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Strategic Human Resource Planning is the process of anticipating long term HR Supplies and demands relative to changing conditions inside and outside an organization and then crafting the HR programs and other initiatives in order to meet the organizations needs.
There is no single definition of Human Resource Planning (HRP), many definitions and models of HRP exist. Some authors focus on the technical side i.e. mathematical and behavioural side of HR forecasting, there a few others who focus on the managerial side of which includes the way decision makers tackle HR issues for the benefit of the organization.
Organizations that manage HR strategically tend to outperform the competitors who do not do so
Organization's Corporate Strategy describes organization's sense of purpose, its plans and actions for its implementation.
A clear and precise strategy is essential for the business for the following 2 reasons.
There is need for people working with in an organization to co-operate in order to achieve maximum benefit.
There are effects of changing environment
Different level of reward practices may closely compliment different strategies and are significantly related to higher level of organizational performance .
(Allen & Helms, 2007)
Primark's Organizational Strategy:
Primark Stores Ltd is a leading clothing retail brand in UK at the moment with over 160 Stores in UK and Ireland. The overall strategy of Primark like any other business is to reach to maximum no of people as a "value for money" clothing brand and maximize its profit. Primark linked up its stores with each other through a better use of people at their head office and stores, developed new stores and increased their product line. Through the use of proper organizational strategy, today Primark is one of the leading retailer in UK and it all happened because developed a Marketing / planning strategy keeping in view their HR and organizational planning.
Organizational Strategy & HR Strategy:
Like marketing /planning strategy, HR strategy is required for businesses to maximize their output and organizational efficiency in an effective manner.
HR strategy is a step by step plan of action which organizations deploy in order to recruit, develop and retain the human resources to meet the objectives of the organization.
HR strategy is concerned with developing a highly focused strategy and approach to manage and lead people. Schular & Jackson, (2007)
In developing such a strategy two critical questions must be addressed.
What kinds of people do you need to manage and run your business to meet your strategic business objectives?
What people programs and initiatives must be designed and implemented to attract, develop and retain staff to compete effectively. Schular & Jackson, (2007)
In order to achieve the above objective, Primark developed a strong organizational strategy which lead them to the success they are enjoying today as a major clothing retail company. P
Organizational Culture & Corporate Culture:
Organizational Culture can be defined as specific set of values that are shared among people and groups within an organization and this controls the way these people interact with each other within the organization or outside with the other stakeholder.
Corporate culture is unique set of values, customs and traditions that makes an organization distinct. Organizational culture and corporate culture are often used interchangeably but there is a huge difference between them as all corporation will also be organizations but all organizations can't be corporations.
Corporate culture is an important part of big businesses. As a major Retailer in UK, Primark has always been unique in its values and traditions. Primark has always been an organization with a focus on providing unique customers services experience to its customers. Whether its personal banking or services for businesses, Primark's assets are its people who provide best service to its customers.
Like many other unique things as part of its corporate culture, you will mostly find Barclays at the corner of the high streets.
A central theme of learning organizations is that learning is an effective part of the organizational development (OD). Original idea of learning organizations has been around for many years but this concept became popular during 1960 - 1980 by major writers such as Argyris (Kaizen Institute Ltd -2000)
Another contribution in this regard was made by Senge, who suggests that organizations should develop a culture of learning and to instil people's commitment and learning capacity at every level in the organization. Senge suggested five basic features of learning organizations.
System thinking - the recognition that things are interconnected and organizations are complex systems
Lane et al. emphasise that training in the organisation's ICT (information communications technology) skills is essential for corporate survival and should be part of a continuous learning culture
Primark as a Learning Organization:
Primark Stores Ltd has always paid immense amount of attention towards the development & training of staff. Primark Stores Ltd is providing valuable information on ethical trading to its staff and workers related to its suppliers.
As a major buyer, Primark has over 600 suppliers based in 16 different countries and spreading across 3 continents, Primark has always focus on the training and learning issues of these more than 700,000 people.
Primark has been quite active in raising awareness on child labour issues in these countries and has always promoted the values of ethical trading. This ethical training staffs is the focus of problem solving issues with the suppliers.
The role of suppliers is equally important at the same time and Primark Ltd has got more training programmes for the suppliers and its own key staff members who can get involved more actively with supplier in solving these on daily basis.
Primark's staff are given extensive awareness on issues relating to all areas of business and staff members are provided further specialized training from time to time, in order to help them do their work in an effective manner.
Comments & Suggestion
In this section we defined the issues relating to HR Strategy, Organizational Culture, and Primark's role in development of its staff as a learning organization.
As we know that an effective HR Strategy is helpful in achieving the overall goal of the organization, Primark stores made its people are real valuable asset and utilized this resource in an effective manner.
The success Primark is having today is because of its Business Strategy which was very well backed with Organizational and HR Strategy.
Recruitment & Selection Process of Primark Stores:
Primark Stores has a multi-dimensional recruitment and selection process a few years ago and job vacancies were advertised through multiple ways, including in store postings, Job Centre advertisement and advertisement of vacancies over the internet.
Although we know that Primark Stores has not been focused more on internet related issues in the past and there was no other way available for the people a part from going to job centres and Primark Stores itself asking about the vacancies.
With the current passage of success, Primark Stores has made the recruitment process more transparent and easier to access. Primark Stores have now got an Online- Recruitment System and vacancies are displayed onto the website immediately.
After initial registration, candidates are asked to answer a set of question related to customer services and other issues related to the retail industry. On the successful completion of these questions, candidates are issued an application reference number for further processing of their application, if they were successful during this phase of application.
Recruitment Process For Retail Operatives:
The current recruitment process of Primark Stores consists of the following key stages.
Candidate needs to fill an online application form to get register with the online recruitment system.
At next stage, candidate needs to answer a set of online questions regarding the customer services and retail business environment.
On Successful completion of this stage, candidates are invited for a personal interview
A job is offered after a successful completion of assessment centre and going through a rigorous activity of group tasks and presentation.
Recruitment for Management Positions:
Same methodology of online applications applies for management positions as well. Job vacancies are advertised through Primark's Recruitment website.
Candidates are presented with a set of online questions regarding the management of business / real life issues.
On successful completion of questionnaires, candidates is issued an application reference number and is invited for a Panel Interview.
This interview session can be a panel interview or one - to - one interview and candidate is tested on the basis of his education, expertise and communication skills. Candidates ability to handle different difficult situations is also analyzed.
On successful completion of interview session, candidate is invited to attend an assessment centre and this is the stage where candidate has to go through group tasks, presentations and this gives HR Team a complete idea about the suitability of the candidate for a particular job role.
(source: www.Primark.co.UK / Recruitment)
As mentioned earlier that Primark Stores has totally transformed its recruitment procedure into a complete online recruitment solution. Every job vacancy is advertised on this recruitment website. This shows Primark's commitment as an equal opportunity employer.
Providing first class training to every staff member is a top priority of Primark Stores Ltd. Staff members are providing opportunities for career growth through different in-house promotions and training activities.
Support for New Starters:
As mentioned earlier that Primark considers training very important as part of future development of its staff. A thorough induction day is conducted for every new staff member giving him / her an opportunity to know about the business and working environment. At the same time Staff members are familiarised with health & safety issues, fire hazards, emergency evacuation procedures and basic customer services skills.
Personal Experience of Working at Primark I myself have the experience of working with Primark Stores and i was provided a good induction session on my first day. It was a thorough induction session covering all aspects of business and other issues related to the business.
I was provided a very good customer services training and that helped me a lot during my job with Primark Stores.
Diversity refers to variety of different individuals belonging to different societies available in one single environment.
Primark has got a very diverse kind of organizational culture. You will find staff belonging to almost every ethnic group working at Primark Stores.
Primark is an equal opportunity employer and encourages females to be part of its team. Females are present in Primark workforce in a huge quantity. Females are given opportunities to be part of management and many female managers are working in Primark, making Primark a more successful organization with their matchless skillset.
Primark as an equal opportunity employer discourages any kind of discrimination at work. Primark workforce is quite diversified and focus remains on working as a "Team".
If there is any issue regarding discrimination, HR team at Primark takes strict action against the ones who are involved in this issue and result can be a job penalty.
Comments & Suggestions:
In the above section, i tried to highlight the recruitment and selection procedure of Primark Stores. Their training procedure and their focus on staff development.
I described my personal experience of working at Primark Stores and how team work is considered important while working at Primark.
In my view change in the recruitment procedure has been quite positive but a delay in different recruitment activities is an issue of major concern and it should be sorted out.
Rewards & Benefits:
Primark Stores rewards its staff through different ways. In house promotions is a major source of motivation for staff, staff is also provided opportunities of training at various Stores of Primark.
A competitive Salary and 28 days paid holidays are given to permanent staff members.
Induction Process and CMI Induction Best Practices:
As mentioned earlier that induction at Primark is a very important process for new staff members. They are provided with an extensive training on all issues and areas of the business.
As being an organization with its focus on "Learnings", Primark continuously provides in house on job training to its staff members. That not only contributes in the success of Primark, but at the same time, it is good for personal development of staff member.
(Staff Handbook 2008)
I am now going to highlight some of the induction practices adopted by Primark Stores.
As Primark is an employer with its focus on the development of its "team", its people, Primark offers flexible working pattern to its employees. This approach not only provides opportunity to the workers to adjust their remaining activities according to the flexible environment of Primark work pattern. Thus it promotes health living and better life style.
Work Life Balance:
Primark Provides the opportunity to staff members to work either full time or part- time or they can work on weekends. This flexibility of work availability is very handy and it gives a chance to the staff members to balance their day to day life and work.
Primark's Culture & Its Effects on Employees:
AS mentioned in the first part of this assignment, every organization has its own culture which makes it unique as it comprises of its values and tradition.
As with all major retail sector organization, Primark's focus remains on "providing better customer services" and this can be attained only through a team work. This team work is a part of Primark's organizational culture which not only makes it a better and bigger organization but at the same time it makes its staff a unique asset for the organization.
As Primark Stores consists of a diverse work force so people belonging to different ethnic background form a base of a culture at every Primark Store. This culture would be truly different from one store to another and it does affect the employees of the organization.
(Source: Staff Handbook 2008)
Disciplinary Procedures are very important and form the basis of well disciplined work force. Primark strictly follows its disciplinary procedures and staff members are introduced with these procedures on their induction day and during various other training sessions.
Staff is encouraged to follow the terms & conditions of their contract, which not only is beneficial for the staff members but at the same time it is beneficial for the organization as well.
Uniform is a part of Primark's Quality Service Culture and staff members are strictly advised to follow the dress code of the organization. Discrimination at work and other issues related to harassment are dealt with strictness.
(Source: Staff Handbook 2008)
Legal Requirements & HR:
Legal requirements are very important as part o the HR Planning process and HR team ensures that they are fulfilling all legal requirement during the recruitment & selection process. Staff members are informed about different legal sides of the business and how legally Primark protects its employees in case of any incident or injury during work.
These all things are very important and should be reviewed on a regular basis as they not only ensure the safety of the employees but at the same time keeps the organization on a right track which maximizes its chances of business growth.
(Source: Staff Handbook, 2008)
Comments & Suggestions:
I have analysed the induction practices in this section and it was quite helpful in knowing the work and training pattern of Primark Stores.
As we know that people are the major assets of Primark stores and these induction practices ensure that people know about their responsibilities as part of the company and how to deal with situations arising during the course of work.
Legal side is very important and staff should be familiarized with the basics of HR and employment law and health & safety at work. These things not only protect employees during work but at the same time, it protects the employers from getting involved in lengthy legal proceedings in case of an incident.