personnel management
personnel management


These resources are humans, material and finance.  Out of these three Human resources is the most important and difficult to manage. The reason are that every human being is born unique and therefore are bound to have different characteristics , that is, the ways they think ,feel ,reason and act cannot be the same , and secondly , human beings control and coordinate the other resources. They constitute the work force of an organization, and are being referred to as personnel.


In the organization, there are two main categories of personnel, namely , the staff, both field and office staff. Personnel management in an organization is therefore very important since personnel do everything to ensure the success of the organization. as Mullins (2004) put it “the human nature plays a major part in the overall success of an organization “ . , an effective working relationship between the managed and the managers is essential for the success of the business organization.


The nature of personnel management


Personnel in this context refer to all the people employed by the organization. Popularly known as the employees, they can be skilled, semiskilled or unskilled. In the business organization the staff and the managers are the personnel.

Management as a word has been defined severally. Mullins (1996) sees it a generic term ,and therefore subject to many interpretation or definition. To him, management means to forecast and plan , to organize , to command or direct , to coordinate and to control. He believes that the word management involves people looking beyond themselves and exercising formal authority over the activities and performance of other people. It is the act of putting the resources into operation, especially by someone with the official power to do so in order to achieve the organizational objectives. Adeyemi (2004) on the other hand, see management as involving prudent utilization of available resources to achieve the goals of the organization.


5 Elements of personnel management

According to Mullins (1996) identifies the element of manage as follows:

1.      Planning: it is translated from a French word “purveyance” meaning to foresee or forecast. planning therefore means examining the future , deciding what needs to be achieved and developing a plan for action

2.      Organizing: this refers to providing the materials , finance and human resources and building the structure to carry out the activities of the organization

3.      Directing: also known as direction, motivation actuation, or command, refers to getting people to go to work willingly and effectively. In other words, it is the maintaining of the activities among the personnel and getting the optimum return from all the employees in the interest of the whole organization.

4.      Coordination: this is unifying and harmonizing all activities and effort of the organization to facilitates its working and success.

5.      Control: this means verification to ensure that everything occurs in accordance with the plans, instructions, established principles and expressed command.


In the business organization, it is the responsibility of the manager in the organization to put these basic activities together, to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the organization.

Management or administration is a variable that relates all activities of the organization, undertaken at all levels of the organization. It is not separate, discrete functions (cannot be departmentalized or centralize), and should be seen as a process common to all other functions carried out within the organization. Management is essentially an integrating activity’

Having understood what management is , it is necessary to see how it is applied to the personnel in the business organization. Personnel management in the business organization is a central activity.


What is personnel management?


According to flippo (1980) he sees it as the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organization and societal objectives are accomplished. He describes the first four which is (planning, organizing, directing, and controlling) as management’s function, while procurement development, compensation, integration, maintenance and separation are operative functions.

Cuming in the year (1980) on the other hand, says personnel management is concerned with obtaining the best staff for and organization, and having got them, look after them so that they will want to stay and give in their best to their jobs.

Betts in the year (1977) on his own side he regard staff management as another name for personnel management, defines it as the locating, employing, and full utilization of staff resources for the good of the organization and all the employees. In other words, it is how to find and keep good staff, and encourage them to work well. According to Mullins on the other hand in (1996) feels that personnel management is concern with the human and social implication of change in internal organization and methods of working, and of economic and social change in the community.

Institute of personnel now institute personnel and development defines personnel management as that part of management concerned with people at work , and with their relationship within an enterprise.

From the definitions’ , it can be seen that the main aim of personnel management is to bring together and develop into an active organization workers who make up the organization and , having regard for the welfare of the individual and working groups to enable them make their best contribution to its success.

This implies that the manager is involved in hiring, training, paying, motivating, maintaining and finally, separate the employees. It will do the organization a lot of good if the personnel department in the organization uses the specialist in this direction.

As  Cuming in, (1980).   Put it that a personnel officer is supposed to be a specialist who recruits and feels that the employees are happier with their wages and other conditions of service.


Aims of personnel management in an organization


There are no organization without staff operational problems , according to bett (1977) identifies some this problems as output below acceptable limit, quality of work unacceptable , excessive waste of materials , non cooperation ,non acceptance of an individual’s by a group , lateness, absenteeism ,complaints, grievance and sickness. To minimize these problems personnel management aims at:

1.      Constructing an  acceptable staff management policy

2.      Creating an organization which places each member of staff in a favorable situation, conducive to further development and high productivity.

3.      Locating, training and encouraging a meaningful and supervisory team to utilize human resources in the most effective way.

4.      Recruiting the most suitable departmental staff available and so to arrange the many facets of staff management as to ensure full development and optimum utilization.

5.      Conducting careful survey and research, with a view to formulating comprehensive manpower plans.

6.      Controlling all the employees effectively by establishing workable relationships between management, staff and manual employees, which are acceptable and minimize the degree of distrust?


This aims can be summarized as involving all the managers, supervisor and personnel specialist in a unified, balanced drive towards achieving optimum effectiveness from all members of staff in the organization. This means the realization of the organization objectives depends on how the managers of the company treat the staff. They should not allow the operational problems to coupe together to form more complex problems which cannot be solved immediately. This can frustrate the efforts of the managers, which in the end leads to a collapse of the whole system.


 Principles of management applied in an organization


Another way of minimizing problems in the business organization is for the managers of the company to develop principles that guide them in their day to day activities identified below are some of the principles, believing that they must be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances:


1.      Division of work (labor) : the object is to produce more and better from the same effort , using specialization .

2.      Authority and responsibility: responsibility should be accompanied authority for effectiveness.

3.      Discipline: outward mark of respect for agreement between the organization and its members.

4.      Unity of command: an employee should receive orders from superior only it not, authority is undermined and discipline, order and stability are threatened.

5.      Unity of direction : in order to provide for unity of action , coordination and focusing of effort , there should be one head and one plan for any group of activities with the same activity

6.      Subordination of individual interest to general interest: the organization interest should dominate individual or group interests.

7.      Remuneration of personnel: this should be satisfying to both the employees and the employers. It should be determined with employee’s knowledge.

8.      Centralization: management should cover every aspect or activity of the organization.

9.      Scalar chain: chain of supporters from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks.

10.  Order: this includes material and social order. The object of material order is to avoid losses. These should be appointed place for each thing or item, and item in its appointed place, social order means an appointed place for each employee, and each employee in his or her appointed place.

11.  Equity: refer to equal treatment to all employees throughout all levels of the scalar chain ‘

12.  Stability of tenure of personnel: avoid constant changes of appointment, it is not the best, continuity of programs makes evaluation very easy.

13.  Initiative: this represents a source of strength for the organization, and should be encouraged and developed; tact and integrity are required to promote initiative.

14.  Esprit cooperation:  unity and harmony among the members in an organization should be fostered, note that members of the organization are a great strength in the organization; they must work as a team because together everybody achieves more.

15.  Security: protection of jobs and life in an organization , security is universal even though individuals needs vary workers should feel that the belong ‘


These principles definitely helps the business organization managers to promote good personnel practices designed to make the most effective use of the people in the organizational system. And for them (managers) to be more effective they must.

1.      Constantly update their professional knowledge and  skills , particularly in respect of new labor legislation .

2.      Establish and maintain good working relationship with trade unions and other employee’s representative.

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