For this assignment, learners are provided with a freedom to assess the discussion in a form of report from secondary sources like books, journals, articles and so on based on a situation below.
As an organisation develops, it creates working practices within the business that reflect its way of doing things.
These practices become embedded in decisions and operations. The way of doing things guides and influences employees as they carry out their work. However, when organisations develop a new business strategy this creates a process of change. This leads to different ways of working.
Harrods is a brand that is recognised all over the world. Its Knightsbridge store has 1 million square feet of selling space with over 330 different departments. Its global reputation and prestige is instilled through its brand values. Brand values represent what an organisation stands for. Harrods values are â€“British; Luxury; Service; Innovation and Sensation.
This case study demonstrates the integral role that Harrodsâ€™ employees play in upholding these brand values. People are a vital resource of any organisation. In the retail industry, employees are the public face of the company. They are responsible for interacting daily with a variety of stakeholders, for example, customers, senior managers and suppliers, to ensure the day-to-day running of the business. Effective communication is essential for creating an environment where employees and customers are satisfied.
Harrods has been in business for over 160 years. It employs 4000 employees with an additional 3,500 agency and concession employees. In 2010 Qatar Holdings purchased Harrods from Mohamed Al-Fayed. The new owners are strongly committed to all of Harrodsâ€™ employees. They recognise that engaged employees are essential to the continuing success ofthe business. Such employees are likely to be happy and consistently high performers who want to progress their careers with Harrods. Managing employee relationships is the role of the Human Resources department. This case study looks at the methods adopted by Harrodsâ€™ Human Resources department to increase employee engagement. This involved positively changing the organisationâ€™s culture to enable the business to meet the needs of its employees whilst also maintaining the companyâ€™s values. Human Resource Management is a process of valuing and developing people at work. It covers all aspects of developing employees, including three important steps:
1. Recruitment and selection -attracting suitable new employees.
2. Performance -enabling employees to perform their roles to the best of their ability by keeping them informed and providing relevant training opportunities.
3. Development -developing all employees to build their careers with Harrods through identifying career progression opportunities.
In 2009 the MacLeod Report, â€˜Engaging for Successâ€™, was published which has been very influential in Human Resource Management. One of its major findings was to highlight how businesses benefit by involving employees in all aspects of decision making. This involvement is commonly referred to as employee engagement or participation. This prompted managers at Harrods to investigate its employee relations, in particular its employee turnover.
Employee turnover measures the rate at whichemployees leave their employer, usually over a one year time period. The statistics indicated that Harrods needed to take action to improve employee engagement and reduce its employee turnover. A high employee turnover rate has significant cost and performance implications to a business. These include the costs of recruitment, the loss of expertise and the increased need for training new employees. Following this investigation, Harrods carried out its first comprehensive employee survey to find out what they thought about working at Harrods. The employee survey has now become an integral aspect of Harrodsâ€™ Human Resource Management programme. The survey results were used to create strategic plans for change focused on improving employee engagement and trust. The four main elements were:
* Changing organisational structure. Senior managers felt that the organisation was too hierarchical i.e. had too many layers. The new structure is flatter with employees taking on more responsibilities. This enables job enrichment, providing opportunities for an employee to take on further responsibilities to enhance their job satisfaction.
* Changing leadership. Creating an environment where employees are encouraged to make more decisions themselves. Senior managers create the business vision but ground level employees are delegated more leadership responsibilities, for example, in dealing with customers. The model employed is one of transformational leadership where the vision is built at the top but everyone engages with the vision through personal leadership.
* Improved communications. Better communications inform all employees about the strategies of the company.
These outline the aims and direction of the business. They also inform employees about operational (day-to-day) plans which directly affect their work. A radical improvement was to encourage employees to inform management of their views.
* Living the brand values. Making sure that everyone understands and models the brand values.
Communications and cultural change
The changes mentioned before have resulted in Harrods developing a people-focussed culture in order to better engage with its employees. The culture of an organisation is very powerful and has been described as its DNA. It has also been summarised as â€˜the way we do things around hereâ€™ and is created through shared values, attitudes, beliefs and norms. One of the reasons why Harrods is so successful today is that it gives its employees a voice for change. All employees are encouraged to give feedback on every aspect of how Harrods operates. The opportunities for managers and employees to be engaged in sharing their views and ideas is summarised in the table.
The first employee survey highlighted that a difference existed between the customer experience and the employee experience. Harrods tackled these issues as a matter of urgency. A priority was the modernisation of the staff restaurant, providing an inviting eating space with high quality, nutritionally balanced food. The effectiveness of this approach is summed up by one employee, Hayri Volkan, who is a Retail Manager. She says: â€˜My views are definitely valued, Iâ€™m always asked my opinion on things â€“people who do the job are acknowledged as a good information source.'
Summarise the meaning of Personal Responsibility and develop a set of responsibilities and performance objectives for Harrods employees.
Explain the steps which Harrods can use to evaluate own effectiveness against defined objectives.
Based on the methods and techniques used by Harrods towards their employees, make recommendations for improvements on how they can help develop the skills of their employees.
Review and select a motivational theory which you believe can help improve an employeeâ€™s quality of performance.
Identify procedure for developing ideal solutions to work-based problems for Harrods.
Analyse a variety of ways which communication can take place at Harrods. Identify barriers to effective communication and how to overcome these barriers.
Identify Time management strategies and explain which you believe to be the most effective for Harrods to use
Suggest alternative ways for Harrods to complete tasks and achieve team
Evaluate the effectiveness of SWOT analysis and Brainstorming in developing solutions to problems in Harrods.
4b) Develop appropriate strategies to resolving particular problems within business organisations.
Please evaluate the potential impact from the implementation of your chosen strategy in Harrods.