Human Resource Management Analysis - Case study of ASDA PLC
Management of human resource or "people working in an organization" is the most acute problem that faces managers nowadays. Today, it is no doubt that this is the leading cause of worries that nearly every other organization has to contend with. When the effects of organizational culture and structure; or group, or an individual are considered in light of the performance of the organization then such a study is referred to as organizational behavior. To this extent, such a study is an attempt to provide adequate definition of the efficiency and performance factors of the organization. Two most important performance factors that almost correlate are organizational culture and organizational structure, and they both principally define the desirable structure an organization should have in order to spur performance to more than average. Basically, job satisfaction and employee turnover have everything to do with the culture of the organization (Bolden, 2004).
When an organization has a solid culture of high employee retention rate and elements of internal self-respect then this augurs well for the stability of the organization (Tracy, 2013). This paper strives to clearly delineate the association existing between the structure of an organization and the organizational culture. In order to highlight this link and to get vivid insights, we shall take a general view of a reputable firm in the UK known as ASDA plc (prime research & consultancy, 2014). In this case study, we shall endeavor to prove how the selection and recruitment process of ASDA coupled with strategies of good colleague engagement and effective leadership combine to enable the firm meet its mission and objectives.
In this study, I shall define the culture of an organization as a set of shared attitudes, values and beliefs (Jones, 2007). The employees in an organization can get directions on how work is expected to be done by taking cognizance of these factors. But in the same vein, for the general success of the organization, it is imperative to pay attention to the culture or the rituals and internal environment within the organization. The rich organizational culture inherent in ASDA greatly contributes to its success story because this is strongly rooted in the empowerment of the employees in the entire organization by stipulating how employees related to one another and how they should treat their clients/customers. The company has a strong conviction that the business can remarkably be improved when the interest of all those concerned are taken seriously into account. To this end, the major drive of the organization is to maintain exceptional customer relation management, provisional of excellent and quality services besides giving customers invaluable and unique customer experience (prime research & consultancy, 2014).
Overview of the company
The company now known as ASDA Stores Limited was established in Leeds as Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Limited in 1949. When the Asquith chain of three supermarkets and Associated Diaries merged in 1965, the name ASDA came into being. Often capitalized, the acronym ASDA stands for Asquith and Dairies. This is one of the most vibrant supermarket chains in Britain that specializes in financial services, general merchandise, toys, clothes and food. With a head office located at ASDA House in Leeds, West Yorkshire in Britain, ASDA also boasts of a reputable mobile phone network. In 1999, this company was incorporated into Wal-Mart, the American super retail chain, and presently, it is the third largest retail store by market share in the UK after Sainsbury and Tesco. Its share of the grocery market in the UK stood at 16.4% by October 2013 (ICM, 2014).
When ASDA joined the largest supermarket chain in the workforce totaling over 175,000 personnel engaged in various aspects of its diverse operations while enabling Wal-Mart to employ over 2 million individuals in 27 countries worldwide. While it is still expanding its operations in the UK, ASDA presently takes part in a variety of product and service provision such as managing Superstores, distribution chains, Supermarkets, Home Office and ASDA and George Living. It recently acquired many more chains from Netto, thereby greatly increasing the number of its local Supermarkets (The Time 100, 2014).
In order to continue being a trustworthy employer and to continue being a leading retailer, ASDA relies on training its personnel to the highest standards of excellent service provision to its multitude of customers. Its driving dictum is based on the philosophy that customers will enjoy shopping with you if only your employees are also satisfied and enjoy working with/for you. As a result, ASDA stresses the need and importance of ensuring that all workers treat their colleagues equally and that all personnel love and are passionate about helping one another as often as possible in a family environment of mutual respect and trust. Amongst the many awards ASDA has won in recognition of its commitment to treating all personnel fairly and justly are Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2012, The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, and The Sunday Times Top Best Companies to Work for (The Time 100, 2014).
With a total of 150,000 personnel whom the firm refers to as 'colleagues'; Asda also has an additional 60,000 full-time and 90,000 part-time employees. In the various lists of 'Best companies to work for' ASDA has featured more times than one can bother to count on one's fingers. And in The Times' newspaper list of 2005, it was ranked position two.
One aspect that makes this chain popular is the fact that it gives its customer a 10% discount on many basic items purchased with the exception of lottery tickets, gift cards, items associated with tobacco, and fuel stamps. One the organization persuaded about 340 personnel at a Dartford depot to drop their claims in a union collective bargain agreement by offering them a pay rise, ASDA was fined 850,000 pounds in 2006. This state of affairs was made worse by the organization's continued efforts to formulated new working practices and working rights in another distribution outlet in Washington in Tyne and Wear soon after this incident. Fortunately, by June of the same year, some kind of amicable compromise was hammered out between GMB union and the management of ASDA with the calling off of a five day strike. Since then, the relationship between management of ASDA and GMB has greatly improved, especially when both teams commemorated the death of a worker in 2010 on Workers Memorial Day. But disaster was again to strike in 2013 when hundreds of thousands of personnel across the UK were faced with serious tax anomalies due to an error in the organization's payroll system. Because they get their pay after every 4 weeks, it therefore means that once in every 20 years they receive their pay 14 times a year instead of 13 times. Although many organizations manage to accommodate such a pay discrepancy well, the payroll of ASDA did not capture nor reflect this properly so that many workers inadvertently ended up underpaying their taxes for that year. Consequently a few part-time employees and several full-time personnel had a demand from HM Revenue & Customs ranging between 72 pounds and 160 pounds (ICM, 2014).
Present and targeted HRM strategy of ASDA
The structure of an organization embraces its leadership, culture, internal and external environment and so on, and in this respect, every organization has some form of structure in its hierarchy which might be informal or formal. Patton and Higgs (2010) contend that the structure of the organization is the hierarchical layout and the existing chain of command. For this reason both British Airways and ASDA which are large organizations have a formal hierarchical structure thereby giving them a more strict regulations and rules and a formalized structure. Due to its clear chain of control and line of command execution, ASDA has a formal hierarchical structure where many people are answerable to more than one individual in regimented stages of decision making and multiple levels of command. This kind of formal hierarchy can only function well in a diversified and large organization such as ASDA. The major challenge that ASDA faces is the simple fact that despite the order of seniority, all the personnel working together in a section or department often do so on the same footing (Glassdoor, 2013). This kind of relations also creates room for employees to work for competitive pay based on competence and performance (primes research and consultancy, 2014).
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