Human resources is concerned with the employees of a business. The term; 'human resources' has replaced the old- fashioned word personnel. Human resources according to N. Bloom is "the function that contributes to organization success by planning for, acquiring, deploying, maintaining, and developing a productive and cost-effective workforce."
Modern businesses regard staff as the most important resource; human resource management (HRM). Businesses therefore motivate, train and develop staff, as unmotivated staff do only minimum work required. Staff that are well trained are keen to do their best and committed to the aims of a business.
Employees not only want a respectable salary but also want:
- good working conditions
- fair treatment by their boss
- opportunities for training
- fair treatment irrespective of race, gender or disability
Human Resources Activities
. Recruitment, retention and dismissal:
The human resource function is responsible for recruiting new staff in boots. Boots has a specific recruitment policy which must be adhered to. Everyone involved in the interviewing and selection process is trained on laws relating to equal opportunities policy and best interviewing techniques. This reduces the possibility of any applicant being treated unfairly and ensures the best candidate is recruited.
Sources of recruitment in Boots:
- Online application (e.g. Graduate recruitment website, www.boots.com etc.)
- Job centres (e.g. Borough job centre)
- Recruitment agencies (e.g. Reed, Adecco etc.)
- Advertisements in the press and journals (Business Times, Metro etc.)
- Internal advertisement (on staff notice board, Boots employee magazine etc.))
The Boots Company offers recruitment programmes for general entrance, and schemes focused on school leavers and graduates. The company looks for various qualities in potential Boots employees. In addition to academic ability, they look for people with extra-curricular competencies such as interpersonal ability and team-working skills.
If the vacancy creates an opportunity for promotion, it is advertised internally. Boots has a policy of externally advertising only low-level jobs. This is because promotion of existing staff helps in staff motivation and development. It also helps staff to know Boots is interested in their development.
Boots has a policy of retaining good staff; this is because the recruitment and training process is expensive. The business helps new staff to settle in quickly by an induction programme. Induction programmes involves new employees learning about the company, a tour of the premises, health and safety talk and enlightment on employee rights and responsibilities. Employees are also given a copy of Boots corporate policy. Employees will also be introduced to colleagues and trained on their job and off the job at the Boots Training Centre.
*The personnel function is responsible for attracting and selecting the most suitable candidate for a position. In ensuring this, the human resource function is clear about;
- What the job entails (duties and responsibilities);
- Qualities required to do the job and (team working, communication etc.)
- Rewards needed to retain and motivate the employee (staff bonus and other benefits).
* The recruitment function is often criticised for the length of time it takes to fill up a vacancy, as most of this positions are very important. This lengthy process is necessary as it is essential to appoint the best candidate for a position, and replacement costs are very expensive.
2. Training and Development:
Boots reviews staff performance and identifies staff development and training requirements through an appraisal scheme. Appraisal interviews are help annually in Boots between employees and their managers. Appraisals are very useful in staff development as they;
- discover future potential of employees
- identify staff training needs (courses, programmes etc.)
- give employees the opportunity to talk about hopes, aspirations and problems.
Training programmes in Boots help staff development. Training can be on or off-the-job. On-the-job training is job specific and takes place in an employee's place of work. Off-the-job training is specialised and done in Boots training facility. Training programmes are carried out to;
- provide employees with the skills to carry out their job
- satisfy skill shortage
- facilitate secondment, transfer or promotion.
* The training function is guilty for taking employees off work for lengthy period of hours, usually days. It is often argued that the result of these training is not recognised in the short run. Training is however necessary has it helps employee motivational and development needs.
3. Employment Law and Equal opportunities:
The operation of the human resources function is controlled by legislation. The employment legislation ensures businesses follow minimum standards for employees. There are four main laws
- The Race Relations Act 1996 (against discrimination on any grounds)
- The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (against discrimination on grounds of gender)
- The Employment Rights Act 1996 (covering rights of employees)
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (against discrimination on the disabled)
Boots has an equal opportunities policy which stipulates that;
'Boots supports equal opportunity in employment and against all forms of unfair discrimination. Within the framework of the law, Boots is committed to achieving and maintaining a workforce broadly reflective of the community'.
4. Health and Safety:
Boots monitors health and safety in its business, as there is a lot of legislation to comply with. The health and safety executive (HSE) acts in an advisory role and provides guidance for Boots. Boots has a safety policy, as required by the law and publicised in its stores and handbooks. The safety policy covers training and instruction, company rules, emergency arrangements, and system of reporting accidents. This policy is revised regularly.
Boots has a code of practice, which states the steps all employees' must take in case of an emergency. Boots has a regional safety committee, made up of employees and the management. They hold regular meetings to check that legal requirements are being met.
Human Resources and other functional areas:
The human resources function links with other functional areas for the recruitment of staff. Boots stores and other functional areas notify the HR function of a vacancy and the HR function advertises the position and schedules interviews according to Boots policy.
The HR function is also responsible for staff training and development activities. Normally, the HR function carries out induction programmes for new staff. The HR function also advises store managers on employment laws and employee/r rights and responsibilities. It has a major role in negotiating with staff union on proposed working changes.
HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING
Human Resource Management (HRM) in Boots
As with other twentieth century businesses, Boots has started treating its employees as part of the business and not just paid people. Human resource management (HRM) states that employees would only give their best for a company if the business prioritises the need of its employees. HRM is recognised in Boots as an arm of the business and given a high priority in the organisation's planning.
Human Resources Planning
Human resources planning is concerned with getting the right people, using them well and developing them properly in order to achieve the aim of the business. It involves identifying the most effective way and any problems that are likely to occur. Human Resources planning is involved with forecasting employee demand and supply now and in the future, and matching the demand and supply labour. A nationwide research was carried out by Boots on Human Resources planning. The report tries to meet this need by illustrating how human resource techniques can be applied to key problems. It concludes by considering the circumstances in human resources can be used.
Determine the numbers to be employed at a new location
If organisations overdo the size of the workforce it will carry surplus or under-utilised staff. If opposite, a misjudgement is made, staff may be over stretched, making in hard or impossible to meet production or service deadlines at the level expected.
So the questions asked are?
. How can output be improved your through understanding the interrelation between productivity, work organisation and technological development? What does this mean to the member of staff?