Mar 14, 2022

Human Resources Essay for A+ Student Guide

Human Resources Essay

Students of management departments frequently face the need to compose a Human Resources essay because they need to learn to manage both people and processes. Thus, if you’re a student of this specialty, you will face the need to compose a Human Resources school essay sooner or later. Here we explain what an HR essay is, what format you should keep to, how you can complete such a paper quickly and efficiently, and what topics are trending now in the sphere of HRM.

If you’re wondering how to write a Human Resources essay, read on to find all the details here. Experts of our essay writing service team have prepared a guide for newbies to instruct you on all the writing steps. Still, if you feel unable to compose this work independently, it’s probably a good idea to hire a skilled Human Resources essay writer from our team.

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Human Resources Essay Format

When discussing the Human Resources essay format, you need to keep in mind that it’s still an essay, differing from other works of this type only by the topic. However, all essays follow the same format and structuring, knowing which can help you complete such a paper hassle-free. You can see this universal structure in many Human Resources school essay examples available online.

Let’s recap the basic essay structure in relation to the HR specialization.

Introduction

The introductory part of your Human Resources plan essay should include a discussion of your area of focus. HRM is a broad sphere of professional practice and research interest, so you need to find a subtopic within that area and explain it to the readers. After describing the context, you need to specify the problem you’re going to explore and end the introductory section with a concise thesis statement.

Body

The body of your essay should focus on the arguments you’ve elicited when researching the chosen topic. As you might see in any Human Resources essay example, the body is typically divided into paragraphs, each of which is dedicated to one specific argument. Follow this structure as well to enhance your essay’s readability and make it coherent.

Conclusion

A conclusion is the final part of any Human Resources essay writing process. You can’t do without a brief and precise summary of your content. You also need to revisit your thesis statement and explain how your knowledge progressed throughout this paper’s writing. A strong finale of any essay is a reference to the broader context and explanation of how your research informs the broader HRM field.

Write Human Resources Essay in 5 Steps

When it comes to essay writing, Human Resources is not that challenging. The only thing you need to remember is that following an explicit, understandable research and writing algorithm makes the task much more manageable.

Here’s the algorithm our pros recommend to students regardless of their level of expertise:

  1. Select a topic that speaks to you. It should be exciting and relatively new so that you can advance your knowledge and derive pleasure from examining a subject of your personal interest.
  2. Be clear about the outcome of your essay; you need to know what goals you’re trying to achieve, developing your content according to the predetermined scenario.
  3. Research the subject to collect reliable, valuable evidence on the subject.
  4. Produce an outline to have a roadmap and stay on topic during the whole writing process.
  5. Record all sources you have used in content creation and reference them correctly to avoid plagiarism accusations.

Human Resources Essay Topics

Topic selection is one of the most widespread challenges students face when approaching an HR essay task. To help you cover this step quickly, we have formulated a handy list of Human Resources essay topics.

  1. How well are equal employment opportunities provided in the 21st century?
  2. HR planning and retention: implications for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Essentials of strategic HR management.
  4. Has the traditional HR management survived the coronavirus pandemic?
  5. Key steps of job analysis.
  6. Training human resources in the conditions of remote work.
  7. Risk management techniques in the HR field.
  8. Different approaches to calculating paid leave.
  9. Workplace techniques for interpersonal conflict resolution.
  10. The role of HR in the company’s preservation of competitive advantage in the global market.
  11. Determining the right mix of monetary and non-monetary rewards for staff.
  12. The role of personality traits in team composition.
  13. Agile approaches to HRM.
  14. Modern techniques and approaches to international staff management.
  15. A goal-oriented approach to staff productivity and morale improvement.
  16. A variety of workplace violence manifestations.
  17. Implications of psychological counseling provision to employees in the workplace.
  18. Presence of gender disparities in work terms and pay.
  19. Various faces of workplace discrimination: examining the causes and responses to those incidents.
  20. What are the best methods of complying with the equal employment opportunity legislation?
  21. Managing diversity in the workplace: 21st-century implications.
  22. Leadership training and promotion among staff.
  23. The strategic benefits of in-house leadership training for business performance.
  24. New talent acquisition: innovative techniques and approaches.
  25. An ideal employee profile for SMEs.
  26. Experience vs. talent in new employee recruitment.
  27. The role of HR in fostering compliance with COVID-19 rules.
  28. Contribution of HR to compliance with health and safety recommendations.
  29. What steps can HR managers take to identify, manage, and prevent employee burnout?
  30. HR strategies directed at long-term staff retention.
  31. The contribution of AI to HR activities and functions.
  32. Is virtual onboarding as effective as offline one?
  33. Should businesses pay for their staff’s education?
  34. Soft vs. hard skills’ consideration in the recruitment process.
  35. Different approaches to compensation package design.

How to Start a Human Resources Essay

The final point we’d like to discuss here is the art of starting a Human Resources essay. It’s essential to give your essay a good start; otherwise, you may spend much more time on its composition than you initially planned, thus wasting the vital free time or the hours you previously allocated for other assignments. Here are the principles of a quick, easy essay start:

  • Choose the right topic to simplify the writing process.

It should be relevant to your class material, engaging, and new to a certain degree. Expand your existing knowledge instead of trying to explore something entirely new for you.

  • Research the subject extensively.

Don’t start writing before you’re sure that you have enough material for the whole paper. Students often get stuck in the middle of their essays because they haven’t conducted thorough research from the very beginning.

  • Use practical examples.

HR is an applied sphere of human activity, so you can never produce a high-quality paper without referring to real-life evidence.

It’s also vital to choose argumentative Human Resources essay topics, as they are sure to give you more ideas and avenues for proving your standpoint and examining various evidence from multiple angles.

Example #1

The paper  “Top Paint Limited – Theoretical Vis-a-Vis Practical Aspects of HR Factors” is an intriguing example of human resources case study. This paper is an evaluation of Human Resource (HR) faced by Top Paints Limited (TPL). This evaluation involves the evaluation of theoretical vis-a-vis practical aspects of HR factors.

Performance Management

The purpose of managing employee performance is not only to improve productivity. It is also to ensure that the employees find their work environment (e.g. in terms of culture, policies, style, systems of communication, etc) tolerable (Shore & Strauss, 600). The premise here is that if an employee finds the working environment to be in conflict with his/her career and other related expectations, then his/her performance is affected from the start, and no performance management strategies can help him/her. Besides specific strategies to boost the performance of the existing workforce, the first and most important performance management tool is strategic recruitment and selection.

The contemporary organization/company places emphasis on the organizational culture. This has led to the need for besides a written contract- psychological contract, i.e. an unwritten (psychological) understanding of the expectations that both the employee and employer have of each other, and that both parties will reciprocate each other’s efforts (Bratton & Gold 278). This is part of managing employee behavior. The premise here is that it is only those employees whose expectations are within the scope of the organizational culture and expectations who will have the right motivation for good performance.

What this implies is that the role and level of performance are not only in the hands of the employees. In fact, how employees perform primarily depends on whether the organizational structure and culture, as reflected in its leadership, helps it (Bratton & Gold 279). TPL’s structure, i.e. the traditional approach to command and control is a major impediment to employee freedom, creativity, motivation, and ultimately, performance. And while the organization uses performance appraisal for measuring employee performance, measurability being a major aspect of performance, it is not taken seriously. Instead, it is a mere routine.

Reward Management

The reward can be both monetary and non-monetary (e.g. psychological reward, the satisfaction of challenge, etc) (Bratton & Gold, 278). Indeed, reward management is a key tool for facilitating sound competition between employees, boosting employee motivation, and ultimately improving performance. Therefore, reward, as a tool for performance management, encourages and enhances positive employee attitudes and behaviors and financial gains.

TPL has established a reward system for its employees. This is especially through career development, e.g. promotion, and annual pay increment. Both of these are monetary forms of reward. For instance, promotion comes with a pay increase. Unfortunately, there are two key implications here. One, TPL does not seem to recognize the fact that, as Bratton and Gold (279) put it, financial rewards have bearing on cost-effectiveness and financial profitability. In other words, rewards mean expenditure. TPL’s profits have been on the decline for ten years so that the recent failure to make profits has or should have been anticipated. Yet the company still sticks by its monetary reward system, thereby adding more pressure to its already declining finances. This first implication leads to another, i.e. TPL has overlooked other reward methods and systems. In another word, it has failed to recognize that financial rewards are merely ‘superficial’ and must be accompanied by other rewards systems.

But all this equally raises one big question: if the company has been on the decline, then what has it been rewarding its employees for? Even further, why has the organization not realized that its rewards are not resulting in the reasons for which rewards are given?  This is not to say that the company should not reward its employees. Instead, it should also consider non-monetary rewards, .e. g. psychological contract through encouraging employee freedom and creativity. Equally, the company should recognize that rewards are not the only tools for improving employee performance. This must work in conjunction with other organizational and management elements. However, all this depends on the HRM.

Human Resource Development

This refers to strategic efforts by a company’s Human Resource Management (HRM) (Bratton & Gold 279; Torrington et al 599) to develop its workforce in line with its key business strategies. In other words, it involves strategic recruitment and selection of employees who will enhance a company’s chances of reaching its goals and objectives. The first step towards strategic human resources development, therefore, is to identify the strategies to be undertaken. Identifying strategies depends on proper study and understanding of both the internal and external organizational environment.

TPL, to begin with, seems to lack any key strategy. The company controls the whole value chain of its products all the way from inception to manufacturing and delivery. Considering the company’s financial troubles, it should be clear that this control is overwhelming for its capacity. In other words, it is about time that the company gave up some of its control(s) to other parties, e.g. distribution to other wholesalers and retailers. This would help it focus its workforce on specific strategies. This would facilitate the company’s strategic recruitment and selection, and retention of employees.

Part of strategic HRD is training. It is clear that the problem here is the approach used. While the company encourages training, it focuses mainly on a theoretical approach, i.e. the training does not subject employees to one-on-one interaction with job practicalities. In other words, employees lack on-the-job experience.

Equality and Diversity

Equality and diversity are part of strategic HRD. The external environment, unlike TPL’s internal environment, is made of a diverse population: men and women, young and old, able-bodied and disabled, people from various ethnicities, including minority groups, etc. Winning a competitive advantage in a diverse marketplace requires an equally diverse workplace (Kirton & Greene, 7). Unfortunately, TPL has failed in this. The company has fewer employees from minority groups and women. While some of these are in the technical and managerial levels, the company has provided and encouraged their career progress. Further, the whole Board of Directors is composed of white males, as are other senior managers.

Diversity does not merely mean recruiting people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different ages and generations, gender, etc. It has to be incorporated and reflected in the organizational culture, with the organizational leadership being a notable symbol of that culture (Kirton & Greene, 53).

Example #2

The paper  “Human Resource Development at Top Paint Limited” is an apposite example of human resources case study. The problems facing Top Paints Limited can be addressed by focusing on the root cause of the problems facing the individual employees. Statistics indicate that the company’s workforce is paralyzed and is characterized by such symptoms as low productivity, poor working relationships, and low morale. The decline in the company’s performance stems from the problems facing the workforce which would call for a change in the company’s HR policies for the company to regain its strength. This paper will refer to human resource theories and practices to help address the problems facing the company. Four areas of HR policy and practices will be evaluated: performance management, human resource development, and reward management.

Performance management

Performance management is an ongoing process in which an organization identifies, measures,s and develops the output or performance of individuals or teams and later compares this with the goals set by the organization. Performance management arises from the complexities arising from the world of business (Mabey, Salaman & Storey, 1999). Several models of performance management have been adopted but there is no one universally accepted model. Mabey, Salaman, and Storey (1999) argue that any model of performance management should include these elements:

  • Feedback of performance results
  • Setting objectives
  • Amendments to activities and objectives
  • Reward system based on performance outcomes
  • Measuring of performance

The goal-setting theory was proposed by Edwin Locke (1968). According to this theory, individual goals that are established by an employee perform crucial roles in motivating the employee to have increased performance (Salaman, Storey & Billsberry, 2005). This assumption arises from the fact that the employees keep monitoring their goals; failure to achieve these goals call for the employee to increase their performance or adjust their goals so that they become real. The end result of setting the goal is thus to improve the employees’ performance.

According to expectancy theory, employees in an organization will adjust their behaviors based on the anticipated satisfaction of the goals they have set. As such, individuals will adjust their behaviors in a manner that will lead them to attain their goals. Employees of the TPL seem not to have these theories in mind since the company has employed a command and control management approach. As such, the employees cannot show their capabilities since they work under the instructions of their superior.

To address the problem, TPL should implement a performance management system instead of the command and control approach. The system can work well if the employees are provided an opportunity to set their goals as per the company requirement. The employees should be allowed to work freely as long as they are able to achieve these goals; this can be determined by measuring the performance (Mabey, Salaman & Storey, 1999). Further, the performance management system should clearly set the rewards that an employee can get based on the expected outcome as mentioned in the expectancy theory; this helps to motivate the employee.

Reward management

This entails developing, maintaining, and establishing a system whose main aim is to reward employees within a firm or a business. This system provides a fair and equitable way of appreciating the values of the employees whose output to the organization is considered valuable. Various theories have been formulated in the field of human resources to address the issue of reward management. An example of such theories is motivation theory which calls for the motivation of employees for them to be beneficial or more productive to an organization. Salaman, Storey, and Billsberry (2005) consider the reward to be either monetary or non-monetary.

Victor Vroom’s theory referred to as “Vroom’s Valence x Expectancy Theory” better helps to understand the relationship between reward and motivation. According to Gellman (2009), this theory entails the mental process involved in the choices made by an employee. According to this theory, there is a direct relationship between the predisposition to act in a certain manner and the strength of the expectations or rewards that may come as a result of the act (Gellman, 2009). When the employees are assured that there is a better performance appraisal, they are motivated to improve their performance (Salaman, Storey & Billsberry, 2005). For employees to be motivated, this theory sets three conditions that must be met: additional effort would result in better performance, the well-done job should be associated with rewards like pay-rise or bonuses, rewards provided should be satisfactory to the employee.

TPL has not been able to retain its employees since it does not motivate the able employees to stay. To address this problem, the company should have a reward system through bonuses whenever performance is improved. The current company’s pay system is very inflexible since the salary is increased on yearly basis regardless of personal or company performance. With the current pay system, the employees do not need to work extra harder as they are not guaranteed any rewards. TPL should thus introduce a flexible reward system so that it can motivate the employee and retain them instead of losing and recruiting new ones.

Equity and diversity

Workforce diversity entails the inclusion of all types of persons in corporate performance. Today, many organizations view diversity as a competitive advantage which gives rise to economic advantage to the organization when incorporated into the strategic business goals (Bratton & Gold, 2003). In many countries, workforce diversity is streamlined in the policy and the legal framework that provides provisions for anti-discrimination cases (Thompson, 2003). According to Dickens (1999), diversity is the variety of cultural and social identities among people in a common employment setting. Various cultural and social attributes determine diversity: gender, race, education, beliefs, religion, age, disability among others. Various approaches can be employed in managing diversity. One such approach is the mainstream approach that refers to self-categorization and the self-identity theories. The self-identity theory entails group membership and behaviors. On the other hand, the self-categorization theory entails how individuals stereotype their attitudes and behaviors so that they can associate themselves with particular groups. These theories help to avoid any group conflict that may have a negative impact on workplace performance (Bratton & Gold, 2003).

TPL has failed to address the issue of equality and diversity since there are few women and people from ethnic minorities. Further, this group of employees does not progress in terms of promotion even when they are the very-able. For TPL to progress, there is a need for the company to create equal opportunities for all the employees. Failure to create such an opportunity for the minority people, disabled, and women would make them feel discriminated and thus their output is affected.

Human resource development

The concept of human resource development is considered as a theory that aims at developing human capital by developing the individual and the organization to improve their performances (Wang, 2004). Human resource capacities can be developed through further education. This can be done through career development and training. The outcome of HRD has increased competencies which ensure that current and future jobs are performed effectively (Wang, 2004).

TPL has been training its staff on how to carry out their functions whenever new roles and new technologies are introduced. It is thus expected that the accident rate below and performance should be improved. However, this is not the case since most training is done off-site. To avoid the problem, TPL’s consultant should train the employees at the site in order to improve efficiency. A paradigm shift from off-site to on-site would thus yield positive results towards improved performance since the employee would acquire real practical knowledge.

Example #3

The paper  “The Human Resource Management  Difficulties Experienced by Top Paint Limited” is a dramatic example of human resources case study. Top Paints Limited (TPL) has been facing many challenges. It has experienced a steady decline from a relevant strong position ten years ago where it made no profit this year for the first time ever. The entire workforce in TPL has been creating a lot of dissatisfaction, which has led to low morale, low productivity, and poor relationships at work. This has also resulted in an increase in absenteeism, product complaints, and service complaints. Thus, this shows a flawed human resource activity in TPL and there is a need to give priority in the following areas to find a lasting solution to these problems in TPL; performance management, reward management, human resource development, and equality and diversity.

Performance management

The employees in TPL lack the opportunity to be initiative since the top-level management is always acting on instructions. This shows a lack of cooperation between the employees and the top management that in turn reduced their morale in working and in turn reducing their productivity. This calls for the employment of management processes in order to manage individuals in an effective manner with an aim of achieving high levels in the performance of the organization. There is a need to close the gap between management and employees by establishing a shared understanding to develop a strong workforce for the achievement of TPL’s goals. As the employees have developed negative attitudes between them and management, individuals need to be guided in order to feel that work satisfying, fulfilling, and capable of development in any way. This can be supported by the application of the goal-setting theory in order to link the performance of the tasks with goal setting. Because the entire company seems to have lost its main objective, there is a need to set specific goals that are challenging in addition to appropriate feedback in order to come up with better performance. This will give the employees a path or a direction to follow on the needs to be done and the efforts required to achieve the goal. This will be achieved if the employees are also given the opportunities to be initiative. The main source of motivation for the job will be the willingness of the employees to freely work towards the achievement of goals. If the employees will be provided with clear and specific goals in addition to being open to their comments on work. With the provision of challenging and realistic goals, the employees will have the reason to work and feel proud and as triumphant as they achieve the goals. Another important thing that failed to work in TPL is the provision of appropriate feedback on employee’s performance. Feedback will be essential as a way of making clarifications, regulating difficulties in goals, gaining a reputation in a way that the involvement of the employees will lead to job satisfaction and being more productive. On the other hand, the managers should ensure that they should interact and behave in a way that promotes and allows better relationships in work. They should also be able to gauge themselves according to output such that, if the job is interesting, the performance should also be better (Armstrong, 1998)

Reward management

From the case study, it is clear that the salaries earned by the employees are flat. The pay spine is very inflexible such that the talented people end up looking for greener pastures in better-paying companies while the less competitive are left due to lack of any other option. This leads to low productivity and low performance. In addition, there is no reward in case of any improvement in performance. Due to this, there is a need for a reward management process that will involve the development and implementation of the company’s strategies and policies. This will enable the firm to achieve its objectives as well as retaining its competitive employees in accordance with the needs of the employees through increasing their commitment and motivation. If the employees will be rewarded according to their value and their potential contributions to the company, they will feel comfortable working in a firm that recognizes their efforts. The management must also recognize each employee’s capability and set goals that match with their intuitiveness (Armstrong, 495). This can be supported by a broad banding structure or system that shows that the progress of employees is more dependent on improvement than promotion, the flexibility of the system, putting decisions on managers’ hands so that they have more responsibility towards the staff and finally employees increase their incentives in achieving their goals. This means that the success of the organization is dependent on the recognition of the efforts of each employee through rewards that later lead to more efforts and profitability (Stredwick, 13).

Human resource development

Although TPL carries through training of its staff, there are still complaints and accidents due to repetition of mistakes. In addition, there is hostility and disbelief in case one tries to bring change or being initiative. In this case, human resources development is very essential, as the success of TPL will depend on the management of the workforce. Thus, there is a need to develop strategies that will ensure an increase in manufacturing and gaining a competitive advantage through proper management and development of employees to be more productive. This is enhanced through the development of strategies based on informed decisions and the involvement of the employees. TPL needs also to develop a policy on recruitment and selection to ensure the selection of a competitive and diverse workforce (Beardwell, 197).

This is supported by classical approach theory, which ensures that the strategy process will involve a comprehensive understanding of the internal and external environment, selecting on strategic choices and implementation of the plans, and ensuring management decisions flow from top to down ensuring the involvement of all levels. This makes the employees initiative thus increasing the productivity and performance (Miller, 148).

Equality and diversity

This is also a major problem in TPL as there are very few ethnic minorities and women and the few that are recruited later resign. This shows a lack of comfort for the minorities in working in the TPL environment. Thus, management needs to ensure that everyone is treated the same as well as recognizing that various groups and individuals are different. To do this, the company must be flexible and observe uniformity in addressing the needs of its employees in order to change its culture. This is enhanced by making sure that the working environment will support women and ethnic minorities by totally involving them in decision-making. It is also important to consider the development of a new policy in recruitment that promotes diversity and equality. This is supported by a short approach that is similar to a liberal approach wherein advocates for the elimination of bias on sex in the practice of human resource management, increasing opportunities for women and minorities in management and technical fields, and being flexible in terms and conditions (Noon, 226).

Conclusion

The difficulties experienced by TPL can be associated with poor work relationships, lack of recognition of efforts made by staff, criticism, between management and employees and poor culture of the firm, and the entire management of the activities in the firm that has led to low productivity and lack of profits. These issues are addressed through performance management, equity and diversity, reward management, and human resource development. This will result in better utilization of human resources, a wide customer base, wider and competitive recruitment of labor, and a positive image of the company.