Hard and Soft Hrm Essay

601 Words Mar 5th, 2013 3 Pages
There are a variety of ways to approach the management of HR in a business. The business textbooks like to describe two broad approaches to HRM which are explained further below:
• “Hard” HR
• “Soft” HR
However, it is important to remember that, in reality, these two approaches are somewhat academic in nature. In real businesses, an HR department or manager would be likely to adopt elements of both soft and hard HR, and in many cases would not be interested in the slightest in the distinction!
The key features of the hard and soft approach to HR can be summarised as follows:
Hard HR Management Soft HR Management
Treats employees simply as a resource of the business (like machinery & buildings)
Strong link with corporate business
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The “hard” approach to HR might be expected to result in a more cost-effective workforce where decision-making is quicker and focused on senior managers. However, such an approach pays relatively little attention to the needs of employees and a business adopting a genuinely “hard” approach might expect to suffer from higher absenteeism and staff turnover and less successful recruitment.
The “soft” approach will certainly appeal to the “touchy-feely” amongst us who like to see people being treated nicely!
And you can also make a good business case for an approach which rewards employee performance and motivates staff more effectively. However, the danger of taking too “soft” an approach is that when all the employee benefits are added up, the cost of the workforce leaves a business at a competitive disadvantage.
The Hard approach to HRM emphasizes on an employee as a “commodity” or a “resource” -being as much a resource as is land,capital etc. & only to be treated better incase of a short supply or incase of playing a central role in achieving the organization’s goals. Methods of implementation can vary depending on a calculative & quantitative approach in a rational manner.Thus its a way of regarding people as human capital whose development returns more gains.
The Soft approach to HRM emphasises on an employee being “resourceful” (as against being just a “resource” ) & a major source of competitive advantage by use of human relations- which

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