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Evaluation of Strategic and Operation roles of HR Manager

The main objective of the essay is to examine the role and activities of Human resource manager and to compare and contrast with the role and activities of line manager in Marks and Spencer in the chosen activities as they play a vital role in any organisation. The reason for choosing Marks and Spencer is as it is one of the leading retailers in UK and it gives important to business values of quality, value, service, innovation and trust which lead to success in business. I have chosen recruitment and selection, training and development, equal opportunities and health and safety activities since recruitment and selection, training and development are the initial steps and it is important to have focus on these stages to have success in business and most of the candidates prefer the benefits of health and safety options and equal opportunities regardless of age, caste, religion etc. to have in their job. In this essay, first context via PEST and SWOT analysis is performed to know brief about the impacts on business and the conclusion on how to get rid of its weaknesses and then the concept of HRM and roles and activities of both the HR Manager and Line manager in the four activities in Marks and Spencer with an appropriate examples.

BODY

THE IMPORTANCE AND USE OF CONTEXT

‘Administrative’ approach is viewed as ‘good practice’ for an organisation to make better decisions. Administrative approach is nothing but theories on which how the managers should perform in order to achieve success. It is noticed that Marks and Spencer management committee have the confidence and knowledge to apply context to their own organisation or for employees in the given job. This has been developed to get better improvements in its business.

2.2 REASON FOR USING CONTEXT

In order to achieve success in business, it’s important to apply context which affects the organisation in more efficient way. The context allows us to apply administrative theory for the organisation and its analysis via PEST (for an industry) and SWOT(for an organisation) helps to rectify the weakness and improve the performance.

EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

It is significant to recognise environmental influences which affect the business activity in various ways because any activity undertaken will directly or indirectly be affected by these external impacts. Industries analyse their external environment to understand what impacts affect their business and this allows the managers to better improve their business Capon, C. (2009).Internal environment will have a direct impact on the business which can be modified by the organisation because the organisation has control over these factors. To examine the external and internal environment of the industry and organisation, PEST and SWOT analysis is needed. The acronym letters in PEST analysis mean:

Political

Economic

Social

Technical

The acronym letters in SWOT analysis mean:

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

The external and internal environment are differentiated and represented in figure 1 which is shown below:

Figure : EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT (HR MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES, no date)

01-02

OUTER CONTEXT - PEST ANALYSIS OF FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) INDUSTRY (PEST ANALYSIS, no date)

Political impacts

Government regulations and protection

Political stability

International business regulations and restrictions

Competition regulation

Government organisation and tax policies

Economic impacts

Interest rates

Economic growth

Taxation

Inflation rates

Exchange rates

Social impacts

Lifestyle changes

Demographics such as age distribution and population growth

Education (+8)

Living conditions (+8)

Health consciousness and safety (+10)

Technical impacts

Focus on technology (+10)

Technology transfer rate

New inventions and development (+10)

Changes in internet and information technology (+10)

Energy usage and costs

INNER CONTEXT – SWOT ANALYSIS OF MARKS AND SPENCER (M&S SWOT ANALYSIS, no date)

Strengths (all +)

High Recognition of Brand (7)

Leading Premium Quality Food Retailer (7)

Niche market success for food (5)

Maintains backward integration with suppliers (3)

Increase turnover and trading profits (7)

Popular Designer clothing (5)

Diverse range of products (5)

Contains adequate information processing (3)

online sales (5)

+47 overall weighting for the strengths

Weaknesses (all -)

Ageing customer base (-5)

Perception of high prices (-8)

Bad publicity as considered as an old fashioned store (-7)

Slow to change (-7)

-27 overall weighting for the weaknesses

Opportunities (all +)

Internationalisation – Increasing its global market (7)

New products and services for the customers (8)

Improve its growth areas such as food, home and beauty etc (5)

Need for branded goods (5)

+25 overall weighting for the opportunities

Threats (all -)

Intense competition in all M&S production areas (-5)

Increase in turnover of high performance managers (-5)

Inability to adapt to changing customer requirements (-10)

-20 overall weighting for the threats

An overall weighting for all four SWOT elements is +25, which is and an overall weighting of PEST analysis is + . This leads to the following conclusion.

It is clear from the PEST that the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) is in better shape and may be improved because of current changes in latest environment (+ ). The SWOT analysis indicates that Marks and Spencer need to look at customer requirements and change in prices and competition.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Human resource management (HRM) is a strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the employment, development and well-being of the people working in organisations. Armstrong, M. (2009)

DIFFERENT ROLES FOR HR MANAGEMENT

Figure (DIFFERENT ROLES FOR HR MANAGEMENT, no date)

01-05

Table : (OVERVIEW OF HR MANAGEMENT ROLES, no date)

01-07

CHANGING ROLES OF HR MANAGEMENT

Figure : CHANGING ROLES OF HR MANAGEMENT (Mathis, R.L. and Jackson, J.H., no date)

ROLE OF LINE MANAGER

To take all decisions in their department ensuring that managerial prerogative remains with management, unless the latter is shared by other parties, such as through collective bargaining. Haffner, D. (2010)

OPERATIONAL ROLE OF HR MANAGER

To identify and implement the policies those are related to the performance of strategic plans such as recruiting and selecting the candidates etc

STRATEGIC ROLE OF HR MANAGER

To support and advise line managers and to fulfill both the strategy execution and strategy formulation roles

Strategy execution (traditional role): The Company’s corporate strategies are formulated by the top management and the systems to support and align with the corporate strategies are developed by HR. Megahed, I. (2004)

Strategy formulation (today’s role): HR Manager is an associate in formulating the corporate strategy and its execution along with the top management. Megahed, I. (2004)

OPERATIONAL TO STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATION OF HR

Figure : (OPERATIONAL TO STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATION OF HR, no date)

TYPICAL ACTIVITIES OF HR MANAGER IN STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL ROLES

Table : (STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, no date)

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROCESS

Figure : HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROCESS Megahed, I. (2004)

FOUR ACTIVITIES

RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

Marks and Spencer recruits suitable candidates regardless of their age. It not only uses the criterion-based selection but also uses the online selection for initial screening which is conducted electronically. Marks and Spencer’s selection process is based on talent screening. Most of the candidates apply online and they are screened initially on several questions and the candidates who are successful in this stage are again screened using the online talent screening which assesses their skills for the job they are applying for. The candidates who are selected in this test are then invited for an interview and finally who perform well in interview is selected for the job. (Age and recruitment – state of play, 2007)

Activities of HR Manager

To attract a pool of qualified applicants to the organisation

Lists specific responsibilities of the job

Determine the number of employees needed to fill the vacant positions

Develop personnel plans

Responsible for developing the sources of qualified candidates

Perform initial screening test for the qualified applicants and send the list of filtered applicants to line manager

Activities of Line manager

Specifies the qualifications that are needed to fill specific positions

Responsible for doing job analysis

Responsible for writing the job description

Conducts final technical screening test for the candidates that are qualified in initial screening test

Interview the candidates and selects if he feels he is well suitable for the job or else requests for new applicants

Example1:

Scottish Power employees have a chance to join the business at various levels including Graduate Trainee and Apprentice. The workforce planning can be used to predict the skills necessary for the business. The recruitment process encourages the people with high skills and the selection process ensures that the Scottish Power identifies the people with the right skills needed for the business. (Recruitment and selection in the energy industry, no date)

Example 2:

In today’s world, the employers make use of internet for recruitment process. The electronic advertising quickly connects with the job-seekers in different places. Even the medium sized companies find that they can attract high-calibre recruits to their websites. It has been estimated that, with regards to cost saving, the expenditure on newspaper advertising dropped in the USA by 20 percent because of increase in internet expenditure. Organisations like L’Oreal and KPMG use online recruitment as they feel it improves their visibility. For example, KPMG deals with 35,000 applications a year but to save time and costs it decided to switch the UK recruitment online. (RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION EMPLOYED BY FIRMS, no date)

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

In Marks and Spencer, all the managers are capable of creating a career planning profile which helps them to focus their target position and also highlights what kind of programmes the Marks and Spencer needs to improve the performance in training and development.

Figure : Areas highlighted during a performance review (TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, no date)

Marks and Spencer conducts two forms of training (TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, no date)

On-the-job training. This type of training takes place while workers perform an activity in their workplace. This training mainly involves practical learning to improve technical skills which can be gain by involving in various projects. The key in performing on-the-job training is to find Marks and Spencer employees enjoy the work and achieve all the skills needed to do their job which benefits both the organisation and the employees.

Off-the-job training. This takes place away from their workplace. In this training Marks and Spencer provide various resources for its employees such as intranet, workbooks for open learning and also workshops to develop their skills.

Development helps the employees use the training to achieve their needs and career aspirations. Marks and Spencer include many development programmes such as Lead to succeed, Your M&S career path, managing for success and leading with impact, Marks & Start, Graduate schemes etc.

Activities of Line Manager

Responsible for providing performance coaching to the employees

Give training to the employees

Placing the right candidate on the right job

To motivate employees to perform well

Developing the abilities of each employee

Improving the skills of the employees by giving guidance that they need

Maintaining soft working relationships with employees

Line manager performs formal review on employees for every 2 years

Activities of HR Manager

Prepare training materials and course documents

Identify needs with line managers

Help employees to identify the needs

Provide leadership to build effective team

Develop Training and Development activities

Evaluate performance of employee

Review career progress

Example:

Audi has developed the training and development programme for the employees at the organisation. Technicians are allowed to identify their needs in training and development by their line managers. The technicians then work on the training and development activities with a specialised consultant and also attend the courses at the Audi training centre. Then they are able to produce the development plan automatically. (Human resources planning, no date)

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

Marks and Spencer committed to an equal opportunities policy in every aspect of the organisation right from the recruitment and selection process to the retirement process. The company provides the work environment which does not have any harassment, discrimination and victimisation.

EQUAL TREATMENT FOR EVERYONE: (Equal Opportunities & YOU A guide for all staff, no date)

It is Marks and Spencer’s policy to

Promote work environment which is free from victimisation, harassment and discrimination

M&S ensures that each and every employee receives an equal treatment in all aspects of employment policies despite of age, colour, gender, disability, race and marital status etc

Employ a workforce which replicates the community that serves and increases the personal and commercial opportunities

Understands the staff in knowing their equal opportunity rights by delivering training programmes

Comply with the law to protect both the organisation and its employees

Check and report the work of the employees and reconsider if any changes are to be made in company’s policy.

Type of involvement of HR Manager (Foot, M. and Hook, C., 2008)

Involvement in design of equal opportunities policy i.e. Equal treatment for everyone

Train all the employees regarding the policy of Equal treatment for everyone

Monitor the efficiency of equal opportunities policy

Type of involvement of Line Manager (Foot, M. and Hook, C., 2008)

Responsible for ensuring that none of the employees suffer from any of the unfair discrimination while at work.

May also participate in the design of policies

There are several laws to protect the equal opportunities policy like anti-discrimination law, sex discrimination act, equal pay act, race relations act, fair employments act, disability discrimination act, age regulations etc.

According to Marks and Spencer’s policy of Equal treatment for everyone, they recommend that it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that a healthy environment is maintained in the organisation without discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

For details about Discrimination, harassment and victimisation see appendix section 1.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Marks and Spencer has a responsibility under European legislation to ensure the health and safety of all employees on their premises. (Health and Safety at work, no date) To protect the reputation of the company, Marks and Spencer induction training includes the information regarding health and safety i.e. about the rules and regulations of smoking, protective clothing, food handlers and reporting accidents etc. Marks and Spencer is committed to ensure the health and safety of all its employees at work through continual communication and raising awareness among the employees.

Type of involvement of HR Manager (Foot, M. and Hook, C., 2008)

Involvement in design of health and safety policy of the organisation

To encourage all the members of Marks and Spencer in implementing health and safety policy

Type of involvement of Line Manager (Foot, M. and Hook, C., 2008)

Responsible for health and safety of the employees in his/her department

Perform regular safety inspections in own department

Takes serious action on the employees who infringe the rules of health and safety

In Marks and Spencer, Health and safety policy is organised and directed by Health and safety committee, store/site manager, FHSO (Fire, Health and Safety Officer), BIGs (Business Involvement Groups), retail operational support group and occupational health advisor. (Health and Safety at work, no date)

Marks and Spencer also offer the following healthcare options to its employees and their partners (Employee Handbook, no date)

Dental plan insurance

HSA (Hospital Saving Association)

Private health insurance

2.8 COMPARE AND CONTRAST OF MARKS & SPENCER AND BHS

BHS is a British department store chain which sells a wide variety of products such as fashion, furniture and households etc. The quality of the goods in BHS is not as great as Marks and Spencer. The introduction of food and beauty in BHS would reflect the efforts against the Marks and Spencer. According to Johnson, ‘if BHS does food, it could cause a threat to Marks and Spencer as Marks and Spencer food feels a little bit out of BHS’ for the time being. BHS is trying to develop into a more defined department store chain which is a long and drawn-out process. However, Green’s failure to obtain M&S should lead to generate an almost replica retail offering. Thomas, J. (2009)

CONCLUSION

The overall view of the management is all about making profits in business and to provide benefits for everyone who works at the organisation.

As the managers play a vital role in any organisation, they must meet the customer needs and be fair to suppliers.

Marks and Spencer has been successful in pleasing to the nationalism of its British clients by promoting various designs in clothing.

But the organisation admits that the percentage has slipped down and will possibly fall further as the British suppliers move their production abroad.

Marks and Spencer would have to add new products based on customer needs to maintain its growth rate.

Marks and Spencer’s attempt to move from higher-priced clothing into a more fashion products has not been very successful.

Its goods are perceived as having excellent value and quality, so it is necessary to have a need to discount prices for sales.


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