Human Resource Planning and Development Process


This assignment explores the relationship between HR and my organization (NEXT). One of the main motivations for writing this assignment is to explain the human resource activities, planning and development at NEXT.

NEXT is UK based retailer offering stylish, good quality products in clothing, footwear, accessories and home products. NEXT distribute s through three main channels: Next Retail, a chain of more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire; the Next Directory, a direct mail catalogue and transactional website with more than 2 million active customers; and Next International, with more than 170 stores overseas. More than 43473 employees working in Next, Next is treating all their employees according to the law and HR system. Next also providing basic facilities to their employees like, work and life balance, competitive wage rate, good working environment, insurance coverage facility and paid holidays. Next has adopted the modern techniques and anticipatory form of research to improve efficiency of their workforce (HRM).

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According to Storey 1995, HRM is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic development of highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques.

In these days most of the organizations in UK and all over the world adopting the philosophy of people management. It's really good approach to use the assets (abilities, knowledge and skills) of a unique person to motivate him to do something unique and efficient which will be fruitful for a unique organization.

Three HRM activities at NEXT

Recruitment and selection

Training and Development

Performance management

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and selection is a marketing process conventionally termed recruitment, which Lewis defines as 'the activity that generates a pool of applicants, who have the desire to be employed by an organization, from which those suitable can be selected' (1985:29). Recruitment and Selection is very important for any organization. Recruitment and selection is the duty of line manager and HR managers at Next. Next is an equal opportunities employer, and is continued to ensure that it offer careers opportunities for their employees without discrimination. Next has developed policies for the recruitment and selection to hire that type of persons which will be helpful to deliver excellent quality products and excellent service to their customers. Next use online application process as well as hiring employees directly or indirectly through job centres. Next using different types of media like newspaper, magazines, internet, leaflets, TV and radio to advertise its vacancies .Next also participating to decrease the rate of unemployment and support the graduates to get job. For this purpose, Next has been organizing a open day for graduates. Next believes that the success of its business most often depends on its employees. Therefore the selection of the right person for the right job is a crucial task which HR manager have to face. (A. J. Price1997)

Training and Development

Nadler and Nadler 1990 defines the Training and Development as, "training is learning related to present job and development is learning for growth of the individual but not related to specific present and future job" .Training and development is very important part at Next among the HR activities, which identified right employee need to be trained and managerial level employee who need to be developed. In my organization, they use different ways to train new staff and develop the skills, knowledge and abilities of existing employees. Next using different types of ways to train people like, on the job training, off the job training, coaching, job rotation, special assignments and combined classes for new and old employees. Next has been practicing through long and short term plans to implement the rule and regulations for training and development. Next has introduced a new methodology for new managers and staff development.

Obtain an accurate assessment of individual's skills and abilities

Reflect their strength, weaknesses and preferences by giving individual responsibility.

Set target.

Assign role model (bench marking).

Provide objective feedback.

Ensure accurate and realistic expectations.

Source based on (London and stump f 1984)

Performance management

According to Townley (1994:33), Performance management is one of the most important techniques which 'classify and order individuals hierarchically'. We considered the performance management as an integrated system at Next. Theoretical descriptions of this system emphasize their value to the link between individual employee performance and the achievement of strategic goals at Next. Performance management at Next consider how employee performance can be evaluated and fostered. Assessment and reward strategies are related to concepts of effective working behaviour. Normally, Next use performance management to identifying and enhancing desirable work behaviour, reinforcing this behaviour linking rewards to measure performance and developing desired competences and building human capital within organization. Next also using a technique of performance appraisal called BARS (Behavioural anchored rating scale). BARS are performance appraisal methods combining rating and critical incidents. In my organization performance of individual assessed through previous record of a particular individuals.

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Achievement of objectives through effective management of HRM at Next

Recruitment and Selection, Training and development and Performance Management.

In my organization, Recruitment and Selection is a human capital strategy which relates to the key strategy of Next. I am going to discuss the achievement of objectives at Next through effective management of HRM in term of Recruitment and selection, Training and development and Performance management. Next has achieved a desirable result by using the modern techniques of HRM for their workforce. As I mentioned earlier that Next is a big employer in UK and Next always using a fair policy to recruit new employees, select employees for promotion, selected employees should be trained to increase their level of activity and after that a fair system of performance measurement through HR. Next has achieved the following results by using the modern techniques of HRM for their human capital.

Competence, efficient and reliable employees

Highly skilled person after training process

Customer satisfaction

Increased the level of activity

Employees satisfaction through fair system of performance management

Achieved the desirable goals

Decreased the chances of loss

Competitive advantages

Fulfilled the Government requirements

1. Application of Harvard Model at Next

We noted that the Harvard business school generated one of the most influential Model of HR models. In my organization the Harvard model is practicing because its interpretation sees employees are viewed as being fundamentally different from other resources - they cannot be managed in the same way. The stress is on people as human capital. The Harvard approach recognizes an element of mutuality in all businesses, a concept which has parallels in Japanese people management. Next consider their employees as significant stakeholders in organization and also take care about the employee needs and concerns, along with other groups such as customers and shareholders.

Next has been encouraging its employees through the use of Harvard model. The emphasis is on physiological objectives - the 'human' side of human resource management - including.

Next, motivating all people by involving them in decision making;

Developing an organizational culture based on trust and teamwork.

Four strategic policy areas are identified through Harvard model at next:

Human resource flows, managing the movement and performance of the people.

Reward system, including pay and benefits designed to attract, motivate and keep employees.

Employees influence, controlling levels of authority, power and decision making.

Work system, designing and defining jobs, so that the arrangement of the people, information and technology provide the most productive and efficient result.

( Hollinshead and Leat 1995:16)

2. Application of Warwick Model at Next

In my organization (Next) Warwick model of HR is also practicing because this model draws heavily from the Harvard framework to extend the analysis of HRM. Warwick model at Next has five elements:

Outer Content

Inner Context

Business strategy Content

HRM Context

HRM Content

The Warwick model at Next takes cognizance of HRM business strategy and HRM practices, the external and internal context in which these activities take place, and the process by which such change take place, including interaction between change in both context and content. The strength of this model is that it identifies and classifies important environmental influences on HRM at Next. Hendry and Pettigrew's research focused on mapping the context, identifying an inner (organizational) context and external (wider environment) context and exploring how HRM adapted to change in context.

Three HR Planning and Development methods at Next

Cafeteria Reward and Benefit system at Next.

"The cafeteria benefit system is a departure from the traditional model of a single system of remuneration for everybody" (Meyer, 2000). These systems are a way of managing reward that are gaining popularity in the Next. Next believe that being a company that strives to be responsible enables us to attract and retain engaged and motivated employees who support the business as it grows. Next also believe in rewarding all employees with fair and competitive salaries along with the opportunity to gain additional pay in the form of a bonus depending on the company (or in some cases store or individual performance). Next has introduced following types of cafeteria benefit system for their employees.

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Tax free saving account for seven years to buy shares of Next.

Health and safety system

Pension schemes

Bonus and paid holidays


Fairness, justice, or whatever its effectiveness at -it's essential and most companies don't have it. Everybody must be judged on his performance, not on his looks or his manners or his personality or who he knows or is related to (Townsend, 1970:59).

Next has adopted equal opportunities policies - statement of commitment to fair human resource management. Next has been practicing diversity in the following way,

Next allocate overall management responsibilities to a senior executive.

Next doing an accurate survey to check the numbers of existing employees according to their origin, gender, ethic, disability, etc and the status and nature of the employees' jobs.

Next has been doing audit of human resource practices and their implication on equal opportunities.

Next has provided equal opportunities to all their existing and coming staff. There is equal chance of promotion for everyone either someone is men or women and black or white. Next has set a open competition for everyone who is working at Next to achieve their goals according to their abilities, knowledge and skills.

3. Management training

"Planned activities for management development". Management training methods include public or in-company training courses and on-the-job training designed to improve managerial competences. Management training tends to be practical and to focus on specific management techniques. (BNET BUSINESS DICTIONARY)

Next offers a wide range of training and development opportunities for their managers across its business. Next believe that offering of efficient learning and development opportunities will help to ensure the managers feel equipped and supported to carry out their role to the best of their ability.

Effectiveness of planning and development methods at Next

Diversity, cafeteria award system and management training: These three planning and development methods are really effective at Next. These methods effect in the following ways,

Through diversity Next has selected the right persons for the right job.

Diversity increased the moral of employees to work hard for promotion or reward at Next

Diversity creates self respect among the workers at Next.

Diversity and cafeteria benefit system has motivated the people to achieve their targets at standard time.

Management training at Next helps the managers to develop new ideas for business management and to increase their knowledge and skills.

Proper training of management is controlled the loss ratio in next stores.

Next get the competitive advantages after trained their managerstheir targets.

During 2008 we have continued to build on our relationships with key

to a career with Next with the aim of ensuring we are able to recruit the best candidates for our business. We have attended 19 universities of the UK

Within the Next Careers website we have re-launched the specific section aimed at recruiting Trainees into our Product teams with great success, seeing applications increase to over 8,000 across the four Trainee scheme covering Design, Buying, Merchandising and Technology.Building on the success of previous 'Open Days' held at Head Office we have held further six events in early2009. Students and their University careeadvisors/tutors were invited to Head Office and offered an insightinto careers with Next, particularly in relation to our Product team functions of Buying a Merchandise. We havesuccessfully recruited 60 trainees for our Product teams.

Next is a sponsor and supporter of the Fashion Retail Academy in London. In February 2009 we had four

Students working at Next on placement within our Buying departments, offering invaluable practical training and experience of working in a real retail environment. Our plans are to continue to forge this relationship and offer further placements in future years.

Additional Successes Warehouses developed and rolled out a safety self assessment system to all our warehouses in the UK which we wil report on more fully in the futuredeveloped and implemented a safety management system for our new in-house recycling centre installed a dock retaining system into our warehouses to eliminate the risk of vehicles prematurely leavingthe warehouse dock before the vehicle is approved to move off to remove the risk of potential fatalconsequences for our distribution employees developed a Lead Authority Partnership for Health & Safety with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Councilfor health and safety enforcement successfully trialled an improved manual handling training programme and during 2009 will be rolling itout across all warehouses. This has been achieved in close collaboration with Pristine Condition who are experts and lead the industry in this field

Retail and International conducted initial safety audits in our new stores in Eastern Europe, and development of a Health and Safety manual is underway to provide safety responsibilities, procedures and risk assessments.

Next Retail Safety Management System has been implemented in the new Lipsy stores in the UK

worked in close partnership with the HSE to improve the safety awareness and safety performance of the contractors who carry out our store development programme and maintenance activities.

Performance of HR monitored at Next

"Performance appraisal may be defined as a systematic and formal process by means of which the job-relevant strengths and weaknesses of employees are identified, observed, measured and developed".(Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy 2001)

Performance management system at Next is very simple and accurate. To check the performance of a single employee Next have some indicators and criteria. Next has developed that system of performance appraisal not only for assessment of past but also for future to improve the individual performance. Next keep two main purpose of performance appraisal like administrative purposes and developmental purposes. (Gomes-Mejia et al."2001)

Next has following objectives to achieve through performance appraisal

Development of its strategic plan

Drawing up company budget

To set divisional and franchise objectives

Conducting performance and development review

TO assess the training and development needs

Next have following types of indicator to measure the performance of its individual employee.

Level of Customer satisfaction

Next has been using the indicator to check the performance of an individual through the level of customer satisfaction. Next has a complaint box for its customers. Next also believe on customer feed back ratio comparison. The main aim of Next is to provide high quality services to their customers. Because customer is the most important element of any business concern.

Achievement of objectives

Next has been using this criteria for performance management for several years.

The main branch set a target for every single branch to achieve specific sales targets. These targets are weekly, yearly and monthly. Next assess the performance through the ratio of the target achievement by different branchs.

Suggestions to improve the HR system at Next

AS I mentioned in my assignment that the Next is using the modern techniques of HR to manage their workforce but there are some week points in Next which they have to tackle.

Next should have to measure the performance of its workforce according to the market situation.

Next must have to adopt the policy of competitive wage rate.

Business and HR strategy of NEXT should be clear and on the track.

Next have to participate financially in marriage ceremonies of their employees.


Next has been using the planned and forward thinking HR strategy for the betterment of their human capital and the business environment. Organization HR, process and procedure change and amend by time to time when it require in a competitive business market. Next also believing on latest technology and keep on changing according to the requirements of modern business world. Next used different types of methods to improve the efficiency of its workforce for instance, fair system of recruitment and selection process, training and development according to the needs of employees, performance management to know about the real person who participating honestly for achievement organizational goals. Next adopts an attitude that motivates its workforce in both financial and non financial ways. Human capital plan, diversity, standard, dressing standard, disciplinary procedures drives more practical way and according to company guidelines.