SHRM Essay Example

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Strategic Human Resource Management



The conventional aspects of human resource management include hiring, remuneration, training, development and dismissal of employees. The Strategic human resource management (SHRM) goes beyond these task to include strategies designed to help organisations to effectively meet the needs of the human resource capital and at the same ensuring that the organisational goals are achieved through improved performance of the human resource (Bratton, 2005). Becker and Huselid (2006) define SHRM as the proactive administration of employees which entails thinking ahead and scheming ways in which an organisation will achieve the needs of the employees and subsequently empower the employees in order to meet the needs of the organisation. Therefore strategic human resource management is based on premises of improved practices of hiring and development of the employees.

Premises of SHRM

SHRM is based on the organisational performance, in which SHRM emphasises on strategies geared at improving performance of the organisation in general rather than focussing on the individual performance which has characterised the human resource management. According to Monks and McMackin (2001) SHRM is aligned to management systems that build sustainable and competitive advantage to transform the performance of the organisation and results to financial performance that is above the average. In designing the human resource strategies, there are three premises that inform the SHRM process; the realisation that the human capital gives an organisation the competitive advantage, realisation that people are solely responsible for implementing the strategic plan and that the systematic approaches are core to defining the goals of the organisdstaion and how to achieve the goals. Therefore, SHRM qualifies as processes that employs the best approaches possible in the development of the strategies to enhance the human resource and which are integrated with the overall strategy of the business to create a synergy that is supposed to propel the business forward (Bratton, 2006).

Approaches in SHRM

The SHRM entails the approaches that are supposed to propel an organisation to meet its goals by leveraging on the dedicated human resource capital. To ensure that the approaches are realised planning in advance and taking measures to foresee the possible outcome of the human resource practices is very important (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2007). Therefore, for the realisation of the successful processes of the SHRM, the human resource manager needs to put into plan activities that will enhance the well being of the employees and which will transform the employees to work for the common good of the company/organisation. The activities are supposed to ensure that pertinent issues that relate to structural and cultural changes are addressed through development of capabilities and management of knowledge (Ericksen & Dyer, 2004). The activities should be approach based and should entail the following:

  • Activities to enhance human resource

  • Activities to enhance company’s strategic fit

  • Activities to promote high performance management

Activities enhance human resource

The bases of SHRM are processes that ensure high performance driven by employees. The human resource manager should thus put in place measures that are supposed to enhance the wellbeing of the employees. According to Becker and Huselid (2006) up to task employees are very crucial for a company to realise a competitive advance. The human resource manager is supposed to put in place strategies that are geared at positively changing the human resource capital and motivating the employees. This is achieved by practices that build on capabilities and knowledge of the employees.

The activities that enhance capability are key to SHRM. For example, investing in the wellbeing of the employees in order to add value to the firm. These activities that enhance the employees are supposed to be integrated with the firm’s strategic goals of ensuring that they remain ahead of the competitors. The activities should be designed with the understanding that knowledge has become one of the competitive tools for companies. This means that the activities are supposed to build the capability of the employees, retain, compensate the employees, promote them and reward them. The activities include selecting and employing people who have the best skill, putting in place processes that enhance high performance and ensuring that there is favourable environment in the work place that promotes creativity and innovation (Perry and Mesch, 2008).

In the process of recruiting, selection and development of the human resource, the HR should plan and lay down the procedures that will ensure that the best talent is selected for the job. After the rigorous selection and recruitment, the selected employee should be trained in order to understand the mandate and the needs of the company that are supposed to be achieved by the employees. After the employee is integrated in the company’s work force, there should be measures that enhance the employee such as competitive remuneration package; allowances and continuous training that make the employee feel part of the organisation.

According to Bratton (2005) training is a very important factor as a strategy for improvement of employees. It promotes the skills of the employees and at the same time makes the employee adapt to the organisation. In SHRM the HR should ensure that the training of employees is aimed at promoting behaviours which are aligned to the organisational objectives. In such undertaking the HR is also to formulate employee policies that ensure that superior performance becomes part of the employees through activities that enhance unique blend of talents and promote organisational culture. Its worth noting that the training and all other activities should be evaluated in order gauge their contribution to organisational success.

Activities to enhance company’s strategic fit

As the HR undertakes activities that are supposed to enhance the employees, the hiring processes, and the strategies to promote the employees are supposed to be aligned to the strategic fit of the company/organisation. This entails activities that integrate the business strategy to the wellbeing of the employees hence creating both the vertical fit and horizontal fit in the organisation. In such a situation, the outcome will be a business culture entrenched in the organisation. Ericksen and Dyer (2004) points to the vertical fit as player of a major role in building congruence between the organisation and the human resource capital so that the human resource leverages the accomplishment of the firm’s goals.

In enhancing the strategic fit, the HR achieves processes that ensure that a mutual support between the firm and the employees is established. The mutual support is achieved through the alignment activities which integrate all the processes of the human resource management into the organisational mission and goals. For human resource manager to achieve the alignment, there should collaboration with other line managers in order to review the organisation’s processes and develop standards to be used in staffing, classification of the employees and compensation functions (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2007). For instance the Human resource manager can plan for training program that is service focussed for all the human resources to enhance the corporate culture and promote teamwork that is required for the mutual support and success of the business.

Activities to promote high performance management

The rationale for human resource management is to develop approaches that that will manage people in manner that will motivate them to work for the good of the organisation (Becker & Huselid, 2006). This calls for activities that endeavour to have a positive effect on the performance of the organisation by means of the employees. Therefore, the activities that are to be applied should promote productivity and enhance the quality of all human resource capital. The performance oriented practices should be aimed at ensuring that there are customer oriented services, high productivity levels and quality of all services in the organisation. The core activities that promote high performance stem from recruitment practices that are above board and selection processes that are aimed at getting the best talent in the labour market (Monks & McMackin, 2001).

To ensure the high performance the human resource manager should ensure the following practices are adhered to:

  • Well defined recruitment and selection process

  • Elaborate and strategies based training and human resource development processes.

  • Job designs that are well defined.

  • Enactment of policies that encourage schemes for promoting and compensating the employees.

  • Indicators for monitoring the processes.

All these activities are supposed to enhance commitment to the organisation. Bratton (2005) stated that commitment fosters a self regulatory system in an organisation that subsequently leads to healthy work relations and trust which are key to performance.


The strategic human resource management combines different approaches that are aimed at addressing broad issues affecting organisations. The approaches are supposed to enhance a positive culture, promote organisational efficiency in delivery of services and development of capabilities within the workforce. Therefore, strategic human resource management recognises the role played by knowledge in ensuring that organisations achieve the competitive advantage. The strategic human resource management holistically tackles the issue relating to employees that may derail the strategic plans of the organisation. For the human resource manager to address the issues he uses resource based approaches, strategic fit and high performance management approaches that ensure both the human resource capital and the organisation are working together and leveraging each other for realisation of a common goal dictated by the corporate culture.


Becker, M.E. and Huselid. M.A. (2006). Strategic Human Resources Management: Where Do We Go From Here? Journal of Management, 32(6), pp.898-925

DOI: 10.1177/0149206306293668

Bratton, J. (2005). Strategic Human Resource Management. Human Resource

Management, 10 (3), pp. 38-79

Ericksen, J., and Dyer, L. (2004). Toward a strategic human resource management model of high reliability organization performance. New York: Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.

Huselid, M. A., Jackson, S. E., and Schuler, R. S. (2007). Technical and strategic human resource management effectiveness as determinants of firm performance. Academy of Management Journal, 40(1), 171-188.

Monks, K. and McMackin, J. (2001). Designing and aligning an HR system. Human Resource Management, 11(2), pp. 57–72.

Perry, J. L., and Mesch, D, J. (2008). Strategic Human Resource Management. Public

Personnel Management: Current Concerns, Future Challenges. New York: Longman.