Essay: HR in Belgium

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
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  • Published on: September 13, 2017
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  • HR in Belgium
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A number of forces have shaped HR in Belgium during the past 50 years which has led a mature and advance level of professionalization.
Because of highly developed social legislation system the leading figures of the social partners- government, management and labour unions recognised each other as partners and laws are focused on protecting rights of labour. The social model of Belgium is while negotiating all parties is expected to take and give to reach a compromise.

As a result of early subordinate and isolated concept of personnel management, industrial psychologists with strong functional analysis, selection techniques and personnel planning became HR practitioners in companies.

Much of foreign direct investment in Belgium were focused on Flanders and eluded Wallonia as it was dealing with declining coal and steel industries and its workforce was linguistically less approachable than the Flemish worker to deal with foreign companies. Only in later decades did Wallonia benefit from FDI mainly through restructuring of its heavy industry. And as a result “Nothing is Belgian” anymore, but multinational.

Government-subsidized training in Belgium created jobs for HR and led to take advantage of tax relief for training purposes offered to companies. HR practitioners were introduced to leading management concepts through these government subsidized training.

Flemish managers have characteristics like the point to pragmatism, a strong attachment to cultural roots and entrepreneurship which is thought to come from history of small family firms in Flanders. Because of the small size, firms escaped legal regulations which regulate larger companies and accounted for the high productivity levels. Historically, Flanders has seen foreign dominators come and go so from each foreign occupation, they selected some ideas which they found useful and adapted and integrated them, without losing their cultural ideas and roots, into their culture.

The restructuring of the major economic sectors had considerable impact on unemployment and introduced foreign ownership to the remaining heavy industry sector in Wallonia which also affected HR in Wallonia. Flanders, which was less industrial than Wallonia, shifted earlier to service industries and did not experience the same impact.

This article also speaks about the university centres and how they affected policies of HRM in Flanders and Wallonia. Objective Labour Relations Model in Wallonia and how the effective decentralization of labour relations is much more advanced in Flanders than in Wallonia.

In spite of being subjected to the same Belgian laws and social compromise model, the cultural and structural differences between Flanders and Wallonia have produced two different foci in HRM.

The professionalization of Flemish HR is more advanced than in Wallonia because of the differential social and economic development and the foreign HR influences that Flanders was more approachable.

Flemish workers are focused on service industry, technologies and commerce where Walloon workers are more embedded in industrial sector and but now becoming stronger in service industry also.

In Flanders, HRM is much more developed in an entrepreneurial and practical frame of reference, allowing the development of an “Individualizing model”. By this model, social criteria are negotiated via interpersonal agreements. While In Wallonia, the “Codifying model” is being practised, this is characterized by impersonal criteria and defined in the context of labour agreements.

HRM in Belgium has reached a very sophisticated level in large companies whether in Wallonia or in Flanders. Its HR managers are very aware of the developments of the HR worldwide. Belgian HR may have an advantage over other larger European countries because of its size and the large amount of multinational companies, HR is more affected by foreign HR policies and opens for adapting and integrating useful method, models, practices and concepts of HR from abroad as long as they fit the culture and does not affect their social system.

This article talks about Historical Developments in Indian HRM, how HRM developed in India after its origins from when business groups like the Tatas started showing concerns for their labour and labour welfare.

Developments led by different acts, like The Trade Union Act of 1926, the Factories Act of 1948, the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, formed the foundation of the personnel function in India. How Human Resources developed from mere Personal Function to Industrial Relations to Human Resource Management to Human Resource Development to Organizational Development through period of time of 1960 to 1990 with the requirements of a number of labour and industrial relations laws , several professional bodies emerged, the liberalization of economic policies, a significant number of foreign firms entered India and with a massive increase in relabeling the title of HR managers to HRD managers and personnel departments as HRD departments which gave rise to the need for the measurement of HR performance, and the concept of ‘‘HR audit’’ came into practice.

Early 2000s led to observable changes in the traditional Indian HR system, especially in modern sectors like the Information Technology Enabled Services and Business Process Outsourcing that need more professionalism during that period of time.

Human Resource Management in India is developed as a holistic concept which integrates and incorporates both Personnel Management and Human Resource Development and satisfies and develops employees and thinks about their welfare and training needs as well. In past Personnel Management was mere function of Human Resource Department but now Human Resource Development is primary function and Personnel Management is secondary function of Human Resource Department.

Cheap and large group of working-age people with median age of 24.8 years in India has led to the growth of many entrepreneurial firms in India and has been a major attraction for multinational corporations in India. Because of this many challenges are being faced by Human Resource Management in India.

Concerns regarding the skill and preparation levels of the available talent and mismatch between supply and demand in the education system defined as education crisis are challenges to Human Resource Management in India as The Talent Conundrum.

This problem of the talent conundrum, skills shortage led to new facing challenge of Recruitment and Retention.

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