Free online courseHuman resource management concepts by Gregg Learning



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Gregg Learning creates useful video courses in human resource, management, business, leadership and public administration. With thousands of courses, Gregg Learning connects people to the learning they need anytime, completely free. Gregg Learning is presented by Lighthouse Organizational Development.

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Human Resource Management in Organizations

Human resource management is designing formal systems in an organization to manage human talent for accomplishing organizational goals. In this course, we will answer the question, what is human resource management?

By definition, Human resource management comprise the formal systems designed to manage people in an organization. Managing people ultimately has to do with the decisions these leaders make from among the wide range of possible choices on the formal policies, practices, and methods for managing employees.

Which human resource role dominates or whether all three roles are performed, depends on what management wants HR to do and what competencies the HR staff members possess. The opportunity for the HR department to adopt a strategic role exists in many firms. Overall, instead of just understanding HR issues and concerns, HR staff should have a broad business focus to help companies reach their strategic goals.

Human resource management challenges are often driven by compe


Labor Relations

Exactly how political, economic, and workforce changes affect employers and unions will be factors in the future of the labor–management relationship. Employers and HR professionals still need to understand the system of laws, regulations, court decisions, and administrative rulings related to the nature of unions. This is important because unions remain a strong alternative for employees in the event of poor HR practices.

A union is a formal association of workers that promotes the interests of its members through collective action. Once unionization occurs, the ability of the union to foster commitment from members and to remain as their bargaining agent depends on how well the union succeeds in providing the services that its members want, which can further strengthen or weaken workers’ perceptions of unions.

To some extent, unions may be victims of their own successes. Unions in the United States have historically emphasized helping workers obtain higher wages and benefits, short


Employee Rights and Responsibilities

HR professionals must help create a work environment that honors fairness, protects individual privacy, treats all workers with dignity and respect, while at the same time allowing the business to succeed. Rights generally do not exist in the abstract.

Instead, rights are powers, privileges, or interests derived from law, nature, or tradition. Rights are offset by responsibilities, which are obligations to perform certain tasks and duties. Those obligations can be spelled out formally in a written employment contract or more likely in an employer handbook and policies disseminated to employees.

The employment relationship is affected by both formal and informal agreements. The rights and responsibilities of the employee may be spelled out in a job description, an employment contract, HR policies, or a handbook, but often they are not.

Employment at will (EAW) is a common-law doctrine stating that employers have the right to hire, fire, demote, or promote whomever they choose, unless


Human Resource Strategy and Planning

The strategy an organization follows is its plan for how to compete successfully, survive, and grow. Many organizations have a relatively formal process for developing a written strategy encompassing a certain period of time, with objectives and goals identified for each business unit.

Strategic planning is the process of defining organizational strategy, or direction, and allocating resources (capital and people) toward its achievement. Effective strategy often relies on managers who are willing to closely assess current conditions and develop a game plan that enables the firm to overcome obstacles and sustain success.

Strategic HR management refers to the appropriate use of HR management practices to gain or keep a competitive advantage. An important way HR professionals can contribute to strategy is by introducing high-performance approaches into the workplace that lead to increased performance.

Forecasting uses information from the past and present to predict future conditions.


Introduction to Equal Employment Opportunity

Basing employment decisions on factors other than worker qualifications is generally illegal in the United States. The costs of litigation, penalties, and harm to the company’s reputation can be substantial when violations occur.

Equal employment opportunity means that employment decisions must be made on the basis of job requirements and worker qualifications. Unlawful discrimination occurs when those decisions are made based on protected characteristics, which are individual attributes such as race, age, sex, disability, or religion that are protected under EEO laws and regulations.

Discrimination remains a concern as the U.S. workforce becomes more diverse. HR professionals need to be sensitive to trends in the workplace that can precipitate negative legal actions. The first type, disparate treatment, occurs when individuals with particular characteristics that are not job related are treated differently from others. Disparate impact is the second type of illegal discrimination.


Jobs and Job Analysis

Human resource professionals deal with the segment of the population that works in current jobs or that is looking for work. The goal is to develop jobs that are inherently motivating to employees or to create work situations that are desirable enough to attract and hire competent workers.

Many efforts focus on developing skills to improve employees’ readiness for work. Organizations, including their human resource departments, can also address skills shortages.

Work is effort directed toward accomplishing results, and such effort may be performed by humans, machines, or both. The total amount of work to be performed in an organization must be divided into jobs so that effort can be coordinated in some logical way.

A job is a grouping of tasks, duties, and responsibilities that constitutes the total work assignment for an employee; these tasks, duties, and responsibilities may change over time, and therefore, the job may change. Workflow analysis is the study of the way work moves t


Employee Relations

Ideally, organizations are comprised of employees who have the ability to keep the company successfully moving forward. Motivation is the desire that exists within a person that causes that individual to act. There is a motivating effect associated with making successful progress in meaningful work. Some would argue that this is the most powerful basis for motivation.

Employers must find ways to positively affect elements of individual–organization relationships so that work gets done. Psychological contracts can be strengthened and employee commitment enhanced when the organization is involved in a cause that is important to the employee.

In its most basic sense, job satisfaction involves the positive feelings and evaluations derived from an individual’s employment in a job. Managers and HR professionals must therefore create employment situations that prompt positive work attitudes and get employees engaged in the workplace.

Employee engagement is the extent to which an employee’


Introduction to Recruiting

Recruiting becomes more important and complex as labor markets evolve. Although recruiting can be expensive, think about the cost of unfilled jobs.

Recruiting is the process of generating a pool of qualified candidates. Recruitment planning can pinpoint not only the kinds and numbers of applicants but also how difficult recruiting efforts may be depending on the type of jobs being filled. In addition, effective recruiting focuses on discovering talent before it is needed.

The employment brand is the distinct image of the organization that captures the essence of the company to engage employees and outsiders. The brand is a set of qualities that promises a unique employment experience.

The brand can create positive perceptions if the company also highlights the employee value proposition, which is developed by focusing on the company’s commitment to employee excellence and development. Keep in mind that the employment brand must reflect the genuine work environment and not simply be


Introduction to Employee Selection

When looking at selection as part of the supply chain, think about recruiting as putting out the “request for proposals” and selection as narrowing down to the best “supplier” of talent. Without qualified employees, an organization is far less likely to succeed.

Selection is the process of choosing individuals with the correct qualifications needed to fill jobs in an organization. The ultimate purpose of selection is placement, or fitting a person to the right job. Placement of people can be seen primarily as a matching process.

A mismatch results from poor pairing of a person’s needs, interests, abilities, personality, and expectations with characteristics of the job, available rewards, coworker relationships, and the organization. If an individual is poorly suited for a job, it is difficult to achieve acceptable performance.

A selection criterion is a characteristic that a person must possess to successfully perform job duties. Choosing appropriate predictors is not an easy task,


Training Human Resources

Training represents a significant expenditure for most employers. However, it has historically been viewed tactically rather than strategically, which means that training is seen as a short-term activity rather than one that has longer-term effects on organizational success.

Training is the development and delivery of information people will use in their jobs. To be a strategic investment, training must align with company goals and contribute to the achievement of key performance indicators. In other words, it must produce positive results.

Without ongoing training, organizations may not have staff members with the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to compete effectively. Building the capacity for all employees to work smoothly with diverse individuals is essential to competitive success.

Certain legal compliance considerations will ensure the effectiveness of your training and development initiatives. Accurate recordkeeping related to required training is important to


Human Resource Development

Succession planning is the basis for a company dealing successfully with staffing changes such as retirements, transfers, promotions, and turnover. Succession planning is the process of preparing for inevitable vacancies in the organization hierarchy.

The individuals identified as possible successors should be told what specific development they need and possible action steps to build their competencies. Succession planning is the process of preparing for inevitable vacancies in the organization hierarchy.

Succession planning can be an important way to identify employees who have the current skills - or the potential to develop skills - that can help them move up in an organization, or on to other positions. As companies become larger, the benefits of formal succession planning become greater, and for these larger companies, formal planning is recommended.

Actions such as planning careers and development follow from succession planning efforts. Organization-centered career planning


Performance Management

Performance management identifies the work that individuals need to do to be effective and contribute to the mission and objectives of an organization. The process should also encourage, measure, and evaluate job performance so that improvements can be made. Finally, it seeks to communicate, improve, and reward performance.

Performance management is a series of activities designed to ensure that the organization gets the performance it needs from its employees. Performance management includes activities which ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner.

Performance standards define the expected levels of employee performance. Performance appraisal is the process of determining how well employees do their jobs relative to a standard and communicating that information to them. This tool is a key part of performance management because it helps employees improve their job performance. They are often viewed as a critical element of any performance ma


Introduction to Total Rewards

To attract and retain high-quality talent, companies design reward packages that appeal to many different people. Companies do this by addressing pay and benefits with a total rewards approach.

Total rewards are the monetary and nonmonetary rewards provided by companies to attract, motivate, and retain employees. Determining which rewards are valued by employees and applicants and finding affordable ways to provide those rewards can be challenging. Total reward programs should be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that employees find them satisfying and that they are cost-effective and sustainable for the organization. The organizational culture and pay policy should be complementary and consistent.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. State laws also vary on many of these topics, and employe


Understanding Variable Pay

The term pay for performance is often used interchangeably with the term variable pay because this type of compensation moves pay from being a fixed cost to one that varies with employee performance. Variable pay is compensation that is tied to performance.

Variable pay plans can be considered successful if they fit the organization’s objectives, culture, and financial resources. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the scorecard measures that tell managers how well the organization is performing relative to the critical success factors.

Under a straight piece-rate system, wages are determined by multiplying the number of units produced (such as garments sewn or service calls handled) by the piece rate for one unit. Individual employees may receive additional compensation in the form of a bonus, which is a one-time payment that does not become part of the employee’s base pay.

A non-monetary reward can consist of almost any material object, it is compensation given in a transaction


Managing Employee Benefits

Most companies provide benefits to workers as part of a total rewards package that ideally enhances their satisfaction with work. A benefit is a tangible indirect reward provided to an employee or group of employees for organizational membership.

Benefits can influence employees’ decisions about which employer to work for, whether to stay with or leave an organization, and when to retire. What benefits are offered, the competitive level of benefits, and how those benefits are viewed by individuals all affect employee attraction and retention efforts.

A benefit is a tangible indirect reward provided to an employee or group of employees for organizational membership. Organizations design benefit plans with a goal of providing value for employees while remaining cost-effective for the company. Many key decisions must be made as part of benefits design.

The Social Security Act of 1935 and its later amendments established a system to provide old-age, survivor’s, disability, and retireme


Employee Safety and Health

Organizations can take steps to anticipate threats to business assets and operations. Understanding and preparing for these challenges is the focus of risk management. Even though managers may realistically have a limited capacity to predict future events and plan ahead, it is important to consider the possibilities for losses and disruptions and to develop a game plan to respond to these issues.

Risk management involves the responsibility to consider physical, human, and financial factors to protect both organizational and individual interests. Education can help – employers can educate employees on the warning signs that often lead to danger to others on the job.

Workers compensation is a type of insurance that provides defined wage benefits and medical care to employees who are injured on the job. The organization’s culture and reward programs should align to promote accurate recordkeeping related to safety and prompt treatment for injured workers.

The Occupational Safety and He