Soft and Hard Hrm

Topics: Management, Human resource management, Employment Pages: 3 (751 words) Published: September 4, 2013
Managing People at Work- Hard or Soft HRM Report

The following report will present the hard and soft HRM practices performed by the primary stakeholders of the UK based retail store, RetailCom and its frontline manager. Hard and Soft HRM practices focus upon the interdependent organisational issues of a business and its management. Human resource management is a unitarist approach which is used to emphasise the connection between an individual and its organisation. To assess this, we must distinguish between ‘hard; and soft’ management approaches to employee engagement. The hard approach contrasts the close incorporation of HR policies and practices with a business strategy, which is achieved by focusing on increasing efficiency and reducing labour costs. Human resources are a factor of production and a variable cost to be minimised. The Soft approach on the other hand focuses on views of employees as valued assets and a source of competitive advantage. These assets of the business are developed building on their commitment, motivation and leadership qualities. RetailCom is one of UK’s largest retail firms, which would show that there is substantial pressure on the organisation to compete in a market which is government regulated. RetailCom has embodied the hard approach to its employee management strategy which is evident in (Fiona’s) the manager’s day to day activities. In order to secure her business, the manager has restricted herself to have control over staff due its “set” budget. Facts show that there is no “balance” between the workers and managers, due to the pressuring business needs and long working hours. The budget influences majority of Fiona’s retail operations, as she cannot fund for the staffing, forcing her to exert over the limit of 45 hours. As she states, when there is staff willing to do the job it’s manageable, however the central pool for the area due to the limited budget causes managers to exert themselves. The result of this...
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