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Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 22 Managing Human Resources
The main dimensions of Guest model HRM are HRM strategy, practices, outcomes, behaviour outcomes, performance outcomes and financial outcomes. Guest developed a soft HRM model that treated business strategy at the same level as HR strategy. He felt that employee commitment would increase if the organisation they worked for cared for their benefit and welfare. According to him the workforce should have certain qualities like adaptability and flexibility. In our chosen organisation of Tesco it can be seen that strategic human resource management techniques are employed to achieve business outcome. Guest proposed that these key dimensions in the HR domain would ensure better relationship between the management and the employees leading to the retention of the high performing employees (Daley, 2006). Like in Tesco the adoption of Guest model of HRM had ensured better employee performance, employee engagement and also stronger job performance with higher degree of problem solving skills. This has also led to greater cost effectiveness as employee turnover has reduced drastically and the cost of training and development of the employees are recovered by the sheer volume of business that is generated by them. The main aim of Guest model of HRM is to combine human resources strategies with the business strategies of the organisation. These are not to be treated separately as has been done by the companies previously but these should be closely integrated to achieve the aims, objectives and business goals of the organisations (Chan et al.2004). It has been found in Tesco that after the implementation of this model the overall commitment level of the employees have gone up by a considerable amount as reflected by less employee turnover, absences and grievance reporting by the employee groups. Guest proposed that HR policies should be in line with the business aims and objectives and should be supported by a sense of commitment from the part of the employees and also a sense of belonging to a wider family (Datta et al.2005).
Storey is known for distinguishing between the hard and soft models of HRM. The hard view of HRM treats the employee as a cost in the sense they had to be paid salaries, bonuses and benefits in lieu of the services provided by them. On the other hand the soft view of HRM treats the employees as a resource whose valuable contributions help to achieve the business aims and goals of the organisation. For example in Tesco the soft view of HRM service is followed where the employees are regarded as a valuable resource whose contributions are imperative to achieve high growth and profitability of the organisation. On the other hand the NHS treats its employees as a cost and these results in lower morale and sense of commitment and responsibilities on the part of the employees. Hard HRM insists on compliance by the employees to the rules and regulations of the company and to abide by them on nail and tooth. Soft HRM on the other hand expect commitment from the part of the employees that is the intrinsic value carried by them when they come to work in the organisation (Colbert, 2004). Thus it can be seen that employees in the super market chains of Tesco the employees are customer friendly and always eager to help out the customers in choosing the right kind of product or to make the correct buying decision. Thus the employees act from their own sense of responsibility without being reminded of their job roles and duties by the management at each and every step (Chan et al.2004). Their sense of commitment is evident from their cheerful attitudes and eagerness to help out the customer on the shop floor. On the other hand the employees of NHS have to comply with the strict rule and regulations of the management and they have to be reminded of their duties and responsibilities at each step by the organisation.
To benefit from a strategic approach to HRM the line managers should be proactive enough to understand their commitment to the organisation. They should align their personal goals and ambitions to that of the mission and vision of the organisation in order to carry out their job roles and responsibilities in an effective manner. They should be willing to go the extra mile and exert considerable effort to achieve the organisational goals and objectives. This can be seen in Tesco where each line manager in the departmental stores go out of their way to guide the customers to make a purchase and in any matter they need help like description of the pros and cons of a product or a service. Implementation of the strategic model of HRM involves an excellent service culture in the organisation wherein each employee takes their own initiatives to get the work done properly and completely (Daley, 2006). The line managers must learn to go beyond what is prescribed in the line of their duties and go the extra mile to implement the mission of the organisation and also to uphold the values of the organisation as prescribed in its mission statement. They must maintain a “CAN DO “attitude while approaching difficult tasks so that despite the problems and difficulties they can achieve a very high level of performance of their duties and tasks. They need not wait to be directed by their supervisors at each step but rather act out of their own conscience and a sense of responsibility to achieve their own goals as well as the aims and goals of the organisation (Colbert, 2004). This kind of initiatives and proactive behaviour can be seen among line managers in the departmental stores of Tesco where the supervisors effectively delegate authority and power to them to act on their own and do what is right in a given situation or a circumstance.
Flexibility of an organisation relates to its ability to manage the workforce numbers and the job roles and responsibilities that the employees are concerned with. Thus there are two types of flexibility –numerical and functional. For example in our chosen organisation which is the Hilton hotel Dover the workforce numbers are flexible. Many temporary workers are recruited during the peak summer season when many tourists come to the seaside resort to take advantage of the warm and sunny weather (Snow & Snell, 2011). During this season a lot of staff members cater to the huge demand of the tourists and the travellers. On the other hand during the lean winter season the hotel runs on a basic skeletal structure with only the staff members whose services are absolutely required. Thus the hotel has achieved numerical flexibility in terms of managing the workforce numbers. Functional flexibility on the other hand has to do with the multi-skilled multi tasking employees of the hotel who are able to take on various kinds of responsibilities depending on the type of work load and as demanded by the situation and circumstance (Datta et al.2005). Thus the Hilton hotel Dover can be considered to be a flexible firm having two types of workforce –one which is highly skilled and trained and form the backbone of the workforce structure within the organisation and others are what is known as periphery workers who are hired for shorter periods of service and to do some odd chores as and when they arise. Thus it has achieved a balance between numerical and functional flexibility in employing much of its workforce. There is a group of permanent and highly qualified and highly paid staff who are required to do the complex tasks and assignments and others have to work in supporting function to lend a helping hand to the permanent members of the staff.
As already mentioned in the previous paragraph the Hilton hotel Dover has achieved numerical and functional flexibility. These have to do with managing the work force numbers according to the demand of the clients and also to allocate different tasks to the same person so as to achieve multi- tasking. In addition to these there is the concept of financial flexibility and temporal flexibility which the organisation can identify and achieve in its own area of practice (Colbert, 2004). Temporal flexibility has to do with the management of time may be the working day or the working year. Concepts like flexi time, overtime etc fall under the ambit of temporal flexibility of the organisation. For example in the Hilton hotel Dover employees are given flexible time according to their personal needs and capacities and the demands of the work at the hotel in any given day or season or year (Chan et al.2004). The staff members are free to chose their respective work shifts subject to a limited number of constraints and the needs and requirements of the guest and clients at the hotel. Also during the peak season workers have to work overtime for which they are paid a certain amount of money extra. Financial flexibility refers to the variation of the payment methods that are used to pay the workers according to their contribution in their own line of work and duties. For example the employees in the Hilton hotel are paid according to the significance and importance of the work done by them and the emphasis is both on the quality and the quantity. Thus the firm has achieved financial flexibility (Daley, 2006).
Flexibility from the employees perspective is the terms and conditions of employment that enable them to achieve at least to some reasonable degree, a work life balance and job security. It must be kept in mind that employees are human beings who have emotions and likes and dislikes. Also they are looking at job roles, responsibilities and prospects that would justify their career needs, goals and advancements (Datta et al.2005). They have invested money in acquiring a college education and also spent time and effort in acquiring the skills and competencies that would enable them to achieve success in their chosen career fields. At the same time they want to raise a family and be a happy family man, after all they are earning money to take care of themselves and their family members. Flexibility from an employer’s perspective means getting the work done at any cost following the rules and regulations. It has to do with the availability of the right people at the right time so as to achieve the business goals , aims and objectives of the organisation and to be a market leader in whatever industry it is operating.
The changes in the labour market in the 21st century have had impacted the flexible working practices of many firms and companies (Chan et al.2004). In the western markets for example the workers have become too demanding as far as the wages are concerned and the workers time available to do the job. It is marked by talent shortage and hence the firms cannot be as flexible as they were in the last century. It is very difficult to find the right person to do the job. On the other hand in the emerging markets of India and China there is an abundance of cheap labour as thousands and millions of young people enter the work force every year (Colbert, 2004). They are all very talented and have minimum demands unlike their counterparts in the western world. Thus the Indian and the Chinese firms can afford to incorporate flexible work practices than their Western counterparts. Many of the Indian firms often hire part time people as such members of the work force are readily and cheaply available in that part of the world.
In the work place many types of discrimination can take place which must be properly addressed and resolved by the management before it escalates into something serious which might bring disrepute to the organisation or the person concerned. The common type of discrimination that occurs in the work place is gender based discrimination. Women face a lot of discrimination not only during the hiring process but also during day to day operations of the business as well as in the time of promotions. Sexual harassment is on rise these days and women in particular are feeling unsafe and vulnerable (Datta et al.2005). Thus it is up to the management to provide women with a safe and sound working in business environment which is free from problems and troubles of these sort. It is often noted that women are asked for sexual favours in lieu of promotion to the upper echelons of the organisation. More often than not it is senior executives who are involved in such heinous acts and thus it is imperative to protect and safeguard the rights of women in the work place. Another type of discrimination that takes place in the organisation is based on race and skin colour or any religious or ethnic minorities. Such people despite having the talents and skills are denied promotion to the upper echelons of the organisations and are not usually inducted to the senior level executive positions (Daley, 2006). Thus these people end up in the bottom rungs of the organisation and remain there for a long period of time until they are fed up and leave the job altogether. It leads to frustrations in their lives as their capacities and talents cannot be fully utilised and they just fade away from the scene despite having the qualities and capabilities required to discharge the duties of the job effectively. Thus these forms of discriminations should be stopped.
For Tesco the equal opportunities legislation has come as a boon for all employees concerned and particularly the employees who fall under the ambit of minority groups. According to this legislation no company can discriminate among the employees on the basis of gender, age, creed, religion or skin colour or disabilities either in the hiring practices or in the process of granting promotions to the higher levels of the organisation (Chan et al.2004). Those firms that are involved in this type of discrimination are liable to face prosecution and other legal penalties should allegations are brought to them by the aggrieved individuals or their families. This legislation gives equal opportunities and scope to every individual who has the necessary skills to be a part of the organisation irrespective of his differences with the mainstream work force. It removes unfair practices and favouritism from the work place and places all the employees in an equal footing before the eyes of the organisation. It fosters the spirit of camaraderie among the different sections of the work force and thus it makes it possible to leverage diversity within the organisation. It utilises the myriad skills and competencies of an ethnically diverse work force that helps to achieve the aims and goals of the business organisation in a more effective and better manner (Colbert, 2004). For example it can be seen that in Tesco departmentalstores workers of all types of ethnic backgrounds are working together to achieve the common goals and the main mission and vision of the organisation setting aside the differences in their spoken language and culture. Thus it can be said that this legislation has helped Tesco to take advantage of the diversity and the unique talents and skills being brought to the work place by different community of workers who come from various ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. Thus it creates a vibrant work culture that fosters effective team work and hence the aims and business goals of the organisation could be achieved in a better manner.
Managing diversity entails establishment of work based practices that allow each individuals to collectively bring in diverse and unique qualities and competencies to the work place that would allow for better problem solving, conflict resolution, team work and faster achievement of the work objectives of the organisation. Thus managing diversity cuts down on cost and saves time and helps to allocate resources in an effective manner. Ignoring diversity causes a lot of problems on the organisation from attrition to work place conflicts that often results in litigation. Some of the consequences of not effectively managing diversity is the rise of tensions arising out of cultural differences of the different people involved in work (Colbert, 2004). For example in the NHS which failed to utilise diversity properly, led to the creation of small power groups or cartels of employees of a particular background within the organisation. These groups were formed among the individuals belonging to the same ethnic group and the cause of such formation is that the management turned a blind eye to their problems and grievances and as a result they lost complete faith in the management of the organisation. On the other hand in the organisation of Tesco which has managed to handle diversity effectively the groups of employees of different ethnic backgrounds work together in a peaceful and cooperative manner without any tensions and grievances whatsoever. The skills and talents of many employee are put together to achieve the broader aims and goals of the organisation (Daley, 2006). Thus the company Tesco has been successful in being able to handle and manage diversity and this has leveraged its position in the industry as a market leader. It has been able to retain talent and the valuable human resources that it has got.
Measuring the performance of the executives and the workers is essential to maintain a certain quality of service and product design and such monitoring of performance is to be carried out from time to time to ensure compliance to the work standards. In Tesco there are periodic appraisals done for each and every worker and executives by the senior managers to see that they are carrying out their duties and tasks to the best of their ability and deliver high quality of service to the organisation and the customers (Snow & Snell, 2011). Periodic feedbacks are taken from time to time from the customers asking them to relate how the store managers and the shop floor staffs are doing their duties , whether they are helping them to make their purchase decisions easier and also guiding them towards making the right purchase of items according to their needs and requirements. The shop floor employees are expected to be courteous towards all the customers who come to the stores and retail outlets to make their purchases and help them in any way they can so as to enable them to make an informed choice about the goods and services purchased (Datta et al.2005). The company rewards the high performers with bonuses and increments so that they get the encouragement to perform even better and deliver a higher a level of performance. Those who are failing to deliver effective service to the customers are given warnings and adequate time to correct them before more stringent actions are taken against them that might have severe consequences.
In Tesco a variety of methods are used to ensure employee welfare and to support the family members of the employee through difficult transition times as far as possible by the management. The employees are given travel allowance so that they can commute in a hassle free manner to and from the workplace and their home in the shortest possible time with the least wastage of time and exertion. They are given medical benefits like full reimbursement of medical bills accrued during the period of service or tenure in the organisation (Colbert, 2004). In case any employee is to be hospitalised the full payment of bills is granted to them as a portion of their employee benefit package that was agreed upon when they signed the offer letter and accepted the terms and condition of the employment regime. Apart from these they are given soft loans to build houses and also paid rent in case they are employed in any of the large cities away from their home. Thus these kinds of measures are taken by Tesco towards the employee welfare program and due to this caring attitude of the management the employees rarely leave the organisation thus bringing down the attrition rate and the high employee turnover ratet witnessed by other companies in the retail sector (Chan et al.2004).
According to the health and safety legislation the company provides a safe and secure working environment to all the workers such that they have no reason to feel insecure or any threat or danger to their life or health during the period of service. All the retail outlets of Tesco have all the safety features installed like fire safety, movement safety etc so that there is no danger to the life of any of the workers. The buildings have elaborate fire escapes and all other fire safety arrangements in place to prevent the spread of fire and to check any accidents that might happen in the short term and long term future (Chan et al.2004). The employees are given gloves and apron to wear while handling dangerous substances like chemicals and needles that are sold on the stores. Thus by complying to the health and safety standards the company ensures that no untoward incidents happen due to which it might find itself drawn into a long and expensive lawsuits imposed on them by the stakeholders. Thus it has adopted the safety first policy to protect its customers and employees (Datta et al.2005). All the products like toys which might pose a danger to the children carries adequate protection and warnings to the parents as to how to make their children learn them to use such that no accidents happen.
In addition to all the employee welfare and benefits Tesco puts a premium on ensuring that the employees maintain work life balance so that at the end of the day they are content and feel as a part of a large family that cares for their welfare and well being. There are adequate measures taken to ensure that the employees get chance for recreation and rest and that the hard work do not take a toll on their health (Colbert, 2004). Keeping this end in mind the company arranges for office parties and annual picnics for the staff members so that they can let their hair down and relax a little amidst the monotonous work they do day in and day out. They are also given airline tickets to top holiday destinations of the world once every four years for relaxation and entertainment purposes. In this way the company provides a good environment to the employee to foster a culture of cooperation and friendship among the employees so that team work could be achieved in a better manner.
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