Introduction

Human resource management is basically a process of four functions such as development, motivation, acquisition and maintenance of human resources. It is the most essential part of organization as that emphasis on encouraging efficiency of human possessions which is directly related to organization’s productivity (Dhar, 2008). The present research report has been made on Harrods which a retail organization situated at London and the organization mainly comprises of Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates and Air Harrods etc. The study will be emphasizing on guest model of HRM along with the difference between personnel management and HRM practices.

Model of flexibility is essential as that assists in modifying policies and strategies for increasing productivity factor. Besides this, impact of changes in labour market on flexible practices at Harrods will also be mentioned in the study. It is essential for Harrods to treat all the employees in same and equal manner so that to avoid all sorts of discrimination. Thus the forms of discrimination will be mentioned in the study. Harrods has been emphasizing on several approaches to manage equal opportunities and diversity and all such approaches will be mentioned in the study. Lastly the report will emphasize on several methods of managing performance criteria of workforces of Harrods.

Task 1 Understand the different perspectives of human resource management

1.1 Guest Model

David Guest was the person who developed Guest model; the model is thus based on the assumption that traditional management as well HRM practices are entirely contrary to each other. The main purpose of Guest model is to evaluate six outcomes such as HRM strategy, practices, behaviour, financial outcomes and performance. Subsequent model states that HRM is significant and crucial element for any business as that manages each and every aspect of management (Storey, 2007). The model states that organization needs to consider the value of employees as they would convert input into achievement of desired outcomes. Most of the HR professionals have been emphasizing to link their practices with that to organizational practices for the purpose of managing performance productivity.



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All the businesses in retail market of UK have been using Guest model. Being a growing company, Harrods is also using such model along with competitors for the purpose of acquiring high market share and also to increase goodwill of the company. Application of such model helps Harrods to link organizational goals and objectives with employee interest since it reduces chances of failure. All the employees of Harrods have been putting equal efforts in reaching towards the end results.

1.2 Theoretical Model of HRM

Storey confronted that theoretical model of HRM is basically works on the assumption that Harrods needs to develop productivity level through several human resource practices and personnel management by maintaining effective relationships with them. HRM highly contributes in overall growth of the organization as that plays crucial role in enhancing capabilities of employees (Snell and Bohlander, 2012). It has been observed that at Harrods, human resource management plays crucial role in managing different functions which further helps in developing opportunities for success. The term personnel management is different to human resource management as in personnel management clear and concise policies are required to develop where in HRM mainly emphasises on development of human possessions for increasing organizational development.

Asda is also another retail organization in UK which is also emphasizing on personnel and HR management so as to manage business operations effectively and adequately. The given definition of Storey is absolutely suitable for Harrods as that is concerned with business decisions. Through such practices, Harrods and Tesco both are able to manage effective relationships with the employees. This also assists them to undertake better solutions for managing business practices.

1.3 Operations and Functions

All the line managers of Harrods have to develop strategic approach so that operations and functions can be managed appropriately. Line managers of Harrods play different roles which are quite important for the organization to manage human resources effectively. It is the duty of line managers of Harrods to manage their work processes effectively by reducing cost factors. They must have to allocate adequate duties and responsibilities to all the employees so that they can perform their operations (Riley, 2012). Monitoring is also essential from their side as through this, complexities and work related errors can be found out. Probably, they must analyse quality in work processes since it is directly related to productivity factor. Hence through such facets, strategic approaches for Harrods can be developed subsequently. Thus in this area, employees have to play crucial roles in developing profit aspects for business. They have to contribute time and other resources for encouraging efficiency facets. The organization is also required to appraise and recognise employees since it will increase their motivation level and they will be able to contribute in organizational development.

Task 2 Understand ways to develop flexibility within workplace

2.1 Structure of Business

It is the structure of business only that assists an organization to facilitate the policy of flexibility within work processes. It is the stiff nature of policy only that restricts Harrods to make favourable changes in internal and external business environment. According to Davis, the concept of flexibility is concerned with several dimensions which mainly simplify work processes. Under the model of flexibility, it has been mentioned that employees as well as organization both needs to maintain disciplinary actions by coping up with specified rules and procedures (Pecarz, 2013). Harrods must have to maintain variability of demand by allocating resources appropriately in all areas. Flexibility can be identified on the basis of labour market and category of workforce can be split into below mentioned categories:
Potential and regular employees that usually manages day to day work processes
Skilled and contingent employees specialised in some fields
Lower level employees who manages security, cleaning and other functions
Thus, Harrods needs to maintain flexibility in terms of facilitating work processes. The concept of flexibility should be maintained as this will also increase the motivation level of employees. And hence it will result into employee retention.

2.2 Types of Flexibilities

There are two main types of flexibilities that can be followed by Harrods. These are numeric flexibility and functional.

Numerical Approach – This implies that company is inclined towards this approach for obtaining some amount of flexibility by mitigating the cost through employing those individuals who are not temporary and part time employees (Ooghe, 2011). This method can also be utilized by Harrods for the purpose of minimizing their costs by outsourcing administrative control with the help of agency or other type of contract employees. This will acts as beneficial in cutting back unnecessary costs of the company. The amount so saved can be ploughed back in other resourceful activities and plans.

Functional Approach – Greater emphasis needs to given on work and human resource practices which have been formulated with the intention of nurturing decision making abilities and skills of the staff members. This is going to be highly advantageous in augmenting the overall performance in Harrods as well as in facilitating innovation (Nicholson, 2003). Through this approach, the operational elasticity of the company has improved manifolds and employees possessing multiple skills have benefitted immensely through this. The facets of flexibility have been limited by concentrating on work done by permanent and other employees because it serves as a base for non-standard form of employment. Hence, it is important for the organization to take into account all personnel resources.

2.3 Employees of Harrods

The employees of Harrods are quite satisfied with flexible concept as they get a lot of benefits through such aspect (Milner, 2001). This has been seen that flexibility has been reducing the rate of absenteeism, increasing the ratio of motivation and helps in getting best from the employees. Harrods have facilitated specified working hours for employees; however some employees are also working on flexible working hours. Employers and employees of Harrods both are getting benefits through the concept of flexibility such as better pay, high performance and organizational productivity. Here is the list of benefits which Harrods has been acquiring from flexibility:

Reduces the rate of absenteeism along with employee attrition rate

  • It also increases job satisfaction amongst all the workforces (McCartney and Evans, 2005)
  • Increase efficiency and efficacy ratio of employees which further contributes in organizational development
  • It maintains quality aspects by putting equal efforts in managing operations and functions.

Since past many years, Harrods has been following Work Time Regulation Act, 1998 in which time limit and working hours are specified and in case of any extra work, organization is accountable to pay them extra remuneration.

2.4 Labour Market

World labour market has witnessed remarkable changes since 1980. These changes are rooted in the globalization. Globalization led to intervention of China and India into world labour market. Labour masses from both these countries are several times more productive than that of developed economies. Globalization provided access to different labour markets, customer markets, and better alternatives for outsourcing.

However this does not diminish the physical distance which may limit any highly skilled labour out there, willing to work for the organization (Kabene, 2006). On top of that technological advancement made it possible to complete your job without being physically present at the company’s office. Hence the concept of flexible working practices became more popular in Harrods. In today’s scenario, flexible working practices are found more attractive and motivating. For instance-Recently, CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer became unpopular for restricting company’s flexible working practices.

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The mindset of people is changing. There are more and more opportunities available for any skilled worker. Flexibility leads to retention of such employees which is significant for Harrods. Also, higher e-business increased in flexible working practices in companies. Not just private enterprises but also the public sector adopted flexible working practices (Johns and Green, 2009). There are also flexible retirement schemes. People may work part time or work from home after retirement age. Another such practice is additional paternity leave policy. In all, flexibility at Harrods makes it more attractive to skilled labour force. However it is practiced up to the extent till it does not interfere with authentication and efficiency of company’s output.

Task 3 Understand the impact of opportunities within the workplace

3.1 Issue of Discrimination

The issue of discrimination is quite common as well as apparent in all types of organization; thus it is also same in Harrods as well. In some cases, it has been observed that employees face discrimination on the basis of race, caste, religion and gender. It is the concept of discrimination only that leads the business to exploit persons especially on the basis of redundancy, caste and creed (Jin and Oriaku, 2013). Being a supermarket, the employees of Harrods need to work for more than 65 hours a week even on minimum wages. Additionally, they are also not offered with any sort of extra benefits. Thus this is one of the major reasons at Harrods whereby they are facing huge rate of employee turnover because employees are highly dissatisfied with such factor.

The employees are also facing issues related to low wage rate, unhealthy working environment, lack of health and safety aspects and so on. Most of the employees have left job since the issue is hampering their personal interest. So many workers of Harrods also confronted that they are not provided with any growth opportunity because of personal grievances. In the year 2001, it has been found out that an employee at Harrods filed a case where in he faced discrimination from the management because of personal grievances (Hutchinson, Kinnie and Purcell, 2002). Most of the youngsters also argued that management favours old aged people because of seniority and also because they have worked more than youngsters in the firm. Some lower employees at Harrods are treated with bad words which indicate that they have no respect and dignity in the firm. Because of this discrimination only, the rate of demotivation has been increasing.

3.2 Manage Interest Level of Employees

Equality aspect states that employers need to manage interest level of employees so that to retain them for longer period and for such purpose The Equality Act 2010 has been developed. Under such act values, beliefs and cultural aspects need to protected and managed appropriately (Haerifar, 2011). The act directs Harrods to avoid all types of discrimination and hence it assists in motivating employees.

This up to some extent also reduces the issue of employee turnover. Harrods has been following equal opportunity legislation which allows employees to work in productive manner and at the same time it also improves management functions. All the employees of Harrods get suitable advices from their employers in terms of leaves and they are also provided with extra benefits when they save such leaves.

Equal Employment Opportunity Act has been developed in the same way in which Harrods and the management provides equal and similar opportunities to each employee which promotes business as well (Greene and Kirton, 2009). This also reduces several types of issues related to legal aspects and similarly helps management to maintain efficiency in work processes. The Human Rights Act 1998 has far reaching implications for a wide range of public bodies, according to a report by the human rights organisation, Liberty.

3.3 Managing Diversity and Equality

The primary responsibility for implementing and managing diversity and equality of opportunities at Harrods is to motivate and maintain the interest of employees in the organization. Harrods has been following equal opportunity theories to develop policies that provide appropriate structure within which employers can ensure protection and maintenance of laws. Thus proactive model has been introduced which considers individual skills and competencies and that also maintains the interest of employees (Gloet and Terziovski, 2004). It has been observed that Harrods follows Equal Opportunity Act for the purpose of valuing employees. The organization also pays equal contribution in managing diversity by treating them equally in all cases. For such purpose, Harrods has also changed its leadership styles which had too many layers. This also created an environment where employees are encouraged to make more decisions themselves. The organization similarly has also altered the way of communication.

Task 4 Understand approaches to human resource practices for the chosen organization

4.1 Performance Measurement

Performance measurement is the criteria that help Harrods to measure and evaluate efficiency of employees. This further assists in finding out the areas where improvements are required. It has been seen that Harrods has been measuring performance of employees through several techniques such as regular monitoring, on the basis of feedback and annual performance evaluation technique (Francesconi, 2013). With the help of direct monitoring, Harrods is able to manage the areas of improvements and hence through this, fair criteria of performance measurement are carrying out. Besides this, employees of Harrods are also allowed to put their advices in decision making process where in they can present their views about other’s appraisal. Moreover annually, performance can also be evaluated and in front of all the employees, Harrods declare employee of the month which significantly encourages motivation level.

4.2 Manage Interest level of employees

Harrods is necessary to manage interest level of employees in terms of employee welfare and similarly, this also helps in employee retention. Harrods has been providing several types of benefits to the employees such as monetary and non monetary (Fleetwood and Hesketh, 2010). The organization has also facilitated numerous development programs for encouraging the workforces for producing better results. The management of Harrods is even more committed towards protecting the interest, rights and duties of employees. The business is also against the concept of child labour where in they never employ any candidate below the age of 18. The employees of Harrods also get numerous and extra benefits in the case when they work for additional hours. Moreover employees are also provided with suitable work conditions and they are even allowed to claim for medical and other facilities. It has been observed that prior to implementing any policy, management always consult views and opinions of workforces as that also maintains motivation level of employees (Eriksson, 2012). Employee welfare programs are also there in Harrods in which workforces can present their views about organizational practices and efficiency of development activities.

4.3 Health and Social care aspects

It is quite apparent that health and social care aspects always safeguard employees from harms and hazards and this also helps them to maintain health related legislations in the organization (Cooper, 2010). It has been observed that management of Harrods has believed in following only ethical practices so that customers can be provided with accurate services only. The company has been following the lines of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In compliance with this act, the factors can be possible reasons for hampering the health and safety of employees are strictly banned. Safe and secure working environment is provided to the whole workforce. At Harrods, one can see a number of programs on a continuous basis to safeguard the employees from any type of sickness or injuries.

4.4 High Employee Attrition Rate

High employee attrition rate is one of the most glaring issues being faced by the organization. It has been a noteworthy observation that maximum numbers of its employees are dissatisfied due to the precarious workplace environment and pitiable working conditions. It has been identified that due to the consistent increase in turnover, there has been a negative impact on the unemployment rate. The company has been facing serious issues as far as its overtime policies are concerned. For this very reason, the firm has even been fined £200, 000. The reputation of the company has suffered a serious setback due to this (Dhar, 2008). The profitability and productivity of the corporation has also been severely impacted as a consequence of this.

Conclusion

From the above study, it is clear that working from home and flexible hours are most prevalent practices today. No doubt, these increase the chances of any employee’s personal life affecting his/her professional productivity but they can also lead to high cost reduction for the company and efficient results. Labour market is becoming more and more diverse.

References

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  • Nicholson, N., 2003. How to motivate your problem people, Harvard Business Review.

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