UKCBC Unit21 Human Resource Management

This is solution of UKCBC human resource management assignment as part of BTEC HND Business Course. UKCBC is stands for UK College of Business and Computing.


This report will discuss various aspects of human resource management with respect to the retail organization “Harrods”. Various aspects of human resource management like its difference with personal development, contribution of HRM in the purposes of Harrods, responsibilities of the line managers working there, impact of regulatory and legal framework on the management of human resource in Harrods, Human resource planning, selection and recruitment process, reward system, motivation, employee performance monitoring, cessation etc. will be discussed in this report in context of Harrods. The case has provided all the insights about the human resource management within the organization in complete details which will help in the practical implementation of the acquired knowledge during the course while writing the report. Harrods is a well-recognized brand of UK and has a selling space of more than 1 million square feet in more than 330 different departments. This organization is well known for its brand value. The organization uses democratic approach for the management purpose and has better engagement with its employees and customers due to the positive environment created within the organization. It has more than 4000 employees and more than 3500 concession or agency employees. The organization is in its business for more than 160 years. The organization handles more than 100,000 customers on daily basis. They have understood all the aspects of human resource management by establishing a dedicated management team for the purpose which ensures the low turnover of employees from the organization. Overall environment of the organization is encouraging for the employees as it provides the opportunities of job enrichment, job enlargement etc. The coming paragraphs will discuss various related aspects in greater details in order to apply the course knowledge in practical terms for this particular case.

Task 1 Understand the difference between personnel management and human resource management


Personal management is the traditional approach which was used to be followed in older days in mostly manufacturing and labour intensive industries. On the other side human resource management is the new approach which deals with all the factors related to the employees of the organization. The organization that practice personal management considers the employees just as an input for the production while human resource management considers employees as an important source of the organization, even some organization has started considering employees as a human capital of the organization. The organizations like Harrods where the success is directly related to the performance of the employees due to the direct interaction of the employees and customers, human resource become a very important asset for the organizations. The retails organizations which are still practicing personal management cannot get success in their business for long term as personal management assumes employee just a mean to the output of the organization and all the efforts for the welfare of employee are done on the personal level only. Human resource management performs all the actions for the welfare of the employees while considering the organizational goals. It is being mentioned in the case study that the human resource department of the organization uses democratic approach where inputs from all the employees are considered for decision making purposes. So, it can be concluded that human resource management is the new version of the personal management where all the activities are performed by putting employee in the centre while personal management is the old approach which takes care only some aspects of the human resource management like payroll, employment laws etc. (Bach, 2009).


The main purpose of Harrods is to sustain its brand value which has been created by great efforts of its founders and other senior employees. This brand value is being mentioned as Service, luxury, British, Sensation and innovation. It is the most important for its employees to play an important role in upholding these values for ever. The human resource department at Harrods plays an integral role in sustaining these organization values by managing its most important resource i.e. human resource in best possible manner. In an organization where there is a direct interaction of the consumers with the employees of the organization, it becomes important for the management to ensure that all employees are performing their duties in accordance to the established standards in order to maintain the brand values created over a period of time. So, the human resource department of Harrods performs all the activities for managing the employees in a defined way so that employees are encouraged to inhibit the values in their daily routine work. The main functions of human resource department at Harrods include recruitment, selection, training and coaching, performance evaluation, monitoring, rewarding system, motivating employees, continued training and adherence to legal frameworks related to human resource. All these functions enable human resource department to ensure that employees performance and understands the value of the organization and contribute towards the purpose of the organization (Mathis, 2011).

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Line managers in human resource department of Harrods are the employees who acts as supervisor within a department and ensures the correct functionality of the employees working under them. The main roles and responsibilities of line managers at Harrods human resource department can be listed in following manner:

  • Line managers ensure that front line staff acts in accordance to the rules and standards defined by the department and contribute to make a difference.
  • They ensure that proper mentoring and coaching of the employees is being done along with a structured feedback.
  • Line managers also communicate the targets to the employees and encourage them to meet these targets according to the defined value while delivering quality services.
  • Line managers also act as an advisor to the employees by guiding and advising them through formal face-to-face interviews or through informal conversations during lunch or teas time.
  • Line managers work as a mediator also between the employees and the upper level managers by providing their concerns to the higher management so that their concerns are also heard and implemented if valuable.
  • Line managers assess and monitor the performance of the employees working under them and give their feedback during performance management.
  • It is the responsibility of the line manager that an employee who is working very well is recognized and promoted accordingly and if any employee is not working in correct manner, a proper training is provide to him so that proper human resource management within the organization is ensured (Mathis, 2011).


Legal and regulatory frameworks are defined by the countries with respect to various concerns related to any organizational set up. With the introduction of human resource department in the organizations, all economies have defined various legal frameworks for the employees working in an organization so that a transparent system can be established between employees and management of the organizations. These frameworks ensure that employees are paid according to the defined norm and provided with a suitable environment etc. These frameworks also ensure that organization does not exploit employee in unacceptable manner while ensuring that employee does not breech the rules defined by the organization under legal frameworks. Various laws related to the recruitment and selection of the employees has been defined which organizations have to follow. Some laws at times discourage organizations to recruit the most suitable candidate and hampers organizational goals. There are various laws that are defined for the safety and security of the employees within the organization so that employees feel comfortable while working for the organization. These laws force organization to spend extra money in order to take proper measures for the safety of the employees. Various laws related to the working environment and cessation of the employees are also being defined which have a traceable impact on thehuman resource department of Harrods (Mathis, 2011).

Task 2 Understand how to recruit employees


Human resource planning is an important task of the human resource department of any organization, so is for Harrods. It is basically an integral part of the human resource management which helps the organization in achieving their goals and objectives in effective and efficient manner. Human resource planning targets the planning of human resource i.e. employees for various tasks to achieve defined targets. There are the following reasons for human resource planning at Harrods:

  • Human resource planning activity helps in confirming the availability of suitable resource at correct time and correct place within the organization to achieve its goals.
  • This activity is performed by human resource department along with strategic planners to predict about the requirements of employees at various places at defined time.
  • They also plan recruitment and selection process of new employees according the planning done for human resource within the organization.
  • The human resource planning is the activity which is basically performed with the synchronization of organizational goals.
  • In case of introduction of new departments within the organization, turnover of the employees from the organization, introduction of new stores etc., organization need to look for more employees to work with them and human resource planning plays that role.
  • Being an employee centric organization, it becomes most important for Harrods to do planning of human resource according to defined plans (Khalid, 2013).
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As the importance of human resource planning within Harrods has been discussed in above section, it is important to illustrate the process that Harrods can adopt for the planning of human resource within the organization. Harrods can adopt following steps in order to plan human resource requirements:
  1. The first step involves assessing the available workforce within the organization. There is a need to make a table of all the employees along with their skill sets, talents and competency level within the organization in order to know the employee capital of the organization in an organized manner.
  2. Next step involves the prediction of the required number of employees within the organization over a period of time. This prediction is done in accordance to the goals and objectives of the organization.
  3. Once organization is done with the predicted number of employees required by them over a period of time, the next step is to assess the supply side of the human resource. Industry trends, educational environment, economic and industrial environment etc. are used to predict the supply of employee that Harrods can observe in that period of time.
  4. After the revision of demand and supply side of the employee requirements within the organization, there is a need of the balancing supply and demand of the employees to come up with the exact number of employees required over a certain period.
  5. Last step of human resource planning can be an action plan which will involve planning for recruitment, selection or cessation of the employees over a defined period. This activity is performed by higher level.


This section will discuss about the selection and recruitment process at Harrods and will compare it with that of Sainsbury. Harrods use the CV mechanism as initial step of the recruitment process. They allow applicant to first apply for the job on their website and after that initial screening of CV is done which is followed by various interviews along with the invitation to applicant to come to assessment centre for the group interview. There are three or four interview that are being faced by an applicant if gets successful in the steps. They are also asked to perform a task according to the applied role and finally they are either selected or rejected on the basis of their performance in these steps of recruitment process. Sainsbury has no CV policy. Anyone can’t apply on their website with his/her CV but they open various vacancies for various posts and provide a job description for same. According to job description applicant can apply through their website after creating an account. They ask for a 25 minutes test too while submission of the application by applicant. This test focuses on customer service here situation based questions are asked from the applicants in order to understand their suitability of the job. If applicant is successful in this test, applicant is asked to schedule an interview with HR over the telephone. The next step is another test for the successful applicants of HR interview. This test focuses on the customer service, mathematics and values etc. After this test one more round of interview is conducted and after that the final selection is made if candidate is suitable from all aspects of requirements.


There is a quite difference between the recruitment and selection process of these two organizations. It can’t be suggested that which process is more effective than another. However, the effectiveness of the process of these two organizations i.e. Harrods and Sainsbury can be assessed based on the process discussed in above section. The recruitment and selection process of Harrods focuses on the different rounds of interview with different line of management of the organization which helps them in understanding the candidate from various aspects on personal basis by face-to-face interview. They don’t focus much on the written assessment of the employees. Sainsbury focuses on the assessment of the candidates with the help of various test designed according to the profiles and helps them in understanding the ability of the candidates through statistics tools. Recruitment and selection process of Harrods is too lengthy and have many steps which help them in filtering the candidates in best possible manner to find the most suitable candidates for the jobs. In conclusion it can be said that the recruitment and selection process of both the organization is effective according to their defined measures (Clinton, 2013).

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Task 3 Understand how to reward employees in order to motivate and retain them


Motivated employees are considered as the best assets for any organization. Harrods use various techniques to keep the motivation level of its employee high all the time. Various researches that have been conducted by their HR department show that the motivation factors for the employees of Harrods are intrinsic. The employees at Harrods get motivated with the consideration of their personal needs. There are various psychological needs that human being look forward to get complete while they are working for their employers. The need to get recognition, the need to understand the self-value, the need to get respect from others including encouragement from others and the need to become part of various active groups etc. are the basic needs that employees look forward to get complete while working with an organization. Maslow’s hierarchical need theory describes it well. These needs can be met by the organization by motivating employees using non-financial measures. Such measures include promoting the employees who are working well in their field, providing with an opportunity to take business decisions, assigning various tasks etc. Harrods uses these measures to motivate its employees along with the suitable working environment to its employees in order to get the desired results from them.


Job evaluation is being considered as most important activity of the human resource department of any organization as it plays an important role in designing the compensation scheme for its employees. Job evaluation can be understood as a process of evaluating an employee’s job difficulty level in terms of their skill sets, competency level, acquired talent, qualification, target achievements, dedication towards the job etc. These factors help in determining the compensation package for the employees working at various levels within the organization. As mentioned in the case study, employees at Harrods are motivated through non-financial motivating factors that help them in working them above their competency level. Job evaluation in Harrods is being done in order to keep the motivation level high. There are various other factors that can play an important role in determining pay scale for the employees such as external factors that include industrial scenario, economic environment etc. and internal factors like Harrods have a very good employee engagement system in place with the help of intranet, magazines, morning briefing etc. All these factors also play an important role in the determination of pay scale as these plays a psychological role for the employees (Julie, 2000).


Reward system of any organization is very important in respect to the turnover of the employees from the organization since an employee who is unsatisfied can look forward for another job in the market and can quit the current employer for a higher pay or higher recognition in another organization. Reward to the employees need not to be in the form of financial increment, various motivational non-financial rewards also help the employees in getting loyal to the organization. Apart from financial increments that Harrods provide to its employee in case of higher level of work, Harrods also provide the employees with the opportunities of job enlargement, job enrichment and job enhancement that motivate them to work in a better way. Job enlargement, job rotation etc. are considered as the psychological reward given to the employees who are working in better manner and motivates other employees to work in more effective and efficient manner. While considering the reward system followed by Harrods, it can be easily said that the reward system along with activities of better engaging employees is much effective across the organization. They are able to motivate their employees to work in more effective manner with the help of their reward system and were able to reduce the number of turnover of employees over the years with the effective implementation of the reward system and work environment (Richard, 2001).


Monitoring performance of the employees of the organization is critical to the employees and employers both as it help organization in identifying the key and important resources among available work force and also enable employees to know about their competency level within the organization. Organizations like Harrods which deal with the retail customers at their retail outlet usually monitor the performance of their employees by having a direct check on the employees working at front line. Usually the supervisors or the line managers have an eye on the activities performed by the front line staff and provide feedback to upper managers regarding the performance of the employees working under them. Harrods follow the same system and have provided the front line employees with the facility to provide their feedback about the experience learnt by the interaction with the customers. Line managers also assess the feedback forms filled by the customers regarding the actions performed by the employee during their visit to the store as well. Performance of line managers is assessed by senior managers in accordance to the performance of their followers since if the staff is not working properly there is a direct implication that supervisor has not either provided good training or is not monitoring their work in a proper manner. The methods used by Harrods for the monitoring performance of its employees are really effective due to the employee engagement mechanism followed by them within the organization (Evans, 1995).

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Task 4 Know the mechanisms for the cessation of employment


Cessation of employees from an organization means termination of the employees by the organization due to unwanted situation or the other factors or the voluntarily resignation from the job by employee himself etc. There can be various reasons for the cessation of employees working in Harrods. These reasons can be listed in following manner:
  • Termination of the employee by the organization in the wake of the non-adherence to the rules and regulation of the organization by the employee.
  • Termination of the employee by the organization in the wake of financial crisis due to the industrial or economic environment in order to meet the basic requirements of the organization in such situation.
  • Exit of the employee by the organization in wake of the non-performance or unacceptable behaviour by the employee.
  • Resign by the employee from the organization in wake of the personal reasons or financial motives acquired through other organization.
  • Resignation by the employee for higher studies, for changing the job or other reasons like misbehaviour by senior employee etc.
  • Impact of the legal and regulatory framework which does not allow the employee to work in the organization. For ex: ban on the employees with a particular minimum age to work in specific industries.
  • Termination of the employees by the organization in order to implement the change in the organizational structure which does not require that particular set of talents.
  • Death of the employee who was earlier working with the organization (Johan, 2013).


Employment exit procedure differs from one organization to another depending on the process followed by them. Employees and organizations both have to follow the legal rules and regulations defined by the legislation or by the organization signed by both of them during the recruitment of the employee to the organization. Harrods has defined specific guidelines for exit procedures of the employees from their organization. Employees are asked to serve the notice period before getting exit from the organization. In case, employees are unable to serve notice period they are asked to pay the defined amount of the compensation to the organization. If employee is asked to leave the organization by the management, same procedure applies on the management. In case, employees are working under bond period, then they are asked to pay the bond amount if they are leaving the organization by their choice. These procedures are followed by Harrods in exit process. Sainsbury, the same kind of organization have slightly different procedure for exit of the employees from the organization as they don’t follow the procedure of notice period and employees are being provided with simple rules and are followed by both Sainsbury and its employees. Overall, it can be said that the employee exit procedures of Harrods are more effective than Sainsbury (Balcaen, 2012).


Legal and regulatory frameworks which define rules and regulations for the relationship between organizations and employees play an important role in the cessation procedures also. Laws that define the job security, compensation, labour relation law etc. play an important role in the cessation procedures at Harrods. These laws impact the organization in both positive and negative manner as they work as shield for them and at the same time they can become weapon for the employees that can be used against the organization by employees. These laws force the organization to pay the employee for no work when they serve the notice period usually which impacts the efficiency of the organization in a measurable manner. It is necessary for the organization to use these laws in profitable manner so that they can be used for the efficiency of the organization. In the end, it can be said that these legal and regulatory frameworks have a remarkable impact on the cessation of the employees by the organization.


This report discussed various aspects of human resource management from different perspective and compared various functions of human resource department at Harrods and Sainsbury which helped in making a comment on the effectiveness of their human resource department. This report will help the readers to know about the various roles that human resource department play in a retail sector organization in detailed manner. This report helped in implementing the various concepts and theories learnt during the course. It can be easily concluded that each and every function of human resource department at Harrods play a different and important role which collectively results in the successful results for the organization. This report will be helpful for the readers to use as a reference to learn various concepts related to human resource management.


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