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Christopher Wilson
Christopher Wilson

How to Apply Human Resource Management (13th Edition) Gary Dessler in Your Organization



Human Resource Management (13th Edition) Gary Dessler: A Comprehensive Guide for Managers




If you are a manager or aspire to be one, you need to know how to manage human resources effectively. Human resources are the people who work for an organization and contribute to its success. Managing human resources involves planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the activities related to acquiring, developing, maintaining, and utilizing human resources in an organization.




Human Resource Management (13th Edition) Gary Dessler



But how can you learn how to manage human resources effectively? One way is to read Human Resource Management (13th Edition) by Gary Dessler. This book is designed to provide authoritative and accurate information on HR-related responsibilities and personnel management by focusing on practical applications, concepts, and techniques that all managers can use in business.


In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide on what this book covers and how it can help you improve your skills as a manager. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this book at the end of the article.


What is Human Resource Management?




Before we dive into the details of what this book covers, let's first define what human resource management (HRM) is. According to Dessler (2013), HRM is "the process of acquiring, training, appraising, and compensating employees, and attending to their labor relations, health and safety, and fairness concerns" (p. 4).


HRM is not just a function or department within an organization. It is a strategic approach that aligns the human resources with the goals and objectives of the organization. HRM also involves ensuring that the organization complies with the legal and ethical standards that affect its employees.


The Role and Importance of HRM in Organizations




Why is HRM important for organizations? Dessler (2013) explains that HRM plays a vital role in helping organizations achieve several outcomes, such as:



  • High performance: HRM helps organizations improve their productivity, quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction by hiring, training, motivating, and retaining the best employees.



  • Competitive advantage: HRM helps organizations gain a competitive edge over their rivals by creating a unique and valuable human capital that is hard to imitate or substitute.



  • Social responsibility: HRM helps organizations fulfill their social obligations and responsibilities by treating their employees fairly, ethically, and legally.



HRM is also important for managers because it affects their performance and career success. Dessler (2013) states that managers need to have HR skills and competencies to perform their basic functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers also need to have HR knowledge and awareness to avoid legal problems and ethical dilemmas that may arise from their decisions and actions regarding their employees.


The Strategic Approach to HRM




How can managers use HRM to achieve the desired outcomes for their organizations? Dessler (2013) suggests that managers need to adopt a strategic approach to HRM. This means that managers need to align the HR policies and practices with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization.


A strategic approach to HRM involves four steps:



  • Conducting a strategic analysis: This step involves analyzing the external and internal environment of the organization, identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), and formulating its vision, mission, values, and goals.



  • Formulating a strategic plan: This step involves developing a strategic plan that outlines the strategies and actions that the organization will take to achieve its goals.



  • Implementing the strategic plan: This step involves executing the strategic plan by allocating the resources, assigning the responsibilities, and monitoring the progress.



  • Evaluating the strategic plan: This step involves assessing the results and outcomes of the strategic plan by measuring the performance indicators, comparing them with the benchmarks, and making adjustments as needed.



A strategic approach to HRM requires managers to involve the HR professionals in the strategic planning process and to integrate the HR activities with the business activities. Dessler (2013) provides several examples of how HR professionals can contribute to the strategic planning process, such as:



  • Conducting a human resource audit: This involves reviewing the current state of the human resources in terms of quantity, quality, cost, and effectiveness.



  • Conducting a human resource forecast: This involves projecting the future demand and supply of human resources based on the organizational goals and environmental factors.



  • Conducting a human resource analysis: This involves identifying the gaps between the current and desired state of human resources and determining the actions needed to close them.



  • Developing a human resource plan: This involves designing and implementing the HR policies and practices that support the organizational strategies and goals.



The Legal and Ethical Environment of HRM




What are some of the legal and ethical issues that managers need to consider when managing human resources? Dessler (2013) explains that managers need to be aware of the laws and regulations that govern the employment relationship in their country or region. These laws and regulations may cover various aspects of HRM, such as:



  • Equal employment opportunity: This involves ensuring that all employees and applicants are treated fairly and equally regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or other protected characteristics.



  • Affirmative action: This involves taking positive steps to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the workforce or in specific jobs or levels.



  • Compensation and benefits: This involves complying with the minimum wage, overtime pay, social security, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits requirements.



  • Labor relations: This involves respecting the rights of employees to organize, bargain collectively, strike, or engage in other union activities.



  • Employee safety and health: This involves providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees by following the occupational safety and health standards and regulations.



  • Employee privacy: This involves protecting the personal information and data of employees from unauthorized access or disclosure.



Managers also need to be aware of the ethical principles and values that guide their decisions and actions regarding their employees. Dessler (2013) suggests that managers need to follow some basic ethical guidelines when managing human resources, such as:



  • Treating employees with respect and dignity: This involves showing consideration for employees' feelings, opinions, preferences, needs, rights, and interests.



the truth, keeping promises, honoring commitments, and avoiding deception or manipulation.


  • Being fair and impartial: This involves applying the same standards and criteria to all employees and applicants, avoiding favoritism or discrimination, and resolving conflicts or disputes objectively and equitably.



  • Being responsible and accountable: This involves taking ownership of one's decisions and actions, accepting the consequences, admitting mistakes, and correcting errors.



  • Being loyal and supportive: This involves acting in the best interests of the organization and its employees, protecting their reputation and assets, and avoiding conflicts of interest or unethical behavior.



Managing Human Resources Effectively




How can managers manage human resources effectively? Dessler (2013) provides a comprehensive framework for managing human resources effectively. This framework consists of four main functions: acquiring, developing, maintaining, and utilizing human resources. Each function involves several activities that managers need to perform or oversee.


Job Analysis and Design




The first function of managing human resources effectively is acquiring human resources. This involves identifying the human resource needs of the organization and finding the best candidates to fill those needs. The first activity in this function is job analysis and design.


Job analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing information about a job and its requirements. Job analysis produces two main outputs: a job description and a job specification. A job description is a written summary of the tasks, duties, responsibilities, and working conditions of a job. A job specification is a written summary of the qualifications, skills, abilities, knowledge, and other characteristics that a person needs to perform a job successfully.


Job design is the process of defining or modifying how a job is performed and structured. Job design aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, and motivation of employees by considering various factors, such as:



  • The nature of the work: This involves deciding what tasks or activities are included in a job and how they are grouped or sequenced.



  • The methods of work: This involves deciding how a job is performed and what tools or equipment are used.



  • The environment of work: This involves deciding where a job is performed and what physical or social conditions are present.



  • The outcomes of work: This involves deciding what results or outputs are expected from a job and how they are measured or evaluated.



Job analysis and design are important for managers because they provide the foundation for all other HR activities. Job analysis and design help managers determine the human resource needs of the organization, define the roles and responsibilities of employees, establish the standards and criteria for performance evaluation, compensation, training, development, and career planning.


Human Resource Planning and Recruitment




The second activity in acquiring human resources effectively is human resource planning and recruitment. Human resource planning is the process of forecasting the future demand and supply of human resources in an organization. Human resource planning helps managers anticipate the human resource needs of the organization based on its strategic goals and objectives, environmental factors, and internal capabilities. Human resource planning also helps managers identify the gaps between the current and desired state of human resources and develop strategies to close them.


Recruitment is the process of attracting qualified candidates to apply for vacant or anticipated jobs in an organization. Recruitment helps managers find the best candidates to fill the human resource needs of the organization. Recruitment involves several steps, such as:



  • Defining the recruitment objectives: This involves determining what type, number, quality, and timing of candidates are needed for each job.



  • Developing the recruitment sources: This involves deciding where to find potential candidates for each job. Recruitment sources can be internal (such as current employees) or external (such as referrals, advertisements, agencies, schools).



  • Developing the recruitment methods: This involves deciding how to communicate with potential candidates for each job. Recruitment methods can be traditional (such as print media) or modern (such as online platforms).



  • Evaluating the recruitment outcomes: This involves measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the recruitment process by using various indicators, such as quantity (such as number of applicants), quality (such as qualifications), cost (such as expenses), time (such as duration), diversity (such as representation), satisfaction (such as feedback).



Human resource planning and recruitment are important for managers because they help them ensure that they have enough qualified candidates to fill their human resource needs. Human resource planning and recruitment also help managers reduce the costs and risks of hiring the wrong people, increase the diversity and quality of the workforce, and enhance the image and reputation of the organization.


Selection and Placement




The third activity in acquiring human resources effectively is selection and placement. Selection is the process of choosing the best candidates from the pool of applicants for each job in an organization. Selection helps managers hire the right people for the right jobs. Selection involves several steps, such as:



  • Screening the applicants: This involves eliminating the unqualified or unsuitable candidates from the pool of applicants based on the job requirements.



  • Testing the applicants: This involves assessing the knowledge, skills, abilities, personality, and other characteristics of the candidates using various tools, such as written tests, interviews, simulations, assessments.



  • Evaluating the applicants: This involves comparing and ranking the candidates based on their test scores and other criteria.



  • Making the hiring decision: This involves selecting the best candidate for each job and making a job offer.



Placement is the process of assigning the hired candidates to their respective jobs in an organization. Placement helps managers ensure that the new employees are properly integrated into their work units and roles. Placement involves several steps, such as:



  • Orienting the new employees: This involves introducing the new employees to the organization, its culture, values, policies, procedures, and expectations.



  • Socializing the new employees: This involves helping the new employees establish relationships with their co-workers, supervisors, and other stakeholders.



  • Training the new employees: This involves providing the new employees with the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes to perform their jobs effectively.



Selection and placement are important for managers because they help them ensure that they have the best people in their workforce. Selection and placement also help managers improve the performance, satisfaction, retention, and loyalty of their employees.


Training and Development




The second function of managing human resources effectively is developing human resources. This involves enhancing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes of employees to improve their performance and potential. The first activity in this function is training and development.


Training is the process of providing employees with specific knowledge or skills to improve their current job performance. Training helps managers improve the productivity, quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction of their employees. Training involves several steps, such as:



  • Assessing the training needs: This involves identifying what knowledge or skills are needed or lacking for each employee or group of employees.



the training program.


  • Implementing the training program: This involves delivering the training program to the employees using various methods, such as lectures, demonstrations, simulations, games, e-learning.



  • Evaluating the training program: This involves measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the training program by using various indicators, such as reaction (such as feedback), learning (such as knowledge), behavior (such as skills), results (such as performance).



Development is the process of providing employees with general knowledge or skills to enhance their future job performance or career growth. Development helps managers prepare their employees for future challenges and opportunities. Development involves several steps, such as:



  • Assessing the development needs: This involves identifying what knowledge or skills are needed or desired for each employee or group of employees to achieve their career goals.



  • Designing the development plan: This involves developing the objectives, activities, resources, and timeline of the development plan.



  • Implementing the development plan: This involves executing the development plan by providing the employees with various opportunities, such as mentoring, coaching, job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment, education, certification.



  • Evaluating the development plan: This involves measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the development plan by using various indicators, such as satisfaction (such as feedback), learning (such as knowledge), behavior (such as skills), results (such as performance).



Training and development are important for managers because they help them improve the competence and confidence of their employees. Training and development also help managers increase the motivation, commitment, and retention of their employees.


Developing and Rewarding Human Resources




The third function of managing human resources effectively is maintaining human resources. This involves providing employees with feedback, recognition, and rewards to sustain their performance and potential. The first activity in this function is performance management and appraisal.


Performance management is the process of setting performance goals, monitoring performance progress, providing performance feedback, and evaluating performance outcomes for each employee or group of employees. Performance management helps managers align the performance of their employees with the goals and objectives of the organization. Performance management involves several steps, such as:



  • Setting performance standards: This involves defining what is expected from each employee or group of employees in terms of quantity, quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.



  • Measuring performance: This involves collecting and analyzing data on how well each employee or group of employees is performing against the standards.



  • Providing feedback: This involves communicating with each employee or group of employees about their performance strengths and weaknesses and suggesting ways to improve.



  • Evaluating performance: This involves rating each employee or group of employees on their performance level and comparing it with their peers or benchmarks.



Performance appraisal is the process of formally assessing and documenting the performance level and potential of each employee or group of employees. Performance appraisal helps managers make decisions about various HR activities, such as compensation, promotion, transfer, termination, training, development. Performance appraisal involves several steps, such as:



  • Choosing an appraisal method: This involves selecting a method to measure and evaluate the performance of each employee or group of employees. Appraisal methods can be objective (such as output) or subjective (such as rating), trait-based (such as personality) or behavior-based (such as competency), individual-based (such as self) or group-based (such as peer).



  • Conducting an appraisal interview: This involves meeting with each employee or group of employees to discuss their performance appraisal results and implications.



Handling appraisal problems: This involves dealing with various issues that may arise during or after the appraisal process, such as bias


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