Human Resource Management History, There is a vast difference between modern Human Resource Management and the personnel management that was prevalent decades ago. By the end of the twentieth century, the managerial philosophy that had defined the personnel function had undergone radical changes.
Over the past several years, scientific management approach and the human relations approach appeared and then disappeared too. However, the human resource approach has gained prominence in recent times.
Scientific management approach
Fredrick Taylor, who is widely considered to be the father of scientific management, focused on motions that were required for each job, the tools used and the time needed to accomplish each task. Fair performance standards were then determined for each job, on the basis of such scientific data rather than on the superior’s subjective judgment.
Those workers whose output exceeded the standards were given additional incentive pay. The base of scientific management was solely motivated by money and led to many problems.
Human relations approach
The Hawthorne studies conducted during the 1930 and 1940s, forced organizations to shift their attention from scientific management approach to human relations approach.
Hawthorne studies suggested that employee productivity was not only influenced by the way the job was designed and the economic rewards, but also by certain social and psychological factors. Feelings, emotions, and sentiments of employees were greatly influenced by work conditions such as group relationships and management support.
It was recognized that treating employees with respect would improve employee satisfaction and help in achieving higher productivity.
Human resources approach
Human resources approach treats people as resources, rather than factors of production, or as human beings who act on the basis of emotions alone.
Some of the principles of human resource approach are:
- Employees are assets to an organization.
- Policies, programmes, and practices must cater to the needs of employees and should help them in their work and in their personal development.
- The job and tasks are the primary motivators for employees. Individual employee needs must be catered to maintain motivation.
- It is necessary to create and maintain a supportive work environment, to encourage the employees to develop and harness their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the organization.
- HR policies and practices should be in alignment with the goal of balancing individual and organization’s needs.
When employees are considered as assets and treated individually, the level of motivation improves. This leads to more committed and better employee performance. Overall increase in the performance of employees leads to an increased organizational performance.
When the organization reaps benefits out of the increased performance, it is bound to share some of it to the employees in the form of employee rewards.