Human resource management is focused on hiring, training and managing people in an organisation. This is a vast concept which includes maintaining employee relations and involving personnel management. For this situation, Tesco is chosen as a cited organisation. Tesco is one of the largest retailers in the world. This present study helps in understanding HR policies of Tesco. Further, this assists in understanding the practices of HR in Tesco. Further, it focuses on describing the impact of HR policies and practices on business operations of organisation. Better understanding of human resource management aids in examining the role of such policies in decision making process. This also helps in identifying the challenges faced by the organization in managing human resources.
1. Analysis of HR policies and practices at Tesco
Tesco focuses on improving HR policies for the purpose of maintaining relationship with employees. Company is committed towards offering best working conditions to employees in order to ensure high employee satisfaction (Storey, 2007). The firm focuses on some following policies and practices in order to satisfy its employee’s needs and wants.
Work simplification – Tesco is focused on improving working conditions. Company ensures that every employee has equal opportunity and they need to contribute efficiently towards goals of the organisation. Tesco believes in providing training to its employees in order to achieve better output. Work simplification will result to increase in total output for the business.
Rolling out core skills – Tesco provides support to its employees so that they can perform effectively in the company. The corporation is focused on giving different responsibilities to employees so that they can become perfect in every type of work (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). Company makes them understand about their role and its impact on the operation of business. Tesco provides leverage in working so that employees can work with their own knowledge and experience. Many times this leverage can result to decrease in performance level of the employees.
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Performance management to achieve target – Company uses performance management tool for assessing the actual performance of employees. For managing employee's performance, Tesco uses various techniques. These techniques are appreciation, reward, target and tasks. Performance management of employees helps the company to identify actual position of the organization in accordance with the target (Benady, 2014).
Overseas competition – Tesco is facing overseas competition and these results in higher employee development. Many companies are investing in development of employees so Tesco also focuses on training and development practices for employee personal development (Bratton and Gold, 2012).
Hard and soft HRM – Tesco is using two different versions of HRM practices for attaining effectiveness in work. Hard version of HRM is concerned with effective business performance criteria. Further, this deal with higher level of development in business process. Soft version of HRM also focuses on business performance but major focus is on outcome.
Knowledge based practices – These practices are main factors of growth within organisation. Tesco assumes that production and outcomes are largely based on the skills and knowledge of employee. These skills can be developed through educational programmes. These practices help HR in identifying strengths and weaknesses of individuals.
Decision making Practices – Tesco involves HR in their strategic planning. Company shows high commitment towards HR (Schuler and Jackson, 2008). Company emphasizes on providing basic job requirement of an employee. These help the human resource in understanding their role and importance of the organisation.
2. External forces that affect HR strategic decisions at Tesco
Organisation's decisions are largely based on the situation of related market. Further, HR strategic decisions are also affected by various external factors. These factors are as follows:
Political factors – Tesco operates its business in worldwide so global political factor affects operation of the business. These factors are concerned with tax rate, rules and regulations. Changes in political factors of a country affect business directly which operates at that particular location. For example, If Indian government changes tax rate than it will affect the company's expenses for the particular location.
Economic factors –This factor is important for Tesco because they are related with demand, cost, profit and price (Chelladurai, 2006). This factor plays an important role in making decision related to human resources. Changes in the cost and price of the product help the HR manager in making decisions related to using resources.
Social factors –In UK, customers have moved towards bulk shopping. Tesco identifies this change and has increased the number of non-food items for selling. Social changes can impact the employment of company. Study shows that customers have become conscious about health issues, so Tesco takes decision for adapting such changes. These changes largely impact the HR policy of company (Price, 2007).
Technological factors –Advancement in technology provides various opportunities to the company. Technological changes can affect HR strategic decision of Tesco. If company adopts such changes then HR has a responsibility of creating awareness among employees. This requires conducting training and development programme so that employee can use such technology. This helps HR in reducing labour cost and wastage.
Environmental factors –This factor is concerned with environment and society. Government makes some rules which company is required to follow in order to benefit society. In order to follow such rules, company has taken decision in reducing the carbon footprint by 50% by 2020. This will enhance the cost of company because HR has to provide guidelines to employees and training as well (Harzing and Pinnington, 2010).
Legal factors – Policies and legislation of the government also affect performance of business. It deals with labour law and directly affect HR strategic decision of company. It is necessary for the company to follow all the rules and regulations set by authorities.
3. Challenges facing the delivery of HR within the organisation
Business is required to adopt the change as per the situation as rapid change can raise challenges for the organization. Following are the challenges which are faced by organization while meeting the demands of human resources in Tesco:
Change management – Changes in management can result to change in style of working. Responsibility of HR manager is to attain business objective through enhancing employee's working quality (Ulrich, 2013). There is a need of training for developing competencies to deal with the change management.
Leadership development – Another challenge that is faced by human resource management is related to leadership development. It is the responsibility of HR to select right person for the right place and develop their skills.
Relationship with employees – HR department plays a role of mediator between employees and management. Major challenges faced by HR managers in Tesco are to maintain natural relationship with employees.
Technical changes – Technological changes and advancement can create challenges for HR managers (Decenzo and Robbins, 2015). Tesco focuses on using the latest technology for training and developing employees so that they can work with efficiency. This is HR manager's responsibility to identify need of training and do the needful. Technological changes can result in shortage of workforce. HR manager has to manage workforce and encourage their interest towards use of technology.
Business challenges and globalisation – Globalisation of business can create challenge for HR managers. Globalisation of organisation requires developing new capabilities so that company can grow at that level. This process creates new opportunity for HR managers to play leadership role in managing human resource in order to meet competitive challenges.
Profitability through cost and growth –Organization emphasizes on increasing profitability by reducing the cost. For creating such situation HR managers and management is required to communicate with each other. Further, HR should participate in growth of the organisation (Guest, 2011).
Allocation of role and responsibilities – HR manager is required to identify individual's strength and weakness in order to make decision about their working area. HR faces challenges in effective allocation of tasks.
4. Analysis of how HR function is organised and how HR policies and practices are delivered
It is necessary for every company to organize HR functions in proper way. Functions of HR are to manage work force within the organisation. These functions provide structure to the organisation to meet business objectives (Becker and Huselid, 2006). Tesco have several disciplines area which is important for its operation. HR department is required to participate in every activity of business in order to work with effectiveness. HR policies are basically set of rules which every employee is required to follow. These policies can be related with employee relation in the organisation. These policies and practices help the employee in understanding the company’s work culture. These also help in resolving employee's issues and problems. Following are the ways in which HR functions are organised and policies and practices are delivered:
Manpower planning – This function of HR involves planning and operation of manpower in the future. This HR function helps Tesco in identifying future need of manpower for the organisation (Crook, Ketchen and Todd, 2008). This also provides guidelines about employee who are leaving and new joiners. This function deal with the impact of changes in technology on the productivity level of employees.
Determining wages and salary – This HR function is related with wages and salaries of employees. Further, it is concern with rate of wages and salary for different positions in the company. Decision related to this function is directly connected with finance and management departments.
Equal treatment with all employees – Tesco set rules in order to ensure equal treatment to each staff member. Company deliver its policy of equal treatment at every level of organisation in order to create good working environment (Acedo, Barroso and Galan, 2006). This practice helps the company in creating loyalty among its employees.
Open book management style – Tesco focus on delivery of ethical practices. Company share information about operation, objectives, policies and clients to ensure that employees are enthusiasticabout management of the business.
Fair evaluation system for employees – Tesco develop a performance evaluation system so that individual performance can measure in accordance with business goals. Company regulate such practices in order to identify individual's efforts. This also helps in motivating employee and improves in their performance.
5. Way to measure HR department performance and possible drawbacks
Measuring performance of HR department shows effectiveness in working. This measurement helps the company in identifying current position. Result of such measurement can be compared with business objectives so that management can take further decisions. Following are the ways to measure HR department performance:
Feedback of employees – HR department performance can be measured by taking feedbacks from employees. This feedback can be related to effectiveness of HR rules and policies (Barney, Ketchen and Wright, 2011). Feedback of employees can also be taken by the HR manager. Feedback can be done on the basis of employee relation of HR department within the organisation.
Research – Another way of performance measurement is research. Research could be conducted on the basis of overall improvement in performance of the company. There are different ways to conduct research such as scientific research, database research, etc. These help the company in measuring overall performance of the department.
Meeting with employees – Performance can also be measured through conducting meetings with employees. Company can invite ideas and suggestions for improving performance of employees.
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Possible drawbacks of performance measurement can be described as under:
Lack of proper base –There is no such parameters for measuring the performance of department (Storey, 2007). This performance cannot be measured on the factual database.
Result is not numeric –Performance cannot be measured in numeric figures. Therefore, such performance measurement need to be done so that effectual results can be attained through it.
Time consuming – This process is time consuming because it requires lot of study. It also needs long time to meeting with all employees. This can cost high to the company.
Tesco should focus on providing training to its employees in order to improve their knowledge. Company should more focus on improvement in working conditions. Rapidly changes in management style resulted to decrease in morale of the employees so organisation should focus on not to change management style rapidly.
Human resource management is backbone of every organisation. This includes various policies and practices which help in managing the workforce effectively. The key area on which Tesco focus are skills, talent, experience and knowledge of the employees. Tesco also provide training to its employee so that they can adopt new working styles. Tesco focus on employee satisfaction by providing them with good working conditions. Tesco also provides development opportunity to its employees. HR policies and practices at Tesco need some improvement in previous practice. Company need to focus on improvements in tools of performances measurement so that accurate result can obtain.
Books & Journals
- Acedo, F.J., Barroso, C. and Galan, J.L., 2006. The resource‐based theory: dissemination and main trends. Strategic Management Journal.
- Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
- Barney, J.B., Ketchen, D.J. and Wright, M., 2011. The future of resource-based theory revitalization or decline?
- Becker, B.E. and Huselid, M.A., 2006. Strategic human resources management: where do we go from here?. Journal of management.
- Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Chelladurai, P., 2006. Human resource management in sport and recreation. Human Kinetics.