For many years HR has only been responsible for personnel administration, payroll and the health and safety regulations. So we can say that HR employees were dedicated to ensure compliance of the internal personnel regulations and some of the legal activities. Therefore HR department was treated as a typical back-office such as IT and accounting.

Nowadays the role of HR department has changed as most of the organisations expect it to become more strategic. To put it in a nutshell, this means taking charge of personnel development plans in line with the business profile and aims. The main responsibilities of HRM focus on four areas:

  • allowing the management to achieve goals through workforce involvement
  • maximising the use of the workforce skills and potential
  • enabling innovation, teamwork and quality of work to develop
  • focusing on business ability to change in the modern world by assuring the adaptability of its workforce

The research conducted in 2008-2009* indicated possibilities of increasing the influence of HRM on the growth of innovativeness and competitiveness of companies in Poland. It also confirmed that two factors play the main role: internal coherence of HRM and aligning HR and business strategies.

Therefore HR department should have its aims clearly resulting from the company’s long term goals and development plans. In order to be effective the HRM needs to combine efficiently the life cycle processes of all employees such as: recruitment, employment, on-boarding, incentive schemes, appraisals and development, succession planning, work agreement termination and exit interview.

The analysis of further results showed that there is “a need for greater HRM support development, primarily in the area of talent management, delegating authority (greater employee autonomy), non-financial motivation schemes, information flow and communication.”*

Due to the challenges that most of the contemporary businesses face and the results of the researches it is said that modern and successful HRM should focus mainly on four functions:

  • Business partner
  • Change initiator and ambassador
  • Employees representative
  • Administrative expert

*Borkowska S. (red.), Creating Innovation in the Organization: The Role of Human Resource Management, IPiSS, Warszawa 2010.


  • personnel administration – zarządzanie kadrami
  • payroll – system płacowy
  • health and safety regulations – przepisy BHP
  • ensure compliance – zapewnić zgodność
  • accounting – księgowość
  • enable – umożliwiać
  • take charge of – przejmować
  • workforce – personel, kadra, zatrudnieni pracownicy
  • internal coherence – wewnętrzna spójność
  • appraisal – ocena (w obszarze HR dotyczy zwykle oceny okresowej)
  • align – dostosować
  • on-boarding – wdrożenie pracownika
  • incentive schemes – system motywacyjny
  • information flow – przepływ informacji
  • work agreement termination – rozwiązywanie umowy
  • exit interview – wywiad (spotkanie osobiste lub ankieta) z odchodzącym z firmy pracownikiem w celu poznania przyczyn jego odejścia

Idiom of the Month:

to put something in a nutshell


  • to reduce a large, complicated amount of information into a much smaller, easier to understand size
  • to present something in a very brief form, in a few words

in Polish:

  • w skrócie, jednym słowem, krótko mówiąc


  • The reasons why you are here are all well known to all of us and make a long list. To put it in a nutshell: we are letting you off.
  • Could you please just put this long story in a nutshell?


Which of the statements can you infer from the text? Please decide whether the sentence is true or false.

The changes in the HR role are the effect of modernising the business.

HRM has always been involved in business planning.

The business refers to HRM as a back-office for its workforce.

HRM deals with issues related to workforce as the power needed for the company to operate.

Business competitiveness is to a great extent developed by HRM procedures.

Before 2008 the involvement of HR in business process was limited.

Business has no plans of how to develop the role of HRM.

Health and safety regulations are set by HR departments.