What is the difference between HR and people management?

Contrary to what lay people think, business management studies know that not everything in the corporate world is white-and-black. There are several where concepts and boundaries are harder to define.

One of the best examples is the case of HR and people management: despite the similarities, they are not the same thing. In this post, we will discuss a little more thoroughly the difference between the two areas. Prepared? So let's start.

1. The HR
HR is an activity that has already been promoted to an autonomous sector in many companies. In fact, the most successful organizations in the business world are those that treat the HR industry as a central element. They understand the importance of their performance.

It is easier to understand the purpose of HR when we think about the meaning of this acronym: Human Resources. So your goal is to manage the company's human resources.

In practice, HR is involved with the recruitment and allocation activities of these personnel and this includes both the planning and execution stages.

Some of the typical HR activities are:

identify the contracting needs of the company;
developing recruitment and selection processes;
determine career plans and promotion criteria;
develop talent retention policies.
See that HR acts in the overall plan of the company as a whole. This is an important characteristic that differentiates you from people management, as we will see later.

It is also worth emphasizing that HR plays a highly strategic role. All of your activities are aligned with business goals and essential to the success of those goals. You should not confuse him with his "big brother," the Personnel Department (DP), which deals with bureaucratic and contractual tasks - such as hiring and firing employees.

2. People Management
Unlike HR, people management does not have department "status", even so, it is an absolutely essential activity for the success of a business. But what, after all, is people management?

In short, it is the work of a team leader. Every manager, regardless of their area - financial, commercial, production, marketing - needs to manage people on a daily basis. This involves, among other things:

maintaining team harmony and dealing with conflict situations;
identify the potential of each employee and delegate tasks according to their abilities, their level of autonomy and responsibility;
offer feedback;
strengthen team communication;
engaging everyone with industry goals.
Note that people management is developed, as a rule, within teams. In addition, while it is a strategic job, it is focused much more on the human side of the working relationships within the company.

3. The relationship between HR and people management
Although they have many differences, HR and people management are complementary activities. In many ways, they are intertwined. Here are some examples of how this interaction occurs.

In hiring
Through people management, the manager identifies a need on his team - for example, an essential that his current employees do not bring to the team. This is a problem for those who want to build a successful team.

In this scenario, HR can design a selection and recruitment process with the purpose of identifying and bringing to the company a professional that presents this ability.

In the development of talents
The manager, analyzing the performance of the team members, observes that the biggest obstacle is the difficulties with the use of new software implemented in the company. Based on this information, HR organizes training for employees, thinking of details such as the best format (face-to-face, EAD), schedules, location, road map and other practical aspects.

In promoting employees
As we have seen, it is up to HR to develop the career plan for each position within the company. On the other hand, it is the manager, in the management of people, who will determine which employees have met the criteria established by this plan and deserve to climb another step in the corporate ladder.

Incidentally, HR could not make that choice, because it is usually farther away from the team. Only those who are close enough to observe various performance factors can tell which employee will be promoted.

In increased engagement and motivation
Personnel management allows you to identify cases of unmotivated employees, who are one step away from asking for a dismissal, or for low-paid employees who have given up doing their best and only perform the bare minimum. It is also the management of people that allows to identify the causes behind this problem, at the individual level.

But it's HR that tackles the problem most effectively, taking the company as a whole into consideration. It is he who will know which strategy will work best to increase team engagement and motivation: a flexible benefit program or an incentive travel policy or other option that meets the expectations of most employees.

In the restructuring of the company
If the company wants to wipe out staffing, HR plays an important role in identifying which positions can be eliminated without harming operations. In turn, people management allows you to identify which employees should be shut down and also find the best approach to do so in a humanized manner, case by case.

Through cooperation between these two activities, then, it is possible to restructure the company without creating a situation of frustration and resentment towards the professionals who will need to leave.

As you can see, HR and people management work together to ensure that the company can get the best performance from its employees. And this is a highly relevant job, since the human factor is largely responsible for the competitive advantage of a business. It provides change, improvement and innovation in processes and results.

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