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Over the last few decades, the study of human resource management has grown tremendously, according to the observations made by Kramar (2013), who made this statement based on the increasing number of research devoted to exploring the diverse concepts that constitute human resource management. Technological innovation at one time threatened to erode the focus that had been directed towards human resource management, but with technology absorbed in nearly each industry, individual organizations compete on the quality of service provided to the target consumer audiences. The increasing dependence of the society on human skills, therefore, has become the modern platform for competition among organizations, a factor that contributes to the increased attention to human resource management.
This paper outlines the purpose of human resource management in the organization. In addition, the paper draws reference to a number of studies to establish the link between the human resource management practices at an organization with the wider organizational strategy. To strengthen the validity of the arguments, the paper looks into the human resource management at Tesco, Harrods and BMW. Indeed, this paper is a demonstration of how HRM practices can be used to influence the human resource with a bid to influence the performance of an organization.
As Deadrick and Stone (2014) elucidate, different studies continue to emphasize the contribution that human resource management brings to the performance of organizations. The diversity of the contributions made by human resource management in facilitating organizational performance overshadows the arguments that once questioned the need for human resource management practices, as observed by Guest (2011). There are several roles played by human resource management in organizations, despite the fact that organizations operate in diverse industries and separate jurisdictions.
In the internal operating environment of businesses today, the presence of human resource management expertise cannot be substituted, owing to the increased service requirements of the employees. Human resource management, therefore, is significant in painting a picture of how human capital influences the success of organizations (Kuipers and Giurge, 2016). The HRM practices enable business leaders to assess the staffing requirements that are necessary for attaining the organizational strategy.
Harrods is one such company that has been in existence for over one and a half century. The company has an employee base of 4,000, with an extra 3,500 personnel working as concession and agency employees. The purchase of Harrods by Qatar Holdings in 2010 brought forth the significance of HRM practices within an organization (Harrods Holdings, 2017). While the new owners had the organizational strategy within their scope, the change of executive leadership threatened to destabilize the organizational culture that has defined the company over the many years of its existence. The new owners, therefore, were obliged to make renewed commitments to the employees, as they are considered the backbone of continuity and longevity within the business.
Human Resource Management Practices, therefore, play the role of managing the relationship between the employer and the employees. In a study conducted by Kuipers and Giurge (2016) to explore the significance of human resource management, it was established that the success of any organization is reflected in the relationships that the employers foster with the employees. This observation was universally replicated across different industries, with organizations of different structures and sizes being testimony to the validity of the findings.
HRM practices perform the role of managing the employee relations through covering a number of aspects. To begin with, HRM is responsible for recruitment and selection (Kalyani and Prakashan Sahoo, 2011). The HRM practices define the roadmap for overseeing the employment processes such as screening to scheduling of interviews. Through the HRM policies, an organization defines the most effective method for applicant recruitment. In addition, the feasibility of the employee hiring decisions falls squarely under the selection role played by HRM.
In as much organizations compete to hire the best professionals available within the industry, Chowhan (2016) notes that the ability of an organization to acquire the best out of these professionals is a role solely played by the human resource management. This is reflected in Tesco, which the largest retailer in the UK, and among the largest in the world. Tesco operates over 6,500 stores in 12 countries, further employing approximately 500, 000 people (Tesco-careers.com, 2017). Tesco has diversified its operations into different portfolios, though the brand name is renowned for its dominance in the grocery retail sector.
Employee performance is regarded as a main pillar to the dominance of Tesco in the UK and global retail industry. Upon recruitment and selection, Tesco has a HRM program that enables the employees to be deployed in areas in which they can perform their roles best (Tesco-careers.com, 2017). In this instance, Tesco takes into concern the diversities of the employees and the cultural beliefs that make them unable to work in certain environments.
Besides, Tesco’s program envisages employee motivation, which rewards employees for their exemplary performance in their respective roles. The increasing emphasis that Tesco has directed towards providing working environments that reflect equality is deeply embedded in the human resource management philosophy of the company, which is founded on the basis of quality, hard work and respect for diversity.
Many organizations, as Chowhan (2016) explains, are focused more on customer satisfaction. However, Kuipers and Giurge (2016) warn that increased focus on customer satisfaction at the behest of employee satisfaction is a recipe for organizational failure. The customer satisfaction comes only with the dedication from the employees to facilitate it through provision of quality service. Human resource management plays the role of promoting employee satisfaction within an organization.
Through HRM, organizational leaders can acquire opinion surveys that are significant in exploring the general health of the working conditions provided by the organization. HRM practices, furthermore, are tasked with developing programs that boost high performance and the employee morale with the aim of attaining the much needed employee satisfaction across an organizational workforce.
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Kalyani and Prakashan Sahoo (2011) presented the link between human resource management and organizational strategy, thereby arguing that the outcomes of organizational performance are a reflection of the strength of this link. The organizational strategy refers to the roadmap that an organization employs to attain its purpose or objective. Traditionally, many organizations are driven by their focus on productivity and profitable financial performance.
As Guest (2011) observes, there is a link between the organizational strategy and the human resource management practices within an organization. In the modern day era where the financial performance is no longer considered as the main objective of organizations, the application of human resource to attain the newly formed objectives has proven the links between HRM and organizational strategy.
In the past, BMW competed in the automobile industry just like other traditional automobile manufactures, basing its focus on such product mix factors as place and products. With the advent of technological innovation, the competition within the automobile industry has escalated, forcing BMW to diversify its focus to service and customer care. Human resource management has become the bedrock of innovation at BMW (Bmw.co.uk, 2017). The company has an organizational strategy that is aimed at providing advanced products to the consumers.
The essence of human resource skills has been explained in earnest from the above discussions. However, with the rapid changes occurring in the modern day business environment, change is inevitable for organizations that aim at remaining relevant in their respective competitive industries. The processes of employee recruitment, selection and hiring, furthermore, continue to become more expensive with the increasing focus that has been directed towards human resource skills, as documented by Deadrick and Stone (2014).
Consequently, human resource management is tasked with retaining the skill pool at the organization as part of the larger goal to ensure that the organization strategy is achieved. There are several ways that employee retention is performed in different organizations. However, across Tesco, Harrods and BMW, training and development remains to be the most common incentive used by business leaders to retain the employees amidst the changing dynamics of the business environment.
Through training and development, organizations acquire advanced skills that enable them to compete within the industry. Human resource management uses training and development to impart knowledge to the employees in order to streamline their skills towards attaining the organizational strategy (Kramar, 2013). In addition, through human resource management, the organization strengthens its resolve to attaining its strategy by demonstrating fairness in their employment practices.
This paper provides a theoretical framework through which the relationship between HRM practices and organizational strategies are explored. Along these arguments, it is evident that the role of HRM in an organization stretches beyond recruitment and selection to include promoting employee satisfaction and retention through training and development. Besides, the productivity and performance of organizations has been linked with the management of human resource at the disposal of the organization.
From the discussion above, it is evident that human resource management falls under the category of factors that determine the overall performance of organizations. Besides, the role of human resource management varies depending on the industry in which an organization operates (Deadrick and Stone, 2014). Even more significant, the role of human resource management in organizational performance has been mapped to reflect the link that human resource shares with the organizational strategy.
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