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Four practice areas of human resources

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MGMT 6125: Human Resources Management
Q1. Four practice areas of human resources management—managing the human resource environment, acquiring and preparing human resources, assessment and development of human resources and compensating human resources were discussed in class. Which area do you believe contributes most to helping a company gain a competitive advantage? Which area do you believe contributes the least? Why?
I believe the area of human resources that can help a company gain competitive advantage most is management of the human resources environment. Without a plan for managing human resources, it will be a challenge to align human resource functions with the organization's goals. Success of the organization may depend on competent financial management and the appropriate use of technology. However, it also depends greatly on employees' attitudes, skills, knowledge, and commitment to the organization (Habeeb, 2009). When human resources are managed in such as way as to involve employees in improvement processes and development of optimal performance, human resources can become a source of gaining a competitive advantage within an industry.
The area I believe contributes least to competitive advantage is compensating human resources. While pay and benefits may be important, employees who are not satisfied with the work environment or their roles are not likely to be committed to helping the organization achieve its goals. Where pay and compensation among competitors is similar or equal, employees will seek out opportunities for growth and greater contribution, even if that means considering employment with competitors.
Habeeb, F. (2009). Human resource management (Competitive Advantage). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/fathima_sy/human-resource-management-competitive-advantage-1928241.
Q2. Explain the implications of each of the following labor force trends for HRM: (i) aging workforce (ii) diverse workforce (iii) skill deficiencies.
Due to an increase in the number of people reaching retirement age and a declining birth rate, reliance on an aging workers brings about many considerations. Disadvantages may include increased costs for health insurance and reduced productivity. Productivity may be reduced due to increased health problems. Older workers possess more knowledge and more highly developed skills than younger workers (Ranjani, 2012). Another concern related to an aging workforce is the lack of skilled and suitable labor, as mass retirements may cause a labor shortage in some industries.
The diverse workforce can offer an organization many benefits. However, the organization must know how to effectively manage diversity of its workforce. People have a tendency to want to be near others like themselves. So, creating a cooperative work environment with a diverse group of employees can present a challenge, without a diversity strategy in place (Business Week, 2013). Encouragement of self evaluation from a human resource perspective leads to consideration for other views, cultures, and values that are present in a diverse work place.
Skills deficiencies are present in the workplace, in a ...

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HR Maintenance Metrics

Review the HR Metric Toolkit at: http://moss07.shrm.org/TemplatesTools/Samples/Metrics/Documents/HR%20Metrics.pdf. This link does not work so have to find another Hr metric toolkit
Which tools do you believe can best be used to evaluate HR functions such as performance management and benefits offerings in your organization? Justify your selections with sound rationale.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Your paper should be relatively concise 2 pages, not including the references). Follow APA 6th Edition format guidelines.
Specifically, you will be assessed on the following:
• Your competency with the terminology.
• Your identification of appropriate examples.
• Your ability to articulate the nature of identified measures and metrics, and how they have been—or should have been—captured and applied.
• The comprehensiveness of your response.
• The clarity and quality of your writing.
Maintenance Metrics
Case 4 Assignment
Based on the reading materials included in the Background section of Module 4, write a short paper that addresses the following questions:
1. Can HR metrics and analytics offer evidence to support the continuance of PA/PM programs?
2. Might HR metrics lead to program improvements for the good of all parties concerned?
3. Do benefit programs actually contribute to performance outcomes? Or, have they become entitlement programs that cost a lot, but add very little to organizational effectiveness?
4. What HR metrics and analytics can be applied to examine benefit program issues?
You may also base your assignment on additional readings from the supplementary reading list and/or on other outside readings that you have found useful. Reference any materials cited; cite all materials referenced. Four pages (4) not including references page. Must have reference page.
Bring in at least 5 library sources to help strengthen your discussion.

Module 4 - Background
Maintenance Metrics
Required Reading
Kline, T. J. B., & Sulsky, L. M. (2009). Measurement and assessment issues in performance appraisal. Canadian Psychology, 50(3), 161-171. In concluding this section on rating formats and rater training, it is worth noting that the definition of rating effectiveness at the root of this body of literature is largely based on psychometric issues such as rating validity and accuracy. However, in recent years, there has been a movement to broaden the conceptualization of rating effectiveness, whereby the rating process is assumed to be embedded within a social context (Farr & Jacobs, 2006). Thusly, for example, an "effective" rating might also be one in which the rater or ratee perceives that the rating is fair, or serves to motivate the ratee in intended ways (Levy & Williams, 2004; Murphy & Cleveland, 1995; Whiting & Kline, 2007; Whiting, Kline, & Sulsky, 2008). First, rater error measures became popular in the 1970s as indirect indices of rating quality (Saal, Downey, & Lahey, 1980). The idea was that ratings devoid of such errors as halo error, leniency/severity error, and central tendency/range restriction error would necessarily be higher in validity compared to ratings suffering from one or more of these errors. However, it became clear over the years that these errors may not signal that the ratings are suffering in psychometric integrity. As we described earlier in connection with the RET approach to rater training, discovering these errors may or may not suggest a rating validity problem. If, for instance,, a ratee deserves high ratings across performance dimensions, the ostensible existence of halo error (sometimes operationalized as a low standard deviation in ratings for a given ratee, see Balzer & Sulsky, 1992) in fact signals that the ratings possess validity for that ratee. Not surprisingly, it has been shown that these errors do not predict rating accuracy (Murphy & Balzer, 1989; Sulsky & Balzer, 1988). Because of the inherent limitation of these traditional error measures as indirect indices of rating validity, Murphy and Cleveland (1995), amongst others, recommended that these indices be abandoned as surrogate indices for more direct indices of rating quality. Retrieved on June 24, 2013 from the TUI Library.
Murphy, T. E. & Zandvakili, S. (2000). Data- and metrics-driven approach to human resource practices: Using customers, employees, and financial metrics. Human Resource Management, 39(1) 93-106. This article describes three human resource management (HRM) practices that were implemented at Kroger Co. The first used pilot studies of two proposed human resources practices that were controlled for certain factors to determine the causal connection, if any, between the practice and the measured results. The second used financial measurements to assess the real benefits and returns of these human resources practices. The third used customer data to design a selection system for new employees. The field of HRM has seldom used data or financial metrics in competing for available resources within the organization. Human Resource (HR) managers convince their organizations that turnover can be reduced if entry-level wages are increased. Accordingly, millions of dollars are expended and turnover is reduced. The reduction, however, is only temporary because no effort was ever made to test the wage theory under controlled conditions to ensure that it actually does improve retention long term and, therefore, is worth the investment. The data and metrics-driven approach transforms HRM from a unit that uses intuition and hunches and relies on benchmark practices from other companies, to one that directly links its intentions to customers and employees and that evaluates its work with scientific and financial metrics. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from the TUI Library.
Optional Reading
Refer to the link below for some actual calculations as pertains to employee benefits. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from http://www.rpchr.com/HR%20Metrics.doc
Higgins, N. (2005). Measured approach to risk avoidance. Personnel Today, 11/22, 15. The article presents the author's views on the role of a human resource (HR) personnel. According to the author, HR is a corporate function with two main objectives: optimising people performance and minimising operating risk. This is no small feat, which is why HR faces such a challenge. And neither of these objectives can be achieved without measurement. Lack of a focused retention strategy, which uses a specific set of human capital metrics, leads to potential loss of talent. This can manifest itself in many ways, for example, loss of sales, poor product design, inadequate decision making, client/customer delivery. This can result in poor organisational performance or an increased risk of an operational default such as the loss of a major client or wasted resource allocation. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from the TUI Library.
Morgan, B. S., & Schiemann, W. A. (1999). Measuring people and performance: Closing the gaps. Quality Progress. Retrieved on June 24, 2013 from:
Sulsky, L. M., & Keown, J. L. (1998). Performance appraisal in the changing world of work: Implications for the meaning and measurement of work performance. Canadian Psychology, 39(1), 52-52. Relatively lost in our quest to achieve optimal rating systems has been a concomitant search for the meaning of performance. A number of scholars have repeatedly raised the concern that we have not paid sufficient attention to the meaning of performance (e.g., Austin & Villanova, 1992; Smith, 1976; [Wallace, S.R.], 1965). However, there have been some recent attempts to map out theories of work performance (e.g., Borman & Motowidlo, 1993; Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993). These theories attempt to provide performance dimensions (e.g., demonstrating effort, helping and cooperating with others) thought to generalize across jobs. Although ambitious, these theories are necessarily limited in that they cannot possibly capture the entire criterion domains for all jobs. Moreover, they do not provide details concerning levels of performance within dimensions -- the performance standards that underlie each dimension. Thus, for example, it is unclear what behaviours axe indicative of alternative levels of performance (cf. Campbell et al., 1993). In sum, the inherent complexity in defining the entire criterion domain has seemingly relegated the criterion problem to an unwanted nuisance in the mainstream performance appraisal research literature

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