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Personal Summary of Human Resource Management Class

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Ciputra University is famous because of its entrepreneurship curriculum. The university has offered many courses that helped its students in possessing entrepreneurial competencies, skills, and knowledge that may help them in their future. And that was the main reason that pushes and motivates me to enroll as a Business Management student. So far in my journey till semester 3, I feel that Ciputra University has motivated, inspired, and taught me a lot in building and enhancing my soul as a true entrepreneur. But life is like a rolling wheel, sometimes we are up and happy, sometimes we are in the bottom and get in hard road with problems, obstacles, and challenges. But, at the same time I cannot just ask for rainbow without a little rain. And so, not everything always go as expected, as planned, as wished, not everything is safe and sound, often times I faced problems in my Entrepreneurship 3 business such as free rider, contention, and misunderstandings. And in the Human Resource Management class itself, I was given a lot of input, knowledge, and direction in dealing with conflicts between co-workers, non-contributing workers, and how to build a solid and engaged team. By studying HRM, I can have the right strategy to deal with all the obstacles, challenges, and problems I faced in my E3 Business. The class started from the rough big picture of the subject, we were given the introduction of the module first, and then what is ‘Human Resource Management’ as a subject.

Human Resource Management is both an art and a science. It is considered as a science because it has an organized frame and figure of information which contains widespread truth. And the reason it is also called an art is because managing requires certain competencies and abilities which are individual possessions of the HR Manager. Science gives the information, knowledge, and abilities while art bargains with application of information, knowledge, and abilities. Then what makes Human Resource Management as a very important aspect in a business organization?

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Just like Anne M. Mulcahy says, employees are company’s greatest asset, people in an organization is our competitive advantage. You need to draw in and hold the most; provide them with support, boost, and make them feel that they are a crucial part of the company’s vision and mission. In another source like in Daniel Pink’s book, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, he mentioned that people becomes more important as number of jobs that require cognitive skills increases. Daniel Pink said that those jobs need a next level of creativity, skills of problem solving, and divergent thinking meaning that in order for the business to be successful, it has to know its unique human element. Without Human Resource Management, there will be no positive impact on productivity. A study supports that HRM has a positive impact on productivity, the study mentions that a 10 per cent increase in the extent of the systematic use of HR practices will lead to a 3.27 per cent increase in production. Then what are the skills needed for a HR Manager to maximize its employees’ productivity, what do they need to get maximum and full performance from its people? Now, there are a lot of versions for the competencies and skills needed to be a HR Manager. But all of them have the same goal that is to convert business strategy into business results. Common Essentials skills that a HR manager must have are:

  1. Recruiting and hiring employees.
  2. Making compensation package and legal contracts.
  3. Making employee coaching, training, and development program.
  4. Handling conflicts between workers.
  5. Creating and administering performance appraisals.
  6. Firing workers.
  7. Maintaining satisfaction of employees.

But again back to the main goal of HR Manager that is to convert business strategy into business results. And the challenge of a business is to figure out where the organization is going strategically and to turn on those strategies into actions. But in between that strategy and action, there is this tension which is called paradox navigator and it is the job of a HR manager to manage those paradox tensions. Now to enable the strategy, a HR Manager needs to have organization enablers and delivery enablers. Organization enablers are Culture and Change Champion in which a HR Manager needs to manage change and be a culture champions. Based on Water Stone Human Capital, Culture Champions have natural credibility and leadership skills, they are energetic and supportive of change, they have the skills to communication the need for a change, and they are empathetic and appreciative when it comes to how difficult change can be. Besides that, Culture Champions should be a living examples of values to its environment.

Then, the next enabler is to be a human capital curator in which a HR Manager should care about its human capital within its function. The last Organizational enabler is Total Rewards Steward, in which a HR Manager should slay at developing programs that both award employees financially and non-financially. Delivery enablers consist of Compliance Manager, Analytics Designer and Interpreter, and Technology and Media Integrator. Compliance Manager in which HR managers should ensure compliance surrounding the departments and eliminate the risk of non-compliance penalties. Analytics Designer and Interpreter in which HR Managers must can manage analysis and design an interpret data to create a decision.

And last but not least, Technology and Media Integrator in which HR managers should understand and know the perks of HR Technology and how it can help them in boosting processes and workforce productivity. Now as mentioned earlier, one of the skills needed to be a HR Manager is to hire and recruit employees. But the problem is often times we recruit the wrong person and we put them in the wrong position. For example like in my E3 business, in which at the beginning we had a problem with our job desk because it is unclear and so it becomes confusing to certain members because they do not know what is expected and asked for them to do.

And so, from the HRM class we learned that for a specific job, there should be a clear described skills needed along with its valued, recognized, and rewarded values, and characteristic to explain and estimate a certain person’s productivity. And so, there should be a competency to give a certain person a clear guide and path for them to follow and made them understand on what is expected of them. To do this, we can use the competency model or a benchmark. Because, a benchmark or competency model help HR Managers in setting a set of standards as a reference and guide in thinking whether a person fits in the category and standard in that job position and to be hired. And that was exactly what I and my team did in E3, we made a benchmark and see which one of us fits in job A and which one us fits in job B and so now we have a clear job desk and clear understanding on what we should do.

In the second week, I also learned that there are a lot benefits of working as a HR Manager such as interacting with new faces, helping people in finding their career and life goals, helping people in becoming more productive, having a big impact on performance of an organization, have the chance to mold the future of a business company, job availability, good salary, a lot of challenges for those who like challenges, only need a bachelor degree, and develop a knowledge of human psychology. But under the top of the iceberg, there are a lot of challenges and problems that a HR Manager needs to face under the water such as stressful and huge amount of workload, handles problems of people and act as an intermediary, learn about the company and its departments, might boring for new recruits because they have handle the administrative work, politics, a need of experience, and keeping updated with changing market and regulations. As mentioned before, company’s greatest asset is its human capital.

As a Human Resource Manager, it is essential for you to understand what your employee’s needs is and focus on their needs and desires as much as your own. A HR manager must listen to its employees, identify what it is that they need, and somehow find a way to fulfill that need. Based on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, human have five sets of needs. At the first level, it is physiological needs or basic needs such as shelter, warmth, food, and drink. Then on the next level we have safety needs which consist of security, structure, and stability. On the next level we have belonging which includes a sense of belonging in work teams. Then, esteem needs like status, reputation, respect, and confidence, feeling useful and needed by others. And the last level, self-actualization like personal growth. Now if we put this in business world, the lowest level which is basic needs consists of the need to have a job and a salary that can fulfill their life.

On the next level, we have safety in which when employees should feel safe working in their work place and they need to have a sense of feeling in which their job is secure. In this level, employees also need a structure in the workplace, with a clear series of command and duties. This is to boost employees confident. Next level is belonging, in this level employees need to feel like they are important to the organization and feel like they are a part of the business. When the organization has a healthy employee engagement then they feel like that their contributions are valued, given enough recognition, and appreciation. On the fourth level we have self-esteem, in which employees needs to feel respected, confident, and strong mentally.

On the last level, self-actualization, employees have an ambition, target, and something that they want to achieve. In this stage, we as a HR Manager needs to give them the chance to grow, develop, and advance themselves. We need to give them all the materials, tools, and things needed for them to fulfill their self-actualization needs. This stage is very crucial and important because employees that are in this stage can inspire others along the way and cause an overspreading effect of employee engagement. A HR Manager can use the Hierarchy as a tool for reference and to make employees feel like they are needed and important because employees are company’s greatest asset. HR Managers should listen, support, and give chance for its people to speak. The key drivers to engage employees are career opportunities, pay, recognition, organization reputation, and brand alignment. So a HR manager needs to make sure that all those key drivers are driving the employees to be engaged. Because, employee disengagement directly influences a business. When the number of engaged employee increases then performance, productivity, morale, loyalty, and profit of a business increases. At the same time, it decreases absenteeism, presentism, employee turnover, and stress in a business organization.

In the 4th week I was taught about tools to know better about our employees through conducting surveys such as CFIT, DISC, and MMPI. These tools help us know the characteristic of each and every employee better and to put them in the right position and right department. In the 5th week, I was given an assignment to interview at least 3 employees from a company using the Gallup’s Q12 Survey. And one thing that I learned after conducting the interview is that if I were a HR Manager, I’d conduct the same survey once every month. Because, when I was asking questions to the employees, I noticed that they felt awkward, shy, and unconfident in giving out the answers. It seems like they were never given surveys or such questions before. Especially when I asked if they get the chance to state their opinion and comment, they said they do not get that chance and they also claimed that they are okay with not given chance to speak up. This is a sad reality and I, as the future HR manager needs to change this. In 6th week, I learned about the concept of generations and its labels, and both challenges and benefits we get from a multigenerational team. When we are having multigenerational employees, then the challenges we meet are a lot starting from different communication method choice like for example, older generations would prefer to have a communication face-to face but younger generations prefer through the help of social medias. Not to mention the conflicts that might happen between generations because of their different choices, thinking, and methods. But at the same time, we gain a lot benefits like broader decisions, more perspectives, and more ideas. Big companies can also gain larger market share. So, as a HR Manager we need to handle and manage this situation correctly. We need to apply the platinum rule “treat others like they want to be treated and do unto others as they as they would want to.” to all employees. As a HR Manager we also need to open conversations between these generations, ask about their needs, and offer them with choices that they can consider, and teach each other to be collaborative, strong, and solid.

In a nutshell, a big image I got from HRM class is that we should invest on our employees as they are our greatest asset. When our employees are happy and engaged then they will make the clients happy and engaged too. We as a HR Manager needs to treat our employees exactly as we want them to treat our clients.

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