Analysis and Critique of Human Resources Development

Abstract

Integration of Human resources development (HRD) into human resources has been identified as a potent tool to achieve organizational market strategy. This paper demonstrates the approaches of Tesco plc toward the implementation of HRD. The paper reveals that Tesco chooses HRD as one of its strategies policies, and the major approach by which Tesco employs to train its staff is through National Vocational Qualification (NVQs). The essential purpose of NVQs is to offer competence to the staff through learning of work-related tasks. However, the paper identifies several shortcomings on the approach that Tesco employs to train its staff. One of the shortcoming is that the NVQs has become outdated. The approach the NVQs employ to train the staff is too cumbersome. Much of the learning instruction contain jargons and the English the NVQs use to train staff is too complex. Thus, the paper offers recommendations which Tesco plc could implement to train its staff.

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Introduction

Countries that aspire for economic growth and development depend on the skilled human resources. Although, the wealth of a nation is measured by its potential of its natural resources, however, the skills of the people who manage the resources of a country are very essential to achieve economic growth. Education has been identified as a potent tool to improve the skill and knowledge of the people and education has played vital role in the development of a country. Essentially, human resources are the propeller of economic growth, and the powerful tool to enhance development of human resources is through learning and training. With rapid increase in Information Technology (IT) as a tool to enhance competitive advantages, many organizations have realized that Human Resources Development (HRD) has become a powerful tool to enhance corporate market strategy. Typically, human resources are the driving forces that enhance organizational market forces, and some organizations have realized that through improvement of education, skills, knowledge, and abilities, they can achieve market advantages. (Shamsuddoha, Quadir, Kabir 2004).

The objective of this paper is to provide approach and critical analysis of Tesco plc towards Human resources development.

Tesco plc is a multinational grocery retailer, which ranked third in the grocery business. Tesco plc is a number one grocery retailer in the UK. Apart from the UK, the Tesco operates in 13 other countries in Asia, rest of Europe, and US. (Hoovers, 2009).

Presently, Tesco plc operates more than 3200 retail stores globally. Apart from operating in the food segment, Tesco plc also operates in the non-food segment. To achieve the market advantages, Tesco launched online retail marketing. Presently, Tesco is one of the largest online retailers in food and non-food merchandize. (Company and Markets, 2007).

The rest of the paper is structured as follows:

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  • The paper provides overview of Human resources development.
  • Next, the paper examines Tesco plc to learning approach in order to enhance human resources development.
  • Moreover, the paper critiques the approach of the Tesco plc in the implementation of HRD.
  • In addition, the paper evaluates Tesco approach towards HRD.
  • The paper also critiques Tesco’s evaluation on HRD
  • Finally, the study provides recommendations for the improvement of HRD approach of Tesco plc.

Overview of Human Resources Development

Studies have revealed that learning and training is the core to human development. Kumari and Mishra (2009) argued that with increase in the rate of change in products design in order to meet customer’s tastes, leaning and training have been identified as the tools to enhance the skills of human resources for the organization to meet global challenges. (Shamsuddoha, Quadir, Kabir 2004). Typically, human resources development has been identified as the potent tool to achieve organizational strategy. Marchant, and Wallace (2008) identifies the key components of human resources development as education, training, and induction. The core of HRD involves organizational learning in order to generate knowledge. It should be noted that learning within an organization has become central feature to improve human capital, and with current labor shortage in many countries, HRD has been identified as vital substitute to labor shortage. Organizations need to maintain the current staff through constant training and learning. (Marchant, Wallace, 2008).

Human resources development encompasses activities such as training, education, and induction that can enhance employees or individual to reach the highest potential in order to be more productive. The theoretical underpinning that explained HRD has been in existence since the dawn of economics. The classical theory of Adam Smith revealed that skills and competences were essential factors to country’s development. Added to the basic economic theory, Human Capital Theory (HCT) also encouraged HRD to improve labor productivity in order to improve product quality and organizational efficiencies. (Tome, 2009, United Nation, 1995).

Different organizations use several strategies to implement HRD to improve labor productivity. This paper examines Tesco’s approaches to learning.

Tesco’s approaches to learning

Tesco plc places high priority to the training of its employees. Typically, Tesco uses several strategies to enhance learning of its staff. To enhance the quality of staff who work for Tesco plc, Tesco recruits bulk of its staff from young university graduates, and the approach Tesco use in improve the quality of these staff is by developing its human resources after hiring. Typically, Tesco plays high importance in improving learning of its staff. (Peterson Institute of International Economics, 2009).

It should be noted that Tesco places HRD as part of strategic policies. Management of Tesco realizes that strategic human resources development (SHRD) is one of the potent tools to meet challenges of globalization. Typically, well trained, and well-managed human resources contribute to the accomplishment of organizational objectives. (Marchant,Wallace, 2008).

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To facilitate HRD within the organization, Tesco offers computer and English learning training for its staff in order to gain English and computer skills. (Peterson Institute of International Economics, 2009).

Added to this, Tesco has long history of enhancing the training of its staff through National Vocational Qualification (NVQs). (National Employer Service). The essential purpose of NVQs is to offer competency to the worker through learning of work-related tasks, and practical aspect of the work in order to improve the skills and knowledge of staff and to enhance their performances in the workplace.(DirectGov, 2009).

To enhance the retail skills of the staff, Tesco uses in-house programme to offer training called Skillsmart Retail, which offers retail apprenticeship of the staff. In 2005, Tesco trained its employees in 160 stores through retail apprenticeship.

With reference to Tesco’s Apprenticeship Programme, Sam Oliver states Apprenticeship Programme is to “motivate staff, as well as providing a means to identify potential future team leaders and give them the skills to progress through to management roles. Not only has the programme led to greater levels of job satisfaction, but many former apprentices have reported that the programme has helped with their lives outside of work. In particular, the Key Skills element of the programme was felt by apprentices to have updated numeracy and literacy skills that have helped them to approach personal challenges in ways that they would have been unable to previously”. (National Employer Service, p2).

Sam Oliver further pointed out that the benefit of apprenticeship program is effective in helping Tesco to retain its staff. The other indirect advantage is that Tesco has been able to achieve positive impact in profit and turnover. (National Employer Service).

Tesco also uses local colleges in all the countries it operates to deliver literacy training especially in the countries where there is shortage of skilled personnel. Typically, the literacy skills are also designed to improve employees. According to Tesco Training manager, Anne Lee, who explained the reason behind this type of training,

“If people get more confidence or their skills get a little bit better, then we might be able to use that on the shop floor or within the company and we could offer them a bigger role later on. With low confidence they might not have even thought about a bigger role.” ( The Network, 2009, p1).

Despite the effective approach that Tesco employs in implementing HRD in order to enhance the employees efficiency, there are criticisms centered on the approach of Tesco towards the implementation of HRD.

Critique of Tesco approach to HRD

Several criticisms have been centered on the Tesco approach to HRD. Tomé (2005) argued that not all staff enjoyed the staff training as being claimed by the Tesco plc. For example, Tesco implementation of HRD approach has been under-represented. Analysis of HRD approach of Tesco reveals that many employees are deliberately discriminated from being participating in the retail apprenticeship implemented by Tesco pls. The author further argued that Tesco normally offered training to people deems fit to be productive. For example, some class of people such as disable people, adult women, ethnic minority are systematically excluded from the opportunity of HRD or offer less HRD because these set group of people are termed to be less productive compared to people with diploma, who are termed to be productive.

The report from Telegraph (2007) also revealed the HRD the Tesco plc offers to disable people is not anything to write home about. For example, in 2007, an employee filed a case against Tesco for not offering qualitative and quantitative training to some group of employees in Tesco organization.

Analysis of National vocational qualifications (NVQs) that Tesco uses to offer training and learning reveals that many workers have not been able to understand the training instruction being offered by NVQs. Naylor (2004) argued that the English that NVQs used to offer training is too complex, and much of the training instruction contains jargons and the staff may not be able to understand training instruction being offered by NVQs.(Naylor,2004). Shackleton Walsh (1995) also challenged the TVQs that Tesco plc use to train its staff. The author argued that the excessive intervention of government to the training offered by NVQs has greatly undermined the quality of training being offered by the NVQs. Thus, the essential setback is that the training being offered by the NVQ cannot be quantitatively and qualitative reflected on the level of productivity of the company staff. (Shackleton, Walsh,1995, Finegold, Soskice, 1988).

Thus, the paper intends to evaluate the Tesco’s approach toward HRD before the paper provides recommendations for improvement.

Description of how Tesco’s approaches to evaluation of HRD

Tesco uses several criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of training and development it offers to its staff. Tesco employs structured monitoring tools on the training it offers its employees. Some of the structured monitoring tools are Personal Development Plan and Activity Plan to measure the employee’s performances after receiving training. Moreover, Tesco employs a method called degree appraisal to access the performances of employees. For example, Tesco uses the feedbacks from the stakeholders to evaluate the effective of HRD. For example, another department manager may provide feedback on a store department manager, and this evaluation technique help to monitor the performances of each employee.

In addition, Tesco holds weekly review session to access the feedback of the managers on the employees under them. This help to evaluate the progress of the training being offered the employees. (The 100 Times 100).

Critique of the organisation’s approach to Tesco’s evaluation

Despite the effort of Tesco to evaluate the outcome of HRD offered its employees, commentators have offered different opinion. For example, GULYÁS (2007) argued that the training Tesco offered its employees is very difficult to validate. From the author’s personal experience, some of the Tesco’s employees are rude and impolite especially the junior workers. Sometimes, they do not help customers in case of problem. Thus, the overall conclusion is that some of Tesco employees do not implement the training offered to them. Thus, it is revealed that there is significant correlation between salary of the workers and their performances. It is revealed that the impact of the training do not normally reflect on the junior workers who receive lower salaries.

With the shortcoming being revealed on the evaluation and implementation of HRD of Tesco plc, this paper offers recommendations in order to improve the Tesco’s approach to HRD.

Recommendations

This paper provides recommendations for the implementation of Tesco’s HRD. Essentially, the approach that Tesco use to train its staff has become outdated. Tesco lays emphasis on NVQs to train its employees. Essentially, Tesco should lay more emphasize to in-service training staff through NVQ. It should be noted that the training being offered by NVQs are designed for the implementation of all organizations. Thus, the type of training Tesco should adopt should center on the needs of the customers towards the Tesco products and services. Burden and Proctor (2000) pointed out that the staff should be trained towards the needs of the clients. Thus, this should be the line of training that Tesco plc should offer to its employees. The in-service training should be designed to offer customer’s perception and needs. If the employees were trained in this line of action, Tesco plc would be able to improve its products and services in order to improve its competitive advantages.

Moreover, Tesco is big enough to establish its training center. It should be noted that Tesco plc is multinational retail stores that is enjoying the patronage of more than 30 million customers every week, and has employed 366,000 people in all the countries it operates. (Leahy, 2005).

Thus, Tesco plc should have its own uniques training institute for the training of its staff. The training institute that should be established by Tesco plc should be designed to the essential needs of Tesco plc. It should be noted that if Tesco should establish training institute for the implementation of learning for its employees, there would be improvement in the skills acquired by the employees. Typically, the training that will be offered by the Tesco plc should only centered on areas such as core business of Tesco plc.

Tesco plc should also eliminate discriminatory policy towards HRD. It has been revealed that Tesco discriminates against minority group in the implementation of HRD because of the perception of Tesco that these set of employees are not productive. (Tomé, 2009). Most advanced countries have realized the importance of the skilled minority in the development of the country. Most of these countries have allowed many organizations to recruit the skilled minorities from different part of the world.

Finally, as part of the SHRD, Tesco should improve the training of its staff on proactive HRD. This type of training is to ensure that the staff complies with Occupational Health and Safety. For example, Tesco was sometimes being accused of selling products not fit for its customers, and this action had led Tesco to face court case. (Marchant, Wallace, 2008, BBC, 1998).

Conclusion

The paper examines the approach of Tesco plc toward HRD. Essentially, the paper reveals that HRD is a strategic tools by which organization can achieve market forces. In the present globalization, organization needs dynamic and well-trained human resources in order to meet the global and market challenges. The paper reveals that Tesco implements several approaches such as using TVQs , computer and English learning trainings for its staff. Despite the effort of Tesco in enhancing the learning of its staff. The paper identifies that Tesco approach to training of its staff has become outdated. For example, the approach the TVQs use to train the staff of Tesco plc has been identified to be cumbersome. Thus, the paper provides recommendations that Tesco needs to implement better approach in training its staff.

This paper enhances greater understanding of Tesco plc, the academic communities, business organizations and government on the Human resources development.

References

BBC NEWS, (1998). Business. The Company File Tesco Accused of Selling Counterfeits, BBC Online Network, May 28, 1997.UK.

Burden, R. & Proctor, T. (2000). Creating a sustainable competitive advantage through training, Team Performances Management, 6(5), p90-97.

Company and Markets, (2007). Premium Company Profile-Tesco plc, Company and Markets Inc. UK.

DirectGov, (2009). NVQs, Web.

Finegold, D. & Soskice, D. (1988). The failure of training in Britain: analysis and prescription, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 4 (3), p. 21-53.

GULYÁS, L. (2007). TRAININGS AND MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT AT TESCO IN SZEGED, Management and Marketing, University of Craiova.

Hoovers, (2009). Tesco plc, Hoovers Inc.

Leahy.T. (2005). Chief Executive Introduction making difference, Tesco Corporate.U.K.

Marchant, T. & Wallace, M. (2008). Human Resource Development MNG00704, 3RD ed.Graduate college of management, University of Southern Cross University.

National Employer Service(nd). Profile Tesco, 2009. Web.

Naylor, S.M.(2004). National vocational qualifications (NVQs) from the candidate’s perspective, Sarah M. Naylor, Radiography, 10,(1). p. 61-67.

Peterson Institute of International Economics, (2009). CASE STUDY OF SAMSUNG TESCO, KOREA, Korea Institute For International Economic Policy.

Shackleton, J.R. Walsh, S. (1995). The UK’s National Vocational Qualifications: the story so far, Journal of European Industrial Training, 19 (11), p. 14-27.

Shamsuddoha, M. Quadir, S. M. Kabir, F. (2004). Development of Human Resources through Educational Institutions in Bangladesh, Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.

Telegraph (2007). Does Tesco deserve bashing? Telegraphy UK.

The Network, (2009). Improving Employees’ Skills and Confidence at Tesco, UK.

The 100 Times 100. (nd).How training and development supports business growth, The Times Newspapers Ltd and MBA Publishing Ltd, UK.

Tome, E. (2009). The evaluation of HRD: a critical study with applications, Journal of European Industrial Training, 33(6), pp. 513-538.

United Nation, (1995). Human Resources Development, Twelfth Meeting of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance, New York.

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