The paper to explores HRM and its functions, and will make use of two different firms, namely Tesco and McDonald’s, and their HRM approaches for this purpose to obtain a better understanding. During the process, a comparison between the two organizations’ HRM approach will be made wherever possible before drawing conclusions.
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HRM is said to have evolved from personnel management and very little difference exists between the two as explained in literature; Hendry and Pettigrew viewed HRM as a different perspective of personnel management. However, a thorough study reveals that HRM essentially deals with strategic integration of personnel management functions in order to instil better accountability and ownership of human resources and to improve commitment between human resources and the firm. Personnel management can be traced back to industrial revolution, in firms such as Ford, which has eventually evolved to HRM even in these firms. Both, Tesco and McDonald’s operate as retail outlets and provide different services to their customers across the globe; while Tesco is a large supermarket with its major presence in the UK, McDonald’s is a fast-food restaurant operating throughout the world. Primarily, the functions of HRM include HR planning and acquisition, compensation and benefits, employee relations, safe working conditions, and human resources development; HRM’s secondary functions involve supportive activities such as job designing, performance management and performance appraisal systems, and research and information activities. (Sims, RR & Sims, SJ, 2007). For instance, at McDonald’s, HRM functions include activities related to maintaining employee relations and managing technology and processes; however, McDonald’s has customized these functions according to the country they operate through a team of HR directors that travel around the world to formulate and implement HR policies and procedures that match the local requirements and conform to legislation (Sims, 2002). Observations show McDonald’s typically comprises of working crew, supervisors/managers and probably some back-office personnel that work at locations other than their outlets. According to their website, HR function at McDonald’s focuses on acquiring and developing best talent suitable to their business through strong practices and by providing constant support and learning opportunities. Their main functions include job analysis, HR planning, recruitment, development, performance appraisal, and compensation (HRMS, n.d). Their corporate strategy is to provide an exceptional customer experience through people, products, place, price and promotion (Mission & Values, n.d). Their first step towards this is to hire the right people for the job followed by training and development. Tesco’s HR function takes credit for its diversified businesses and substantial growth (MacLachlan, 2009). According to MacLachlan’s (2009) report, their HR team was able to successfully blend technical excellence and expertise with customer needs through integrity, which led to their growth. Tesco’s business policies and procedures are strategically aligned to its core mission through identification of leaders, commitment, training and development. Their HR function is involved in almost every aspect of these activities in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Considering the line managers’ perspective, generally, they own the responsibility of conducting business with the help of frontline staff. They manage routine business operations through planning, organising and controlling; and developing human resources through training,
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