I intend to reflect critically upon my role in undertaking human resource management (HRM) within my own agency. Firstly, I will examine what HRM is and how it has developed within Social Work Service (SWS) and specifically within my own organisation. I will examine and reflect upon specific HRM tasks in which I have been involved relation to myself, the staff I supervise, the organisation and the profession.
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In doing so I will consider to what extent the changes in the management of SWS have been positive. Human Resource Management Since the 1980s, there have been attempts to install a culture of management in local councils, which has continued to the current day. Previous practices were criticised for being inefficient, self-serving and failing to respond to the needs of clients. Some commentators suggested that social services were ‘Ã¢â‚¬Â¦a metaphor for all that was considered to be wrong with the welfare state’ (Harris and McDonald, 2000, p57). It was argued social work needed to adopt the practices and the priorities of commercial firms. HRM is the staffing function of the organisation. It includes the activities of human resources planning, recruitment, selection, orientation, training, performance appraisal and clear employment procedures. Previously many large organisations saw people management as the primary responsibility of the personnel section. Beaumont (1993, p10) states that, “The concept and practice of human resource management are widely held to have evolved out of the prior area of personnel administration”. He goes on to argue that HRM came into fashion due to the competitive market, the successes of the Japanese system and the high performance of individual companies which accord human resource management a relatively high priority, the declining union member numbers, the growth of white sector employment and the need for personnel departments to have more involvement with management thinking (p.11). To address these changes human resource techniques have been applied. PersonnelÂ managementÂ can be seen as administrative in nature, dealing withÂ payroll, employment law, and related tasks. Whereas HRM focuses on managing the workforce as a resources necessary to the success of the organisation. Torrington and Hall cited in Mullins “see the nature and degree of difference between personnel management and HRM as remaining ‘largely matters of opinion rather than fact and the similarities are much greater than the differences” (1996, p18). What is important to me as a manager of people is that it stresses the role of line managers in regulating their own staff. Beaumont (1995, pp18-19) argues that it makes use of the techniques of strategic management for the operation of human resources. Within commercial firms, HRM policies strive to get the best out of the workforce by keeping morale high and fostering good working relationships with decent working conditions: “The manager needs to understand how to make the best use of human resources of the organization.
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