Harrods is a UK based company which deals with the provision of both goods and services. Additionally, Harrods has a lot of staff members from different countries who work in its numerous branches in London and entire UK. However, the firm mainly concentrates on luxury commodities under the fashion and design industry. The fashion and design industry calls for a lot of creativity from the employees. Harrods highly values its Human Resource Management department, as they classify employees as the most vital part of the organisation. In order to bring the best out of its employees, Harrods has set some critical strategies to ensure the rate of employees turnover is minimised. However, as a way of motivation, Harrods plans to engage employees participation by involving them in such activities as decision-making, problem-solving with the aid of an effective communication system, and proper time management.
The objective of this report is to examine how Harrods organisation has undertaken its responsibilities concerning Human Resource Management. The report will also focus on the critical problems affecting Harrods staff and recommend suitable strategies to solve them. The report will also cover time management strategy and effective ways of communication within the work base. Finally, the paper will evaluate the effectiveness of SWOT analysis and brainstorming solutions in solving Harrods’ problems and developing appropriate strategies for resolving this particular problem and achieving employees’ engagement (Stringer, 2010).
Solving problems in a workplace will be useful if there is a stipulated framework to be followed. For example, the company can adopt seven steps of effective problem solving in a workplace (Mital et al. 2007).
Harrods has designed a people-oriented culture to achieve employee’s participation. Harrods opts to flatten its hierarchical structure to ease the process of communication. Within the workplace, employees can engage in three ways of communication, namely, visual communication, written communication, and verbal communication. Further, the three forms of communication can fall into categories that are internal communication and external communication. Internal communication plays a vital role in motivating, reprimanding, and informing individuals about the domestic affairs of Harrods. On the other hand, external communication involves gathering, disseminating, and receiving communication outside the organisation. This type of communication tends to be extensive due to such aspects as product promotion and marketing at large (Krizan & Merrier 2010).
Visual types of communication are essential and blend well with forms of communication. Often, visual communications are used to provide information and emphasis on important issues for the success of the enterprise. Examples of visual forms of communication include electronic presentations, specially designed signs such as neon signs. (Thompson, 2002).
Written forms of communication are unavoidable in any business workplace. It comprises of both written and typed forms of information. Examples of written communications contain evaluation reports, emails, physical and electronic memos, and other forms of documents that are similar in nature.
Harrods will achieve the overall success of business if it prioritises verbal form of communication. Harrods has a diverse workforce which comprises of people from different countries, hence, the trend in today’s standard workforce is creating a diversity of culture. It will be essential for Harrods to create a firm foundation for verbal communication so that each of them could enhance togetherness and understandability within the workplace.
Communication among a group of people is likely to suffer several obstacles. There are seven types of communication barriers which Harrods may see as a possible experience. Physical Barriers
Physical barriers are installed by people. For instance, the work-based team in Harrods can suffer from the barrier created by numerous portioned offices. Portioned offices will inhibit verbal type of communication which is the best form of communication to achieve employee participation (Thompson 2002).
As an international company with thousands of employees from different countries of the world. Harrods is likely to suffer from cultural barriers in terms of commutation within the company. The cultural difference within the workplace inclines to generate some elements of stereotyping. Communication can be disseminated while biases may be targeted on the employees from a particular country because they are perceived as more suitable.
Within the company workplace, individuals have different kinds of interpersonal skills. A clash in communicating emerges when individual’s level of confidence and self-esteem differ in their attempts to communicate important messages both internally and externally.
Harrods workplace is culturally diverse. As much as the organisation has insisted on using English as a common language, still there are instances where employees from the same countries such as France or Spain would switch to their mother tongue. The language switch would disadvantage employees who are unable to understand it. This may worsen the communication in Harrods (Thompson 2002).
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In case of physical barriers, Harrods should adopt an open-plan type of office layouts. An open-plan office allows the room for creativity because employees interact freely, and this is an advantage for Harrods as a design company.
Cultural barriers can be solved by practicing incessant employees’ education and interactions holidays. When employees get to learn and understand different sets of culture among themselves, it will reduce the problem of culture conflict. Understanding of different cultures brings harmony and coordination hence will help Harrods to achieve the goal of ensuring maximum employees’ engagement (Stenström & Tynjälä, 2008).
In solving interpersonal barriers such as lack of empathy, self-esteem, and confidence will need mentorship. Employees can be given mentorship and counselling, which will instill confidence and self-esteem, and reduce arrogance in them. Despite the fact that the senders and receivers might be from a different background, creed, and education, they ought to put aside their preconceptions and prejudices in order to comprehend each other’s point of view.
Finally, language barrier problems can be easily solved. Harrods should insist on the use of one language, which is English. Employees should conform to this particular policy and take advantage of it to meet the company’s objective.
According to Womack, the term “time management” is a misnomer because one cannot manage time but instead control only events in a workplace. There are several strategies which Harrods can adopt in order to bring the best out of its employees. Harrods can come up with the best time management plan by engaging its employees and educating them through the self-analysis of their skills, planning evaluation, and self-control. Harrods can adopt the following strategy (Forsyth, 2013).
Employees should always create set activity with blocks of hours and breaks. For instance, they can set a particular designing stage to take 50 minutes and 10 minutes of a break while reviewing the work done. In case of challenging activities, longer time should be assigned to them. Most importantly, these blocks of time should be placed on the most productive time of employees.
As much as I propose an open-plan office, this type of layout is prone to cluttering that can cause stress and unwanted disruptions that end up hampering effective decision-making. The disruptions can be minimised by reducing the use of gadgets such as cell phones and providing private backup space where employees can resort if they need maximum concentration (Thompson, 2002).
Employees should develop a culture of prioritising their work, starting with the most difficult tasks and ending with the easier ones. From a biological point of view, individuals are more productive and strong in the early hours of the day. Harrods’ employees can capitalise on this aspect.
It is important to postpone activities that are not of much importance to be done later after the most vital ones have been completed. Sometimes, employees can encounter events that appear appealing but unnecessary. The employees should learn to do them later and focus on the most important tasks that have the pressure of meeting deadlines.
As a design company, Harrods’ production process is set with a series of stages and activities. Some stages of the product production are completed on a daily basis, while the outcome is a long-term report. Therefore, when planning time, the regular basis should match the period stipulated on the entire projects.
Harrods can use SWOT analysing to determine the impending risks facing them, best opportunities available, and the ways to maximise these risks. In the work-based setting, employees will be able to identify their weaknesses and relate them to the problems. The primary objective of SWOT analysis is to enable the organisations to examine their operations in two dimensions, both negative and positive (Pahl & Richter, 2009).
An effective SWOT analysis can be set in the Harrods productions sites to offer a dashboard analysis on the products and services produced. The report will enable employees to correct their mistakes and present high-quality product. Moreover, SWOT analysis can be used in case Harrods plans to explore paths for new ideas, identification of areas that need to be changed and in case of refining and redirecting efforts. Employees can use a SWOT analysis table as shown below to feel in their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in every task they do weekly (Anderson, 2005).
Harrods weekly SWOT analysis ( Specific Department)
Brainstorming is another useful tool that can be used in solving less critical problems within an organisation. The technique allows employees to voice their suggestions towards solving a particular problem. The advantage of this method is that it provides many possible solutions to a single problem and only the best are deployed. However, this can be the best strategy for Harrods because it tends to achieve maximum employees’ participation.
Step 1: Present the problem The problem to be discussed is brought forward to the panel of employees for a discussion.
Step 2: Generate possible solutions Employees are allowed to suggest possible solutions to this particular problem in an orderly manner.
Step 3: Evaluating and selecting the best alternative solutions The solutions are evaluated basing on their reliability and suitability in deciding that the best solutions are picked.
Step 4: Implementing the best alternative The best solutions are implemented to solve the problem.
Step 5: Action and reviewing The action of solving the problem is undertaken, while reviewing is done to check its accuracy.
Developing problem solving strategies for a particular issue is different developing strategies to cover certain problems. Employees can follow the procedure below when seeking a solution to a particular problem (Kaufman et al., 2005).
The above strategy will post a significant impact if it is deployed towards a particular problem. For instance, resorting to brainstorming technique is also suitable because Harrods will achieve their Human Resource Management objective of maximising employees’ participation (Mital et al., 2007).
The Human Resource Management Department will achieve their objectives of attracting employees’ participation within the work-base. This report recommends suitable ways in which Harrods can meet its main departmental goals such as employees’ engagement. For instance, when setting problem solving, decision making, and any other activities, Harrods should strategise this activity in a manner that creates maximum employees’ participation. Time management strategy should eliminate instances of lagging and delaying but not at the expense of their products quality. The SWOT analysis strategy and brainstorming technique suggested will act well to achieve maximum employees’ engagement. Communication should be visual and face-to-face and this will be aided by the introduction of an open-plan type of office. Whenever employees are engaged with critical roles of the organisation, they tend to become highly motivated and give all their efforts to the best of the company. From the mode of commutation to the time management strategies chosen, Harrods should set it in the ways that boost employees’ participation.