Human resource management (HRM) is the art and science of dealing with the human beings who are the stakeholders in the business. As HRM has evolved as a branch of management studies, a few revolutionary concepts have changed the dimensions of HRM. However, most of them are being categorically misinterpreted within current management practices. Here are my observations.

1.Employee Engagement Activities

“Employee engagement is a much more comprehensive concept than parties and celebrations.”

Most HR professionals sum up employee engagement activities as just parties, outings and celebration days. However, the original idea concerns keeping employees engaged. Can just parties and celebrations keep do this?

The HR fraternity should stick to the basics. Assign your employees quality work which they should find interesting. Reporting managers, HR managers and every other stakeholder should be constantly engaged in communication, resolving queries and guiding them towards the mutually beneficial path of glory and success.

Employee engagement is not just quarterly or yearly activities; it requires deliberate efforts taken every day.

Read more: How Can Team Building Boost Employee Engagement > > >

2.HR Policies

“Policies should serve the employees; employees should not serve the policies.”

HR policies are created to secure the interests of the majority of employees. However, most employee requests are denied in the name of “policies”.

Policies are created in a particular context. They should be amended not only when it is mandatory by law, but also when the objectives of the policies are not served.

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3. Rewards and Recognition

“The ideal reward system should be intrinsic, not extrinsic.”

In the modern management era, rewards and recognition are treated as external concepts like variable pay, foreign tours and even expensive gifts.

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However, it is an established fact that employees are even happier when their efforts are appreciated by direct reporting managers and colleagues. The biggest challenge is to create an ecosystem where stakeholders appreciate champs, rather than treating them as competitors.

4.Human Resource Management and the HR Department

“Human resource management is not just the responsibility of the HR Department.”

Human resource management was part of organizational management even before the HR department came into the picture. Although there was not a separate department, no organization would have succeeded without proper people management practices – later named human resource management.

The HR department was created with an objective of helping the leaders in the management of recruitment and the employee lifecycle. The human resource department should operate as per the guidelines, vision and mission of the business leader. Undoubtedly, contributions from the leaders are extremely necessary for defining the path of the HR department.

Thus, human resource management is the responsibility of top management, the hiring manager, CxOs, board members, directors and every stakeholder who defines the strategies of the business.

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My Outlook

As the name itself indicates, human resource professionals predominantly deal with humans. The aspirations, perceptions and inceptions of humans change according to the social, cultural, economic and political era in which they exist.

Naturally, practices of human resources management that were quite successful in the past may be irrelevant now.

Modern age human resource professionals should always capture the objectives and spirit of the concepts and build new practices/alter current practices in order to achieve the desired success.


Saurabh HR MythsSaurabh Karnik is a Talent Strategist with more than 7 years of experience in Talent Acquisition, Employer branding and Employee engagement. He is an early adopter and enthusiast of Social Media Recruitment, HR analytics, HR digitalization and HR automation.

Saurabh is a founding member of Open HR Community called – ‘HR Open House One’ which is formulated with an objective of offering a platform to HR professionals for open house discussions and knowledge sharing sessions. Saurabh has earned Post graduate degrees in Human Resource Management, Communication and Marketing. He is currently working as HR specialist with Webonise Lab, Pune, India.