The basic definition of Human Resource Management is it covers the management of people in an organization from a macro point of view for instance, managing people in the form of a collective relationship between management and employees. It is often concerned with the concepts of the company's management and a focus on building the employment relationship to fulfil the level of workplace or in a wider society.
The people who make up an organization give the company its primary source of competitive advantage, and human resource management plays a key role in finding and developing the organization's people as human resource that contribute to and directly affect company success. The term human resource management refers to the design and application of formal systems in an organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talent to accomplish organizational goals. This system includes activities undertaken to attract, develop and maintain an effective workforce.
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A recent article (Susan., 2012) states that "HRM is also a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing people and the workplaceÂ cultureÂ and environment. Effective HRM enables employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization's goals and objectives." Besides that, Rao and Subha (2009, p.8) have also proposed that "Human resource management is a continuous and never ending process, it aims at attaining the goals of organisation, individual and society in an integrated approach and organisation goals may include survival, growth and development in addition to profitability, productivity, innovation, excellence etc."
2 .0 GLANCE OF MARKS AND SPENCER
2.1 Introduction to Task 1
Human Resource Management (HRM) can be defined as the process of developing and managing group of people in organizations in a more structured and systematic manner. This include fields such as recruiting and staffing, performance management, change management, managing the process when an employee leaves and monitoring the profit of the company to tighten up the company's activities. These are the areas that aid employees in organizations to perform their job more effectively and efficiently. In order to understand more about human resource management, one must first recognize and study the perspectives of human resource management.
2.1.1 Perspectives of Human Resource Management
Generally, there are five different perspectives of human resource management in which they are known as the normative perspective, critical perspective, behavioural perspective, system perspective and lastly the agency or transaction cost perspective of human resource management.
Normative Perspective of Human Resource Management
The normative perspective of human resource management is typically based on two concepts that are 'hard HRM" and "soft HRM'. These both concepts are the major foundations of the human resource management. "Hard HRM" concept can be considered as a traditional approach towards human resource management, where it outlines its basis to the Harvard model that associates workforce management to organizational strategy. This concept emphasizes the linkage of functional areas such as recruitment, job analysis, performance evaluations, compensations and benefits. Workforce here is viewed as "passive resources" where the organizations can use and dispose them after used.
On the other hand, "soft HRM" concept is considered as a modern approach towards strategic human resource management. This concept outlines its basis to the Michigan model that considers human capital as assets rather than resources and emphasizes on areas such as leadership development, organizational development, conflict management and relationship strengthening. The concept of this approach works in a way that the benefits the company received will also benefit the employee as well.
Critical Perspective of Human Resource Management
Critical perspective of human resource management is a response against the normative perspective. This underlines some natural opposition within the normative perspective Research has shown that many companies states that they put their employee welfare as their priority and regard them as an important asset to the company. Hence, with that, employees implement a hard HRM-based strategic control where individual employee has always been taken priority over by the interest of the organizations.
Behavioural Perspective of Human Resource Management
The behavioural perspective of human resource management is the basic approach of the contingency theory where this theory views employee behaviour as an intermediary between organizational performance and strategy. This theory supports the initiative of human resource management involvement to regulate proper employees' professionalism and ethics so that employee could adapt to the various strategies enforced to achieve the desired outcome. Hence, this perspective is highly based on the role of employees rather than their knowledge, skills and abilities. For instance, only a workforce that projects a professional level of creativity including perpetual focus, the drive for quality, propensity to take risk and other needful qualities.
System Perspective of Human Resource Management
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The system perspective of human resource management explains the flow of activities and all the systems engaged in transactions within an environment in terms of input, throughput and output. The flow of activities of the workers within the company involves the initial input, the operational processes of energies transformation at throughput and final output which is the resulting product or service. In addition to that, some of the roles of the system perspective include introducing new forms of ways to shield the technological core from the environment to provide a more closed system of high security, and communicating thus regulating communication with the outside environment which gives a more open system.
Agency or Transaction Cost Perspective of Human Resource Management
Another perspective of human resource management includes the agency or transaction cost perspective. This perspective indicates that if there is a group work involved, the natural behaviour of people is that they will tend to be more reliant on the other members of the group and thus be less productive or efficient as an individual. Knowing that there are other members involved in helping to do up a particular task, the percentage of input from a person is usually decreased. Also, delegation of duties between one another in a team may evoke conflicts or disagreements. Some may not be satisfied with the duties they have been allocated in the team while some might think that the responsibilities given is more compared to the rest, hence conjuring that the responsibility shared is not equal and fair.
2.1.2 Human Resource Management in Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer or commonly known in short as M&S is one of the most established and famous British retailers that has been in market for more than 120 years of heritage. Given the mass number of outlets the company operates within UK, this give a platform for the company to employ more than 65 000 people and serve nearly 10 million customers a week. Besides that, the company also trades and operates its business outside UK where it has a started its initial business in over 30 countries for instance Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Paris, Philippines, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and few more other countries.
Human resource management plays an important role to Mark & Spencer as the company takes into account on the number of employees where the company will need in future as well as the competence level of employees that will be needed in the company in order to maintain direct and better interactions with their customers. Examples of employees that are highly essential to Mark & Spencer are graduates trainees, supervisors and skilled employees.
Besides that, another importance of the human resource management of Mark & Spencer is it ensures that the right employee is in the right job in order to guarantee the level of competence and how successful the employees are in the company. For instance, most employees in an organization are often individuals with their own mental perceptions, own objectives and own personalities while working, where they are unable to perceived as a whole. However, the human resource management of Mark & Spencer holds the company that they have to employ employees with both individually and collective psychology where they are committed to the aims and achievement of the company's goals.
In addition to another importance of human resource management of Mark & Spencer is the focus on increasing direct interactions with their customers. Taking into the consideration of customers' preferences n interests, the company seeks to establish trust and innovation with their customers apart from their business aspects alone. Mark and Spencer have introduced a promotional campaign called "M&S" where this campaign involved three main objectives that is meeting the customer's needs and wants by developing products that satisfies them, catering to the services of the customers for their welfare, and investing in the environment within stores. With all these importance of human resource management of Marks and Spencer, this created more challenges for the employees that are hired to work and attempt the best for their customers.
2. 2 Conclusion for Task 1
Hence, to conclude, there are basically five different perspectives of human resource management and they are known as the normative perspective, critical perspective, behavioural perspective, system perspective and lastly the agency or transaction cost perspective of Human Resource Management. All the five perspectives of human resource management plays an important role in building up relationships among employers and employees, developing good employment skills and monitoring their work performance. The human resource management plays an important role to Mark & Spencer as the company takes into account on the number of employees where the company will need in future and also ensures that the right employee is in the right job in order to guarantee the level of competence and how successful the employees are in the company.
3. 1 Introduction for Task 2
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In order to generate an excellent work and maintain a competitive edge, it is important to achieve the optimum results from employees. Flexibility in the workplace able to support this process where it can facilitates in improving and increasing the workplace's productivity in how it operates and also assists in maintaining good employees. The term 'flexibility' means employees are able to negotiate changes in order to address any issues and aim to resolve them.
3. 1. 1 Model of Flexibility on Workplace in Marks & Spencer
Through the implementation of a flatter organization structure, Marks & Spencer identify the importance of workforce flexibility as it offers model of flexibility to their employees. The model of flexibility includes flexible working, numerical flexible, functional flexibility and financial flexibility as explained below.
An employee that comes under the model of flexible working means he/she has to work different hours in order to suit the pattern of his/her work. In return, this benefits the employer as they gain more value from the employee and also provide opportunity for others to apply for any vacant jobs when the normal employee is not in for work. Hence, at Marks & Spencer, they offer flexible working hours to their employees like the section managers, supervisors and customer assistant. This is because their employees might have children to oversee or they need time to social around, spend time with their children or relax.
Numerical flexibility means the arrangement where the employer has the rights to change the number of staff relying on how busy or hectic the store is during peak seasons such Christmas. In this way, the employees will enjoy some benefits such as they can change the working hours or shifts they want. This is especially useful for working mothers. However, although this is of interest to many employees, some of them are dissatisfied over the irregular income they get each week as their working time and hours is not fixed.
Functional flexibility means that the employee that has more than one task to perform. This model of flexibility could benefit the employee as they will gain wider experience and they could attach it to their C.V in order to make it look more impressive. This could also prove how eligible and efficient the employee is in their performing abilities such as multi-tasking, which entitles them to promotions if they perform their job well and good.
Financial flexibility means that the company appoint other companies to perform or carry out several works for them where in return, the company could save their time and money. For instance, in Marks & Spencer, the company hires other company's security guard and even cleaners from another different company.
3. 1. 2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Flexibility
The implementation of flexibility in workplace leads to a wide range of advantages and disadvantages. One the advantages of implementing flexibility in workplace is flexible schedule where the ability of an employee to organize his/her workday depending on personal duty or responsibility. For instance, as a replacement for working from 8am - 5pm, an employee could choose to work earlier from 7am - 4pm in order to utilize the extra time after work to perform their personal obligations. Other advantages of having flexibility in work schedule include lower absenteeism, employee turnover and increased in productivity and satisfaction of the employees.
Besides that, another advantage of implementing flexibility in workplace is the increase in company's revenues as wider options available for employer and the employees in deciding decisions that could bring or gain high revenues for the company. For instance, if Marks & Spencer were to employ workers based on their seasonal demands such as only requiring workers for set amounts of months per year, the company could save on its financial reserves from the employees working in the company.
In addition to that, another advantage of implementing flexibility in workplace is the improved of the business performance in the company. Flexibility in working hours can indirectly help companies to cater efficiently to their customers' needs and requirement. This is because when employees are given their desired working hours as per their convenience, this creates a more desired environment with a happy mindset and satisfaction for them to work in as they are aware that the company looks after the employees' needs too. This satisfaction attained from the staff will in turn help to achieve customer's needs as employees will come with a happy and positive mindset that will project out more productivity, efficiency in their working behaviour. Employees will realize that since the company seeks to cater to their needs, the staff should in turn be grateful to the company by helping the company in achieving their main objective-catering to the customers' needs and by this, the business performance in the company can be improved.
On the contrast, the disadvantage of implementing flexibility in workplace is the responsibility held by the management will be more stressful and extreme, mainly when it comes to working home. This is because when the supervisor or employee is not around working with the individual, he/she will find it hard to keep the task on track, accurate and on time. Looking for the time to balance between family and work may be also difficult for the individual at times, especially when his/her office and home are at the same place. For instance, if he arrived early than others to work, it may be difficult for him/her to keep on the task going well with the lacking of direction from his/her supervisors and co-workers.
Another disadvantage of implementing flexibility in workplace is the challenges that are faced while searching employees who want to be a part of a flexible workforce. This is because, most people choose to work in a job that is reliable in which provides expected income stream. In the other hand, there are also challenges to come across when retaining an employee. This is because, when the business is not doing good or in a slow state, employees will begin spending their time searching for other jobs at other more stable and successful companies. And if by any chance they get opportunity or offer to work at a highly reputable company that will lead them to earn a steady pay check year-round, they will decide to leave their current job and go for the new job offer.
3. 1. 3 Conclusion for Task 2
Hence, flexibility in Marks and Spencer workplace is important as it facilitates in improving and increasing the workplace's productivity in how it operates and also assists in maintaining good employees. The model of flexibility includes working flexible, numerical flexible, functional flexibility and financial flexibility. Besides that, there are also the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the flexibility of workplace. Human resource managers of Marks and Spencer should examine and study all the options available in the organization and then attempt to create a good and friendly environment that best fit for everyone.
4. 1 Introduction to Task 3
Equal opportunities often involve the attainment of fair treatment for groups that faced discriminations. The discriminations are mostly because of gender, sex, age, religion, class and disability. There are two types of discriminations where one of them is may be direct and the other one may be indirect. For instance, direct racial discriminations are often concerned with an individual that show intolerance to another person. The person being discriminated is usually treated less fairly or poorly. Whereas indirect racial discriminations is when the projection of attitude and behaviour to another party is said to equal without showing any form of obvious discrimination. The tolerance level is higher but there is still prejudice in discreet. In Marks & Spencer, the organization management provides certain ways in order to protect their business against workplace discrimination ways.
4. 1. 1 Equal Opportunities in Marks and Spencer
In Marks & Spencer, since there are mainly women and minorities, the management mainly focus is on the equal rights for and in employment for all individual regardless of gender, sex, age, pregnancy/maternity, colour, disability, religion or any other unfavourable treatment of employees. The organization is focusing more on all the stages involved in building up close employment relationship by recruitment, transfer, promotion, terms and conditions of employee, health and safety, and the benefits that received.
Besides that, they are also dedicated to their own policy which is known as an Equal Opportunities Policy where it deals from the recruitment and selection of an employee, training and development of the employees, evaluation and promotion and lastly to retirement. The employees will be free from any prejudice act and solely based upon their work criteria and performance. The employees are trained well to be are alert and quick in responding to the needs of their customers and at any group of community. This also makes Marks & Spencer as an organization which employs and utilizes all their employee's talents and skills that come from different individuals from different nations, colour, gender, etc. This creates valued diversity in the workplace. However, failure to comply with equal employment opportunity can result in substantial fines and penalties for employers.
In addition, according to the recent Marks & Spencer company report, it states that "Marks and Spencer has written commitments on equal opportunities in all main ages (age, disability, race, gender etc). In 2004/5, Marks and Spencer agreed and implemented a 'Diversity Action Plan' including the launch of disability awareness training. Roughly 25% of employees are aged over 50 and the majority of employees (78%) and managers (68%) are female. Overall, the workforce reflects the ethnic make of the UK population with the 13% coming from ethnic minorities".(Maplecroft, 2005, p.5).
4. 1. 2 Protection of Business against Workplace Discrimination Claim in Marks & Spencer
Discrimination occurs when some applicants are hired or promoted based on criteria that are not job relevant. For instance, refusing to hire a black applicant for a job he is qualified to fill or paying a woman a lower wage than a man for the same work are discriminatory acts.
As a well recognized worldwide organization, Marks and Spencer need to protect their business against workplace discrimination, in order to be considered as a good business that is free from any unfavourably treatments. Protecting the business against workplace any discrimination favours the employees because it improves their morale and ethics in workplace.
Marks and Spencer can protect their business against workplace discrimination claim by coming up with seminar or talks for both employers and employees in order to avoid issues like race, gender and pregnancy in the workplace. Besides that, employees that are based with characteristics like tribal origin, disability and religion are group of people that often suffers from unfavourably treatments from co-workers. To avoid such discriminatory claim in Marks & Spencer, the company could issue the State and Federal laws at workplace in order to protect these people working in business from any discriminatory acts. There are few different laws that are issued in order to protect discrimination against employers and employees in workplace. These laws can be used by Marks and Spencer organization to protect their business against workplace discrimination claim. The different laws include, The Equal Pay Act in Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws, EqualÂ Employment OpportunityÂ Commission, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Preventing Retaliation Claims by Employees and Immigration Reform and Control Act. Hence, in order to understand which law to apply and abide Marks and Spencer must first study and verify the different sets of laws. The working rights and conditions of women, minorities, older employees and the disabled will likely receive increasing legislative attention.
4. 1. 3 Conclusion for Task 3
Hence to conclude, equal opportunities often involve the attainment of fair and equal treatment for groups that faced discriminations. The discriminations are mostly because of gender, sex, age, religion, class and disability. Marks and Spencer need to protect their business against workplace discrimination where in order to be considered as a good business, the organization must be free from any unfavourably treatments. Marks and Spencer can protect their business against workplace discrimination claim by providing seminar or talks for both employers and employees, and issuing the State and Federal laws at workplace in order to protect these people working in business from any discriminatory acts.
5. 1 Introduction to Task 4
Human resource management (HRM) practises refers to "Organizational activities directed at managing the pool of human resources and ensuring that the resources is employed towards the fulfilment of organizational goals."(Normala, 2006, p.8). HRM practise for Marks and Spencer can be categorized in terms of their implementation and impact towards the organizational performance through hiring and enhancing employee's skills, training and developing activities, and motivation.
5. 1. 1 HRM Practises and Organizational Performance in Marks and Spencer
The best human resource management practises that can best fit and implemented for Marks and Spencer in accordance to the scenario given is hiring and enhancing their skills. Elegble and Joel Alemibola (2010, p.33) have proposed that "No organization ever deliberately sets out to hire mediocre or average student. They all have great intentions to hire the best in the market. Hiring great people takes more than intention. It involves planning, expertise, commitment and integrity. It entails using the right tools for selection and demands the ability to identify and offer what perspective employees value in an employment relationship". By this reason, the organizational structure of Marks and Spencer can be influenced by the human resource management beforehand through the hiring of highly qualified, skilful, talented and educated people. This is because by hiring people with such talented characteristics, they could meet the organization's goals and enhance the business performance of Marks and Spencer by delivering effective and efficient work performance.
The second human resource management practise that can best fit and implemented in Marks and Spencer is by providing training and development activities to their newly employee. Sarma, (2009, p.126) believes " the training and development functions are combined together for developing skills as well as basic aptitudes, leading to continued growth personal growth. Training and development include training of employees to perform their jobs, and the retaining of employees as their job requirement change." The investment in providing training and developing useful activities for the new comers will produce valuable and great organizational outcomes. For instance, the human resource management in Marks and Spencer will seek to find out the connections between people and technology. This is because the management of the organization will provide extensive training in order to keep their employees up-to-date with their latest technology. In return, after the implementation of this human resource management practise, the organizational performance will be effective and able to work promptly, rapidly, and possibly will also take the organizations as a top leader in creating new innovations than before. It will also lead the organization through lower staff turnover.
The third human resource management practise that can best fit and implemented in Marks and Spencer is motivation. Retail business like Marks and Spencer will usually show their appreciation in the form of rewarding their employees based on the achievement of their high individual sales. In return to the implementation of this human resource management practise, rewarding the employee will motivate him/her to be more determined in achieving higher sales in future for the organization, where Marks and Spencer could earn more profits and sales. Besides that, Gelade, et al. (2003,p. 383) believes that, "Reward systems will also affect organisational performance through increasing quality of products and services, as it is proven that in companies with a focus on enhancing human capital the quality of their outcomes is much higher than in organisations without a progressive HRM policy".
5. 1. 2 Conclusion for Task 4
Hence, the best human resource management practises that can best fit and implemented for Marks and Spencer in accordance to the scenario given is hiring and enhancing employees skills, providing training and development activities to their newly employee, and motivation by rewarding the employee based on his/her achievement.
6. 0 Conclusion
Today, all managers need to be skilled in the basics of human resources management. Flatter organizations often require that managers throughout the organization play an active role in recruiting and selecting the right personnel, developing, effective training programs or creating appropriate performance appraisal systems. The human resource management plays an important role to Mark & Spencer as the company takes into account on the number of employees where the company will need in future.
Besides that, flexibility in Marks and Spencer workplace is important as it facilitates in improving and increasing the workplace's productivity. The model of flexibility includes working flexible, numerical flexible, functional flexibility and financial flexibility. However, there are also some advantages and disadvantages of implementing the flexibility of workplace. The human resource managers of Marks and Spencer should play an important role in examining and studying all the options available in the organization and then attempt to create a good and friendly environment that best fit for everyone.
In additional to that, equal opportunities also play a role that involves the attainment of fair and equal treatment for groups that faced discriminations. Marks and Spencer need to protect their business against workplace discrimination where in order to be considered as a good business, the organization must be free from any unfavourably treatments. The organization can also protect their business against workplace discrimination claim by providing seminar or talks for both employers and employees, and issuing the State and Federal laws at workplace in order to protect these people from any unfavourably treatments.
Lastly, the best human resource management practises that can best fit and implemented for Marks and Spencer in accordance to the scenario given is hiring and enhancing employees skills, providing training and development activities to their newly employee, and motivation by rewarding the employee based on his/her achievement.