Unit 21 Assignment on MHR Labour Market in UK

Unit 21 Assignment on MHR Labour Market in UK

Unit 21 Assignment on MHR Labour Market in UK


With rapidly changing business scenario, more number of companies today is seeking to outsource the services of HR recruitment agencies. Human resource management now concentrates mainly on how to make the best use of available employees and how employee programs leave a measurable impact on the business. With an environment where for becoming successful organizations needs to be adaptive, resilient, quick in changing direction and customer-centric, HRM has emerged as key component.

Assignment on MHR Labour Market in UK

Any organization cannot build up a professional team in the absence of a good human resource management. Various researches suggest that the human resources within an organization relatively make 80% of the organization’s value, thereby making HRM an integral part of a business.

Task 1

1.1. Explain Guest’s model of HRM as applied to the organisation of your choice

Guest’s model of HRM | HND Help

Guest model focuses on: HRM strategy, which means utilisation of available resources creatively to improve work productiveness and yield to generate profits and reduce costs. Quality resources can be acquired and motivated through HRM practices such as recruitment, training, rewards and better relationships. Also productivity can be improved through HR outcomes such as engagement, flexibility and commitment and Behavioural outcomes like motivation and alliance. Further, Performance Outcomes can be either positive like creativity, higher yield or negative like employee turnover depending upon which financial outcomes like revenue and ROI (Return on Investments) may vary. (Jiang, Lepak, Hu and Baer, 2012)

At Harrods this model is practised which has positive impact on its various outcomes. Example, strategic planning is made to use expertise and experience of resources for best possible results. Also, training is provided to increase their competency level according to market changes and new demands. Further to maintain quality of work flow supervision is made consistently where shortcomings are improved through mentoring. Thus it helps to build employee commitment and motivation. Also contributions are appreciated at Harrods with reward and recognition programs. Moreover, to motivate employees emphasis is made to increase involvement and flexibility.  (Jiang, Lepak,  Hu and Baer, 2012)

1.2. Choosing two organisations of your choice compare the differences between Storey’s definitions of HRM, personnel and IR practices

According to John, HRM is of two types:

Hard HRM: it is associated with measurement of performance and productiveness of human resources which can be increased through engagement and proper HR policies. Another is Soft HRM which is associated with human value to achieve objectives of organization. These aspects provide employee value, opportunities and recognition that help to drive commitment and efficiency. (Jimenez-Jimenez and Sanz-Valle, 2012)
Difference between Storeys definition of HRM, Personnel and IR practices

HRM, Personnel and IR practices
HRM, Personnel and IR practices

At Harrods, Storey’s HRM approach is being practised where employees are treated as assets and focus is made on their development to achieve business objectives by giving them empowerment. Thus HRM dimension of transformational leadership is followed to mentor and support employees for efficient outcomes. In addition to these motivation both in form of rewards and recognition is offered to keep employees contributed and satisfied. Also, direct communication is maintained across management levels which helps employees interact freely with less need of supervision and control.  (Jimenez-Jimenez and Sanz-Valle, 2012)

Whereas at Deliveroo which is into home delivery service in UK, Storey’s PR approach is followed where employees are treated as resources and focus is made on planning, controlling and organizing their activities to achieve business goals. Thus PR dimension of transaction leadership is practised for betterment of administration. Here employees have less empowerment, role in decision making and have no direct communication with management levels.

1.3 Assess the implications for line managers and employees of developing a strategic approach to HRM for any organisation of your choice

Implication for line managers in Harrods: At Harrods the line managers are responsible to supervise in-store crew members, schedule their activity planning, prepare duty rosters and monitor work flow to maintain smooth operational function within store. They also provide assistance and technical guidance to crew to maintain quality customer delivery. Thus line managers administer activities so that business output of Harrods is met and profit is generated. They even ensure development of strategic approach to HRM by integrating cultural value and capable leadership management of HR policies. Even approaches are practised by line managers to ensure conflict management and reduce negative impact. (Buller and McEvoy, 2012)
Implication for employees in Harrods: Employees are Harrods are treated as assets who are responsible for high productivity and business performance, so they are empowered to participate in communication and decision making to influence and improve their efficiency. Thus better salary, job security and appraisal help to motivate and recognise their contributions so that they maintain their consistent performance and fulfil outcomes for Harrods profitably.

Task 2

2.1 Explain how a model of flexibility might be applied in your organisation

Flexible working helps in balancing work and family life effectively to beat stress, anxiety and maintain productiveness by keeping employees satisfied. It is a mutual benefit concept that can be applied in organizations including Harrods. Flexible work models like job sharing, flexi time, work from home, part-time work etc are applied at Harrods. Example, in work sharing, a task is shared between two workers who get compensated proportionately. This allows more free time for personal life. Also, rotational shifts help to choose work timings allowing flexibility to balance work-life. Moreover, part time work allows flexibility to work during preferred hours thus giving more control to employees. Also working from comfort of home and not from traditional office space gives better time flexibility. (Leslie, Manchester, Park and Mehng, 2012)

Thus, HR policies at Harrods can include these flexi work models to support work-life balance of employees which will help them engage in their work actively and productively without creating frustration. 

2.2 Discuss the types of flexibility which may be developed by your organisation

Types of flexibility Harrods can develop:

  • Functional: in this employees are assigned to new functions depending on work demand and flow. Example, during peak seasons rush in Harrods, instead of hiring new crew team, employees from other functions like delivery, warehouse etc are temporarily changed for flexible activities. (Cummings and Worley, 2014)
  • Numerical: employee can be hired on contact or short term agreement to meet increase or decrease in demand. Thus resources are employed according to change in requirements.
  • Temporal: employees can be offered flexibility to choose their work timing such as rotational shifts are provided in Harrods to offer balance of work-life to employees as stores keep open for 365 days a year.
  • Geographical: employees can be given flexibility to work from preferred location during specific personal demands. Example, employees can be given work from home option in case they have needs like nursing sick family members, child care etc. (Cummings and Worley, 2014)

2.3 Assess the use of flexible working practices from both the employee and the employer perspective

Practise of flexible working model is a mutual benefit concept for both employer and employees. By practising this in Harrods, the employer is able to meet the work-life balance need that is even considered by government under law. This helps to maintain better outcomes by keeping employees satisfied and motivated as they can balance their commitments with flexibility practices therefore minimising stress, workload and dis-satisfaction at work. Hence, Harrods is able to meet their expectations which help them get desirable and profitable outcomes. Also it saves additional cost by eliminating employee turnover, higher absenteeism etc. (Ten Brummelhuis, Bakker, Hetland and Keulemans, 2012)

From the employee’s perspective, flexibility of working practices at Harrods helps to maintain attractiveness to job and build employee loyalty. Example, options like job rotations, flexi time, work from home etc gives more freedom to employees in choosing a balanced work and family life thus reducing the likelihood of increased stress and frustration which may lead to attrition. Also when employee’s feel that employer is concerned about their problems then they feel more dedicated and loyal to meet business expectations of Harrods. Moreover, friendly working environment builds strong and fulfilling relationship between Harrods and its employees.

2.4 Discuss the impact that changes in the labour market have had on flexible working practices

The changes in labour market leave its influence on policies framed by organizations including Harrods more specifically on flexible working practices. Different changes associated with demography, technological advancement, market conditions, demand and supply of labour impacts on policies associated with labour welfare and management. Example, changes in migration of labour helps to increase diversity of workforce in Harrods and increase labour supply with cost management. These have benefitted growth and culture of Harrods by providing opportunities and flexibility to employees. Moreover, flexible working schedules like job rotation helps to increase functionality of labour in diverse roles leading to increase in competency for organization and growth opportunities for labour. Also, flexible working hours help to meet labour expectations therefore providing wider liberty and participation of labour in meeting business objectives profitably and maintaining better return on investments made against costs incurred to hire, train and provide rewards to labour. Thus changes in labour market and flexible working practices have positive influence on one another and have benefitted Harrods.  (Bloom, Genakos, Sadun and Van Reenen, 2012)

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Task 3

3.1 Explain the forms of discrimination that can take place in the workplace using examples of recent discrimination cases which has made the news

Discrimination is been treated differently or unequally or been harassed that can cause harm to the individual. In spite of laws enforced for preventing workplace discrimination, one can see that there are still many employees who are a victim of discrimination. Perceiving the types of discrimination at work enables in either identifying discrimination whenever it occurs with self or a co-worker. (Nier and Gaertner, 2012)

Forms of discrimination at workplace

  • Race or Ethnicity based discrimination:the government of UK has prohibited the practice of discrimination based on race or country of origin but it still exists in many workplaces and employees might racially be discriminated in the form of harassment. Take for example, being labelled with racial slurs or making a sarcastic comment in respect to skin colour or moral background. Other modes of race based discrimination might comprise of treating negatively at work, denied promotion, unfairly paid. Employers are prohibited from enacting policies favouring race or ethnic group based discrimination.
  • Sex based discrimination: this kind of discrimination has many forms at workplace and is the most common form of harassment and might include indecent remark towards an employee or unwanted sexual advances, negative treatment, paid low because of the gender etc. Employers are prohibited from discriminating applicants based on their gender neither can they execute policies that negatively influence the employees of a particular gender.
  • Religion based discrimination: in this kind of discrimination an employee or person is unfairly treated because of his/her religious faith. Religious discrimination also comprises been harassed or badly treated at work. According to law, it is mandatory for the employers in providing the employees with proper accommodations for practicing their religious beliefs which might include flexible work schedule allowing an employee to take a time-off for worshiping, wearing of apparels associated with his/her religious beliefs etc. However, an organization cannot force any employee to participate in a certain religious service. (Nier and Gaertner, 2012)
  • Disability based discrimination: there are certain laws preventing the employers from practicing discrimination against qualified disabled applicants. It is not necessary that employers must employ every disabled person but unless there is no extreme hard work, they must provide the disabled employees with proper desks at work. Take for example, an employee who is restricted to wheelchair should be given a desk that is comfortable for them.
  • Age based discrimination: the Employment Act prohibits employers from practicing discrimination against the employees or applicants who have crossed the age of 40. However, favourable treatment to employees over 40 is permissible.

Examples of recent discrimination cases
Recently Capital Manufacturing was in news for practicing discrimination. 67-year-old Roger Fredrick has been working with Capital Manufacturing for 28 years and has risen through various ranks to his current position of a senior line supervisor. The board of directors had decided to depart the senior employees as it is undergoing a financial crunch and thereby, has set the retirement age of 65, which will leave affect Roger. This is considered as age based discrimination.

3.2 Discuss the practical implications of equal opportunities legislation for an organisation

Equal opportunities legislation is provision under which employers are bound to treat each employee in a similar way without hampering their productivity by imposing unreasonable restrictions, discriminations and preferences unless a certain difference is justified clearly. Equal Employment Opportunity is a legal and administrative issue aims in rendering any sort of workplace discrimination, victimization, sexual harassment or harassment in employment. Adhering to these laws, organizations are obliged in preventing unethical practices at workplace and provide protection to the employees against any unlawful acts. With more number of employees becoming aware of their employment rights, companies are undertaking various measures in order to ensure equal pay, increments and promotional opportunities, effective implementation of EEO legislation, cultivating a healthy working atmosphere for enhancing the productivity. (Powell and DiMaggio, 2012)

In the context of Harrods, one can see that the HR department constantly makes efforts to ensure that the recruitment and selection process of the department store works in compliance to the employment legislations practiced in UK. In addition, it has also assisted Harrods in maintaining a distance from exercising discriminations at work. It has been observed that Harrods functions in conformity to the Equality Act (2010), Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (2008) and Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006). Equality Act protects the right of being employed of the applicants who are qualified and eligible heedless of any caste, age, gender or nationality. Equal opportunities legislation has further helped Harrods in empowering the employees, which eventually has enhanced their productiveness and concurrently developing the brand’s goodwill and prominence in the market in order to attract more investors

3.3 Compare the approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity

Diversity at workplace endures when the employees belonging to various cultural backgrounds and prior work experiences come together under one roof for working and achieving the organizational goals. Managing of workplace diverseness involves making the best use these resources and experiences in the organization’s growth. One can see that the approaches of both Equal Opportunities and managing diversity differ from each other and are indispensible for an organization for creating healthy and positive working atmosphere

The focus of equal opportunity is protecting the employees from workplace discrimination. Harrods forms a separate panel ahead of commencing with the recruitment and selection process and any member belonging to the panel is not entitled of influencing the process. Recruitment advertisements are published in the corporate website clearly mentioning in detail the post, skill, age, qualification etc. In addition, the line managers are liable of identifying the employees’ skill needs and preparing an adequate training program. Employees who have met with an accident at work mounting to disability are taken care by Harrods. Harrods has initiated a special employee’s helpline number allowing the employees in registering their complaints and grievances further treating all the employees equally. (Kirton and Greene, 2015)

Managing Diversity is another decisive consideration for Harrods as it aims of engaging a diverse workforce for effectively serving the customers. Harrods truly believes in giving respect and importance to the employees thereby, has registered with the Equality Commission for checking the diversity at work. Employees are trained for making them proficient and company policies are reviewed annually.

Task 4

4.1 Select an organisation you work or have worked for, identify and compare the performance management methods used

Performance management is a process adopted by organizations in order to establish an understanding about what it needs to achieve within the organizational level through a shared workforce. In other words, performance management deals with aligning the objectives of an organization with conceded measures, skills and competencies, plans and outcome given by the employees. (Rummler and Brache, 2012)

Performance management provides a platform for supervisors and managers further allowing them to measure performances of the employees and identifying whether or not they meet the company's expectations. The method differs in every work atmosphere, business type and somewhat on the employee's occupation.

In the context of Harrods, one can see that the brand’s key objective is providing value to its customers and for doing so tools like performance management allows the management in understanding the current condition of the employees. For achieving the business goals, targets are designed for every department that is further divided into an employee’s individual target by the Floor Manager and the employees performances are monitored based on it. (Rummler and Brache, 2012)

Performance management methods used in Harrods 

  • Graphic Rating Scales:In this method, an employee’s performance is rated usually on a scale from 1 to 5 in terms of job duties and performance standards. Although this method requires preparation just like other methods, it can comparatively be concluded in a quick way, which is an advantage for the supervisors who oversee multiple departments leaving limited time for personnel management duties.
  • Management by Objectives:this tool has been beneficial in measuring the performances of employees’ at supervisory or managerial positions and begins with determining the employee goals from where an employee and the manager line-up the resources needed for attaining the goals. In the next part, a period is set in order to attain all goals. At the time of evaluation, employee and manager meet repeatedly for discussing the growth and resetting those goals for which the employee requires more time or resources. Performances are measured by how the number of goals he/she attains within the given period. (Rummler and Brache, 2012)

4.2 Assess the approaches used to managing employee welfare in your organisation

The term employee welfare is quite extensive and covers the services, benefits and facilities employers offer the employees. In addition, it includes everything that comforts and improves the employees’ lifestyle and is provided over and above the pays. Welfares are helpful in keeping the employees’ morale and motivation high eventually in retaining the skilled employees for a longer period. It is necessarily not important that the welfare will always be in terms of money and might include monitoring of work conditions, creating of industrial harmony by providing good infrastructure, medical coverage, employment to a family member in case of the employee’s death, sponsoring high education of children etc. (Gallie, Zhou, Felstead and Green, 2012)

managing employee welfare

The purpose behind employee welfare at Harrods is to cultivate a feeling amid employees that the company thinks and takes care of its employees. Employee welfare is Harrods primitive concern as the management considers the employees as a family thereby, taking care of them by doing whatever possible. Harrods has successfully implemented workplace flexibility as one key approach in employee welfare. It has also initiated an Employee Assistance Program where employees and their family members are been counselled in issues apart from work further reducing the employees stress level at work the affect of which can be seen in their productivity. With programs like Income Protection Aid, Harrods aims in giving security to its employees while they are employed and after retirement. By initiating employee recognition program Harrods rewards the highest achievers for their outstanding services towards the company. In every Christmas Eve, Harrods launches a seasonal gift card with any denomination from £10 to £10,000 designed for simplifying the employees shopping experience giving them access to shop from either in-store or online and can be used in Harrods day spa, Urban Retreat, Pet Spa, Christian Louboutin Shoe Boutique, restaurants and cafeteria including the store’s food halls. (Gallie, Zhou, Felstead and Green, 2012)

4.3 Discuss the implications of health and safety legislation on human resources practices

The HR practices in Harrods constantly try in following the health and safety legislations and the guidance provided in this legislation is been considered while the designing the HR policies. Harrods truly believes that a healthy workforce is more productive further helping the business in running smoothly without any disruptions. The health and safety legislations generally adds on to the expenses of the company further demanding the HRM authorities in instituting relevant programs ensuring adequate health status of the employees while recruitment and at working hours as under these legislations a company is hold responsible for providing the employees with healthy workplace environment and failure in doing so might cause legal troubles for Harrods often leading to stiff penalties. However, there are times when the health and safety requirements are so stringent eventually creating problems for the HR department to adhere them. Take for example, in order to follow the policies regarding the production and controlling of wastes, Harrods has to spend a lot on the project. Health and safety legislations ensure that employees and their surrounding environments comply with the stated requisites that come with an added costs. (Bratton and Gold, 2012)

4.4 Evaluate the impact of another topical issue on human resources practices

The managing of human resources gets affected with various topical issues across all sectors. One such major topical issue whose impact can be seen on Harrods is labour supply, which at times is under or over depending on the labour market. Harrods faces under-supply of labour when a certain system is incapable in propounding suitable and consistent supply of eligible and qualified work force because of lack of proper educational systems or well-trained teachers. In this kind of situation, the HR department of Harrods is forced to outsource employees through other means like labour exporting that eventually increases its costs. Over-supply of labour occurs when the economy produces more qualified unemployed people than actually needed ultimately affecting Harrods HRM practices mainly recruitment as thousands of eligible applicants apply for a single job position thereby, forcing the HR department in looking into additional ways for selecting the best applicant while maintaining fairness in the process and being discriminatory in any way. (Nickson,  2013)

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At the end, it can be concluded that it is important that HRM be considered as an organization’s strategic function. By effectively managing the human resources Harrods can successfully gain competitive advantage over its market competitors and keep the employees engaged who eventually be more likely to associated with the brand thereby, believing in and living out the organization’s values.


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Kirton, G. and Greene, A.M., 2015. The dynamics of managing diversity: A critical approach. Routledge.
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