The Human Resources (personnel) department has staff relationship with other department / managers in the total organization. The personnel department is responsible for advising management from Managing Director to the lowest line supervisor on all area relating to the personnel management and industrial relations. Personnel department also performs various functions of employment, training and development. It represents management in many of the relationships that affect the organization as a whole. It is also responsible for representing various workers problems to management.
Personnel department generally acts in an advisory capacity; it provides information, offers suggestions and is not responsible for the end results. The personnel managers must exercise control very tactfully in order to win the confidence and cooperation of all line managers. He has to persuade the line managers to work with staff specialists and not against them. The authority of personnel manager should derive from concrete personnel policies and programs and from the advantage and result of accepted specialized knowledge.
As a Source of Help:
In certain situations (when line managers lack skill or knowledge in dealing with employee problems) experienced personnel managers assume line responsibility for personnel matters. But it may be resented by the very managers who ought to seek staff assistance in meeting their personnel responsibilities. Personnel managers should learn the reputation and confidence of line managers of being a source of help rather than a source of threat to line managers. Staff assistance is likely to be effective when it is wanted rather than imposed.
As a Change Agent:
Personnel Manager should work as an enabler and change agent regarding personnel areas and he should be familiar with different disciplines like management, technology, sociology, psychology and organizational behavior as organizational adaptability, viability and development are dependent on the human resources development. So the personnel managers should work as a consultant of an organizational development by providing necessary information and infrastructure to line managers. Thus, the role of personnel managers is more concerned with providing information and offering advice to the decision makers rather than making decisions.
As a Controller:
Nevertheless it is still true that effective personnel executives advise on policies that help managers in implementing their programs and provide service and exercise the monitoring and control function sparingly.
Responsibilities within Personnel Department:
As other managers the manager-personnel is also a line manager in relation to subordinates within the personnel department. Personnel Manager is responsible for the success or failure of his department in contributing to the organizational goals. In most of the organizations the personnel manager is responsible for supervising the activities of his subordinates, like employment manager, wage and salary manager, manager for training and development, manager-industrial relationsetc. He is also responsible for the operations of personnel manager at divisional and branch levels.
As the Chief of the Personnel Department the Personnel Manager has to get effective results with the co-operation of all the employees working in the department and by showing the validity of the concept of the team work. The success of the personnel department should be measured in terms of its contributions to the personnel programs.
The effectiveness of HR department can be gauged by the fact how smooth they conduct the negotiations with workers union without the workers resorting to strikes and how fast the periodic agreement (once in 3 or 5 years) is signed with them.