Planning And Development British Petroleum Business Essay


Planning and development a most important part play in the organization. And without proper planning, the success of the business is like incomplete. For the purpose of study BP (British petroleum) has been taken into consideration. In this paper, the analysis is passed away on how HRM can supply to the organizational goals of BP. An effort has been made to recognize three key activities of HRM and how the objectives were complete by these three key activities of effective HRM at the organization. The main HR planning and HRD methods have been recognized and discuss. They have been critically evaluated in to check their effectiveness in the organizational objectives. The performance of the HR at BP has been reviewed towards then end and suggestions have been provided in order to improve the existing performance.


BP which started off in 1908 is still rapidly growing. It took birth as a local oil company and grew into a global energy group and is now employs over 100,000 people and operating in over 100 countries worldwide. BP operates at every phase of energy cycle right from the earliest stage of offshore exploration to the sale of petrol at the service stations. The entire organization is divided to five parts, namely: exploration and production, refining and marketing, alternative energy, corporate functions and integrated supply and trading (IST).

HRM defined:

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Mathis and Jackson (2002) defined HRM as the design and the application of the formal systems of an organization so as to ensure the effective and the efficient use of human talent to accomplish the pre set organizational goals. Human Resource Management (HRM) is the core of organizational functions and is crucial in the success of the organization.

BP's three key HRM activities:

Fisher (1989) said that there are three broad HRM activities of an organization. They are to attract, to develop and to maintain the workforce over a long time period. At BP, the key HRM activities that were identified are:

Recruitment and Selection.

Health Safety Security and the Environment (HSSE).

Equal opportunity, Equality and Diversity.

HRM's contribution:

As defined previously, the role of HRM is to contribute to the success of the organization. Here, HRM has contributed tremendously to the growth of BP and has led to the achievements of the goals of BP. The key HRM elements and their contributions are as follows:

Recruitment and selection:

West and Patterson (1998) said "Employees skills are best acquired by effective recruitment and selection".

Objective of BP:

The objective that was set by BP was to ensure that all the recruitment and selection was very clear and that it was in line with the BP company policy. All the recruited staff was taken in on their merit basis and only the candidates with the right qualities, skill set, ability and competency were taken into the organization. It was essential that the recruited candidate was of the requisitions that could help BP complete and achieve its organizational goal. It was crucial that the hired employee was fit for the vacancy in consideration.

Achievement of the objective of BP:

There were certain guidelines that were followed by BP for the achievement of the objective. Firstly the store manager of all the stores were sent regularly for the seminars and the workshops that were conducted and they were trained on the various functions of HRM that were needed to be performed by them ,including recruitment and selection.

The HR department of BP also published a handbook of the procedures that a recruitment process involved, the policies etc, and this was regularly updated. This book is also available on the web based computer system of BP for the store managers so that it can be referred prior to any recruitment. The candidate who wishes to join any vacancy needs to call a dedicated special hot line number and first pass the telephonic round of interview. In this round, the communication skills and a few customer service questions are asked so as to access the qualification and the eligibility of the candidate. This example holds true for the case study as there have been various interviews that have been published or telecasted and stories told by successful people of the organization.

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BP believes that their long term sustainability and prosperity as a plc depends on having the right people in the right roles for the right time periods.

Health Safety Security and the Environment (HSSE):

Objective of BP:

Group chief executive of BP, Tony says "We are committed to the protection of the natural environment, to the safety of the community and to the health, safety and security of our people." He believes that great companies are built on trust and if BP is to thrive and grow then BP needs the trust of its customers, investors and employees.

Achievement of the objective of BP:

BP very strongly focuses on HSSE. It believes that all employees are similar to 'eyes and ears of the company while they are on duty'. It emphasizes and stresses that each and every employee at BP must compulsorily follow the code of conduct for their personal safety as well as the safety of their fellow workers. This is the very first thing that they are informed of the moment they join BP and a code of conduct is also handed over to them. They are given the personal protection equipments and are trained on the safety measures. A refresher course is conducted every 6 months. The employees are also required to attend an online test so as to test their knowledge of the course attended and are expected to be well versed in all areas including incidents, accidents, and near miss events. They are expected to report even a minor issue to the next authority person.

Equal opportunities, Equality and Diversity:

Objective of BP:

The objective of BP here is its commitment in creating a work environment of mutual trust. A trust in which diversity and inclusion are valued and where everyone who works for BP is treated with respect, dignity and is made felt as part of meritocratic organization for people from diverse backgrounds.

Achievement of the objective of BP:

There are more than 100,000 employees worldwide hired with BP. This is a good example of the diverse organization where there are equal opportunities. BP welcomes all whether it is a student, a single mother or a war veteran looking for a job. There are no bars on caste, gender, color, orientation, religious beliefs or physically challenged. This can be seen when one walks into any of the BP stores and witness the diversity that exists.

The effective management of the HR through the flexible working hours, flexible contracts, hourly based pays, and shift basis works ensures that there is a good mix of individual who wish to apply and are recruited at various BP stores.

BP's two HRM Models:

A business model is a story of how an enterprise works.

Currently there are 2 models of HRM models that are being followed by BP. They are:

Harvard Framework (Lundy, 1994).

The influence of the internal and the external environment plays a vital key role in the HR decisions while the stakeholders' decision also has an influence on the HR policies of BP. In such a situation the Harvard framework is very much apt to the organization. BP evaluates its cost effectiveness in terms of paying the newcomers the minimum wage that is set nationwide and then with experience and through progression within the company, the hourly pay scale after every performance appraisal. This in turn leads to the commitment from the employee side and this helps in the achievement of the goals set by BP. The employees who are into the learning and development process find that they can move from the lowest post of the cashier to the shift manager, to assistant manager, to line manager to assistant store manager and so on. Thus, BP ensures that HR policies are practically applicable so that it is easily applied and practiced in all the stores worldwide.

The Learning Systems Model (Kandula, 2005).

BP practices this model of performance excellence. Being the oil giant in UK and worldwide, BP still actively seeks to develop its core competencies by investing in possible oil rigging sites and continuously providing new offerings to the market. These offerings may be in the terms of shares, products, services etc. Also, BP practices the continuous improvement culture, where the staff is encouraged to learn new skills. Improvements are made at the work place by providing new tolls and equipments for a safer and better working environment. Once the new methods are tested and implemented, BP does not hesitate to pull out the outdated methods. Care is taken to educate the staff on the usage of the new equipments. Thus, BP ultimately achieves the performance excellence by the practice of The Learning Systems Model.

HR planning at BP:

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Human resource planning (HRP) is the tool that HRM professionals or management use to predict the need for new workforce based on the vacancy that exists or can be predicted for future growth (Daft, 2003). There are 2 HRP methods that are used at BP. They are recruitment and Job evaluation. BP uses 3 main methods for recruitment.

They are E recruiting- application for a job vacancy through the website of BP. Candidates fulfilling the criteria are then called for a hotline telephonic round of interview.

The second method is the initial round of interview that is conducted by the store manager for a walk in candidate. If the candidate passes this round, then the telephonic interview number is provided for the next stage.

The third and the most successful method are the referrals from the current employees. This method is cost effective and reliable. This method can take place anywhere and in any store of BP. Then the job evaluation process is carried out and the most suitable candidate based on the assessment criteria is selected. Necessary training is provided.

BP's performance:

BP uses many different Qualitative and Quantitative methods to indicate and monitor the performance of HR. There are many methods that are utilized. Some of them are mystery shopper results, retention of employees, performance appraisal, feedback forms, financial indicators, equality and diversity of employees, customer feedback and such.

Suggestion to improve BP's performance:

For any organization whether big or small, there is always room for improvements in HR. same is the case with BP. After the detailed report of the study, the suggestions that would be applicable to BP can be highlighted as:

Performance feedback

Clear definition of staff expectation

Avoid regular absenteeism of employees and if found, counseling to be provided to know the reason and remedy for the same.

Define clear cut career goals by staff motivation.

Performance appraisal - ongoing rather than annual. Etc


The HR functions in an organization are very much important. It is involved with human emotions and must therefore be very much up to date with the latest trends. BP being a large organization has a HR department of its own. This department monitors all the functions that are concerned with the working of HR. HRM not only focuses on the organizational goals, but it also manages the human capital, globalization and its effects and at the same time, it monitors and updates the policies of the organization. In brief, BP can still improve its working methodology in the HR department by the means of suggestions discussed.