UKCBC Unit 22 Managing Human Resource 2

This is solution of UKCBC managing human resource Assignment help, written for according to the case study that required to show understanding of harrods departmental store HRM.


Harrods is a departmental store in London which has astonished the customer from around the globe with its first class service and excellent shopping experience. The aim of this paper is to highlight different approaches of managing human resource and to learn the various process and practices that are implemented in Harrods in maintaining a healthy and flexible working practice within a work place. This paper will discuss the effect of equal opportunities in a workplace in relevance with Harrods. Further the paper will focus on the impact of different topical issues in Harrods while practicing human resource management. This paper will focus on performance evaluation methods as well as health and safety practices and discrimination prevailing in an organization in relevance with Harrods. 

Harrods department store

Task 1

P1.1- Explain how the Guests model of HRM is adopted at Harrods.

Guest model of human resource management is a six dimensions model that comprising of HRM strategy, HRM practices, HRM outcomes, behaviour outcomes, performance outcomes and financial outcomes (Guest, 1997).

Guest model of HRM

 A report states that a significant rate of employee turnover has always been a matter of concern in Harrods. In context to this Harrods has adopted this model to ensure the commitment of employees to the work and to the growth and success of the business. Lack of experience in working staff impacts the efficiency in delivering a better business performance and recruiting new employees and training then has always been cost ineffective.

Performance of Harrods from 2008 to 2012

Guest model stares that a leader should work for employee engagement which includes employee survey. A leader should work to promote effective communication, awarding benefits and pay rises. Above figure displays the performance of Harrods from the year 2008 to 2012. Harrods has adopted this model to restructure future business strategies for better performance. The implementation of guest model has made Harrods proactive.

Harrods has been successful in providing better service support and 360 degree feedback. Harrods has been effective in minimizing resourcing supplier and commercialized resourcing. In addition to this Harrods has included centralized resourcing and accepted resourcing partnership model. Guest model has led to the introduction of talent management and various trainings are conducted for employees to meet the business needs in Harrods. Harrods did a survey to collect information on what are the thoughts of the employee about working in Harrods. Results of these surveys turned out very beneficial for management change the existing strategy and to adopt new one in order to improve employee engagement. This includes improving organization structure and culture, developing efficient and effective leadership skills, improving employee behaviour and performance, and establishing brand value.

Above figure shows the variance in the statistical figure of the data collected on the outcome of HR strategies in Harrods in last five years. The statistics shows that employee relations are increased by 7%. Fully engaged employees have increased by 44%. Sales revenue grows by 69% and profitability by 119%. In the last five years sales had grown at an exceptional rate. On the other hand, service complaints are reduced by 27%. Stock loss is decreased by 55%. Health and safety incidents have been significantly decreased by 21%. There has been a significant decrease in employee turnover by 49% in last five years. The adoption of guest model of HRM has proved very profitability for Harrods in terms employee relations.

P1.2- Compare the differences between storey’s definitions of HRM, Personnel and IR practices, by reflecting the HRM practices at Harrods and choose a similar organization which has adopted Personnel or IR practices.

John Storey’s human resource management model explains the strategic approach to the management of the resources and assets.  In an organization, to achieve the overall objective it is required it manage the assets efficiently. According to John Storey human resource management is unique strategic approach of employment management to gain an advantage of competitive edge over other market competitor (Storey, 1993). This could be well achieved be formulating a strategic plan and implementing it with the help of highly capable and committed workforce.

Harrods has applied this strategic approach and transformed from hierarchical organizational structure to a flat structure. This new organizational structure offers more responsibilities to the employees. In accordance with the organizational structure, new strategies are communicated to the employees and employees are encouraged to provide their opinion and take important decision. For example, employees serving the customers are assigned with the responsibility to come up front and take decision in all the matters that deals with service to the customers.

John Storey also differentiated personnel management from HRM on the grounds of pluralist and unitarist. Personnel management is concerned with development of an individual rather than a group. Totally opposite to HRM, in personnel management there is a contractual relation between employee and organization (Storey, 1993). The organization hires the employee and employee performs in return. Personnel and Industry relation promotes transactional type o leadership style. This type of leadership is task oriented and is concerned with getting the job done. Unlike HRM, in personnel management the leader focuses more on procedure to be followed (Storey, 1993). HRM believes in transformational leader who believes in positive changes and enhances motivation and value (Storey, 1993). In Harrods, the HRM practices have led to a development of such a work culture where focus is on the relation of the employee with the organization. Employees are considered a voice for change in Harrods.

When compared with other organization of different sector like an IT outsourcing organization it is discovered that IT outsourcing organization has majorly adopted personnel and IR practices. These organizations focus on the development of an individual so that he can deliver to the expectation. The employee and organization are bonded with an agreement rather than values and trust. In IT organization the trend is that employer hires and employee delivers. The entire focus is on customer satisfaction and getting the job done. The leadership style is transactional which is process oriented. There are defined procedures that are followed to achieve the objective.

P1.3- Assess the implications for line managers and employees of developing a strategic approach to HRM at Harrods

Managers and employees are the key asset of the organizations. The performance and productivity of the organization depends on the performance of the employees. Managers and employees play an important role in HRM. It is important in including line managers and employees in a strategic development approach to HRM. One of the special advantages of the line manager is that they are directly involved in dealing with the customer and client in Harrods on a regular basis.

In Harrods, a line manager is an expert in managing people on a daily basis. Line manager specializes in managing resource in a cost effective way. Line manager is responsible to provide any sort of help when required, whether it is technical or managerial (Miles, 1978). Line manager is the person in Harrods who is accountable to the duty of allocating and evaluating work in a most efficient manner.

On the other hand, employee in Harrods can work to develop and improve the performance metrics. Human resource management can provide necessary support to the intellectual and innovative thinking of an employee which in turn improves the productivity of an organization as a whole. Better reward system is one of the most important factors that positively impact the performance of the employee. Mutual understanding learning between employees and knowledge sharing improves the efficiency and performance of the employees.

Assigning more responsibilities to an employee motivates him to work harder and perform better. Inefficiency to identify the weakness by the employee and errors at work can be reduces with proper feedback, motivation and support. The management can apply and execute the business strategic approach on the employees to improve the flexibility towards future changes and improving performance. This helps in building the trust in an employee and improves employees’ commitment to work. 

Task 2

P2.1- Explain how a model of flexibility might be applied in practice. Relate this to the Harrods and reflect your argument with examples.

As we move ahead with time, business is growing exceptionally well, technology is advancing and so is the job, which is getting more challenging every day. Working with a growing organization demands longer working hours and more travelling. In this race to success effective utilization of every talent is a necessity. Management seeks to take maximum work out of an employee. This is done only by ensuring that the personal priorities of an employee are not compromised at any level. Many organizations have come up with flexible working models which seem to be the most suitable solution for the job challenges these days.

Harrods have adopted and implemented the flexible working model in its work process. Harrods has always worked to provide a better service to its customers. The motto of Harrods is "All things for all people, everywhere.”. Freelance is a part of this model which is adopted by Harrods. Harrods hired lead interior designer for full time Freelance Job for 6 months as per requirement. In addition to this flexible work model at Harrods started the process of part- time workers to work in Harrods. Telecommuting is one of the mostly frequently used working style. This is also known as ‘Work from home’.

Work feasiblity

Employment strategy of providing workforce flexibility is a response to the economic and competitive pressures faced by firms (Warne, 1999). This is also the result of technological advancement in last decades. Harrods uses part-time employees and temporary employees to reduce work pressure and it is cost effective too. Recently Harrods has hired supply coordinator, Lead Interior Designer for a freelance job. Career patterns and life style of employees is also changing which demands more personal time.

Flexible working hours is the best possible solution here at Harrods to fulfil these demands and to run the business at the same time. Practice of this model has increased the level of satisfaction of employee. Flexibility in work hours has allowed an employee to work in his comfort zone which has ensured employee loyalty and retention in the organization (Warne, 1999). In Harrods this model is very essential, especially to the employees who are in dilemma to continue with the job or not. These employees are engaged in other priority tasks.

P 2.2 – Discuss the types of flexibility which may be developed by the Harrods.

In Harrods, employees are considered as the voice for change and so Harrods have always tried to improve the employee relationship. This includes introduction the flexible working model at work. This model provides various types of flexibilities in working and includes multiple options such as telecommuting, freelancing, and working from home and part time jobs but with this acitivities they miss chance of working with leading people. Change is working practice in the global market has made jobs very challenging. Harrods requires maximum effort and full commitment from its employee. Some time it becomes necessity in Harrods for an employee to work outside regular working hours, work while travelling and even work from home when on leave. Under these conditions flexible working is a like a gift for the employees at Harrods. This model has resulted in the improved employment relationship with organization as employees can now prioritize their personal needs as well as contribute to their work.

History of Harrods presents various examples where flexible working model has been adopted to bridge gap in business process. Harrods have offered many part time jobs. This eliminates the possibility of hiring employee on a permanent basis as well as it is very cost effective too. For example, Harrods hired a receptionist for temporary job with customer service skills. She was hired to work full time with approximately 38 hours per week. Freelancing has allowed to hire employees for a limited period. The employees hired for freelancing are task specific. For example, Harrods has hired supply coordinator for a full time freelance job. The job was offered on 12 month fixed term contract with working hours of 39 hours per week. Telecommuting has been a great initiative for Harrods. It has allowed employees to work in their comfort zone and at the time they prefer. This approach has improved trust and employment relation as well as this approach has been helpful in retaining employee. As stated by the facts, employee retention is decreased by 49% in Harrods in last five years.

P 2.3 – Argue by assessing the use of flexible working practices from both the employee and employer perspective of Harrods

The model of flexible working practices, when compared with past practices, has completely revolutionized the working culture and the way business is run in a global context. The introduction such flexible working model has improved the trust and employment relationship between employee and employer in Harrods.

When it comes to employee at Harrods, flexible working model has provided an employee with the option to provide ample amount of time to his personal needs and personal life as well as giving all the necessary attention to his work and job. Telecommuting is one of the process involves in flexible working hours where the employee can efficiently work from remote location. This way an employee can work even while travelling and so this results in the utilization of the time which otherwise would have been wasted in travelling. Another option is to hire a freelancer. Freelancing offers flexibility in working hours to employee. A task allocated to a freelancer has time constraint. The employee can work any time and at any hour of the day but is accountable to deliver the task before the deadline. This has facilitated an employee of Harrods to work at any time with the only condition to deliver the work on time. The employee at Harrods supports this practice as this allows them to take out time for family and other personal works. It has resulted in job satisfaction for the employee at Harrods.

In context with employer, flexible working practices in Harrods have given significant growth improvement in performance and growth in profitability. Introducing this working practice has improved the performance and commitment of the employee. Employees at Harrods now spend more time on work. With telecommuting implemented it is possible for employer to work anytime and from anywhere. Also, introduction of part time and freelancing jobs has significantly reduced the expense in hiring and training because the employees hired for these jobs are trained professional. With this working model employer has been successful in retaining work force in Harrods. This has enabled Harrods to grow with experience employees strengthening the service quality.

P2.4 – discuss the impact that changes in the labour market have had on flexible working practices at Harrods.

In the last decade, manufacturing sector suffered a marginal decline in the market. As a result of this, a larger section of the workforce has shifted from manufacturing sector to service sector. This has apparently increased the importance of service sector. Female workforce in particular prefer service sector over manufacturing sector. Harrods has adopted the model which allows flexibility working option as advantage or a reward to its committed and experienced employees for their performance. In Harrods various categories of flexible working model is used whenever the management feels there is necessity of additional time or additional work force to complete the task or there is an objective that needs to be achieved and requires additional expertise. The tremendous change in the labour market has resulted in the higher demand of part time and flexible working hours.

Change in the labour market has resulted in the increase in the adoption of flexible working practices in an organization (Freeman, 2005). In order to maintain the competitive advantage over the other most of the organization offers flexible working hours to its employees. Change in the labour market has increased the demand of the service sector jobs. Harrods in particular provides flexible working hours to more and more employee to retain the experienced work force and to attract other employees from their competitive organizations. One disadvantage if this practice is that providing flexible working to more and more employees in Harrods suppresses the managerial control over employee governance. Moreover, providing more flexible working hours often result in the decrease on the number of in house working staff to handle the customers in Harrods.

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Task 3

P3.1 – Explain the forms of discrimination that can take place with special reference to Harrods

Harrods has always focused on making the shopping experience more enjoyable. It is one of the best service providers in UK. To achieve this Harrods has made dress code mandatory for the staff. Moreover, every person entering in the store needs to follow the dress code even the customers. Report states that there have been cases of discrimination in Harrods where employees have been targeted with discrimination that has protected characteristics. Harrods have strict dress code for female staff that makes it mandatory to wear makeup and to maintain it discreetly all the time. Over the time cases of discriminations like sex discrimination, racial discrimination and disability discrimination has been reported against Harrods. There are few prominent examples.

Melanie Stark, an employee of Harrods, was sent home and later appointed to work in the store room because she was not wearing makeup. She has been reported as a victim of sex discrimination in Harrods. Not only this, soon after that she was forced to resign because she refused to wear the makeup.

An issue on disability discrimination has also been reported against Harrods when a woman with a prosthetic limb was put to work in the stockroom. The reason given for this action is that kind of appearance the women has makes her unsuitable to serve the customer and moreover it was claimed that she does not fits in. Mrs. Seeley of Asian origin was terminated from the job when she refused to remove her nose ring. Another complaint was filed against Harrods under section 7, Race Relations Act, when a person employed by a licensee of Harrods to work within Harrods store was subjected to racial discrimination. Mrs. Remick, who was black, was forced to quit the job at Harrods because she did not follow the proper dress code.

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P3.2 – Compare the approaches adapted by Harrods to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity

Managing equal opportunity and diversity is very important factors that lead to the improving between employees and the employer. An efficient workforce leads a business to the heights of success. Harrods follow the approach of effective communication, employee voice and quarterly employee forum to manage equal opportunity and managing diversity. A better communication process at Harrods enables the management to update all employees about the future strategic changes going to be implemented. Employees are encouraged to participate in decisions making and are imposed with leadership responsibility.

Harrods have a bright idea scheme model that implement for employee to share innovative idea and to contribute in improving Harrods. Quarterly employee forum is an initiative at Harrods where employee volunteers to discuss about the issues with the current strategic plan. It gives a great platform and equal opportunity to share the views on the changes in Harrods.  Organizational culture in Harrods enables the management to engage with employee. Harrods have changed its culture to focus more employees’ needs, right and interest. For example, at Harrods an intern who was misinterpreted as volunteer and worked unpaid for three months. Later Harrods paid him £1,800. The work culture in Harrods is based on shared values, belief and different perspective of diverse employees. 

Task 4

P.4.1 – Research, Compare and comment on different methods of performance management adopted by Harrods

Performance management is a very important part of employment which covers all aspects of employee development and his performance. HRM at Harrods encourage employee to work to the best of their abilities for better benefits. The process adopted by Harrods is to keeps all its employees well informed about the strategic changes and providing relevant training and appropriate opportunities. One of the approaches adopted by Harrods to evaluate the performance is that the line manager sets up some challenges for the employees. The effort and the level of commitment of employee to complete the task is the performance measuring criteria. The employee is also rewarded for his performance in order to motivate. High performers are recognized through the Harrods 100 programme or the Harrods Rewards for Excellence which is a big event. Number of employees is nominated in this event regardless of their job type.

Employee satisfaction forum is another process of performance management in Harrods. There is a meeting scheduled at the end of every quarter.  Harrods provide this platform for the employee to present their view on the current strategy plan that is implemented in Harrods. Also, the management expects some innovative ideas from the employees to improve the business. The active and dedicated employees are recognized with this approach. They are measured on the basis of the ideas and observation to improve the performance of Harrods.

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P4.2 – Discuss the implications of health and safety legislation on human resources practices with special reference to Harrods.

One of the major concerns for an organization is the safety and health of the employees At Harrods employee health and safety measure are always a priority. Corporate health service is offered at Harrods which takes care of all health and safety issue of employees at Harrods. Corporate health service at Harrods consists of two highly qualified team that is Treatment service team and work health management team that works to improve and maintain a healthy environment at Harrods.

Corporate health service at Harrods results in the better and improved health of the employees. This service offers a health check at frequent intervals, to measure the fitness and wellbeing of the employee. The employees who incapable to work due to health issue are offered better care and medical assistance even if they are at home. One of the major advantages of corporate health service is that it offers assurance to the employees of their safety and health and this service works hard to create a better working lifestyle. Health and safety department at Harrods ensure that proper health care and safety procedure are followed in order to maintain the proper employee health. Corporate health service is beneficial to Harrods and for its business as it has helped in keeping the employee healthy and fit.

P4.3 – Evaluate the impact of one topical issue on human resources practices reflected in the case study and additional research of Harrods.

Employee turnover is defined as the rate at which the employee leaves the organization. Employee turnover has been one of the topical issues that Harrods has dealt with over the years.  The increased rate of employee turnover at Harrods has resulted in the decrease in the experienced employees. A high employee turnover is cost inefficient as it increases the expense in recruit the new employee. In this era of competition the experienced employees are favourable choice of any organization. Attracted by the better offers in the competitive market, experienced staff is more likely to leave the job. This in return severely impacts the growth of the organization.

Harrods require employees who are more focused on a long term career than the one who seeks for better offer. Harrods needs professional who are ready to face challenges. In order to develop an employee, Harrods took the initiative to provide additional responsibilities to the employee. Development in the skills and work experience bring more offer to an employee. This has been the major concern in Harrods. In the past five years there has been a significant decrease in employee turnover that is close to 49%. This is because; Harrods had come up with some provision to provide better benefits to the employees. This provision includes implementing flexible working practices, recognizing and rewarding employees for better performance and other such provisions.


This paper described the facts about how Harrods is managing its resources. Harrods have tackled with all the problems related to managing employee with its effective human resource management skill. Harrods had been successful in maintaining a competitive advantage by providing better benefits in order to retain its experienced staff. Many reports have stated that Harrods has been accused for racial discrimination, gender discrimination and disability discrimination that has raised question on equal opportunity practices. However, Harrods is working hard to implement equal opportunity practice in its work culture and has started considering employee as the voice for change. In order to achieve greater heights, Harrods should offer better benefits to employees to retain its dedicated work force.


Freeman, R. B., 2005. Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance. International Economic Journal, 19(2), 129-145. Green, T. K., 2003. Discrimination in workplace dynamics: Toward a structural account of disparate treatment theory. Harv. CR-CLL Rev., 38, 91. Guest, D. E., 1997. Human resource management and performance: a review and research agenda. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 8(3), 263-276. Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Balkin, D. B., & Cardy, R. L., 1995. Managing human resources. Prentice Hall. McDougall, M., 1996. Equal opportunities versus managing diversity: another challenge for public sector management? International Journal of Public Sector Management, 9(5/6), 62-72.

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