Organizations Greatest Asset Is People Commerce Essay


The organizations greatest asset is people. This asset should be put into the best possible use by managers, in todays changing and complex environment of business. Due to this reason, one of the most important management skills possess in leaders of the present era is an effective way of people management. The job in relation to managing people is the most complicated one for managers. This is because they must motivate, inspire, lead as well as encourage them for their work. Further, they have to discipline, evaluate, hire and also fire workforce (People Management, n.d).

The discussion paper given below is explaining about people management in Marks and Spencer. The researcher is also explaining about how structure and culture of business have an impact on its people. The behavior of employees as well as their performance is completely depends on motivational factors and style of leadership. An analysis of research paper explain here is inculcating about leadership theories along with practices in relation to motivating best performance and providing people satisfaction at workplace.

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Marks and Spencer have their workforce from different cultures, backgrounds, countries or religions. They all work together for the achievement of business objectives. Therefore, it is best challenge for the manager to manage this diversity of culture in the company. After reading this report, reader would be able to understand, effective ways to manage people in the business.

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer is headquartered in the City of Westminster, in London. It is the main retailer of British. In United Kingdom, the company has 703 stores and in almost 40 countries its 361 stores are established. The business deals in luxury food products as well as clothing. It was founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in 1884 (Your M&S, 2012).

1.1 Organization Structure

A business has created by changes in the Marks and Spencer, which recently is having flatter type of structure. With the help of delayering process, the company has subsequently lost a number of authority layers. It shows that its employees have more responsibility in throughout the business. This allows them for making fast decisions as and when required. Simultaneously, the accountability of these personals have higher than what been before. It means that they should prepare well for the justification as well as an explanation on their decisions (The role of training and development in career progression, n.d).

The company provides employment to almost 3000 people. Each individual in the business have specific roles to do along with responsibilities. There are several tasks in an organization, which involves employees in buying stock, management of these stocks, its layout in varied stores together with in jobs related to accounts and marketing (LINGHAM, 2011).

(Source: The role of training and development in career progression, n.d)

60,000 and more personals are working with Marks and Spencer stores. Many of these are discharging their roles as a manager. It means they motivate plus lead group of people. Moreover, in overseas also the organization has its franchise outlets. The employees working in these outlets too required training for effective service (The role of training and development in career progression, n.d). This is because in a flat structure company's, needed to provide good training to its workforce, so they can take their own decision and plan for work. It is also due to in this type of organizational chart, each employee have some higher responsibilities. At the same time, business expect higher from their staff. Thus, Marks and Spencer require maintaining well trained personals who can give good response to the needs of trade (LINGHAM, 2011).

There is one more impact of flat structure on individuals, as they needed succession management. At the time of retirement or moving of personals from one place to another, managers have to plan for their right replacements.

1.2 Organizational Culture

Culture of the company refers to general culture prevailing within the business. It can be called as corporate culture. Culture is said to be the pattern in which organization arranges itself. Its procedures, rules together with beliefs make up the culture. The corporate culture is built and founded over the years through its dominant group (Rsiddiq, 2010).

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Although Holmes and Vandevelde had work for updating M&S culture, but there are still old beliefs as well as values are prevailing in the company. Some changes have done within the business, such as removal of symbol "St Michael" (Collier and Johnson, 2005). Moreover, because of the poor level of financial performance, the feeling that "we are the best" has decreased. In spite of these changes, there are stills some old culture continued in the organization, for instance, M&S still needed to have customers respect and high quality synonyms. The elements of formality together with tradition are continued in business (Rsiddiq, 2010). Further, managers are also believes that workers know their roles or place. The company's structure which had been gone through much reorganization from several years was felt to be more complex, with huge members. This has created problems of difficult and lengthy decision making process for employees. Another negative impact of this traditional culture within the business is less productivity as well as reactivity from the employee's side (Bhatia, 2008).

1.3 Leadership styles and their impact

The style of leadership developed in Marks and Spencer is through training, learning and coaching. In a practical approach leadership is very tough job. A good leader should have appropriate behavior than skills. This is because leaders are trusted as well as respected by others only, if they have a good attitude. Main responsibilities of managers are communication, planning and organization. In addition to these management skills, leaders must have several other qualities, such as honesty, courage, commitment, wisdom, positivity etc (Marks and Spencer, n.d).

In Marks and Spencer, leaders use participative approach of leadership. Due to the flat structure of business, there is low gap in between superior executives and low level employees. Leaders are not pursuing dominant role within the business, as everybody has some special responsibilities and roles to do (Gough, 2009). Further, they are accountable for their work, so it decreases pressure of leaders. Employees in the company are allowed to make their own decisions. At the time of decision making on some advance topics, leaders ask for the suggestion from their staff members also. The organization believes in creative leadership. For this reason, they enable their workers to discharge innovative actions by creative decisions (Marks and Spencer, n.d).

The above approach of leadership in an organization resulted in a positive impact on its people. It is because, with participative style of leadership, individuals feel their value in business. They actively join meetings and obey or follow decisions taken by their superiors, as their suggestions are also involved in it. In this leadership, Employees able to make decisions without any much involvement of others, so they try hard to prove their actions. This increases business productivity and workers interest in company (Gough, 2009).

2.1 Workers liking for the organization

In Marks and Spencer, employees feel good to do their job. This is because of workplace flexibility in business. The company provides a healthy environment to its workforce, where they can freely discuss with their peers, approach to their managers and can take their own decisions (Margerison, 2002).

2.2 Benefits of flexible working

Advantages of flexible working to individuals include:

Increased quality of life;

Provide greater job satisfaction;

Reduce the stress;

Ability to maintain career development;

Ability to continue the job;

Access to better paid work (The Benefits Of Flexible Working, n.d).

Advantages to organization include:

Retention of valuable employees;

Decreased the absence;

Support the company's diversity values;

Individuals are more motivated;

Increased the productivity;

Allow workers to develop their own career (The Benefits Of Flexible Working, n.d).

2.3 Impact of working environment

In the present era of business, working environment is the main factor in motivation of employees. There are several elements, which play a role in motivation at the workplace, such as incentive programs, creative freedom, social relationships as well as job pressure (Gough, 2009). In order to motivate workers for reaching goals, various formal or informal incentives could be provided by managers. Creativity of employees should be encouraged, so they can fell motivated at workplace. Motivation at places where colleagues have positive relations are higher than where it presents less. Thus, managers should maintain as much as flexible workplace environment that can provide best motivation and increase productivity of business (Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman, 1993).

2.4 Ethical practices and CSR agendas of company

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Marks and Spencer always shows its perfect commitment towards the community. Through investing in the community, it develops effective relation between the organization and society. With this, company is more able to communicate its vision as well as the value to its stakeholders. The organization CSR vision is also to encourage happiness along with wellbeing of people and build sustainable development within the society (Kamal, 2011).

The company has implemented ethical practices at the workplace. In its operations or transactions it maintains complete answerability and liquidity. From the past records of business it is analyzed that there is no corruption or fraudulence actions practiced by the organization (Margerison, 2002).

The ethical practices at workplace greatly help in increasing employee's motivation. This is because, the company who have well defined ethical policies within business, enjoys morale of their workers. Further, it also reduces personnel issues and high turnover of employees (Ethics in the Workplace Can Solve Employee Motivation Issues, n.d).

2.5 CSR agenda for motivating employees

With the help of CSR agenda, company can efficiently motivate its employees. It is because; ethical practices and responsibility of organization towards society build trust in workers. If workers feel that their company is involved in contributing for development of the community, they will become more loyal to their work and business (Kamal, 2011).

3.1 Differences between people at work and its impact

As discussed earlier that Marks and Spencer have employees from a different culture and background. Management of these diverse workforces is a critical task for the company. Employee's personal behavior is also impact from difference. This is because, while taking decisions they include their perceptions which are directly in contact with background (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). It creates conflicts at the workplace, as decision taken by someone may not correct for other. Employee's language and values are also creating impact on their behavior. It is due to a single word have different meanings in varied places. Managing these differences is vital for the business, as if not than can create negative effect on productivity (Margerison, 2002).

Marks and Spencer is very good in management of diversity. Its team of diversity management works together with various departments and makes sure that no harassment as well as indiscriminating activities is done to anyone. The company also held's interactive sessions to break ice (Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman, 1993).

3.2 Management styles to deal with differences

Holmes and Vandevelde possess several qualities of management that support them in handling diversity issues very effectively. There qualities to become exceptional leaders are:



Ability to build relations;

Inquisitive mind;

Consulting as well as rational;

Expert in public relations (Kennedy, 2008).

4.1 Motivational theories for people development

The term motivation is that drive, which encourages together with inspires people for giving their best performance. There are several motivational theories are present that facilitates encouragement among employees. These theories are ERG theory, Herzberg's two factor theory, Maslow's need hierarchy theory, etc. It defines how workforce within business could be motivated as well as developed towards high or ethical performance (Motivation Theories: Individual Needs, n.d). The theories are also utilized as a potential source by many companies for their employee's development.

4.2 Use of Coaching and Mentoring

Regular mentoring along with coaching are best methods to liberate workforce of business. They are similar in nature, main difference is only that mentoring s done for long term and coaching is for a short period. The key emphasis of both is to develop competency of staff and improve their performance. Coaching plus monitoring also helps in increasing efficiency and productivity of employees (Kennedy, 2008).

4.3 Benefits of training and development

In order to develop productivity of the human resource, training is very essential for company. Today's competitive environment of business, greatly require changes, which could be possible through regular training session within the company (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). It boosts challenges in staff as well as strengthens brand culture of business. There are numerous training sessions is designed to build competencies in employees. Both internal along with external trainings are given to employees. The company's in house training involves core inductions, management and leadership programs, technical training, and behavioral skills development together with new products training (Pattanayak, 2005).

5.1 People management strategies

The attainment of predefined objectives of the company is possible through sound management of its people. With the help of effective strategies for managing people at work, good results for business could be obtained. Programs are discovered by people management strategies, which can support in creating employee squad that is enough competent to fulfill objective or goals (People and Change, n.d).

The Marks and Spencer adopts strategies for people management, which overlooks the execution, reinforcement and development of company's strategies. The committee supervises program advancement and ensures that all stakeholders' interest is served perfectly (Pattanayak, 2005).

5.2 Impact of people management strategies

Human resource of business can easily adapt to the changing environment with the help of effective strategies at work. It improves their commitment and competencies at workplace. Through effective management personnel issues of employees may reduce, which creates job satisfaction among them. One important effect of good people management is increase in motivation level of the workforce that is essential for the productivity of business (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2005).


From the above research, it can be conclude that managers have to adopt effective motivational as well as leadership techniques for creating motivation and managing differences at workplaces. Management of employees can be possible through coaching and mentoring activities. Workplace motivation could be an increase by ethical practice and CSR agendas. Thus, these all help in enhancing productivity for business and value of the employees.