The quality and quantity of human resources in organizations are vital since they determine their success. No firm can remain competitive and productive in the long run without the right type and number of workers doing the appropriate job as planned. Therefore, companies need to have a department that strategizes and ensures the necessary labor force’s availability for particular tasks. Human Resource Planning (HRP) determines the features and amount of employees needed by organizations. According to (Fogarassy, Szabo and Poor, 2017, p. 1), HRP deals with staff requirements by assessing current and future demand of persons’ skills and availability with the latter. Notably, human resource is a fundamental input utilized to the maximum possible way to achieve organizational and individual goals in businesses. Different definitions are used for HRP; however, (Fogarassy, Szabo and Poor, 2017, p. 2) notes it is the process to ensure a firm has the right number and kind of people at the right place to efficiently and effectively execute tasks that facilitate the achievement of primary objectives. While there are different types of HRP, their core functions include forecasting staffing needs, job analysis, and recruiting.
Forecasting Staffing Needs
Adequate staffing at the right time is essential in achieving organizational goals. Firms can have enough periods to meet needs for employment if they can anticipate the necessities in advance. Notably, some human resources requirements occur when employees take jobs with other companies or retire. Although one can accurately forecast retirement, it is challenging to predict when a worker decides to work for another firm (Fogarassy, Szabo and Poor, 2017, p. 2). Therefore, organizations plan to hire new workforces to replace those who are retiring or leaving.
Expansion of operations is another factor that leads to the need for more workers. Organizations can determine the requirements by assessing their treads of growth. For instance, if a firm plans to increase production by 20 percent in response to a rise in demand, it may prepare to create new positions to guarantee the projected manufacturing level. Some departments, such as those that handle marketing-related jobs and accounting, may not be affected by changes.
The decision to hire new workers is determined by whether the rise in production is permanent or temporary. A firm may avoid increasing the number of employees if it foresees short–term needs for higher production because it would be forced to lay them off after some time. Layoffs negatively affect the victims and scare employees who retain their jobs (Fogarassy, Szabo and Poor, 2017, p. 3). Additionally, a company may have challenges when recruiting individuals for new positions if they become infamous for dismissals. Therefore, firms can prevent the problems and achieve their objectives by offering overtime to current employees or hiring temporary workers for seasonal or part-time work.
Once organizations confirm there are new positions, they embark on the process of filling them, which encompasses job analysis and recruitment. They begin with deciding the tasks and responsibilities related to the positions and necessary qualifications such as education, skills, and education. According to (George, 2019, p. 5), job analysis is an instrumental approach that helps firms to determine tasks and basic credentials for a particular position. Notably, input from relevant supervisors and workers with related tasks should be included in the analysis.
Job analysis is important for both the managers and individuals who consider applying for particular job positions. It allows supervisors job descriptions and specifications. While job specifications define credentials that potential candidates should possess to qualify for particular positions, the job description outlines all tasks and duties(George, 2019, p.5). A person considering applying for a particular job position uses the former and the latter to determine whether they qualify and what it involves. Therefore, companies use job analysis to attract prospective employees, helping them achieve their goals and objectives.
Organizations utilize different forms of recruiting to guarantee an adequate supply of qualified applicants. Most firms have human resource managers (HRM) who help departments hire employees for their open positions. HRM may check recent applicants’ files, who showed interest even before the position was open, to identify a possible candidate(George, 2019, p.7). Alternatively, the managers can advertise the positions to increase applicants’ pool since not all individuals are willing to submit applications when they are unsure of the availability of open positions. Firms are also increasingly listing available job positions on their websites, which reduces the costs of advertising them through mainstream media. The hiring of new workers can occur internally or externally, depending on such factors as skills needed.
This approach involves filling open positions with individuals already working in the company. Notably, most firms advertise job openings to inform existing employees since some may desire the vacant position more than their current ones. The internal recruiting strategy is beneficial because the managers already know the existing workers and can thoroughly assess their capabilities as well as limitations (George, 2019, p.7). Additionally, it facilitates workers’ promotion or switching to more desirable responsibilities. The possibility of advancing motivates employees to be more productive. It also minimizes job turnover rates, allowing the organization to save costs needed to hire and train new employees. Firms can also adopt the strategy if they assign workers tasks and responsibilities that help them acquire skills needed for advanced positions.
This approach is unavoidable even when organizations use internal recruiting because current workers leave the vacant position when they switch to a new job or are promoted. Companies use external recruiting to hire a more qualified workforce, especially for specialized jobs (George, 2019, p. 8). Potential candidates list their previous functions and describe their responsibilities in those jobs in their resumes. Although the information allows managers to assess applicants’ capabilities and limitations, they may not know much about them, especially how they interact with others and respond to orders. Nevertheless, both internal and external recruiting’s main objective is to ensure that an organization has an adequate supply for the labor force.
Types of Human Resource Planning
There are two main types of HRP, hard and soft human resource planning. The hard HRP focuses on quantitative analysis to ensure the right number and type of workers needed by organizations. On the contrary, soft HRP emphasizes on ease of which firms get people with the appropriate type of attitude and motivation. Additionally, such persons must be engaged with their work and committed to the company. Soft HRP assesses these qualities and develops ways of measuring them to ensure they exist in potential candidates.
Types of Human Resource Planningthe Role of the Line Manager
Line managers are an important member of the management teams in an organization. They directly supervise other workers and operations while reporting to the senior managers. They help firms meet their business objectives in specific departments (Reh, 2020, para. 1). Line managers also serve as a link between staff and the management. They perform different roles such as recruitment of workers; motivation, communication, and new employees’ training that facilitate achievement of organizational goals.
As a link between the workers and the top management teams, line managers know the skills needed to perform particular tasks. They know when their respective departments require extra labor force and report the same to the human resource manager. Additionally, they play a significant role in developing job descriptions and specifications to ensure that they recruit the right talent for jobs.
Line managers train, coach, and mentor new employees to ensure that they have the necessary skills and speed of executing their duties. They develop and implement different methods of training workers depending on their jobs (Reh, 2020, para. 2). For instance, they can utilize the lecturing technique if the number of workers is large to save time and cost. Equally, they can provide computer-based training if they want to teach workers basic things such as organizational structure and values. Alternatively, line managers can adopt such approaches as case studies, simulation exercises, role-playing, and group discussion to equip new workers with the necessary skills and develop their capabilities. Line managers also guide and support new employees to ensure that they are comfortable with their working environments. Indeed, training, mentoring, and coaching workers are far more productive than giving them orders since it helps them be responsible for the job and proactive.
Line managers plan the goals, objectives, and tasks of their respective departments and inform the employees as necessary. Operations at the department level influence the achievement of the overall goals and objectives of organizations. Therefore, line managers strategize what their units should accomplish within a given timeline and various activities that workers should perform. Then they communicate the same to team leaders or workers to guarantee cooperation and effective execution of different tasks.
The creation of successful working relationships is another role for the line managers. They are in direct contact with the workers such that they address any disputes among them. They also spend considerable time with employees, allowing them to understand their needs and problems they face when working. Notably, organizational productivity increases when supervisors spend time with their team members (Wach, Wehner, Weißenberger and Kabst, 2020, p.6). Indeed, such relationships instill a sense of family in all employees, regardless of their position in the company.
Line managers manage and evaluate the performance of workers within their departments. They ensure that employees are more productive by improving their engagement across teams doing different jobs. According to (Wach, Wehner, Weißenberger and Kabst, 2020, p. 13), line managers adopt various strategies such as rewarding achievement and recognizing top performance to nurture a committed workforce and guarantee high employee engagement levels. The latter directly impacts workers’ productivity, urge, and dedication to the organization’s mission, helping them achieve their goals.
Line managers effectively communicate with work teams and higher-level managers. Communication is a critical component in every organization since it influences the relationship between workers. Effective line managers always pass information down to the team members. However, they can, in some instances, withhold some information for confidentiality reasons. A timely sharing of any changes and development is instrumental in motivating and keeping workers on the same page (Wach, Wehner, Weißenberger and Kabst, 2020, p. 11). Moreover, communicating and discussing ideas processes can promote innovation and helps employees have a stake in the companies. Equally, disseminating organizational goals as set by the management to the employees helps them to be focused.
Organizational line managers motivate and engage workers to guarantee productivity. Praising employees and acknowledging work well-done is the cheapest form of motivation, although it does not happen very often in most firms. However, the position companies place line managers are instrumental in countering the issue. Undeniably, most firms offer rewards, individual incentives, and different recognition schemes to establish and develop motivation and engagement. However, such a form of acknowledgment yields more benefits when firms step to help line managers have unplanned employee recognition. Development of personal link with the employees and saying a simple “thank you” can also benefit companies through enhanced productivity, better customer service, and revenue growth.
The other roles of line managers in organizations include ensuring compliance with organizational policy and legislation and guaranteeing the maintenance of quality standards at expected levels. They also plan regular meetings with workers to discuss progress and any hindrances to safeguard employees’ health and wellbeing (Wach, Wehner, Weißenberger and Kabst, 2020, p. 16). Every company has its rules and policies that govern all operations. Line manages follow-up on the staff in their departments to make sure no one engages in activities that are against the firm’s guiding principles. An assessment of improvement of various operations and possible challenges as reported by employees is vital since it allows management how far they have achieved organizational goals and objectives and design corrective measures to bottlenecks. It lines managers’ responsibility to provide workers with a safe working environment and meet their higher productivity needs.
Difference Between the Role of Line Managers and That of HR Managers
While line managers are mainly responsible for achieving organization goals by planning and directing subordinates’ work, HR managers are staff experts. The latter helps line managers in recruitment, selection, training, and compensation of workers. Line managers state the job description and specifications, and then HR managers develop sources of qualified candidates, conduct screening interviews, and test the applicants (Mayhew, n.d., para. 3). HR managers then refer the best candidates to the line managers who select the right individuals for particular positions. Another significant difference between HR and line managers is that the latter directly interact with employees every day as they execute their roles while the former comes in when there are disputes (Mayhew, n.d., para. 5). HR managers advise line managers on how to resolve conflicts between workers. Despite the differences in their role, HR and line managers should work together because they complement and supplement each other, and they have entrusted interest in guaranteeing the success of their organizations.
Training and Development
Training and development (T & T&D) are organizations’ formal and ongoing efforts to improve workers’ performance and self-fulfillment through different educational programs and methods. Mahadevan and Yap (2019, p. 1) indicate that T&D has become an official business function since it is an integral element of strategies. Firms, irrespective of their size, embrace continual learning and other aspects of T&D to promote their employees’ growth and ensure that they have a highly skilled workforce. Undoubtedly, the quality of workers and the constant enhancement of their abilities and productivity through training are fundamental factors that guarantee companies’ long-term success and profitability. Firms use various T&D methods on their employees, which have different impacts on workers.
Most organizations use this method to train their workers because it is conventional, simple, and cost-effective. Additionally, the lecture method is timesaving since it covers a maximum number of employers within a short period. Lectures involve instructors, possibly supervisors or skilled and experienced professionals, giving speeches with minimal discussions (Inc., 2020, para. 12). Skillfully made lectures help workers acquire essential information related to their jobs and how they can enhance productivity. However, the method increases the chances for the trainees to forget disseminated information because lectures may take more than fifteen minutes, the normal human attention span. Additionally, the extent to which workers learn is unknown since the method does not encourage active participation.
This method focuses on developing the knowledge and attitude of workers. Employees are organized into groups to examine various empirical studies, find commonalities, and derive fundamental general principles. The employees then integrate their ideas and focus their attention on a particular issue at a time using different perspectives of members (Inc., 2020, para. 17). The method helps workers develop new and more ideas for executing their responsibilities since they can present them and get feedback from group members. Nevertheless, the positive impact may be limited if few individuals dominate the process, preventing all members’ participation.
Organizations can use simulators, training devices that model the real world to train and develop their workforce. Simulators’ complexity ranges from simple mechanical devices’ paper mock-ups to computerized creations. The method is indirect can be applied to workers performing challenging tasks using machines (Inc., 2020, para. 15). Simulations help employees learn and develop their skills without damaging human life or equipment or encountering various risks associated with actual performance. Indeed, it helps them enhance their capability of capturing and processing information.
This method involves giving a trainee a role to play, which may encompass various practical problems. Notably, a role is a set of expectations related to a particular position and is determined by involved parties, trainers, and trainees (Inc., 2020, para. 14). In this regard, employees must have role clarity for them to be trained to perform the latter. Participants in the training method are supposed to respond to particular expectations and issues of some individuals they are likely to encounter in their jobs. The method equips workers with such skills as effective communication, negotiating, and grievance handling, promoting their human relation abilities.
This method of training and development involves giving workers a written or narrative description of incidence or real situations relating to a company and its operations. The provided case depicts any problem that labor forces could encounter in their employment (Inc., 2020, para. 13). The trainers direct the participants to propose all viable solutions or decisions to address the problems presented. The method is an instrumental tool that helps workers learn and develop reasoning, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Employees understand the reality of various situations in their working environment. Undeniably, case studies can accentuate what has been learned during group discussions, lectures, and other training methods.
This method of training workers combines on-the-job training with classroom lectures. It integrates employment and education since trainees or apprentices work under the guidance of skilled and licensed instructors (Inc., 2020, para. 20). The apprenticeship’s main objective is to prepare a labor force with the necessary level of qualifications to meet the industry’s demand. The method helps workers to develop and master abilities such as electronic and mechanical skills. However, slow learners may be disadvantaged by the apprenticeship training and fail to attain mastery level because of its uniform duration.
This is an on-the-job technique used by supervisors to train their immediate subordinates on one-on-one. Coaching helps one and others gain different and new perspectives of their behaviors and intentions (Mahadevan and Yap, 2019, p. 8). Additionally, the method allows the involved parties to understand what is possible and utilize inner resources such as passion, commitment, and motivation. The managers gently confront their workers with their weaknesses and suggestions for corrective actions to develop their capabilities. They also encourage good performance among the trainees, developing their management skills. Indeed, the personal coaching method helps trainees learn quickly due to constant guidance.
This approach is also on-the-job training like apprenticeship and personal coaching. Employees in an organization are allowed to learn from more experienced staff members (Mahadevan and Yap, 2019, p. 8). Notably, mentors are usually older, and they serve as hosts, advisors, and friends to new employees, where they protect and responsibly help them. Various factors, including understanding each other’s personality and learning style as well as having compatible interests, influence the effectiveness of mentoring. Productive mentoring helps trainees learn and develop skills faster.
This technique involves shifting employees from one job station to another to increase their exposure. It allows them to acquire a general understanding of their entire organization (Inc., 2020, para. 21). Additionally, job rotation helps workers overcome boredom and facilitates direct interaction with various individuals, promoting future working relationships. The approach helps workers develop expertise in different positions within firms. However, efficiency can suffer if some trainees take time to learn and perform.
Computer-Based Training (Cbt)
CBT approach is technology-driven, which takes advantage of computer’s capabilities such as memory, data manipulation, and speed to facilitate flexible instructions. The method involves trainees using the computer instead of listening to instructors (Inc., 2020, para. 16). Learning new skills and operations is enhanced through automated full motion graphics and videos and stereophonic sound. The technique enables faster learning about facts such as organizational structure, culture, and values. However, CBT may be less effective in teaching employees about changing attitudes and human skills.
The relationship between organizations and their employees in any industry is very important. Workers and their employers coexist for mutual benefits, with one being a supplier and the other labor buyer. Companies expect workers to provide labor, be productive, and adhere to their policies and regulations. Conversely, employees anticipate their employers to pay them well, provide equal opportunities, and guarantee conducive work environment. Nevertheless, disputes are inevitable when one party, especially the workers, feels that the other is being unfair. Such conflicts need to be addressed to ensure a win-win situation for both employees and their employers. Notably, most salaries are affiliates of trade unions, which they consider the most comprehensive work life’s organization. Workers join trade unions to safeguard their wellbeing since they are always in an inferior position compared to their employers. The international employment organizations and the United Nations (UN) acknowledge the right to unionize due to workers’ struggles (Mash and Kremer, 2016, p. 146). The trade unions play a significant role in resolving different workplace disputes such as discrimination, employment termination, disciplinary issues, physical working conditions, and employment terms and conditions.
Trade unions accentuate organizational differences between workers and the management and provide necessary mechanisms to address the disputes. Different sources of conflicts motivate employees to join trade unions. One reason the feeling that workers are insufficiently involved in their organizations and their needs are not met (Mash and Kremer, 2016, p. 147). In this regard, trade unions serve as channels for communicating their concerns and giving them a noticeable collective identity. Another reason that generates the urge to join trade unions is power and status within an organization (Mash and Kremer, 2016, p. 147). Employees at the bottom of organizational hierarchy may feel powerless, socially alienated, and excluded from crucial decisions that affect them. Thus, being an affiliate of a union empowers them and minimizes the management-employee gap. Moreover, opposing values and ideologies between workers and managers encourage unionization (Mash and Kremer, 2016, p. 147). For instance, while employees value the importance of seniority and the right to strike, managers value the significance of entrepreneurship and strike-breaking (Mash and Kremer, 2016, p. 147). The last motivating factor is that workers view trade unions as reach with resources due to such benefits as assistance to finances and improved working conditions.
Trade unions play a significant role in resolving salary disputes in organizations. Notably, salary is the basic thing that motivates workers to be more productive. However, some companies, especially those oriented towards making profits, may want employees to work more for fewer wages to increase their profit margin. In such a situation, workers may participate in industrial actions in an attempt to push for higher wages (Dlamini, 2018, p. 27). A firm may threaten to dismiss striking workers to force them to continue working without any salary increment. Nevertheless, workers who are trade union members are protected and have more power to face their employers. Unions engage the conflicting parties to discuss the situation to settle on an optimal solution that ensures that workers are not exploited and employers do not make losses in their operations. Indeed, trade unions act as a tool for collective bargaining.
Trade unions have a significant role in addressing discrimination in workplaces. Some employers may unfairly assign duties and offer promotions based on such factors as gender, ethnicity, race, and physical ability. Gender discrimination in employment is commonly reported in organizations. Managers may assign an inferior role to an individual deny them promotion because they are females. Equally, bodily impaired individuals may be assigned duties that do not match their academic qualifications, even if the position does not physically demand. However, trade unions are always prepared to address such issues to promote fair employment. In case of gender discrimination, trade unions ensure women’s active participation, seek their opinions, and make sure employers hear their voices (International Labor Organization, 2019, para. 6). They also promote the appreciation of women among employers.
Unfair employment termination and disciplinary issues are also common disputes in organizations. Various factors, including unproductivity, policy violation, physical incapacity, misconduct, and retrenchment, can cause workplace disputes. Although employers may find it justifiable to dismiss particular workers, the latter may feel the action against them was unfair. As a result, they may report the issue to their respective trade unions. The organization summons both parties and assesses the situation surrounding the dismissal (Dlamini, 2018, p. 52). If they find out that the employers’ actions were unjustifiable and unfair, they may negotiate for the workers’ reinstatement to their position or reassign them to other jobs. In some cases, the matters may be escalated to the court of law if the conflicting parties fail to agree to the trade unions’ solutions.
Employers may provide working conditions that jeopardized the well-being of the workers. The working environment in any organization must be safe for all employees regardless of their physical ability (Dlamini, 2018, p. 97). Employers in construction and production industries must provide workers with protective gear such as helmets and gloves. Additionally, they must install signs to alert workers of possible dangers. For example, employees in a company using corrosive liquids with irritating and choking fumes must be provided with face masks and gloves. However, firms may ignore all safety hazards, risking workers’ health and death in the worst situations. The trade unions speak on behalf of the employees to ensure improved and safe working conditions, lest to which they take legal action against companies.
Some firms provide unfair employment terms and conditions to exploit workers and dominate key decisions that affect them. For instance, employers may want to have the right to decide when to dismiss workers, reassign duties, and reduce their salaries without consulting them (Dlamini, 2018, p. 106). Disputes are inevitable in an organization with such terms and conditions. However, trade unions’ inputs can ensure that working terms have mutual benefits to the employees and employers.
Indeed, trade unions are instrumental tools that facilitate collective bargaining for workers and effective industrial relations for the common good. They have economic benefits since they induce better management and higher productivity of organizations. They ensure workers are not exploited and execute their responsibilities as expected by their employers. They also promote fairness, equal employment opportunities, workers’ safety and security, and quality of life.
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