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Strategic Human Resource Management In Retail Organisations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 5381 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Their relationship with suppliers and customers are based on their moral and ethical principles, justice and esteem. (JLP) John Lewis creates a culture than customers are looking for. John Lewis is the first company to have its staff as partners in the company. John Lewis was first opened in 1864 in Oxford circus. And by 2009 John Lewis Partnership was created which was in great favour for both employers and employees. . As mention John Lewis is such a company that creates a culture that customer are looking for. Since John Lewis has its staff as its partners, it’s a better way for them to deal with the day to day activities and having a better approach towards its customers. The partners themselves deal with the customers, so they having a better idea and feedback about the company from customers itself. John Lewis is a customer centric company and it has always maintained its staff quality and always makes it better. Their staffs are being rewarded by being shareholders of the company and in return they work hard for the company. John Lewis staffs are lifers. John Lewis allows its staff to develop ideas, since their reputation is enhanced by the quality of their staff.

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Explain the importance of strategic human resource management in retail organisations

Strategic human resource management is an informative process which is always developing and being studied and talked about by academics and commentators. As mentioned by Wright & McMahan, SHRM refers to the pattern of planned human resource activities intended to enable an organization to achieve its goals. Human resource strategy is the result of a set of decisions a company makes about the humans with whom it does business. Human Resource Management is also a vital and absolute approach in controlling people and the workplace proficiency and environment.

“I have an operations dimension to my own role. Nobody working in HR can just ‘voyage’ – you have to make an effort to win confidence. If you can unlock the operations imperative, and ‘do’ HR actively, you can create a story and then use it for conversations.” (Killen, 2012)

A strategic path in Human Resource Management is essential especially in expanding companies. Just like in John Lewis focus more on providing good training to its staffs. It also empowers its staffs to make and take decisions. All feedbacks are positively sorted and management will try to help, support and facilitate those ideas. John Lewis always go to an extra miles for its customers and thus is by giving good training to their staffs. Its staffs are well aware and intelligent. They also have a good knowledge of product. It not only has great customer service in stores but in its online business as well.

Human Resource management means not only developing the employees, but the entire organization itself. Human Resources include a broad range in management. A growing company depends on its existing success which can sustain and start developing its business with professional staff members. As demands increases, more labour force is needed to abide with them. The current labour force should be monitor but not only if they can adhere with the demand, but it has to make sure to maintain its quality and reputation. Bulk production should not make any difference to quality customer satisfaction and sale. The human resource actions are linked to the success of the organization’s overall aims.

For a company that is well known in the industry and is focussing on growth such as John Lewis, their status and authenticity must be maintained. The superior of the organisation can now emphasise on the goods itself and growth, and allow the human resource department hold the development of the company. Looking closely after the organisation aims, mission and vision, the growth of achievement standards is basic to detect any issues, employees who are not active and agreement to job. Minor labour and performance issues should be deal with as soon as possible so as to avoid any further annoyance and potential issues to the customer and thus becoming a liability to the organisation.

John Lewis has a psychological contract with its staffs. The psychological contract takes it a bit further compared to the written contract and this is why John Lewis is moving forward. Tracey Killen has been through the whole of it. The psychological contract is a powerful determination of behaviour in the organisation. John Lewis has made 75 years of profitable growth and this is all due to its dedicated staffs. The company expects to have honesty, integrity, proposition of new ideas and exceptional quality of customer service from its staff and in return they are treated as partners in the company.

Assess the purpose of strategic human resource management activities in John Lewis Partnership

Human resource management comes up with motivation, employee retention, recruitment and engagement, and employee deployment.

The success and expansion of JPL can accredit to its norms. The size of the organisation matters as communication issues is raised. And along with it, the trust and company aims are not understood and shared everyone. And in its expansion, the culture plays a very important role which has to be adjusted and maintained accordingly to changes. Human resource can work with both employees and management. With more demands and increase in employees, communication maybe a problem for both sides. However, Human resource management can control this and act like a bridge and plan what management wants from employees and vice-versa.

Management should have the appropriate skills for organizing, leading, planning and establishing standards. Since they will be responsible in developing the organisation instead of the technical aspects and organising, a higher knowledge of this responsibility is basic, and it’s also a concern once competition starts. Due to a number of reasons companies fail and mismanagement may be one. Operations can be out of hands if personal plans and politics are placed, and in expanding companies, this should be observed and stopped.

Developing is not only important for management but for employees as well. In order to stay in the organisation, employees should be given a number of reasons and do their work properly. Their regular expansion, the right benefits and compensation, and life term contract are just some of the benefits that motivate employees to bring about better outcome thus better outcome for the customers and eventually, the organisation.

Recruitment and selection

Learning and talent development

Human resource planning

Provision of equal opportunities

Managing diversity

Motivating workers to achieve improved performance

Employee counselling

Talent management

Payment and reward of employees

Health and safety


Encouraging involvement and engagement

Change management

Managing cross-cultural issues or international Human Resource Management

All will be concerned in some way to ensure that Human Resource management activities add interest by helping the organisation achieve its strategic objectives. They will focus on ensuring that the overall HR policies and procedures support the strategic objectives and that there is consistency in approach and implementation across the organisation.

Thus JLP has a high degree of expectation from its partners. It tries to reward them beyond the hierarchy level. JLP also has a staff committee as well. Partners are expected to serve customers at a professional level.

Evaluate the contribution of strategic human resource management to the achievement of the John Lewis Partnership’s objectives

Organisations are implementing strategic human resource as a developing factor, not to take over an outdated department. Even though there is still confirmation within the UK that once these involvements are implemented, they just reinstate the work of the personnel division. Human resource associated to the board of a company. JPL during the past decade have introduced strategic human resource with a higher level of trained workers. The role of human resource within the company has rise in significance. Their routine of training will be reviewed in the current theory of human resource. This shows that their training is the best and is worth it, thus giving a hope for further expansion. JPL is moving forward with its 81000 staffs also known as their partners owning 37 shops all across the UK. John Lewis also provides a 24hour online shop.

John Lewis operates in a competitive market and consumer has a variety of products from electrical to technological to clothing to baby to home and much more. Moreover they have expanded their services from goods, now they offering insurance, broadband and finance as well. Their commitment to customers has proven into a rise in their customer level. A positive relationship has been diagnosed between the company culture, human resource management practice, and organisation performance and employee attitudes. Change and conflicts as well is another aspect where someone has to be very careful. Organisation so spend a lot of money by promoting team work and so negotiating with managers so as conflicts do not occur.

It’s good that the Human Resource management stay focus on its goals and focus on what he is suppose to achieve for the company. He should also have a vision of what he is planning for the future and what he thinks should happen in order to make the company successful. John Lewis does aim at all these and that’s why it has been successful over the past decades and is still succeeding. John Lewis is good at developing its own staff by helping them performing better day by day by coaching them regularly and giving them training as well. They also create jobs that satisfy their employee. Team working is one of the best things. This allows staff to interact and have mutual responsibility. Thus JLP is maintaining its reputation in the market without ignoring any of its competitors such as M&S, Tesco Direct, IKEA and much more.

Task 2



Analyse the business factors that underpin human resource planning in Spex4U and critically evaluate how a human resource plan can contribute to meeting the organisation’s objectives

Human resource planning is a process that identifies current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. Human resource planning should serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of an organization. A plan is going to be a structure of what people will be doing in Sam Brown Company.

Business growth

Business decline

Business change

Labour cost control

Changing nature of work

Impact of technology

Employee development

The human resource planning will also be based on manpower with not only quantitative but also qualitative. It’s not all about the number of person needed but also depends on the skills, nature and type of person.

Business is affected by many things whether it’s an event or a situation, either in an affirmative or in an adverse way. These mention situations are called either environmental factors or driving forces or internal and external resourcing.

Driving forces are divided into two: Internal driving forces and external driving forces. Any mishap situations happening inside the business are called internal driving forces and remains under the control of the organisation. Examples can be technological capacity, organizational culture and managing system financial or managing employee morale.

Anything happening outside of the company is known as external driving forces and it’s not in the control of the company. Examples can be the industry itself, the economy, demographics, competition, political interference, and so on.

As far as it concerns Sam’s company a rapid expansion will be a bit risky for her due to competitor such as Boots optician, Spec savers, vision express and many more small businesses. She can increase the number of retail outlet and recruit new staff so as they to carry on the work being done by old staff. Motivation of old staff can be done by giving them opportunity to move to better position. Sam will have to look for new staff by advertising for experienced staff or else she will have give additional time for training purposes and spend even more instead of starting with the new expanding business.

Since Sam is planning to start an online business that is moving from traditional to modern method, she will have to be very careful as it all depends how the transfer will be done. It needs to be done equally as it is being done in the shop with the same level of quality as being delivered in the shop. She will need to recruits people with IT skills and set up something that will make purchase look similar to the shop. As to what she has to bear in mind is her competitors, retail and E-retail at the same time .Sam will be needing additional staff such as finance, marketing and e-marketing, human resource, IT, stores managers, duty managers, opticians, cleaners, security, distributions, and more. And after recruitments she will have to focus onto training as there should not be any mistake from any of the staff.

Sam brown also wants to establish a call centre which will be very expensive unless she does it outside the country which will cost her much more cheaper than in the UK, for example India or Mauritius. Nowadays customers are not as loyal as they used to be in early days and this is all due to technology. Since internet is available everywhere, people just tend to look for value rather than paying more for something they can get at a cheaper price somewhere else. Attaining the competition edge and being successful at the same time, a business must be aware of every changes occurring, and any change that might come in the future and this process is known as forecasting.


The HR Plan is a working document that allows us to show what we are doing and what we have achieved. The plan includes an overview of the achievements of the HR Department and a review of the previous Strategy and Human resource target.

Human resource contributes the success of the company but some changes in the organisation effect in the human resource plan. So positive aspect of the human resource always not the same in some cases it may be criticize.

Human resource plan is the key shape of the organisation which guides the company how to do operate the human resource department. Human resource plan is the key to an effective to decision making process. With the help of the efficient human resource the decision by the company can be effective. If human resource plan is effectively implemented it will positively contribute to the achievement of the organisations objectives. Some of the points which are contributing the company are as follow:

Shape of the organisation

The shape of the organization rely matter in the achievement of organization objectives. So HRM need to plan about it.HRM can help the organization in order to omit all the unnecessary employment from the organization. Thus it is also help in order to find the excess in human resource in the company. According to the requirements of the company if the structure does not match then the human resource plan will not help effectively.


Communication plays vital role in the organization it is considered most crucial part in the organization. In any organization human resource management is a communicator for the organization’s employees. In the perspective of communication human resource need to be effective. Communication is a barrier and helps to maintain the demand and supply level in the organization and keep them in the right track.

Training and development

The skills of the employees are sharpened by training and development. It enables the employees to keep them up to date with the latest requirements. Training is necessary in order to facilitator with the new technology, because technology is a source to save the time and maximize the benefits.

Transfer of knowledge.

This modern era is the era of globalization and every organization is connected globally and can be. And in this way they can recruit human resource globally. But the time and experiences are different according to the time and new trends requirements. Human resource deals with effective way in order to lead the employees because they know how to deal with the situation the implementation of plan human resource would be effective.

Human resource would be effective depending on the implementation of the plan. In the organisation how they make the plan and what process they set to implementation is the major.



Assess the human resource requirements for Spex4u and develop the associated human resource plan

As Spex4u is expanding its business, the most important department will be the human resource one. The human resource department will help Sam brown choosing the best staff and will be helping Sam with the business plans as well which is a very important for a new business. Human resource main task will be selecting, recruiting, training and developing new staff. This means selecting the right person, giving proper and professional level of training to the newly appointed and developing them into someone worth working for the company and attaining his level best for the organisation thus rewarding them for their good work and motivating them from time to time. Human resource also deals with the following:

Workforce planning

This is the main department for the Human resource management. This involves forecasting way in advance the company requirements as well as the employees and what should be done for the future. This will allows the company to anticipate future changes in required employment, in training and recruitment of man power to achieve what expected.

Recruitment and selection

This is about selecting and appointing the best candidate for the vacant job. It will include an interview where more details about the person including what type of person he is, his capacity and his skills.

Working conditions

This all includes in what condition are the employees working, which means the temperature in and out, toilet facilities, amount of light, working hours, gender discrimination and equality and so on. Working condition is very important as if they are not good employees won’t be motivated to work thus causing trouble for the company.

Induction training & career development

Induction training is for the new comers in the company. This concern the history of the organisation, meeting with new colleagues, having a look at the company premises thus including fire exit and covering health and safety topics without forgetting learning how to use machinery. Induction helps new worker to settle down and be a bit more motivating and effective.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is about having a closer look on someone and deciding whether he’s performing good or not. Performance appraisal may be use for future promotion as well.


Consultation is about talking to people who will be affected by decision before its being taken. After discussion, every view will be seriously study by a responsible before the decision is made.

Promotion and transfers

Promotion is a reward that one gets after achieving his level best in the company. He is promoted to a higher level. Transfer is done when someone is being sent from one department to another.

Termination of employment

Human resource management have the right to decide when its right to terminate someone job. This may be cause of misbehaviour, misconduct, frequent absenteeism, laziness, unauthorised breaks, lack of skills, sleeping and many more.

Pay, rewards & fringe benefits

Any reward received will be deal by the HRM. This may include pension scheme, company house or company car.

Wage bargaining

If an employee feels he needs an increment then he will go directly to the human resource management. He will bargain and give reason why he needs a better wage rather than the old one.

Health and safety issues

This is the employer duty to make sure that the health and safety equipment are up to date. Safety equipments and safety clothing has to be provided by the company itself for free. Legally employers must provide a safe work place for his employees. And in case of having five or more then a written safety display must be provided.

Employment legislation

This is the rules and regulation that the company applies and which its employees have to follow. The HRM is responsible for this as well and has to make sure that the rules and regulations are being followed in a proper way.


Human resource planning refers to the typical Human Resource authoritative key, and the assessment and description of the requirements for human resource for meeting the company aim. It will also need an assessment on the quality of resources needed. Human resource planning has to be a fundamental key of almost each corporation’s strategic business planning. Sam brown is planning to expand his business and start up an E-retail shop as well. To make sure that they maintain their competitiveness in the market, companies must have original strategies that will keep on motivating and enhancing its employees and also recruit fresh talent.

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The very first thing to do is to identify and evaluate needs. This means to find out what the needs for the new companies and how to achieve them. As for Sam brown his needs will be the recruitment of new staff and an online domain for his website and also he has to focus on the location for his new shop as there will be many of his competitors in the market. The company mission, strategic vision and core values are important as well.

Then is the recruitment process where human resource will have to recruit one of the best staff for both the retail and E-retail shop.

Recruitment involves attracting the right standard of applicants to apply for vacancies. Sam brown can first of all have a look at the current employees and allow promotion to those who deserves it and after that he can advertise for the new staff. Since he will be needing number of new staff both for the retail and e-retail, Sam brown can advertise on different websites, in exhibitions and universities so as he can find the suitable person for the vacant job.

Selection involves choosing the most suitable people from those that apply for a vacancy, whilst keeping to employment laws and regulations. Screening candidates is a very important part of the selection process. This ensures that those selected for interview have the best fit with the job requirements.

In the first stages of screening, Human resource should carefully study each applicant’s curriculum vitae (CV). Then make a short list and interview the selected candidates.

After selection, successful candidates will be trained professionally and can have an induction as well so as to have a better knowledge about the company background.

Human resource can perform an environmental scanning to know about the demographic trends, political issues, competitive trends, economics factors, technological changes and any social concerns which can affect the company.

Human resource should forecast the demand and supply for labour and goods as well. He should be able to forecast what the company is expecting and what will be its future requirements. A junior HR may be appointed so as he could just deal with recruitment, interview and training so as the senior management is able to control elsewhere.

Motivation of current employees is very important. Some of its current employees will not be willing to move from one place to another and this may be because of distance or other factors. Then it’s the HR to decide about it. Change of contract may be possible so as employees may change from one place to another. Human resource should perform a trend analysis so as to know what their competitor is after. Another important aspect is quality. Human resource should have a closer look at quality and a SWOT analysis as well.

Finally by using a balance scorecard to convert strategic aims into operational objectives. Hence Spex4U will be able to move forward and start its e-retail as well.

Part 3


Explain the purpose of human resource management policies in organisations showing why they are needed at Spex4u with an analysis of the impact of regulatory requirements.

HR policies are written authority instruction about issues raised in an organisation should be handled, covering the responsibilities, rights and fundamental rules that both employee and management has to follow. Policies are all about rules and regulations and disciplines that one has got to follow. Policies give managers a control over employees whether they like it or not.

HR policies are important so as to know:

The description of the company

What is actually expected from the company

What are the benefits of policies and procedures

What is tolerable and intolerable behaviour?

The effect of misbehaving

Spex4u is a small medium enterprise and in this kind of company it’s the Human resource who is involved in making the company policies. HR policies help in decision making process as everything is clearly mention in the policies thus making it easier to cover any issues.

The introduction of policies can help a company demonstration, both internally and externally, that it meets requirements for diversity, ethics and training as well as its commitments in relation to regulation and corporate governance. For example, in order to dismiss an employee in accordance with employment law requirements, amongst other considerations, it will normally be necessary to meet provisions within employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements. The establishment of an HR Policy which sets out obligations, standards of behaviour and document disciplinary procedures, is now the standard approach to meeting these obligations.

There has been an increase in training within the organisation; all employees now receive more training than before. This is a result of the HR department taking a strategic role. HR is not an administrative department; they are proactive and are on the strategic level of the organisation. This increase in training priority has been supported by a rise in Human Resource Management. This practice emphasises that increased growth can only be maintained in the long run; by equipping the work force with the skills they need to complete their tasks (Mullins, L. 2005).

The learning process has been challenged to create a culture that allows continual learning throughout the organisation. As knowledge is what matters, organisations and individuals alike must become continuous learners (Hawkins, P 1994). The organisation runs an academy that recognises skills in the individual. The training is identified from core, operational and leadership skills. All employees can access the core skills. These development programmes are tailored to the individual’s skill level. The delivery method for the training is varied, allowing for the individuals learning preference.

With the policy, there will be the contract of employment where the responsibility of the employee is mention along with the responsibility of the employer as well. Some of the details mention may be the job description, justification, maternity or paternity leave, annual leave, terminations, rewards and so on. Also included under the country law is the time regulation, gender discrimination, disability, age regulation, grievances, discipline, health and safety, redundancy, employment conditions, unfair dismissal, and many more. Policies are here to ensure that a consistence approach is there. And the one which is included in every policy is the human rights act which is very powerful and can tell the British government what to do. Human resource policy should be transparent, fair and consistent.


Regulatory requirements are those requirements which are concerned about the employment law, regulation requirements, discrimination of law, data protection law and also human rights are related to these requirements. There is a question how an organisation can access to their rules and other activities which are affected to other stakeholders.

As Sam brown wants to expand his business, there are many things he will have to go through with the help of his HR. The impact on Spex4u will mostly based on:

Minimal wage

The company will


Part time post if its seasonal

Work life balance


Hours of working

Health insurance

Part 3

Task 4


Analyse the impact of the organisational structure and culture on the management of human resources in the selected organisation

An organisation structure consists of action like task allocation supervision and co ordination ,which are leaded the betterment of organizational aims .It might be concerned as the viewing perspective through which individual can see their organisation and its environment ,an organisation can be structured or formed in many different ways, depending on their objectives. The structure of an organisation will be determined the modes in which ways it operates and performs. An organizational structure determines the desired allocation of responsibilities for several functions and process of different equities such as branch, workgroup and branch workgroup.

Organization structure effects organizational action in two ways.

Firstly it allocates or provides the best foundation on which standard operating procedures and rest of routines. Secondly it concerned in which of the individual involve to participate in the process of decision making. Hence it also helps in order to understand what kind of their views can help in the organizations action.

There are several ways through which organization are structured,

Functionally as it is explained above, regional area a geographical structure e,g within a marketing manager products like crisps and drinks


All organizations will have a culture which will have an impact on the way employees behave within the organization.. Employees are seen as a key resource. Our core definition of HRM from Storey talked about cultural aspects of HRM, so part of the way in which employees, as a key resource, can be managed is through the use of organizational culture to generate commitment to the organization and its values. Thus, as Ogbonn (1992: 80) notes, ‘the achievement of HRM objectives requires the management of the organizational value system (culture) and this requires skilful implementation. Often within tourism and hospitality such values will be concerned with encouraging employee buy in to the customer care and service quality initiatives, which organizations see as a form of competitive advantage in the crowded market place.

Organizational culture refers to the pattern of beliefs, values, and learned ways of coping with experience that have developed during the course of an or


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