Human Resource Planning and HR strategy are the processes that can recognize the future as well as the current needs of human resources for a particular organization in terms of achieving of its objectives (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). HR strategy generally plays an effective role by serving as the link between the human resources management and the entire strategic plan of that specific organization. In every organization, human resource is such a department who roles and responsibilities incorporate searching for the workers as well as training them, helping with the conflict resolution and helping as well as organizing with benefits (Bamberger, Biron and Meshoulam 2014).
The major focus of this study is the effectiveness of the skills as well as competences required for the HR professionals (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016). For the HR managers, the competency models in both the public sector and private sectors are similar from the virtual perspective. Both the HR managers are completely responsible to sustain and create a positive and productive work environment as well as workforce (Storey 2014). Most importantly, the core skills and competencies are the fundamental qualifications those generally underlie the HR manager’s capability of performing the job functions. Furthermore, The HR skills and competences directly impact the career development as both are interrelated with each other (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang 2014). In regards to the context of HR strategic planning, this study is mainly aimed to identify the major factors that can affect significantly the competences as well as the skills required for the HR professional. On the other hand, along with the identification of these factors, this study also established all the evidences that these factors affecting the HR skills and competences can better support the organizational outcomes. Thus, these evidences are aimed to be provided in this study based on the HRM system of Waitrose Plc, which is the British supermarket chain that forms the food retail division of the largest British employee-owned retailer. Apart from that, this study also explored how these skills and competences are connected to the own career development plans of the professionals with respect to the HR strategic planning.
As per Antonioli, Mancinelli and Mazzanti (2013), human resource is the most valuable asset of an organization. The management of the human resources is very vital and crucial job of the human resource managers of the organizations. The overall of success rate of an organization is highly dependent on the performances of the human resources or the employees of the organization. The management skills of the HR managers are highly important in this area. According to Martin, McNally and Kay (2013), human resource management strategy is the overall plan used for handling the HRM functional areas. This management strategy guides the personnel decisions taken by the HR managers for ensuring the best outcome in the organizational performances. All the functional areas of the HRM strategy should match the goals of the overall organizational strategy of the corresponding organization (Boxall, Purcell and Wright 2007).
Recruitment, selection and job allocation are the three primary task of the human resource management of an organization (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016). In this context, the human resource strategy should be highly efficient for selecting the right people for the right jobs. The selection of the proper talent is the primary demand of an efficient HRM strategy (Boxall and Purcell2015). After the recruitment and selection of the employees, the HR managers have the responsibility of allocating the job responsibilities according to the expertise of the employees. As per Renwick, Redman and Maguire (2013), this ensures the high level of job satisfaction of the employees. The highly satisfied workforce is able to provide higher level of productivity and quality. Therefore, the HR managers should focus in this area.
Top corporate executives and other managers of an organization affect the failure or success of the objectives of the organization. HRM strategy plays a vital role in the selection of the executives or managers (Edwards and Wajcman 2005). The HR managers have the responsibility of taking the efficient decisions for the organizational activities and recommending ideas for the further growth of the organization. Bamberger, Biron and Meshoulam (2014) mentioned this as the leadership of the organizational strategy of HRM. Again Rao (2014) argued that the human capital talent is the most valuable asset of an organization. The HRM strategy is responsible for forecasting the staffing requirements of future and the developing plan for the recruitment, hire and retain the top most talents among the whole human resource of the company (Antonioli, Mancinelli and Mazzanti 2013). The HRM strategy is also associated with the skills, knowledge and abilities of performing the activities for which they are responsible at their workplace. An additional HRM strategy should also be associated with the continuous training program for the professional development of the employees. This is known as the talent strategy of the HRM.
Martin, McNally and Kay (2013) have said about the This teach covers the ideas and practices that guide and adjust Human Resource Management theory, strategic arranging and practice with the vital and long haul objectives of the association, with a specific concentrate on human capital. It manages the full scale worries of the association with respect to structure, quality, culture, values, duty, coordinating assets to future needs and other longer term individual issues (Trivellas and Reklitis 2014).
The strategic HRM provides guidance on the best way to assemble the establishment for vital preferred standpoint by making a successful authoritative structure and configuration, culture, representative incentivized offer, frameworks considering, a suitable correspondence system and setting up an association for an evolving scene, which incorporates downturns and mergers and acquisitions (Nguyen and Hadikusumo 2017). Supportability and corporate social duty come surprisingly close to this train, particularly with reference to authoritative qualities and their demeanor in business basic leadership.
According to Jackson, Schuler and Jiang (2014), the HR managers are responsible for the understanding level of the employees regarding the importance of the responsibilities they have in their workplaces. An efficient leader should motivate the employees regarding the importance and what should be done for the effective outcome of their performances at their workplaces (Antonioli, Mancinelli and Mazzanti 2013). The performance of the employees should be recognized and they should get proper rewards. When the higher performance of the employees are recognized by the employer, then they get motivated at their works more.
Strategic HRM underlines hierarchical codes of morals, dealing with the societal effect of business choices, charity and the part of the human asset proficient in enhancing the personal satisfaction of workers, their families and the group on the loose (Martin, McNally and Kay 2013). Most of the successful organizations apply the strategic human resource management scheme for getting success in their operations. The HRM strategy plays a vital role in the implementation of the overall organizational strategies (Nguyen and Hadikusumo 2017). The decision making process is one of the most vital tasks of the overall human resource management. In this context, an efficient human resource management strategy includes the opinions of the employees (Hoch and Dulebohn 2013). The employee satisfaction survey is used for this purpose. Employees are asked regarding the different types of activities they are doing at their workplaces and the different types of facilities they have at their workplaces (E. Ellinger and D. Ellinger 2013). The issues they are facing at their workplaces are also included in the decision making process of the human resource management.
As per the opinion of Bamberger, Biron and Meshoulam (2014), the human resource management strategy is the main backbone of an organization. The skills of the HR managers are very important for managing the employees and their performances. The leadership style of the HR managers is very important for managing the employees within an organization (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016). The leadership style of the HR managers should be different for different types of organizations and different types of employees. Budhwar and Debrah (2013) mentioned about two types of HRM strategies; soft HRM and hard HRM. Soft HRM strategy gives more opportunities to the employees with higher level of flexibilities. In this strategy the well beings of the employees is the main focus of the HRM strategy (Martin, McNally and Kay 2013). On the other hand, the hard HRM strategy focuses in the area of the higher productivity. In this strategy, the employees are able to have less flexibility. The profitability of the organizations is the main focus, but sometimes this strategy causes less profit of the organization. Especially the gen Y employees get disappointed by the use of the hard HRM strategy (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). Therefore, the HR managers should use the professional skills for identifying which type of the two Human Resource Management strategy would be applicable in which type of cases (Legge 2005).
Key factors affecting the skills and competences necessary for the HR professional – In terms of sustaining the HR function transformation, the HR professionals should demonstrate as well as develop few significant and effective skills and competences for fulfilling their changing roles and responsibilities. Renwick, Redman and Maguire (2013) have stated that the immigration policy and HRM analytics have huge impact on the rise of social media, the pool of talent and other regulatory changes. Moreover, these factors can affect core skills and competencies, which are the fundamental qualifications those generally underlie the HR manager’s capability of performing the job functions. With the ongoing immigration law concern, an organization should create a written immigration policy. This policy determines under what situation an organization would sponsor a permanent resident status and a nonimmigrant visa, engage outside counsel, and pay fees related to the visa process. Furthermore, this policy also identifies the responsible person to determine the proper visa for using for those employees. On the other hand, the HR analytics apply the analytic processes to the HR department of a company in the hope to improve the employee performance and thus getting a better return on investment. HR analytics is the application of business analytics techniques and application of sophisticated data mining to the data of human resources. It is also known as talent analytics which can enhance the employee engagement for the organizations.
According to Kramar (2014), the core competencies of the Human Resource managers incorporate the interpersonal and communication relationship skills, analysis as well as the critical thought processes. On the other hand, Budhwar and Debrah (2013) argued that Human Resource Knowledge, Speaking Ability, reading people, backbone, empathy and listening are the major Human Resource skills necessary for the HR professionals. In other words, the core dimensions of the HR skills and competencies are communicating HR strategic performance, estimating casual relationships, understanding principles of good measurement and the critical casual thinking, which result to the senior line managers. However, all the skills and competences are generally adopted by the HR professionals based on few major and important factors. These factors can be determined on the basis of the Human Resource activities (Alfes et al. 2013). HR professionals must monitor continually the external as well as the internal environmental factors in terms of reducing the employee issues and maximizing recruitment as well as retention.
Employee relations, work culture, organizational structure, legislation, competition and compensation are few pivotal factors with the help of which the HR skills and competencies can widely be affected (Redman and Wilkinson 2006). In a particular industry, the extent of competition mainly influences the capability of an organization for recruiting qualified workers. Therefore, Bamberger, Biron and Meshoulam (2014) have opined that the HR professionals should aim on the development of the recruitment materials as well as attending the job fairs for promoting the organization as well as attracting the applicants. In other words, competition within a particular industry can help the HR professionals to adopt the proper and appropriate skill and competence in order to seek the attention of more number of candidates based on the competitive factors (Rao 2014).
Furthermore, as opined by Martin, McNally and Kay (2013), legislation also has a crucial impact over the skills and competencies of the HR professionals. The state as well as the federal legislation along with the immigration policy can dictate typically how long a certain business must retain the personal records and the data of the other employee. Therefore, the HR professional should stay abreast regarding the legislation and train the managers about their roles and responsibilities (Minbaeva et al. 2014). Apart from that, as the key factors the internal procedures and policies can impact the operations and activities of the HR professionals. If an organization is committed to promote from within, then HR professionals should assure the workers receive suitable training and development to become ready for promotion with respect to the proper time (Brewster et al. 2014).
Evidence for the providence of better support to the organizational outcomes by the key factors – According to Jackson (2014), with the help of the proper evidences, it can easily be understood how the necessary skills and competence of the HR professional can support the better organizational outcomes. The organizational outcomes driven by the skills and competencies necessary for the HR professionals can easily be evaluated and understood by considering an example of Waitrose Plc, which is the British supermarket chain that forms the food retail division of the largest British employee-owned retailer (Waitrose 2017). According to the Human Resource Management structure of Waitrose Plc, the adopting the necessary skills and competences has helped the HR professionals for helping in evaluating the Human Resource policies (Trivellas and Reklitis 2014). These skills and competencies can effectively form the procedures as well as policies in relation to the employees who would be the best suited for the broader strategic plan of Waitrose Plc. Nguyen and Hadikusumo (2017) have stated that the development of this connectivity between the skills and competencies as well as Human Resource operations has the distinct benefit of helping Waitrose for evaluating its current HR policies and for replacing inefficient or outdated policies with ones that promote a better workplace culture and employee relations. Waitrose utilize the objectives and aims of the strategic plan through the HR skill development in terms of evaluating each HR process as the organization evaluates every HR process.
On the other hand, proper adaptation of the HR skills and competencies has helped Waitrose Plc in terms of fostering a sense of team spirit and camaraderie with this British supermarket chain (Hoch and Dulebohn 2013). Moreover, the strategic vision of the skill development among the HR professionals within Waitrose Plc has ideally relied on the input from a wide range of stakeholders incorporating the investors, suppliers, customers, employees as well as managers (Purce 2014). The implementation of skills and competences essential among the HR professionals and aligns with the sense of open communication can have huge advantage of helping the stakeholders to feel like their opinions are meaningful and valued to the executives and the owners of Waitrose (Schuler and Jackson 2007).
The reverse can also be true while the skill development among the HR professionals in Waitrose Plc can impact the evaluation as well as creation of the HR policies. On the other hand, these HR skills and competencies have helped this organization monitoring its progress towards the achievement of its stated objectives and goals in their strategic plan (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang 2014). Most of the part of strategic plan is likely for relying on the cooperation and support of employees and individual departments or functions within the British supermarket chain. Therefore, the Human Resource strategies has the major role for playing in ensuring that all of these components of the strategic plan are incorporated along with the proper implementation in an effective and timely way (Tyson 2014). Apart from that, the development of the HR skills and competencies among the professional within Waitrose Plc can also plays an effective role in keeping this company complaint with the laws and regulations to the insurance, salary and employees. The policies and laws governing the business are complicated and can vary among the jurisdictions (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). However, developing HR skills and competencies has helped the HR department of Waitrose Plc for playing a significant role in ensuring that the strategic plan of this British supermarket chain is not only legal presently but also amendable enough that it can adapt to changing legal circumstances and changing times.
Connection of the skills and competences to the career development – The Human Resource skills and competences directly impact the career development as both are interrelated with each other (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung 2016). Most importantly, Storey (2007) has commented that the HR skills and competencies not only affect the career development of the HR professionals but also influence career development of the other employees working in a certain organization within a particular industry who deals with any area of business operations. Career development mainly assures employees or candidates in every domain of work know about themselves as well as their value. However, it is one of the five stages of the planning of career development in their model (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang 2014). On the other hand, it is front and center deliberately as the activities in relation to managing career are convenient to all the other phases. Therefore, for all the employees including HR professionals and others, skill development is the key process to develop a successful career.
According to Renwick, Redman and Maguire (2013), skill development can be referred to developing the skill sets of the employees in terms of adding value for the company and for the own career development of those employees. In other words, as per the connectivity between the HR skills and competencies as well as the career development of the professionals, the most important benefit of HR competencies and skills is the successful career development of the professionals. The professionals who take the benefit of HR skill development tend to outpace their peers in the learning skills required for advancement. On the other hand, proper HR skill development results in the implementation of strong career development programs which ultimately and in general attract more talented employees (E. Ellinger and D. Ellinger 2013). Thus, in order to develop a successful career, it is required to adopt all the skills and core competencies necessary for the HR managers. Hence, in this regard, a scenario can be considered where the IT skills, HRM analytical skills and immigration policy as well can become the core competency, which would make them successful in any future scenario. The IT professionals should be aware of the skills and policies for developing their successful career in their respective organizations. Moreover, it would become very easy for the professionals to explore their talent towards their job roles and responsibilities by development the proper skills and competencies regarding the HR norms and policies. Therefore, a particular professional can significantly achieve huge recognition in his or her workplace (Bamberger, Biron and Meshoulam 2014). This is simply because of the fact that while every single professional understands her role as well as responsibilities of her department to the company, then a mutually synergistic and supportive environment emerges.
The HR skills and competencies also help in understanding the work culture which ultimately helps any professional to cope up with the new work places whenever they join any new workplace. Thus, in this scenario, the HR skills and competencies can also be proven fruitful for the career development of professionals (Antonioli, Mancinelli and Mazzanti 2013). Succession planning can also be considered as a crucial benefit of the HR skills and competencies in the context of successful career development. Succession planning is referred to the proactive effort towards the development employees for taking on the leadership roles while the current employees retire (Martin, McNally and Kay 2013). Therefore, along with the organizations, it also helps the professionals for planning for their career in future days and more easily envision their career advancing in the similar organization. On the other side, the HR skills and competencies help the professionals for providing an in-depth emphasis on the development of career against a stale work environment where the workers get a proper comfort zone in maintaining their current roles and responsibilities (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang 2014). Moreover, these also help the professionals for filling their gaps in their capabilities which ultimately create a golden scope to build a successful career in future days.
After conducting the entire analysis, a conclusion related to the effectiveness of HR strategy can easily be drawn that the HR skills and competencies not only helps the organizations for achieving better organizational outcomes but these also help the professionals for building a successful career path. Therefore, in this regard, this study has successfully portrayed all the possible evidences and analysis depending on which, a final interpretation has been explored. Most importantly, this study has also interpreted the implications of the important factors such as employee relations, work culture, organizational structure, legislation, competition and compensation, which directly affect the skills and competences essential for the HR professionals. On the other hand, along with that, this study has also successfully established a strong connectivity between the HR skills and competences with the career development plan in the context of the HR strategy. This study has also established the fact that the HR skills and competencies not only affect the career development of the HR professionals but also influence career development of the other employees working in a certain organization within a particular industry who deals with any area of business operations.
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