in the restaurant industry, it is an industry with a high turnover rate in management and the entry level staff members. A lot of this to do with poor management training. The restaurant industry is known for hiring anyone and everyone who walks in the door. When you put a new manager in a restaurant that has little to no knowledge of the menu or cultural of the company he is bound to fail with the staff and clientele. The knowledge not only taches you about the company but also the staff, the quality of people and or the type of motivation that your staff has. As a human resources manager must make careful decisions when interviewing candidates, you want to pick the most qualified person who will fit in with the culture and staff. Again I think any Joe off he street can understand how to run an human resources team, but it does take a special person to excel at it. A lot of these qualities would benefit anyone in any type of profession or even in day to day life.
After this semester I have gained an abundance of knowledge that I feel will be able to help me excel in my performance at work. Even though I do not work in the human resources department, I have learned that any employee can take part in basic human resources practices. I am assigned to a team and each one of my peers is responsible for taking care of one aspect of the team. I am responsible to ensure that my team feels that they are being given every opportunity, knowledge, and matericals and equipment to properly do the job that is expected of them. I can use several human resources skills to ensure that this is accomplished. The first is creating a survey to make sure that the team feels engaged and to discover the weak spots. Once the weak spots are discovered I can develop a plan with my team manager to make sure that appropriate steps are taken to makes changes if possible. This is comparable to performance evaluations in the fact that I am motoring my team’s performance and creating the proper plans to ensure successes. Another trait that I can implore that a human resources professional uses ensuring that I have a strong ethical code that matches up with my companies’ mission. I think every employee can take human resources practices and apply it to their day to day operations, to make the company a more compliant and maintain a high retention rate.
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