The 4 Functions of Human Resource Management (HRM)

Functions of HRM (Human Resource Management)

According to DeCenzo and Robbins HRM is a process consisting of four functions – acquisition, development, motivation, and maintenance. These components are related to acquiring people, training and developing them, activating them, and retaining them.

Functions of Human Resource Management are also called components of HRM. Let’s explain each of them in detail:

Acquisition Function

The acquisition function of Human Resource Management (HRM) encompasses several crucial aspects that revolve around bringing in talent, integrating new members, and aligning them with the organization’s culture and objectives. This multifaceted function involves HR Planning, Recruiting, Selection, and Employee Socialization, each playing a pivotal role in securing and assimilating the right talent.

HR Planning

HR Planning serves as the foundational step, involving an assessment of the current workforce, predicting future needs, and strategic planning to bridge any skill gaps. It guides the recruitment process by outlining the necessary competencies and roles required for organizational success.


Recruiting involves a diverse array of sourcing strategies, from job postings to leveraging professional networks and online platforms. The aim is to attract potential candidates with the requisite skills and cultural alignment with the organization.


Selection is a meticulous process where candidates are evaluated through interviews, assessments, and reference checks. This step ensures that the most suitable individuals, in terms of skills and cultural fit, are chosen to join the organization.

Employee Socialization

Employee Socialization is about integrating new hires into the company’s culture and operations. It includes orientation, mentorship, and onboarding programs designed to familiarize newcomers with the company’s ethos, values, and practices, fostering quicker adaptation and enhancing their engagement and productivity.

Development Function

The Development function of Human Resource Management (HRM) centers on nurturing employee skills, capabilities, and career progression through HR Employee Training, Management Development, and Career Development initiatives.

Employee Training

HR Employee Training is a cornerstone, providing employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their roles effectively. It spans various forms, from on-the-job coaching to specialized workshops and e-learning platforms, aiming to enhance employees’ competencies and adaptability in their current positions.

Management Development

Management Development focuses on grooming leaders within the organization. It involves targeted programs, mentoring, and exposure to diverse challenges, refining managerial skills like decision-making, communication, and strategic thinking. Developing competent leaders ensures effective team management and the continuity of the organization’s vision.

Career Development

Career Development is about empowering employees to advance within the organization. It involves assessments, career planning discussions, and providing growth opportunities, whether through promotions, lateral moves, or additional responsibilities. It aligns individual aspirations with organizational needs, fostering employee engagement and retention.

Read More: 10 Objectives of HRM

Motivational Function

The third function of HRM – motivational function is pivotal in cultivating an environment that stimulates and sustains employee motivation and engagement. This function encompasses various elements like Job Design, Performance Evaluations, Rewards, Job Evaluation, Compensation, and Discipline.

Job Design

Job Design plays a crucial role in motivation as it shapes the nature of work. Well-designed jobs that offer challenges, autonomy, and significance tend to inspire higher levels of motivation and engagement among employees.

Performance Evaluations

Performance Evaluations provide a structured assessment of employee work, offering insights into strengths, and areas for improvement, and aligning individual goals with organizational objectives. When conducted fairly and transparently, evaluations serve as a motivational tool by recognizing achievements and providing constructive feedback.

Rewards and Compensation

Rewards and Compensation are intrinsic motivators. Fair and attractive compensation packages, bonuses, incentives, and recognition programs serve as tangible rewards that reinforce positive behaviors and accomplishments, encouraging employees to perform at their best.

Job Evaluation

Job Evaluation involves assessing roles within the organization, and ensuring fairness in pay scales and job roles. When employees perceive fairness in job evaluations, it fosters trust, morale, and a sense of equity, positively impacting motivation.


Discipline within HRM serves a dual purpose. It maintains order within the workplace, but when administered fairly, it can also motivate employees by emphasizing the importance of adhering to organizational norms and expectations.

Maintenance Function

The last function of HRM – maintenance function is centered around preserving a harmonious and conducive work environment, focusing on two primary aspects: Safety and health and Employee/Labor Relations.

Safety & Health

Safety and health is a critical component of HRM’s maintenance function. It involves implementing and maintaining safety protocols, ensuring compliance with occupational health standards, providing necessary training on workplace safety, and supplying adequate protective equipment.

Prioritizing safety measures not only safeguards employees from potential hazards but also fosters a sense of well-being and security, enhancing their productivity and commitment to the organization.

Employee/Labor Relations

Employee/Labor Relations is another key aspect of HRM’s maintenance function. It involves managing relationships between employees and the organization, particularly about unions or representative bodies.

HRM plays a vital role in facilitating effective communication between management and labor representatives, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, addressing grievances, and resolving conflicts fairly and amicably. By nurturing positive employee relations, HRM contributes to a cohesive work environment, reducing disputes, fostering trust, and ensuring a productive workforce.

Read Next: 12 Characteristics of HRM

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