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Marks & Spencer (M&S) is UK based one of the biggest retailers in the world, Over 895 store in more than 40 territories around the world are being operated by the Company. Plan A that consists of 100 commitments such as climate change, waste, sustainable raw materials, and fair partnership has been announced by M&S to become a world first environmental friendly retailer of the world by 2015. Company believes that it will=
- Become carbon neutral
- Send no waste to landfill
- Extend sustainable sourcing
- Help improve the lives of people in their supply chain
- Help customers and employees live a healthier life-style
In January 2008, Marks and Spencer share price has fallen down by 18% following publication of their trading statement. Though it was a serious set back for their target to become a first environmental friendly retailer but in February 2010 M&S reconfirm that due to moral reason they will continue their project Plan A but it will be fully completed by 2015 instead of 2012.
The now iconic brown, reusable, environmental friendly bag was first introduced in 2007 as an early part of this plan. It is hope that this will reduce the use of plastic carrier bags over the next few years.
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Importance of project planning:
Project planning is first and very important phase in project management which determines what the project is based on and what requirement does a project need to complete the project efficiently and timely. But it is understood that M&S has failed to get its target that were supposed to be completed by 2012.
Though project planning is very important and it has to be made before starting a project but it is mostly to bring some changes during the course of project. So, it is essential to update constantly and regularly.
If a project plan has been done on the basis of inadequate resources and information and if any inefficient person plans any project than that project will most likely to fail.
A project needs a team to do its entire task and tasks have to be specified on the project plan. Project planner has to provide formula for both to plan and to communicate what needs project has to done.
Project manager must be able to provide outline of the project both to plan and to communicate and necessary task of the project.
Apart from structure, several unrelated tasks have to be done according to needs.
So, it is essential to confirm that project must have work breakdown.
Priority of works has been explained below-
Work Breakdown Structure
M&S is a large company. Their project such as Plan A is a large retailer too where the company is investing £200 million. Therefore the project has to be dealt by an efficient and experienced project manager.
Selection of Project manager is very vital stage to get success for a project. Project manager must be self-discipline. He/she must be able handle any good or bad situation such as coaching, technical difficulties, political pressure. He must have project management experience. He has to set his communicate goals clearly, manage the project team as a group, build relationship through communication and consideration.
Staffing plan is pre-requisite stage to get success for a project. Determine the level of skills, identify experience requirements are two critical factor for a successful project.
Project roles and responsibilities documentation such as map Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) is one of the key stage for planning a project.
Publish and maintain organization chart; address conflicting goals and loyalities; promote team ownership of integrated solutions
Project Team Building-
Articulate a team building vision, objectives, and strategy; provide goals, supportive resources and tools, and meaningful measures of success; develop team ownership of this process
Identify criteria for successful team performance; articulate strategy and plan for achieving team goals; develop metrics and monitor status; invest to improve team dynamics and cohesiveness.
Conduct team sessions to improve communications and facilitate issue identification and resolution; build team identity; solicit and address team concerns
Recruitment, selection and training of personnel
Marks & Spencer has been Developing a long-running strategy / Evolving a family-friendly strategy for a large and diverse workforce. M&S recruitment, selection training of personnel has been made on the basis some key factors.
M&S human resource management issues can be analysed in terms of legal, moral and business consideration. With reference to the stated aims of recruitment, this consideration could be said to be:
- Legal- To complies with anti-discrimination legislation.
- Moral- To avoids unfair discrimination for moral reasons as well as obedience to the law.
- Business- To ensures that all efforts are directed towards achieving corporate and not personal goal.
Marks and spacer believes in a systematic approach to conduct their recruitment and selection process on the basis of company human resource strategy and equal opportunities goal.
Equality of Opportunity for Everyone
M&S always emphasis on ensuring equality of opportunity for every member of M&S team. Promoting a working environment free from discrimination, harasement and victimisation. on the basis of:
- gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment
- race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin,
- hours of work
- religious or political beliefs
Raise staff awareness by designing and delivering training programmes that support the Equal Opportunities aims.
Comply with the law and communicate to our stakeholders the responsibility to protect both individuals and the company.
M&S personal effectiveness programmes consists of several things such as communication skills, confidence building, conflict management, creativity and innovation, personal presentation, presentation skills, time and pressure management.
Efficiency and professional approach of the M&S staffs towards their work is making the company success. Dedicated human resources of the major source of competitive advantage.
The case with M&S is a scenario of rapid organisational transformation, which was based on a vision imposed on the company in a mainly directive fashion, down from the top, by its management and CEO, but which could potentially lead to a widespread change of attitudes and behaviours in the company. This change in the middle of the trading period was a risky action and would bring a big confusion for the staff, putting a high pressure on their performance.
Though marks and spencers believes in equal oppoturnaities and fair trade they are trying to keep political connection. M & S recruited their new CEO who is an active and influential conservative leader. It is assumed that Convervative party is most likely to come to the power.
Usually conflict is the result of poor communication which can be resolved with openness and mutual trust. M&S staffs always been trained to increase interpersonal communication skills.
M&S employed around 71,000 people in the UK, 75,000 worldwide. The company has the lowest employee turnover rates in UK retail, at 27% for customer assistants and 12% for management. Around 40% of our people have been with us for over 5 years and 22% for more than ten years.
Staff recruitment can become a major proposal task for any project. The project manager may need to utitilize member of his own staff or HR department to handle the many aspects of recruitment. But it can be a good idea to have a processs in place and a perhaps a few checklists to help organizing recruitment efforts. M&S has been using different types of techniques to recruit it’s staff. Some of the techniques are explained below-
The scale and scope of the opportunities on offer at Marks & Spencer is really higher than others competitors.
Trainee management scheme:
M&S claimed that their trainee management program is one of the pretty unique recruitment systems. Under this program trainee managers enables to reach commercial manager level within two years. On top of that those managers are getting best salary on the high street.
Graduate management trainee scheme:
Graduate Management Trainee scheme is one of the best in retail industry. This scheme has been recognised by TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2009 which has been published in The Times.
M&S is regularly attending graduate events such as Cambridge career fair, leeds career fair, national graduate recruitment fair Olympia, National Graduate recruitment fair NEC.
Apart from that regular scheme M&S recruit their staff with a highly professional online recruitment process.
Retailers like Marks and Spencer have complex recruitment needs and have to deal with high volumes of applications to fill a large number of similar positions. Marks and Spencer manages all applications for store jobs via WCN’s Applicant Tracking System. The system is based on complex two way integration with the Marks and Spencer HR system.
The system now allows candidates who are successful after applying and completing online tests, to book their own interview within an hour of completing their application. Stores input vacancies and give available assessment times on the Marks and Spencer HR system, this data is then transferred to the WCN system and displayed to candidates online. The functionality was launched in July 2006 and over 42,000 candidates were able to schedule their own interviews for Christmas vacancies that year.
It should be mentioned here that M&S e-recruitment software, which was innovated by WCN Plc, has been awarded 2007 winners of the Onrec.com Award for Best Technical Innovation in Online Recruitment. That award was their second achievement since introduce their recruitment software.
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Training of personnel-
Marks and Spencer’s believe that en extra ordinary strategy must be made to get competitive advantages over the competitors. And this led to a need for change. The focus of change was on core areas These include quality, value and service. Customers also expect innovation (bringing in new ideas) and a shop they can trust.
Any innovative changes can be brought by the trained and creative staffs. Marks and Spencers trained it’s staff are at three levels.
- Trainee managers who have just passed A-level
- University student who have just passed their degree.
- Experienced maangers from other areas.
Each manager requires a number of skills. These include team working, financial skills or leadership. Marks and Spencer is able to spot skills gaps. It matches current skills against those required for the job. Where these do not match, training can take place. At the end of every six months, an appraisal takes place. This is a discussion between manager and staff. It highlights where staff have improved. It also shows where more training is needed. This helps staff to construct a career path. This process creates a cycle of improvement.
Part-3 of the assignment
Teamwork, discussion of relevant concepts and theories
Teamwork is the joint effort by a group of people to achieve a common goal. M&S has been maintaining some kind of performance indicator to measure it’s achievement. Interpersonal behaviour is more important than interpersonal relationship to do a good teamwork.
M&S measures their teamwork with applying the principles of performance management to the groups behaviour. The emphasized on group performance rather than individual. They have set their reward system for group basis.
Some basic steps involves with group behaviour, these are explained below-
Identifying what teamwork behaviours will lead to better performance. One way to identify target teamwork behaviours is to complete the ITPQ(TM) (Ideal Team Profile Questionnaire(TM)) instrument. This can be completed by the team, peer groups, staff, customers, senior management and others to provide a wide range of views of what would make the team successful.
- Identifying and manage conflicting expectation of them between, say, management and customers.
- Ask a wide perspective when setting behavioura goals for themselves, which should prove the quality of those goals.
- Facilitate a dialogue within the team and with others outside the team on how to mprove performance.
- Take a wide perspective when setting behavioural goals for themselves, which whould improve the quality of those goals.
Assessing which teamwork behaviors are currently being used. It is understood current behaviors may be influenced by some key factors, such as:
- The Organizational structure
- The performance of team members
- Current circumstances
- Feedback from people outside the team.
Many other factors One way to identify current behaviours is to complete the MTRi (Management Team Roles-indicator (TM) instrument.
This is completed by the individuals within the team, and it indentifies the roles they are currently performing which can be aggregated to show the collective team behaviours.
However, M&S have built trust and engagement and a shared sense of common purpose over time are reaping the reward in terms of motivated employees willing to go the extra mile, despite the tough environment.
Some of the M & S staff s have been interviewed to get some information about M & S in regards to managing staff. Most of the employees feel a strong sense of family within their teams, but some of them said manager’s attitude towards their staff is not appropriate. About 9 of 10 male and female colleagues believe their colleagues care about each other. Working together gives them a buzz and almost every staff believes teammates are very fun. Staffs are working at Marks and Spencer as their own business but they believe that company does care very little about that. Though some kind of reward has been given by the company but colleagues believe that reward is not adequate.
Everyone believes that dedicated staffs can make difference in the organization with reaching their goals and direction.
Marks and spencer always try to bring theory but in real life they are not practicing it properly. Some of the managers are very keen to empower their manager to achieve their target but some of them like to run their store with a dictatorship attitude.
Half of the interviewed staff says their managers are not open and honest in regards to work. Very few of them said they are getting appreciation for their good job. Everyone said that senior managers are visiting their premises very often even work on the sales floor. Senior manager’s attitude showing that they want to connect with the teams,
The term ‘Leadership’ is easy to explain, In a practical field leadership is a very tough task. Behavioral attitude is first quality for a leader than skills. A good leaders are trusted and respected by his/her followers. Leadership is little bit different from the management. Planning, organization and communication skills are main responsibilities for management. Though leadership relies on management skills too, but more so on qualities such as integrity, honesty, humility, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, confidence, positivity, wisdom, determination, compassion, sensitivity and a degree of personal charisma.
Leadership can be performed with different styles. Some leaders have one style, which is right for certain, situations and wrong for others. Some leaders can adapt and use different leadership styles for given situations.
The Greening of Marks and Spencer: An example of creative leadership
Stuart Rose, CEO of the M&S announced a policy document that will make M&S a first green retailer of world by 2015.
It commits the retailer to a range of specific actions at an estimated cost of some £200 million over the next five years. The plan has been welcomed by a range of commentators. Yet, closer inspection suggests it is a shrewd concession to corporate responsibility rather than a radical move that might frighten traditional commercial investors. It can also be seen as an example of creative leadership.
In a flurry of personal interviews, Stuart Rose announced a hundred-point, five year plan for M&S that aims at re-engineering the company’s activities to meet a range of socially responsible goals from carbon neutrality, ethical-trading, sustainable-sourcing, and health-promoting products and projects.
He told the BBC that the company has estimated five year-costs of the plan to be in the region of £200 million pounds. In one interview, Green in his ‘show and tell’ mode had brought along plastic bottles and a coat (purporting to ) incorporate the plastic from similar bottles after recycling.
M&S Leadership: Dictatorial leaderships history in M&S
M&S leadership has been dominating by men. Micheal Marks founder of M&S had the traits of an entrepreneur. As the leadership was passed on through the family, increased competition within the heirs led to emergence of stronger characters. Micheal’s son Simon Marks and later Simon’s brother in law Israel Sieff changed the leadership style towards a stronger dictatorial influence.
1998-99 period was a underperforming duration for M&S. About 40% of M&S share price has fallen down. As the Zara and Next took market share from the top end of the market while the same time value offering were attached by the supermarkets who were increasingly entering the same market.
In 2004 performance was poor, with customer defecting to competitors. Investors were uneasy and showing sighns of losing confidence.
Its leadership team does not encompass the right mix of skills, knowledge and experience to enable the company to regain its long-held position as a market leader. This was the scenario which Stuart Rose stepped into, when he became CEO of UK retail giant, M&S, in May 2004. Rose was determined to:
- Make fundamental changes
- Change from bureaucratic old fashioned organization into a modern dynamic force.
- Implement the missing ‘Shared values’ to complete the transformational leadership model.
Rose’s leadership strategy- Engaging employees at all levels:
Before 2004, A major side effect of the loss of confidence in M&S was low employee morals. Rose focused on re-building employee pride and commitment. But he was also ruthless in removing some long-term employee perks which had grown to become rights. He introduced more professional, performance based contracts for staff which were desighend to reinforce and reward behaviours whicch support organizational performance.
Though Mr. Rose has been running the company with some dictatorial attitude but the results were striking. But above all, the success of these changes are founded on confidence and belief in Rtuart Rose as a leader.
M&S leadership- In-house practice
M&S has developed it’s leadership strategy with some extra ordinary key features to implement it through leadership training, coaching and development.
Tanith Dodghe, group HR director of Marks and Spencer mentioned this strategy as ‘this is not just leadership, its M&S leadership’
Employee Motivation: Giving power to the people
Frederick Herzberg – Two Factor theory In 1957, Herzberg devised his ‘ motivation hygiene’ theory which stated that two groups of factors affect employee motivation. Herzberg said that certain elements in a job motivate people to do better. He called these elements ‘Satisfiers’. They include:
- Personal growth
- Actual work itself
Other elements do not motivate people to work harder. These are referred to as hygiene factors. They are:
- Pay and conditions
- Status within the company
- Job security
- Relationships with fellow workers
- Quality of the company’s managers
Frederic Taylor- Scientific Management
Taylor worked as a factorysuperintendent in a locomotive factory in the USA. From carrying outstudies of how people worked making axles, he concluded that:
- Employees were successful in getting jobs there because they knew
the managers, not because they were good at the job.
- Employees did not work hard enough for fear of their friends losing
- Employers paid their employees aslittleas they could possibly get
- Employees were given little instruction of how to do their job and
it was often done badly. The amount and quality of products produced
was very poor.
- Money was the only thing that motivated employees to work hard. If
the workers were paid per item made, they would want to make more and
would work harder.
- Trained managers should run the company and supervise employees with
firm but fair discipline procedures.
- Employees must be properly trained to do their job
- Employee should be properly and fairly selected for jobs through
tests and interviews. This is to make sure that the right person gets
Taylor said that his ideas would improve matters:
How Marks and Spencer’s performance management/training and development systems have been influenced by the motivational theories M&S use Maslow’s theory by helping staff set and reach their goals at work, they encourage their staff and praise them when they are doing well and staff also receive rewards for good work. M&S use Herzberg’s two factor theory by treated their employees well by giving them a good salary, good working conditions and by giving them sick pays and pension’s schemes, they also give their staff responsibilities to make them feel like there are important to the company and motivate them. M&S use Mcgregor’s theory by having managers who have trust in the workers and help them improve and do their best and also by giving managers bonuses to motivate them. Marks and Spencer’s also use Taylor’s Scientific Management theory by paying its employees in order to work and by having able managers control the staff.
Cross cultural Issues in M&S-
M&S has a diverse range of employee and they are maintaining a active equal opportunities policy. This not just to cover the recruitment and selection procedures but runs through training and development, apraisal, promostion opportunities and eventually to retirement.
We promote an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation and work hard to ensure everyone is offered equality of opportunity to achieve their full potential. All the decisions we make relating to employment practices are objective, free from bias and based solely upon work criteria and individual merit.
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