Introduction really are. The following are the two most


In the next section we
will look at two approaches to how the People processes in an organisation are
determined. Personnel Management (PM) and Human Resources Management (HRM) both
focus on how to get the most out of employees for the benefit of the Company.
There are both similarities and differences as to how these approaches look at
the core asset of an organisation – their people.

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Management (PM)


Personnel Management
focuses on managing the workforce from an administrative point of view. It
takes a very mechanical, process-driven approach to managing process and
procedures relating to employees. “Personnel Administration is a method of
developing the potentialities of employees so that they get maximum
satisfaction out of their work and give their best efforts to the
organisation.” — Pigors and Myres, Personnel Administration.


Objectives and Functions:

The objectives of PM
can be classified into two categories:

1. General objectives

General objectives
look at how the management view the workforce and how important the people in
the workforce really are. The following are the two most important general


Maximum individual development. The employer should be
aware how individuals differ and how everyone’s personality is different.
Management should embrace their individual abilities and utilise these
abilities to achieve the Company’s goals.

Desirable working relationship between
employer and employee. PM seeks to
promote an environment where the employees will co-operate with

Specific objectives

Other important activities
support the PM approach:

The selection process determines the correct number
of people required to the organisation

Proper induction to the company and orientation is
carried out to introduce employees to their new roles

Suitable training is in place for better job

Provision of better medical facilities and working
conditions for all employees

Maintaining good relations with employees

Give good impressions to the person leaving the


 Human Resources Management (HRM)


Before we research HRM
we should first look at the definition of Human Resources itself. Human
Resources refer to the people working in the organisation.

Human Resource
Management binds employees with the organisation helping both parts to achieve
their goals. According to the National Institute of Personal Management “that
part of management which is concerned with people at work and with their
relationship within an enterprise. Its aim is to bring together and develop
into an effective organisation of the men and women who make up an enterprise
and having regard for the well-being of the individuals and of working groups,
to enable them to make their best contribution to its success”.


Aims of HRM:

HRM looks at getting the
right people into the organisation from the very start which is a key factor
for the business to be successful. The organisation seeks to be successful by
bringing people together is such a way as to consider the collective goals, the
teams within the hierarchy and the individuals themselves.

Effective HRM creates
opportunities for individuals and the organisation. HRM ensures the business
thrives while providing education to employees helping them to upskill, thus
creating positive engagement. HRM believes in selecting the right people for
each position to enable relationships to be effective. The main goal of HRM is
to shape the organisation and provide the direction needed.


Objectives and Functions of HRM

Under the wider
senior management strategy, HR develops processes and procedures to enable the
people in the organisation to drive business success. The primary objective is
to ensure that the right people are in the right roles with the right skills at
the right time. During times of change HR are key to ensuring that employees
have a voice, are communicated to in a timely and transparent way and that
their contribution is heard. This level of communication promotes a common
respect amongst managers and employees. This type of structure benefits all the
employees in the organisation.

HRM need to have
correct and extensive data in relation to “performance, attendance, training
records, terms and conditions of employment and they must fulfil legal



HRM is key for each
phase on the employee life-cycle: from the day that they enter the premises
until the day that they leave (responsible for every action undertaken by the
employee e.g. induction, training, appraisal, holidays, wages, retirement etc.)


PM Versus HRM

One of the main differences between PM and HRM is that
PM has a very traditional approach to the way it is rolled out in the workplace
compared to HRM.



Personnel management mainly
operates on a very mechanical scale it manages employees from an administrative
perspective. They ensure employees are hired, there is a job analysis, job
evaluation, oriented, paid on time, performance appraisals, labour law
compliance and have their needs met. The scope of personnel management is very
limited, and its approach is very inverted. Workers are viewed as a tool and
can be replaced when they are worn out.

On the other hand, HRM
treats employees as a resource much like a factory or a machine. It has a much
broader scope than PM as it considers its employees as an asset to the
organisation. Human resources management includes all the above stated in PM
plus organizational development activities e.g. motivation, developing
organizational culture, shared values and overall good communication between
management and employees. The human resource management approach seeks to fully
use the employees for the fulfilment of the company’s goals. The strategic
approach in human resource management makes it more relevant and far more
effective compared to the personnel management approach.






Difference in approach

Again, there are two
very different approaches when looking at PM and HRM. Personnel management has a
far more traditional approach and tends to attach much importance to norm,
customs and already established practices. Human resource is more modern in its
approach as it gives importance to values and mission. PMs approach is far
more rigid when it comes to dealing with employees. It closely lines itself to
establishing rules, policies and procedures and its main goals are to closely
monitor the workforce to ensure these are correctly met. It is a very strict
approach to dealing with the workforce. HR managers tend to have a slightly
more relaxed approach to dealing with employees. The HR approach is slightly
more impatient with rules and regulations as the rules are usually based around
the organisations needs and demands.

Both styles have very
different approaches when it comes to dealing with the motivation of employees
the personnel approach believes that the workforces satisfaction is the key to
keeping employees motivated. They also use tools such as bonuses, rewards as
possible motivators in the work place. HR is of the belief that improved
performance is the main component of employee satisfaction, it creates
strategies like team work, challenges and creativity to improve motivation.



From researching both PM
and HRM I found the communication methods used are quite different. Personnel
management use quite an indirect method of communication with their employees.
Where as Human resource gives a much more direct method communication.  Personnel management tend to give clear rules
where as HRM are open to listening and involving the employees in the running
of the business they are open to new ideas. 
HRM engage their employees they want feedback to be able to create
productivity which is measured by employee engagement. For both HR and personnel
management communication is much more effective when the company is smaller.
HRM would tend to use performance appraisals in order to manage the employees
effectively and to try and avoid conflict.


Personnel management use
the method of top management make all of the decisions the employees get little
or no say in the organisation. On going negotiations are based on collective
bargaining with employees. Whereas HRM’s style of decision making there is no
need for bargaining as each employee has their own contract and value and
consider the employees input such as their participation, authority and






From researching PM and
HRM in great detail it is clear to see that personnel management is the
foundation for the evolution of human resource management. However from
researching theories relating to HRM (that are applied in today’s management.)  We have learned that these are formulated even
before the era of PM. Maslow’s theory states that individuals are motiviated
according to their needs once these needs are met the individual progress onto
a higher stage. In relation to the workplace the needs are addressed by
providing security, support and a friendly and respectful atmosphere. Moving up
the stages of the pyramid the induvial will reach a level of self-actualisation
and self-esteem this can be achieved by changeling and motivating both induvially
and as part of team.



Another theorist that we
researched was Elton Mayo. He believed that the work force were not just
concerned with money could be better motivated by having their needs met
socially during work hours. He introduced the idea that allowed managers to
focus on staff individually to treat them as people with their own opinions
from this they realised that workers enjoyed interacting with each other. Mayo
conducted an experiment which isolated two groups of women and studied the
levels of their work and productivity after changing factors in their working
conditions such as lighting. He expected to see that productivity levels would plummet
as the conditions became worse. What he actually discovered surprised him. The
change in lighting and working conditions saw the productivity levels of the
workers remain the same or improved. This was known as the Hawthorne effect.








Compare the 2 (what is
similar what is different) – looking at “People” in 2 different ways

Pros and Cons?



Difference Between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management