Human Resources and Personnel Management Difference

Generally, personnel management used to refer to “the set of activities concerning the workforce which included staffing, payroll, contractual obligations and other administrative activities” (Difference between personnel management & HRM 2013, p.1). In this regard, personnel management is viewed as including various activities which concern workforce management and not resource management.

The nature of personnel management is found to be more administrative and the manager in charge of these tasks is basically responsible for making sure that the workforce’s needs are met. In addition, the personnel manager used to play the part of a mediator between the workers and the top management and therefore, it was always felt that personnel management did not conform to the management’s goals (Difference between personnel management & HRM 2013).

But on the other hand, with the coming up of organizations that are resource centric in recent times, it has turned out to be important to give first priority to people and also to engage in securing the management goals of ensuring maximization of the ROI. This has contributed towards having a modern human resources management function being developed. This function basically concerns making sure that the management objectives are met while making sure that there is also taking care of the resource needs (Difference between personnel management & HRM 2013).

In such a manner, there is a difference between human resources management and personnel management basing not just on the wider scope of HRM, but on the manner in which the definition of its mission is made as well. HRM does not just perform the administrative tasks that are carried out by personnel management, but it as well takes in a wide vision of the way management would wish the resources would help in the realization of the organization’s purpose (Difference between personnel management & HRM 2013).

Role of Line Manager in McDonald’s

In this organization, there is a continuous improvement of the standards and offering of working times that are flexible for their staff. The line managers in the organization agree to receive HRM policies and they bring together these policies to make strategic plans.

There is giving room for changing of the staff responsibilities in the company. The line managers have the responsibility of taking care of people in the organization. The company holds a belief that their employees are an asset and it engages in training the employees and is ready to offer the long-term investment in the organization (Human resources management 2013).

Organizational environment that impacts the HRM function of McDonald’s

Drastic changes are taking place in the current society. These have subsequently caused having some changes within the environment in which the business organizations are carrying out their operations. Such changes bring in challenges which call for having immediate solutions in order to ensure the HRM function is successful and for it to make “full contribution to the organization and to all its members” (HRM Environment n.d, p.1).

For instance, McDonald’s puts much emphasis on employing the employees who have already retired and other employees who are older, and this serves as an alternative for dealing with the problem of lack of having an adequate number of younger employees (HRM Environment n.d, p.1).

Human Resource Planning in McDonald’s and Stages of the Human Resources Planning Process

Human resource planning or HRP refers to the practice of making sure that an organization possesses the right employees at any given time, who have the required experiences and capabilities (Human resources management 2013).

The objectives of HRP include: to ensure creation of the most excellent utilization of the human resources; to “look forward to the problems with surplus staff, build up well-trained and flexible workers; and to decrease organization’s dependence on outside recruitment agencies” (Human resources management 2013, p.1). In order to realize McDonald’s objectives, the focus of HRP is put on having the right individuals and utilizing them in a perfect manner and also offering them training and ensuring they develop (Human resources management, 2013).

If the human resources manager in McDonald’s does not engage in the selection of prospective employees carefully, and ensure the employees’ qualifications and abilities match with the job requirements, this can bring in various problems. Some of such problems include low levels of productivity, lack of good feelings among employees, lack of job satisfaction, complaints among customers, and firing and replacement of employees (Human resources management, 2013).

In order for McDonald’s to meet its labor needs, they engage in analyzing their future plans and make estimates of the activity levels in the organizations. Consequently, they are able to determine whether they have the right number of employees who have the required skills or need more. The labor market is found to be of great importance for any business organization and this is for the reason that it serves as a source of potential employees who possess the required abilities and skills that may be needed by the organization. HRP of McDonald’s encompasses determining the way organization of labor is carried out in the organization (Human resources management 2013).

The stages involved in human resources planning process include: analysing the situation or undertaking environmental scanning; human resources demand forecasting; undertaking the analysis of human resources supply; and the last stage is setting up of the action plans in order to bridge any gap (Management Tutor Series 2003)

Recruitment and Selection

McDonald’s engages in advertising the job vacancies in the company and it does this through the company’s websites. The recruitment of employees is done by the company’s own personnel department. In this company, recruitment is carried out all through the year. Just like in many other organizations such as Wal-Mart, recruitment in McDonald’s is carried out externally as well as internally. The company’s managers are mostly recruited internally, just like in Wal-Mart, instead of being recruited externally (Human resources management 2013).

This is for the reason that it is more convenient and easy to do this. Moreover, very minimal training is required because the candidate is already very much familiar with the job in the organization. It has also been found out that only approximately fifty per cent of the salaried managers in McDonald’s receive promotion from within the organization just it is the case of Wal-Mart (Human resources management, 2013).

Link between Motivational Theory and Reward

In the course of time, discussions have been held about whether money can serve as a motivation to employees for them to increase performance (Rowley & Jackson 2010). Examples can be given of such theorists as Herzberg and Maslow among others who present an argument that money does not serve as a motivation to improve performance but can serve to motivate people to put their focus on money and not performance.

But, on the other hand, a large number of the reward scholars present an argument that money actually serves as a motivation for increased performance. They argue that a reward system that is designed in a proper way will play a great role in motivating employees to achieve a performance level that the organization desires (Rowley & Jackson 2010).

However, the theories presented by Herzberg and Maslow are categorized as being needs theories. They present an argument that the “innate needs drive behaviour” (Rowley & Jackson 2010 p.147). As, on one hand, some people have presented an argument that rewards can play a great role in meeting a large number of needs (e.g offering big bonuses might help in meeting the self-esteem needs), on the other hand, Herzberg and Maslow presented an argument that money was not a motivating factor in regard to work performance (Rowley & Jackson 2010). If indeed the rewards could help in meeting all needs, then this implies that the theory is not quite “useful to rewards specialists in designing and implementing rewards system” (Rowley & Jackson 2010 p.147).

Determining to pay using the process of Job Evaluation and the Effectiveness of McDonald’s Reward System

Job evaluation involves determining of the value of a particular job relative to other kinds of jobs within an organization. The process of job evaluation involves making attempts to carry out an orderly comparison among jobs in order to undertake assessment of their comparative value with an intention of setting up a reasonable structure for payment of wages and salaries. In McDonald’s, it is ensured that the increasing of the amount of salary is sensible for any particular employee. The salaries are determined after carrying out a very keen job evaluation (Hunt 2007).

People in any particular organization play a very significant role and are considered to be very significant resources. People make sure that the industrial as well as financial resources among other resources interact in an appropriate way in order to have proper functioning of the organization (Hunt 2007). In the current days, the business managers who have adequate experience have come to a realization that the financial rewards cannot remain to be the only form of rewarding employees. The needs of employees are supposed to be considered as being an entity which contributes towards searching for the non-financial incentives (Hunt 2007).

McDonald’s engages in applying three motivation system components. The components include social policy as well as both financial and non-financial encouragement (Hunt 2007). The three components are clearly explained in the motivation theory presented by Maslow. However, according to Maslow, the fulfilment of needs has to be carried out, one after the other.

But considering McDonald’s, this company’s structure as well as strategy give an indication that only a concurrent realization of the needs of an employee will contribute towards having higher employee performance (Hunt, 2007). It is unnecessary to meet the needs of all levels. In the actual sense, every employee has several needs at any particular moment (Hunt 2007).

Employee Performance and Monitoring

For effective management of people, management of performance is an all-inclusive process which brings together many features of the organizational function (Human resources management 2013). The management of performance involves setting up of a culture of an organization in which groups as well as individuals receive obligation for having constant business process growth and developing the contributions they make as well as their conduct. The McDonald’s Company engages in following the continuing management of employee performance.

They set goals, monitor realization of the goals by employees, undertake evaluation of the performance of the employees, and reward or fire employees. Management of employee performance encompasses carrying out regular undertakings to set up the organizational goals in order to achieve them in the most efficient and effective way possible. The company holds a belief that the most excellent approach to be employed in accomplishing “money worth” is to engage in monitoring the levels of performance among employees with an intention of bringing down the level of the actions that are inefficient (Human resources management 2013).

By undertaking “monitoring improvement”, the managers can carry out assessment of the employees’ efficiency and are able to determine which employees are meeting their agreement terms and helping McDonald to be successful. Determining the performance of the employees in an organization assists the manager to be aware of the way the company has been improving in carrying out their business operations with the company’s employees. McDonald’s holds a belief that it can assist in developing its talent pool and setting up a succession plan (Human resources management 2013).

Termination and the Exit Procedures

Employee termination can be defined as an organization’s practice of ending workers’ employment against their will (Employee termination 2013). This practice, in McDonald’s and Apple for instance, results from such causes as poor job, conflict of employees with their colleagues or managers and lack of proper conduct among other causes (Employee termination 2013).

In general terms, the employers are permitted by law to engage in terminating employees basing on any kind of employee behaviour that may be seen to be unacceptable. But, on the other hand, the laws have offered protection against some employee behaviors where the action taken by the employer to terminate an employee is considered to be abuse of public policy, a deed based on bad faith, or a breaking of an indirect contract made “between the employer and employee” (Employee termination 2013, p.1).

The definition of a deed of bad faith has not been presented in a clear manner, and is merely a recognition that the employer has a duty to give the employee impartial treatment. For instance, it might be taken not to be legal for an organization to take a step to fire an employee for the reason that he or she did not accept to take part in an activity which would be considered by a rational human being to be extremely dangerous (Employee termination 2013).

The case of violation of a public policy might be illustrated by considering a situation where an organization that took a step to fire a particular employee for the reason that he or she did not accept to take part in an act deemed to be unlawful. An example of such an act may be giving of a testimony that is not true in a court of law or presenting false public documents that contain financial information (Employee termination 2013).

Moreover, the occurrence of violation of indirect contracts may take place in a situation where an organization dismisses an employee in spite of an indirect promise existing. For instance, in case an employer tells an employee that he will offer him a permanent employment with an intention of convincing the employee to accept the job, the employer could be liable if he dismisses the employee without what is deemed by the courts of law as being a just cause. The implicit contracts generally come out from the interviews, the employer’s longstanding behaviour arrangements while having a relationship with a worker, and also from the policy handbooks (Employee termination 2013).

Due to some legal risks associated with employee dismissal, McDonald’s, and Apple dismiss employees, especially due to causes that are related to employee bahaviors, only after they have administered a counselling and disciplinary procedure (Employee termination 2013). Apart from the legal reason, these companies make attempts to ensure behavior correction out of the moral obligation that they perceive to have towards the employees (Employee termination 2013). However, the attempts to correct employee behavior are not successful at all times. In such a case, these companies take some measures in order to lessen the burden felt by the affected employees and to bring down the level of the destruction that is caused on the workstation morale and protect them against the legal liability. The steps taken are:

  1. Developing concise policies that guide employee termination and to follow them strictly;
  2. Documenting the reasons for terminating any particular employee over time in terms that are quantifiable where it is possible;
  3. Conducting the dismissal meeting with the affected worker in the most professional way possible;
  4. Giving credit to the affected employees for the positive contribution they might have made to the company. This, in one way or the other, helps in easing the shock that the dismissed employee may experience and may make them feel positive about themselves (Employee termination 2013).

Impact of Legal and Regulatory Framework When Arranging Employee Termination

Employee selection and termination are handled in a very careful way, and this is for the reason that a large number of companies that aim at maximizing their profits are clearly concerned with the issue of the likelihood of losing talent or negatively affecting the company’s effectiveness. Caution should as well be taken with an intention of ensuring that employee termination does not lead to the violation of the law of the land.

For instance, employee termination is not supposed to be on the basis of bias against the minorities that are protected, or “unintentionally result in an equitable outcome of a protected group” (Employee termination, 2013 p.1). There exists a very far-reaching legislation intended to offer protection against the employee living with disabilities, the racial minorities, women, and employees aged over fifty years among other groups (Employee termination 2013).

The business organizations have also to engage in complying with battery laws specially aimed at company dismissals (Employee termination, 2013, p.1). For instance, the “federal Worker adjustment and Retraining Notification Act” of 1988 calls for the business organizations having at least one hundred employees to engage in filing a notice in advance (at least two months or 60 days) before carrying out mass dismissals (Employee termination 2013).


Difference between personnel management & HRM. 2013. Web.

Employee termination 2013.

HRM Environment. n.d. Web.

Human resources management, planning and development 2013.

Hunt, O. 2007, Performance and motivation in McDonald’s.

Management Tutor Series 2003, Stages of the Strategic HRM Planning Process, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Rowley, C. & Jackson, K. 2010, Human resource management: The Key concepts, Taylor & Francis, London.

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