What are the important Functions of Personnel Management?

The functions of personnel management may be classified into two categories:

(A) Management Functions

(B) Operative Functions

(A) Management Functions

Management functions of the personnel department may be as under:

(i) Planning:

Planning is a fundamental function of personnel management. It involves deciding in advance what is to be done, where, how and by whom it is to be done. While planning, an office manager projects a course of action for the future aimed at achieving desired results for the organization as a whole and each department within it. Thus merely ascertaining the future is not planning till it is followed by making provision for it. Planning then is just a rational approach to the future.

(ii) Organisation:

It is used in the sense of an enterprise or a business unit. As a matter of fact, it is referred to as the social system encompassing all formal relations and yet another useful way of looking at organisation is to consider it as an essential function of personnel management. In operational sense, organisation may be considered as consisting of division of work among people and co-ordination of their activities towards some objectives.

(iii) Directing:

It is the managerial function consisting of all those activities which are concerned directly with guiding, influencing and supervising the subordinates in their jobs. It is thus performance oriented. Some elements of the directing function of personnel management are:

(a) Supervising the work of subordinates to ensure that their performance conforms to plan.

(b) Maintaining discipline and rewarding effective performance. (e) Issuing orders and instructions.

(d) Motivating the subordinates to direct their behavior in a desired pattern.

(iv) Controlling:

Controlling as a function of management means the measurement and correction of performance of activities of subordinates in order to make sure that enterprise objectives and plans devised to attain them are accomplished. Control thus consists in knowing the extent to which actions are in conformity with plans adopted and instructions issued so that errors and deviations are reported and appropriate corrective actions taken. Remedial action may result in alteration of plans, change in the organisation structure and modification in the staffing process.

(B) Operative Functions

Operative function may be discussed as under:

(i) Procurement:

It is concerned with the obtaining of the proper kind and number of personnel necessary to accomplish necessary organization goals. The function is related to subjects like the determination of manpower requirements and their recruitment, selection and placement.

The manpower requirements are calculated in terms and numbers of personnel needed and their quality. Selection and placement cover different activities designed to screen and hire personnel, such as, application forms, psychological tests, interviews and induction.

(ii) Development:

After the personnel have been obtained, it is necessary to develop them. Development implies the increase of skill, through training, that is necessary for proper job performance.

This aspect of personnel function has acquired great importance even in our country during the last quarter of a century or so due to greater use of technology in every department of a business enterprise. Development function will be influenced by numerous factors, like induction of new machines, promotions and transfers.

(iii) Compensation:

This function can be defined as the adequate and equitable remuneration of personnel for their contributions to organisation objectives. In developed countries, compensation cannot be described as a great motivating force as strong as it is in less developed countries.

Compensating remains one of the basic functions of personnel management. A proper wage system takes into consideration a number of factors and subjects like job evaluation, wage policies, wage systems and wage incentive schemes.

(iv) Integration:

It can be defined as an attempt to effect a reasonable reconciliation of individual and organisational interests. Integration must follow the above three functions of procurement, development and compensation. The function of integration relates to problems of communication, informal organisation and trade unions.

(v) Maintenance:

Maintenance refers to sustaining and improving the conditions that have been established. This would thus include the above functions. However, it must be pointed out that it would be necessary to take care of physical well-being and mental well-being of the employees.

In order to accomplish this objective, it would be desirable that research must continue in every direction so that the function of maintenance is performed properly.