Sports U.K., is one of the companies that is in the distress at the moment because it is undergoing a massive transformation but it doesn’t have an appropriate HR department which could help other departments by providing them appropriate work force so they can rescue there operations. The major challenges that are faced by the company are to incorporate two different business ventures and to make them work parallel to each other.
Earlier, It used to serve sports equipment to the buyers like Wembley & millennium stadium i.e., B2B marketing, but now they want to setup a entirely different distribution network of their own for B2C marketing. For this they need to hire a different set of people because the existing employees may not have prior knowledge of it. Secondly, it wants to stretch the use of its manufacturing facilities by using the same facilities for its horticulture division because the manufacturing facilities remain under utilized as sports are a seasonal business. Thirdly, it has to hire people for horticulture division from manufacturing to e-commerce if required and find out if the hired people have correct knowledge and skill set for working in the business.
To address the issues faced by them, for the manufacturing facility, they should try to hire people who are flexible and posses multiple skills, so that they can use the same labour for manufacturing of football post as well as garden fencing and other garden furniture. Or if they have to hire different set of employees for both the manufacturing processes then they have to have to find such employees which can develop understanding amongst themselves. Finding employees with multiple skills does has its own demerits, if the specifications for the job are set high, then the people may not apply for the post. As a result we may end up not having enough applicants for the work.
On the e-commerce and setting up of own distribution network front, they should let know employees of B2B marketing, maybe they would be skilled for the new B2C marketing and have knowledge about and do want to work for it. So, it is better to place existing employees instead of new ones. Employees in the other departments should also be let know about the changes so that if any one wants to come up and take charge for new departments. In this way but mixing old employees with new employees maybe they would be able to perform better because experience from the old employees jelled with enthusiasm of new employees may result in solving and avoiding many real world problems faced during work.
Sports UK should try to create competitive advantages over the others so that they can have human capital advantage and extract more out of the employees by compelling them to use best of their knowledge and ability. It would be best to use ‘BEST FIT’ approach. ‘The best fit model seems to be more realistic than the best practice model. As Dyer and Holder (1988) pointed out: ‘The inescapable conclusion is that what is best depends’. It can therefore be claimed that best fit is more important than best practice.’ (Armstrong, 2009) Through the help of bundling concept, they can develop a few HR practices to achieve human capital advantages.
‘The competency framework provides all employees with a value structure that defined their growth and development, and provided the management teams with a template to ensure consistency.’ (SHL, 2012) RECRUITMENT process should be made very precise. The people hired should be like tailored for the job. Appropriate combination of selection methods should be set as a benchmark so that the process brings the right people on board. ‘Finding the right person is a painstaking effort. “During the selection process, a lot of elimination takes place. Only 4 percent of the people who apply are selected,” informs Khisty.”So, L&T believe that whosoever they recruit are champions and are best.’ (Chapke, 2011)
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT is another important HR practice. After hiring, it’s very important to make them understand about the aim, mission, vision, objectives and goals around which the company revolves. Moreover, it’s not necessary that the hired person would have all the skills set that are required so it is very important to incorporate into them by making them undergo various training and other processes. “Most of our top brass have joined at junior levels and risen through the ranks. The organisation provides continuous learning opportunities to its people to develop competencies,” points out Vinod Khisty, associate vice president, Human Resources, L&T InfoTech.” It reinforces my point that training makes a difference in peoples competencies.’ (Chapke, 2011)
Also, the knowledge if obtained from a training programme should be saved in the organization database so that other can also make use of it in future. ‘“A person in Sweden might have to make a presentation to the customer the next day. What he has to do is to just log in and learn from the programmed on presentation skills. Furthermore, based on responses the course will keep getting updated to the next higher level. The sense of satisfaction with training is very high in the company and is a great motivator,” It not only points on benefits of storing knowledge obtained from training but also acts as an example for MOTIVATION which is my next point for HR practices.’ (Chapke, 2011)
MOTIVATION, even after recruiting right people, giving them right training required, there is possibility that you may not still be able to capitalize on them. It is because of the fact that motivation may still be lacking in them. It is important that employees should be well motivated so that they work efficiently and effectively towards the company goals. So, I believe that these HR practices should bundle up to create best HR strategy to create Human Capital Advantage for Sport UK. ‘“L&T have always been focused on HR,” states Dr Devendra Nath, executive vice president of L&T InfoTech.” Maybe be this is the reason which has helped L&T reach top 10 companies to get PCMM LEVEL 5 Certification.’ (Chapke, 2011)
But to realize it, a strong HR department is much required in the company. At the moment Sport UK HR is handled only by one person. But practically it is not possible for a person to make all these plans and handle so many things so SPORTS UK should immediately try to form a HR department so that they can overcome the short coming in the operations and reengineering of the organizational structure and businesses.
Armstrong, M. (2009). ARMSTRONG’S HANDBOOK OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE. London and Philadelphia: KOGAN PAGE. Chapke, D. (2011). HR Practices in IT companies. Indian Streams Reserach Journal , 6.
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