Maintaining leadership in a competitive industry

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The first Shoppers Stop was founded on October 27th, 1991, by the K. Raheja Corp. group of companies. Being amongst India's biggest hospitality and real estate players, the group crossed yet another milestone with its lifestyle venture - Shoppers Stop.

To have a healthy working environment the employees in the company should not have any miscommunications or communication gaps. At Shoppers Stop employees' should be always aware of the changes in policies, procedures, rules and general information. They are also encouraged to share ideas, suggestions, problems etc.

The employee here needs to get familiarized with the bulletin board, training sessions, newsletters, staff meeting etc.

Community Activities

Shoppers Stop recognizes the growing importance of community participation. Shoppers Stop's executive says that "the business is dependent on the community for employees and customers and in the same way community is dependent on business for employment and for products."

Shopper Stop allow its employees to do community service and give them 7 days for every six months, but the leave can be taken only on prior intimation.

Compensation:

The aim of Shoppers Stop's compensation policy is to encourage people with real potential to join them. Shoppers Stop's aim is to retain the best talent it has and spot the young talent. The compensation policy here is to create a balance between employees and Shoppers Stop.

Wage and Salary Policies:

Compensation Philosophy

The company pays employees' wages with on regular basis, which are also on par with what their competitors pay. Here the compensation might vary with individual, company performance and will be in compliance with all the applicable statutory requirements.

Shoppers Stop applies the same principles to all its employees irrespective of race, color, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, creed, religion, marital status and other factors protected under law.

Paycheck Distribution

The paychecks at Shopper Stop are either directly distributed by the manager or deposited to the savings account of the employee.

Computing Pay

Many corporates including Shopper Stop will compute time on the basis of an eight (8) hour workday or 52 work weeks per year or 12 months' work per year.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

It is unlawful to discriminate in selection on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age, disability, pregnancy, or trade union membership or non-membership. The only exception to the rules on sex or race discrimination is where there is what is called a 'genuine occupational qualification' (GOQ) , for example in dramatic performances where the role calls for a specific race or sex, where a social worker is required to deal with a particular ethnic group, or where the work is of such an intimate nature that members of the public might object to a member of the opposite sex carrying it out. Discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination arises when one applicant is treated less favorably than another for reasons relating to sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age, or disability. An example would be restricting certain jobs to members of one sex or a particular race.

Training:

Shoppers Stop gives its employees ample amount of training that is required for performing that job up to expectations. Shoppers Stop believes that training should be a co-ordinated effort that means the employees, who are under training, should have the intent to learn and the trainers should enjoy training. Shoppers Stop always encourages its employees for suggestions and recommendations in this aspect and motivates its employees to gain new skills.

Training at Shoppers Stop include internal training, training on operating procedures, tutoring, external training and other courses.

Healthcare plan:

At Shoppers Stop employees will be eligible for private health cover during their employment in accordance with the rules of the company scheme. The scheme operates on terms and conditions that are in force from time to time. The company reserves the right at any time to vary the scale or level of benefits in force. Details and registration documents will be sent to you from head office. Full cover under the scheme will actually commences from the employees' date of acceptance of signed application for scheme membership.

Disciplinary Action:

At Shoppers Stop if an event occurs between two employees, then those two employees are counseled by the higher authority and there would be a follow-up review in regard to those employees.

Even after the counseling session if the problem persists then a warning note is sent u both employees and even after if they don't respect the warning note further disciplinary action will be taken and it may include termination of employment.

Office Etiquette & Confidentiality:

At Shoppers Stop loyalty is considered as the most important quality an employee should have this loyalty includes not sharing confidential information with outsiders. The sharing of information is done only with the company's stakeholders.

Shoppers Stop goal is to retain its employees for a long time because frequent changes in employees will reduce the morale in the office.

2) Job Description & Job Specification:

Job description for secretary

Job purpose:

To provide a full secretarial support service to a director

Main activities:

l Type letters, reports and other documents, as required.

l Draft routine correspondence.

l Screen telephone calls, take messages and respond to routine enquiries.

l Maintain a diary of appointments.

l Arrange meetings, travel and accommodation as required.

l Act as receptionist for visitors.

l Open and deal with post.

l Take minutes of meetings.

l Order stationery and office supplies

l Maintain the office filing system and records.

Job description for finance director

Main purpose of job:

Contribute to the attainment of the company's business objectives by providing strategic and financial guidance and by ensuring that the company's financial commitments are met.

Main accountabilities:

l Direct and control finance staff to ensure that they are appropriately motivated and developed and so that they carry out their responsibilities to the required standard.

l Contribute to the achievement of the company's business objectives by providing advice and guidance on financial strategy.

l Provide financial advice and guidance to the company's managers and staff to enable them to achieve their objectives.

l Oversee the preparation of the company's financial accounts to ensure that these are presented accurately and on time.

l Develop and implement an internal audit programme to ensure that the company complies with financial procedures and regulations.

l Develop and maintain all necessary systems, policies and procedures to ensure effective and efficient financial management within the company.

l Carry out all necessary actions to ensure that the company meets its financial and legal obligations.

Job description for a corporate Trainer:

Purpose: To work with individuals to improve their performance in a specific area or skill.

Key tasks and responsibilities

_ Identifies development needs.

_ explains the training process to line managers and other stakeholders.

_ Assists with the setting of learning goals and action planning.

_ uses a range of learning experiences to improve performance.

_ Provides feedback for the trainer, based upon observed behavior.

_ Challenges the trainer's perception of his or her abilities.

_ helps the trainer to identify problems and possible routes to a solution.

_ supports the evaluation process by encouraging the trainer to assess progress against his or her learning goals.

_ helps the trainer to motivate self to achieve his or her learning goals.

Required skills/abilities

_ Planning and time management;

_ Analytical interpretation;

_ Negotiation;

_ Interpersonal skills;

- building rapport

- giving feedback

- Active listening

- asking questions/gaining information

Detailed recruitment and staffing procedure:

For recruiting a secretary through advertising would be the best recruiting practice.

The aim of an advertisement is to encourage applications from suitable candidates for the job and also to promote the image of the company. The wording and layout should attract a sufficient number of candidates of the right quality but it should also discourage applications from those who would be unsuited to the job.

For recruiting a Corporate Trainer the best way is through recruitment agencies and selection consultants:

One of the main advantages of using a recruitment agency or a selection consultant is that they can bring considerable expertise to the selection process and can frequently give advice on the kinds of reward and benefits package that is likely to attract suitable candidates. They can take many aspects of the recruitment process out of your hands including, for example, advertising vacancies, interviewing and shortlisting candidates and providing assistance with the final selection

For recruiting a Finance Director the best way is through Executive search consultants (headhunters):

This approach is more appropriate for the most senior vacancies where the company has very specific requirements. In this case the consultants will conduct a market search, oft en targeting people in senior positions in other companies or referring to their own database of candidates. This is a very useful way of approaching individuals who are known to be suitable but without revealing the name of the company.

Effective Training Methodologies:

To train the employee for the secretary position we use the "Experiential action learning" method this kind of instructor-driven training is sometimes described as 'developing inner resources in the great outdoors.' However, an experimental action learning program aims to build confidence and self-esteem, not to teach wilderness survival.

This method requires an instructor very skilled in the outdoors and very able to facilitate group discussion. People who take part in the experiential action learning may indeed develop a better sense of self that translates into improved working skills.

To train the employee for the corporate trainer position we use the "On-the-job training" which is a kind of Work-Driven Training, in this type of training, supervisors or mentors-who must be very skilled in the work being taught- instruct participants in a hands-on environment. Design time is usually minimal because on-the-job training is not a formal process. Rather, supervisors or mentors prepare a few notes for on-the-job sessions.

To train the employee for the finance director position we use the "Problem-based learning" method, in this type of learning, participants focus on problems with the help of resource person, as required. Learners determine the pace of the training and its content. Problem-based learning means that members of a group wrestle with specific problems they are facing in the work-place and harness the resource required to come to grips with it. Training occurs in the sense that the group learns about the problem; at the same time, a solution is developed. The research indicated that people learning through problem-based training are more motivated.

Performance Management System:

For the performance management system the company uses Balanced Scorecard:

Kaplan and Norton proposed a standard structure of BSC based on four perspectives:

Economic and financial perspective: as its target, it has the profitability, the increase of sales, the reduction of the cost or the generation of cash flow, the acquisition of new channels of sales or distribution.

Customers' perspective: it aims at individuating objectives and measure to control the level of customer satisfaction throughout numerous indices, like the rate of acquisition of new customers, the market share of the chosen segment, etc.

Perspective of internal process: it tries to control the ability of an organization to develop new productivity process in line with the market trends. The most used indices are: the time to market of a new product, the number of new processes implemented, etc.

Perspective of learning and growth: it is based on intangible assets and strictly with the concepts of human capital, informative capital and organizational capital.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

Human Resource policies help to ensure that the Shoppers Stop is in compliance with legal requirements. In addition, human resource policies give management the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the basic needs of the organizations as well as the needs of the individual employee. Maintain and updating written policies helps to eliminate the possibility of discrimination in the workplace.

Policies define a standard of performance or conduct. For example, the policy states that employees cannot accept monetary gifts from clients or suppliers. Violations of this policy are grounds for immediate dismissal. In order for human resource policies to be effective, everyone in the organization must be committed to adhering to the policies.

Shoppers Stop is very good at preparing job descriptions because, writing an effective job description entails more thought that one would think. Today's employees are constantly learning and thus continuously tackling new tasks. A dynamic workplace and a rapidly changing external environment can pull an employee in many directions. Job descriptions are one tool that can give an employee a sense of focus and direction. Effectively written job descriptions can give an employee career guidance and help develop their careers.

Shoppers Stop lack a ability of recruiting employees through internet. I recommend E-recruitment which is something that cannot be ignored but the process should conform to all the criteria of more traditional approaches and should be regularly monitored to ensure that it is delivering the required results. It should be fully integrated with other recruitment methods. It is also important to ensure that websites are kept up-to-date and that there is a contact number for those having technical difficulties.

Shoppers Stop has very effective training program which improves employee performance by including comprehensive needs assessment, employing appropriate training methodologies, and anticipating factors beyond the actual training event that influence the transfer of skills from the training environment to the work environment.

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