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Human Resources (HR) is the most important asset of an organization. In the recent times, organizations / businesses have realized the importance of their people as their most valuable assets and they have started providing more and more attention towards this aspect of the business which plays an important role in their success. Without an efficient work force a company can't meet its targets, does can't achieve success in the market.
I am going to discuss Barclays Plc here. Barclays is the leading UK bank with its branches in UK and across the globe. Barclays has not only got success in UK but it is running its operation in many other parts of the world.
Barclays has got about 78,800 employees, who are handling about 20 million customers across the globe. Thus it makes Barclays a unique organization in terms of its Staff and no of customers across the globe.
In this assignment, i will highlight the HR Strategies of Barclays, Its organizational culture, its image as a learning organization and Recruitment & Selection procedure of Barclays.
Before going into further detail, i would like to present some of the basic terminologies associated with the topic of this assignment.
Strategic Human Resource Planning:
Strategic human resource planning is about what the organization wants to do in a longer term to develop integrated personnel and development practices, that will help the organization to achieve its goals.
Strategic approach deals with the issues relating to the structure of the organizations, its cultures, performance and human resource requirement to meet its future needs.
[source: ABE Strategic Human Resource Management Manual page 6)
Strategy refers to a plan of action or a course of action. In simple words you can define it as a plan of action which deals with how a particular objective can be achieved.
In Management terms, this word is used interchangeably with "Long Term Planning" and is used to describe an activity that senior management perform to achieve the goals of the organization.
[source: ABE Strategic Human Resource Management Manual page 3)
As Barclays is a leading name in the banking industry, so it has a well defined organizational strategy, which not only increases the overall performance of Barclays as an organization but at the same time it provides a strong platform for providing better services to its customers.
Thus well defined organizational strategy inter-links different departments of an organization and that helps in getting maximum output with the help of Human Resource Planning.
Organizational Strategy & HR Strategy:
we defined organizational strategy as a plan of action that the senior management perform to achieve the goals of the organization.
HR Strategy deals with the issues relating to the structure of the organization, its culture, organizational effectiveness and performance.
What are the outcomes of an HR Strategy?
Bratton and Gold identified the following outputs of an HR Strategy
Staffing: Obtaining people with relevant skills, abilities and knowledge
Rewards: design and administration of reward system
Employee Development: development & training of employees
Employee Maintenance: administration and monitoring of workplace safety
Employee Relations: employee involvement in trade unions
So an effective HR Strategy will cater for the above 5 output factors, which will help the organizations to achieve its strategic goal / objectives in an effective manner.
Barclays has been quite focused as far as the above 2 key questions are concerned. As part of its HR strategy, Barclays knows the importance of right kind of people for specific tasks and departments. From Customer Support Staff to Cashiers and Branch Managers, Barclays focus has always been on recruiting people according to their qualifications and skills and then further polish their skills by providing them constant on job training. Thus Barclays recruit all sort of people with different skill sets, different ethnic backgrounds, for its operation in all areas of business. This really diversify Barclays HR strategy for the fulfilment of its strategic business objectives.
From time to time, Barclays develops different programs to recruit new people and provide them an opportunity to learn and grow in a competitive environment. Recruitment of Interns and Fresh Graduate is a key example of this initiative and focus on specialized training and better career growth opportunities attract young professionals, which helps Barclays in order to retain its people and attain organizational efficiency by utilization of professional workforce.
Organizational Culture & Corporate Culture:
An organization's culture is set of its values, beliefs, attitude and pattern of behaviour.
Mintzberg refers the above definition as "Organizational ideology" but majority of writers use the term "Organizational culture" for this.
Culture can have visible and invisible signs, visible signs include uniform, customs & rituals with in the organization
Charles Handy identified 4 types of cultures
Like every other organization, Barclays has its own organizational culture which makes it unique from the other organizations. Barclays has its own set of values, its dress code, its attitude towards dealing with customers and its traditions.
The concept of learning organizations emerged in the era of 1960 - 1980. Learning organization take "Learning" as part of Organizational Development (OD).
Senge suggested that organizations should promote a culture of learning with in the organization to increase the learning capacity of its staff.
Now lets see how Barclays is dealing with this issue
Barclays as a Learning Organization:
Barclays has always remained a key example of learning organizations and it provides its people an opportunity to learn and grow in a professional environment. This factor is perhaps the major part of Barclay's Organizational Culture. From a support staff to a Branch manager and higher hierarchy people, everyone is part of this learning culture, which is making Barclay's not only a leading bank in UK but at the same time its a leading employer giving opportunities to its staff by providing continuous learning opportunities.
A key example of that is recruitment of young graduates as part of Barclays Graduate Recruitment Programme. Barclays provides these fresh graduates an opportunity to learn and be a part of their professional team.
Comments & Suggestions
I have tried to highlight some basic concept of HR Strategy and planning process. I have analysed the HR strategy of Barclays, its organizational culture and Barclays as a Learning organization itself.
From the above all it is very clear that a clear HR Strategy is very important in order to maximize the efficiency of the organization by maximum utilization of the resources.
Recruitment And Selection Process Of Barclays
Barclays has got a recruitment & selection procedure which is a source of major attraction for its people. Barclays as an organization strongly believes in providing equal opportunities to everyone. Barclays adopts following selection criteria.
Internal Recruitment: is beneficial for the staff already working in different branches. This provides the existing staff with an opportunity of career development, thus it keeps them motivated and results in better performance.
Commercial Recruitment Agencies:
Barclays advertise its vacancies through commercial recruitment agencies as well which helps in getting the right people for the job
Newspaper Advertisement: Barclays uses different newspapers and magazines to advertise its jobs, thus it provides a source to reach to maximum number of people through print media.
Internet Advertisement: Vacancies are advertised through internet as well, job vacancies are displayed on Barclays' website and that attracts maximum no of people.
Barclays encourages fresh graduates to be a part of its professional team by various programs such as Internships, MBA graduate scheme. Barclays has strong ties with the universities and other educational institutions in UK and abroad.
Barclays has got 2 recruitment processes, for the selection of right person for a specific job.
Standard Recruitment Process
Senior Recruitment Process
Standard recruitment process consists of the following stages.
Competency based/structured interview
Additional exercise (Role play/Presentation, Group Exercise)
Like every other organization, Barclays accepts application forms / CV for a job vacancy, this gives the HR staff to assess the eligibility of the person applying for a job.
If a candidate fulfils the eligibility criteria, he / she is tested for communication / verbal skills through a telephonic interview session. This method saves time and money as the candidates are assessed over the phone
On a successful completion of this stage a candidate is invited for a competency based / structured interview in which different department directors / managers interview the candidate to assess its suitability keeping in view the professional competency of the candidate and the requirements of the job advertised.
After the interview, candidates are assessed through different group exercises and presentation in order to judge their ability to perform in a team environment.
Last stage is assessment centre, where a candidate is judged on various group tasks, presentations and problem solving exercises.
(source: group.barclays.com )
As a leading UK bank, Barclays believes in providing equal opportunities to everyone. As part of its "Equal Opportunity Employer" policy, Barclays advertise its jobs with Job Centres, Newspapers and onto its website as well. Barclays has developed a dedicated website for this purpose which contains information about all the vacancies in UK & Europe.
( Source: http://group.barclays.com/Careers)
Training & Mentoring:
Barclays provides extensive training opportunities, comprehensive training schemes and chance to learn from experienced mentors.
Support for New Starters:
New recruits are supported by the wide range of training programs in order to help them understand the day to day operation of the bank and develop the skills they need to perform their role in an effective manner.
A wide range of training resources are available from online training to the opportunity to gain professional qualifications. Training is provided keeping the focus on "learning every day"
In the view point of Dessler, (2008) that diversity term refers to the variety of individuals from different societies available in one single environment.
Barclays promotes diversity when it comes to the recruitment of staff. Barclays provides opportunities to talented people from all ethnic backgrounds, age, gender and areas.
Barclays promotes Religious Diversity as it recruits people from all different religions. Barclays employees are from many different religions that includes, Christians, Mulims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews etc.
Barclays promotes Gender Diversity and encourages women to become an integral part of its professional work force by introducing different programmes for women. Women of the year award is one of these efforts to promote the gender diversity and encourage women to compete and be an integral part of the Barclays professional team.
Barclays is an equal opportunity employer, thus it discourages discrimination in any form. Barclays take strict action against anyone found guilty of discriminating anyone. A strict procedure is followed to deal with such complaints and a person is fired if proven guilty of any kind of discrimination.
Comments & Suggestions:
Barclays is a major corporate sector bank with a great reputation of providing equal opportunities to people belonging to all every part of UK. Recruitment & Selection process is quite extensive in nature and career growth opportunities provided by Barclays are very attractive.
It would not be difficult to say that today whatever success Barclays has got as a major Bank in UK is because of its people, which are truly the most valuable assets of Barclays.
Rewards & Benefits:
Barclays employees get benefits from a range of facilities and rewards. That includes bonuses, financial loans, private health care, flexibility of working hours and 30 days holiday per year
Investor In People ( Equal Opportunity Employer)
Barclays provides opportunities to every member of its staff, thus as an employer, Barclays does not believe in any kind of discrimination at any level at all.
Induction Process & CMI Induction Best Practices:
In order to evaluate the induction process of Barclays, i did a thorough study on their HR procedures and practices and i find out that Barclays not only provide necessary induction courses to its new starters but at the same time it provides them an opportunity to get benefit from multi-dimensional training approach. That includes further in-house training, online training courses, opportunity to observe and learn from mentors and future prospects for further training / education.
I will now highlight the importance of some of the induction practices.
Barclays provides flexible working opportunities to its staff in order to provide a balanced life pattern to its workers. This approach is truly helpful keeping in view the needs of every individual person, from student to a single parent; everyone can get benefit from this flexible working pattern and thus helps in promoting a healthy life style.
Work Life Balance:
Barclays is a flexible employer in terms of providing the flexibility to its works for the pattern of shifts they can choose. It provides its staff the flexibility of either working full time or part time thus provides them an opportunity to keep their work life balanced with their other engagements.
Culture and its Effects on Employees
Culture on the organization is very important and it plays an important role in achieving the goals of the organization. Culture of the organization reflects its values, its traditions, its working pattern and how its worker adopt the changing circumstance and work properly in order to achieve the organizational goals.
Culture of every organization differs from the other and even if it is the same organization then culture might differ from branch to branch. The Barclays culture is very pleasant and helpful.
As a leading bank of UK, Barclays as organizations knows the importance of its values and traditions. Those values are to provide every possible help to its customers. This is attained with the help of a team work and every staff member take this responsibility of introducing this culture of help and promoting it at every minute during the process of serving the clients.
Newly Recruited staff is introduced to this culture during their induction phase and then Barclays has got different in-house training programmes, to train the new staff members according to the values and customs of the organization.
Barclays has strict procedures when it comes to discipline, strict action is taken against the employee who don't fulfil their responsibilities and HR team monitors every staff regularly and on individual basis.
Staff is encouraged to take the days off according to their contract but a strict action is taken against the staff member who violates the terms and conditions of the contract. Similarly Uniform is an important part of Barclays culture and therefore no flexibility is given if someone try to violate the dress code of Barclays.
A warning is issued on the breach of terms & conditions of the contract, which may lead to further investigation and staff member can be asked to attend a session with disciplinary committee or HR department to further discuss the matter.
Legal Requirements & HR:
Its very important for the HR to ensure that all legal requirements are fulfilled before a person is recruited and trained further to become a part of the organization. As the staff members reflect the organizational culture, so they should be fully aware of the laws & procedures of the company.
Barclays as an employer fully ensures that all necessary checks are made before a person is recruited. Legal requirements are very important to fulfil in general and in particular to Barclays as staff members would be dealing with financial transactions on daily basis. So it is the responsibility of the HR team to ensure all legal requirements have been fulfilled.
Staff should be familiarized with the laws to ensure their safety as they deal with the members of the public on regular basis. Discrimination at work is very important to understand as it may put organization in difficult position, these conditions normally don't happen.
Legal requirements regarding Pay & Rewards should be met according to the individual contracts.
Comment & Suggestion:
In this section, i highlighted the importance of induction process and other related issues. Flexibility at work, flexible working patter, Cultural effects of the organization on the performance of individuals, disciplinary procedures and Legal requirements regarding HR have been discussed.
I would re-iterate here the importance of meeting the legal requirements and introducing the new staff member to the rules and regulations of the company. Barclays conducts many training programmes for its employees making it sure that they get every information on all of these issues so that they can work in an effective manner and can promote the culture of help in future while working for Barclays.