Marks and Spencer also referred to as M&S is one of the main British multinational retailers whose headquarters are in London, in Westminster city. It majors in home products, luxury food products, and clothing sales. The M&S Company was started by Michael Marks and Thomas Spence, who were the founding partners. The company was founded in the year 1894 in Leeds, naming it after the founders' surnames respectively. Currently, in the United Kingdom, Marks and Spencer have over 980 stores where about 620 specialize in the sale and distribution of food products. The company also has many overseas franchise outlets. The company applies a flat organization structure, where it has minimum management levels between the level of administration and the employees in the front line. The organization structure is due to authority layer reduction by delayering which impacts the responsibility of each employee and the departments. In addition to this, the workers are more accountable for their roles and responsibility thus can be their decisions are justifiable.
The structure of M&S limits the bureaucracy as a result of low levels of communication management between managers in higher authority and common employees become more convenient allowing change that is rapid and solution to the problem. M&S has over 3,000 employees in the headquarters, London, and over 60,000 more employees who work in the stores and are tasked with various roles in the organization (M&S, 2018). The company has a number of people who interact, such as the stock buyers, managers of the stock and stock layers in the store, and the marketing stock. The company is headed by a Chief Executive officer (CEO) who is Mr. Steve Rowe, alongside a board of directors, where Mr. Archie Norman is the chairman of the board. Under the CEO are several managers in charge of different departments. They include Chief Financial Officer (CFO), IT, retail manager, Store Environment, Marketing, HR, food, and Clothing, Homer and Beauty manager.
The recruiting of M&S workers involves a number of stakeholders. The project manager utilizes his or her own staff member leaving the Human resource (HR) department to handle the task of workers recruitment. The Human resource management selects the suitable candidates and undertakes the training of the personnel chosen basing on three factors (M&S, 2018). The HR department has to act in a legal manner complying with legislation of anti-discrimination. The department has to keep its morals by ensuring there is no unfair discrimination alongside adherence to the law. The most important of all is that it should select the suitable employees as an effort aimed at achieving the company's business goal and not a personal one. Therefore, the opportunities provided by the human resource department should be equal for everyone regardless of race, gender, age and religious beliefs. M&S applies several modes of recruiting its staff such as training management schemes, where with this trainee program, and managers can reach a level equivalent to that of commercial level in two years' time. In addition to this, the corporation makes use of the trainee scheme of graduate management, where the company representatives attend the graduate events like career fairs. Similarly, the company has an online recruitment of staff that is exercised with high professionalism.
Marks and Spencer control all the store job application through the WCN's tracking system for applicants (M&S, 2018). The system facilitates the successful candidates' who have applied and successfully completed tests done online, to arrange within an hour after completion of application of their own interview. The Marks and Spencer HR system allows input of stores vacancies and provide assessment periods available. The system then facilitates the transfer of information to the WCN system, which in turn enables viewing by the online candidate. M&S believes in the competence of the workers so as to compete favorably in the market, thus undertakes the role of training its employees at three different levels according to the experience and level of skill required. M&S corporate spot a niche of skills in every manager such as financial skills, leadership skills or team working skills. It ensures a match of the job required skills and the current skills of the employee, thus offers training in case there is a mismatch.
Entry-level employees are tasked with duties more than working for the country's largest retailers. New employees find an organization that encourages collaboration to put their clients on their frontline. The employees find their first up to 30-60 days enticing as they are met with a sense of camaraderie where they feel that they belong to the organization. For the rest, up to 90 days and above, employees feel that they are involved in the works of the organization since it has its own ways of listening to individual queries. All through their first experience with M&S, employees meet a diverse society with a pool of diverse available opportunities. They get rewarded with competitive salaries, bonus schemes, and flexible working opportunities to participate in volunteering as long as they play their part (M&S, 2018).
One of their policies is to "Raise staff awareness by designing and delivering training programmes that support the Equal Opportunities aims" (M&S, 2018). M&S offers a comprehensive training and performance coaching programme that improves employees' confidence in their working environments and equip them with the skills required for maximization of productivity. Regardless of the roles and ambitions of the employees, succinct training is offered to meet each and every need along with support required for maximum performance. Training is delivered through various methods that depend on the objectives of the organization and the trainee involved. Training is delivered as either on-the-job or off-the-job (Mellahi et al., 2002). On-the-job happens when an employee is asked to perform a particular task to test their skill whereas off-the-job training is carried out outside the working environment such as using stock management software. However, on-the-job training dominates the training activities carried out within the organization. Regular feedback regarding the training is then issued through a dedicated people to make sure that the employees achieve the standards required by the organization's customer care. During their time in the organization, some of the staff is also issued with induction training regarding the health and safety alongside food safety. The staffs of M&S are issued with a customized compliance book that contains all necessary information to test their comprehension of the various facts regarding their roles. Additional training is then offered throughout the four weeks to hone their skills while on the store to improve their confidence and prepare them for the future.
Training is delivered around three key features that include developing a value for money products on the basis of customer needs, investing in the environment within their stores and providing an effective customer care to retain its clients (Mellahi et al., 2002). Additionally, in support for their employees who have ten years of experience or more, the ex-service persons and those who are categorized under the Armed Forces Volunteer Service, the organization pays for random weekly leaves for their workers to make sure they are acquainted with the best of the skills required while at work. The staff is offered some licensing after some period where age-restricted sales are covered. These sales may include those which use some Highfield training materials.
M&S is one of the organizations that support career development. In their lifestyle options, the management realizes that there should be a work-life balance regardless of the job or level one is seen at. M&S believes in flexible working alongside offering sufficient support for the staff that wishes to study or takes a total break with their career break scheme of at most 9 months. However, the organization does not promise to support the scheme. Employees in the organization who have at least 2 years of experience whilst working there may request the leave for their desired purposes such as travel and volunteer work. However, the decision to issue the leave would be based on their operational needs and their performance. For a career leave request of 3 months or more, a request can be made at least three months earlier.
Some of the risks to be accounted for by the organization include environmental risks and the risks pertaining to social inequality. M&S has a feasible plan to create an assurance to their clients and important stakeholders that their products are ethically and sustainably sourced (Grayson, 2011). The firm has a widely developed supply chain where most of the impacts occur (Grayson, 2011). As a way of enhancing the lives and as a support to the local community, M&S sources most of its products and commodities from at least 70 nations worldwide hence, making the supply chain a lot more complex. Through the supply chain, the firm's chain workers can get a good working condition. As a way of managing the risk, the firm makes sure that every worker's rights are at the forefront in the decision-making process and that there are minimum requirements in paying respect to the human rights. The risk is managed regardless of the way they function, either through sourcing items from outside to sell them or use them within the business. In support of risk-taking, the organization has a clearly-defined human rights policy and code of ethics and behaviors that reinforce their commitment and responsibility to recognize the human rights. M&S also makes sure they deal with their suppliers in a fair manner and lawfully while eliminating worker exploitation from the food supply complex chain. Additionally, M&S developed Plan A in 2008 to make a commitment that counters the risks associated with the business. The plan was revised to 'Plan A 2025' in the year 2017 to make sure that they strengthen their commitment to address the very issues affecting the business (Grayson, 2011). With the plan, their unique business model is underpinned hence, making the organization create a long-term value through the use of certain resources and bonds.
The mentoring systems used at Marks and Spencer are formal ones. By this, the firm launches an internal mentoring programme for women routinely. The aim of the mentoring programme is to make sure that women, at each level can access their mentors who can at least assist them progress in their careers. Further, the organization credits men for making sure that they achieve a gender-balanced business, a reason why they have a GEN (Gender Equality Network) that replaces the international women's day for the women's network in the business. Besides, joining the apprenticeship of M&S leads to important benefits including receiving a lot of coaching and mentoring. For over 12 to 18 months, one can achieve an experience in each conceivable part of the store. During that period, one may learn the leading arts and the way to manage people in an effective manner. Finally, through such mentorship, the people can be able to take up certain roles including that of a commercial manager, who takes charge of the entire departments. In their formal mentorship, M&S has developed a school mentorship one with Westminster Academy, a local school to the head office of the firm, located in London. The mentoring programme has been set up as part of the firm's diversity and inclusi...
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