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HR Business Strategy Plan 2018
Purpose, Role and Vision
2 New Look Background
3 A New Look HR Service Led Design
4 New Look HR critical themes in this new era
4.1 Promoting changed Mindsets/Leading Change
4.2 Facilitating the architecture of intangibles
4.3 Leadership Development
4.4 Employee Engagement/Satisfaction
Introduction - Purpose, Role and Vision.
Human Resources (HR) is the backbone of any business, therefore strategic planning to diagnose current and prospective needs of the organisation is vital to ensure business goals are met collaboratively; serving as a link between HR and the overall business functions and all relationships within the business Saunders and Hunter (2009).
New Look (NL) and its business objectives are; they are all with a long term strategy in mind, but retain short- and medium-term agendas, to be achieved over the next 3-5 years. NL also has some internal and external challenges in the way it manages individuals, in addition to attracting, retaining, rewarding and developing talent; due to the competition element and the competitive market New Look (2018). Therefore, this HR business plan sets the precedence for NL business model to be sustainable, managing financial, social and environmental contingencies, making a commitment as well as taking accountability; whilst continuing to explore opportunities. Therefore, the scope of this report will be limited to accommodating the needs of the current generation without jeopardising the ability of future generations Cheese (2018).
Contributing to a better NL service for our internal and external customers, not losing sight of our original mission statement. Consolidating individual and collective relations amidst the currently used resourced based view (RBV) framework, (which has a tremendous influence, as our assets as a company are valuable and rare to imitate), best-fit, looking at the context of NL’s capabilities and what suits us BEST and the flexible firm model, aligning all, using the resources more effectively as they complement each other, incorporating the entire spectrum of HR practices/procedures, with managers commitment and great involvement between HR specialists and all stakeholders; producing understanding whilst at the same time delivering best practice/high commitment creating transparency, supporting the organisations strategy; producing high performance Marchington et al 2016; Armstrong 2012.
New Look Background
Enormous financial pressures have forced NL to observe things differently. The story began in 1969 as a single fashion store in the UK, with substantial growth to become a leading fast-fashion brand, and today genuinely an international brand, with 896 stores; 593 in the UK and 302 across Europe, China and Asia, 813 are directly operated NL stores across the UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Belgium, Poland, China and Germany along with 83 stores run by our franchise partners across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Additionally, online, delivering to around 120 countries across the globe; generating 14% of sales and more than 5 million followers on social media engaging with over 870,000 fans New Look (2018).
NL strive to put customers at the heart of all they do, together with all stakeholders sharing the same vision of NL becoming “the chosen brand for an inspiring accessible fashion experience” and ensuring employees stand by brand values;
“keep it simple, be brave, think customer, act with pace and take responsibility.” New Look (2018).
A New Look HR Service Led Design; planning vigorously
Forward HR planning that aligns with organisational goals in the modern influential environment is challenging but crucial to ensure complexities are limited when managing individuals and strategies Heery and Noon 2008; Truss et al 2012. HR policies should flow from HR strategies and compliment HR practices; strategy should complement the business forces, positioned as a target for the revolution of efficiency and effectiveness Marchington et al (2016).
NL HR behaviors and disciplines touches the business in several ways; these procedures run at the heart of the relationship between the company, managers and employees, our job is to develop human capital; not just concentrate on legislation, performance management, recruitment and selection as the NL HR role is much bigger than this Saunders and Hunter 2009; Armstrong 2016; Truss et al 2012.
Internal and external factors both shape HRM, so it is pivotal to appreciate that a business operates in both the wider institutional framework as well as focusing on internal resources Marchington et al 2016; Truss et al 2012. HRM requires taking vicarious liability when forward planning and aligning HRM, in relation to formulating best strategy and implementing organisational objectives/goals. However, incorporating all HR methods, forming coherence and synergy into our business plan, combining frameworks; as ultimately institutional forces in addition to in-house politics will shape managerial actions. There is no one enabler that is the panacea that can deliver an impeccable service Saunders and Hunter 2009; Marchington et al 2016.
Figure 1. HRM system
New Look HR critical themes in this new era
The demand for championing better ways to analysis and resolve NL organisational core competencies continues to grow, so the scope of this report will therefore work with the business as a whole, constructing a more comprehensive company, addressing performance and productivity, engaging at the highest levels of business strategy; addressing the key areas Promoting changed Mindsets/Leading Change, Facilitating the architecture of intangibles, Leadership development and Employee satisfaction and engagement considering all integrated workforce developments that cultivates and surrounds the identified objectives and themes on a whole Saini 2005; Ulrich 2010.
4.1 NL continues to experience change, the fast-paced environment requires the business to be agile, Promoting changed Mindsets/Leading Change. HR are obligated to provide flexible and adaptable structures to foster an environment that promotes continuous improvement that will meet organisational objectives Saunders and Hunter 2009; Saini 2005. Contingent performance requires change, of behaviours and mindsets, while leading change is associated with dissecting the desired and actual mindsets, off all stakeholders introducing new HR interventions to establish shared mindsets Saini (2005). An innovative approach should be enforced through HR, observing the organisational power and politics as in acquisition situations transforming mindsets, encouraging change is a big agenda.
Armstrong (2016) believes HRs key attitude is to lead change, delivering organisational transformation for NL, being change agents, facilitating a culture change throughout therefore, evolving and having a dramatic effect on policies and practices; while Truss et al 2009 demonstrates that scrutinizing, NL organisational development, investing in the businesses core competencies will enhance and expand the business through our NL employees with the implementation of former learning to be rejected and traded.
Saini (2005) suggests employees who are not able to adjust, leave; this often includes some of the chief performers, whilst leaving the remaining workers with uncertainties; these ambiguities may aid or cripple awareness of personal, professional or organizational objectives. Consequently, less structural layers in the NL business framework should be implemented, seeking HR to be a change agent, linking high commitment HRM with Human Resource Development (HRD) developing organisational capabilities; focusing on creating a renewed organisation achieving the valued realisation of effectiveness, improvement and development; stabilising new assumptions, behaviours and cultures Saunders and Hunter 2009; Saini 2005; UK Essays 2017).
Zurich Group, Swiss Insurance company has 60,000 employees globally, including 7,000 in the UK, have demonstrated that HR can be change agents. Zurich Group experiencing momentous change in regulation, policy and competition resulting in the group becoming bureaucratic, slow-moving risk-averse and struggling to acclimate to developing market conditions and customers Balogun et al 2015.
They produced a robust framework – ACE/PACE; The insurance company agree a new set of behaviours, to deliver the change and create the desired workplace culture/commitment. The company’s main goal was about flexibility and adapting appropriately; collaboration of teams and individuals, to work together; and have the organisation externally focused Balogun et al (2015).
While there are challenges around change, the other initiatives simultaneously running in alignment with the company’s culture change will be perceived as embodiments of transformational change; allowing the reduction in red tape granting more agile approaches to embellish, generating results; therefore, success is attributed to the overall change drive Balogun et al 2015; Truss et al 2012.
4.2 Facilitating the architecture of intangibles is critically important in NL business success. Considering effective risk management is fundamental to business objectives, reputation and conveying additional value; Intangibles reflect good or bad value of a company New Look (2018).
Intangible resources rest on human and organisational competencies to govern relationships, nurture talent, collaborate, and share and maintain values, through innovation, acquiring and practice. HR professionals must commit to increasing value through helping develop each of the intangibles Saini 2005; Kamasak 2017. It should be noted that any system of risk management and internal control is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk to achieve company objectives and can only provide reasonable but not an infinite assurance against misstatement or failure New Look (2018).
Ulrich (2016) states intangibles are now recorded as cerebral capital or knowledge as evidenced in reputation, brand recognition, and knowledge about your industry such as NL brand value, customer information, databases and business/strategy models but a desire to synthesize the work into four realms; called the architecture for intangibles; gives clarity of the discernment and appraise for the different HR service delivery models in action within the business paying attention to NL size and culture.
NL key intangibles should be nurtured as they are as important as the hard strategies and processes used in HRM, this focus will aid with employee and customer confidence about the future, while ensuring forthcoming competencies align to strategy, through product innovation, accomplishing efficiency, intimacy and creating capabilities to build future proficiencies Saini 2005; Kamasak 2017.
Intangible assets will not be recorded on any quantitative reporting sheet, as their value is planted on the validity, they add to the NL business Truss et al (2016).
4.3 Leaders are those that facilitate execution of an NL organisations strategy through building alignment, winning mindsets and growing the capabilities of employees, therefore Leadership Development (LD) bolsters the amplitude of individuals to perform within their roles within the business Armstrong (2016).
HR practitioners are utilitarian experts and as the insistence for outstanding leadership within businesses increases, additionally the skill-sets or psyches required are becoming more distinguishable and a more strategic antecedence Marchington et al 2016; Saini 2005; Ulrich 2010.
Marchington et al (2016) points out that leadership should initiate change and transformation, but should also link to NL culture and vision, as it divides into two -strategic and managerial leadership; affecting vision and mission as well as the creation, upkeep and advancement of an appropriate pragmatic infrastructure, while establishing the work of others. At the same time Carter et al (2005) proposes LD as “the real work of the business” conveying that there is an order of priority, such as organisational development/change, LD, performance management (PM), innovation and service enhancement in addition to coaching.
A considerable amount of organisations see LD as one of the critical areas of management focus. Ford Motors continue pursuing to establish leaders at all levels. They want to emphasis that leaders should have a pioneering mindset with an entrepreneurship attitude, putting the dominance on satisfying their customers. They started a “Leadership Development Centre” to reinforce this culture in the work environment, working within their framework called total leadership. The Ford leadership centre encouraged and accelerated learning by supporting teamwork and affirming growth earning excellent feedback from stakeholders Saini (2005).
4.4 Employee Engagement/Satisfaction are not the same, employee engagement (EE) has emerged as a phrase to stand for the extent to which leaders gain commitment from workers; while employee satisfaction (ES) is the term used to characterise whether staff members are contented, while accomplishing their aspirations and needs in the workplace Dukes (2017).
NL organisational commitment is a critical facer of engagement and satisfaction, when visualised mentally as a positive attachment to the larger entity, advocating being an ambassador for NL, enforcing pride and having personal identification with the NL core values supporting the New Look vision, which will in turn shape the culture New Look (2018). Several measures purport that EE is a great factor in ES likewise employee motivation, goal accomplishment, and positive attitudes. Engaged staff members, are what NL want, as having a happy, healthy and more fulfilled workforce, can only encourage motivation and deliver an enhanced business performance Gifford and Yarlagadda (2017).
Lee et al (2018) claims that preceding employee turnover theories neglected or belittled intervene with other job roles, and job satisfaction being a major root within HR implying job satisfaction is the cardinal job attitude and elite anterior to turnover. Analysis has frequently pointed to demonstrating that relationships and how employees are managed, in regard to attitudes and behaviours, and organisational performance. Positive exchanges are manifested into profit, growth (revenue and human capital), customer gratification, productivity, innovation, employee retention, efficiency and health and safety Gifford and Yarlagadda (2017).
Having disengaged employees brings huge risks, in addition to losses in performance, talented people will become demotivated, and cause greater difficulties when embedding NL organisational change Armstrong 2016; Marchington et al 2016; Gifford and Yarlagadda 2017.
Armstrong (2016) discusses the idea that the flexible firm model is ultimately the use of different terms and conditions of service which allows NL to be more flexible and adaptable, around the factors that affect EE and ES; however, Gooderman (2008) argues that used singularly, it cannot completely represent the reality; a universalistic approach, such as creating a bundle – combining HRM practices, discovering a High-Performance Work System giving NL a comparative advantage.
Engagement in every category is to be paramount to the employee’s lifecycle from as soon as the individual starts with NL, this then leans on the employee representing and understanding the NL brand and culture, with an excitement that stays with the staff member throughout their entire work experience Burt (2018).
Experian, Head of Talent Sarah Kinsley,
It is clear retailers are facing a new financial future, with the rise of uncertainties, inflation and E-Commerce, and Brexit tough decisions face NL, therefore HR planning (HRP) is central, making this an on-going process; studying the internal and external labour markets identifying the urgency to allocate, captivate, retain and develop HR safeguarding alignment with NL wider business objectives in addition to NL global strategy.
Deliberate HRP will avoiding silo working likewise short-term thinking that has impacted NL business operations and reduced employee morale. NL brand stands for investing in customers, they are the crux of the NL identity – the principles, HR policies and procedures are to reflect our job is to seek after the best interests of our workers – championing employee rights present as an internal regulator for all. As a collective we have power.
Valuable qualitative and quantitative HRP is to be used by gauging the balance of existing resources and challenges considering competencies, L&D, demographics to aid with forecasting future trends or concerns, assuring HR does not go outside of the framework and do something that NL is not serious about. Surveys, interviews and opinions with the inclusion of statistics.
The flexible firm model could be seen as an abusive model in regard to employees’ rights but on the flip side, the benefits are far out-weighed; it awards NL the ability to expand and contract, harmonised with business demands, giving numerical and functional flexibility, and workers involved in a large number of roles. When successfully collaborated with other models that complement the drivers and incorporated with high- commitment HR which pursues to galvanise the workforce, promising EE/ES prompting changed mindsets – leading change, developing leaders, and continually facilitating the architecture of intangibles there will be a direct impact, the rewards will dominate.
With strategic integration of NL HRM and NL business strategy.
That’s the New Look way.
- Armstrong, M. (2016) Armstrong’s Handbook of Management and Leadership for HR. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Kogan Page Limited.
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- Burt, E. (2017) “We deliberately don’t call it engagement” People Management Magazine, March, p.20
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