BUSS3 Chapter 16 Soft HRM vs Hard HRM

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Teacher presentation AQA Unit 3

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Chapter 16 Soft HRM vs Hard HRM:

Chapter 16 Soft HRM vs Hard HRM

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Hard HRM All organisations undertake HR activities such as recruitment, selection and training But…the attitude and approach that managers take towards their employees may differ At one extreme we have what is called hard HRM This basically regards employees as a necessary but perhaps unwelcome cost People are an input that is required to get the job done They add little to the overall value created by the business

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Hard HRM Managers see themselves as the thinkers They develop the best way of doing things Employees are expected to just get on and do it There is usually a top down management style in which employees are directed and controlled Managers and supervisors instruct workers and then monitor their actions

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Hard HRM Jobs tend to be broken down into small units so that one person does not have much control over the process A replacement can easily be recruited selected and trained This type of approach an often be seen in call centres where the work of operatives is very closely monitored or other highly controlled outlets such as fast food

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Benefits/Drawbacks of Hard HRM Benefits The outcomes should be predictable because employees do as they are told Employees should be easily replaceable Managers retain control for decision making and so this reduces the risk of major errors being made However Failure to build on skills, experiences and insights of employees may lead to dissatisfied employees and low morale The business relies heavily on senior management; if they make a mistake the business as a whole could fail as there is no input from lower levels

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Benefits/Drawbacks of Hard HRM The hard HRM sees the business as a machine Employees are just the cogs within the machine This might work well if the machine is designed effectively and is fit for purpose The approach does not encourage change and flexibility As the environment changes managers may not spot these developments at ground level Employees may not be able to cope with new demands being made on them

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Soft HRM This approach takes the view that employees can add a great deal of value to an organisation The business should develop, enhance and build on its people’s interests skills and abilities Managers see themselves more as facilitators They are there to coach and help employees to do their jobs properly They should ensure the proper training is provided and the employee can develop in his or her career

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What kind of approach is McGregor’s Y style of leadership?

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Benefits/Drawbacks of Soft HRM The business may become more creative which will help them become innovative and differentiated They may be able to keep and develop highly skilled employees with expectations of a career within the business If individuals are encouraged to contribute the organisation may become more flexible and adaptable to changing market conditions However Jobs will take longer if you need to discuss and consult with employees Employees may not want to be involved; they may just want to be told what to do and be rewarded for it

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Which is the right strategy – hard or soft? The attitudes of managers towards their employees can be influenced by many different factors such as Their own experience – if you have taken an encouraging approach before and been let down you may be reluctant to try again The nature of the employees – the attitude and skills of the employees will influence the way you want to manage them If they are eager, able, and engaged then a soft approach is more likely The nature of the task – if it is simple, routine and repetitive then a hard approach may be more appropriate

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Which is the right strategy – hard or soft? The trend in the UK in recent years has been towards employees being involved in decision making and managers taking care of their welfare and skills development The workforce is better educated and more aware of their rights We also have a knowledge economy where many jobs require innovative thinking, independent decision making and the ability to think ‘out of the box’ The soft approach may be more appropriate Case study P126/7 Q4 Homework – bring in an article tomorrow about trade unions that helps you think about whether they are good for employees/ employers

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