Study On Strategic Human Resource Management At Cadburys Management Essay

5449 words (22 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Management Reference this

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Cadbury Schweppes has a history of being a traditional, family company, caring for its employees by providing benefits, excellent working conditions and welfare rights.  As it has grown this culture has been maintained through the involvement of HR strategically throughout all levels of the company, from the HR Director, on the main board, down.

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Although its number one goal during the period 2004-7 was “to deliver superior shareholder performance.” instead of having a more people/employee orientated objective; it is clear that within the culture of the company they require a certain degree of commercial aggression in their leaders. 

 

In assessing the company’s approach to managing its human resources, it is important to firstly analyse Cadbury Schweppes to establish if it has a high or low commitment to HR strategies.  According to Leopold et Al (2005) p 31,   there is a set of components that indicate the degree of commitment a company has towards HR strategies.  When a company has a high commitment to HR strategies it is argued that human resources can create high levels of uncertainty for its managers.

 

This analysis shows that Cadbury Schweppes has a high commitment to Human Resources throughout the company. The organisational culture indicates that the company has shared values and an emphasis on problem solving.  Employees are encouraged to be profit driven and must be results- focused.  This is supported by two employee share schemes open to everyone with a permanent contract.  This strategy motivates the employees to ensure that the company does well.  The share schemes can potentially be very lucrative for the employees.  It was clear from the staff attitude survey conducted in 2005, where over 90 percent of the employees said they understood the business’s purpose and values and its local priorities, and that they were proud to work for the company.  Involving the employees and ensuring that they have a good understanding of the company’s objectives has been key to the success of the business.

Another example of the company’s commitment to HR is after their purchase of Adams in 2003. The company went through a major reorganisation of the business and formed a new decentralized structure based on five global regions. HR had an important role in successfully bringing the two businesses together.

According to Guest’s (1992) model there are four main goals of a strategic HR approach. Strategic integration, commitment of the employees to the organisation, flexibility in structure and functions and high quality of goods and services. The three main dimensions, commitment, flexibility and quality enhancements are important factors for low staff turnover, adapting to change and productive job performance. This model was implemented in Cadbury Schweppes in 1977 with the programme called “Managing for change” where the three As where talked about; Accountability – which was taking ownership, Adaptability – which was about coping and adapting to change and Aggressiveness – which was being results-focused.

There are many Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) models. The best practice and best fit views are two traditional models but the new trend is the resource-based approach. This model is different because it first addresses the organisation internally and its potential for developing ways of exploitation. Although there are similarities between the three models, Cadbury Schweppes follows a combination of approaches. The strong HR presence indicates clearly the best practice approach but they are also resource-based. This approach focuses on internal personnel and their abilities and capabilities.

 

 

In conclusion Cadbury Schweppes has a high commitment to HR Strategies throughout the company.  This is demonstrated in the company structure with HR having a presence on the main board of directors and its focus on the people aspect of its employees and their collective involvement and interest in the success of the business.

1.2 Using your knowledge from Unit 8 and the related information about managing effective change evaluate the organisation’s approach to change assessing its impact and the role played by SHRM techniques and processes.

 

According to Sir Adrian Cadbury, the extent of the Quaker involvement and influence in business in the 18th and 19th centuries in the UK was generally not realised. These businesses included as well as Cadburys, the other three main chocolate companies, Fry, Rowntrees, and Terry: as well as many others in the steel, steam, engineering, and banking industries.

However, it was the fundamental Quaker religious belief in the worth of every individual, whether male or female, that impacted on the way the business was managed. The company benefited greatly from the belief that everyone working there had something of value to offer.

Cadbury Schweppes has had to cope with change throughout its history. More recently, with the acquisition of Trebor Bassett and Adams in 2003, the organisation has been continually changing and adapting. This ability to adapt to change has to be a quality of all of their employees. The company has run programmes to help their employees embrace change, instead of fear it.

Cultures help bind an organisation. They give unity of purpose and also motivate and stimulate employees. It is vital that organisations take time and give consideration to the culture they wish to develop. A resources orientated culture within a company is more productive than a traditional culture without clear employee goals.

According to Paul Bate (1992) there is an important relationship between organisational culture and effective organisational problem solving. Bate’s model of culture is used to measure an individual’s attitude to organisational life. In Cadbury Schweppes they clearly show the attitude of conservatism, which is the receptiveness to learn and experiment. Within the organisational culture, it is essential to welcome all aspects of positive change.

Cadbury Schweppes has had a culture of commitment to its staff in return for loyalty and has been results orientated for many years. With the new acquisitions in 2003 they had to involve all relevant managers and develop a new unique culture that would allow for a more harmonious, collaborative relationship between the existing and new staff. The benefits of creating a new culture would facilitate the integration of different groups.

The company has managed this change very effectively with HR playing a very important role in the success of managing change within the organisation.

Some of the new trends in the management of HR Functions, such as Auditing Performance, Devolution and Decentralisation are clearly evident within Cadbury Schweppes.

Auditing Performance has the objective of ensuring that the investment in personnel can be justified. This is used for setting up agreements and targets for the HR role within the company. Cadbury Schweppes uses this strategy of Auditing Performance to invest in its people and to set budgets to measure added value to the company.

Devolution of HR activities is important for a more business led response to employee related issues. Devolution is when some of activities normally carried out by the HR department are given to line managers or locations away from the head office. Cadbury Schweppes has indeed followed this trend reaping the benefits since the days of the ‘Managing for Value’ programme which was launched in 1977.

According to Hall & Torrington (1998) Devolution includes certain activities such as work organisation, training, recruitment and selection, appraisal and employee relations. One important benefit with Devolution is enhanced ownership, something very important to Cadbury Schweppes in their culture. It enables empowerment by management and a higher degree of flexibility in the decision making process. This flexibility has brought about improvement in the relationship between HR and line managers. A possible disadvantage of Devolution, however, could be that it is seen as having less commitment by top management to HR issues and integration of HR policies.

Perhaps the most impacting change to Cadbury Schweppes has been the decentralising of the human resource functions amongst other business activities. In their period of greatest change, in 2004, they went through a major reorganisation, when they moved to a decentralised organisational structure based on five global regions. A principal advantage of having decentralized activities is greater flexibility in terms of the speed at which decisions can be made.

After using the Human Resource Role-Assessment Survey by Dave Ulrich and Jill Corner to analyze: HR is used to respond to employee needs, operating and aiding/helping the process of change. HR is involved in many programmes: for example the ‘working better together’ framework to help working collaboratively within the new decentralized structure. The company scores highly in the area of adapting to change where is has tried to create a unique culture between the businesses. By developing this culture and involving everyone in the process it has given everyone a sense of ownership and makes sure that people understand the context the business is operating in.

In evaluating the success of Cadbury Schweppes and their HR strategies and more recently Cadbury Schweppes Adams, a general overview of companywide strategic HR planning provides evidence that supports a balanced approach in the strategic planning of HR resources and functions. Several examples can be highlighted such as business focus, results orientation and performance enhancement which has been addressed by the policy of auditing performance. The number one goal of 2004-7 was “to deliver superior shareholder performance”. The auditing of performance and the adoption of a coaching approach are designed to unlock existing employee potential. This gave rise to the ‘Growing our People programme’, which was deemed to be one element in the success of the company in the following three years. The focus on employee behaviours and unlocking the potential of employees at different levels of the business has paid dividends and obviously resulted in enhanced performance.

One particular area targeted for improvement is the perceived lack of attention directed at poor performance as recorded by the employee survey is to be tackled by yet another programme ‘Passion for People’ which specifically tackles the mechanics of managing performance. These programmes underline the company’s commitment to creating and developing its own approach to people management issues as stated by Andrew Gibson the company’s HR director (GB & Ireland).

The company demonstrates a balanced approach in their approach to human resource management with a strong focus upon achieving business objectives and delivering superior shareholder performance while at the same time involving and committing employees at all levels within the business to a programme of performance optimization and adaption to change. The inclusion of both strong business strategies along with commitment, partnership and involvement strategies has strongly contributed to the development of the Cadbury’s Schweppes culture rather than simply adopting an ‘off the shelf’ or more generic solution to fit their requirements.

1.3 From your knowledge of the course how does the HR Function seem to be supporting the Business Strategy at  Cadbury’s? In general how can HR best support an organisation going through change?

The HR Function is supporting the Business Strategy at Cadbury’s in many ways. From the top down and the bottom up, the HR function is represented in all aspects of the business including the HR director being on the main board. The HR link is extremely important to the business. For the company it is essential to take into account people’s considerations.

The company clearly focuses on its employees. It has done this by creating a unique culture within the organisation where people enjoy their work and feel proud to be a part of the company. The company programme ‘Managing for Value’ was aimed at increasing how the company could be more profitable. This programme helped employees to understand the importance of being results focused. This brought about a sense of ownership by everyone. The company culture also promoted working collaboratively, through the programme ‘Working better together’. One of HR’s biggest goals is to unlock the potential in its people, by using a joint problem-solving approach.

University of Sunderland Version 3 (2004) p447 – 448 summarizes the role of culture with 27 points. In terms of the Cadbury’s approach, it is geared more towards the SHRM perspective.

Cadburys Schweppes takes a stronger strategic focus to its HR management compared to many other companies. The nature of the relationship between employer and employee is very much of promoting a united culture within the organisation. The employees have a lot of flexibility in what they do and this promotes job satisfaction and produces an atmosphere of ‘going the extra mile’. Management decentralization, has allowed the company to make decisions quickly. As far as strategic aspects of HR the initiatives are integrated and change orientated. The line management is also working towards change and promoting a results orientated culture. The employees show commitment to the organisation and its brands.

According to Hofstead’s (1980) model of culture, to analyze the existing culture within an organisation it is important to the find out about the employee attitudes to the following: Power distance; Uncertainty avoidance; Individualism and masculinity. Power distance is the distribution of power. Within Cadbury’s its culture is based more on equality and empowerment. Uncertainty avoidance is when employees feel threatened by change. The opposite is the case for Cadbury’s where they have demonstrated flexible, risk taking behaviour. It is very difficult for an organisation to change a culture. This is an ongoing process. Individualism is when an individual is more interested in the wellbeing of the organisation’s family above their own personal interests. Finally, masculinity is the interest in acquiring possessions, money etc over caring values and social well being. In Cadbury’s they show the slightly aggressive attitude to organisational based reward.

How can HR best support an organisation going through change?

The key to successful HR support to an organisation is developing a flexible culture and encouraging employees to be adaptable to change. With an open-minded outlook, improved performance becomes achievable. Communication between management and employees is of great importance as is the need for involvement in the decision making process. The importance of listening to the employees should also be stressed. HR needs to support the change with training, workshops and constant two way communication. HR support should focus on the company culture and having caring values and developing a sense of belonging and team work.

Section B

Question 2

What is the value to organisations in creating a learning organisational culture? How can organisations work towards creating this culture through its HRM/HRD Strategies?

Introduction

For Strategic Human Resource Management to achieve a competitive edge and to release employee capability, creating a learning organisation culture is essential. Creating a learning organisational culture is much more than simply acquiring skills for the workforce. There are many benefits from developing this culture, but it is not easy and there are also problems to overcome in the process.

What is a learning organisational culture?

According to Navran Associates:-

“A learning organisation is one that seeks to create its own future; that assumes learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members; and one that develops, adapts, and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of people, both inside and outside itself” ( Navran Associates Newsletter 1993).

Training and learning are clearly different. Training is the transfer of knowledge to provide an individual with appropriate skills to be able to do a current or future job. Learning is more about the process of acquiring the skill or knowledge. It is important to note that in recent times the word “Training” which was previously used to mean “Learning.” These two words are interchangeable. Learning is an important part of staff development. Employees need formal learning and self-development programmes to help improve both the individual, as well as the organisation as a whole and its overall capabilities. It is important also to note that Human Resource Development becomes part of the organisational cultural as opposed to it being ‘forced’ upon the organisation.

The strategic purpose for training within an organisation is to address current skill gaps for individuals and the organisation. This is when there is a particular skill missing that needs to be learned to benefit both the individual and the organisation collectively. By using Human Resource Development as a means of initiating change within a company, HRD can also be used to gain competitive advantage by integrating strategic planning with human capabilities. Another purpose is for the creation of an en vironment for learning for self development and personal growth.

Learning is central to achieving a SHRM approach because of the inter-relationship between learning, performance and change. Learning will bring change as a result.

The learning organisation concept is an indispensable model. Pedler et al (1988) defines a learning organisation as:

“An organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself.”

What is the value to an organisation?

Karash (1995) suggests that organisations are healthier with a learning environment because it increases the ability for employees to manage change and to improve the quality of products and the job employed.

What really adds value to the employees and in turn to the company is that a learning culture develops a more committed workforce. The workers become not only more loyal and committed to the organisation but also they become proactive and work much more efficiently.

A highly motivated workforce that is constantly learning and improving will obviously contribute in the longer term, to achieving competitive advantage.

According to Rehem (1995 page 10), Learning organisations create environments where people can learn together for the betterment of the whole by creating the results that they really want.

What problems and implications are there?

There are of course problems and financial implications of having a learning environment culture in an organisation. The cost implications of learning and development can be very high and this can have a negative effect on the cash budgeted for this cause. There are arguments that staff should take an interest and be responsible for their own learning and not rely on the business to train them.

On the other hand, sometimes staff development is not welcomed and in fact some managers create barriers. Some do not motivate or enthuse their teams and in not doing so, limit the results and possible benefits.

Sometimes training is seen as a reward by the company for its successful employees. It is, however, central to the effectiveness of learning and development and the competitiveness and growth of companies.

Another challenge for an organisation is the amount of time training and reflection take. Perhaps management may think this valuable time could be used for something else, arguably more productive, in the short term.

Sometimes organisations disagree with what needs to be learned or changed within the business. This may generate friction between management and workers.

A final problem may not have anything to do with the willingness to learn but with how people learn and their ability to learn. For example, modern ways of learning are through the use of ‘Information Technology’ and e-learning. This for a less technically proficient person would obviously be at least challenging and possibly distressing and a reason for low enthusiasm and effort.

How can organisations create this culture?

According to Senge (1990) there are five disciplines which an organisation must master if they are to have this culture in their organisations.

Systems Thinking – This is seeing the whole picture and that the other four disciplines are needed. This is about looking at things in an interconnected way and not as isolated events. It is important to look at internal, personal actions that can create problems.

Personal Mastery – This is about being committed to lifelong learning. This is when employees look for excitement in their careers.

Mental Models – This suggests that we need to look and reflect about our own lives before we think about real change.

Building shared Visions – An individual vision will not succeed if it is not shared commonly by others. Real commitment is needed from the group. This provides commitment over the long term.

Team Learning – It is essential nowadays in almost any organisation that there is team work; this is both for learning and for working together.

There are three clear areas needed to create a learning culture within an organisation:-

The first area is in designing the learning activities. The designing of learning activities needs to be carefully thought through. The different learning styles and preferences for learning must be taken into account during the designing stage.

Honey and Mumford (1982) developed a model which links the styles of learning to the four stages of the learning cycle:-

The ‘activist’ is a person who is a risk taker, prepared to try things out. They try things out and discuss things with others. This type of person enjoys brainstorming.

The ‘reflector’ is a person who analyses situations and ideas. This person listens more and takes their time in making decisions and conclusion.

The ‘theorist’ is someone who needs to read something before actually doing it. These people are logical and need to understand the theory; they are also sometimes perfectionists, logical and analytical.

The ‘pragmatist’ is more interested in the applicability to real life and the real world.

The goals for learning need to be very clear, relevant and have a clear business goal, including the acquisition of new skills.

The Role of the management can play a big part in the success or failure of creating a learning organisational culture. The manager should have now changed to a more coaching and counseling type role. They should look for opportunities to reflect on experiences and unplanned activities. They need to ensure that the learning is fitting to the needs of the employees.

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A company striving to have a learning organisational culture needs to ensure that it hires efficient management who will not put up barriers to change. An efficient manager is someone who is able to develop strengths and help motivate their staff by rewarding risk. There should always be opportunities for learning and staff should be encouraged to address their own learning needs, ask questions and participate in problem solving.

Employee behaviour in relation to culture requires the employee to be flexible and have the desire to learn and develop. It is necessary that they are participative and share ideas, being both proactive and responsive.

Strategic HRD Policy

There are many challenges facing a company with regard to Human Resource Development. The first stage is getting the company to recognise the potential additional value of its Human Capital (its employees) and invest in them by providing both internal and external courses. A possible objection could be the cost of learning, but this should be more than offset by benefits to the company both financially and in employee commitment. An organisation should aspire to provide the most cost effective integrated approach to training and development.

HRM/HRD Strategies to support a learning environment

For a learning environment to really happen it is vital to have management support at all levels of the organisation. The management must be seen as leading by example and as acting as positive role models to the other members of the organisation.

There are many strategies that can be used to support a learning environment. Staff induction is one way of creating an environment of learning and developing. This is especially important for someone joining the company to appreciate the culture in which they are going to work. Another important strategy is appraisal and assessment. It is very important that employees have feedback on the way that they are working. This must be on a regular basis. They should be encouraged to develop and set clear career goals and targets. Career development is also a good way of supporting the learning environment. Some companies send their managers to other countries to complete MBAs or they are sent on secondment to learn about other areas of the business or to share their knowledge with charities or other ‘not for profit’ organisatons. Succession planning is the successful preparation of potential internal candidates for important key senior management positions. This is a further important contribution of HRD.

E-learning is a new trend in organisational learning. Employees are required to study online courses which have many advantages. The employee is able to learn in a more flexible manner and at a speed suitable to their available time, pace and speed of learning. However, for e-learning initiatives to be successful, it needs a motivated workforce.

Conclusion

In conclusion it can be difficult to create a learning organisational culture in a business but the benefits and value to a business are crucial. This type of culture can truly unlock the full potential of employees within a business in terms of both knowledge and skill.

This learning culture needs to be modeled by management and learning should happen at all levels of the business both top down and bottom up. The role of the manager is key to the true success of the development of a learning culture.

Question 3

Why is human resource planning such an important aspect of SHRM?

Introduction

According to Leopard et el (2005) page 27 “Strategies are outcomes of human interpretation, conflicts, confusions, guesses and rationalisations rather than the clear picture unambiguously traced out on a corporate engineer’s drawing board”

What is human resource planning?

Human resource planning (HRP) entails determining in advance what the staffing needs of the organisation will be in assessing the recruitment of appropriate employees and labour market, and finding ways to fulfill its staffing needs.

Formulating a strategy can only happen after firstly obtaining an in depth knowledge of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of the current workforce.

An organisation needs to have the correct human resources with the correct skills, knowledge and abilities for strategic plans to be successful.

Successful planning for future employment needs of a company can indeed deliver a competitive advantage, primarily based on the skills and abilities of the individuals. Forecasting these skills can be challenging for organisations especially those reliant on technology which is an ever changing environment.

The evolution of HRP has been affected by many developments, including computerised information systems; closer links between line management and the activities of HR managers and skill shortages. HRP is seen as an increasingly essential process to ensure that future recruitment issues are kept to the forefront of an organisations thinking and that the output from the HRP process is fed into all HR decisions.

HRP is all about diagnosing and planning for the short, medium and long term future. This of course is a difficult task as prediction is always challenging.

HRP has contributed to the evolution and development of a number of issues. In order to predict and plan there has been great advancement in the use of computerised HR information systems; the relationship between the business environment and the activities of the HR managers. Skills databases have also been created and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Why focus on human resource planning?

Human resource planning is important because it is primarily used to address the business at a strategic level. This means dealing with all areas of the business including marketing, financial, operation and technology departments to name just a few.

HRP and HR functions must remain focused on the business objectives. It is vital that this link is kept strong to remain strategic.

Generally HRP planning looks at internal factors but it is also relevant to look at external factors such as trends in technology skills etc.

The Social Science approach to HRP, introduced by Bennison & Casson (1998) is based on a manpower system and map. It forms the basis for making management decisions with regards to social factors and implications, with regards to workforce wastage, retirement, skill changes, behavioural and cultural requirements of the employees.

The importance of Human Resource Planning for Strategic Human Resource Management

HRP is key in maintaining the link between business strategy and operational strategy.

Forecasting the needs of the business technically and as far as personnel and skills is vital for a competitive edge. Failure to recognise and act on these changes could be costly to an organisation. They could cause the organanisation to lose their competitive edge.

HRP provides managers with strategic information which they need to make human resource decisions. This enables them to anticipate future changes and to stay one step ahead.

According to Reilly (1996) there are some specific uses for HRP, which will be discussed:

HRP is used to establish the correct number of employees for new locations. If an organisation does not estimate correctly the size of its workforce and has too many staff then there can be a surplus of employees and hence underutilized workforce. This is both expensive and counterproductive. Of course the opposite is also problematic because to have predicted too few staff can lead to existing staff becoming overstretched and that itself may lead to the failure of reaching output quality targets – directly affecting profitability.

Reilly (1996) asks the following pertinent questions:

“What techniques can be used to establish workforce requirements?

Have more flexible work arrangements been considered?

How are the staff needed to be acquired?”

These principles are very useful and can be applied to ascertain workforce requirements, whether in a new business or the relocation or the opening of a new factory, in the case of the manufacturing industry.

Retention of highly skilled staff

In the recent tough times of recession, retaining staff has not been a huge worr

Cadbury Schweppes has a history of being a traditional, family company, caring for its employees by providing benefits, excellent working conditions and welfare rights.  As it has grown this culture has been maintained through the involvement of HR strategically throughout all levels of the company, from the HR Director, on the main board, down.

Although its number one goal during the period 2004-7 was “to deliver superior shareholder performance.” instead of having a more people/employee orientated objective; it is clear that within the culture of the company they require a certain degree of commercial aggression in their leaders. 

 

In assessing the company’s approach to managing its human resources, it is important to firstly analyse Cadbury Schweppes to establish if it has a high or low commitment to HR strategies.  According to Leopold et Al (2005) p 31,   there is a set of components that indicate the degree of commitment a company has towards HR strategies.  When a company has a high commitment to HR strategies it is argued that human resources can create high levels of uncertainty for its managers.

 

This analysis shows that Cadbury Schweppes has a high commitment to Human Resources throughout the company. The organisational culture indicates that the company has shared values and an emphasis on problem solving.  Employees are encouraged to be profit driven and must be results- focused.  This is supported by two employee share schemes open to everyone with a permanent contract.  This strategy motivates the employees to ensure that the company does well.  The share schemes can potentially be very lucrative for the employees.  It was clear from the staff attitude survey conducted in 2005, where over 90 percent of the employees said they understood the business’s purpose and values and its local priorities, and that they were proud to work for the company.  Involving the employees and ensuring that they have a good understanding of the company’s objectives has been key to the success of the business.

Another example of the company’s commitment to HR is after their purchase of Adams in 2003. The company went through a major reorganisation of the business and formed a new decentralized structure based on five global regions. HR had an important role in successfully bringing the two businesses together.

According to Guest’s (1992) model there are four main goals of a strategic HR approach. Strategic integration, commitment of the employees to the organisation, flexibility in structure and functions and high quality of goods and services. The three main dimensions, commitment, flexibility and quality enhancements are important factors for low staff turnover, adapting to change and productive job performance. This model was implemented in Cadbury Schweppes in 1977 with the programme called “Managing for change” where the three As where talked about; Accountability – which was taking ownership, Adaptability – which was about coping and adapting to change and Aggressiveness – which was being results-focused.

There are many Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) models. The best practice and best fit views are two traditional models but the new trend is the resource-based approach. This model is different because it first addresses the organisation internally and its potential for developing ways of exploitation. Although there are similarities between the three models, Cadbury Schweppes follows a combination of approaches. The strong HR presence indicates clearly the best practice approach but they are also resource-based. This approach focuses on internal personnel and their abilities and capabilities.

 

 

In conclusion Cadbury Schweppes has a high commitment to HR Strategies throughout the company.  This is demonstrated in the company structure with HR having a presence on the main board of directors and its focus on the people aspect of its employees and their collective involvement and interest in the success of the business.

1.2 Using your knowledge from Unit 8 and the related information about managing effective change evaluate the organisation’s approach to change assessing its impact and the role played by SHRM techniques and processes.

 

According to Sir Adrian Cadbury, the extent of the Quaker involvement and influence in business in the 18th and 19th centuries in the UK was generally not realised. These businesses included as well as Cadburys, the other three main chocolate companies, Fry, Rowntrees, and Terry: as well as many others in the steel, steam, engineering, and banking industries.

However, it was the fundamental Quaker religious belief in the worth of every individual, whether male or female, that impacted on the way the business was managed. The company benefited greatly from the belief that everyone working there had something of value to offer.

Cadbury Schweppes has had to cope with change throughout its history. More recently, with the acquisition of Trebor Bassett and Adams in 2003, the organisation has been continually changing and adapting. This ability to adapt to change has to be a quality of all of their employees. The company has run programmes to help their employees embrace change, instead of fear it.

Cultures help bind an organisation. They give unity of purpose and also motivate and stimulate employees. It is vital that organisations take time and give consideration to the culture they wish to develop. A resources orientated culture within a company is more productive than a traditional culture without clear employee goals.

According to Paul Bate (1992) there is an important relationship between organisational culture and effective organisational problem solving. Bate’s model of culture is used to measure an individual’s attitude to organisational life. In Cadbury Schweppes they clearly show the attitude of conservatism, which is the receptiveness to learn and experiment. Within the organisational culture, it is essential to welcome all aspects of positive change.

Cadbury Schweppes has had a culture of commitment to its staff in return for loyalty and has been results orientated for many years. With the new acquisitions in 2003 they had to involve all relevant managers and develop a new unique culture that would allow for a more harmonious, collaborative relationship between the existing and new staff. The benefits of creating a new culture would facilitate the integration of different groups.

The company has managed this change very effectively with HR playing a very important role in the success of managing change within the organisation.

Some of the new trends in the management of HR Functions, such as Auditing Performance, Devolution and Decentralisation are clearly evident within Cadbury Schweppes.

Auditing Performance has the objective of ensuring that the investment in personnel can be justified. This is used for setting up agreements and targets for the HR role within the company. Cadbury Schweppes uses this strategy of Auditing Performance to invest in its people and to set budgets to measure added value to the company.

Devolution of HR activities is important for a more business led response to employee related issues. Devolution is when some of activities normally carried out by the HR department are given to line managers or locations away from the head office. Cadbury Schweppes has indeed followed this trend reaping the benefits since the days of the ‘Managing for Value’ programme which was launched in 1977.

According to Hall & Torrington (1998) Devolution includes certain activities such as work organisation, training, recruitment and selection, appraisal and employee relations. One important benefit with Devolution is enhanced ownership, something very important to Cadbury Schweppes in their culture. It enables empowerment by management and a higher degree of flexibility in the decision making process. This flexibility has brought about improvement in the relationship between HR and line managers. A possible disadvantage of Devolution, however, could be that it is seen as having less commitment by top management to HR issues and integration of HR policies.

Perhaps the most impacting change to Cadbury Schweppes has been the decentralising of the human resource functions amongst other business activities. In their period of greatest change, in 2004, they went through a major reorganisation, when they moved to a decentralised organisational structure based on five global regions. A principal advantage of having decentralized activities is greater flexibility in terms of the speed at which decisions can be made.

After using the Human Resource Role-Assessment Survey by Dave Ulrich and Jill Corner to analyze: HR is used to respond to employee needs, operating and aiding/helping the process of change. HR is involved in many programmes: for example the ‘working better together’ framework to help working collaboratively within the new decentralized structure. The company scores highly in the area of adapting to change where is has tried to create a unique culture between the businesses. By developing this culture and involving everyone in the process it has given everyone a sense of ownership and makes sure that people understand the context the business is operating in.

In evaluating the success of Cadbury Schweppes and their HR strategies and more recently Cadbury Schweppes Adams, a general overview of companywide strategic HR planning provides evidence that supports a balanced approach in the strategic planning of HR resources and functions. Several examples can be highlighted such as business focus, results orientation and performance enhancement which has been addressed by the policy of auditing performance. The number one goal of 2004-7 was “to deliver superior shareholder performance”. The auditing of performance and the adoption of a coaching approach are designed to unlock existing employee potential. This gave rise to the ‘Growing our People programme’, which was deemed to be one element in the success of the company in the following three years. The focus on employee behaviours and unlocking the potential of employees at different levels of the business has paid dividends and obviously resulted in enhanced performance.

One particular area targeted for improvement is the perceived lack of attention directed at poor performance as recorded by the employee survey is to be tackled by yet another programme ‘Passion for People’ which specifically tackles the mechanics of managing performance. These programmes underline the company’s commitment to creating and developing its own approach to people management issues as stated by Andrew Gibson the company’s HR director (GB & Ireland).

The company demonstrates a balanced approach in their approach to human resource management with a strong focus upon achieving business objectives and delivering superior shareholder performance while at the same time involving and committing employees at all levels within the business to a programme of performance optimization and adaption to change. The inclusion of both strong business strategies along with commitment, partnership and involvement strategies has strongly contributed to the development of the Cadbury’s Schweppes culture rather than simply adopting an ‘off the shelf’ or more generic solution to fit their requirements.

1.3 From your knowledge of the course how does the HR Function seem to be supporting the Business Strategy at  Cadbury’s? In general how can HR best support an organisation going through change?

The HR Function is supporting the Business Strategy at Cadbury’s in many ways. From the top down and the bottom up, the HR function is represented in all aspects of the business including the HR director being on the main board. The HR link is extremely important to the business. For the company it is essential to take into account people’s considerations.

The company clearly focuses on its employees. It has done this by creating a unique culture within the organisation where people enjoy their work and feel proud to be a part of the company. The company programme ‘Managing for Value’ was aimed at increasing how the company could be more profitable. This programme helped employees to understand the importance of being results focused. This brought about a sense of ownership by everyone. The company culture also promoted working collaboratively, through the programme ‘Working better together’. One of HR’s biggest goals is to unlock the potential in its people, by using a joint problem-solving approach.

University of Sunderland Version 3 (2004) p447 – 448 summarizes the role of culture with 27 points. In terms of the Cadbury’s approach, it is geared more towards the SHRM perspective.

Cadburys Schweppes takes a stronger strategic focus to its HR management compared to many other companies. The nature of the relationship between employer and employee is very much of promoting a united culture within the organisation. The employees have a lot of flexibility in what they do and this promotes job satisfaction and produces an atmosphere of ‘going the extra mile’. Management decentralization, has allowed the company to make decisions quickly. As far as strategic aspects of HR the initiatives are integrated and change orientated. The line management is also working towards change and promoting a results orientated culture. The employees show commitment to the organisation and its brands.

According to Hofstead’s (1980) model of culture, to analyze the existing culture within an organisation it is important to the find out about the employee attitudes to the following: Power distance; Uncertainty avoidance; Individualism and masculinity. Power distance is the distribution of power. Within Cadbury’s its culture is based more on equality and empowerment. Uncertainty avoidance is when employees feel threatened by change. The opposite is the case for Cadbury’s where they have demonstrated flexible, risk taking behaviour. It is very difficult for an organisation to change a culture. This is an ongoing process. Individualism is when an individual is more interested in the wellbeing of the organisation’s family above their own personal interests. Finally, masculinity is the interest in acquiring possessions, money etc over caring values and social well being. In Cadbury’s they show the slightly aggressive attitude to organisational based reward.

How can HR best support an organisation going through change?

The key to successful HR support to an organisation is developing a flexible culture and encouraging employees to be adaptable to change. With an open-minded outlook, improved performance becomes achievable. Communication between management and employees is of great importance as is the need for involvement in the decision making process. The importance of listening to the employees should also be stressed. HR needs to support the change with training, workshops and constant two way communication. HR support should focus on the company culture and having caring values and developing a sense of belonging and team work.

Section B

Question 2

What is the value to organisations in creating a learning organisational culture? How can organisations work towards creating this culture through its HRM/HRD Strategies?

Introduction

For Strategic Human Resource Management to achieve a competitive edge and to release employee capability, creating a learning organisation culture is essential. Creating a learning organisational culture is much more than simply acquiring skills for the workforce. There are many benefits from developing this culture, but it is not easy and there are also problems to overcome in the process.

What is a learning organisational culture?

According to Navran Associates:-

“A learning organisation is one that seeks to create its own future; that assumes learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members; and one that develops, adapts, and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of people, both inside and outside itself” ( Navran Associates Newsletter 1993).

Training and learning are clearly different. Training is the transfer of knowledge to provide an individual with appropriate skills to be able to do a current or future job. Learning is more about the process of acquiring the skill or knowledge. It is important to note that in recent times the word “Training” which was previously used to mean “Learning.” These two words are interchangeable. Learning is an important part of staff development. Employees need formal learning and self-development programmes to help improve both the individual, as well as the organisation as a whole and its overall capabilities. It is important also to note that Human Resource Development becomes part of the organisational cultural as opposed to it being ‘forced’ upon the organisation.

The strategic purpose for training within an organisation is to address current skill gaps for individuals and the organisation. This is when there is a particular skill missing that needs to be learned to benefit both the individual and the organisation collectively. By using Human Resource Development as a means of initiating change within a company, HRD can also be used to gain competitive advantage by integrating strategic planning with human capabilities. Another purpose is for the creation of an en vironment for learning for self development and personal growth.

Learning is central to achieving a SHRM approach because of the inter-relationship between learning, performance and change. Learning will bring change as a result.

The learning organisation concept is an indispensable model. Pedler et al (1988) defines a learning organisation as:

“An organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself.”

What is the value to an organisation?

Karash (1995) suggests that organisations are healthier with a learning environment because it increases the ability for employees to manage change and to improve the quality of products and the job employed.

What really adds value to the employees and in turn to the company is that a learning culture develops a more committed workforce. The workers become not only more loyal and committed to the organisation but also they become proactive and work much more efficiently.

A highly motivated workforce that is constantly learning and improving will obviously contribute in the longer term, to achieving competitive advantage.

According to Rehem (1995 page 10), Learning organisations create environments where people can learn together for the betterment of the whole by creating the results that they really want.

What problems and implications are there?

There are of course problems and financial implications of having a learning environment culture in an organisation. The cost implications of learning and development can be very high and this can have a negative effect on the cash budgeted for this cause. There are arguments that staff should take an interest and be responsible for their own learning and not rely on the business to train them.

On the other hand, sometimes staff development is not welcomed and in fact some managers create barriers. Some do not motivate or enthuse their teams and in not doing so, limit the results and possible benefits.

Sometimes training is seen as a reward by the company for its successful employees. It is, however, central to the effectiveness of learning and development and the competitiveness and growth of companies.

Another challenge for an organisation is the amount of time training and reflection take. Perhaps management may think this valuable time could be used for something else, arguably more productive, in the short term.

Sometimes organisations disagree with what needs to be learned or changed within the business. This may generate friction between management and workers.

A final problem may not have anything to do with the willingness to learn but with how people learn and their ability to learn. For example, modern ways of learning are through the use of ‘Information Technology’ and e-learning. This for a less technically proficient person would obviously be at least challenging and possibly distressing and a reason for low enthusiasm and effort.

How can organisations create this culture?

According to Senge (1990) there are five disciplines which an organisation must master if they are to have this culture in their organisations.

Systems Thinking – This is seeing the whole picture and that the other four disciplines are needed. This is about looking at things in an interconnected way and not as isolated events. It is important to look at internal, personal actions that can create problems.

Personal Mastery – This is about being committed to lifelong learning. This is when employees look for excitement in their careers.

Mental Models – This suggests that we need to look and reflect about our own lives before we think about real change.

Building shared Visions – An individual vision will not succeed if it is not shared commonly by others. Real commitment is needed from the group. This provides commitment over the long term.

Team Learning – It is essential nowadays in almost any organisation that there is team work; this is both for learning and for working together.

There are three clear areas needed to create a learning culture within an organisation:-

The first area is in designing the learning activities. The designing of learning activities needs to be carefully thought through. The different learning styles and preferences for learning must be taken into account during the designing stage.

Honey and Mumford (1982) developed a model which links the styles of learning to the four stages of the learning cycle:-

The ‘activist’ is a person who is a risk taker, prepared to try things out. They try things out and discuss things with others. This type of person enjoys brainstorming.

The ‘reflector’ is a person who analyses situations and ideas. This person listens more and takes their time in making decisions and conclusion.

The ‘theorist’ is someone who needs to read something before actually doing it. These people are logical and need to understand the theory; they are also sometimes perfectionists, logical and analytical.

The ‘pragmatist’ is more interested in the applicability to real life and the real world.

The goals for learning need to be very clear, relevant and have a clear business goal, including the acquisition of new skills.

The Role of the management can play a big part in the success or failure of creating a learning organisational culture. The manager should have now changed to a more coaching and counseling type role. They should look for opportunities to reflect on experiences and unplanned activities. They need to ensure that the learning is fitting to the needs of the employees.

A company striving to have a learning organisational culture needs to ensure that it hires efficient management who will not put up barriers to change. An efficient manager is someone who is able to develop strengths and help motivate their staff by rewarding risk. There should always be opportunities for learning and staff should be encouraged to address their own learning needs, ask questions and participate in problem solving.

Employee behaviour in relation to culture requires the employee to be flexible and have the desire to learn and develop. It is necessary that they are participative and share ideas, being both proactive and responsive.

Strategic HRD Policy

There are many challenges facing a company with regard to Human Resource Development. The first stage is getting the company to recognise the potential additional value of its Human Capital (its employees) and invest in them by providing both internal and external courses. A possible objection could be the cost of learning, but this should be more than offset by benefits to the company both financially and in employee commitment. An organisation should aspire to provide the most cost effective integrated approach to training and development.

HRM/HRD Strategies to support a learning environment

For a learning environment to really happen it is vital to have management support at all levels of the organisation. The management must be seen as leading by example and as acting as positive role models to the other members of the organisation.

There are many strategies that can be used to support a learning environment. Staff induction is one way of creating an environment of learning and developing. This is especially important for someone joining the company to appreciate the culture in which they are going to work. Another important strategy is appraisal and assessment. It is very important that employees have feedback on the way that they are working. This must be on a regular basis. They should be encouraged to develop and set clear career goals and targets. Career development is also a good way of supporting the learning environment. Some companies send their managers to other countries to complete MBAs or they are sent on secondment to learn about other areas of the business or to share their knowledge with charities or other ‘not for profit’ organisatons. Succession planning is the successful preparation of potential internal candidates for important key senior management positions. This is a further important contribution of HRD.

E-learning is a new trend in organisational learning. Employees are required to study online courses which have many advantages. The employee is able to learn in a more flexible manner and at a speed suitable to their available time, pace and speed of learning. However, for e-learning initiatives to be successful, it needs a motivated workforce.

Conclusion

In conclusion it can be difficult to create a learning organisational culture in a business but the benefits and value to a business are crucial. This type of culture can truly unlock the full potential of employees within a business in terms of both knowledge and skill.

This learning culture needs to be modeled by management and learning should happen at all levels of the business both top down and bottom up. The role of the manager is key to the true success of the development of a learning culture.

Question 3

Why is human resource planning such an important aspect of SHRM?

Introduction

According to Leopard et el (2005) page 27 “Strategies are outcomes of human interpretation, conflicts, confusions, guesses and rationalisations rather than the clear picture unambiguously traced out on a corporate engineer’s drawing board”

What is human resource planning?

Human resource planning (HRP) entails determining in advance what the staffing needs of the organisation will be in assessing the recruitment of appropriate employees and labour market, and finding ways to fulfill its staffing needs.

Formulating a strategy can only happen after firstly obtaining an in depth knowledge of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of the current workforce.

An organisation needs to have the correct human resources with the correct skills, knowledge and abilities for strategic plans to be successful.

Successful planning for future employment needs of a company can indeed deliver a competitive advantage, primarily based on the skills and abilities of the individuals. Forecasting these skills can be challenging for organisations especially those reliant on technology which is an ever changing environment.

The evolution of HRP has been affected by many developments, including computerised information systems; closer links between line management and the activities of HR managers and skill shortages. HRP is seen as an increasingly essential process to ensure that future recruitment issues are kept to the forefront of an organisations thinking and that the output from the HRP process is fed into all HR decisions.

HRP is all about diagnosing and planning for the short, medium and long term future. This of course is a difficult task as prediction is always challenging.

HRP has contributed to the evolution and development of a number of issues. In order to predict and plan there has been great advancement in the use of computerised HR information systems; the relationship between the business environment and the activities of the HR managers. Skills databases have also been created and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Why focus on human resource planning?

Human resource planning is important because it is primarily used to address the business at a strategic level. This means dealing with all areas of the business including marketing, financial, operation and technology departments to name just a few.

HRP and HR functions must remain focused on the business objectives. It is vital that this link is kept strong to remain strategic.

Generally HRP planning looks at internal factors but it is also relevant to look at external factors such as trends in technology skills etc.

The Social Science approach to HRP, introduced by Bennison & Casson (1998) is based on a manpower system and map. It forms the basis for making management decisions with regards to social factors and implications, with regards to workforce wastage, retirement, skill changes, behavioural and cultural requirements of the employees.

The importance of Human Resource Planning for Strategic Human Resource Management

HRP is key in maintaining the link between business strategy and operational strategy.

Forecasting the needs of the business technically and as far as personnel and skills is vital for a competitive edge. Failure to recognise and act on these changes could be costly to an organisation. They could cause the organanisation to lose their competitive edge.

HRP provides managers with strategic information which they need to make human resource decisions. This enables them to anticipate future changes and to stay one step ahead.

According to Reilly (1996) there are some specific uses for HRP, which will be discussed:

HRP is used to establish the correct number of employees for new locations. If an organisation does not estimate correctly the size of its workforce and has too many staff then there can be a surplus of employees and hence underutilized workforce. This is both expensive and counterproductive. Of course the opposite is also problematic because to have predicted too few staff can lead to existing staff becoming overstretched and that itself may lead to the failure of reaching output quality targets – directly affecting profitability.

Reilly (1996) asks the following pertinent questions:

“What techniques can be used to establish workforce requirements?

Have more flexible work arrangements been considered?

How are the staff needed to be acquired?”

These principles are very useful and can be applied to ascertain workforce requirements, whether in a new business or the relocation or the opening of a new factory, in the case of the manufacturing industry.

Retention of highly skilled staff

In the recent tough times of recession, retaining staff has not been a huge worr

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