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Human Resource System
Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) can be defined as a link that connects between Human Resource Management and the Information Technology. The system allows enterprises to automate many areas of Human Resource aiming to reduce the workload of the department and increase the efficiency of the department by ensuring maintenance of standards of Human Resource processes (Elwood & James, 1996).
This field of Human Resource is often used to manage enterprises and the situation is assisted by the fact that, an effective Human Resource Department is expected to function without fanfares. For instance, when a certain group launches a brand on time and it meets its budget requirements, it is received as a great success. The same way when the Human Resource Department is in a position to manage the administration of the enterprise as expected, it goes unnoticed because this is what is expected of it, it can only be noticed when problems occur because it is unusual. The Human Resource department is expected to ensure smooth running of an enterprise by analyzing time keeping, following closely the work patterns of the work force and feeding management with better information on which they can lay strategies (Elwood & James, 1996).
The importance of this department has been noticed by the software industry which has provided a wide range of applications to assist the Human Resource Department in their daily operations like automation of some tasks (Elwood & James, 1996).
Purpose of the Human Resource System
Handling human beings is sometimes a difficult task to perform but with the aid of Human Resource system, employees can work in unity to solidify the company and rake its profits. Human Resource Personnel are trained to understand the psyche of a person so that they are in a position to motivate and stimulate employees to work effectively and efficiently. Human Resource department requires a cordial and friendly environment where employees work as a team to achieve an effective business mechanism (Kelly, 2001).
The purpose of the Human Resource system department is administration and it is common to all organizations of various types. These organizations may have pay roll processes and evaluations, and management of Human capital, but the Human Resource function chips in to track the employees existing data which is believed to include; personal histories, salary, accomplishment, skills and capabilities. To decrease this manual workload, organizations introduced the electronic automation of these processes through the Human Resource Management System. The department executives depend on internal and external Information Technology professionals to implement and maintain an effective Human Resource Management System (Nadler, 1984).
In the late 1980s, Human Resource automation processes were mainframing computers which used to handle large amounts of data transaction, as a result of the high capital expected to purchase or program proprietary software. The internal Human Resource Management System was limited to organizations which had large amounts of capital. Today, Human Resource Management System comprise of the payroll, employee self-service, performance record, work time, appraisal performance, benefits administration, Human Resource Management System and recruiting or training system. Most organizations have come out of the traditional functions and emulated the Human Resource Management Information Systems that support selection, recruitment, hiring, job placement, healthy safety and security, employee benefit analysis, performance appraisals among others (Nadler, 1984).
Other considerations that Human Resource System has to consider is the negative impression perceived by some people who create an impression that people are the same as commodities like machines and vehicles. Human beings are creative and social beings out to bring productive enterprise. Several labor organizations have revisited their recommendations on Human Resource Development. They have adequately revised them to clear the misunderstanding (Kelly, 2001).
Work motivation theories
Motivation is defined as an intrinsic or extrinsic force which drives human beings to achieve their objectives. Motivation aims to reduce physical pain and increase pleasure (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Abraham Maslow together with Fredrick Herzberg introduced Neo-Human Relations Schools in the 1950s which focused its attention on the psychological needs of employees in different organizations (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Abraham Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs
Maslow argued that human needs can be categorized into five needs and all employees require these needs to be fulfilled at work. These five needs are structured into a hierarchy and that in most cases; only one lower level of needs has been fully met. He argued that, one has to start from the lower level before proceeding to the next. For instance, someone suffering from hunger will want to get a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about a secure job contract where he can get more than enough to save (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Businesses are therefore expected to provide different incentives to its workers so as to help them fulfill each need so as to progress up the hierarchy. Managers are also required to be aware that. different workers are motivated in different ways. For instance, not all workers will move up the hierarchy of need at the same pace. They are hence expected to offer a slightly different set of incentives from one worker to the other. These five needs include (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Physiological needs; these are basic needs for human survival and they include; air, food, water, shelter and clothing. If these requirements are not met, the human body will not continue functioning (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Safety needs; with the physical needs satisfied, the employees’ safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. If physical needs are not met may be due to natural disasters, war or even domestic violence, employees affected are likely to experience stress that will automatically affect their input in the work place. Safety needs come in form of ; preference of job security, clear procedures for protecting employees from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, among others (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Love and belonging; after physiological and safety needs have been met, the third rank involves human needs which are feelings of belongingness. This need is strong in young employees as compared to the older ones who are used to work environment. Every employee must experience hospitality and needed in his place of work so as to work confidently. If employees feel this need, they will work confidently and derive satisfaction from their places of work. Desires for transfers will not be experienced by these employees. Employees need to love and be loved by their fellow employees and employers (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Esteem; this is the need by employees to be respected, have self esteem and self respect. Employees need their views to be valued and respected by their employers. For instance, when they are in meetings, they should be given a chance to give their views in decision making. If this is not observed in businesses, it can result in low self esteem or feeling of inferiority complex among employees. If an employee is experiencing low self esteem, he will not perform his job as expected. An employee with low self esteem will be seeking respect from others, need for status, recognition and attention but an employee with high self esteem will be competent, have self confidence, be independent, and have freedom (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Self actualization; this is the fifth and final level according to Maslow. Self actualization means that, what one can be, he must be. It describes a person’s full potential and the realization of the potential. An employee who has reached this level of need, desire to become more and more of what he is and what he is capable of becoming. He also develops the desire to transmit what he has to others, so that they can become like him or her (Garderner & Lambert, 1972).
Herzberg two factor theory of motivation
Fredrick Herzberg gave views similar to those of Maslow in his two factor theory of motivation. He argued that we have certain factors that a business can introduce and directly motivate its workers to work hard. He called these factors ‘motivators’. He also argued that, there are other factors that can demotivate workers if present but would not actually motivate employees to work harder themselves. These ones he called them, ‘hygiene factors’ (Weightman, 2008).
Motivators are interested in the actual job itself, how interesting it is and how much opportunity it grants for extra responsibility that can lead to recognition and eventually promotion. Hygiene factors surround the job and they are not part of the job itself. An example is, a worker turning up, if the work has provided a reasonable amount of pay and secure working conditions. Hygiene factors will not make an employee work harder in his job while there (Weightman, 2008).
Herzberg believes that, business should aim at motivating its employees by developing a democratic approach in management and by improving the job’s nature and content through some methods like; job enlargement which requires workers to be given a variety of tasks to perform so as to avoid boredom. Job enrichment which requires workers to be given a wide range of complex interesting and challenging tasks in a complete work unit. This aims at giving a wide sense of achievement and empowering of workers by delegating more power to them. This enables them to make their own decisions in their various working areas in life (Steinmetz, 1983).