Comparing and Contrasting HR Management Strategies

Posted on April 13, 2020

HR management is an outstandingly important business-related domain since its efficiency determines the productivity of a particular organization. There exist multiple conventional strategies aimed at making HR management more proficient. The most commonly implemented ones are high-performance management, high-commitment management, high-involvement approach, total rewards strategy, and talent management strategy. Also, modern environmental concerns have contributed to the emergence of a sustainability strategy. Primary similarities shared by all HR management strategies are personal meetings, positive relationships between the managers and employees, focus on the workers’ needs, and effective rewarding system. Those strategies differ when it comes to challenges faced by the companies implementing them and specific requirements to recruitment professionals. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the most efficient HR management strategy since all approaches suit different situations and are associated with either common or specific challenges; at the same time, sustainability strategy can be viewed as the most distinctive one.

High-Performance Management Strategy

A high-performance management strategy is considered to be the most effective approach to involve employees in the pursuit of the company’s primary goals and accomplishment of its missions. Google’s leaders shared which methods they used for sustaining a high-performance culture that contributed to the creation of a powerful company characterized by a well-thought approach to the managerial system. First of all, skilled HR managers devoted their time to personal meetings with the employees in order to assist them in solving problems and express interest in the workers’ careers. In addition to this, they used to ask employees about their opinions and expectations rather than providing a list of prepared answers. Such managerial style built united teams that strove to work at the company while communicating positive assessment of their position within the group. Secondly, managers described the values and objectives of the organization so that the workers gained a clear understanding of their tasks.

Pulakos et al. stated that those workers who embraced the company’s vision of the future and fully comprehended its mission could make well-considered decisions based on their understanding of the big picture. The employees do not need to consult their managers for plans of action since they know their role in the company. Nevertheless, the high-performance strategy is associated with numerous challenges for the majority of the companies. The procedure of educating the workers about the organization’s vision included cascading the goals, meaning that the information transferred from the top circulated around other levels of management until it was provided to each employee.

At the same time, the critics of such an approach argue that the proliferation of objectives across the company’s departments is difficult to implement; thus, lots of workers may still lack awareness about their organization’s aims and plans. The authors considers that managers who do not hold the meetings with the employees on a regular basis deprive them of the necessary feedback (Pulakos et al. 8). Some of the supervisors may present an assessment of the employees’ performance, but it is frequently provided without in-depth analysis. Therefore, high-performance management can be a challenging strategy to administer workers due to the increased importance of cascading goals and appointing personal meetings.

High-Commitment Management Strategy

The core principle of the strategy lies in reducing the influence of the CEO’s on the workers by allowing the teams to take the initiative and responsibility for their decisions. This approach allows the employees to manage themselves while regulating their productivity without the constant intervention of their leaders, which might be stressful. Thus, the workers draw motivation from personal desire to be accountable for their actions, which decreased their confusion and lack of productivity. Nevertheless, HR managers still monitor the performance of their employees since they obtain greater accountability for the company’s success. While complying with this strategy, managers should hire individuals who are exceptionally confident and adaptable to continuous challenges (D’Cruz and Noronha 3). The primary challenge lies in the main principle of the self-regulation approach because employees may have exorbitant personal demands.

Critics are frequently skeptical about self-regulating system due to the belief that employees perform better while being supervised. If managers do not provide them with definite orders, such individuals feel confused and, hence, underperform. Besides, studies show that lots of managers prefer to comply with the hierarchic organization (D’Cruz and Noronha 4). Managers tend to centralize the power and establish absolute control over their subordinates while the latter lean towards limited self-determination and aim at receiving direct orders from their supervisors (D’Cruz and Noronha 4). On one hand, the hierarchic management system has to be completely modified for the sake of establishing a balance between the workers’ influence on the company and managers’ contribution to the regulatory processes. On the other hand, employees who work under the terms of high-commitment strategy take advantage of proposing any ideas that could be implemented in the company and even managing their projects. Therefore, the high-commitment management strategy uses a democratic management style that helps both employees and the company to undergo a recognizable progress; however, it does not suit all employees and managers.

High-Involvement Management Strategy

The companies usually apply such management method in order to increase their productivity and enhance the workers’ well-being. This strategy provides employees with a sufficient level of discretion so that they benefit from engaging in working processes without pressure from their CEOs. It also aims at reducing the stressfulness of conditions for the workers by modifying accustomed management practices and focusing on the employees’ intellectual contributions (Bockerman). While implementing the above-mentioned strategy, the companies strive to decrease the workload on their employees and, hence, create a healthy working environment that results in increased job satisfaction rates.

In practical terms, this approach frequently leads to the enhanced work intensity that influences the employees’ health status. Consequently, the individual performance of the workers deteriorates and weakens the company’s position on the market, along with the constant tension at work that expands the risks of absenteeism resulting from diseases and industrial accidents. Studies show that while applying a high-involvement strategy, firms encounter complications related to the correlations between the level of workers’ discretion and job intensity (Bockerman). If the company neglects the well-being of employees, its economic performance declines. That is why practical implementation of high-involvement management combines both the discretion of the workers and higher control of their activity as such synthesis aims at avoiding overload of the staff members. Therefore, the discussed strategy can serve as an efficient method of employees’ performance regulation if HR managers are skillful enough to balance the workers’ discretion and job intensity.

Total Rewards Strategy

A total rewards strategy lies in providing the workers with financial and educational benefits as a reward for accomplished business objectives. Such an approach includes the possibility of personal development due to the encouraging working environment established by the company. The worker gains monetary reward in terms of the increased base salary as a result of his or her high productivity. Besides, some companies support job satisfaction and enhance performance by increasing wages of those employees who have been working for the company for a specific amount of time (Heneman 10). While considering educational benefits, the companies contribute to the development of particular skills in their staff members by organizing training programs.

For the sake of motivating the workers to multiply their achievements, managers conduct personal meetings and provide employees with feedback. The primary purpose of this strategy is to stimulate the employees to advance and increase their productivity by providing satisfactory rewards (Heneman 3). Since competition between the firms becomes more severe, the leaders attempt to retain employees without excessive spending on their wages. In order to operate the total rewards strategy, HR managers obtain accountability for the decision-making skill of their teams. Since supervisors are required to analyze the satisfaction rate of the workers, along with their capacities that should comply with the demands of the firm, the HR department alters its standard practices. Consequently, total reward strategy relies on the managerial skills of the supervisors who need to distribute the rewards among their teams in order to enhance the employee’s productivity.

Talent Management Strategy

A talent management strategy is referred to as the basic responsibility of the HR department to hire, educate, retain, and control staff members. The core objective of this method lies in attracting talented individuals to work for a particular company. The next step lies in explaining which level of performance is expected from the newly hired employees implemented by conducting face-to-face meetings. In this case, the HR department gains more information about the workers, their intentions, beliefs, and prospects while introducing the big picture of the firm. Managers also provide the employees with training as a means of adjusting to the company’s demands.

Moreover, the educational level of the talent management strategy assists in familiarizing the employees with the company’s goals while configuring them with the workers’ personal objectives. Similarly to total reward system, HR managers use the financial rewards system in order to retain employees and increase their performance (Khatri et al. 41). Nevertheless, traditional implementation of the talent management strategy frequently defers to intuitive decision-making while recruiting the workers. Such an attitude impedes hiring skillful and suitable for particular assignment individuals. That is why talent management requires a more thoughtful approach to selecting employees, including considerable skills analysis and evaluation of candidate-related data. Even though it is a time-consuming process, companies that implement the discussed strategy may reduce unnecessary turnover-related expenditures by hiring appropriate professionals who will cooperate with the organization for a long time.

One of the primary challenges faced by the supervisor implementing talent management strategy lies in the fact that this approach is frequently associated with the necessity to prioritize specific workers’ requirements and ambitions, which can be harmful in terms of creating an appropriate working environment characterized by the equality of all employees. Some HR managers do not establish effective relationships with their teams and, hence, the employees lack proper regulation (Khatri et al. 42). Also, this strategy produces different challenges for the companies in terms of thorough data evaluation. Therefore, talent management strategy is relevant in terms of attracting appropriate employees to organization; however, it requires HR departments to show outstanding skills while analyzing data and establishing healthy relationships within the company.

Sustainability Strategy

A sustainability strategy covers the company’s attitude to the environment through the support of ecologically-friendly practices. Moreover, firms that implement this approach usually combine concern with nature, economic benefits, and social prosperity. The presented strategy can be regarded as a contemporary one since the stakeholders recently started to assess the sustainability of the companies. If the firm pays attention to the health of citizens, stakeholders prefer it to the companies that neglect the environment. The role of the HR manager lies in defining and completing social and environmental objectives. Supervisors help to combine these goals with conventional economic performance rates. Subsequently, HR managers are responsible for introducing corporate values to the employees while monitoring whether they comply with the sustainability strategy (Cohen, Taylor, and Muller-Camen 1). For the sake of inspiring the workers to diminish the use of the products that contaminate the environment, HR managers provide the employees with monetary rewards. They also organize training devoted to environmental issues, plastic recycling, and other ecologically-friendly practices.

Such a management strategy sets new requirements for HR managers since they need to consider stakeholders of the company and align its practices with the demands for sustainability. Sustainable HR management keeps strengthening the concurrent realization of environmental, economic, and social objectives. HR managers who use this strategy help to involve employees by increasing their motivation and encouraging creativity in discovering different methods to decrease pollution and produce green goods (Cohen, Taylor, and Muller-Camen 2). As a result, the company improves its reputation while establishing a strategy that develops self-awareness of the employees. Such an approach assists in decreasing the costs spent on hiring and training. Therefore, HR managers can describe how sustainability achievements of the company reconcile with an ongoing international basis and encourage successful use of sustainability strategy.

Similar and Contrasting Features of HR Strategies

All strategies share the goal of creating a healthy working environment in order to encourage employees to increase their performance. The primary difference between high-performance and high-commitment management strategies lies in the reduced hierarchical system in the latter. While using a principle of the self-regulation approach, employees create personal demands that can be exaggerated in comparison to the high-performance strategy where managers control the workload of the teams. High-involvement management strategy shares particular features with high commitment management, such as self-regulation of the teams and high responsibility imposed on the employees. Besides, it faces the same challenge as the high-commitment approach since it leads to difficulties with establishing well-balanced regulations of job intensity and workers’ discretion.

Total rewards strategy comprises the features of high-involvement management since the rewarding system is based on the increase of the employees’ satisfaction rates, along with the high-performance strategy due to the work assessment of the employees and face-to-face meetings as its essential aspects. As for the talent management strategy, supervisors usually apply the methods borrowed from high-performance strategy since they are supposed to organize personal meetings with their employees. HR managers also implement the approaches practiced in the total reward strategy by providing the workers with monetary bonuses and training for the sake of retaining employees and helping them to hone new skills required in a particular company. Also, talent management strategy shares common features with the approach of total rewards due to the necessity of systematic data assessment.

In general, sustainability strategy can be viewed as the most distinctive one since it focuses on environmental concerns and ecologically-friendly behaviour of workers along with more common performance and productivity goals. HR managers apply the elements of the total rewards strategy while implementing a sustainability strategy since they provide the employees with financial bonuses. The organization of the training focused on coping with environmental issues also serves as an element of total rewards strategy. Sustainability strategy reflects some points of high-commitment management because HR managers assist in engaging employees to follow ecologically-friendly practices. Supervisors motivate their teams to create new techniques that help to reduce air contamination and invent environmentally sound products, which is an element of high-commitment strategy as well due to the support of the employees’ ideas. Nevertheless, sustainability strategy does not necessarily include the workers’ discretion in workload regulation while sticking to the hierarchical management system, which recognizably distinguishes it from high-commitment strategy.


In conclusion, the most noteworthy strategies include high-performance management, high-commitment management, high-involvement approach, total rewards strategy, talent management strategy, and sustainability strategy. It is not possible to state the superiority of a specific strategy since all approaches suit different situations even though they share several common features. The main similarities of those strategies are the establishment of strong relationships between the supervisors and the workers, face-to-face meetings, where managers discuss the goals of the company with their teams, concern with the workers’ requirements, and satisfactory rewards for the accomplished objectives. The given approaches are distinctive in terms of challenges associated with them and the demands to the HR managers, including excessive self-demands in the high-commitment strategy and complicated regulatory processes in the high-involvement one. Finally, sustainability strategy appears to be the most distinctive one since its main focus is on the environmentally-friendly practices and, hence, employees are more encouraged by training and ideas connected to ecology.

Works Cited
Böckerman, Petri. “High Involvement Management and Employee Well-Being.” IZA, 2020,

Cohen, Elaine, et al. “HR’s Role in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.” SHRM Foundation Executive Briefing,’s%20Role%20in%20Corporate%20Social%20Responsibility.pdf

D’Cruz, Premilla, and Ernesto Noronha. “High Commitment Management Practices Re-Examined: The Case of Indian Call Centres.” ResearchGate, May 2012,

Heneman, Robert L. “Implementing Total Rewards Strategies.” SHRM Foundation Effective Practice Guidelines Series, 2007,

Khatri, Preeti. “Talent Management in HR.” ResearchGate, 2010,

Pulakos, Elaine D., et al. “Building a High-Performance Culture: A Fresh Look at Performance Management.” SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series, 2012, a High Performance Culture.pdf.

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