Challenges facing human resource management function at Kenyatta National Hospital
Human resource management functions involve the management and development of people in organizations, formulation and implementation of human resource practices and policies. It is fundamentally about matching human resources to the strategic and operational needs of the organization and ensuring full utilization of those human resources. The human resource managers play a major part in the creation of an environment that enables people to make the best use of their capacities, to realize their potential to the benefit of both the organization and themselves and by improving the quality of working life to achieve satisfaction through their work. The aim of this study was to establish challenges facing the human resource management function at Kenyatta National Hospital. The methodology employed in this research was a case study design. The tool used was an interview guide. Respondents were drawn from the human resource department and two line managers were interviewed. The respondents were well versed with the human resource management function and had knowledge and understanding of Kenyatta National Hospital’s operations. Results from the study established that human resource managers at Kenyatta National Hospital experience challenges of policies and procedures that curtail recruitment such as delayed information from line managers on staffing requirements for departments. Influential people canvass for positions leading to a compromised selection process. There is increased demand for specialized health care at Kenyatta Hospital and also inadequate financial resources to meet these demands, resulting in cutting costs and hence understaffing. Human resource managers at Kenyatta National Hospital experience challenges related to training and development due to differing training needs, preferences and learning potential of various cadres of staff. Lack of employee satisfaction, poor working conditions are also challenges which cause staff grievances. Managing diversity at Kenyatta Hospital is a challenge especially due to the large number of employees from different backgrounds, ethnicities and diverse social and economic situations of employees. Powerful subcultures based on occupation and specialization cause differences, managing these differences and orientations is a challenge to the human resource managers. Other challenges at Kenyatta Hospital facing human resource managers include low staff morale and poor working environment, restricted financial allocations from the government and staff persistently engaging in industrial action. There is limited capacity and authority of the human resource department to mitigate challenges. Lack of a proper system for performance evaluation reportedly limited the human resource managers’ ability to evaluate competencies and performance of staff. In conclusion the study is of importance to the management of Kenyatta National Hospital, and the government. It will help the hospital’s management in managing its human resources and also aid in addressing the myriad challenges facing the human resource managers. The study will also be of importance to other public health institutions, as it will provide insight on some of the challenges being faced by the human resource managers and aid the management in improving their human resource management policies.