HNC Unit 9 HR Management for service sector

This HNC HR Management for service sector Assignment given in Icon college, in this British Airways's Human Resource Management is described.

Task 1

A. Concept of HRM and the Role of Human Resource Function in the Service Sector Organization, and how it is contributing to the success of British Airways

Human Resources Management System is a function in the organizations which is designed to maximize the performance of the employees so as to achieve the strategic objectives of the organization. It refers to the systems and processes of the organization such as recruitment of the right people for the job, conduction of orientation and training, management of salaries, benefits and incentives, evaluation of performance, etc. (Paauwe & Boselie, 2005).

Service sector firms are these a day’s pursuing certain strategies that are becoming more and more customer orientated. Thus for such firms it is important that they hire such employees that have a customer-oriented behaviour. Service sector firms are thus focusing on utilizing the human resource practices so as to strengthen the organizations behaviour of their employees which are thus required to successfully implement the customer-oriented strategies. Organizations in the recent past have realized that in order for them to have a competitive edge in the market they need to rely on human factors. Thus such firms are in need of highly effective Human Resource Management departments (Edgar & Geare, 2005). Thus such kinds of departments are mostly required by the service sector firms as they are in an industry which is highly people oriented. The level of service that they will deliver to their customers will depend upon the kind of management they have. If they will have an effective management then they will be able to cater to the customers in an effective manner and vice versa. It is therefore important that companies that are engaged in the service industry must have enough knowledge and skills about their industry so that they are able to provide the best service to their customers.  Such industries should provide adequate training and motivation to its people in order to achieve its goal.

The importance of HRM for British Airways cannot be denied. As British Airways is also a service sector and is thus based on its customers it is very important for it to use the concepts of HRM so that it can achieve its organizational goals. Being a company which is said to be a people business and which is customer-driven and totally focused on providing high quality service, such a company requires the help of HRM. The human element plays a major role in the overall success of any organization, but it is especially required in a service industry. As most of the workforces of a service industry are in direct contact with the guests, so are the employees of BA, and are seen to be involved in achieving the organizational objectives, it is important for them to have adequate human skills (Guest, Michie, Conway & Sheehan, 2003). The employees of BA should be able to give quality service to their customers and that is dependant not just on their professional skills but also on the kind of attitude they carry. Customer service is not only dependent on the kind of service that BA provides to them but is also dependent on the courtesy and qualities of the personal staff. Therefore HRM will help in improving such skills and attitudes of the workers which are essential in meeting the demands of the customers.

B. Brief Human Resource Plan for British Airways

It is very difficult to meet the supply and demand of personnel in the service sector. It is not an easy task for the management of any company to balance the supply and demand sides of the workforce of a service industry. It is not an easy task to meet the two ends the workforce supply and the demand forecasting. This is so because the demand and supply varies as per the given scenario. A plan will be outlined in order to make these two factors meet. For example the company will first need to understand the amount of workforce it requires to achieve its goal and then it needs to find out ways by which it can fulfil the supply. It needs to understand the amount of workforce it requires to supply in different areas such as at senior levels, labour force, engineers; stewards’ etc. They need to research the areas which need more work forces and the level of work force that is required, meaning to say it requires skilled or unskilled labour. BA needs to check the areas which are not doing well for the company; they can plan to recruit new staff in those areas and thus replace the old ones or may even ask them to leave the company (Schuler & Jackson, 2008). The company will then have to see as to from where it can fulfil the demand as the supply of workforce also depends on factors such as the costs of living in the different countries, level of competition in the industry, etc. The management will then plan to fulfil the demand and supply of the workforce by working on all these various factors. They will have to find out ways such as start different policies like employee referral, internal recruitment etc. in order to fulfil the demand for workforce. The company can even plan to increase their wages so that they are able to attract better workforce. If it plans to pay more than the industry standards then more people will be willing to work for them. They need to approach the customers in a more professional way by which they attract more customers, by this the company will improve its brand image and thus more people will be willing to work for them.

Task 2

A. History of Employment Relations in the UK and Analysis of the Current State of Employment Relations in British Airways

In the earlier times the matters of industrial relations in UK worked on the concept known as free collective bargaining. This term was introduced by Webbs and was then put into practice by the trade unions of UK. According to this concept the basic rights of the employees like the determination of wages were discussed and supported by the trade unions of the various organizations in UK. It was because of the trade unions during the 1960s and 1970s which caused the decline of the economy of UK which then led to an increase in unemployment and decrease in productivity. The employers' of UK at that time believed in the old traditions which included various costs related to the technical staff as well as to the capital which were kept to the least (Kalleberg, 2009). During that time the state was not considered as a part of the industrial relations system. The trade unions were of the view that law might not let the workers work in unity and thus believed in a labour law system, while the employers on the other hand wanted the cooperation and the productivity on behalf of the workers they thus encouraged trade unions. It was because of all these factors that the Industrial Relations in UK were considered to be a problem till the 1960s. Thus it was needed to bring about a change in the affairs of the employment relation in UK.

The European airline sector has seen a lot of change over the past two decades. This has been mainly because of liberalization and because of the emergence of new companies with the low-cost airlines. This brought about a lot of change in employment and industrial relations of the travel and tourism industry. British Airways is known to be one of the largest airline companies in UK. It has around 17,000 employees all over the world who are represented by certain trade unions. Some of the trade unions that are associated with BA are BALPA, which represents the pilots of the company; BASSA and Unite the Union represent the cabin crew employees and the other employees of the company (Grainger, 2006). The company has set up a management committee that carries out the employment relations plan developed by the company. This process is carried out by the committee by communicating, consulting and negotiating about the changes being made in the company with the representatives of the employees from the different trade unions. In order for this process to be a successful one the company takes certain steps like, they make practice visits to the places so as to monitor the performance of the plans which have been launched by the company. This is done by the company so that they can develop strategies in order to counter the employment relations issues. The British Airways in 2005 launched a scheme known as the Industrial Relations Change Program; this was to prevent any further disruptions which were caused by some incidents that had taken place in Heathrow Airport which had affected the tasks carried out by the ground support staff of the company. In the present scenario the employment relations in BA are much better as compared to the earlier times (Befort, 2001). Earlier the situation was such that constant strikes, lockouts and disagreements between the management and the employees had led the company into a lot of trouble. The company now has disrupted its relationship with the trade union Unite which represents the cabin crew employees because the company is planning to make certain changes in the contracts of the employees and is also reducing the employee strength. This is being done by BA in order to cope up with the crisis that all the aviation sector industries are facing in the global market.

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B. How Employment Laws in the Country Affect the Human Resource Management Function in British Airways

The labour laws in United Kingdom involve a legal relationship between the workers, employers and the trade unions which represent the workers. The employees in UK benefit from a certain number of employment rights. Over a few decades UK has seen some drastic changes in the legislative frameworks; these changes have included the introduction of Conservative Governments during the 1980s and 1990s (Smith & Morton, 2001). During this decade the government also put a ban on the presence of the trade unions and thus removed the phenomenon of collective bargaining. The main aim was to restrict the employment rights of the employees and thus give more freedom to the employers. There were a number of mismatches between the UK policies and the EU employment policy as a result of which the UK opted out of the EU Community (Barnard, 2012). As the laws have been changing after the period of 1980s and 1990s, the amount of strikes and lockouts in the industry have also decreased which indicates that the strike pattern in BA has thus seen a diminishing trend. The change in employment laws have thus been beneficial for the company as the productivity of the staff has improved and the customer satisfaction has also increased.

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Task 3

A. Analysis of the recruitment and selection policies and procedures and how Job Description and Person Specification can be matched for a Specific Job in British Airways

In any organization the most important asset are the employees. In order to maximize their assets the management should always deal with the various elements attached with the staff like their working conditions, efficiency, salaries etc. The companies should also recruit the best employees so that they are able to fulfil the organizational goals. Thus for British Airways also their recruitment and selection policies matter a lot in the success of the organization. Recruitment in BA is closely monitored so as to ensure that they hire only those employees that understand that the business for the company is critical for them. BA thus follows a balanced combination of policies in order to maintain the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the company by making a careful hiring and training of its employees. In their Fact Book of the year of 2007 the company claims that it places a lot of emphasis on investing in its people so that these people can benefit the company. British Airway’s provides effective training and development workshops to its employees for analysis of employability skills with it employees can understand the needs of the organization and thus work accordingly (Newell, 2005). The company is focusing on more general procedures and values by which they can improve their tasks. The Fact Book of 2007 of BA claims that motivation of the employees and their commitment towards their tasks remains to be the key to the success of the company. A list of selection methods which are used by BA includes the use of Application Forms, Self & Peer Assessment of the employees, conduction of telephonic interviews, references check, etc. The British Airways use CV and application forms as a way for the new employees to apply for the job openings. The assessment and selection process that is followed by British Airways includes Group Exercises, personal Interviews, Psychometric tests, individual Presentations, etc. The company is able to match the applicants for a specific job by their past experiences, their educational background, and the kind of performance in the area of expertise thy have applied in the company. (Read more :HR Management in Service Sector)

B. Comparison and Evaluation of the Different Selection Process in British Airways with Virgin Atlantic

The recruitment process of BA is a bit different form that of Virgin Atlantic.

As planning is the first stage of a recruitment process both the companies make plans of the number of staffs that they require in every filed. BA plans to recruit its new employees by discussing it with its senior as well as junior mid-level employees while in Virgin Atlantic the management takes the decision all by themselves. After deciding on the number of people required and what qualification is required the management of BA then concentrates on strategic development. Both companies have different views about strategic development. BA plans to recruit people with past experience while Virgin Atlantic recruits people with fresh knowledge. After this the searching process begins in which BA searches the employees by the process of receiving applications from them while the Virgin Atlantic uses the process of screening applicants from the job portals. Then begins the selection process in which the BA scrutinizes the candidates on the basis of their past knowledge and their skills while Virgin Atlantic recruits people who are new and have the zeal to work and explore them. BA mainly focuses on internal recruitment and employee referrals as the advantages of it are that its own employees remain with them and the cost of recruitment is also saved. Virgin Atlantic on the other hand recruits through external recruitment which helps them to attract new talent. They recruit through advertisement in papers and on their websites (Taylor, 2014).

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Task 4

A. Analysis of how Training and Development Contributes to the Effective Performance and Organizational Success in British Airways

Training and development is very important for the company in order to develop the employees' knowledge, skills and abilities. Through the help of these training interventions the human resources departments is able to help the organizations in creating a high-performing and highly engaged workforce. Without training and development plan British Airways can also not think about reaching their goal. The aim of BA is to make its employees eager to achieve their personal as well as organizational goals. For this the company takes help of training and development of its employees’. Training and development helps the employees to develop their interpersonal and organizational skills. Training is a process of learning which will help the employees of BA to acquire knowledge about their industry in general and will help them to use their skills in improving their performance. The improvement can then be applied in making its customers more satisfied by providing them better service and comfort. Training helps the employees in establishing their personality and realizing their hidden talents which they can then extend to their full potential. Training and development programs in BA bring a huge change in their overall workforce at all levels in terms of knowledge, change in attitudes and behaviour of employees towards each other and towards the customers.

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B. Critical analysis of the current Training and Development Policies and Procedures of British Airways

British Airways has made a significant change and investment in their training and development policies. They plan to bring about improvement in the organization’s image. BA has been able to find out through research that the customers are satisfied and dissatisfied with the kind of friendliness of the staff and the level of their caring behaviour. BA thus arranges several training and development programs in order to fulfil the needs of the customers; they conduct training for their new as well as the old staff. These programs have made a lot of change in the behaviour and attitudes of their staff as a result of which many customers got attracted towards their services. British Airlines did this by recruiting new staff, and provided training to the new and the old experienced staff so that they can improve their customer service. BA used different policies like they conducted extensive research in order to identify which was the most appropriate form of helping its customer. It conducted training programs in which they aimed at all their staff about who had the most significant customer contact. It conducted training programs in which they made the employees aware about the concept of ‘Managing People First’ (Hassan, 2000). The company provided individual learning to its employees about this concept and rewarded the ones who performed the best. Through the training programs the company checked their knowledge about the industry they are serving in. As there is a lot of competition in the market the company needs to create a good brand image in the market and attract as many customers as possible. Thus these policies helped the company in achieving its goal and thus becoming the most reliable in its industry.


Grugulis, I., & Wilkinson, A. (2002). Managing culture at British Airways: hype, hope and reality. Long Range Planning, 35(2), pp.179-194. Park, J. H., Park, N. K., & Zhang, A. (2003). The impact of international alliances on rival firm value: a study of the British Airways/USAir Alliance.Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 39(1), pp.1-18. Paauwe, J., & Boselie, P. (2005). HRM and performance: what next? Human Resource Management Journal, 15(4), pp.68-83. Edgar, F., & Geare, A. (2005). HRM practice and employee attitudes: different measures–different results. Personnel Review, 34(5), pp.534-549. Guest, D. E., Michie, J., Conway, N., & Sheehan, M. (2003). Human resource management and corporate performance in the UK. British journal of industrial relations, 41(2), pp.291-314.

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