Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc


Diploma in Business

Unit Number and Title

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Next plc

QFC Level

Level 5


An organization cannot achieve organisational objectives without good human resources management (HRM). Unit 22 managing human resources Next plc will describe historical theories and their values in current context of HRM. Study will elaborate role of line managers and employees to build strategies at HRM. Next section of study will discuss various types of flexibility models to illustrate their impact and application on human resources management practices. The study will also reflect the regulations and their implementations in an organization. Along with, the study will emphasize the methods to implement health and safety legislation in organization. Study will analyze the functionality of  Next plc  organization for better understanding. Next plc is a brand over 40 countries as a largest chain of retail services.

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc - Assignment Help

                      Figure 1: Next plc logo

Task 1 essay

Guest’s model of HRM as applied to the Next plc

Guest model states that HRM is required to design policies and practices in order to achieve higher values in four major outcomes i.e. in strategic integration, commitment, quality and flexibility. Guest model determined these four outcomes as dimensions of model.

  • Strategic Integration: Strategic integration means to ensure achievements of organizational goals through the HRM strategies. Thus, strategic integration is the ability of an organization to fit HRM strategies with organizational strategies to achieve specified goals. However, it is harder to integrate both strategies. The strength of strategic integration depends on the ability of members of higher authorities of an organization.
  • Commitment: Higher commitment towards work is required to accomplish the task productively. Behavioural commitment is necessary to enhance the productivity and attitudinal commitment identifies strong integration with organization (Savaneviciene and Stankeviciute, 2015).
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is defined as the ability to accept changes in business, working environment and innovations. Flexibility may appear in number of resources, functionality, pay system and distancing.
  • Quality: Good quality is expected in human resources and products and services as the results of HRM strategies and practices.

Guest model is a combination of hard and soft HRM. Major advantage of this model is to achieve simultaneously organizational goals as well as employees’ development. However, it seems difficult to bridge the gap between organizational strategies and HRM strategies.

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc. 1 PNG

                                       Figure 2: Guest model of HRM

Guest model is implemented in Next plc to design the strategies and practices for HRM. At the top authorities, hard HRM described by the model is used to make strong business decisions without participation of any human resources. Management of Next plc implements soft HRM to ensure the achievements of organizational goal as well as enhancement in capabilities of employees, so that more productivity can be expected in future from them. Next plc has primary focus on potential of employees to achieve the major outcomes which are defined in Guest model (Bratton and Gold, 2012). Organization is flexible to make decisions on working hours and number of employees required to accomplish a task effectively.

Storey’s definitions of HRM, personnel and IR practices: Storey defines HRM as a strategic and coherent approach to attain organizational benefits with the help of highly dedicated and talented workforce using appropriate cultural, structural and personnel techniques (Storey, 1995). According to Storey, HRM is beneficial for employer as well as employees. Employer can achieve more benefits regarding work and quality whereas employees get chance to enhance their skills and living standards. Storey sees the personnel management as the management of employees by obeying the rules defined by the business. Personnel management concerned with the recruitment, payroll and laws related to employees. Personnel management of Next plc is dedicated to optimize capabilities of employees, using good training and development programs. Individual’s skills are praised to motivate other employees. Next plc also follows formalities with candidates to make them familiar with rules and roles in organization. Personnel management is also helpful to carry management tasks easily (Sheehan, 2013).

Industrial relationship (IR) can be defined as relationship between employer and employees and the way in which they interact with each other. Storey focused to make this relation strong to ensure smooth management. Next plc conducts events to fill the communication gap between employees and employer. Also organization is structured in levels to establish proper implementation and feedback path. IR is helpful for Next plc to make the decisions democratic and effective. Management expects the suggestions and queries in free form from employees. Industrial relations also help to understand the responsibilities in team.

HRM can be categorized in two forms:

  • Hard HRM: In hard HRM, employees are simply treated as resources of business. Hard HRM only focus on the achievement of organizational goals rather than development of employees. Hard HRM is used to make critical and quick decisions without any participation of employees in decision making process. Autocratic leadership suits in hard HRM in order to compete with opponents.
  • Soft HRM: In soft HRM, employees are treated as the most valuable resources of business to achieve competitive advantages. Organization like Next plc focuses on growth of human power and sees the strength of business in them. Thus, motivation and reward is given to the employees to keep them energetic toward the achievement of organizational goals (Marco-Lajara and Úbeda-García, 2013). Unlike hard HRM, soft HRM concentrates to long-term plans and communicate with employees. Thus, democratic leadership style suits with soft HRM.

Implications for line managers and employees: Line managers are the link between higher management level and employees. They are responsible to direct the underneath employees as upper management wants. Line managers are implicated to ensure the several functionalities in organization.

Line managers are liable to implement the management strategies and motivate the employees to achieve the goals. For instance, management of Next plc decides the goal to accomplish via line managers. Line managers distribute the task and responsibility among underneath team members. Line managers at Next plc are the governing entities of business because they measure the performance of individuals in order to complete the job. Line managers are specialist in day to day personal management. They monitor and evaluate the progress of assigned task so that employees can be directed and motivated towards achievement. Alongside it, they also measure the performance of individual to notify the contribution at higher management level (Trullen.et.al.2016). In this manner, line managers of Next plc are connected to HRM to ensure benefits to employees either for their performance or rights. This is the responsibility of line managers to complete the task within time frame. For that, line managers at Next plc use motivation as well as technical expertise to enhance the capabilities of employees. Thus, line managers are required to perform the task in cost effective manner.

Implication of employees plays a significant role in HRM. Employees at Next plc are treated as the most valuable resources of business because organization believes that high performance and innovative employees are the foundation of productivity. Leaders set the direction and implements  business strategy  to build commitment. Performance matrix can be build to measure the performance of employees in order to evaluate continuous improvements. Also, support to employees may enhance the productivity. Besides it, management of Next plc can establish proper communication and feedback system with employees to improve the business. Organization offers reward to employees for their performance and contribution so that employees can be drive towards higher quality (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). This is also necessary to build collaboration and sharing of best-practices to enhance efficiency.

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Task 2

2.1 Model of flexibility might be applied in your organization

Flexibility is the ability to respond towards the changes in business structure and market. It is required to improve the current business economy. Flexibility in an organization reflects the capability to adapt, survive and grow. Flexibility practices are involved as the result of globalization, growth of the product market, technology enhancement and demands to maximize labor throughput (Sarantinos 2007). As a result, several flexibilities are considered in Next plc like organizations to ensure the smooth working of business.

  • Internal or Functional Flexibility: Internal flexibility means to make changes in duties and responsibilities carried out by the employees in an organization. Thus, Next plc like organizations requires multi-talented employees to execute different jobs in unfavourable business conditions. Employees get the chance to learn new skills. For instance, Next plc assign employee to work as counter assistant for a month, later, organization may change the position to customer representative to match the business requirements (Cogin and Boedker, 2014). Thus, internal flexibility is good for both- organization as well as employees. However, it is difficult to get perfection in several roles but may be helpful to overcome adverse situations.
  • Numerical or External Flexibility: External flexibility represents the ability of organization to react with external changes like demands and requirements. Next plc can hire more employees in order to meet demand during the peak seasons or can fire them to reduce operational cost. In the same manner, Next plc can increase or decrease the working hours of employees to maintain the production ratio. Thus, this flexibility helps in survive by making smaller changes in strategies (Hughes and Stephens, 2016).

2.2 The types of flexibility which may be developed

Flexibilities can be developed in order to win situations in business. This is the job of higher authorities to decide the type of flexibility to implement via management. Organizations can choose the following flexibilities according to the situation prevailing:

Numerical Flexibility: Organization can make changes in working hours, number of employees and contracts to meet the requirement. Limited job security rights are given to employees when they are employed on short-term contract. An organization can increase or decrease the working hours or hire or fire employees to meet the requirement of human resources with demands. New recruitments are made for a specific short period to meet the demands of customers in specific time period. For instance, Next plc can employ temporary staff for meeting the demands during the festival season like Christmas.

Unit 22 Managing Human Resources Assignment Next plc. 2 PNG

           Figure 3: Types of flexibilities

Functional Flexibility: Employees can be assigned special job duties and responsibilities according to their skills to meet the business requirements.  Later, employees can be reassigned to their predetermined jobs. This is helpful to reduce the cost on human resources as well as on management to recruit new candidates in unfavourable conditions (Purce, 2014). Employees use their skills or learn something new during multiple duties. Also organization takes the benefits of multitalented employees to reduce operational costs.

Financial Flexibility: In several conditions, an organization may use financial flexibilities to overcome the  financial resources  issues in the business. In order to improve financial position, organization can reduce the wage of employees for short time. It may be applied to maintain profitability in business. However, reduction in wage reflects on individual, group or organizational levels (Patel.et.al.2013). Also significant impact is seen on the performance in work.

2.3 Assessment of flexible work practices from the perspectives of both the employer and the employee

Flexibility practices are useful for employer as well as for employees. As in numerical flexibility, it is clear that new employees can be hired or working hours of existing employees can be increased to meet organizational goals. Thus, employees will get more values for same time or get extra pay for extra hours. This may be the need of some employees to earn more. Also, some candidates willing to be familiar with operation of organization may join the team for short time period. Opposite to it, organization makes high profit during that session of business. In down time, cost on extra employees can be saved by organization to operate smoothly.

An organization can make changes in internal functioning to manage the business. Employees can use their multi-talent nature to explore the opportunities in organization. Their work may be considered significant to overcome bad situations of business (Allen.et.al.2013). Employer makes the use of talented employees to execute more tasks with less number of human resources. Employer save the cost in management and employees use their talents to learn and grow within organization. Employees can enhance their skills during multiple roles in business. In poor economic time, employees can be fired or their wages can be decreased. Employer gets more work in less capital whereas employees have little benefits. Employees can turnover or stay according to their needs (Masuda.et.al.2012).

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

Labour market refers to the capability of labours to respond towards the changes in market situations. Changes in labour market impact the flexibility of an organization. Flexibility of organization may be affected by following factors of labour flexibility.

  • Mobility of labours: It depends on employees whether they are able or willing to switch job, location or industry to make the organization flexible according to market conditions. Thus, mobility of labour affects the organization to stand before demands.
  • Labour Migration:Encouraging employees to migrate between countries may increase the degree of labour market at recipient country (Cuñat and Melitz, 2012). Thus, organization situated in other country may become less flexible.
  • flexibility practices may be affected by wage given to employees. Demands to increase wages may put the organization in less flexible condition when organization is demanding more employees. Thus, demands and supply in wages reflects the flexibility of organization. It becomes necessary to analyse the exact demands and supply to control the wages and benefits.
  •  Skills and training: Employees can be training to react with changes in structure or processing. Their skills can be enhanced to reduce the turnover and firing cases. Organization may become more flexible but it is also possible that organization may not be capable to transform them as more valuable resources. This will put organization in flexibility constraints.
  • Employer’s policies related to qualification, wage and welfare affect the flexibility of labour power (Bernal-Verdugo.et.al.2012). As a result, organization also suffers from flexibility issues.

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Study has concluded that HRM plays an important role in an organisation. Also, Study determined the roles of line managers and employees to build strong HRM strategies. The impact and application of various flexibility issues has been studied in the report. The report has also described the significance of equal opportunity legislations in business. Finally, report has defined several ways to implement and ensure health and safety of employees at workplace of Next plc.


Books and journals
Allen, T.D., Johnson, R.C., Kiburz, K.M. and Shockley, K.M., 2013. Work–family conflict and flexible work arrangements: Deconstructing flexibility.Personnel Psychology66(2), pp.345-376.
Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
Barak, M.E.M., 2013. Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.
Bernal-Verdugo, L.E., Furceri, D. and Guillaume, D., 2012. Labor market flexibility and unemployment: new empirical evidence of static and dynamic effects. Comparative Economic Studies54(2), pp.251-273.
Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Cogin, J.A. and Boedker, C., 2014, January. How HRM adds Value to a Firm: The Mediating Effects of Flexibility and Capital in the Service Sector. InAcademy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2014, No. 1, p.
10094). Academy of Management.
Cuñat, A. and Melitz, M.J., 2012. Volatility, labor market flexibility, and the pattern of comparative advantage. Journal of the European Economic Association10(2), pp.225-254.
Cunningham, T.R., Sinclair, R. and Schulte, P., 2014. Better understanding the  small business  construct to advance research on delivering workplace health and safety. Small Enterprise Research21(2), pp.148-160.
De Waal, A., 2013. Strategic Performance Management: A managerial and behavioral approach. Palgrave Macmillan.