The scope of what management teams deal with has become more granular even as workforces are expanding to increase production. However, positions are becoming more focused on the needs, skills and motivations of the individual. While management still has its eye set firmly on making sure the workforce as a whole functions efficiently, communicates effectively and works ambitiously, individualization can be helpful to all employees in the company.

Classic models

Traditional views of human resources are based on seeing the workforce as a functional team or organization with individuals linked to a common goal. This often meant using management techniques that are built to deal with issues of morale and business on a macro level, which was useful for a long time. However, today with workers in any company or job site having specialized skills and varying degrees of job loyalty and experience, the classic model has limited effects.

Consequently, in the modern workforce, individualization has been pushed to the forefront. Today, companies and human resources managers try and focus on the needs, wants and motivations of particular employees. While the approach is relatively new and there are those who debate its specific meaning or even how to correctly implement individualization, it has become an effective method for maintaining contemporary working environments.

Specialized workforce

One of the key reasons for institutions to utilize individualization is the current shift toward specialization in the workforce. The fact is that this paradigm shift has been in the works for decades, with companies relying less on scores of workers doing the same job and more on specialized workers in positions who can do the work of several individuals. This skill-based shift in professional settings gives more credence to the idea of approaching each conversation concerning holidays, pensions, policies, work hours, benefits and skill development with individualization in mind.

Negotiation and control

There is a view of individualization that sees it as a means of putting the power of negotiation squarely into the hands of management by weakening collective bargaining. In some instances this has been the case, as individualization can sometimes bypass union negotiation protocols. But more often, it is part of an attempt to reduce cost by going directly to specialized workers to reach agreements over salaries more efficiently without having to approach every worker with those same skills at once. In this case, individualization makes human resource management easier and can result in outcomes that are more beneficial to an employee.