What is the difference between HR plans and HRM strategic plans? How are they the same? How are they different?
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Human Resource ManagementHuman Resource Management
Human Resource ManagementHuman Resource Management
[AUTHOR REMOVED AT REQUEST OF ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]
U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I N N E S O T A L I B R A R I E S P U B L I S H I N G E D I T I O N , 2 0 1 6 . T H I S E D I T I O N A D A P T E D F R O M A W O R K O R I G I N A L L Y P R O D U C E D I N 2 0 1 1 B Y A P U B L I S H E R W H O H A S R E Q U E S T E D T H A T I T N O T R E C E I V E
A T T R I B U T I O N . M I N N E A P O L I S , M N
Human Resource Management by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Publisher Information viii
Chapter 1: The Role of Human Resources
1.1 What Is Human Resources? 2 1.2 Skills Needed for HRM 11 1.3 Today’s HRM Challenges 16 1.4 Cases and Problems 27
Chapter 2: Developing and Implementing Strategic HRM Plans
2.1 Strategic Planning 31 2.2 Writing the HRM Plan 41 2.3 Tips in HRM Planning 49 2.4 Cases and Problems 53
Chapter 3: Diversity and Multiculturalism
3.1 Diversity and Multiculturalism 56 3.2 Diversity Plans 62 3.3 Multiculturalism and the Law 70 3.4 Cases and Problems 79
Chapter 4: Recruitment
4.1 The Recruitment Process 82 4.2 The Law and Recruitment 91 4.3 Recruitment Strategies 97 4.4 Cases and Problems 109
Chapter 5: Selection
5.1 The Selection Process 113 5.2 Criteria Development and Résumé Review 118 5.3 Interviewing 124 5.4 Testing and Selecting 132 5.5 Making the Offer 139 5.6 Cases and Problems 142
Chapter 6: Compensation and Benefits
6.1 Goals of a Compensation Plan 147 6.2 Developing a Compensation Package 151 6.3 Types of Pay Systems 155 6.4 Other Types of Compensation 170 6.5 Cases and Problems 182
Chapter 7: Retention and Motivation
7.1 The Costs of Turnover 187 7.2 Retention Plans 193 7.3 Implementing Retention Strategies 207 7.4 Cases and Problems 218
Chapter 8: Training and Development
8.1 Steps to Take in Training an Employee 224 8.2 Types of Training 230 8.3 Training Delivery Methods 237 8.4 Designing a Training Program 244 8.5 Cases and Problems 261
Chapter 9: Successful Employee Communication
9.1 Communication Strategies 267 9.2 Management Styles 279 9.3 Cases and Problems 287
Chapter 10: Managing Employee Performance
10.1 Handling Performance 291 10.2 Employee Rights 308 10.3 Cases and Problems 319
Chapter 11: Employee Assessment
11.1 Performance Evaluation Systems 325 11.2 Appraisal Methods 332 11.3 Completing and Conducting the Appraisal 345 11.4 Cases and Problems 354
Chapter 12: Working with Labor Unions
12.1 The Nature of Unions 361 12.2 Collective Bargaining 373 12.3 Administration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement 380 12.4 Cases and Problems 385
Chapter 13: Safety and Health at Work
13.1 Workplace Safety and Health Laws 390 13.2 Health Hazards at Work 399 13.3 Cases and Problems 419
Chapter 14: International HRM
14.1 Offshoring, Outsourcing 424 14.2 Staffing Internationally 437 14.3 International HRM Considerations 442 14.4 Cases and Problems 459
Please share your supplementary material! 462
Human Resource Management is adapted from a work produced and
distributed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2011
by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not
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This adaptation has reformatted the original text, and replaced some images and figures to make the resulting
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Chapter 1: The Role of Human Resources
Human Resource Management Day to DayHuman Resource Management Day to Day
You have just been hired to work in the human resource department of a small company. You heard about the job
through a conference you attended, put on by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Previously,
the owner of the company, Jennifer, had been doing everything related to human resource management (HRM).
You can tell she is a bit critical about paying a good salary for something she was able to juggle all on her own.
On your first day, you meet the ten employees and spend several hours with the company owner, hoping to get a
handle on which human resource processes are already set up.
Shortly after the meeting begins, you see she has a completely different perspective of what HRM is, and you
realize it will be your job to educate her on the value of a human resource manager. You look at it as a personal
challenge—both to educate her and also to show her the value of this role in the organization.
First, you tell her that HRM is a strategic process having to do with the staffing, compensation, retention, training,
and employment law and policies side of the business. In other words, your job as human resources (HR) manager
will be not only to write policy and procedures and to hire people (the administrative role) but also to use strategic
plans to ensure the right people are hired and trained for the right job at the right time. For example, you ask her
if she knows what the revenue will be in six months, and Jennifer answers, “Of course. We expect it to increase
by 20 percent.” You ask, “Have you thought about how many people you will need due to this increase?” Jennifer
looks a bit sheepish and says, “No, I guess I haven’t gotten that far.” Then you ask her about the training programs
the company offers, the software used to allow employees to access pay information online, and the compensation
policies. She responds, “It looks like we have some work to do. I didn’t know that human resources involved all
of that.” You smile at her and start discussing some of the specifics of the business, so you can get started right
away writing the strategic human resource management plan.
The Role of Human ResourcesThe Role of Human Resources
(click to see video)
The author introduces the chapter defining the role of human resource management.
1.1 What Is Human Resources?
1. Explain the role of HRM in organizations.
2. Define and discuss some of the major HRM activities.
Every organization, large or small, uses a variety of capital to make the business work. Capital includes cash,
valuables, or goods used to generate income for a business. For example, a retail store uses registers and inventory,
while a consulting firm may have proprietary software or buildings. No matter the industry, all companies have
one thing in common: they must have people to make their capital work for them. This will be our focus
throughout the text: generation of revenue through the use of people’s skills and abilities.
What Is HRM?What Is HRM?
Human resource management (HRM) is the process of employing people, training them, compensating them,
developing policies relating to them, and developing strategies to retain them. As a field, HRM has undergone
many changes over the last twenty years, giving it an even more important role in today’s organizations. In
the past, HRM meant processing payroll, sending birthday gifts to employees, arranging company outings, and
making sure forms were filled out correctly—in other words, more of an administrative role rather than a strategic
role crucial to the success of the organization. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and management guru,
sums up the new role of HRM: “Get out of the parties and birthdays and enrollment forms.… Remember, HR is
important in good times, HR is defined in hard times” (Frasch, et. al., 2010).
It’s necessary to point out here, at the very beginning of this text, that every manager has some role relating
to human resource management. Just because we do not have the title of HR manager doesn’t mean we won’t
perform all or at least some of the HRM tasks. For example, most managers deal with compensation, motivation,
and retention of employees—making these aspects not only part of HRM but also part of management. As a result,
this book is equally important to someone who wants to be an HR manager and to someone who will manage a
Human Resource RecallHuman Resource Recall
Have you ever had to work with a human resource department at your job? What was the interaction like? What was the department’s role in that specific organization?
The Role of HRMThe Role of HRM
Keep in mind that many functions of HRM are also tasks other department managers perform, which is what
makes this information important, despite the career path taken. Most experts agree on seven main roles that HRM
plays in organizations. These are described in the following sections.
You need people to perform tasks and get work done in the organization. Even with the most sophisticated
machines, humans are still needed. Because of this, one of the major tasks in HRM is staffing. Staffing involves
the entire hiring process from posting a job to negotiating a salary package. Within the staffing function, there are
four main steps:
1. Development of a staffing plan. This plan allows HRM to see how many people they should hire based
on revenue expectations.
2. Development of policies to encourage multiculturalism at work. Multiculturalism in the workplace is
becoming more and more important, as we have many more people from a variety of backgrounds in the
3. Recruitment. This involves finding people to fill the open positions.
4. Selection. In this stage, people will be interviewed and selected, and a proper compensation package will
be negotiated. This step is followed by training, retention, and motivation.
Development of Workplace PoliciesDevelopment of Workplace Policies
Every organization has policies to ensure fairness and continuity within the organization. One of the jobs of HRM
is to develop the verbiage surrounding these policies. In the development of policies, HRM, management, and
executives are involved in the process. For example, the HRM professional will likely recognize the need for a
policy or a change of policy, seek opinions on the policy, write the policy, and then communicate that policy to
employees. It is key to note here that HR departments do not and cannot work alone. Everything they do needs to
involve all other departments in the organization. Some examples of workplace policies might be the following:
• Discipline process policy
• Vacation time policy
• Dress code
1 . 1 W H A T I S H U M A N R E S O U R C E S ? • 3
• Ethics policy
• Internet usage policy
These topics are addressed further in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits”, Chapter 7 “Retention and
Motivation”, Chapter 8 “Training and Development”, and Chapter 9 “Successful Employee Communication”.
Compensation and Benefits AdministrationCompensation and Benefits Administration
HRM professionals need to determine that compensation is fair, meets industry standards, and is high enough to
entice people to work for the organization. Compensation includes anything the employee receives for his or her
work. In addition, HRM professionals need to make sure the pay is comparable to what other people performing
similar jobs are being paid. This involves setting up pay systems that take into consideration the number of years
with the organization, years of experience, education, and similar aspects. Examples of employee compensation
include the following:
• Health benefits
• 401(k) (retirement plans)
• Stock purchase plans
• Vacation time
• Sick leave
• Tuition reimbursement
Since this is not an exhaustive list, compensation is discussed further in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits”.
Retention involves keeping and motivating employees to stay with the organization. Compensation is a major
factor in employee retention, but there are other factors as well. Ninety percent of employees leave a company for
the following reasons:
1. Issues around the job they are performing
2. Challenges with their manager
3. Poor fit with organizational culture
4. Poor workplace environment
Despite this, 90 percent of managers think employees leave as a result of pay (Rivenbark, 2010). As a result,
managers often try to change their compensation packages to keep people from leaving, when compensation isn’t
4 • H U M A N R E S O U R C E M A N A G E M E N T
the reason they are leaving at all. Chapter 7 “Retention and Motivation” and Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment”
discuss some strategies to retain the best employees based on these four factors.
Training and DevelopmentTraining and Development
Once we have spent the time to hire new employees, we want to make sure they not only are trained to do the
job but also continue to grow and develop new skills in their job. This results in higher productivity for the
organization. Training is also a key component in employee motivation. Employees who feel they are developing
their skills tend to be happier in their jobs, which results in increased employee retention. Examples of training
programs might include the following:
• Job skills training, such as how to run a particular computer program
• Training on communication
• Team-building activities
• Policy and legal training, such as sexual harassment training and ethics training
We address each of these types of training and more in detail in Chapter 8 “Training and Development”.
Dealing with Laws Affecting EmploymentDealing with Laws Affecting Employment
Human resource people must be aware of all the laws that affect the workplace. An HRM professional might work
with some of these laws:
• Discrimination laws
• Health-care requirements
• Compensation requirements such as the minimum wage
• Worker safety laws
• Labor laws
The legal environment of HRM is always changing, so HRM must always be aware of changes taking place and
then communicate those changes to the entire management organization. Rather than presenting a chapter focused
on HRM laws, we will address these laws in each relevant chapter.
Worker ProtectionWorker Protection
Safety is a major consideration in all organizations. Oftentimes new laws are created with the goal of setting
federal or state standards to ensure worker safety. Unions and union contracts can also impact the requirements
for worker safety in a workplace. It is up to the human resource manager to be aware of worker protection
requirements and ensure the workplace is meeting both federal and union standards. Worker protection issues
might include the following:
• Chemical hazards
1 . 1 W H A T I S H U M A N R E S O U R C E S ? • 5
• Heating and ventilation requirements
• Use of “no fragrance” zones
• Protection of private employee information
We take a closer look at these issues in Chapter 12 “Working with Labor Unions” and Chapter 13 “Safety and
Health at Work”.
Caption: Knowing the law regarding worker protection is generally the job of human resources. In some
industries it is extremely important; in fact, it can mean life or death.
ReSurge International – Tom Davenport Operating On A Patient – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Besides these major roles, good communication skills and excellent management skills are key to successful
human resource management as well as general management. We discuss these issues in Chapter 9 “Successful
Awareness of External FactorsAwareness of External Factors
In addition to managing internal factors, the HR manager needs to consider the outside forces at play that may
affect the organization. Outside forces, or external factors, are those things the company has no direct control
6 • H U M A N R E S O U R C E M A N A G E M E N T
over; however, they may be things that could positively or negatively impact human resources. External factors
might include the following:
1. Globalization and offshoring
2. Changes to employment law
3. Health-care costs
4. Employee expectations
5. Diversity of the workforce
6. Changing demographics of the workforce
7. A more highly educated workforce
8. Layoffs and downsizing
9. Technology used, such as HR databases
10. Increased use of social networking to distribute information to employees
For example, the recent trend in flexible work schedules (allowing employees to set their own schedules) and
telecommuting (allowing employees to work from home or a remote location for a specified period of time, such
as one day per week) are external factors that have affected HR. HRM has to be aware of these outside issues,
so they can develop policies that meet not only the needs of the company but also the needs of the individuals.
Another example is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010. Compliance with
this bill has huge implications for HR. For example, a company with more than fifty employees must provide
health-care coverage or pay a penalty. Currently, it is estimated that 60 percent of employers offer health-care
insurance to their employees (Cappelli, 2010). Because health-care insurance will be mandatory, cost concerns
as well as using health benefits as a recruitment strategy are big external challenges. Any manager operating
without considering outside forces will likely alienate employees, resulting in unmotivated, unhappy workers. Not
understanding the external factors can also mean breaking the law, which has a concerning set of implications as
1 . 1 W H A T I S H U M A N R E S O U R C E S ? • 7
An understanding of key external factors is important to the successful HR professional. This allows him
or her to be able to make strategic decisions based on changes in the external environment. To develop this
understanding, reading various publications is necessary.
One way managers can be aware of the outside forces is to attend conferences and read various articles on the
web. For example, the website of the Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM Online1, not only has job
postings in the field but discusses many contemporary human resource issues that may help the manager make
better decisions when it comes to people management. In Section 1.3 “Today’s HRM Challenges”, we go into
more depth about some recent external issues that are affecting human resource management roles. In Section
1.1.2 “The Role of HRM”, we discuss some of the skills needed to be successful in HRM.
8 • H U M A N R E S O U R C E M A N A G E M E N T
Most professionals agree that there are seven main tasks HRM professionals perform. All these need to be
considered in relation to external and outside forces.
• Capital includes all resources a company uses to generate revenue. Human resources or the people working in the organization are the most important resource.
• Human resource management is the process of employing people, training them, compensating them, developing policies relating to the workplace, and developing strategies to retain employees.
• There are seven main responsibilities of HRM managers: staffing, setting policies, compensation and benefits, retention, training, employment laws, and worker protection. In this book, each of these major areas will be included in a chapter or two.
• In addition to being concerned with the seven internal aspects, HRM managers must keep up to date with changes in the external environment that may impact their employees. The trends toward flexible schedules and telecommuting are examples of external aspects.
• To effectively understand how the external forces might affect human resources, it is important for
1 . 1 W H A T I S H U M A N R E S O U R C E S ? • 9
the HR manager to read the HR literature, attend conferences, and utilize other ways to stay up to date with new laws, trends, and policies.
1. State arguments for and against the following statement: there are other things more valuable in an organization besides the people who work there.
2. Of the seven tasks an HR manager does, which do you think is the most challenging? Why?
1Society for Human Resource Management, accessed August 18, 2011, http://www.shrm.org/Pages/default.aspx.
Cappelli, P., “HR Implications of Healthcare Reform,” Human Resource Executive Online, March 29, 2010,
accessed August 18, 2011, http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=379096509.
Frasch, K. B., David Shadovitz, and Jared Shelly, “There’s No Whining in HR,” Human Resource Executive
Online, June 30, 2009, accessed September 24, 2010, http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/
Rivenbark, L., “The 7 Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave,” HR Magazine, May 2005, accessed October 10,
1 0 • H U M A N R E S O U R C E M A N A G E M E N T
1.2 Skills Needed for HRM
1. Explain the professional and personal skills needed to be successful in HRM.
1. Be able to define human resource management and the certifications that can be achieved in this profession.
One of the major factors of a successful manager or human resource (HR) manager is an array of skills to deal
with a variety of situations. It simply isn’t enough to have knowledge of HR, such as knowing which forms need
to be filled out. It takes multiple skills to create and manage people, as well as a cutting-edge human resource
The first skill needed is organization. The need for this skill makes sense, given that you are managing people’s
pay, benefits, and careers. Having organized files on your computer and good time-management skills are crucial
for success in any job, but especially if you take on a role in human resources.
Like most jobs, being able to multitask—that is, work on more than one task at a time—is important in managing
human resources. A typical person managing human resources may have to deal with an employee issue one
minute, then switch and deal with recruiting. Unlike many management positions, which only focus on one task
or one part of the business, human resources focuses on all areas of the business, where multitasking is a must.
As trite as it may sound, people skills are necessary in any type of management and perhaps might be the most
important skills for achieving success at any job. Being able to manage a variety of personalities, deal with
conflict, and coach others are all in the realm of people management. The ability to communicate goes along with
people skills. The ability to communicate good news (hiring a new employee), bad news (layoffs), and everything
in between, such as changes to policy, makes for an excellent manager and human resource management (HRM)
Keys to a successful career in HRM or management include understanding specific job areas, such as managing
the employee database, understanding employment laws, and knowing how to write and develop a strategic plan
that aligns with the business. All these skills will be discussed in this book.
A strategic mind-set as an HR professional is a key skill as well. A person with a strategic mind-set can plan far
in advance and look at trends that could affect the environment in which the business is operating. Too often,
managers focus on their own area and not enough on the business as a whole. The strategic HR professional is
able to not only work within his or her area but also understand how HR fits into the bigger picture of the business.
Ethics and a sense of fairness are also necessary in human resources. Ethics is a concept that examines the
moral rights and wrongs of a certain situation. Consider the fact that many HR managers negotiate salary and
union contracts and manage conflict. In addition, HR managers have the task of ensuring compliance with ethics
standards within the organization. Many HR managers are required to work with highly confidential information,
such as salary information, so a sense of ethics when managing this information is essential. We discuss ethics
from the organizational perspective in Section 1.1.2 “The Role of HRM”.
Dilbert and the Evil HR DirectorDilbert and the Evil HR Director
(click to see video)
Ethics is perhaps one of the most important aspects to being a great HR professional. This humorous video shows
how unethical behavior can undermine motivation at work.
Human Resource RecallHuman Resource Recall
Think of your current skills. Are there personal or professional skills you would like to work on?
Finally, while we can list a few skills that are important, understanding the particular business, knowing the
business strategy, and being able to think critically about how HR can align itself with the strategy are ways
to ensure HR departments are critical parts of the business. HR is a specialized area, much like accounting or
finance. However, many individuals are placed in HR roles without having the specific knowledge to do the
job. Oftentimes people with excellent skills are promoted to management and then expected (if the company is
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