Both of these management strategies focus on the needs or motivations of employees, but each has their own benefits and potential disadvantages.
Human relations often deal with the specific environmental (physical) conditions of the organisation that tend to boost productivity levels. The Illumination Studies, studies that involved the correct level of illumination in the workplace, tended to show that productivity remained the same regardless of how lighting was increased or decreased in the organisation (Miller, 2008). Further studies showed that in the presence of other factors related to the worker, such as pay incentives, specific work hours assigned to each employee and even the social environment boosted productivity when paired with environmental issues such as lighting (Miller). In order to best describe the human relations approach to managing people, it involves understanding the people want to be included as a part of a team environment and also given the physical conditions that make the job rewarding and worthwhile.
The human relations approach also deals with motivational issues in the workplace, such as providing better bonuses for meeting corporate goals or providing additional compensation through the performance appraisal so that employees realise they are respected and valued contributors to the organisation. Motivating employee loyalty and giving them personalised incentives for meeting more than just job role responsibilities are factors that are modelled into the human relations approach. “The accountability to which organisations increasingly have to respond can be adequately met only by making an appeal to the responsibility of individual employees. The organisation depends on their loyalty” (Vandekerckhove and Commers, 2004, p.226). What this means for management is that in order for the business to be successful to all different