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Considering the plan of an expansion of Carter's Supermarkets, and the fact that the company will have to deal with greater number of staff, we, Alex and Jennifer Carter, intend to highlight the importance and to put forward our ideas about human resource planning and human resource policies in our organisation.
Why to plan human resources?
Since our organisation is at a stage of business expansion through opening 3 new supermarkets, four times bigger than existing ones, and with new specialist departments, it is obvious that we have a demand for new staff to meet the organisation's objectives.
Therefore, human resource planning (HRP) will help us to analyse and identify how many new people we require, when we need them, what range of skills we expect them to have, are these people available on the labour market or we need to train them to achieve our objectives.
HRP will also look at such aspects as competition, impact of the location of our future supermarkets; audit of current workforce, and use this information to fit with company's goals.
If we do not consider human resource planning, our business may consequently suffer as
We may not create any new customers,
We may lose faith of our existing ones by delivering unprofessional, poor service in our new departments;
We risk to recruit wrong people;
We may hire wrong number of people and affect our labour budgets.
These factors will severely affect our business and we may, at the end, give up our position to our competitors.
What will be the workforce requirements for each supermarket?
The following measures will help us to identify the workforce requirements (Martin, 2009)
We need to convert our business plans into future labour requirements. This means, we need to break down projected labour according to their functions in a supermarket, their different categories, skills and knowledge they will need.
We need to create a profile of the existing workforce, which means we need to assess the number of the existing staff and their suitability for the future job positions.
These measures will enable us to identify how many new people of which categories we will need to recruit for which positions, and what skills and knowledge they will have to possess.
Coming to our project of expansion, we will take the following step-by-step approach to identify our workforce requirements:
What is our objective?
To open 3 new supermarkets four times larger than existing ones.
Where will they be located?
One in Tooting; One in Clapham Junction; One in Putney.
What products will each supermarket offer?
Canned and packaged products
Soft drinks section
Frozen food section
Fresh meat counter
Fresh seafood counter
What will be supermarkets' opening hours?
8am to 10pm.
How many people do we need?
The staff will work in two shifts: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., and 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.
On each shift we would consider to have:
2 people to fill up shelves (one of which will also check out customers in busy times, or if the cashier needs five minutes break);
2 people in the bakery
Supervisor (who will be in charge for other shops as well).
Total number of staff per shift: +8.
What are the requirements for each category of staff?
Butcher & Fishmonger:
- Good knowledge of the products they sell (names, characteristics of the meat, etc.);
- Knowledge of different recipes and methods of cooking of meat;
- Good communication skills;
- Previous experience is preferable.
- Passionate about their jobs;
- Able to show own initiative (by suggesting to customers different ways of cooking, for example);
(also the person who will look after shelves and assist customers)
- Knowledge of basic arithmetic;
- Skill in handling cash;
- Good communication skills;
- No previous experience required.
- Thorough (able to rotate the products according to their shelf-life);
- Able to handle difficult situations.
- Prior work experience required.
- Passionate about their job;
- Able to work under pressure.
- Ability to manage team;
- Knowledge of marketing;
- Ability to coordinate orders and deliveries;
- Good eye for detail;
- Accountability for stock;
- Prior experience required.
- Passionate and dedicated;
- Friendly and approachable;
What is our existing workforce profile?
We have currently two existing shops with the total number of staff of 5 people, from which 3 - sales persons (rotating between two shops Catherina Pacetti, Victoria Smith and Rashid Malik), 1 person in charge for stocks and deliveries for both shops (Alex Carter), and Jennifer Carter, responsible for all paper works.
How will we plan our human resources?
The diagram in the Appendix represents our suggested plan for staffing:
Catherina, Victoria and Rashid will be transferred to new sites as Head Sales Assistants. Each will train other 2 newly-hired people for Sales person/Cashier positions.
2 new experienced sales staff will be recruited for our existing shops.
We have to recruit 6 experienced Fishmongers and 6 Butchers for our new sites, as well as 2 Bakers for each of new supermarkets.
As the volume of work will increase, Alex and Jennifer will need assistants. Therefore, we have the demand for 1 person to assist Jennifer in the office, and 1 Supervisor in charge of our existing shops, who will report to Alex Carter, Head Manager/Supervisor.
Total number of staff to recruit: 28, of which
1 Assistant for Jennifer
1 Supervisor to report to Alex Carter
8 Sales/Cashier people.
How human resource planning will contribute to organisation's objectives?
Provided that we:
Regard people as a source of competitive advantage
Plan human resources carefully
Recruit right people for the right positions
Give necessary training to our staff
Respect the needs of our employees and treat them fairly
Appraise their contribution by giving feedback or reward
We can achieve a healthy organisational culture. This strategy will ensure that our employees are satisfied about their jobs, provide high quality customer service, are committed and motivated to achieve our organisational targets.
Overall, our human resource planning strategy will contribute to our company's objectives for becoming a strong competitor for other grocery supermarkets, and thriving by making good profits.
Why should we have human resource policies in our organisation?
We should have HR policies for the following reasons:
It would show the compliance of our organisation with law;
A clear relationship between our organisation and our employees would be established;
Employees would know their rights and what to expect from us;
There would be a solid base for all employees to be treated equally;
A distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour would be drawn;
All procedures and processes of employment would be clearly defined;
HR policies would create our organisational culture: such policies as recruitment, retention, pay, holidays, reward, would show how we value our employees;
If we have HR policies, we will be prepared to take actions if some difficult situations arise, and resolve problems according to the legislation.
All the above create a legal framework within which Human Resource operates and develops a good practice.
What will be the impact of employment legislation on human resource policies in our organisation?
When designing our organisation's HR policies, we need to take account of the existing law and employment regulations that apply to us. Different aspects of HRM, such as employment rights and responsibilities, contractual term and conditions, data protection, pay, health and safety, discrimination issues, are already covered by the legislation.
Thus, we need to design HR policies that would meet our organisation's objectives and reflect existing human resources laws.
The following are the examples of regulations, which our HR policies and procedures will be based upon:
Employment Right Act 1996
Health and safety at Work Act 1974
National Minimum Wage Act 1998
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
The Race Relations Act 1976, and others.
These primary legislation documents will help us to shape our HRM policies and practices such as
Recruitment strategy and practice, selection techniques, retention;
Pay and benefits (pay systems, holidays, pension arrangements, sickness and sick pay, maternity rights and benefits);
Equal opportunities (sex, race, disability discriminations);
Training and development (induction and mandatory training, appraisal and performance management);
Employee relations (disciplinary, grievance and dispute procedures);
Redundancy and reorganisation (handling redundancies, reorganisation and managing internal change);
Health and safety and risk management (the enforcement and management of health and safety at work).
To conclude, if we are to expand our business even further, satisfy our customers' needs and make good profits, we have to practice strategic human resource planning and implement HR policies and systems. We believe this will enable us to have right, dedicated and motivated employees that will provide excellent customer service and contribute to meeting our company's overall objectives.