In many organizations, there are one or more people who are responsible for managing the welfare and performance of everyone within the organization. This task of overseeing programs and setting policies that affect everyone associated with the organization can be referred to as personnel management. It sometimes is referred to as human resources (HR) management as well.
The function of a personnel manager usually begins with the staffing process. He or she might be focused on screening and interviewing applicants, with an eye toward placing individuals with the right skill sets in the right position within the organization. The HR manager might also oversee, or at least be involved in, the creation of entry-level training programs as well as continuing-education opportunities for people who are already working for the organization.
Determining the organization's policies and procedures as they relate to personnel is another important aspect of personnel management. HR functions for companies often include drafting vacation, sick leave and bereavement policies that apply to all employees. The personnel management team also might be responsible for administering the benefits that are provided to employees, such as health insurance plans.
Another aspect of many organizations that is part of personnel management is the drafting of a handbook for employees or anyone else in the organization. Establishing policies and procedures, requirements for employment, commendation and disciplinary procedures and even things such as dress codes must be compared with legal guidelines before a handbook is ready to be issued. Personnel managers and HR staff members often must draft and review the organization's handbook.
A sometimes-overlooked aspect of personnel management is the emotional welfare of the people in the organization. Many personnel managers understand that a happy, well-adjusted employee can be an asset to a company. To this end, many personnel managers try to provide opportunities for people who are in need of counseling to receive treatment. This often involves scheduling time during working hours for counseling sessions and perhaps paying for the cost if it is not covered by insurance.
Depending on the size of the organization, it might be possible for one person to handle all of the personnel management functions. As an organization grows, however, it might be necessary to expand from a single personnel manager to a personnel management team. Although this adds to the cost, many organizations have found that overseeing the welfare of their personnel ultimately benefits the organization financially.