The introduction of the concept of the development of human resource has brought about a revolutionary change in the globalized world where we live in. The introduction of new departments or sections for managing human resources in both public and private organizations was a step towards bringing about changes in our globalized world.
In this competitive world, managing human resources has become one of the challenging factors in running any organization. Like in other countries, there is a Human Resource Department (HRD) in almost all the companies and corporate houses in Bangladesh. We have recently seen a sea of positive changes in the corporate landscape of the country, and the courtesy of human resource professionals who have contributed in bringing about these changes. The accommodation of HRDs can be seen almost everywhere, including the public sector, top private universities, NGOs, etc.
Schools in our country have yet to join the thriving culture of developing institutions with the contributions from HRDs. This is particularly true for the schools outside of Dhaka. The fact that Chittagong hosts the country’s second largest number of schools after Dhaka makes the city and its schools the ideal area of research to find out the scope of HRDs.
Perhaps the lack of a clear idea on what human resource professionals or an HRD can achieve is keeping the schools in Chittagong from opening HRDs and recruiting human resource professionals.
One of the reasons behind the necessity of HRDs in schools is: in schools, the main form of human resources is the teachers and, hence, there’s the necessity of a proper HRD to manage this form or category of intellectual assets. This category of human resource, i.e. the teachers, is highly educated. Therefore, absence of any HRD in the school would mean the higher management will likely to fail to understand this category of highly educated intellectual human resource. However, if there was a qualified HRD in the school, this department would have been capable enough to handle this intellectual asset.
Furthermore, in every organization whether it is corporate or school, the function of HR is always present, such as recruiting, compensation and benefits, evaluating, rewarding and employee engagement. Who does all these works in the school Industry? Surprisingly, these works might be done jointly by the principal, vice principal, accounts, and administration.
However, these are not the core responsibilities of these professionals or departments. These professionals are doing HRD tasks in addition to their regular core responsibilities and, therefore, they see this function as an extra load to their job and can often become unfocused.
Hence, these HR-related responsibilities should be entrusted to the HR Department, as they are trained exclusively to deal with anything and everything related to human resources.
There are more reasons to keep HRDs in the schools. For instance, the improvement of the teachers’ potentiality benefits the students who are the future of this nation. Constructing a strong building-structure needs a strong foundation; likewise constructing a strong nation needs a strong base of educated and morally-correct human capital base. Since teachers handle the students who are to form the aforementioned human capital base, they need to be nurtured in a way so that they provide the best education to the students and the HRD will be working as a nurturer, creating the environment for development and will make the right kind of HR strategies which will ensure the right development and environment.
Even from a commercial perspective, keeping an HR department is beneficial for the schools.
The immediate feedback that parents expect from the schools is good academic results of their children. Once an HR department is successful in exploring the full potentiality of the teachers, the teachers will deliver to their fullest capacity—enhancing their responsible attitude towards the students and, hence, the results of the students will substantially improve. This certainly is, for obvious reasons, commercially beneficial for the schools.
It is worth noting that although some schools have HRDs, these schools entrust the HRDs only to look after those works which actually do not fall in the core responsibilities of the HR professionals. The management bodies of many schools believe that the responsibilities of the HRDs are typically associated with gathering, filing and storing paperwork, and establishing and enforcing company regulations. Such belief is not the correct one, as already explained. These schools having such HR departments should reform and re-organize their HR department to achieve the full potentiality of the department and to get the commercial benefit that will flow from such reformation.
To wrap up, the question we have to ask is, “Shouldn’t all schools have Human Resource Departments?”
Neazul Hoque is the Head of Human Resources at CIDER-International School in Chittagong, Dhaka.