Human resource management (HRM) is of great importance to any organization as it focuses on the recruitment of individuals within the organization, management of employees and provision of directions within the organization for goals achievement (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). HRM deals with the issues which relate to the employees such as their compensation, safety, remuneration and benefits, the motivation of the employees, communication, training of the existing employees and the recruits, development of the employees and management of the employees (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Employees are the greatest asset in any organization regardless of its size. As such their management and the coordination of the various activities such as hiring, motivation and their termination are crucial in any organization as effective coordination impacts the organization's performance. The following paper will focus on some of the roles of the HRM in the organization and management of labor in the US. In specific, this paper will review the management of employee competence, employee attitude and behaviors, the Labor Unions and Laws, and lastly the creation of high-performing HRM systems.
Managing Employee Competence
Competence relates to all that affect the performance of the employees either direct or indirect manner (Rastgoo, 2016). It also entails to how people carry out the duties allocated to them and how they respond to a certain situation within the organization. For there to be the achievement of the organization goals, it is necessary that the HRM ensures that the employees are competent in their work. HRM should also ensure that favorable conditions are provided to the employees to ensure that they are working in an effective manner. Rastgoo (2016)indicates that employee competence can be encouraged by ensuring that employees are more knowledgeable by ensuring that they are provided with training and that they work together as a team.
Managing Employees Training and Development
HRM is responsible for the training and development of the employees (Schuler & Jackson, 2008). Training relates to subjecting the employees in a learning process to increase their knowledge and also skills in efforts to ensure that their performance towards a certain job is increased (Schuler & Jackson, 2008). Recruits are subjected to training so that their skills and knowledge can be improved. This also relates to the provision of instructions, giving guidance and coaching to help them handle some of the key jobs. This is useful as it results in the elimination of wastage within the organization. On the other hand, development is usually on a long term basis, and this involves the inclusion of a systemic and an organized process which contributes towards proper management of employees (Schuler & Jackson, 2008). This thereby contributes towards the development of competent employees within the organization.
Managing Employee Attitudes and Behaviors
Managing employee behaviors and attitudes is involving and needs to be managed by HRM so that employees' performance can be improved (Rastgoo, 2016). Since this requires that employees should be talked to on matters relating to their performance, this requires that the behaviors and the attitude of the employees should be influenced in a positive manner. When employees develop a negative attitude towards the work they are doing, this tends to influence the productivity of the employees (Rastgoo, 2016). However, this can be encouraged by addressing the problems facing the employees in a positive manner (Rastgoo, 2016). There can also be a provision of quick feedback to the employee since this will motivate them to put more effort.
Managing Employees' Performance
Management of employees' performance relates to ways that can be considered by the organization to appraise their performance. HRM is responsible for ensuring that the relation between the supervisor and his subordinates is formal (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). This will ensure that there will be the identification of the employees' strength and also weaknesses as this will contribute towards the determination of more opportunities and also the development of the employees' skills (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). This also ensures that the employees can understand their abilities, their competencies and even their impact towards the organization. According to Armstrong and Taylor (2014) employee performance should be evaluated on a continuous basis and feedback given to them continuously so that continuous improvement is encouraged. This would ensure that the employees do not deviate from their roles and that they achieve their target.
Managing Employee Total Compensation
Another major objective of HRM relates to the management of employees compensation. "Payroll" is the term used to illustrate what the employees receive as their salaries or wages as a result of work done by them (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). HRM ensures that there is fair compensation which is given to the employees. Where the employees are made to work for overtime, they should be paid some additional income to cater for the time worked (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). There are also bonuses which are encouraged to be paid to the employees (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). HRM also ensures that there no deductions which are done to the payments of the employees without their knowledge. Compensation, therefore, ensures that any extra work or hard work is recognized and appreciated encouraging the employee to increase their productivity.
Managing Safety Programs
Safety of the employee within the workplace also need to be enhanced and it is the responsibility of the HRM to ensure that the needs of the employees are properly addressed (Norton, 2008). Norton (2008) highlights that there should be measures put in place to ensure that the employees are not subjected to any risk. HRM also advocates that there should be health benefits which should be given to the employees (Norton, 2008). Security of the employees should also be enhanced within the organization since this will ensure that the protection of employees is well enhanced (Norton, 2008). In general, the safety programs ensure that the employees' safety is guaranteed from their health to their safety at the workplace. When employees are sure of a safe environment, their productivity will subsequently increase and so is the organizational performance.
Managing Labor Unions and Laws
US Legal Inc. (2016) defines a labor union as an unincorporated association formed to equalize bargaining power among employees and employers. Labor laws provide rights to employees to unionize and grant employers and employees the rights to engage in various activities like strikes so that they raise their demands. Some unions which have been established in relation to labor are meant to protect the rights of the workers and to negotiate some better terms and working conditions through bargaining with the employer (US Legal Inc., 2016). The existence of a healthy relationship between the management and the officials of the union is useful as it prevents and also resolves some disputes within the organizations.
Brief History of Labor Unions in the United States
Labor unions have played a crucial role in shaping the American culture and the earliest workers together with unions fought to ensure that workers' rights were protected (Pitta LLP, 2017). Unionization of laborers dates back to the early beginnings and would lead to the benefits enjoyed by workers today. Many unions were formed to advocate for higher wages and shorter workdays (Pitta LLP, 2017). According to Pitta LLP (2017), the first labor strike in the US happened in New York in the year 1768 where there was work protest due to wage reductions by journeymen tailors. In 1794 the first labor union was formed and local craft unions thereafter emerged in the entire country where they printed their work requirements and also demanded reduced working days and hours. American Federation of Labor (AFL) was formed in 1886 and succeeded wage increase negotiation for its members and also advocated for safety improvements for workers (Pitta LLP, 2017). Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire tragedy in 1911, which killed more than 100 workers ignited industrial safety reforms as well as fire prevention measures. There was also a government policy established to work with labor unions (Pitta LLP, 2017). In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed which advocated for the minimum wage and 40-hour week law (Pitta LLP, 2017). In 1955, AFL merged with Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) forming AFL-CIO (Pitta LLP, 2017). In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was passed with the main goal to ensure hazard-free workplaces are provided for employees by the employers (Pitta LLP, 2017). OSHA legislation was passed with the help of unions. Pitta LLP (2017) indicates that by 2015, more than 14 million workers in the US belonged to unions. There are more than 60 unions today in the US which help workers in improving their work conditions, settle disputes, access training, and education among other benefits. Pitta LLP (2017) highlights that many of the rights workers enjoy today such as overtime pay are the oblivious results of unions.
Government Regulation of Labor Unions
Federal and state statues legalize and sanction unions. While the right to organize is fundamental and considered independent of legislation, labor law is governed by federal and state law alongside judicial decisions (US Legal Inc., 2016). In addition, it is also governed by administrative agencies decisions and regulations. States are regulated from passing legislation contrary to federal statutory laws or guidelines by the US Constitution (US Legal Inc., 2016). National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) formed in 1935 governs employee/employer bargaining relationship at the national level (US Legal Inc., 2016). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) established by NLRA is responsible for hearing disputes between employers and employees and determining the labor organization to represent employees (US Legal Inc., 2016). In addition, NLRA prohibits "unfair labor practices" and encourages both parties to engage in good faith collective bargaining (US Legal Inc., 2016).NLRA also guarantees the right to strike. According to US Legal Inc. (2016) employees and employers not covered by NLRA are regulated by the state.
Types of Unions
Ideology and organizational form are the major categorizations of unions (US Legal Inc., 2016). Most unions are either political unionism or business unionism (US Legal Inc., 2016). Most American unions are viewed as business unions which accept the capitalist economy and aim to protect and enhance economic welfare for workers. However some unions are also involved in politics (US Legal Inc., 2016).
The earliest union in the US is craft union most evident in occupations requiring employees to often change employers such as construction occupation(US Legal Inc., 2016). Another type is professional union common in the public sector such as teachers union(US Legal Inc., 2016). Industrial unions are the other type and represent workers in a wide range of occupation in one or more industries. United Automobile Workers (UAW) is an example of an industrial union in the US(US Legal Inc., 2016). Another type is a general union which organizes workers in all occupations and industries (US Legal Inc., 2016).
The Union-Organizing process
While unions are legalized or sanctioned by both the federal and state statutes, the organization right and process are fundamental and are considered independent of legislation (US Legal Inc., 2016).
Collective bargaining as stated by US...
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