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INTRODUCTION: Strategic human resource management is a functional discipline in business administration and deals with all the aspects

relating to employees and their relationship with the organisation. Every organisation should have an effective and functional human resource management department so as to improve the overall performance and growth of the organisation along with developing skills and knowledge of its employees. Unless an organisation has an integrated human resources management systems, the employees cannot be managed productively and will result in severe financial troubles. In this report, I have chosen to write on various aspects of strategic human resources management in general and on Tescos HR policies in specific. I have used necessary examples to illustrate how an aspect of strategic human resource management can be effectively managed in a given situation corresponding to a HR activity. So all the tasks that are presented in this report are hypothetical and based on the understanding of the theoretical concepts of human resources management and a study of HRM function in Tesco from various available sources.

Task 1 1.1 For any kind of organisation, its employees are its key assets and only when these assets are effectively and efficiently managed they contribute for the overall growth of the organisation. Strategic Human Resources Management is a discipline within the HRM, which focuses on managing the employees keeping in mind the long term advantages of having quality and skilled employees. According to Sims (2007) the top management in an organisation should try to bring in all the employees at all levels in the organisation in the process of decision making, as this will not only provide confidence to the employees, but the management can also be benefitted from well informed employees on all the key issues pertaining to the company. Tesco, being the largest food retailing company in the UK has many stores in different retail formats and also employs a large number of people, serving in different positions. Hence it becomes very important for Tesco to manage all the employees and provide necessary support and training to them so as to perform their respective duties more effectively (Ruddick, 2010). This is where strategic human resource management helps in providing a basic framework for the company to develop, motivate and enhance the necessary skills and experience of the employees. The strategic human resource management not only helps in providing the necessary training and development programmes to its employees, but also helps in formulating various guidelines and polices at all levels of the management so as to effectively carry out various functions of the human resources management for achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation.

1.2 An assessment for the purpose of understanding the key activities of strategic human resources management is absolutely required so as to understand the need and importance for the HR managers to create real values for the business organisation. Some of the most important assessments that can be made out of strategic human resources management activities are y By providing necessary training and development programs to employees, their employees have expertise skills in managing challenging situations and also becoming more efficient and competitive y By developing and communicating various industrial and other trade policies and procedures, the employees can be fully aware of the current legislations and will be in a position to comply with all kinds of requirements y By implementing appropriate hiring and termination procedures, the concerned organisation can have a fully transparent recruitment system that is completely unbiased and more flexible. y By developing compensation and other benefit strategies and policies which adhere to government regulations, the organisation can effectively manage its human resources in accordance with its overall business strategy y By providing up-to-date information on the companys HR policies to its employees, the company can ensure that their employees have the latest information on the companys proposed or current polices on various HR issues, so that the employees can effectively participate in the decision making process and contribute positively for the growth of the organisation. These are some of the strategic human resources management activities that help in effective implementation of human resource functions by HR personnel which can create real value for the organisation.

1.3 An organisation as big as Tesco, certainly requires efficient strategic human resources management function, one of the most fundamental objectives of Tesco is to ensure that the company becomes a diverse international business organisation which emphasises on effective management of human resources to achieve this (Fletcher,2010). The strategic human resource management has significantly contributed for the organisation to become more globally competitive. The SHRM has also focused on the non financial resources, which are equally important in contributing to the success of the organisation. The SHRM has helped the employees of the company to be more competitive and efficient. It has helped the company to make an optimum use of its employees in achieving strategic objectives and reciprocally has helped the employees to acquire the best skills and knowledge. The SHRM has helped the organisation adapt to changes in the market and also successfully managed to survive in the worst economic recession that has hit the UK in the recent past. The strategic human resources management has played a pivotal role in updating and streamlining the employees of the organisation with imparting the best knowledge and resources, and at the same time helped the organisation as a whole to become more proactive (Kumar, 2010). Moreover the strategic human resources management has done a lot for the organisation then merely recruiting and retaining the best talent, it has thrived to gain a complete understanding of its employees and helped the organisation in the process of developing organisational systems and process that has enables the employees to add value to the organisation.

Task 2 2.1 Tesco is an organisation that has been expanding its business operations into diverse fields and different geographical locations. It has entered into the financial services market, telecom sector and many more. So when a company expands its business operations the management function becomes more complex and vague. Hence it is very important for the organisation to design a strategic human resource plan. However this is not an easy task and there are many factors that need to be considered, more importantly the business aspects that have an impact on the organisation. The size of operations is very important, Tesco being a very large organisation, unless a proper estimate of the employees and their roles are not properly assessed it becomes difficult to undertake a proper human resource planning (Ruddick, 2011). The organisational activities and its core business divisions should be properly assessed for so as to allocate human resources sufficiently for each of the business division. Financially Tesco has much stronger foot hold, hence the amount of expenditure on human resources planning is not a major concern, and however any expenditure should yield to proper results, which must be measured in terms of the relative knowledge and skills that have been developed by their employees over a period of time. The external environment that is the regulations and policies on human resources prescribed by the governments and legislations of different countries, in which Tesco operates, also, must be taken into account, if the organisation has to create a strategic and progressive human resource management plan. These are some of the many business factors that need to be critically considered in the process of designing an effective human resource plan for Tesco.

2.2 Although the UK is slowly recovering from the effects of the recent economic recession, it has left a serious threat to the economy as a whole, and certainly has its impact on Tesco, like any other organisation. Normally any organisations financial performance gets severely affected in such economic crisis, not to forget the tremendous amount of pressure that will be built around the human resource management department (Kumar, 2010). This pressure is mostly directed towards downsizing the work force, reducing the pay scales, or a decrease in the number of working hours etc. all these factors can be a major concern and will affect the long term growth prospects of the company, hence every effort should be put by the concerned department to assess the requirements of the HR department. Tesco, if it has to downsize its employees, it has to focus on retaining the most able staff who have the requisite experience and skills. The organisation should also focus on providing quality training and development programs which should be specifically aimed at managing things at the organisation during the recession period. The organisation should also allocate more budget for administering the human resource management activities, because the best investment a company can do is to invest more in its employees who are the most valuable assets of the company. Some of the other human resource requirements during an economic crisis are having a clarity of the exact impact of the recession on the company and the indirect effect it can have on its employees, a proper assessment of this relationship helps the organisation to exercise its human resource management function more effectively.

2.3 The management of human resources in an organisation like Tesco is one of the most complex and complicated activity, however its importance should never be ruled out and the employees are the companys best assets (Whitaker, 2011). For this task, a Tesco retail store has been selected to study the management of human assets, because carrying out an investigation on the human assets of the whole organisation is out of the scope of this study. The manager of a retail store of Tesco overlooks all the operations of the store, including the finance, retail, sales and human resources management. The manager is assisted by personnel belonging to different departments such as finance, sales, marketing, human resources etc. The human resources management department is headed by an experienced person who is trained in all the aspect of human resources. The management of human assets, that is the employees of the store is multi fold and is dependent on the position of an employee. An indicative Human Resource Plan for Tesco Retail store is y To provide weekly trainings to staff on various issues such as customer service, store maintenance, customer attraction etc y To provide incentives and other benefits both monetary and non monetary on the basis of performances linked to sales, customer service etc y To ensure that the needs of the staff are properly taken care of by their supervisors and managers y To inform the employees on any major changes to the company polices, regulations etc, so that the staff be readily informed on the latest happenings on company affairs y To develop a structured performance appraisal systems as well as employee performance feedback procedures

2.4 The above mentioned human resource plan at a basic store level will contribute to the overall success of the Tescos strategic objectives in the following ways By providing regular training and development programs to staff, they will have up to date information on many issues that help in achieving greater efficiency and performance levels among employees, not only that the employees will also have an opportunity learn new things and skills, which they can apply in their daily work activities. By providing incentives and other performance linked benefits, employees get motivated to perform more, and a friendly rivalry among staff builds up, there by employees look to outperform each other. Moreover the employees start to stabilize their careers at the company as they start to receive more benefits, and this will help Tesco to retain their employees. When the management starts to take care of their employees, the employees feel secure and start to perform to their capabilities, this human resource plan will not only build cordial relations among colleagues, but also builds healthy relations between superiors and subordinates. When the organisation shares the information on latest happenings in the organisational matters, the employees can have firsthand knowledge, and likewise make any necessary changes to adjust to those kinds of situations. Moreover by creating fair and transparent performance evaluation systems the company can identify real talent and work on any necessary gaps in skill sets among employees. So a good human resource plan like the above mentioned will contribute for the successful achievement of Tescos strategic objectives.

Task 3 3.1 The roles played by human resource management policies in Tesco are many, the human resources policies in Tesco are aimed to collaborate and contemplate many of the HR activities in Tesco. One of the many important roles is to ensure that appropriate staffing and recruitment policies are being developed and applied consistently throughout the organisation so as to maintain its recruitment procedures fair and transparent. The other role is to see that the compensation or pay roll is properly developed based on appropriate skills, education and knowledge of the employees. Effective performance management is also very important in ensuring that the knowledge and skills imparted to the employees are properly put in to place by the employees as well as the management. Monetary and non monetary benefits are also key to the retention and attraction of best available talent; this is one of the core roles of the human resource management policies. Employee or workforce training and development is essential in increasing the performance and efficiency levels in the organisation. Employee protection and labour relations are vital for the organisation for ensuring that the management takes care of all the needs of its workforce. Apart from these maintaining accountability and creating an environment where there is a scope for integrative human resource management systems is also a key role played by human resource policies in Tesco plc.

3.2 At Tesco, human resource regulatory requirements are strictly complied with, with the growing changing state of regulations and legislation pertaining to human resources, such as employee protect act, labor relations and affairs etc (Ruddick, 2010), Tesco has understood that the costs associated with compliance on various regulatory requirements are properly accounted for. Some of the critical analyses of the impact of various regulatory requirements on human resource policies at Tesco are y Human resources audit helps in understanding and evaluating the various hiring practices, employee record keeping, background verifications and reference checks, which all helps in ensuring that there are no fraudulent practices being undertaken at Tesco y Issuing statement of responsibilities and duties to employees, this will help the employees to work within their assigned duties, so that there are no differences in matters of responsibilities between the employees and the management y Conditions of employment including the written procedures on issues such as absence, termination of employment, compensation etc will ensure that there is a clear thought on all issues of employment terms and conditions to employees y Complying with workplace health and safety requirements as part of regulatory requirements also helps in ensuring that all the employees take proper care of the facilities as well as themselves on all safety related issues.

Task 4 4.1 The organisational structure at Tesco has made it more flexible for the Human resources management function to operate more smoothly and flexible, at Tesco it reflects the immediate needs of the organisation where the HRM organisational structure remained consistent for many years. In Tesco the HR organisation structure is built around the needs of the overall organisational structure of the Tesco. This way it helps the employees within the HR department to operate more smoothly and at the same time deliver consistent results at all times. In Tesco, the organisational structure is tailored to meet the need of the organisation The organisational structure has influenced the human resources at Tesco in such a way that the employees maintain smooth and cordial relations with each other and the information flows smoothly. It also helped in describing clearly the roles and responsibilities of each of the employee in the organisation. This has also helped in maintaining clear and easy definition of all processes. Not only at the lower levels, but even at the managerial level, there is clarity in the structure and also the operational capabilities. The organisational structure at Tesco has also helped the human resources management for potential future developments including new initiatives and the potential to improve the current HR policies and processes.

4.2 Tescos Organisational chart with reference to Human Resources

(Source:

http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study--skills-and-behaviours--132-323-3.php,

accessed on 18/07/11)) The Tescos organisational chart is developed based on its principles to serve its customers and to provide quality service. The organisational hierarchy is divided into six levels, where each level is supported by its human resources. By this way it allows and provides a clear structure for managing and controlling the organisation at each level, and the human resources at each level provide support and possess particular skill set and knowledge. At the level are all the frontline jobs, where employees directly deal with the customers on all issues, basic tasks in this level include all the in-store tasks. At level two, are the employees who manage people who deal with customers, here the necessary skills including efficient management of resources and ability to motivate others. At the third level, employees are responsible for running the operating unit, here the employees should have expertise management skills and at the fourth level employees should be able to recommend any strategic changes, here the skills include good knowledge of business environment, at the fifth level are the people who take responsibilities for improving the

performance of the Tesco as a whole and finally at the sixth level are the people belonging to top management who create goals, values and provides vision to the organisation. This way the organisational structure and culture of Tesco helps in the effective management of its human resources.

4.3 Unless an organisation monitors its performance, it cannot further improve on its work activities, similarly in the case of Tesco; the organisation maintains a very good monitoring policy on its human resources. At the basic store level, the assistant manager overlooks all the issues regarding the performances of their staff. A log book is always maintained in order to maintain all the details of the employees, their performances on a weekly basis, against a pre set work parameters. Similarly the organisation at all its supermarket chains, follows a 360 degree performance measurement system, to analyse all the aspects of each and every employee, correspondingly feedback is taken from all the people involved in a store for every employee, that is the supervisor, colleagues and even some times customers, this way the human resource management department can ensure that their personnel are effectively monitored on all aspects including that of employee performance.

4.4 Tesco is no more a market leader in the UK, it is a global leading food retail giant, hence the responsibilities in managing the organisations become more complex and challenging, even more challenging is managing the human resources of the organisation, and as human resources are the most valuable assets to the company, I personally recommend some points which can help Tescos human resources management function can be effectively improved. y Tesco should follow a fair and transparent recruitment and selection system, so that the best talent is always attracted and retained y The organisation should also provide training and development on the current practices on various issues which will help the employees to work more efficiently y Tesco should also inculcate an effective and open performance measurement and appraisal systems for the benefit of employees as well as to the organisation y Finally the organisation should ensure that a strict employee code of conduct is implemented to maintain the integrity of Tescos goals and objectives

CONCLUSION: In this report various aspect on strategic human resources management are discussed and the importance of strategic human resources management in achieving the organisational objectives are concisely discussed. The contribution of HRM for any organisation is immense and should be properly assessed before developing any human resource plan, in this report the importance of effective monitoring controls along with some recommendations for improving the human resources management function in Tesco is also presented.

REFERENCES:

Armstrong, M. (2006). A Handbook of Human Resource Management: Thery and Practice (10th ed.). Kogan Page Publications, London Bacal, R. (2010, February). why ratings based appraisals fail. Retrieved July,17, 2011, from work911.com: http://work911.com/performance/particles/rating.htm

Fletcher, R (2010) Tesco plans to quadruple sales in China, The Guardian (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8152169/Tesco-plans-toquadruple-sales-in-China.html, accessed on 15/07/11)

Ruddick, G (2010) Tesco starts search to replace Chairman David Reid, The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8205166/Tesco-startssearch-to-replace-chairman-David-Reid.html, accessed on 09/07/2011)

Sims, R. R. (2007). Human Resources Management: contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities. Information Age Publications.

Whitaker, J (2011) Tesco announces new Chairman to replace David Reid, Retail Gazette (http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/22100-tesco-announce-new-chairman-to-replace-davidreid, accessed on 17/07/11) www.tesco.com