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Introduction

People are the most important resource of an organisation. A company needs these human resources to attain success. This can be achieved by promoting effective growth and development of these resources. Such development of teams and individuals encourages employees to engage in the organisation and ensures their commitment. It helps them to enhance skills and knowledge which increase their job performances (Hirst and et. al., 2011). The assignment below is based on Tesco, a global leader in general merchandise and grocery retailer headquartered in Welwyn, Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK. The report includes the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the HR professionals, the factors considered for implementing learning and development in an the organisation, how high performance working (HPW) contributes to employee engagement and competitive advantages and lastly ways in which various methods support high performance culture and commitment.

P1. Professional knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals

Success and failure of the company depends on competence of its employees. It is crucial and important for an organisation to recruit efficient and skilled individuals who contribute towards success and profitability of a firm (Levi, 2015). This is one of the main responsibilities of HR professionals of a firm. However, to excel in their roles, HR professionals of Tesco need to possess certain skills, knowledge and behaviour which could help them conduct their operations effectively (5 Essential Human Resources Skills, 2018).

Skills required by HR professionals:

There are certain skills which are required by HR professionals which are mentioned below:

  • Conflict management: In a huge organisations like Tesco with a massive workforce, conflicts can easily arise. These conflicts can be horizontal, i.e., between employees or vertical, i.e., between managers and employees. It is the responsibility of HR professionals to resolve this conflict without being biased and in a respectful way. They must possess this skill for smooth running of business operations.
  • Communication: Effectiveness of HR professionals can be accurately judged by their ability to communicate with their employees. HR professionals in Tesco must establish flexible and transparent communication. Having effective communication skills would allow them to understand the employees in a better way and ensure their commitment towards the organisation.

Knowledge required by HR professionals:

To conduct their practices ethically and lawfully, it is essential that Tesco's HR professionals possess certain knowledge required to fulfil their responsibilities (McCormack, Manley and Titchen, 2013). These are described below:

  • Government Rules and Regulations: It is required from HR professionals to conduct their duties within the legal boundaries created by government. It is essential as it promotes ethical practices within the organisation. HR professionals must be well acknowledged from the government rules and regulations regarding their job roles and duties for the firm. Moreover, these professionals must also ensure that employees lawfully conduct their roles and legal boundaries are not crossed in the firm.
  • Employee laws: For Tesco, retaining skilled employees is very important to sustain their performance in the market. Employees are satisfied and more engaged when they receive their rightful return for the efforts they put in pushing an organisation towards success. HR professionals of a company must have the knowledge about employee legislations and must follow it rightfully while deciding salaries, increments and incentives for the employees of Tesco.

Behaviours required by HR professionals:

Behaviour of a person helps them in giving their maximum input even in complex times. Managing a huge workforce for Tesco is a very complex activity (O'leary, Mortensen and Woolley, 2011). HR professionals need to possess certain behaviours in order to contribute effectively towards their duties which are as follows:

  • Patience: The most important behaviour that must be adopted by HR professionals of Tesco is patience. While dealing with employees in tough scenarios or during conflicts, it is required that HR professionals be patient throughout their jobs.
  • Ethical: Every activity conducted by HR professionals must be ethical. This means that they must operate in a way that serves best to achieve organisation's objectives. There must not be any conflicts of interest on their part and every role must be fulfilled in an ethical manner.

To improve in their job roles, it is required for HR professionals to keep enhancing their knowledge throughout their work lives. This can be achieved through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This process undertakes tracing and documenting skills of employees, their knowledge and experience gained beyond the initial training provided by organisation (Pinjani and Palvia, 2013). It must be self directive and informative enough to help in achieving personal targets. It must be recorded and evaluated as it provides an overview of the professional development, helps to track the development, helps in analysis of required skills, and uncovers further needs of development.

Continuing Professional Development must answer the following:

  • The current state of an employee on the basis of their skills and knowledge.
  • A target that is needed to be achieved.
  • Process undertaken to achieve these set targets.
  • Time schedule to review self progress.

P2. Personal skill audit and development of a professional development plan

Personal skills audit serves the motive undertaken in Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It refers to a critical evaluation of the personal skills, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a professional career. It helps employees of a company to enhance their job performances by self analysis of overall performance. Personal skill audit would help Tesco's HR professionals to enhance their skills, decision-making power and effective management of performances of workforce. It has helped me in determining my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats effectively and evaluate my performance effectively (Schaubroeck, Lam and Peng, 2011).

STRENGTHS

Personal skills audit made me identify my key skills and areas where my performance is extremely effective. These skills are communication and collaboration.

WEAKNESSES

Although I have a firm grip on communication, still I lag behind in conflict management and decision-making.

OPPORTUNITIES

One of my biggest opportunities for me in working for Tesco is the ongoing growth in company's workforce due to a high demand of its products and services in UK.

THREATS

With rising competition, biggest threats for my profession is the layoffs or business closures. Another huge threat would be the better working conditions that firms provide to employees of the firm.

  

To enhance my business performance and stay ahead of the threats, a Professional Development Plan is developed by me according to the framework of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This plan includes the current state of my career and the targets that are needed to be achieved. It also involves the expected time schedule under which these improvements would be attained and the process of achieving such improvements.

S.No

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

CURRENT PROFICIENCY

TARGETED PROFICIENCY

DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

TIME

1

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

6

10

I find it really complex to handle conflicts that arise almost daily in an organisation like Tesco. This is because it is tough for me to not be biased sometimes. Moreover, frequent conflicts results in loss of patience which causes anger. To overcome this situation and enhance my conflict management skills, I plan to undergo training sessions. In addition to this, I would try to practice patience in complex situations and would emphasize on adopting more ethical values.

3 to 4 months

2

DECISION-MAKING

5.7

10

Decision-making in Tesco is an essential attribute required to be possessed by each employee. During spontaneous decision-making, I tend to panic and fail to take appropriate decisions. This makes me inefficient in carrying out my duties. To enhance this skills, I plan to read journals and undergo sessions which would prepare me for complex situations and would help me gain better decision-making skill.

2 to 3 months

 

P3. Difference between individual and organisational learning, training and development

For any employee to enhance its performance and for any organisation to grow, learning is one of the major steps. For any organisations, two types of learning are considered:

Individual learning: This refers to learning of an individual. It is often self driven and can enhance by the knowledge and experience gained by individuals through external sources. HR professionals of Tesco emphasize on gaining a certain set of skills and learn ways in which they could enhance the same.

Organisational learning: The process of gaining and facilitating knowledge within a firm is termed as organisational learning. The knowledge and experience which an organisation gains helps them to gain a competitive advantage and increase its profitability ratio. This process helps Tesco's HR professionals to effectively manage their employees and enhance their performance.

The difference between individual and organisational learning is described below:

BASIS

INDIVIDUAL LEARNING

ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING

SCOPE

It has a narrow scope and focus on developing knowledge and skills of individuals within the firm.

This has a wider scope and aims to enhance knowledge of a whole organisation to increase its productivity and profit margin.

TIME

This type of learning is an ongoing process and goes throughout the personal career of individuals.

Organisational Learning has a specific time schedule for its implementation within the firm.

FLEXIBILITYTASK 2

Flexibility is very high in individual learning as individuals can choose their own methods and processes to gain knowledge and skills.

This learning is very rigid and different materials and tools are provided by the management to help facilitate this learning.

 

Training: Ways in which performance of employees increases due to enhancement in their personal skills is referred as training. This process is undertaken by the employees to enhance their skills in a specific project. HR professionals of Tesco achieve better management of employees by undergoing effective training programs introduced by the company.   

Development: Development refers to enhancing skills, knowledge and personality of employees throughout their career. It's an ongoing process both on and off the job. It is essential for an organisation to facilitate development within the company. The emphasis of Tesco's HR professionals is on the overall development of their employees' career.

Difference between  training and development is mentioned below:

BASIS

TRAINING

DEVELOPMENT

AIM

This aims at increasing employees' skill for a specific project or a certain role (Ford, 2014).

It aims at overall development of employees' skills throughout their work life.

SKILL

Technical skills of employees are enhanced by training which are required to effectively complete the project.

All the skills which have an impact on the career of an individual, team or organisation is enhanced under development.

ORIENTATION

Training is task-oriented

Development is career-oriented.

 

Despite their differences, it is very essential for Tesco to implement both learning and development. Use of both of these aspects would enable the firm to retain its skilled employees and would help to enhance overall operations of the organisation which would help in gaining a competitive advantage.

P4. Need for continuous learning and professional development

To increase an employee's or a team's productivity, it is essential for organisations to facilitate continuous learning and professional development. Continuous learning would ensure more output from the employees and enhance professionalism of the firm, which is crucial to increase its customer base.

Continuous Learning: This is a process of ongoing learning of individuals to gain more knowledge and perfect their skills. It helps individuals to develop critical thinking skills and better adaptability in dynamic business environment. Moreover, through continuous learning, employees can prepare themselves for risks and contingencies.

Professional Development: Professional development refers to methods through which an organisation aims at developing overall professional skills of employees. It is required to increase productivity and profitability of a company. Training programs are implemented within an organisation to enhance professional development of employees (Gibbs, 2013).

Tesco must also provide continuous learning to its employees and professional development to enhance its overall performance and profitability. It would help the organisation to sustain in tough scenarios and intense competition.

Learning is determined where organisation start underperforming in the market. Wherever set targets are not achieved and employment dissatisfaction rises, it causes the need for learning. This need for continuous learning and professional development is mentioned below:

  • Performance enhancement:Continuous learning and professional development help organisations to enhance their overall performances. Effective training and development programs helps employees to gain necessary skills required to excel in their workplace. Such training facilitates learning of effective methods and techniques that helps employees be more productive (Berry, 2011).
  • Employee commitment:Continuous learning helps an employee get recognition in their organisation. Such enhanced performance graph encourage them to commit themselves even more in the organisation. This would enable the firm to retain skilled employees and engage them further in the organisation.
  • Competence:These practices also help in making the firm more competent. Continuous learning of more effective methods would help Tesco sustain heavy competition and it would help the firm increase its customer base (Goetsch and Davis, 2014).

Organisations implement learning by conducting different training and development programs along with skills evaluation and GAP analysis which help them achieve the strategic and tactical goals.

P5. Contribution of HPW to employee engagement and competitive advantage within a specific organisational situations

High Performance Working (HPW) refers to a process organisations undertake to engage employees and ensure commitment to attain high performance levels. Its main goal is to increase the efforts employees put in their work and optimally utilise skills possessed by human resources of a company. High Performance Work Organisations (HPWO) refers to those organisations that are designed to bring best results from individuals within organisations. These organisation through HPW increases its capabilities which helps the firm to sustain.

In Tesco, HPW helps in enhancing its overall quality of work and satisfaction of employees. This results in increase in its profit margins and overall performance. It has certain benefits to employees as well as employers. It helps employees to increase their level of satisfaction from organisation and help increasing their performance and confidence. It helps employers to effectively delegate work and enhance the level of output attained from each employee.

Contribution of HPW in employee engagement and better commitment is as follows:

  • Employee creativity:HPW helps employees to increase their productivity in a work place even in times of extreme pressure or contingencies. This helps the employees in introducing innovative ideas that lead to formulation of more effective strategies. HPW also helps in ensuring better outcomes and cost effective methods which increase an organisation's profitability (Amabile, 2012).
  • Team building:It is very essential for employees in an organisation like Tesco to work as a team. HPW can enhance collaboration and team building skills in employees which causes them to work together efficiently and reduce conflicts amongst each other during complex tasks. HPW helps in building a common goal in minds of the employees which is a contributing factor towards a company's success (Seibert, Wang and Courtright, 2011).
  • Create opportunities:High performance working helps an organisation like Tesco to grab new external opportunities which automatically creates opportunities for employees as well. It engages employees towards putting more efforts into their work roles and commit themselves towards achievement of overall objectives of the firm.

P6. Different approaches to performance management and demonstrate with specific examples how they can support high-performance culture and commitment.

Performance management refers to a process of measuring, analysing, evaluating and enhancing performance levels of employees in an organisation. This process is essential in enhancing the productivity of each employee on which the success of an organisation heavily depends. Different organisations have their own unique ways to measure performance of employees according to different situations and priorities. Moreover, the methods of performance management also differs according to nature of organisation.

Organisational culture plays an effective role in performance management. While strong organisational culture can enhance the performance management in an organisation, weak culture might resist any new strategy regarding performance of the employees. Thus, it is essential for firms to establish flexible and strong organisational culture to promote effective performance management.

Tesco uses few approaches to effectively manage performance of its employees. These approaches help the organisation to satisfy, motivate and building morale of organisation's employees. Approaches used by the firm are mentioned below:

  • Comparative Approach:Under this approach, companies give ranks to employees on the basis of their performance. These ranks are given by comparing these performances against other members of a group. This approach helps Tesco to reward employees which are effectively carrying out their roles. For performers who fail to achieve good ranks, effective training programs are implemented by the company.  
  • Attribute Approach:Attributes like creativity, problem solving, communication and innovation form a basis for performance measure in this approach. Scale of 1 to 5 are chosen by managers of Tesco and rate employees as high, medium or low based on the above attributes. It helps the organisation to effectively distribute work on the basis of skills of employees.  
  • Collaborating Working Approach:In Tesco, this approach helps promote team work through collaborative working of employees. Employees of the organisation effectively use skills of one another for achievement of organisations objective and goals. These employees are graded by managers of the company on the basis of their job roles. Such effective sharing of roles and responsibilities help the firm in attaining employee engagement.
  • Result Approach:This approach enables the managers to rate their employees on results of their performance. Strategies are effectively converted into operations and external environment is taken into consideration. This contributes in increasing employees' motivation and productivity.
  • Quality Approach:Satisfaction of employees is improved by elimination of errors to facilitate continuous improvement in the firm.  It is beneficial for Tesco's management as workers are effectively assessed on the basis of internal and external factors. Teamwork is also promoted during this approach to efficiently accomplish the objectives.

 CONCLUSION

Thus, it is concluded from the project that, knowledge and skills are contributing factors in achieving overall objectives of the firm. Such development of knowledge and skills help them in increasing their competence and enhance their performance. HR professionals are responsible in effective performance management in an organisation. Effective training and development programs are conducted by these professionals to serve this purpose. Such programmes help the employees to achieve desired business goals and increase their potential and efficiencies. HPW practices helps firms in employee engagement and ensures their commitment in long term. Lastly, performance management can help an organisation to enhance employees' skills and effectiveness in achieving the goals and objectives of an organisation.

REFERENCES

  • Amabile, T., 2012. Componential theory of creativity (pp. 3-4). Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.
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  • Goetsch, D. L. and Davis, S. B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.
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  • Schaubroeck, J., Lam, S. S. and Peng, A. C., 2011. Cognition-based and affect-based trust as mediators of leader behavior influences on team performance. Journal of Applied Psychology. 96(4). p.863.
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