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In the business atmosphere, the entrepreneurs need to invest capital to run the business such as money, assets, raw material and other related properties. There are a variety of business industries available in the market. However, all these business having a common share characteristic; which is there must be 'somebody' to operate the business activities. The rapid development of technology may reduce the volume of people involved in a business; yet, it still needs at least a few numbers of people to operate the technological device. In short, human resource is always an important asset for the organization, be it large, medium or small.
Hence, human resource management had been a useful tool as a competitive advantage for many large organizations. In this few recent years, human resources management is getting more concerns and had been developed as a part of strategic planning and management. As human as individuals will have own differences in characteristic and in an organization, these individuals with differences in personality have to work together to achieve the organizational goals. Therefore, human resources management is basically about managing the people at works.
What is human resource management? Human resource management is common known as (HRM) in short form. It is a set of business planning of choosing the suitable people for the right job, training and guiding them to give their best performance for the organization, designing proper rewarding and compensation codes, and retaining good employees. Human resource management is the strategy planning to ensure the people in the organization able to work well both individually and in respective groups to achieve the organizational objectives. (Dias, 2011)
Roles of Human Resources Management (HRM)
2.1.1 Concepts of Human Resource Management
Human resource management is always can be refer to personnel management that involved the manpower planning, organizing, leading and controlling. It included employees' selection, appraisal systems, rewards and compensation policies, salary administration and proper training and development. Human resource management is concentrate on organizational structure, culture at work in an organization and also all the relevant employment practices. (Sarma, 2009)
Basically, the concept of human resource management is to establish an effective and powerful organizational culture, internal human relation and good working atmosphere to making sure that the people at work able to give their best performance in all the business activities so that the organizational objectives can be achieved.
Broadly, there are three core concepts in this management: 1.) The people at work in an organization are the most valuable source which means that it is necessary to invest both time and efforts in the personnel development. 2.) As the people are the human resources, it indicates that they will have their own personality, characteristics and attitude to work. Hence, the organization has to pay attention on their humanity needs, values and belief to achieve their performance effectiveness and efficiency at work. 3.) The people in the organization are not merely work as individuals, it is still included other interpersonal factors among all the members in the organization such as departmental units, working teams and other entity in the organization.
Perspectives of Human Resource Management
2.2.1 Levels of Perspectives
Human resource management is essential as it acts as a set of interrelated code and conduct that guide and lead the managers to employ the right people in the organization to do the right job in right time and right place. The general objective of human resource management is to make sure that the organization is able to achieve its goals effectively and efficiently through the proper skill in managing the people. Rao (2010) stated that the perspectives of human resources management are influenced by four major levels:
1.) Social objectives,
2.) Organisational objectives,
3.) Functional objectives and,
4.) Individual objectives.
His explanation had been early discussed and explained by Sarma (2009) that the social objectives of human resources management are concerned about ways to meets the requirements of social and ethical obligations of the organisation toward the society. Secondly, organisational objectives concentrate with how to utilize the advantages of human resource management to achieve organisational effectiveness. Thirdly, functional objectives of human resource management are to design and develop programme that ensure the human resource department function at a degree that meet the organisation's objectives. Lastly, individual objectives is to assist the employees to fulfil their individual goals, so that the satisfaction able to achieve and optimize their performances in their respective roles in the organization.
2.2.2 Objectives of Human Resources Managements
The statement above explained the objectives of human resources management in different levels while Armstrong (2006) had different perspectives in explanation of the above statement. He said that objectives of human resource management are basically as following:
Organizational effectiveness: The success of an organization in practising good human resources management able to ensure the organization has strong strength in competing in the market. Human resource management is concerning the strategies to determine and develop the programmes for supporting the organizational effectiveness. One of the roles is to design policies such as knowledge management, skill management and creating a working atmosphere that satisfied the employees.
Human capital: Most of the organizations had realized that the people at work are their most valuable assets for striking success. The people in the organization play the role as important human capital for the organization. One of the objectives of human resource management is to ensure that the organization able to retain the talented committed and motivated people at work.
Knowledge management: Knowledge management can be defined as any process of utilize the knowledge available to optimize the learning and performance in the organization. Human resource management is responsible for supporting the development of organizational-wide knowledge and skills for the organizational learning processes. Therefore, human resource management involved the strategies to develop the employees' abilities by giving continuity training, learning and opportunities to the employees. It can increase the potential of every employee.
Reward management: As mentioned above, the people in the organization are the human capital to achieve the organizational goals. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain and retain the good employees. Human resource management also in charge of designing policies, programme and activities that able to motivate the employees for ensure their engagement and commitment to their job. Therefore, human resource management will develop reward and compensation system for the employees according to their contribution to the organization, so that they know that their efforts had been valued by the organization.
Employee relations: One of the core objectives of human resource management is to create a good human relation among all the members in the organization. As the people is not work alone individually, they may have to work in different work team, unit, departments and branches. Therefore, the close interpersonal human relations are crucial to ensure that the employee working with joys and peace. Hence, human resource management also aim to establish harmonious working relationship for the employees and the organization.
Meet diverse needs: Diversity of the workforce had been a useful tool for most of the successful organization. The diversity of the workforce is able to enhance the organization productivity, creativity and innovation as they may have differences in personal abilities, specialization, work style, ideas and ways of thinking. As a result, the other broad objective of human resource management is to develop and provide equal opportunities for the people in the organization. Therefore, human resource management is to giving same job opportunities in staffing, job design and promotion process to the people who really qualified.
Importance of Human Resource Management
Mark and Spencer (M&S) Corporation is one of the Europe leading retailers for personal grooming and home product. In every fashion and beauty industry, the skills and attitudes of the first-line employees have strong influences and impact in determining the total sales for the corporation. The first-line employees are lead and supervised by middle managers while middle managers are governed by top managers. In others word, designing an effective human resources management is the most important tool to lead Mark and Spencer (M&S) Corporation to success.
How can human resources management help M&S with the focus on increased of direct contact with the customers? As the employees are the people who dealing with the customers directly, this indicates that the prominent quality of the people employed is critical to ensure the customer satisfaction. Human resources management is about choosing, leading, training and retaining people with good qualities.
Therefore, the importance of the human resource management to M&S can be reviewed through the fundamental functions of HRM as below:
First and foremost, the human resources manager of M&S needs to ensure that the people employed have the qualification, skills and talents to fulfil the requirements of the jobs. It is fundamental element of the human resources management. As mentioned above, M&S are currently focused on direct contact with the customers. Therefore, choosing the right people that able to handle the customer well is crucial. Staffing in HRM can be defined at the process of hiring the people from releasing the job opportunity to negotiating the salary. (Dias, 2011)
Training and Development
After the selection of employees, human resources management will not stop there. HRM is also responsible for designing and developing both of new-joiner and those working for some years. The continuity training and development for all the employees able to ensure that they are working on the right track and develop new skills in their duties. This may increase the productivity of the organization and ensure the employees have the appropriate skills when having direct contact with the customers. Therefore, HRM able to help M&S to train and upgrading the qualities of the employees to meets the customer needs continuously.
Determine the Workplace Policies, Compensation and Benefits Systems
In addition, besides of choosing talented employees; train and developed them, it is crucial to create a good workplace. HRM is important for M&S to create fair and balance policies to ensure every employee will giving out their best performance while they serving the customers. These policies will govern the employees in their jobs and the working styles and attitudes.
Other than that, HRM also need to motivate the people at work by designing satisfying compensation and benefits system. In short, HRM help M&S to motivate their employees for achieves their job engagement and commitment. No doubt, highly committed and engaged employees will have higher productivity, eventually, they able to give the best efforts to satisfy the customer in direct contact.
Lastly, HRM help M&S to obtain and retain good employees and reduce the human resources turnovers. Successful organization always has their own way to keep the talented employees to that they can continue contribute for the organization
Mamoria (2009) commented that the major role and the overall concept of an organization practice human resource management in their workplace is to establish a competitive advantage to the HRM is a strategic approach for staffing, motivating, developing and managing all the people in the organization. It is a specialized department in the organization that concentrate on determining the events, systems, policies and activities to achieve the satisfaction for both working individual and the organization desires, purpose and goals.
Majority of the global leading organization is treating human resources as their most powerful and valuable assets. However, managing the human resource is a continuity study for every organization as managing the people with different personality, background, culture and other factors is always challenging. Therefore, it is important to learn an effective human resource management.
Human resource management is crucial for organization to achieve the organizational effectiveness, establishing good human relation, building fair workplace and retain the employees. It is important to develop of continuous improvement of the organizational management and create strong customer relations. Human resource management also help to ensure that the levels of human resources employed at appropriate amounts which means there has no exceed employee who not really contributing and necessary to achieve the organizational objectives. It also involved designing the right job for the right people to increase the productivity of the organization.
Flatter Organization Structure
Definition of Flatter Organization Structure
The structure developed in an organization has great influence over the employees' action. Organizational structure can be defined as the ways of working individuals and teams is coordinated. (Carpenter & Bauer, 2011) In an organization, individual job have to be coordinated and managed. Structure of an organization is about few major elements: 1.) Centralization/Decentralization, 2.) Formalization, 3.) Hierarchical Levels and, 4.) Departmentalization.
One of the important elements of an organizational structure is the degree of the levels in the organizational hierarchy. Tall structure means that the organization has a high number of hierarchy levels which means that there are several different levels in between the top management with the first-line employees. Reversely, flat structures means that there fewer levels of hierarchy. In tall structure, the total amount of employees reporting to their upper manager is smaller, which means that the managers have more opportunities to lead, organize and control the employees whereas the flat structure means that there are a large number of employees under the supervision of each manager, this indicates that the employees will have high degree of freedom and authority in making decision in their jobs. In short, flatter organizational structure indicates that the employees have wider span of control. (Aswathappa & Reddy, 2009)
The characteristics of the flat organizational structures are: 1.) High-degree of autonomy/self-control. 2.) Higher flexibility 3.) Innovative 4.) Experienced subordinates 5.) Unstable working environment
Model of flexibility on workplace that M&S can practice (Empowerment)
Potterfield (1999) stated that 'flat' organizational structure can be referring as 'flex' organizational structure. Flat organizational structure is actually means that the employees are given greater span of control, higher flexibility and innovative. This indicates that the employee has greater opportunities in making decision within their job scope which can refer to employee empowerment. Therefore, M&S can practice employee empowerment to increase higher flexibility in their flatter organizational structures.
What is the meaning of employee empowerment? Scott & Jaffe (1991) had explained that employee empowerment can be defined as giving authorities to lower level employees to make decisions that related to their respectively duties and then allow them to use their own ways to implement the decisions. Empowerment means that the power of controls had shifted the managers to the employees, at the same time the manager does not lose control on the employees. In employee empowerment, the employees can take actions and make decision according to different situation and circumstances.
An empowered working environment allows the employees can work as team, and collaborate on completing the tasks assigned. In this flexibility model, employees can rely on each other instead of merely completing their own duties without knowing what is happening with the other colleagues.
Advantages and Disadvantages of flexibility of workplace
Advantages of Employee Empowerment
As employee empowerment often refers to autonomy of granted to the employees, therefore the employees will experience lower degree of stress within their working environments. The employees will feel that they are not only responsible for their own duties given, but also important to assist the entire organization to achieve its goals and objectives. This may motivated the employees for higher levels of commitment to the organization and better job engagement. Besides, as the employees had given more chances to perform on their own, it able to help the employees for self-control and development. The employees are able to expand wider experiences, skills and knowledge in handling their job. Eventually, they will become more innovative.
Other than that, the employees are given power the make quick decision that related to their duties. Thus, the employees are able to make decisions in right time. This indicates that employee empowerment is able to improve the organization effectiveness as the empowerment reduces the time consumed by a decision-making process. The empowerment is also able to enhance the details of the jobs as the employees are the one who carry out the duties, they are more particular to the actual needs of a job.
The employees will have better communication among themselves as they are not merely complete the tasks given by the managers. The working teams can collaborate to strengthen their productivity with sharing ideas among themselves. A better human relation among the people at work is able to create a better working environment with lower stress which is able to increase higher job satisfaction for the employees.
Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment
Everything is like a piece of coin that has duo faces; empowerment has its own disadvantages at the same time. When the control is altering to the employees, the managers tend to have lower control to the employees. The managers may lose control of their subordinates if the employees unable to communicate well with their supervisors. Sometimes, employees may experience uncertainty of their actual job scope, the employees who have low self-control and actualization may tend to dissatisfy with the low-supervision from the managers.
Organizations can have different designs of structures within the consideration of the major elements of the structure which are centralization, formalization, hierarchy levels and departmentalization. In the design of hierarchy levels, there are two broad types of organization structure which are tall/vertical structure and flat/horizontal structure. Both of these structures have their own distinctive advantages and disadvantages.
The flat structure in an organization often related to decentralization, lower formalization and lesser departmentalization. The departments in the organization will tend to have cross-functioning and more flexible. The chain of command will be simplified and the span of control is wider. The lower employees are given rights and authorities to make decision within their job scope.
The employee empowered is often the model that most of the winning organization had been implementing all the time. It is able to help to build up stronger and closer bond between the employees and the organization. They are more likely interrelated as partnership. The employees will have better self development in skills, experiences and knowledge in making accurate decision and actions to accomplish their duties. Eventually, it can increase the productivity and effectiveness of the organization.
Diversification of Workforce
Definition of Diversity and Discrimination
There are mainly women and minorities in M&S, this is most likely linking to the diversity of the workforce. Before the ways of providing equal opportunities to the women and minorities is discussed, it is necessary to understand the meaning of diversity.
Bauer & Erdogan (2011) defined that diversity is the variety of differences among each other. These differences can be related to gender, religion, physical appearances, races, age, education background, sexual orientation and etc.
Generally, people will link the term 'diversity' with 'discrimination'. Most of the organization failed due the lack of awareness to discrimination. Therefore, the term of 'diversity' in human resource management is actually refers to the determination and development of the policies related avoidance 'discrimination' to meets the standards bound by the regional law.
The promotion of practising diversity in working place is not only able to avoid infringe the law related to discriminations; it can also increase better productivity and profitability to the organization. The major benefits of practising diversity in human resource are: 1.) Greater degree of innovative and creativity as diversity means the organization employed people that have different demographical, cultural and psychological characteristics. 2.) Higher customer satisfaction as diversity workforce is able to understand the needs of diversified customers 3.) Higher job satisfaction as the employees know that they are equally treated 4.) Higher stock value as the community will support the organization for the diversity in workplace indicates that the organization against discrimination. 5.) Higher organizational effectiveness for diversified workforce had been proven able to increase the organization productivity and performance.
Diversity Planning and Management
As M&S have mainly women and minorities as their employees, this indicates that M&S is actually one of the organization implementing diversity in workplace. As the earlier explanation above had stated that the diversity in the perspective of HRM is refers to the setting codes, conducts and policies to ensure diversity and protection for discrimination.
Most of the organization will implementing plan to diversity workforce, however it is crucial to preliminary design and develop a set of formal policies of anti-discrimination. How can M&S promise the women and minorities equal opportunities to within the workplace? First and foremost, in staffing process, HRM should make sure that each and every applicants of the jobs posted are given fair and ethical opportunities. Most the time, some human resources managers will have perception that women are not as good as men; older people may not be creative and energetic enough and etc. In order to ensure fairness in workplace, the HR managers should select the employees based on their actual qualification and whether they meet the requirements of the jobs assigned but not according to the demographical factors.
Other than that, researcher found that most of the women get only about 77% of the amount that men can earn for a similar jobs, it means discrimination occurred. M&S should also ensure that the women and minorities able to get the same pay with the others for the same jobs assigned. Besides, the occupational opportunities also must be equal to all employees regardless to their demographical or cultural backgrounds. Sometimes, the HR managers will have perception that some people are good in some aspect while others are not. For example: men are good in engineering while women seem to have lower ability in engineering. In other words, HR managers should not stereotype when they give out the different occupations and let the women and minorities have same opportunities to get different kind of jobs. Furthermore, the organization should ensure that they have the equal chances in job promotions.
Discrimination does not only relate to women and minorities, but it also covers a wide range of other issues. What are the actions that M&S can do against the variety discrimination claims in the workplace?
Dias(2011) had listed the actions that the organization can take to protect the business from getting involved in discrimination. First of all, M&S must establish the culture of respecting diversity in gender, race, age, religion, disabilities and sexual orientation. In fact, diversity and discrimination management is not only being developed and practise by HR department; all the people in the organization should understand the importance of respecting the women and minorities. If the people in the organization unable to realize the necessity of respect each other, no single anti-discrimination programme able to successfully carry out.
Besides, it is crucial for make the managers reliable for diversity. M&S has to ensure the managers in the organization are highly sensitive to the discrimination issues and had taking actual action to protect the organization from discrimination. The managers should lead by example to promote the culture of diversity and anti-discrimination. If M&S able to reward the managers based on their effort give in diversity and discrimination management, the managers are motivated and committed to making the management better. No doubt, it will be better is M&S can practise diversity in top management which means that there are women and minorities able to get higher position in the organization.
In addition, M&S should develop more diversity and anti-discrimination training programs. Sometimes, the people are not intentionally discriminating the women and minorities; they just not realize some of the actions counted as discrimination. Therefore, the organization should provide the people training related to this issue. As a result, the people will have better understanding regarding to discrimination and able to avoid decimating the others.
Diversity and discrimination management is always an important strategy that the organization implementing to establish a competitive advantage. Diversity in workplace had been proven that can be used as the most effective tools to increase the organization productivity and performance which eventually can lead the organization to a higher level of success.
Diversity of workforce means that there are employees with different demographical and cultural backgrounds. The discrimination is actually protected by several law acts, but in fact despite of the obligations bounded by law, diversity of the workforce can help the organization to achieve higher performance. These benefits are 1.) Greater degree of innovative and creativity, 2.) Higher customer satisfaction, 3.) Higher job satisfaction, 4.) Higher stock value and, 5.) Higher organizational effectiveness.
Implementations of Human Resources Management
Human Resource Management Practices
Employee Empowerment Practices
According to Rao (2010), the employee empowerment practices that M&S can implement are as below:
Lesser departmentalization and decentralization: In order to simplify the procedures, there should not have barriers between the employees with each department. The lower levels of employees should have right to manage their own job activities.
Information technology support: The organization has to provide support and technology for employees to get the information of the organization.
Multi-skills training: The employees should be provided with continuity of training for enhancing their skills and knowledge so that they have wider range of skills to enhance the job content. Employees should have multi-skills and knowledge
Decision-making authorities: The organization must grant the employees a certain degree of authorities in making substantive decisions that related to their job scope.
Encourage the empowerment culture: The organization have to establish a organizational culture that able to promote employee empowerment and should be motivatives for the employees with creative and risk-taking
Reward systems: The organization should encourage the people dare to take certain degree of risk with rewarding them for they are able to perform well when the empowerment is given to them. Management should encourage the employees to take risk .
5.1.2 Diversity workforce Practices
The diversity workforce practices that M&S can implement are as below:
Recruitment Fairness: The managers should provide fair chances to every applicant to get the jobs. The new employees should be employed based on standard job selections process.
Equal Pay and Promotion: All the women and minorities should given equal pay with the others based on their contribution and working attitudes. The organization should avoid glass ceiling, which means an invisible block for the women and minorities to promote to higher job position.
Balance Occupational Opportunities: The women and minorities should be given variety of job opportunities but only few selected occupations. As long as, they able to meets the requirements of the job specifications, they should have equal chances to have different kinds of jobs.
Stereotypes Avoidance: The managers should not stereotype the actual abilities of the women and disabilities. In all kind of business activities, the managers should not have perception that some people are not capable to accomplish it before they actually given a chance to perform for the organization.
Maternity and special unique leave: The managers must make sure that the maternity leave of women will not affect their opportunities in promotion and salary adjustment. Besides, the organization should come out with better solution for the minorities especially employees with disabilities.
Impacts of Human Resources Management Practices on organization's performance
Generally, both employee empowerment and diversity workforce have similar effects for the performance of the organization. The impacts of these practices to the organization's performances are as below:
Employees Commitment and Engagement: The empowerment system and diversity workforce can gain the job satisfaction of the employees. As a result, they will not merely aiming to complete the duties given but also try to do their best to achieve the organizational goals together.
Retention of good employees: The motivated employees are likely will not leave the organization which means that the management able to retain talented people. In addition, it can reduce the cost that the organization has to spend on the process of recruitment.
Highly innovative and creative: The diversity of workforce can ensure the employees can have diversified ideas while empowerment helps the employees to be more autonomy and self-developing which eventually increasing their innovation skills.
Closer human relation: The less formal and flatter structure and anti-discrimination practices can help the people at workplace establish closer relationship and then they can work well together to achieve better organization effectiveness
Higher customer satisfaction: The diversified workforce can understand the needs of the customers who also have different backgrounds while empowerment allows the employees to make decision immediately in respond of the special circumstances, it can increase customer satisfaction.
Higher stock value: The ethical and fair practices like empowerment and diversity workforce can enhance the reputation of the organization. Therefore, the community will support the organization which then increases the market value of the stock issued by the organization.
It is crucial for M&S and any other organization aware of the necessity and importance of both employee empowerment and diversity of workforce. These issues are closely related to the employees' job satisfaction which will then influence their job engagement and commitment to the organization.
If the organization is able to well manage this human resource practice and implement these programmes effectively and efficiently, it is likely can help the organization to decrease human resource turnover, high performance and productivity, better reputation and wider customer networks.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Summary and Conclusion
Roles of HRM
Generally the functions of human resource management are to establish a group of motivated employees that can work well both individually and together to achieve the common shared organizational goals and objectives. Besides, it is also important as a strategy to create harmonies and closer relationships among all the people at work and enhance the relationship between the employees with organization HRM also is also crucial to provide the employees to have better self-development on skills and other aspects which is able to increase the organization effectiveness and productivity. Other than that, it also responsible to design policies that related to adequate salary administration, benefits and compensation system, codes and conducts on work and etc.
Flatter organization structure
The organizational effectiveness can be increased by the practices of employee empowerment especially for globalisation. The empowerment can motivated the employees to give in better performance and have immediately and practical decisions on the job that able to satisfy most of the customers as empowerment allow the employees to serve and respond to the customers better without any delay and inconvenience for go through complex procedures to get the approval for an action. Besides, as the employees are the one who carry out the job, therefore they are the people who actually know what is best methods for accomplishing the job, the empowerment can enhance the job content and eventually increase the organization performances.
Diversity and discrimination
The diversity workforce means that the people employed are having differences in demographical and cultural background such as gender, age, race, nationality, religion, physical appearances, disabilities and also sexual orientation. Diversity workforce can effectively establish a number of advantages for organization and also create a strong competitive advantage. The management should avoid stereotyping and discrimination in age, gender, sexual orientation and other personal aspects which in fact do not affect the performance of an individual in the organization. The anti-discrimination and diversified workforce is able to create a comfortable and sound working place for the people to perform better and felt engaged with their jobs.