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Role of Human Resource Manager

They perform mainly three different types of roles, while meeting the
requirements of employees and customers, namely administrative, operational
and strategic.

1) Administrative Roles:
The administrative roles of human resource management include
policy formulation and implementation, housekeeping, records
maintenance, welfare administration, legal compliance, etc.

i. Policy maker:
The human resource manager helps management in the formation
of policies governing talent acquisition and retention, wage and salary
administration, welfare activities, personnel records, working
conditions, etc. He also helps in interpreting personnel policies in an
appropriate manner.

ii. Administrative expert:

The administrative role of an HR manager is heavily oriented to
processing and record keeping. Maintaining employee benefit claims,
answering queries regarding leave, transport and medical facilities,
submitting required reports to regulatory agencies are examples of
administrative nature of HR management.

iii. Advisor:
The personnel manager performs his functions by advising,
suggesting, counseling and helping the line managers in discharging
their responsibilities relating to grievance redressal, conflict resolution,
employee selection and training.
iv. Housekeeper:
The administrative roles of a personnel manager in managing the
show include recruiting, per-employment testing, reference checking,
employee surveys, time keeping, wage and salary administration,
benefits and pension administration, wellness programmes maintenance
of records, etc.

v. Counselor:
The HR manager discusses various problems of the employees
relating to work, career, their supervisors, colleagues, health, and
family, financial, social, etc. and advises them on minimizing and
overcoming problems, if any.

vi. Welfare officer:

HR manager is expected to be the Welfare Officer of the
company. As a Welfare Officer he provides and maintains canteens,
hospitals, crèches, educational institutes, clubs, libraries, conveyance
facilities, co-operative credit societies and consumer stores.

vii. Legal consultant:

HR manager plays a role of grievance handling, settling Line and
Staff Functions of disputes, handling disciplinary cases, doing collective
bargaining, enabling the process of joint consultation, interpretation and
implementation of various labour laws, contacting lawyers regarding
court cases, filling suits in labour courts, industrial tribunals, civil courts
and the like.

2) Operational Roles:

These roles are tactical in nature and include recruiting and

developing employees; coordinating HR activities with the actions of
managers and supervisors throughout the organization and resolving
differences between employees.

i. Recruiter:
HR managers have to use their experience to good effect while
laying down lucrative career paths to new recruits without, increasing
the financial burden to the company.

ii. Trainer, developer, motivator:

HR managers have to find skill deficiencies from time to time,
offer meaningful training opportunities, and bring out the talent potential
of people through intrinsic and extrinsic rewards which are valued by
iii. Coordinator/ Linking pin:
The HR manager is often deputed to act as a linking pin between
various divisions of an organization. The whole exercise is meant to
develop rapport with divisional heads, using PR and communications
skills of HR executives to the maximum possible extent.

iv. Mediator:
The HR manager acts as a mediator in case of friction between
two employees, groups of employees, superiors and subordinates and
employees and management with the sole objective of maintaining
industrial harmony.

v. Employee champion:
In order to deliver effective results HR managers have to treat
their employees as valuable assets. Such an approach helps to ensure
that HR practices and principles are in sync with the organisation’s
overall strategy.

3) Strategic Roles:

An organisation’s success increasingly depends on the

knowledge, skills and abilities of its employees, particularly as they help
establish a set of core competencies. The strategic role of HR
management focuses attention on how to enable ordinary employees to
turn out extraordinary performance, taking care of their ever-changing
expectations. The key areas of attention in this era of global competition

i. Change agent:
HR’s role as a change is to replace resistance with resolve,
planning with results and fear of change with excitement about its
possibilities. HR helps and organisation identifies the key success
factors for change and asses the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses
regarding each factor.

ii. Strategic partner:

HR’s role is not just to adapt its activities to the firm’s business
strategy, nor certainly to carry out fire-fighting operations like
compensating employees. Instead, it must deliver competent, consumer-
oriented work force. While implementing strategies, HR should develop
appropriate ways to restructure work processes smoothly.

A philosophy is a system of thoughts, based on some orderly, logical

statements of objectives, principles and policies and general method of
approach to the solution of some aspects of problems.

Definition of HRM philosophy:-

“The fundamental beliefs, ideas, principles views had by management
with respect to organizing and treating individuals at work” – R. P. Calhoun

Personnel Policies:

A policy is a plan of action. A predetermined guide established to

provide direction in decision making. As guides, rather than as hard and fast
rules, policies are somewhat flexible, requiring interpretation and judgments in
their use. They can exert significant influence on how managers accomplish
their jobs. HR policies ensure consistency and uniformity in dealing with
Though principles and policies are often bundled together in the HRM
policy statement of an organisation, they are distinctly different. Principle is the
fundamental truth established by research, investigation and analysis.


The early part of the 20th century saw a concern for improved efficiency
through careful design of work. During the middle part of the century emphasis
shifted to the availability of managerial personnel and employee productivity.
Recent decades have focused on the demand for technical personnel, responses
to new legislation and governmental regulations, increased concern ofr the
quality of working life, total quality management and a renewed emphasis on
From earlier concept of treating employees as mere commodity to
acknowledgement of employees as stakeholders in the business, HRM has well
and truly evolved in a long way. The different phases of evolution can depicted
as follows:

• Early Phase:
Though it is said that HRM discipline is of recent growth, it has
its origin dating back to 1800 B.C. The Chinese, as early as 1650 B.C.
had originated the principle of division of labour and they understood
labour turnover even in 400 B.C. The span of management and elated
concepts of organisation were well understood by Moses around 1250
B.C. and the Chaldeans had incentive wage plans around 400 B.C.

• Legal Phase:
The early roots of HRM in India could be traced back to the
period after 1920. In view of legal compulsions and the enumerations of
duties the entire approach of organisations towards their personnel was
to comply with the laws and keep the welfare officers busy with routine

• Welfare Phase:
During the 1960’s the scope of personnel function has expanded
a bit, covering labour welfare, participative management, industrial
harmony, etc. “In this period, the human relations movement of the
West had also had its impact on Indian organisations”. The legalistic
preoccupations slowly gave way to harmonious industrial relations and
good HR practices.

• Development Phase:
In 1960s and 70s the HR professionals focused more on
developmental aspects of human resources. The emphasis was on
striking a harmonious balance between employee demands and
organizational requirements. HRD has come to occupy a centre stage
and a focal point of discussion in seminars, conferences and academic
meets. The two professional bodies, IIPM and NILM, were merged to
form the National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) at