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In any organization, the most important asset is its employees though it may or may not be profit-oriented. So the most complicated task is to manage the human resource. Today, in the rapid advancement of technology, Human Resource is unavoidable. No machines can replace Human Resource in utilization the available resources effectively. In this competitive market, every organization ensures that it has an effective and efficient Human Resource Development that supports to achieve every objective. The HR department works very hard in utilization of every available human resource to realize the organization's by linking it with the policies and strategy. The HR department also helps the employs understand and respect the values of the organization by constantly conducting activities that involve the employee from every level in the organization.
Every large scale firm activity needs to be supported by different departments integrated into one which leads to as a group activity and finally it becomes a coordinated activity carried out at various levels to achieve the organisational goal. Therefore, these strategic objectives can be achieved only with effective human resources management which is controlled by HR department. In the assignment, we have given to carry out research into the HR policies carried out by Tesco.
Tesco is the biggest super market in UK. It has been dominating in British retail sector with domestic market share and global sales. It initially caters in food and later expanded its area of business like clothing, electronics, financial services and telecom. So the Tesco's has set up the store namely Tesco extra, Tesco metro and Tesco express in order to meet the customer's needs.
Since Tesco is considered a one stop retail outlet that has covered every segment of market in the country and it shows Tesco has a great number of manpower.
This shows how the HR strategy has been implemented.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Three key HRM activities carried out by Tesco are:
Recruitment and pay revision.
Training and development.
Providing healthy work atmosphere.
Recruitment, training and healthy work environment are the three key HRM activities carried out by Tesco which I would like to discuss.
Recruitment is the process of new employment which is consists of important steps. Some of the important steps involved in recruitment are call for application, criteria allocation, short listing, interview, salary negotiation and offer of employment. It's all about acquiring more human resource as per requirement which can be met in different ways like open day recruitment, application through own website, from agencies on contractual basis, interview from campus and finally internal job posting (IJP). Every job offer should be incompliance with the rules and regulations. Some of the important rules and regulations are:
Equal Pay Act (1970).
Sex Discrimination Act (1975),
Race Relations Act (1976),
Disability Discrimination Act (1995),
Employment Protection Act (1978).
Tesco plc is one of the organizations in the UK that follows very strict procedure of recruitment with aware of various acts. Every different position has its own unique procedure. Most of the selection is done through online system like customer support agent and its immediate higher level appointments and so on. Before any direct interview the candidate is short listed by an online procedure by general aptitude test. Then those who pass the test are called for interview thereby saving time and energy from both sides. Direct application is also available in store which helps in the same way. For higher management positions, there are a few ways like appointing external agencies and direct reputed institutions and also through internal job posting.
Once the right candidate is selected the next process is training where the potential of candidate is transformed with the help of available resource to convert them into standard employee. Generally there are two types of training available namely 'process training' where the candidate is made aware of the process his/her duties. The second is 'on the job' training. This is carried further once management feels that employee is able take his responsibilities. So every step is carefully studied and overlooked by HR department in order to ensure the efficiency.
Every large scale organization provides training to their employees so does the Tesco plc. Tesco plc ensures that new employee is carefully nested into the organization. They provide training with a payment options and other facilities to the fulltime employees. Tesco plc always demands proficiency among its employees. It also carries out the different programmes like personality development and career advancement & options available from time-to time in order boost their morale.
Providing healthy work atmosphere is another challenge for the HR department. As we know the world is global village so we can see multicultural society and it is not easy for them to mix into the crowd that they may feel not welcoming. So the HR department duties to make sure these things are discussed and evaluated among the employees before they come on board. Personal Health and Safety is also important issues which needs to addressed by the HR department very cautiously.
Better work environment encourage employees to perform their best and to provide better work atmosphere is another challenge for any organization. Tesco plc is aware of this fact. So it ensures that every single employee is aware of his/her rights within the organization. Tesco plc provides more opportunities like part-time and weekend jobs where most of the students are encouraged to work. Though it can be complicated but Tesco plc ensures that this is carried out carefully with the help of HR department. It is the responsibility of HR department to ensure that proper shifts are allocated and there is no confusion among the employee. So these are the reoccurring issues which HR team have to handle it with great care. Tesco plc prohibited the consumption of alcohol and other related products within the premises in order to ensure the safe working atmosphere. This reflects the capability and vision of Tesco plc to provide better work conditions for its employees.
Assessing the effectiveness of the Tesco Approach
In the era of globalization, every organization like Tesco plc must keep itself along with other organizations on being globally competitive. So employee involved in the organization must be competitive so that they can achieve competitive advantage. The analysis of HR management is based on the different activities carried out. The different activities of HRM that are going to be analysed here are recruitment, training and safety. Tesco plc is one of those organizations that thrive for customer satisfaction and retention. Providing the best prices to stop the customer going anywhere else is the main objective of Tesco plc. For this, Tesco needs to be aware of prices, quality of products, facilities and most important is customer service. For better customer service, the employees need to be trained time-to time. Not every employee joins the company with ample experience and customer skills. So they need to be developed from scratch for a few. Tesco plc is providing employment to students and other part time employees which could help to regulate cost of production. This is vital factor since Tesco plc trying to reduce cost by introducing customer new low price products. It also encourages employee to work close to their homes in order to save the time which makes life easy for all. In addition to these, employees are allowed to opt for transfer that will help to keep loyal to the organization i.e. low labour turnover.
Training employees reveals the involvement and dedication of any HR department of organization. Training is cost incurring process which is difficult to afford once it is not utilised economically. So the HR department has to be careful in providing the right training to the right candidate in the organization. As earlier discussed, training could be of two types i.e. process training and on the job training. The main components of Tesco plc training procedure are:
Core skills programme - fundamental training which helps to deal with customer.
Winning in Europe- designed especially for countries other than UK.
Excel programme- ranges from fundamental to manger training programme.
Training procedure is carried out to perfection in the Tesco. Training with pay and training alongside senior experienced employees provide the best work atmosphere for the best performances. Tesco's long-term strategy is to continue with training to employee and to integrate this into culture of the organization. So it always emphasis on staff training and to integrate this learning in the organization. So when employees are trained and showing a higher commitment to the organization which make them feel as part of the overall strategy. Finally, this leads employees feel valued and results a more committed workforce
Safety at work is criteria that Tesco management insists to be accounted for in the best possible means. Disaster management and other safety training are provided to employee at no extra charges. This is the contribution that organization makes to the benefits of employees career, a certain advantage. Prohibition of intake of any alcohol related products or any form or drugs unless prescribed by doctor is another step taken by Tesco plc to ensure safety of fellow employee and the customer.
Two HRM model
For any organization to perform its task efficiently and achieve its common objectives, the people are the utmost important resources to the management. The two approaches have been developed namely hard approach and soft approach. There are two models of activity has developed which I would like discuss in relation to Tesco plc. They are as follows:
The Harvard model was developed in the year 1984 by group of academics. This model is also referred as 'soft' HRM which emphasizes on more human side. According to this model human are not only resources but also a human. There are four main HR policies which are very important in order to deal with people. Firstly there is employee-influence which is inclusive of power, delegation and responsibility with purpose and interest of management. The second is the element of human resources flow i.e. recruitment, selection, placement and promotion, job security, career advancement and termination of employment. The next is rewarding system such as pay and motivation like bonuses, insurances and flexible working hour. The reward should be always align with the overall organizational strategy. Finally work system which deals with the arrangements of people, information and technology i.e. right man in right job with depending upon the skills.
The Michigan model was developed by Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna in the year 1984. This model is known as 'hard' HRM which is focus on human resource which should be used and exploited fully in order to achieve organizational goals. Here people are treated as a means of achieving the organization's strategy. It also assumes that HRM will respond to the external and internal environment. Basically this model concentrates on managing human assets by motivating and rewarding them in order to achieve company's goal.
The Harvard model emphasizes on human formulation with HR elements and is considered as the 'soft' aspects of HRM. The soft aspect of HRM is related with human relation whereas the hard aspect is seen as emerging from the business strategy and policy. On the other hand, the Michigan model focused on the human resources strategies and structures in order to improve the company's performances. It considers human resources as key resource of the organization.
These two models are the most commonly use HRM models in business today. Based upon the above analysis it can be concluded that the soft model is advisable to be practiced within the service sector while manufacturing sector would be better to use the Michigan model of HRM for increased production.
Tesco and its Approach towards HRM
Tesco's approach towards its HR policies and practices demonstrated the both approaches i.e. soft and hard version of HRM. Tesco is continuously invest on human resources i.e. employees' empowerment, participation of employee in management. Tesco also ensures that each employee has the opportunity to understand his or her individual role in contributing to the its core purpose and values which require commitment with an innovative induction programme. Tesco's human-resources strategy revolves around work simplification, challenging unwritten rules, achieving steering-wheel targets. It also emphasise on higher level of training to all employees which results in higher commitment to the organization.
This highlights the way in which Tesco's business measures are closely linked to hard and soft version of HRM
Critical analysis of HR performance at Tesco
Analysis of performance of any process plays a key role in the development of any organization. As a result of this analysis, various HR plans and policies can be evaluated in order to find out the effectiveness i.e. drawbacks. Recruitment, training and development of employee calibre and also providing best working condition with suitable growth opportunities has been met with high standard. Apart from these, keeping track of the best performance of employee and providing them with opportunity for overall growth and retaining them has been carried out successfully. The analysis shows that the HR department has been performing to the required level of standard in the existing market. We can see the Tesco plc management style of recruitment is strong enough in order to maintain low cost with highly effective training which consists of senior employees as well. Tesco plc also have been using the external agencies to recruit the employees in order to ensures quality recruitment. Tesco plc ensures the employee is recruited in lines with the national minimum wages or above minimum wages to pay. They also offer the job to those student who wants to work as a part time or weekends which would meet both i.e. organization and student goal.
Every employee is aware of his/ her positions and duties to be carried on which is primary activity of HR department. A job description is handed out in order to make aware of task to be performed by each individual employee. The payment procedure is also responsibility of HR department and Tesco ensures that they follow the national minimum wages act. And also there is an alternative feature that is periodical increment in the payment and evaluation based on the performance. Safety of the employee is the prime concern for the HR of Tesco plc which is met with extreme cautiously. They are trained to help themselves in the event of any unfortunate incidents or accidents like fire or theft. This is all to ensure safety among the employee and establish morale. This kind of Tesco's method really helps the individual learning preference.
This further complicates the role of HRD, balancing organizational needs with the individual's expectations. Employees will vary from each other. So its HR duty to organize right people in right job and this will help to sustain competitive advantage.
The role of human resources in any organization is very crucial in order to achieve organizational goal. The study of Tesco's HR policies has focused on level of training provided to all employees i.e. an effect in the bottom line which leads to more commitment among the employees. The study carried out on the different activities of a general HR department and that of Tesco's explain that Tesco has been highly successful in implementing the suitable plan and programme. So this helped Tesco's to increase their market share and retail units over the years which have been achieved partly through effective HR department although it is not sole factor in their path to success but it has certainly been a major factor of Tesco plc.
Human Resources Activities
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Figure 1 Harvard model & HRM cycle, source: Beer et al, 1984, it works on commitment, congruence,Â competence andÂ cost effectiveness