HRM Personnel Management Essay Sample

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1) Explain the development of human resource management and how it differs from personnel management. Human resource management involves all management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people, or human resources, who work for the organization. In other words, Human resource management is concerned with ‘people centric issues’ in management. The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can’t yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have and are aware of personnel policies which conform to current regulations.

These policies are often in the form of employee manuals which all employees have. Although both human resource management and personnel management focus on people management there are many differences between them which include; Nature of relations: The nature of relations can be seen through two different perspective views which are Pluralist and Unitarist. There is a clear distinct difference between both because in personnel management, the focus is more on individualistic where individual interest is more than group interest. The relationship between management and employees are merely on contractual basis where one hires and the others perform whereas, HRM focuses more on Unitarist where the word “uni” refers to one and together. HRM through a shared vision between management and staff create a corporate vision and mission which are linked to business goals and of mutual interest where the organization’s needs are satisfied by employees and employees’ needs are taken care by the organization.

Relation of power and management: The distribution of power in personnel management is centralized where the top management has full authority in decision making where even the personnel managers are not even allowed to give ideas or take part in any decision which involves employees. HRM, on the other hand, sees the decentralization of power where the power between top management is delegated between both middle and lower management groups. This is known as empowerment because employees play an important role together with line and HR managers to make collective and mutual decisions, which can benefit both the management and employees.

The nature of management is focused more on bottom-up approach with employees giving feedback to the top management and then the top management gives support to employees to achieve mutually agreed goals and objectives. Leadership and management role: Personnel management emphasizes much on leadership style which is very transactional. This style of leadership merely sees the leader as a task-oriented person. This leader focuses more on procedures that must be followed, punishment form non-performance and non-compliance of rules and regulations and put figures and task accomplishments ahead of human factors such as personal bonding, interpersonal relationship, trust, understanding, tolerance and care.

HRM on the other hand creates leaders who are of a more understanding nature. This leadership style encourages business objectives to be shared by both employees and management. Here, leaders only focus more on people-oriented and importance on rules, procedures and regulations are eliminated and replaced with: shared vision, corporate culture and missions, trust and flexibility ans HRM needs that integrates business needs. Contract of employment: In personnel management, employee’s contract of employment is clearly written and employees must observe strictly the agreed employment contract. The contract is so rigid that there is no room for changes and modifications. There is no compromise in written contracts that stipulates rules, regulations, job and obligations. HRM, on the other hand, does not focus on one time life-long contract where working hours and other terms and conditions of employment are seen as less rigid. It goes beyond the normal contract that takes place between organizations and employees.

The new “flexible approach” encourages employees to choose various ways to keep contributing their skills and knowledge to the organization. With its new approach HRM has created flexi-working hours and work from home policies. HRM also gives employees the opportunity and freedom to select any type of working system that can suit them and at the same time benefit the organization as well. 2) In the evolution of personnel and human resource management, for major stages can be disconcerned. Torrington, Hall and Taylor (2005) proposed the following evolutionary stages for the development of human resource management: 1) Social justice: The origin of personnel management lies in the 19th Century, deriving from the work of social reformers such as Lord Shaftesbury and Robert Owen. Their criticism of the free enterprise system and the hardship created by the exploitation of workers by factory owners led to the appointment of the first personnel managers.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some large employers began to appoint welfare officers to manage new initiatives designed to make life less harsh for their employees. The results were higher productivity, improved retention of the workforce and a bigger pool of applicants for each job. The more obvious welfare initiatives promoted by employers today include employee assistance schemes, childcare facilities and health-screening programmes. 2) Human bureaucracy: The second phase marked the beginning of a move away from a sole focus on welfare towards meeting various other organisational objectives. The fostering of social relationships in the workplace and employee morale thus became equally important objectives for personnel managers seeking to raise productivity levels. 3) Negotiated consent: In the period of full employment following the Second World War, Labour became a scarce resource. Personnel managers required expertise in bargaining skills in order to run the new collective bodies, such as joint consultation committees, joint production committees and suggestion schemes, which had been set up to accommodate the new realities.

Governments encouraged the appointment of personnel officers and established the first specialist courses for them in universities. 4) Organisation: The late 1960s saw a switch in focus among personnel specialists, away from dealing principally with the rank-and-file employee on behalf of management, towards dealing with management itself and the integration of managerial activities. This phase was characterised by the development of career ladders and opportunities within organisations for personal growth. The latter remains a concern of personnel managers today, with a significant proportion of time and resources being devoted to the recruitment, development and retention of an elite core of people with specialist expertise on whom the business depends for its future. Personnel managers developed techniques of manpower or workforce planning. This is basically a quantitative activity, boosted by the advent of information technology, which involves forecasting the likely need for employees with different skills in the future.

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