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Relationship between Human Resource Strategy and Operational Planning

Introduction:

I will explore the theoretical and practical sides of the relationship between the Human Resource strategy and the Operational planning and development in the retail and hospitality industry, in order to determent an overall view of the subject. I will draw upon many cases, researches, and literatures to get the best possible knowledge that is necessary for an independent evaluation of this topic. I will take Tesco, Hilton and Holiday Inn as an example of today’s average but highly successful corporation and investigate the company’s past and current human resource strategies and the reasons behind their strategic decisions. Trough the essay I look into the human capital management, business performance, model of comparative SHRM, strategy evaluation, HR links between missions and goals of the organizations and further related topics.

Strategic human resource management can be defined as the linking of human resources with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational culture that foster innovation, flexibility and competitive advantage. In an organisation SHRM means accepting and involving the HR function as a strategic partner in the formulation and implementation of the company's strategies through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding personnel.

My first area of focus is on how to accurately staff, manage, and organize a business trough human resource function. First of all by recognizing the portfolio of the corporation at the, operational, managerial and strategic level. Than arrange the human resource department to reflect the, strategic, managerial and operational requirements of the organization. The most important structural variations of the corporation also stand on the corporation’s recruiting procedure. Position posting, succession forecasting and management development offer the HR department a chance to bring a measure of integration to the recruiting procedure and to have power over the internal movement of the corporation’s human resources. It is especially significant that staffing for all level of position and the domestic movement of employees be coordinated with the strategic concerns of the business. The portfolio of the business will make a significant input to the progress of a business’s recruiting strategy if it turn out to be the driving force in the staffing, promotion plans & programs development and selection. Management between the business’s recruiting ways and its strategic plans can improve the business’s ability to get used to environmental conditions. However the business is likely to recruit with folks who have the similar characteristics to those managers who are presently working within it. “Little conscious attention is paid to identifying the characteristics most congruent with different organizational configurations.” (Galbraith and Nathanson,1978).

Many businesses including local shops in Edinburgh owned by the Asian community has face the challenge of developing greater confidence, solutions finding, initiative, and trouble solving capabilities among their employees which is a enormous problem as those convenient stores are the backbone of the economy (Dr Rita Welsh). Businesses need employees at every levels to be more resourceful, independent, creative and self sufficient. These behaviours allow employees to function at superior strategic level, which makes businesses more competitive and productive. People's efforts generate greater results. It's what every business attempt to accomplish. Although conventional skills training provides employees new methods and techniques, it will not build their belief, maturity or courage, which is necessary for the development of strategic and managerial capabilities so HR departments often do presentations and workshops regarding the above mentioned topics.

As I said earlier companies try to train their staff to be more self-sufficient so less supervision would be required, in other terms empower them. Employee empowerment is a expression used to express the ways in which employees without managerial positions can make independent decisions without the need of confirmation from a boss/manager. These independent decisions can be large or small depending upon the level of power with which the organization wants to invest the member of staff. Personnel empowerment can start with training as I have mentioned above and converting a whole business into an empowerment model. On the other hand it may simply mean giving staff members the ability to make a few decisions on their own. When people feel they have option and allowed to make direct decisions, this does frequently show the way to a better feeling of self worth. In a representation where power is directly attached to sense of self, having some power is a priceless thing. A staff member who does not feel continuously criticized and watched is more likely to consider their workplace as a positive environment, rather than a negative one.

The behavioural research, carried out by a group at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, recognizes the aspects that most possible to affect 21st century staff well being, productivity and commitment. They established that loyalty is mainly influenced by one's sense of purpose, general trust in the business and feeling of individual impact.

Productivity is largely affected by the quality of human relationships including cooperative, social group moods and interaction. The results of the research lead me to conclude that workplaces that provide positive environments that foster interpersonal trust and quality personal relationships create the most committed and productive employees.

Productivity is mostly affected by the quality of human relationships including cooperative, social group moods and interaction. The results of the research lead me to conclude that workplaces that offer positive environments that encourage interpersonal trust and quality personal relationships generate the most loyal and productive employees.

So if an employee who does not feel constantly watched and criticized is more likely to consider his or her workplace as a positive environment therefore he/she feel more committed to the organization which would increase their productivity so in conclusion cut cost for the organization.

Last year I have worked as a part timer for a very well respected five star hotel called Hilton Caledonian. From week one they required me to work 75 hours even so I had a contract for 25 hours per week. I could not do anything about it as it was very clear if I do not like my schedule I am free to find another job. By the end of the 3rd month when my training finished I had enough so I have left the Hilton group for their leak of flexibility. Flexibility is essential for both the employer and the employee; flexibility of employee skills, employee behaviours, and HR practices represent critical sub dimensions of HR flexibility and are related to superior firm performance. Results based on perceptual measures of HR flexibility and accounting measures of firm performance support this prediction. Whereas skill, behaviour, and HR practice flexibility are significantly associated with an index of firm financial performance, many experts find that the only skill flexibility contributes to cost-efficiency. Hilton has recruited me because they were looking for people who “go the extra mile”, people who are flexible but they never gave anything return therefore I left however as my worth has increased as the result of the trainings they gave me they lost money.

A number of writers have argued that strategic HRM and human capital management (HCM) are one and the same thing, and indeed the concept of strategic HRM matches that of the broader definition of HCM quite well as the following definition of the main features of strategic HRM by Dyer and Holder shows that strategies involve decisions about key goals, major policies and the allocation of resources they tend to be formulated at the top. Strategies are business-driven and focus on organisational effectiveness; thus in this perspective people are viewed primarily as resources to be managed toward the achievement of strategic business goals. Strategies by their very nature provide unifying frameworks which are at once broad, contingency-based and integrative. They incorporate a full complement of HR goals and activities designed specifically to fit extant environments and to be mutually reinforcing or synergistic. This argument has been based on the fact that both HRM in its proper sense and HCM rest on the assumption that people are treated as assets rather than costs and both focus on the importance of adopting an integrated and strategic approach to managing people which is the concern of all the stakeholders in an organization not just the people management function. However, the concept of human capital management complements and strengthens the concept of strategic HRM rather than replaces it. Hence both HCM and HRM can be regarded as vital components in the process of people management and both form the basis for achieving human capital advantage through a resource-based strategy. 

Business or corporate strategy for service firms in sectors such as hospitality, tourism retail etc. has to comprehend a range of varying stakeholders" interests and conciliate these within a strategy framework acceptable to them all. SHRM has had a part to play in the consolidation of staff within the pattern ascertained by the most cogent internal stakeholders - senior managers. SHRM is thus part of the wider reticulation of corporate administration and business strategy. The drive to fulfill external stakeholders and the people intensive nature of service sector environments leads to a stress on people management both operationally and strategically. Customer service and related concepts of superior companies have led hospitality and retail businesses to a more conceptual discernment of people management. In the long term if this remains to be seen whether the strategic management of human resources has been more regulated by soft HRM (focusing on the management of culture, employee attitudes, empowerment) and hard HRM (focusing on measurable outcomes) (Megginson 1999). Mayfair London lies at the heart of British Tourism Hospitality Industry and Bass group is a leading hospitality chain Johnson (1999) observes that senior managers at Holiday inns undertook a training project that encompassed spending short periods at operative levels. This exercise led to an actualization that if front-line staff were not given authority and autonomy to resolve non-routine problems as they arose, their customers" opinion of quality and service would be badly impaired. It is important to recognize the linking together of senior executives, front line staff, empowerment of staff to take responsibility for customer care satisfaction and quality management issues. All these point to the central them in SRHM. The organization then commenced training initiatives to equip workers to take additional responsibility for quality and problem-solving as well as enforcing fresh recruitment strategies, such as "auditions" for food and beverage staff to distinguish candidates with the "right attitudes". The "right attitudes" hints that management is looking for staff with culturally specified social skills-eg "attribute" that are often arduous to appraise. These soft" or "tacit" skills, abilities to execute intricate relationship roles and functions while at the same time, execute technical (or "hard") tasks. The distinction between tacit soft skill and explicit technical hard task oriented- skills lies at the heart of our discussion of SHRM. Managers also recognized that the effectiveness of the new strategies would reckon on a genuine dedication to the interests and welfare of employees. The hotel gained Investors in People recognition" in 1995. This is an excellent example to show how everything in linked together. I have talked about empowerment, flexibility, commitment, training, customer service and many more as this example states every single area of human resource management is effecting the entire business progress just as much as one area effects the other one.

Conclusion:

It is useful for all organisations to management their people within a planned and coherent framework which reflect the business strategy. They can ensure that the various aspects of people management are mutually reinforcing in developing the performance and behaviours necessary to achieve business success. There is not a single HRM strategy that will deliver success in all situations. Organisations need to define a strategy which is unique to their own situation in terms of context, goals, and the demands of organisational stakeholders.

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