Unit 22 Managing Human Resource Assignment - Mark & Spencer

Unit 22 Managing Human Resource Assignment - Mark & Spencer

Unit 22 Managing Human Resource Assignment - Mark & Spencer


Diploma in Business

Unit Number and Title

Unit 22 Managing Human Resource - Mark & Spencer

QFC Level

Level 5


Managing human resource is the most important element for the organizations to make a better position of the company in the competitive environment. Many organizations have realized the value of the human resource and the companies invest in the development human resource management in their organizations. Mark & Spencer is a multinational company based in the UK. Founded in 1884 and is one of the leading companies in the retail industry. The policies of Mark & Spencer have been enlightened to study the management of human resource in the company. In this unit 22 managing human resource assignment - Mark & Spencer, importance of the employees has been discussed in the process of attaining the desired goals. Theories of Professor David Guest and Storey’s definition of HR personnel and IR practices have been explained in context of Mark & Spencer. The flexibility model which can be applied on Marks & Spencer and the types which can be applied on the organization is explained. In the following report, the performance management system of Marks & Spencer is described along with the approaches which can be applied to the company for the welfare of the employees. The implications of the health and safety legislations on human resource practices have also been covered in the report. The employees’ discrimination is also one of the practices which prevail in the organizations and this can be reflected with the recent cases that happened in UK. The forms of discrimination in the workplace are discussed and study has been conducted to discuss the equal opportunity policy of Mark & Spencer and the approach of managing diversity at workplace.

Unit 22 Managing Human Resource Assignment - Mark & Spencer

Task 1

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

Professor David Guest is a well-known personality in the  human resource management  and has contributed in several areas of human resource practices such as employment relations, motivation of employees, workplace environment etc. The model which has been introduced by David Guest explains six dimensions;

  1. Strategies of human resource management
  2. Human resource management practices
  3. Human resource management outcomes
  4. Behavior outcomes of the employees
  5. Performance outcomes of the employees
  6. Financial results of the organization

In the present scenario of competitive market, it has become a necessity for the companies to have an effective and efficient human resource management practices for the development and growth of business of the organization. Professor David Guest has also explained the importance of HRM in his model. In Mark & Spencer, to gain the competitive advantage the company has invested in the development of human resource management. The Guest’s model of HRM has been implied in the company which focuses on the following policies;

  • The company focuses on the needs of the employees to develop their trust. Involve the employees in the management decision making to motivate them.
  • The company focuses on the individual needs over the collective needs of the workers.
  • Mark & Spencer have established a strategic framework and policies for the betterment of the human resource.
  • The Company considers the employees as its valuable assets and give importance in the retention of the employees. (Townsend, et.al.,2011)

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

Storey’s definitions of HRM personnel and IR practices explain that the employees of the company are the asset of the company and they are the important elements for contributing in achieving the company’s goals. According to Storey’s definition there are hard and soft forms of HRM. The hard HRM refers to the process to manage the employees in a way that they generate the valuable outcomes for the organization to create a competitive advantage for the company. The methods involved in hard HRM are the performance management and control. Soft HRM involves the methods to motivate the employees to gain their commitment towards the work and gain the competitive advantage. On the other hand, by industrial relations we mean the relationship between the employer and the employees in the organization. The two organizations which are chosen for conducting the study for comparing the difference between Storey’s definitions of HRM personnel and IR practices are; Marks & Spencer and Tesco PLC. In Mark & Spencer, importance is given to the human resource management and the industrial relations. The company focuses on the overall industrial relations and human resource management as well. The company takes into consideration the hard and soft HRM components. Industrial relations are also given equal importance where the company maintains a good relationship between the management and employees of the company.

On the other hand,  Tesco PLC  also focuses on the establishment of the human resource management to help attaining in the competitive advantage. But the company does not focus much on the development of the industrial relations. The company lacks in the coordination of the management with the employees which results in the low performance of the employees. It is recommended to the company to give importance to IR along with practicing HRM in the organization. (Novicevic, et.al., 2011)

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

In an organization, the HR managers have the responsibility for the establishment of the policies and strategies for the development of the human resource management. And the responsibility of implication of the human resource management lies with the line managers. Line managers are required to imply these strategies and policies at the operational level. The line managers play an important role in the process of successful implementation of the strategies by emphasizing the behavior of the employees and through motivating them and creating the trust among the employees for the HRM policies and practices established by the HR managers. In Mark & Spencer, the ultimate responsibly for the implementation of the HR policies at the operational level lies with line managers of the company. The company developed a framework and carried out the survey of the employees first, to identify the needs of the employees to make the HR policies implementation a success.

The company also focused on the communication flow in the organization so that the flow of communication will be top to bottom as well as bottom to top. This flow of communication helped the company to communicate the policies in a better way to the line managers and then the line managers can explain the strategies to the employees. Similarly, bottom to top flow of the communication, helped the HR managers to know the responses of the line managers and their grievances as well. Hence, line managers and the employees can implement the policies in the organization. In Mark & Spencer, the line managers work as leaders in the organization to get the employees motivated to work in the direction for fulfillment of the objectives of the organization. The employees in Mark &Spencer are rewarded for their performance which drive their motivation and improves their efficiency in work and thus resulting in the development of strategic approach to HRM. (Howe-Walsh, 2010)

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Task 2

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

The model of flexibility is considered to be the best approach in motivating the employees and to increase the productivity in the organization. In the organization like Mark & Spencer, the model of flexibility can be applied for the betterment of the employees and the organization as a whole. In Marks & Spencer, the human resource management can apply the models of flexibility in the organization as per the requirement of the job and the needs of the employees.The models like flexible working, functional flexibly and numerical flexibility can be applied in Mark & Spencer.

In Mark & Spencer, most of the employees prefer workplace flexibility and hence, the company can apply the flexible working style in the organization where employees can work in other then the specified working hours. Another model that can be applied to this organization is the functional flexibility, where the employees are given an opportunity to work on different projects in order to enhance their capability. Numerical model of flexibility in Mark & Spencer can be practiced where it can allow the other companies to perform for Mark & Spencer, for example security services etc. (Whyman,2014)

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

Work life balance refers to giving importance to the work as well as personal life equally. The work life balance helps the employees to keep motivated, work efficiently, increased morale etc. Similarly, it is beneficial from the organization point of view, as the organization can get the required productivity, can retain the valuable employees in the organization, increased efficiency and positive outcomes from the employees. The different types of flexibility which can be developed in Mark & Spencer are;

  • The company can provide the flexibility in the timings of the work to the employees. Instead of establishing a working hours concept, can flex time for certain kind of jobs where the workers can do the work at the time suitable to them as per the time parameter specified by the supervisors.
  • ROWE is the popular technique which Mark & Spencer can establish in its working environment where ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment. As the name suggests, the techniques focuses on only on the desired outcome and the employees has to work to attain the result. The employees are not required to present in the office for entire working hour. The ROWE results in better efficiency in work and the company may get increased productivity with reduced costs.
  • Reduced working hours is a strategy in which the employee can choose to work lesser than the specified working hours of the company. It may also be termed as voluntary part time work. Mark & Spencer may apply this way as a type of flexibility to attract the talent and retain the best performers of the company. In this plan a worker can work for fewer hours and for part year also. The employees at the higher post can be given this option to gain the benefits of their retention in the company. (Kossek, et.al., 2015)

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

Flexibility in the organization is the utmost requirement of today’s competitive environment. It has proved to be beneficial from the point of view of employees and the employers as well. To meet the changing needs of the business environment the companies are required to keep the workplace flexible and provide the employees the work life balance. In case of Mark & Spencer, the company needs to use the flexible working practices for more productivity at lesser cost.

The uses of flexible working practices from employees’ perspective are;

  • The employees can become more efficient and productive at the same time if they are able to create a balance in their work and their personal life.
  • The employees are more concentrated towards the work if they are secured for their families. It may also results in reduction of stress in the workplace.
  • They gain a level of satisfaction with their current job and are do not diverted their minds in search of new jobs.
  • The chances of spillover in employees are reduced with a fluent work life balance.

The uses of flexible working practices from the employer’s perspective are;

  • The employers can be benefitted with the retention of the highly talented and experienced staff with the practice of flexible workplace.
  • The increased productivity from the employees ultimately helps the organization to grow.
  • Balance approach is created between the employees and the employers which increases the work efficiency.
  • It turns to be a win-win situation for employers as they gain the confidence and commitment of their employees.

Hence, Mark & Spencer being a multinational company need to assess the importance of the flexible work environment and implement the strategies to reach the desired objectives. (Galinsky,2011)

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

The flexible labor market refers to the flexibility in the working people.  The companies to remain competitive in the market, need to have flexibility in the workplace. There are various techniques which can be applied by the organizations to apply the flexible working practices. There is a great effect and impact of the changes in the labor market on the flexibility in the workplace and many organizations have been affected by such changes. Mark & Spencer have also impacted with the change in the labor market. Due to the technological changes, the company is in the position to have flexible labor markets. Internet is the source which has made it easy to work from home.  The participation of women labor also impacts the flexible working practices as they mostly prefer the part time working. With the changes in the labor market, Mark & Spencer have applied more flexible working practices in the organization in order to make its market position higher than the competitive firms. (Kadek, 2011)

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 news.

The discrimination that takes place in the workplace is the employee’s discrimination practices. The employees’ discrimination refers to the unfair treatment to the employees in the organization. There are various forms in which the discrimination of the employees can take place and such forms of discrimination are based on unequal pay, cultural differences, disability, race etc. There are many prominent cases which occurred in the recent years on the employees’ discrimination at the workplace. Unequal pay is the situation where the two employees are not paid equally despite of being on the similar position, post, and having similar capabilities.

Cultural differences, religion or race are other factors of discrimination at the workplace. When an employee gets unfair treatment because of his cultural differences, then it is the case of workplace discrimination. One of the examples of the discrimination on the basis of religion at the workplace can be understood with the case of British airways, in which an employee named Ms Eweida, was discriminated at the workplace due to her Christian beliefs and was asked to stop wearing cross. The European Court of human rights ruled and the British government was asked to pay £2000 to Ms Eweida. Discrimination on the basis of disability of an employee is another form of discrimination at workplace. In a recent case against Starbucks, where the company treated the employee unfairly, who was facing a disability called as dyslexia. She was discriminated at the workplace due her disabilities in reading and writing. The case was filed against Starbucks and asked to pay compensation to the employee. (Barber,2014)

3.2 Discuss the practical implications of equal opportunities legislation for an organization.

The equal opportunities legislation is a set of laws which abide the organizations by not to discriminate the employees at the workplace on the basis of sex, race, religion, equal pay compensation, disability etc. The legislation describes any such act of discrimination as an unlawful act and can panelize the organizations who involve such practices. There are certain laws and act which came into force for the protection of employees from the discrimination practices at the workplace. The Equality Act, 2010 make the organizations to imply the laws in the workplace. Mark & Spencer is one of the organizations which has committed to the “equal opportunities policy”. The company promises a work environment which is free from the practices of employees’ discrimination and harassment. The provisions of the legislations are implied on the company and the organization gives importance on the equal opportunities to all of the employees on the basis of religion, gender, equal pay compensation and disability. Marks & Spencer, in its equal opportunities policy, engages in the process of recruitment, training, development without any discrimination. In recent years, the company has come up with some of the laws related to equal opportunities and implied it on the organization. It has committed to keep the discrimination at bay and introduced a “Diversity action plan” focusing on the training on disability awareness. (Bagilhole, 2010)

3.3 Compare the approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity. You should give examples from a selected organization and discuss the similarities and differences in their approaches to managing equal opportunities and diversity.

There are two approaches which prevail in the organizations for eliminating the discrimination among the employees at the workplace. The discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion or disability can be tackled with the approaches such as managing equal opportunities in the organization and managing diversity at the workplace. Both the approaches have some similarities as well as some differences. The equal opportunities approach refers to the approach of equal opportunities provided to all the employees in the organization despite of their gender, religion or any other factor of discrimination. The managing diversity approach refers to the approach to manage the various diversities based on the religions, cultural background, values, attitudes, etc. In today’s world where companies are becoming global, it has become the basic necessity of the companies to have employees from various cultures to grow their business on a global platform.

In Marks & Spencer, both the approaches are used for the betterment of the employees and the organization. The major difference which has been identified between the two approaches practiced in Mark & Spencer is that, the equal opportunity approach has been practiced externally in which the human rights are considered. The managing diversity on the other hand is practiced internally in which diversity among the employees are valued and considered an important element for achievement of organizational goals. Another difference between the two approaches can be noticed in the context of marks & Spencer, that the company deals with the equality in the society as a whole in the equal opportunity approach and in managing diversity approach the company deals with individual’s attitudes and values. (Powell, et.al., 2012)

Task 4

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

The betterment of the organization is based on the performance of the employees. For improving the performance of the employees, managing the employee’s performance is necessary at regular intervals. Regular performance evaluation can help the employees to analyze themselves and the organization can also monitor the performance of the employees.

In Marks & Spencer, the performance management takes place in every twelve months. Marks & Spencer has developed its own definition of performance management. According to Mark & Spencer, performance management is a process where the employees and the supervisor identify the goals which are in concentration with the objectives and goals of the organization as a whole. A meeting is conducted by the managers in which they discuss with the employees about the goals they have identified, how they will achieve these goals and the performance level of the employees towards the achievement of the goals. Some of the methods which are used by Marks & Spencer in the performance management are the performance related pay where the company pays to the workers based on their performance. Another method used by the company is the motivation theory where the employees are motivated with the performance based rewards. When the employees are motivated they perform in a better way. Mark & Spencer implements the performance management process for regular assessment to make sure that the employees are working in the required direction. (Behery,2014)

4.2 Assess the approaches used to managing employee welfare in your organization.

Managing the employees’ welfare is an important element in the success of the organization. In case of Marks & Spencer, the company is committed towards the security of the workers at the workplace and pays attention to the needs of the employees by taking several steps toward the  health and safety  of the employees in the organization. The approaches which are used in Mark & Spencer are;

  • The company has established several committees for the welfare of the employees such as fire health & safety committee.
  • Training is being provided in the organization to the workers regarding their own safety at the workplace.
  • The company provides the facilities to the employees to contact to the store, site or line managers in case of any issue related to the health and safety in the organization.
  • Various health insurance are provided to ensure the health and safety of the employees.
  • Safety instructions and safety tools are equipped at the workplace. (Gallie, 2012)

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

The health and safety legislation on human resources practices refers to the standards laid down for the health and safety of the employees at the workplace. These standards are prepared to avoid the occurrence of the accidents at the workplace. Thehealth and safety legislations help to create a safe and secured environment in the organization. In Mark & Spencer, the legislation lay down certain responsibilities on the employers and the supervisors to adhere with the rules and regulations of the legislation. The legislation affects the human resource practices to a great extent. The laws require the management to develop certain committees for the safety of the workers. The laws imply the human resource management to create a healthy work environment in the organization. The HR management conducts the training workshops for the employees to train them for their own safety. The tools and equipment should be in place all the time and it is the responsibility of the management to keep the record of the tools updated at regular intervals. (Gibson, 2014)

4.4 Evaluate the impact of another topical issue on human resource practices.

 In today’s competitive environment, there are various issues for the human resource practices in the organizations. One of the topical issues which impact the human resource practices is the strategic issue to HRM. In the company like Marks & Spencer, this is the issue that affects the human resource practices in the company. With the changing trends and preferences of the customers, the company needs to develop new strategies from time to time to compete from its competitors and for this strategies have to be developed and updated with the flow of change. This change caused the management of the company with certain issues in the human resource management. The performance of the employees also gets affected as the employees are not able to adopt the changes easily. (Ferner, et.al.,2011)

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In the given report, study of the management of human resource at Mark & Spencer has been conducted for the purpose of identifying various theories of the human resource. Mark & Spencer is a multinational company in the retail industry based in UK founded in the year 1884 and today is one the leading industries in the retail sector. The theory of Professor David Guest and the theory of Professor Storey were discussed to enlighten the importance of the employees in the organization. The theories say that the employees are the valued asset of the company and are the important factor for the development and growth of business. The importance of the work life balance has been increased in the recent years as the global changes are taking place in the business environment. The companies are focusing on the development of the flexibility models and applying them in the organizations. In this report, it has been discussed that how the model of flexibility at workplace can be applied at Mark & Spencer and the different types of the flexibility technique that can be used in the organization for the betterment of the employees and the employers. Performance management is the term used for the periodical appraisal of the employees and the management to keep a check on the performance of the organization. It is considered to be an important task in order to maintain the productivity in the company. In Mark & Spencer, the performance management is conducted every year and a meeting is conducted every year where the managers of the company discuss with the employees the short term goals and objectives to be achieved in concentration with the organizational goals and objectives. Another important element which has been discussed in this report is the employees’ welfare and the policies that are practiced at Mark & Spencer in the establishment of the employees’ welfare. Along with the welfare policies, company also focus on the healthy work environment in the workplace and maintenance of the safety measures and tools for the security of the workers. Hence, it can be concluded that the employees are the most valued asset of any organization and they have to be treated in a way so that they can be the support of the organization in achieving the desired benefits for the company such as competitive advantage, goals achievement, growth in the business and a health work environment in the organization.


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