IntroductionRetailco is a retail giant in UK. It operates in multiple store grocery retailing sector and employs over 10,000 staff. It has a range of 700 branches spanning across UK. Its current strategy of cost-minimization and quality enhancement (improving customer service) has a strong effect on all its divisions and a special mention to its retail division, Riverside has been made in this report. Riverside is comparatively a smaller and simpler organization in itself and employs around 450 staff. Although, it has a very good record towards managing budgets and financial performance targets, it is facing severe shortcomings when it comes to its HR practices.
The HR management (HRM) issues at riverside have been a result of several variables and have been illustrated and elaborated here. The report starts with an evaluation of the organizational structure and design of Riverside. The HR strategies, policies, other HR issues and their integration with the overall corporate strategy at Retailco has been vividly defined and described. There are several inconsistencies and contradictions which have evolved out in the process of the analysis.
These have been elucidated to give a broader insight into the issues and problems. Finally, concluding the report is a brief re-visit on the aspects and contexts discussed in the report. The recommendation at the end of the report and an illustration of a need to follow those, is my sincere attempt to facilitate a process of revamping and re-energizing the dying HR structure at Riverside which would ultimately have a significant impact on Retailco too. Organization Structure at RiversideThe organizational design of Riverside, A retail division of Retailco, can be discussed under the reference of a ‘Simple structure’.
It has low degree of departmentalization and is not very elaborate (Mintzberg, 1983). The structure is almost flat with only three levels, a free body of staff and a central decision making authority who oversees the store operations as a ‘duty manager’ (The general manager) although with large spans of control. There is very little formalization. Figure 1 depicts the structure. Figure 1: Organizational Structure at RiversideOne of the major advantages of this structure at Riverside is its cost-effectiveness which goes well with Retailco’s corporate strategy of cost-minimization as well.
It is cost effective due to the flexibility it provides (additional feature where senior store managers can act on behalf of General Manager in his absence), its inexpensive maintenance and clear accountabilities. Since, Riverside (part of a very large and complex organization – Retailco) is a relatively smaller entity of 450 staffs, maintenance of this simple structure is feasible. This simple structure has been well complemented by distribution of powers to the senior store managers (who are responsible for their own departments and as ‘duty manager’ in GM’s absence) and the section managers (who were responsible for the day to day activities in their sections and various other local HR decisions like recruitment and selection, training, scheduling and performance appraisal (Fisher, et al.
(1997)). Nevertheless, there are various limitations in the process: The HR personnel manager has no HR experience or knowledge. The role which is a highly specialized one is seen as equivalent to any other routine activity which dilutes its effectiveness.