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Human Resource Management | Employee Retention Plan

Key challenges in Attracting And Retaining The Employees In The Retail Sector

            The key to the success of a business venture lies upon the performance efficiency of the employees of the firm (Ehnert& Harry, 2012). The same goes for the employees in the retail sector as well. However, in the last few years, the companies under retail sector have experienced massive employee turnovers. There is the number of factors like working on weekends, late hour shifts and many others that lead to employee turnover in the retail sectors. Moreover, other factors like immense competition, the high pressure of work, workplace politics and many other also influence the employee turnover (Jiang et al., 2012). Hence, to attract and to retain the employees, the employers and the manager of the company need to develop a strategy that values the human resource. In other words, the authorities of the companies in the retail sector must develop an effective strategy that will mutually benefit both employees and the firm. Moreover, they also need to train the employees and groom the corporate culture to retain the talent and the brains of the employees.

           

            Human resource management industry includes the strategic planning and implementation of strategies to develop a productive workforce through motivation. However, the retail sectors face some particular challenges regarding human resource management as the employees in retail sectors directly deal with the customers (Madera, 2012). While considering the challenges both the short term and long term objectives of Human resources must be considered

According to Van De Voorde, Paauwe& Van Veldhoven (2012), ........

e employees in the retail sector as well. However, in the last few years, the companies under retail sector have experienced massive employee turnovers. There is the number of factors like working on weekends, late hour shifts and many others that lead to employee turnover in the retail sectors. Moreover, other factors like immense competition, the high pressure of work, workplace politics and many other also influence the employee turnover (Jiang et al., 2012). Hence, to attract and to retain the employees, the employers and the manager of the company need to develop a strategy that values the human resource. In other words, the authorities of the companies in the retail sector must develop an effective strategy that will mutually benefit both employees and the firm. Moreover, they also need to train the employees and groom the corporate culture to retain the talent and the brains of the employees.

           

            Human resource management industry includes the strategic planning and implementation of strategies to develop a productive workforce through motivation. However, the retail sectors face some particular challenges regarding human resource management as the employees in retail sectors directly deal with the customers (Madera, 2012). While considering the challenges both the short term and long term objectives of Human resources must be considered

According to Van De Voorde, Paauwe& Van Veldhoven (2012), one of the key challenges is the high rate of employee turnover, which means that in retail sector employees routinely come and go. This makes the training and development of the organisational workforce much more difficult than any other sector. This causes waste of both time and resources of the firms in the sector as the company has to recruit hire and train new people constantly. Moreover, it also makes hard to build customer loyalty, if the client encounters with new representative employees each time. This challenge can be addressed through recruiting the right employees and building an affinity with them. Moreover, the company needs to improve its working process as well as the human resource management planning to retain employees. While recruiting the new employees, the company must gather information about the job preferences of the candidate (Foss et al., 2015). Allocating proper job position to the employees can build job satisfaction within employees and reduce the turnover rate as well.

 

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Fig 01: Factors affecting HR management

(Source: Bagheri, 2016)

However Hareesh (2015) argued that the most significant challenge, which the human resource of the retail sectors faces, is the workplace diversity. However, the diversity of the workforce is often considered to be a good thing. This is because it allows the retailer to connect better with the marketplace and enables to imply new and better ideas for the firm. However, having employees from different demographic and cultural background can also create chaos among the employees (Bhatla& Pandey, 2014). They fail to work together in harmony as a team because often their perspectives differ from each other which lead to conflicts in decision making. The major challenge for the HR executive is to bring cohesiveness among the diverse employees and promote tolerance while avoiding major conflicts.

While building a workforce of committed, motivated and competent employees, the human resource managers of retail sectors, often face numerous challenges regarding misconceptions and perceptive differences (Bagheri, 2016). Common concerns regarding these factors involve the long hours of working shift, lack of full-time job benefit, low pay scale and other factors. As per stated in the article by Nalla&Varalaxmi (2014), these challenges can be overcome by adjusting the working process of the firm that benefits the employees. Focusing on employee difficulties and increasing the pay-scale can improve the scenario of the firm significantly. If the misconceptions of the employees regarding the business policies are taken care of, then a significant portion of the HR challenges can be handled (Bhatla& Pandey, 2014).

 

            Due to the volatile situation of the employees in the firms of the retail sector, the HR executives always face certain challenges while recruiting and selecting new employees for the firm (Sultana, 2014). There are five key challenges that every human resource executive face while recruiting and selecting new employees for the firm.

Retail sectors often face a routine turnover and therefore each day new employees are hired to maintain the workflow of the company. Therefore, the need to make fast recruitment is the most significant challenge that the human resource manager faces. According to the article by Cascio (2018), the challenge of making a quick hire for the company is one of the greatest struggles that the human resource managers face. The efficiency of the recruitment lies in the proper evaluation of the candidate and his/her resume, evaluating the qualification of the candidate. Hence, multiple rounds of interviews are conducted before recruitment and selection. However, in case of retail sectors, the urgency for recruitment does not allow proper evaluation of employees before recruitment (Bratton & Gold, 2017).

As the companies regularly face employee turnovers, they have to recruit new employees and train them to work efficiently which also requires a lot of company resources.   Hence the human resource professionals often face challenges regarding the lack of funds.  As described by Brewster &Hegewisch (2017), the human resource executive has to hire new employee regularly, as the old ones often tend to leave the sector for various reasons. Hence, the resources spent on them are often wasted and creates a scenario where there are not many adequate resources to properly train newer employees or even recruit them. Furthermore, Nankervis et al. (2013) argues that this affects the organisational performance more than the employees as the resources allocated for the organisational activities get affected as well.

The human resource managers often see themselves stuck in a position where the company has stopped receiving any new resumes from candidates (Bratton & Gold, 2017). The company often lacks the candidates with proper skill sets that would be appropriate for the job position vacant. Even if the companies reach out to the potential job seekers, the companies hit a snag as they do not find the appropriate talent required by them. However, according to de Menezes (2012), this problematic scenario is more or less common for any other sectors as well. However, arguing with the statement, Kramar (2014) states that, along with the urgency of recruitment, the competition is higher in retail sector than any other. Hence, the challenge is more prominent in the firms of the retail sector. Nankervis et al. (2013) Also adds, that the proper understanding and utilising the analytics is quite a challenge for the human resource officials of the firms in the retail sector. According to Bratton &Gold, (2017), sorting through and implementing the data acquired through human resource information technology can be challenging for the HR executives.

 

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Last but not least, the search for the appropriate talent for the company culture is one of the most significant challenges for the human resource managers. The human resource managers have to keep in mind that the recruits must be able to integrate him/her into a team and work cohesively. According to Sultana (2014), if the employees fail to adapt to the company culture, the HR manager has to conduct the talent acquisition program again.          

           

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 02: Challenges of human resource management

(Source: Sultana, 2014)

           

            One of the most significant challenges that the human resources of retail sector face is the challenges regarding the legal, ethical and safety contexts. The ethical issues of the human resources in the retail sectors are related to the challenges regarding the set of rules for the human moral behaviour (Kramar, 2014). The code of ethics according to which the ethics in the firm works can be classified into two components. The written policies that specify the ethical and the unethical behaviours are called explicit code of ethics. On the other hand, there are some unwritten but well-established set of moral rules or standards which are called implicit ethical codes (de Menezes, 2012).

One of the significant challenges or the issues the HR manager faces is the misuse of the company assets. The employees must understand the importance of the proper usage of the company property (Cascio, 2018). It often proves to be challenging for the human resource manager to make the employees understand along with proper behaviour with others, proper usage of company properties is equally important.Another ethical dilemma that the HR manager has to deal with is the employee theft, which refers to the act of stealing of merchandise from the retail store by an employee (Sultana, 2014). It is one of the most common issues and a crime that needs to be dealt with by the human resource manager.

Then there is the misrepresentation of the promotional information, and the customer fraud is also a quite significant issue that the human resource manager has to take care of (Nalla&Varalaxmi, 2014).The legal issues involve the challenges regarding the set of laws that activities that are socially deemed to be wrong. Given the competitive nature as well as the dynamic nature of the retail sectors, various legal challenges surface which are needed to be controlled by the HR executive (Bagheri, 2016). These legal challenges include controlling the commercial bribery, taking care of the price discrimination and last but not least, the solving issues regarding the price setting.

           

            Challenges related to the Job analysis and devising a process or a design for work is one of the most significant responsibly for a human resource manager (Bhatla& Pandey, 2014). The process involves a variety of methods, planning, tools, models, and a lot of human effort. However, various factors influence the analysis and impacts over the outcome. These influential factors are the effort, time, and resources which affects the effectivity of the entire job design and analysis. According to Hareesh, (2015), the process designed for job analysis can be effective and quite efficient. However, it also consists of some issues and challenges that the human resource manager needs to consider.

The most significant challenge for the human resource manager is the lack of support from the higher authorities and the management. The biggest challenge the Human resource executive has to face when the management or the higher authorities do not approve or support the job analysis program (Madera, 2012). The top level of management in the firm needs to communicate with the middle-level managers like the Human resource executive. This would improve and enhance the productivity of the company as the work design developed by thee HR manager would be effective. Otherwise, due to lack of communication, the workflow within the design of work would break down due to improper job analysis and the employees would look for choices (Ehnert& Harry, 2012).

Then there is the lack of employee cooperation which limits the efficiency level of the proper job analysis. It is impossible to get proper, accurate and authentic data of the organisational activities is the employees do not cooperate and share the necessary information (Jiang et al., 2012). In other words, without the help of the employees, it is impossible to obtain accurate data to analyse the business performance of the retailer. Without the cooperation of the employees, the entire job analysis and job designing process become only a sheer wastage of time, effort and financial resources. In order to overcome this challenge, the human resource managers of the company in retail sectors need to open up and establish a clear communicational channel between the employer and employees (Van et al., 2012).

According to Madera (2012), one of the most crucial challenges for the human resource managers regarding the job analysis and job designing, is the unavailability of the adequate data source. In other words, the HR executive gets access to only some limited sources of data to analyse the organisational performance and employee behaviours. It is quite evident from the article of Foss et al. (2015) that an analyst should consider more than one sources of data to collect true and genuine information. Gathering information from only one source leads to a result, that is quite inaccurate and inauthentic. Moreover, one source of data can often be proved to be biased and the data being genuine also becomes a questionable matter. As it is quite established from the article by Hareesh (2015), an unbiased and balanced approach is necessary for carrying out an efficient job analysis process.

           

           

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The strategic human resources planning depend upon the size of the business or the industry where the human resource management is to be implemented. The effectivity of the human resource planning is quite important as it determines the productivity of the company (Bhatla& Pandey, 2014). However, there are lots of challenges that can affect the effective business planning of the human resources.

           

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 03: Contemporary problems in HRM

(Source: Cascio, 2018)

The efficiency of the human resource planning depends upon the predictive ability of the company about its business outcomes (Bagheri, 2016).  The planning for human resource management is based on various outside factors which the company has no control over. These factors are namely, the economic trends, the downturns, the upturn in market trends, competitor status and many others. Moreover,Sultana (2014) states that often the human resource managers remain unable to predict the impact of these events successfully. Then there is the high pace of change within the retail industry, which makes it even harder for the human resource managers to predict that what skills are required for the betterment of the company.

The retail industry is infamous for its large-scale employee turnovers. The employees are free to stay or leave the firm as they see fit (Cascio, 2018). The employees make decisions about their careers, and they tend to move from company to company. Hence, the human resource planning involving the workforce and the retaining of the employee becomes quite difficult to implement.According to de Menezes, (2012), another significant challenge for the human resource manager regarding the human resource planning is the prediction and planning for the development and growth of the firm. The successful companies have the most probability of crashing and burning quickly or lose their revenue. Therefore, lack of proper planning and ability to properly use the information system can only make the downfall of the company inevitable.

However Bratton & Gold, (2017) argued that the most significant factor in the human resource planning is that it needs to be linked and aligned with the company objectives. However, employees being the crucial part of the company it is also required by the human resource manager to take the benefits of the employees into consideration as well.  However, the human resource manager is often considered to be a bridge between the employees and the authorities (Kramar, 2014). Hence, the strategic decisions are not always influenced by the human resource manager.

           

            From the above study, it can be concluded that the human resource management and strategic planning in the retail industry requires a lot of corporate attention and improvement. The various challenges that are often faced by the company executive and the human resource managers are needed to be handled with efficiency. The challenges regarding attracting and retaining the employees in the firms of the retail sector has been discussed in the study. The discussion is carried out through five particular themes. These themes are the human resource management challenges, challenges regarding the recruitment, Legal and ethical issues, challenges of job analysis and the issues of HR planning.  The various factors influencing the outcome of the business activities should be thoroughly analysed. Moreover, a strong communication channel must be built within the human resource executive of the company in the retail sector, the top authorities and the employees. From the findings of the study, it has been clear that the cooperation of the higher authorities is equally important as the cooperation of the employees. As conclusive statement it can be said that if the challenges discussed above are taken care of, the employee turnover rate in retail sector can be reduced as well.