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Case study writing sample on HR Functions, approaches, management

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Importance of HR department in corporation Sample

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INTRODUCTION

Human resource (HR) is being regarded as one of the most important parts of organization. This is because due to HR department playings a very critical role in terms of maintaining motivation and as well as satisfaction level of workers (What is human resource, 2015). In this regard, varied functions identified what which needs to be fulfilled by the HR department of corporation. It consists of recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal and engaging employees at work etc. Among all these function, employee engagement is the new and evolving HR concept. This concept has not being practiced by the firms which comply with traditional HR practices which is popularly called by the name of personnel management.

The concept such as employee engagement is linked with the organizational performance management. In this context, it has been seen that the success of firm largely depends upon the team of motivated and highly committed employees (Gruman and Saks, 2011). The team of motivated workers can be developed within firm if managers comply with the employee engagement type of practices. Furthermore, with the help of this team firms can perform significant improvement in its sales and profitability. This is because, it has been seen that employees are able to perform well if they feel motivated as well as satisfied with the area of responsibility which is being assigned to them. Thus, there is an interconnection is being found out between HR approaches such as employee engagement and performance management (Menguc and et.al., 2013).

2.0 MAIN OF REPORT

In order to carry out the given report, the case study of Marks and Spencer will be analyzed analyzed which . Marks and Spencer is a the famous retail firm from the of United Kingdom. Here, the case study which is associated with the employee engagement practice of Marks and Spencer will be analyzed. Throughout this way, the decision can be taken that whether the employee engagement approach is a beneficial aspect for the firm or not. In addition to this, the report will also critically evaluate the statement which is being given by the Truss and et. al., (2014). The statement which the author has given is “Growing interest in employee engagement derives from its promise that both employee health and well-being and organizational performance can be enhanced”. With an aim to prove the effectiveness of the given statement the example from the Marks and Spencer case study will be quoted. In addition to this, the report will also showcase the importance of employee engagement practices for the enterprise.

3.0 KEY TERMS

3.1 Meaning of employee engagement

According to the view point of Cole and et.al., (2012) “Employee engagement is the workplace approach which is designed to ensure that workers are committed towards the goals and objectives of enterprise” (Cole and et.al., 2012). In addition to this, another Crawford and et.al., (2014) have stated that “Employee engagement is the type of measure which depicts the employee passion or commitment towards their job” (Crawford and et.al., 2014). For the firm it is very essential that it must gather the information given type of approach. This is because, through this way only managers can assess that whether its employees are feeling motivated and committed to their job or not. Thus, on the basis of given information only varied types of decisions can also be taken by the manager of corporation. For example, if the manager of firms like Marks and Spencer has identified that ineffective distribution of roles and responsibilities among employees is impeding their motivation in a negative way (Merrill and et.al., 2013). Thus, by taking action with regard to raise the motivation of workers the problem of lack of motivation in employees can be resolved (Wollard and Shuck, 2011). Through this way firm can perform significant improvement in the sales and profitability in an effective way.

In addition to this, another Andrew and Sofian, (2012) have stated that “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that workers have towards the firm as well as its goals” (Andrew and Sofian, 2012). The statement as being given by the author is correct. This is because, employee engagement practice is which not only restricted to enhancing motivation level of employees as it plays very effective role in terms of establishing emotional connection between the employees and its assigned roles and responsibilities. .This concept basically states that employee engagement is the practice which form emotional link between the employees and firm's goal. The given thing entails positive feeling among the employees and makes them feel like that they are the crucial part of organization. Thus, as a result of it they deliver their best performance to the corporation. Due to this, firm will get the benefit in the form of increased profits and sales in an effectual way. However, it has been critically evaluated by the Robertson, Jansen Birch and Cooper (2012) that it is not essential that employee engagement is the only practice which leads to enhance the emotional commitment of employees towards the firm. This is because, there are some other practices also which leads to enhance the emotional attachment of employees towards the firm. It consists firm's policies with respect to involving employees in the work etc.

3.2 Importance of employee engagement along with critical evaluation of the statement

With an aim to analyse the importance of employee engagement, the statement as being given by the Truss and et. al., (2014) is being critically evaluated. In accordance with the given context, they have stated that employee’s well-being as well as enhancement in the organizational performance is being regarded as two major factors which is increasing the firm's interest in the employee engagement type of practices. The statement as being given by the author is correct. This is because, it has been seen that employees will be able to perform well if they are emotionally attached with the company. Here, the employees of the firm feels emotionally attached with the company, if firms make them feel like that they are being regarded as the important part or asset of the company in an effective way (Sonenshein and Dholakia, 2012). Such measures could be firm compliance with the training and development program, recognizing the work as being carried out by the employees and granting high authority as well as responsibility to the workers of company etc. By complying with all these given type of practices, motivation of employees can be enhanced and because of its employees makes measures with regard to give their best performance to the firm. This leads to the success of enterprise. Thus, as a result of it framed strategic goals and objectives of corporation will be met. Thus, the statement as being given by Truss and et. al., (2014) is effective (Welch, 2011). It is due to the fact that, raising the performance of firm is the main objective of any corporation. Hence, in order to perform the same Human resource department plays very crucial role.

It makes arrangement with regard to improve the skills and abilities of the employees in an effective manner. In addition to this, HR department also establish link between the performance as well as reward system of organization. Thus, the department employ an effective rewarding strategy with an aim to enhance the motivation as well as commitment of workers towards their job. Thus, through this way only practical implementation of the employee engagement type of practices will be carried out by the HR department of corporation (Shuck, Reio Jr and Rocco, 2011).

However, the statement as being given by Truss and et. al., (2014) is critically evaluated by the Breevaart and et.al., (2014) “The corporation's interest in the employee engagement type of practices is growing not only because of organizational performance and employee well-being related factor but due to the efficiency and innovation that engaged employees will bring to the organization” (Breevaart and et.al., 2014). The point which is being put by the respective authors is also correct. Here, an engaged employees is one the employee who is emotionally attached towards the organization. In this context, it has been seen that workers who forms emotional connection with its workplace will tend to put their 100 percent efforts towards the firm. Furthermore, innovative as well as creative suggestions will be taken by the employers from the given type of employees only. This is because, the workers who feel highly committed and motivated to their work will make all kind of efforts with regard to suggest some innovative solutions to the firm. These people always think of for the success of the of company (Wollard and Shuck, 2011). In addition to this, such people does not feel hesitate with regard to takinge new responsibility in the job roles in which they are currently working. Thus, it can be said that it is not right to confine the concept of employee engagement as it has broad implications. It is the reason why Breevaart and et.al., (2014) have given critical reflection to the point which is being put up by Truss and et. al., (2014).

In addition to this, according to the view point of Truss and et.al., (2013) “Employee engagement not only promises well-being of employees and enhancement in organizational performance but it also plays very critical role in engaging customers at work” (Truss and et.al., 2013). The view point which is being specified by the authors has is also right. In accordance with the given context, it can be said that customer engagement is the approach in which buyers establish emotional attachment or binding with particular brand or firm. Here, the buyer’s feels engaged with the firm when they receive high and best quality of services from the employees on continuous basis. Thus, it can be said that employee engagement and customer engagement are interrelated and interconnected with each other. The work as being deliver by employee will lead to enhance the satisfaction level of customers (Dalal and et.al., 2012). As the result of it they get influenced with regard to again use the goods and services of the organization. In this regard, it has been assessed that success of any service firm like Marks and Spencer largely depends upon its employees. It is due to the presence of this aspect, employee engagement type of practices plays very significant role for the hospitality firms. Thus, views as being given by these authors totally evaluate the statement of Truss and et. al., (2014). However, it has been critically evaluated by the Menguc and et.al., 2013 that the satisfaction level of customers is hampered when firm will not provide high quality of goods and services to its buyers. Thus, with an aim to engage buyers, firm must direct its more focus upon the services which is being delivered by it.

Besides this, there are advantages and disadvantages of employee engagement type of practices as is being identified. In this regard, as per the view point of Robertson, Jansen Birch and Cooper, (2012) “employee engagement helps in reducing the absenteeism ratio of workers” (Robertson, Jansen Birch and Cooper, 2012). The thing which is being specified by the author is right. In this respect, it has been identified that employee will take very less number of leave from their work if are satisfied as well as motivated with the current job responsibility (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2005). However, workers takes leave when they feel exhausted and stressed with the work which they are currently performing. Hence, it can be stated that the employee engagement type of practices helps in resolving the main issue which occur in many companies which is of workers absenteeism from work. Thus, it plays a very crucial role in raising the productivity and profitability of corporation. In addition to this, another Mone and London, (2014) have stated that “The approach also helps in developing positive attitude among workers” (Mone and London, 2014). On a regular basis, there are many things happens within organization which tend to entail negative feeling among worker. However, the given type of feeling can be exhale from the workers mind if concept such as employee engagement will be practiced by the manager of organization in an effective manner.

According to the view point of Parmenter, (2015) “Employee engagement enables firms with regard to give their best services to the buyers” (Parmenter, 2015). The firm capability to deliver the high quality of services largely depends upon its employee’s effectiveness. However, high stratification as well as motivation levels among workers forces them to give their best to customers. However, it has been critically evaluated by the Gomez-Mejia, Berrone and Franco-Santos, 2014 “Employee engagement type of practice is a tedious and time consuming process” (Gomez-Mejia, Berrone and Franco-Santos, 2014). Engaging employees at work is not the simple task. This is because of variation in the needs and demands of the workers. For example, some employee feels satisfied when firms take measure for enhancing the ineffective skill of them. In the similar way, some employee feels highly satisfied when they get recognition for the work which is being assigned to them. Thus, finding an effective measure for engaging employee at work is tedious and time consuming approach. In addition to this, Van Dooren, Bouckaert and Halligan, (2015) have depicted that “Employee engagement is one of the most expensive approach” (Van Dooren, Bouckaert and Halligan, 2015). The authors have stated the correct thing. This is because, with an aim to enhance the motivation level of employees firm has to perform necessary investment in the training and development program of workers. Furthermore, the firm will also have to make arrangement as per the varied needs and demands of employees. In order to perform all these tasks, firm will require sufficient amount of money. Thus, through this way only firm goal of enhancing the performance of workers through employee engagement will be met in an effective way. Overall, it can be said that the given approach has both benefit and disadvantage to the firm (Lähteenmäki, Satu. and Laiho, Maarit. 2006).

3.3 Measuring the employee engagement

For the firm, it is very essential that it must measure the effectiveness of the employee engagement program which is being carried out by them. This is because, it is by complying with the given type of practices only validity and reliability of engagement practices can be assessed by the manager of corporation such as Marks and Spencer in an effective way. In order to perform the same, a survey will be conducted. The survey which firm performs is completely different from the customer satisfaction survey (Ford, 2014). The employee engagement survey not only measures the satisfaction level of workers, but it also assesses the productivity and performance as being given by the employees. In addition to this, the survey also helps in assessing the effectiveness of company in terms of financial aspect. Thus, it can be said that the given survey has importance as it helps in giving information to the manager of corporation that whether it is going on to the right direction or not (Jackson and Malthis, 2010).

3.4 Employee engagement in United Kingdom

The employee engagement type of practices which are followed in the United Kingdom is being assessed. In this regard, on the basis of analysis it is identified that only one third workers of United Kingdom feels engaged and committed towards their worker. This ratio is very less. Thus, it is the matter of concern for all the UK companies. In addition to this, many firms of UK facing the problem relating to productivity deficit which means that the sales and production level of nation's companies are declining. However, the given problem of UK firm can be resolved if employee engagement type of practices will be practiced by the firms. In addition to this, the approach such as employee engagement helps in carrying out significant reduction in the labour cost for company. In accordance with the given context, on the basis of analysis it has been identified that 94% of the most famous companies have achieved success in market through engaging employees at workplace. This proves that the statement as being given by Truss and et. al., (2014). This is because, the main goal of employee engagement approach is to enhance the productivity as well as performance of employees. This leads to success of firm in an effective way.

In addition to this, government of UK has also recognized the importance of given program and thereby they have taken measure with regard to launch the program which is called by the name of Engage for Success (Wilkinson and et.al., 2014). The given program promotes employee engagement at work and thus it also makes sure that the workers who are working in UK firms will feel highly committed as well as satisfied with the given roles and responsibilities. Thus, the program also ensures the well-being of employees.

3.5 Applying employee engagement model

X model of employee engagement

For the purpose to get the information about the employees who are engaged at work, the given model plays very effective role. Here, by using the X model it can be identify by the manager of Marks and Spencer that whether its employeesemployee’s engagement level is high or low. The given model categorizes employees in A to E alphabetical series. Here, “A” indicate the type of employees who are highly engaged as well as satisfied with the existing working condition of firm. In the similar way, E consists of type of employees who are disengaged as well as highly dissatisfied with the working environmental of Marks and Spencer.

With the use of given model, effectiveness of the employee engagement practices as being used by cited firm can be identified. For example, manager of Marks and Spencer has identified that most of its employees belongs to E category where level of employee engagement is very low. Then in the given circumstances, firms must have to make the significant measure with an aim to enhance the satisfaction level of its employees. Here satisfaction of workers can be enhanced by asking problem related to their dissatisfaction. On the basis of this information, varied type of action will be taken by cited firm.

4.0 APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE TO THE ORGANIZATION SUCH AS MARKS AND SPENCER

The statement as being given by Truss and et. al., 2014 is analysed with respect to the case study of Marks and Spencer. In this regard, it has been identified that the case of Marks and Spencer is the proof which showcase that how employee engagement type of practices leads to the success of firm in an effective way (Welch, 2011). The Truss and et. al., (2014) has stated that enhancement in the firm performance and well-being of the employees is being regarded as the two major reasons which is influencing the firm like Marks and Spencer with regard to comply with the practice such as employee engagement in an effective way.

From the given case, it has been assessed that the famous retail firm from of the UK follows the given approach. Thus, with an aim to analyse the result of employee engagement type of practices, organization has conducted the survey which is called by the name of You Say. The firm had conducted the given survey in the year 2012. Thus, on conducting this survey Marks and Spencer has identified the link between sales performance of store, employee absence and non financial KPI (Key Performance Indicator) etc. The result as being identified through firm survey critically evaluates the statement which is being given by Truss and et. al., (2014). Here, the author has stated that employee well-being and organizational performance are the two major reasons which forces firm with regard to comply with the practice such as employee engagement. However, in reality employee engagement which Marks and Spencer performs provide more benefit to firm than these given factors.

Here, the major benefit which firm gets is to take measure towards the crucial issue of enterprise which is of high level of employee’s absenteeism from the work. From the result of survey as being conducted by the manager of Marks and Spencer, it is analysed that absenteeism ratio of employees in firm has reduced by 8% after making the implementation of employee engagement type of approach in an effective manner (Marks and Spencer case study, 2015). In addition to this, another benefit which Marks and Spencer has got through the given practices is related to delivering the best result to the customers in an effective manner. Here, high quality of performance will be given by workers if they are very much satisfied with the work which is being assigned to them (Andrew and Sofian, 2012).

For example, in the circumstances when employees feel dissatisfied and demotivated from the work which is being assigned to them at that time they will not put their 100% to the work which is being assigned to them. Furthermore, high satisfaction level among workers matters a lot for the firm which deliver services to the buyers. Here, workers will be able to resolve the queries of buyers if they feel satisfied. Overall, it can be said that the employee engagement not only ensure the well-being of workers, but it also ensures that the workers takes less absent from the work.

In addition to this, with an aim to showcase the effectiveness of employee engagement practices which is followed by the firm like Marks and Spencer, the manager of cited corporation has also carried out the comparison between the firm which comply with the given approach and corporation which do not consider the given method of raising the firm performance. In accordance with the given context, on analysing the given case study it has been identified that the store which comply with the employee engagement approach tend to deliver better services to the customers than the firm which does not follow the given approach (Truss and et.al., 2013). Thus, it can be said that the case study of cited firm contradict the statement which is being proposed by Truss and et. al., (2014). This is because, the authors has given only two reasons behind using the employee engagement approach within firm. However, survey as being conducted by Marks and Spencer has revealed the number of reasons which can force any firm with respect to comply with the given type of practices in an effective way.

5.0 CONCLUSION

Articulating all the facts from the whole report, it concluded that for the enterprises it is very beneficial that they must follow the employee engagement type of practices on regular basis. It is due to the fact that, the given practice assist firm in meeting its strategic goals and objectives in an effectual manner. In addition to this, the concept also helps in enhancing the commitment as well as satisfaction level of employees towards their work. In today's scenario, it is very important for the organization that they must make measure with regard to enhance as well as maintain the satisfaction level of its workers. This is because, if the given thing will not being complied by the firm at that time it will become very difficult for the manager of corporation like Marks and Spencer with regard to retain the team of highly talented and skilled employees.

In addition to this, by engaging employees at work firm can gain the competitive advantages. For instance, the firm has the competitive advantage with regard to deliver best services to the employees. This can be achieved by implementing the employee engagement type of practices within firm in an effective way. Furthermore, the statement which Truss and et.al., (2014) has given is also critically evaluated and on doing the same it is analysed that besides employees well-being and organizational performance related factor, reduction in employees absenteeism ratio and significant improvement in the sales of corporation are being regarded as two another most important benefit that arouses manager of firm like Marks and Spencer interest in the employee engagement type of practices in an effective way.

REFERENCES

Books and Journals

  • Andrew, O. C. and Sofian, S., 2012. Individual factors and work outcomes of employee engagement. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 40. pp. 498-508.
  • Breevaart, K. and et.al., 2014. Daily transactional and transformational leadership and daily employee engagement. Journal of occupational and organizational psychology. 87(1). pp. 138-157.
  • Cole, M. S. and et.al., 2012. Job burnout and employee engagement a meta-analytic examination of construct proliferation. Journal of management. 38(5). pp. 1550-1581.
  • Crawford, E. R. and et.al., 2014. The antecedents and drivers of employee engagement. Employee engagement in theory and practice. pp. 57-81.
  • Dalal, R. S. and et.al., 2012. The relative importance of employee engagement, other job attitudes, and trait affect as predictors of job performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 42(S1). pp. 295-325.
  • Ford, J. K., 2014. Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Psychology Press.
  • Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Berrone, P. and Franco-Santos, M., 2014. Compensation and organizational performance: Theory, research, and practice. Routledge.
  • Gruman, J. A. and Saks, A. M., 2011. Performance management and employee engagement. Human Resource Management Review. 21(2). pp. 123-136.
  • Jackson, J. H., and Malthis, R. L., 2010. Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. Cengage Learning.
  • Lähteenmäki, Satu. and Laiho, Maarit. 2006. “Global HRM and the dilemma of competing stakeholder interests,” Social Responsibility Journal 7(2). pp. 166–180.
  • Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A., 2005. Human Resource Management at Work: People Management and Development. CIPD Publishing.
  • Menguc, B. and et.al., 2013. To be engaged or not to be engaged: The antecedents and consequences of service employee engagement. Journal of business research. 66(11). pp. 2163-2170.
  • Merrill, R. M. and et.al., 2013. Self-rated job performance and absenteeism according to employee engagement, health behaviors, and physical health. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 55(1). pp. 10-18.
  • Mone, E. M. and London, M., 2014. Employee engagement through effective performance management: A practical guide for managers. Routledge.
  • Parmenter, D., 2015. Key performance indicators: developing, implementing, and using winning KPIs. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Robertson, I. T., Jansen Birch, A. and Cooper, C. L., 2012. Job and work attitudes, engagement and employee performance: Where does psychological well-being fit in?. Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 33(3). pp. 224-232.
  • Shuck, B., Reio Jr, T. G. and Rocco, T. S., 2011. Employee engagement: An examination of antecedent and outcome variables. Human resource development international. 14(4). pp. 427-445.
  • Sonenshein, S. and Dholakia, U., 2012. Explaining employee engagement with strategic change implementation: A meaning-making approach. Organization Science. 23(1). pp. 1-23.
  • Truss, C. and et.al., 2013. Employee engagement, organisational performance and individual well-being: exploring the evidence, developing the theory. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 24(14). pp. 2657-2669.
  • Van Dooren, W., Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J., 2015. Performance management in the public sector. Routledge.
  • Welch, M., 2011. The evolution of the employee engagement concept: communication implications. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. 16(4). pp. 328-346.
  • Wilkinson, A. and et.al., 2014. Handbook of Research on Employee Voice: Elgar original reference. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Wollard, K. K. and Shuck, B., 2011. Antecedents to employee engagement a structured review of the Literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources. 13(4). pp. 429-446.

Online

  • Marks and Spencer case study. 2015. [Online]. Available through: <http://www.engageforsuccess.org/ideas-tools/employee-engagement-case-study-marks-and-spencer-group-plc/#.VlaT3qW1Gko>. [Accessed on 26th November 2015].
  • What is human resource. 2015. [Online]. Available through: <http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryh/f/hr_department.htm>. [Accessed on 26th November 2015].
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