Human Resource Management is often perceived as the company’s ‘soft side’. When HRM take employees’ talents and wishes into account, this adds value to a company; however, it can be a mistake to focus on people knowledge too much to the exclusion of other factors. So how should you tackle it for a balanced approach? Antwerp Management School helps you find the answers to this question with its Master Class HRM. Get a sneak peek of this topic with Lou Van Beirendonck, the Academic Director.
Blue: top-down approcah
AMS favors the “purple management” approach. “Purple management is a way of combining classic top-down thinking with a relationship-based approach.” The color blue represents hierarchically-oriented, top-down thinking. Key words here are: vision, mission, and strategy. The red approach on the other hand represents a relational, appreciative approach which takes the individual as its point of departure. It will consider the individual’s talents.
Red: bottom-up approach
The tricky part is to get these two approaches in equilibrium. “A company that is too blue adheres strictly to a proposed job description.” This means attention is focused solely on the function itself rather than taking account of an individual’s competences or talents. The opposite being a company that is too red. “A management style which is too red places too much emphasis on employees’ talents and things they like to do. It does not focus on the competences which should be fulfilled above that.” When this happens, chaos ensues: there is no structure whatsoever and not enough focus on the final result.
"The challenge HRM faces is to integrate both aspects: an organization’s mission and its employees’ passions. How can I get the most out of an individual for the most efficient route to a solution?"
The purple medium?
“Purple is not something you simply create by shaking the two together, it is a meaningful blending of the two perspectives.” Two questions that should always be asked are: “How can we achieve this?” and “What qualities do people have and how can we use these?” The challenge HRM faces is to integrate both aspects: “How can I get the most out of an individual for the most efficient route to a solution?” In other words, “it’s about the connection between an organization’s mission and its employees’ passions.”
"A good Human Resource Manager is someone who is great with people, but at the same time someone who can approach things strategically, rationally, and tactically.”
In the Master Class HRM, the students learn to strive to fulfil both elements without neglecting either one. The problem -and also the beauty of this- is that HRM is a broad church. "A good Human Resource Manager is someone who is great with people, but at the same time someone who can approach things strategically, rationally, and tactically.”
The Human Resources Manager
From the start of the master class it will become clear that “a good HRM-professional is not only somebody who knows everything HRM-related, but also someone who has reached a certain level with their own skills and personal development.” That personal development starts from day one. “Students are encouraged to think about their own development and to work on it.” Personal development is not only important within HRM, but also the group dynamic. That’s why there are also exercises based on team work and team-building.
"The challenge in the current job market is the increasing reliance on technology, automation, and robotization. In such an environment, people-related issues become even more important. Work is guaranteed!"
HRM keeps on developing. The challenge in the current job market is the increasing reliance on technology, automation, and robotization. In such an environment, those competences or skills which are not programmable become even more important. And that’s where HR comes in: people-related issues. HR is about connecting people and making sure they can work at their full potential. Work is guaranteed!
Master Class HRM
“The master class is meant for people who work within HRM. Firstly, people who are active in HRM, but those who work in perhaps just one area and who want to learn more about broader HRM subjects and the integration of the different HRM functions. The second target group are those working in an HRM-related job who feel they know a lot about it in practice, but who wish to get a broader perspective or on it, or refresh their knowledge about it.”