1. Good Practice in Human Resource Management (HRM) Based on an interview with Graham Walton, Library Service Development Manager at Loughborough University ExFiles FOLIO Course – January 2007 2. Graham’s Current Role Graham is the Library Service Development Manager at Loughborough University. He is responsible for overseeing the quality /evaluation of library services, marketing and publicity, developing new services, training staff as well as human resources. 3. Main Functions of HRM HRM is about “getting the right people with the right skills in right place”.
It is crucial that Library HR processes meet the strategic aims of the organisation. The HRM manager has operational responsibility to follow wider organisational policies and practices. 4. Graham’s HRM Responsibilities Graham oversees the appraisal process of all library staff. This involves the development process, monitoring progress, collating final outcomes and identifying any training needs. Graham is responsible for all human resource aspects of non-academic contract library staff. This involves seeing the HR process through from start to finish: e. . writing job descriptions and person specifications, interviewing, selection, induction, de-briefing of leaving staff etc. Graham is also heavily involved in staff development and devising training programs. 5. How has Graham acquired HRM skills? Variety of ways including: One-year HRM course as part of an MBA. Internal courses on recruitment and selection. Learning through experience: “getting on with it”. Applying common sense. 6. Key challenges of HRM Workforce development – staff are now expected to learn new skills on a regular basis.
Need to think about how you enable your staff to do this. Organisational Structure – need to think about the best way to configure this. What is the best way for people to work together? Need to allow opportunity for people to easily step out of their teams and work with others. Culture Change – this is a universal challenge and libraries are not necessarily the best-equipped at dealing with this. This is perhaps the most difficult challenge as culture is intrinsic and deep-rooted.
Work/Life Balance – how do you match flexible working needs with providing services? 7. Success Factors for Effective HRM If the following 5 factors are in place, you should have effective HRM: Follow organisational policies and procedures. Exercise Fairness – make all your decisions based on evidence. You must be able to justify all your decisions should you need to defend any of them. Attention to detail – lots of things relating to HR that you need to remember and stick to (e. g. start dates, holiday entitlements etc).
Awareness of individual differences – you need to know your staff individually and be aware how different people will react differently to situations. Open-door policy – you need to be approachable and always be ready to drop everything should someone come to you with an HR issue. 8. In what way does an effective HR manager influence their staff? An effective HR Manager: Leads by example – if you expect your staff to show certain characteristics then you need to show them yourself. Be open, fair and transparent in your methods at all times.
Ensure that your staff feel valued and important within the organisation. Ensure that other managers realise that they all have a responsibility for HRM – for example a team leader must take on shared responsibility for the staff development of colleagues in their team. 9. Is there anything particularly unique to library and information service HRM? Most HRM issues are generic to all organisations, whether commercial or not-for-profit. One issue that is perhaps not common, is that libraries have the “professional vs. on-professional” debate. This can cause tension and conflict, meaning that some staff do not reach their full potential. 10. Innovative HRM Practices Two things we are trying/considering at Loughborough University which we have not tried before: A pool of temporary part-time staff that we can call on at short notice to reduce the strain on existing staff during periods of annual leave/sickness. Holding recruitment open days – this would involve placing an open advert inviting people to come to the library on a certain day.
Library staff would then “speed-interview” all those attending and from this it would be decided who would be invited back for further interviewing. 11. How do you see your involvement in HRM evolving in the future? The aspects to focus on in the next few years will be: Staff skills mix/workforce development and how HR can move this along. There will be even greater pressure for increased flexible working and working from home. At present, it is unclear how this will manifest itself in the Library.
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