Personnel Management, a staff function in business organizations that is intended to obtain and to maintain a cooperative, committed, and creative workforce. Personnel management concerns itself with the greatest single asset of an organization, its people. These people-groups brought together to accomplish the specific objectives of the organization-frequently are referred to as human resources.
For an organization to be viable, adaptive, and dynamic, it must constantly recruit, develop, maintain, and prudently employ human resources. Personnel management organizes people into effective groups to ensure that organizational and individual responsibilities are discharged properly.
The most common functions of a personnel department are wage and salary administration, labor relations, training and development, medical services, management and leadership development, recruitment and employment, safety, communications, organization and personnel planning, security, personnel research, and sometimes cafeteria and food services.
Large and complex organizations create special staff departments to advise, counsel, and service the organization on personnel policies and practices.
Such staff departments are assigned full-time responsibility for developing personnel policy and for carrying out approved policy, but personnel policy also is an important part of every manager's responsibility.
Historically, personnel management has been adapted by various organizations to the needs of the moment, as defined by the owners or managers. Thus it has been the means by which a policy of paternalism-the attempts to buy loyalty-has been implemented. It also has been a thinly veiled or even open means to prevent trade unions from organizing employees. But in a more modern concept personnel management is intended to further organizational goals by contributing to organizational effectiveness and by improving the general welfare of employees.
Powerful influences outside business organizations often force concern with personnel management. The most important of these forces are trade unions and federal and state governments. Virtually every facet of the employment relationship has...