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Strategic Human Resource Management In Public Sector

Strategic management and HRD

What is generally understood of strategy is a decision or action plan that covers all contingencies of a situation in any field, particularly public affairs. Strategy is basically the maximum utilization of available resources and the exploitation of potential force in an efficient way. Similarly, in an organization, strategic management involves organization’s engaging in strategic planning and then acting on those plans keeping in view the future contingencies. So, strategic management is a sort of implementing strategic plans which integrate organization’s goals, policies and actions into a comprehensive whole.

Strategic planning is a long-range, comprehensive and an integrated overall organizational planning with a view to focus on future opportunities, compatibility of objectives and integration of various elements of organization in order to achieve strategic objectives. Important to note here is that strategic planning does not, necessarily, predict future; nevertheless, it enables an organization to accommodate abrupt change in environment, to meet contingencies, and give a timely input to shape the future by rectifying mistakes in overall objectives of the strategic planning scheme.
Human resource development is one of the topmost key factors in the overall scheme of strategic planning of an organization. The development of HRM is not only limited to harnessing, to the maximum extent, the available human resources but also to make an optimum utilization of those. It’s a continuous process and a lifeline for an organization in meeting its overall objectives. Therefore, its development through training, performance appraisal, job enrichment, communication policies and building a climate in the organization to encourage openness, risk-taking, role clarity, awareness of responsibility and compatible HR policies are necessary. All these serve to effectively integrate the HR to contribute towards better productivity, better image and better utilization of human resources.

In public sector, the strategic human resource management policies, in whatever form they are, have been unable to respond to the changing requirements of modern trends of public service delivery. Among other thrusts what is lacking most is care and respect for the recipients of service which is the result of poor training, absence of any systematic follow-up of training impact in overall performance of organization or individuals and compromised appraisal mechanism. And, there is also no strategic focus on integrating lower hierarchy with the objectives of the organization. Employees keep on working for years and years without having any training. Then, how in such an environment one can expect a vibrant and responsive public service delivery system?
There is a dire need to develop a human resource development policy that may serve the purpose of systematic involvement of human resource with enhanced professional competency based on merit and competitive remuneration package capable of retaining and making human resource a strategic asset for public sector.

There are no two opinions regarding the importance of strategic human resource planning in meeting the long-term objectives of an organization. In public sector, this connection, however, is altogether missing. Public sector organizations are overstaffed, have numerous ghost employees and have compromised recruitment procedures and processes; the factors which make performance of public sector organizations a bane for the economy rather than a boon.

Serious efforts and a strong will by the respective stakeholders to come up with concrete and doable policy options are the only solutions to recruit and retain quality human resource and transform it into a strategic asset to make the public sector responsive, efficient and the one that has care and respect for masses which are the ultimate beneficiaries.

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