Purpose Of Workforce Planning In British Gas Commerce Essay

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British Gas is part of the Centrica Group. British Gas Services does not supply gas; this is handled by other British Gas divisions. The core BGS product is installation and maintenance services. BGS is the UK's largest operator

in the installation and maintenance of domestic central heating and gas appliances. British Gas is a service provider.

The main purpose of workforce planning in any organisation is planning and managing the recruitment and selection of new employees and making sure that the balance of demand and supply of the skilled employees are maintained. A workforce plan must document the workforce analysis, competency assessments, gap analysis, and workforce transition planning that makes up the planning process. These data provide the documentation of the inputs and comprise the basic output of the planning. Workforce planning provides managers with a strategic basis for human resource management decision-making that is based on achieving programme goals

Planning is defined as the process of setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals.

Workforce planning is getting ''the right number of people with the right skills, experiences, and competencies in the right jobs at the right time.''

Importance of workforce planning:

It provides management with a framework for making staffing decisions.

It provides with a strategic basis for making human resource decisions.

It allows management to anticipate change rather being surprised by the events.

It also provides strategic methods to approach the present and future or anticipated workforce issues.

Workforce planning allows organisations to address systematically issues that are driving workforce change.

Workforce planning could be said as a process of assessing a company's current and future labour needs. This assessment must consider not just overall employee numbers but also the skills that will be required within the business. Workforce planning also involves managing any training and recruitment process to ensure the organisation has the right staff in place.

In BGS, workforce requirements are driven by two different demands first, there are contract customers that have service agreements with the company. Second, there are customers who call for one-off assistance if they have a specific problem. Demand for both these services has grown. In the last three or four years, BGS's need for engineers has expanded accordingly. This has meant that it has had to recruit more staff. There are several other factors that influence workforce planning for BGS. Engineering skills need to be constantly updated. Apart from regular formal training to close skills gaps to ensure engineers stay up to date with technical matters, BGS can alert engineers about technical changes via field radio or text messaging. Engineers can work all their careers in the field until they retire. Qualified engineers may spend up to 10 years gaining their skills, qualifications and experience. They have valued practical skills that are needed to deal with equipment and customers.

However, BGS also needs suitable people for promotion to higher roles, such as management jobs. It needs managers to plan, organise and co-ordinate the teams of engineers. It therefore needs to attract and recruit a wide range of people into the organisation.

http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/downloads/british_gas/british_gas_13_full.pdf

http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Standard/CaseStudies/Pages/CaseStudyDetails.aspx?CSID=5

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/the-importance-of-workforce-planning/36993/2

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/the-importance-of-workforce-planning/36993/2

TASK-2

This task will look at the recruitment process at British Gas and the importance of recruitment within the organisation.

Recruitment refers to the processes followed by the organisations when they wish to attract applicants for vacant or new positions.

Recruitment involves (Compton & Nankervis 1998)

Recruitment preparation

Applicant sources

Employment Consultants

Legislative considerations

Vacancy promotion

Application types

Recruitment Objectives:

Company only recruits those who fully meet its minimum standards.

Balanced workforce across gender, age and ethnic group

Recruitment must be cost effective

It must serve the company's public relations interests in relation to both its prospective employees and customers.

BGS uses actions plans which adapted for diversity and also strategy. BGS also picks new recruits from almost all sorts of backgrounds. And BGS makes sure that it gives a lots effort and importance to the same. This is for making sure that they have a workforce which is socially recognized as well. It helps them to portray the diversity of its customer base itself. For e.g. .Most of the customers of British gas do not have English as their first language and therefore struggle to communicate and explain their requirements or grievances but the workforce being from different ethnic and social background enables them to vastly overcome this barrier .Also women engineers are appointed to make sure that have a equal hand to acquire the female customer base as well. This can be clearly seen in the Georgina and the Dragon campaign run by BGS to promote female recruitment as engineers. This has also resulted in BGS winning the award for Women into Science and Engineering .It doesn't stop here. They also won the national Award from the council for registered gas installers (CORGI)for encouraging female workers recruitment in field of plumbing and related trades .BGS was also awarded the "Inspiring the work force of the future" award by Opportunity Now.

BGS also effectively uses media to support its aim to recruit people from almost every background. It can be clear seen in the type of channels they promote their job opportunities for e.g.: Sky channels like Parliamentary projects TV which focuses on employment and job opportunities .Also Passion TV which focuses on the black community. Also women magazines, minority ethnic group magazines like Muslim weekly is used by BGS for promotion. BGS also uses other modes of communication like newspapers and radio .understanding that today's generation is more into computers and internet BGS has also got its own website (www.britishgasacademy.co.uk) entirely focusing on the younger generation and enlightening them about the company and the way the recruitment work. It also gives a in dept knowledge on the educational and professional requirements for a individual who is willing to work for the BGS.

BGS has the following educational requirements listed on the website for  a person willing to join the BGS :

Candidates for a British Gas apprenticeship must be at least 17 years old, have a minimum of four GCSEs at grade C or above or equivalent (e.g. NVQs) and hold at least a provisional driving license.

Appendix:

Professionalism is judged by a aptitude test or a psychometric test.These test are specially designed to judge what a individual behaviour is towards particular situations and thereby helps to decide whether the candidate is fit for the role he or she has applied for. The entire test is a valued based questions with 90 statements in all where the candidate is given 3 answers to chose from .The answers are then correlated in to different colours (Red ,Green and Amber.)Eventually the results are based on colour which has been chosen the most by the individual .BGS rejects the candidates which fall under the red colour group .And call the remaining candidates for further assessments and interview for the final selection process. They are also requested to bring all the relevant educational documents and their license with them as well

Reference:

http://www.bus.ucf.edu/brockmore/man4320/4320_WK6_RecrtSources_S08.ppt#261,9,External Recruitment Sources

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Human-Resources-2866/2008/4/recruitment-4.htm

http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study--workforce-planning-at-british-gas-services--137-330-4.php

http://www.performanceedgesuite.com/performanceedge/casestudies/PerformanceEdge_British-Gas-Services_CS_A4.pdf

http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Standard/CaseStudies/Pages/CaseStudyDetails.aspx?CSID=5

TASK-3

This task will look at the to what extent workforce planning help British Gas achieve its aim.

Workforce planning could be said as a process of assessing a company's current and future labour needs. This assessment must consider not just overall employee numbers but also the skills that will be required within the business. Workforce planning also involves managing any training and recruitment process to ensure the organisation has the right staff in place.

Managers at British Gas conduct a programme of forecasting to predict how much the UK market for domestic gas engineering services will grow. This helps the company decide how many additional engineers it will need in the future. BGS makes detailed forecasts of its demand for engineering personnel for one year in advance and makes more general estimates for a further two years into

the future. In BGS, workforce requirements are driven by two different demands first, there are contract customers that have service agreements with the company. Second, there are customers who call for one-off assistance if they have a specific problem. Demand for both these services has grown. In the last three or four years, BGS's need for engineers has expanded accordingly. This has meant that it has had to recruit more staff. There are several other factors that influence workforce planning for BGS. Engineering skills need to be constantly updated. Apart from regular formal training to close skills gaps to ensure engineers stay up to date with technical matters, BGS can alert engineers about technical changes via field radio or text messaging. Engineers can work all their careers in the field until they retire. Qualified engineers may spend up to 10 years gaining their skills, qualifications and experience.

They have valued practical skills that are needed to deal with equipment and customers. However, BGS also needs suitable people for promotion to higher roles, such as management jobs. It needs managers to plan, organise and co-ordinate the teams of engineers. It therefore needs to attract and recruit a wide range of people into the organisation.

Reference:

http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study--workforce-planning-at-british-gas-services--137-330-4.php

http://www.performanceedgesuite.com/performanceedge/casestudies/PerformanceEdge_British-Gas-Services_CS_A4.pdf

http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Standard/CaseStudies/Pages/CaseStudyDetails.aspx?CSID=5

TASK-4

This task will look at the benefits that the British Gas application, recruitment and selection processes give to both applicants and the company.

Recruitment can be done internally and externally.

Internal recruitment could be done by internal source example- Promotions, Tranfers, Job Re-design, Re-Employment and Job Reassignments

External recruitment could be conducted via private employment agencies, professionals and trade journals, walk-ins, newspaper, radio, television, bumper stickers, banner, movie ads, job fairs, e- recruiting.

Internal Recruitment

Advantages

Less expensive, cheaper.

More accurate safer to make selection decisions.

Accurate understanding of the strength and weaknesses

Advantage of past training

Motivational, morale and performance enhancement.

Disadvantages

Lack of qualified personnel

Being bias / favours

Time consuming

Lack of acceptance by former peer's group/co-workers.

May cause resentment amongst candidates not appointed.

Advantages:

Acquire new skills

Innovative ideas

Larger pool of workers from which to find the best candidate

Low cost then training own old staff

People have a wider range of experience

Less susceptible to politics.

Disadvantages:

Longer process

More expensive process due to advertisements and interviews required

Selection process may not be effective enough to reveal the best candidate

Time required for socialization and orientation

Not openly accepted by the current employees.

External recruitment:

Selection

At the BGS assessment centre the emphasis is very much upon 'core competencies' and 'life skills'. Life skills are personal skills that are likely to affect the customer experience when someone is working in the field. British Gas engineers needs to show courtesy and politeness, for example. These are personal qualities that have a direct impact upon customer perception. Core competencies involve team working, interpersonal skills (such as dealing

with people), motivation and responding to change. These are crucial skills that can affect the way an individual fits in and works within an organisation.

Benefits of the above processes to BGS:

BGS is able to ensure it gets the right people with the right skills.

Have a clear picture about the job specification and a clear understanding of what exactly they are looking for.

Helps getting suitable applicant with the right qualification with a balanced experience needs to the job.

Will help decide best fit in case of employees ( internal recruitment)

It benefits from its investment.

Organisation gets a chance to judge the abilities of the applicants in terms of their interpersonal skills, team work and motivation.

This helps understands the applicants attitude towards work and other people (employees)

Benefits to the applicants:

Clarifies the job expectation

The applicant is clear about the job specifications.

Help build confidence and positive attitude that they are capable for the position.

Makes sure that their abilities are used to the fullest

They are given the best start in their careers

Competitive starting salary

Candidates attend the centre for a half-day assessment. This has three elements: Appendix -A

Conclusion

Recruitment and selection at British Gas Services is driven by the need to maintain the competitive position of the company within the energy market. Domestic gas customers demand the very highest standards of service. They can be assured that BGS engineers have high-level skills and expertise through its careful specification of entry qualifications followed by top quality training.

BGS also assesses the personal attributes of staff through role play

and questionnaires as these influence customers' perceptions of the service and the company. Great care is taken in determining the organisation's future staffing needs. This drives the recruitment and selection process to ensure BGS is seen as offering dynamic and exciting career paths for people of all backgrounds. By developing and nurturing its people, BGS ensures that new recruits have the right qualities to help the business to compete.

Appendix:

A) Candidates attend the centre for a half-day assessment. This has three elements:

The total scores from the three-part assessment help BGS to decide who receives a job offer. Candidates are notified of the outcome within 14 days. All candidates can receive feedback. For those candidates offered a job, BGS provides the usual job benefits including a van from the outset and a competitive starting salary. The new recruits then go on to benefit from BGS' comprehensive programme of training through its Academy.

BGS uses an online application form. To help BGS decide an applicant's suitability, this includes a value-based questionnaire. This requires responses to a series of statements about attitudes to work. There are 90 statements in all, and an applicant's overall responses are rated either green, amber or red. The colour reflects the attitudes the applicant has about work and people. This helps to show which roles a person is best suited to. BGS does not take applicants with red ratings further as they may not show a 'fit' with the company requirements. However after an initial screening, green and amber applicants are invited to an interview and assessment centre for the final selection process. Here, candidates must show evidence of qualifications, ID and driving licence.

Reference:

http://www.bus.ucf.edu/brockmore/man4320/4320_WK6_RecrtSources_S08.ppt#261,9,External Recruitment Sources

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Human-Resources-2866/2008/4/recruitment-4.htm

TASK-5

This task will look at the features of training and development and benefits of training and development of the workers to British Gas.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT is a subsystem of an organization. It ensures that randomness is reduced and learning or behavioural change takes place in structured format.

Traditional Approach ( Both explained in detail in Appendix-B)

Modern approach

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES:

The principal objective of training and development division is to make sure the availability of a skilled and willing workforce to an organization. (Below are explained in detail in Appendix-A)

Individual Objectives.

Organizational Objectives

Functional Objectives

Societal Objectives

There are several benefits of Training and Development; however four benefits are as follows:

Increases employee motivation: Training and development ensures that employees understand the need of the job and are well equipped to work expertly. This process also builds confidence and prepares employee to face any issues whist their work. As employees are happy and motivated to complete their job successfully ensures that BGS gets the maximum out of each employee which in turn helps increase the revenue of the firm in this way once the employees are motivated the workplace becomes a better environment for progress.

Reduced employee turnover : This helps the organisation to save on expenses of recruitment and selection procedures. This process ensures that every employee undergoing the training and development is clear about the job and the way it needs to be done. It also helps to clear all doubts of the employees, this works best even with the experience employees as refresher whereby they understand the worth of basic of job role and requirement. As employees are motivated and skilled and they see the future potential in their job the turnover would be minimal which means in turn it will help company to save time and money and manpower that is spend on recruiting the new staff.

Enhanced company image: Training and development adds to company goodwill and builds and enhances the image of the organisation. British Gas Service has gained reputable image over years the scheduled training for the new old and new employees have helped them to follow the legal regulation for e.g.: Health and safety training, this displays that the organisation is well organised and understand the need and requirement of legal and social aspects by also conducting ethics training, training about sexual harassment, diversity training. With carrying on these kinds of training it displays that they are a multicultural organisation.

Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods : BGS has proven that they are well equipped to adopt new technologies and methods in their working style. This not only helps to have an competitive edge in the market but also keeps the organisation ahead in the market. It helps build innovative strategies which in turn helps in the productive of the organisation. This increases efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain.

British Gas has core values that they expect all their employees to demonstrate through their work. (The training officers approach is mentioned in the Appendix- C ) These values include 'We wear the customer's shoes' and 'We go the extra mile' which apprentices can easily apply to providing excellent customer service. There are able to keep up to that due to the continuous development that they work on .

Appendix:

A) TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES: The principal objective of training and development division is to make sure the availability of a skilled and willing workforce to an organization.

Individual Objectives - help employees in achieving their personal goals, which in turn, enhances the individual contribution to an organization.

Organizational Objectives - assist the organization with its primary objective by bringing individual effectiveness.

Functional Objectives - maintain the department's contribution at a level suitable to the organization's needs

Societal Objectives - ensure that an organization is ethically and socially responsible to the needs and challenges of the society.

Traditional Approach - Most of the organizations before never used to believe in training. They were holding the traditional view that managers are born and not made. There were also some views that training is a very costly affair and not worth. Organizations used to believe more in executive pinching. But now the scenario seems to be changing.

The modern approach of training and development is that Indian Organizations have realized the importance of corporate training. Training is now considered as more of retention tool than a cost. The training system in Indian Industry has been changed to create a smarter workforce and yield the best results.

C) The Training officers' approach to delivery helps ensure that apprentices 'own' these four values. For example, by demonstrating integrity, Training officers show that they 'Deliver on our promises'. The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme also reinforces these cores values starting with a week long residential that is focused on team working and the value 'We bring out the best in each other'.

Reference:

http://traininganddevelopment.naukrihub.com/

http://www.managementhelp.org/trng_dev/basics/reasons.htm

http://excellence.qia.org.uk/pdf/Brochure%201_Benefit%20of%20Training_v1.0_20080822.pdf

TASK-6

This task will look at the how appraisal system can effect employees motivational level.

An appraisal system is a self-contained process that enables you to make formal and standardized evaluations in a business context using one or more templates (appraisal models), and in as objective a manner as possible .A structured appraisal system can help employees feel that their good work is recognised and that they are valued. It can also provide the opportunity to discuss any weaknesses or problems they may have, and to come up with solutions.

There are four key elements in a good performance and appraisal system (mentioned in Appendix A)

Different appraisal systems are as follows:

Personnel appraisals

360° feedback appraisals

Formalized job references

Business event appraisals

Benefits of having an appraisal system:

An effective appraisal system will:

help you to assess your staff against defined objectives

give you the chance to give constructive feedback and to praise staff for their good work, which in turn will make them feel valued

Opportunity to Employees: (Appendix-C)

address any problems

discuss apparent weaknesses

find solutions

Rewarding good performance

A good appraisal system could be enough to motivate your employees. Motivated staffs are more likely to work harder and more effectively.

However, you could also link your appraisal system to decisions about pay, bonuses and other incentives such as share schemes. Appraisals and rewards systems are invariably very closely linked, but consider carrying them out as separate interviews. Otherwise, the question of money can cloud the issue of performance.

The HRM Cycle involves elements of Selection leading to Performance further resulting to Appraisal which could Reward the employee or would identify the areas of improvement and would give feedback and expect Development which would lead to Good Performance. In this manner the HRM Cycle is a continuous process in any organisation.

Methods of rewarding staff

Appreciation letter: These could be given if the employees work ahs been outstanding; this is a form of gesture of reward which would be fruitful for prospective careers.

One-off bonus payments - These are based on a combination of a percentage of salary and how far the employee has achieved their objectives over the year.

A pay increase - This could be based on overall performance rating

Rewarding employees with shares in the company - the better their performance, the greater the quantity of shares. This means it is in their financial interest for the company to do well and the share price to rise.

Promotion: Consistently good performance and a willingness to take on more responsibility might make you consider an employee for promotion.

Issues that could be faced of financial reward programmes (Mentioned in Appendix -B)

British Gas Service rewards its employee

Performance-related bonus

Access to a wide range of online and high-street discounts in association with Perks - from theme park tickets to new cars and annual travel insurance

Sharesave scheme : The Share Incentive Plan gives the option to contribute up to £125 from your pre-tax salary (or 10% if lower) to buy shares each month

Conclusion :

It could be said that British Gas Service could use any of the above mentioned methods of appraisal and ensure that it motivates their employees. There are different level of motivational need for each individual hence BGS has to understand that they need to adapt a system which could more or less suit each employee and then it could depend on the manager conducting the appraisal would need the flexibility to alter ensuring that both ends are satisfied.

Appendix

A) Setting up a performance management and appraisal system

Set objectives - decide what you want from employees and agree these objectives with them. If appropriate, set timescales for achieving them.

Manage performance - give your employees the tools, resources and training they need to perform well. If appropriate, set timescales for achieving objectives.

Carry out the appraisal - monitor and assess your employees' performance, discuss those assessments with them and agree on future objectives.

Provide rewards/remedies - consider pay awards and/or promotion based on the appraisal and decide how to tackle poor performance. However, there can be dangers as well as benefits of linking rewards to performance.

B) Issues that could be faced of financial reward programmes

Offering financial rewards can be an excellent way to motivate employees, but be careful - they can also backfire if care is not taken. There may be cause for dispute if employees discover some are given greater rewards than others. You need to monitor rewards programmes carefully to make sure they are having the impact you hoped for.

They must be fair, and all employees should be treated equally. Take particular care that the rewards do not discriminate against particular employees. See our guide on how to prevent discrimination and value diversity.

Some companies find that the use of job evaluations helps to give a clearer pay structure by ranking each job in a league table and setting salary brackets accordingly

C) Opportunity to Employees:

- address any problems

- discuss apparent weaknesses

- find solutions

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