Role and Function of Personnel Departments and Ways to Improve Their Strategic Value to Organizations

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Evaluation of the role and function of personnel departments within organizations and discussion of ways to improve their strategic value to the organization.

Role of HR Departments
The HR model of the four HRM perspectives devised by Ulrich helps clarify the role of Personnel Departments (University of Sunderland 2004, p. 75).

Strategic Partner
As Strategic Partner the HR Department creates an appropriate organisational architecture with the target of achieving a match between factors such as culture and work processes and the organisation’s strategic goals. The focus is on results orientation and performance enhancement (University of Sunderland 2004, pp. 75, 78).

Administrative Expert
The role of Administrative Expert comprises
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change agent). It is vital for corporate success that all four roles are considered as equally important.
Problems, however, might not only arise because of operational and strategic processes. The department also has to manage to align processes and people because both factors equally contribute to the success of the HR Department and the organisation.

Another critical point is that the HR role and activities are very comprehensive and complex, maybe too comprehensive for one department, as it might be possible to lose control over all the different processes.

HR Functions and Evaluation

HR policy formulation
The Personnel Department formulates strategic HR policy, bearing in mind the overall organisational context (University of Sunderland 2004, p. 84).

If properly devised, HR policy formulation can make an essential contribution to corporate success. However, it has to be considered that if the department devises a wrong strategy it could slow down corporate development and thus future corporate success.

This activity comprises HR planning, recruitment and workforce planning and work organisation (University of Sunderland 2004, p. 84).

A problem area is that future development and corporate needs might be difficult to estimate. This means that planning could be totally wrong and objectives could not be achieved, which would also result in high costs.

Training and development
This comprises various tools such as induction, management

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