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Delivery of strategic effect to organizations by effective HRM policy and contribution to competitive advantage. Influence of the internal and external factors on the delivery of HRM policy in the UK during the last 25 years.
Word count: 2822 words
A strategy is a method of actions modelled by top management so as to attain a beneficial position in the competitive environment (Armstrong and Baron, 2002). As it has been acknowledged by Banfield and Kay (2012) the strategy is an intelligible way of doing things that is aiming to generate the demanded organizational results. Moreover, HRM strategy may be characterized as the public and hidden agendas of the company, for its employees management so as to attain its long-term targets and intentions (Tyson and York, 1992). In turn, strategic HRM includes the human resources strategies, selected by the organization and tries to regulate its effect on performance (Armstrong and Baron, 2002).
In this regard, HR function in the companies is ruled along with the overall strategy of the company, so as to set up the best match between the organization, the employees and its surrounding environment. The latter is known as vertical or horizontal alignment and demands coordination of organizational aims and processes with needs of the staff in a orderly and efficient way (Senuycel, 2009). Doing it will guarantee different training, development and learning opportunities for the organizations’ employees. Hence, companies will be more likely to gain competitive advantage and there is a strong tendency that the whole organizational performance and the relation between the employees and the organization will ameliorate (Senuycel, 2009).
Strategic human resources management focuses on a huge range of organizational issues like shifts in structure and culture, organizational efficiency and accomplishment. In fact, it strives to make resources a counterpart to future demands, the growth of unique capabilities, knowledge and change management. Simply put, it is focused on human capital and process capacity (Armstrong and Baron, 2002). Moreover, organizations utilize two different types of strategies – a deliberate and an emergent one. The deliberate one is focused on the internal and external environments of the organization, striving to plan every feature on the way towards its objectives. On the contrary, the emergent one refers to macro and microenvironment as being changeable and erratic, with strategy in the long-term being disposed to changes. It is a fact that most of the organizational strategies start as deliberate and previously defined, but end up as a strategy option within the whole plan, making them emergent (Banfield and Kay, 2012).
Simply put, the notion of the competitive advantage as defined by Michael Porter (1985) has a significant part in the strategy theory; namely, competitive advantage appears when the company designs value for its customers. To accomplish it companies choose markets in which they can outstand and display to their rivals continuous amelioration of their position. In this regard, O2 UK utilizes the strategy of focused differentiation, aspiring to find and ultimately retain the most qualified specialists in the niche field, pursued by the business. Furthermore, that type of strategy involves diminishment of the turnover and augmentation of the levels of retention of the intellectual capital of the business. Simply put, the company strives to develop staff capabilities in order to remain competitive to its rivals (Porter, 1985).
In addition, the concept of human resource development has taken significant place in the strategic human resource management of the companies. In brief, the term is inclusive of a vast range of activities, inherent to the macro and micro environment of the organizations, referring to the individual growth of the employees, as well as to the organized learning experiences supplied by the employers (Wilton, 2013). At the core of this concept lies the idea that all these learning processes will enhance the competence, flexibility and engagement of all the people working for a particular organization (Harrison and Kessels, 2004).
In O2 UK the workforce planning has as its essence the belief that people are organization’s most substantial strategic resource (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018). Also, it involves planning and even matching workforce resources to needs of business in the long-term; namely, the company takes detailed attention on the recruitment and development of the workforce, so as to recover organizational efficiency. O2 has a strictly defined set of competencies that will help the company achieve its future objectives (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018).
The recruitment process at O2 UK begins with the online application form, designed to make the job applicant outstand amongst the crowd. It is followed by an online test, matching the relevant compatibility between the candidate and the company. The third step is the video interview, followed by an invitation to one of the company’s Assessment Days (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018). As outlined by Armstrong and Baron (2002) the organization strives to engage, retain and ensure the professional growth of a large pool of various, skillful employees, so that enabling business adaptation to augment employee merit and convey performance aims.
Regarding the development of its employees, everyone in the company is provided with the opportunity to adhere to its values and culture. Further, every employee is supplied with a personal development plan and debates its career plans with its manager at least two times in the year. What is more, employees in the company adopt new skills by requesting to participate in the Learning Scheme, or by utilizing the online O2 academy, providing training on a vast range of subjects (MacLeod and Clarke, 2009). Further, the company offers networking and on-the-job learning at the O2 Campus (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018); namely, the latter is an immense resource, providing case studies and facilitating employees’ development at their own pace.
As being described by Armstrong (2016) training is the already planned on part of the company and methodical alteration behavior via learning events, programmes, and instructions that allow individuals to attain the levels of knowledge, expertise and capacity, necessary to perform their work efficiently. For instance, the intent standing behind the training practices is altered behavior in the workplace aiming to ameliorate employee performance, so as to match the needs a company may have in a future point of time (Armstrong, 2016). In this regard, O2 UK provides staff with training in areas related to business growth, as well as continuous support by managers, or mentors in taking important work decisions (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018). Moreover, that type of perspective mirrors the shift from training to learning and employee personal development.
Besides, the reward programmes of O2 UK include incentives urging exceptional team and individual performance. Furthermore, the motivated and devoted staff behavior is the essence of human resource management and a basic characteristic that discerns HRM from common personnel management (Senuycel, 2009). For instance, various intrinsic motivators like satisfaction by the job done, employee development or even appraisal on part of the managers are being applied. Additionally, extrinsic motivators such as pay boost, bonuses or other material goods are also utilized by companies around the world. In fact, O2 UK offers to its employees shopping vouchers and hot offers, outstanding pension scheme, health programmes, inclusive of dental care and critical illness insurance. Further, the staff rebates for family and friends as well as the car allowances are all worth to be enjoyed (Jobs.telefonica.com, 2018). Talking about the reward systems and the strategic HRM way to resourcing it is worth mentioning that the employee resourcing is not only about employment and selection. It is also about augmenting skills and changing behavior, as well as developing methods of rewarding employees for the gaining of supplementary skills (Armstrong, 2016).
Also, the Health and Safety policy of the company obeys the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and strives to provide responsibility on part of O2 UK, its employees and third-party contractors (O2.co.uk, 2018). Considering all that, it is the company’s responsibility to guarantee a safe and healthy working environment, as well as protect the public intermingling with the company and its offerings and products. O2 UK publishes all the necessary health and safety procedures and regulations, as well as guarantees the provision of training, guidance and monitoring with an accent on constant improvement of the corresponding procedures. Besides, all employees of the company are given the responsibility to work via the usage of the necessary safety devices in compliance with safety regulations (O2.co.uk, 2018).
Finally, HRM strategies might purely contain an overall statement of intent, shaping the framework for more detailed strategic plans in separate HR fields such as talent management and reward recognition. On the contrary, they may be inclusive of deliberate set up of complex approaches to HRM, like high-performance management. Simply put, the effectiveness of the deliberate strategies is easier to be assessed in comparison with the ones of the emergent strategies. Indeed, the efficiency of the latter might be judged by measuring the organizations’ attainments via its most valuable asset the people (Armstrong, 2016). In addition, deliberate strategies could be assessed in accordance with the scale of meeting the already defined objectives. In summary, the HRM strategies aim to identify what in particular the organization designs to do in regard to its human resource management practices at present and in the long-term so as to guarantee that they add to the attainment of its business goals.
The businesses in the United Kingdom were in need to comply with the legislative changes that have taken place in 2013. First, the new PAYE real-time provision requirement was introduced, second, there was a statutory augmentation to maternity, paternity and sickness pay, third, cap on the compensation individuals might be rewarded in case of unfair dismissal was introduced and fourth parental leave was extended to eighteen weeks off (The HR Booth, 2013). Nevertheless, the organization’s human resource department should adhere to the laws, established by the government and assure that employees are made familiar with the changes. Also, the latter could be performed via altering employee handbooks, modifying associated documents, transferring emails and publishing posts on the company’s blogs and social media accounts.
In addition, the extended parental leave up to eighteen weeks off work, demands HR departments to be flexible. Considering its length, organizations should take care of the workforce planning of the employees needed. Namely, temporary staff, possessing certain types of skills might be hired. For instance, in cases like these, the recruitment process should be transparent and clearly indicating temporality of the role. Organizations are even conducting short-term training and mentoring sessions in regard to temporary workers, who are in need to adopt several new skills and adhere to the company’s values (City, University of London, 2018).
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