University of Hertfordshire
Introduction to People Management
People Management in
Table of Contents
The general purpose of this assignment is to research the role and effect of HR in one of the most known supermarket chains, J.Sainsbury’s.
J Sainsbury’s plc consists of Sainsbury’s – a chain of 547 supermarkets and 343 convenience stores – and Sainsbury’s bank . The interview was arranged with one of their project managers whose name is He has worked for Sainsbury’s more than ten years and he completed his postgraduate degree in Human resource Management. Mr Martin is an extremely busy person so all my questions I sent him by email to which he replied.
Human Resources if the modern term for “Personnel Management”. It’s role HR is defined as ‘a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisations most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives’ .
To phrase this in another way HR departments create the best possible conditions for a business’s workforce, with the aim of allowing all individuals to maximise their potential to the benefit in the business. Roles of HR are many fold, including tasks such as workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, disciplinary and grievance procedures, workplace law, negotiations with trade unions and appraisal.
People management in Sainsbury’s done through line managers. HR’s role into J Sainsbury’s is to advise, oversee, consult, instruct, connect between practice and theory, produce and maintain company policies, utilize the following strategies. These are broken down into the following.
Sainsbury’s is a well known supermarket brand in the UK. As with most businesses in this retail sector competition between it and other supermarket brands is fierce for market share and customer loyalty, therefore the business needs to recruit the best staff to maintain its competitive edge.
J Sainsbury’s has had a written recruitment policy for over 100 years. This is lays down a strict procedure to follow for the recruitment process. Having identified the initial need for recruitment, which is initiated by line managers, who identify the business’s needs as to the nature of this staff required (i.e. managerial, warehousing, maintenance etc). These vacancies maybe full time permanent, part-time permanent, contract or on subcontracted base through agencies.
All vacancies are initially advertised online. CVs are carefully filtered to match the applicants’ skill sets and matching experience to the vacancy. Successful applicants are invited for the interview. Depending on the nature of the vacancy the interview might be 1-2-1 for unskilled positions and by panel for managerial professional positions. Role of HR at Sainsbury’s in the procedure of recruitment is advisory. They oversee the process to insure that company policy and employment law guide lines are met and maintained. In addition HR monitors company policy to make sure that up to date. Actual recruitment is part of responsibility of line managers.
In authors opinion it is smart decision because line manager is a role who has a greater grasp of the front end needs and requirements of business.
A leader is a highly experienced, energized and positive individual with the capacity to organise and manage various projects. Strong ability to create and sustain work environments were individuals align their personal values & vision to strategic objectives of both the team and the business. Best practice and sound corporate ethics at all times are important to me and leader put a very strong emphasis on customer care whether internally or externally. Always advocate a can do philosophy as a team mantra and have built and trained a number of successful dynamic teams and gain great satisfaction from supporting and mentoring people, develop and cultivate a desire to really want to make a difference for themselves and others.
The role of a leader or a team leader in the companies is incontestable. Leadership can be defined as the ability to persuade others willingly to behave differently.  The major role of a leader is to have the foresight to see how the future of the business will develop and anticipate changes in external and internal conditions so as to provide direction and guidance to the workforce enabling them to meet possible changes and targets. Also to motivate and reward as individuals or as a group the people involved.
J Sainsbury’s is lead by a board of directors who look at innovative ways of leading the business to guarantee future business growth. The leadership style is matched to the employee through a use of communication methods and rewards.
Colleagues are motivated through their Team Leaders within their positions and are encourages to deliver to the best of their ability. J Sainsbury’s motivates their staff in many different ways. The core of these is fair pay for a rewarding job.
Also they utilize the following methods of motivation of employees:
· Save-As-You-Earn scheme for supermarket staff offers chance for company shares to be bought at a 20% discount.
· A profit-sharing scheme allows employees to have shares or cash. Roughly 50% of the company's shares are owned by current or former staff and it is this scheme that is largely responsible.
· Under a staff discount scheme, employees receive a 10% reduction on products bought from the company.
· Long service awards are given to staff with 15, 25 or 40 years' service.
· Also, the company operates performance-related pay and bonus schemes for middle and senior managers.
Training and appraisal go hand in hand to deliver and maximise an employees’ potential.
Within the J Sainsbury’s business every role has a training plan which will cover everything from health and safety to undertaking their duties within that role. Ideally staff will receive 37 hours or 1 week’s full time work of training within a year.
Training need are identified by changes in the work place, new operating methods, corrective training or refresher training. There use different methods of training such as 1-2-1, interactive training, workshops, video training, to list but a few. Some training is done in house, some training done via outside agencies.
J Sainsbury’s operates a bi annual appraisal system. This includes a review and discussion of past performance and future development. An appraisal result should never be a shock or something to worry about as a good line manager will discuss a colleague’s performance throughout the course of the year not just at appraisal time. A typical appraisal involves reviewing key targets for the department and how the individual has assisted in getting the results. In addition it will also look at the behaviour skills and set future objectives.
The disciplinary process is initiated and controlled by the line managers. The line manager has a final say but HR is only there to insure that HR and legal policies are applied and adhered to.
The line manager will rise initial concerns regarding a member or members of staff and the compliance with company’s policies.
Disciplinary process is invoked only when deemed necessary, and is generally viewed as a last resort coaching being the preferred first method. The most common reason for disciplinary processes at present is lateness.
The grievance procedure is there for use by not only the employee, but also the employer to protect their individual rights. The current grievance process adopted by J Sainsbury’s is very robust. The main causes for implementing the grievance procedure are employee relations with colleagues but incidents of this are rare.
As result of interviewing of Coryn Martin, familiarization and analyzing work of people management department in J Sainsbury’s the author has developed her own view of the function of HRM within Sainsbury’s.
Within Sainsbury’s the HR roll is primarily one of support and guidance. It does not in general, directly become involved with the workforce.
In recruitment, selection training and the general management of the workforce, the author considers the use of line managers in all areas of recruitment, selection, disciplinary, grievance and dismissal both logical and sensible as these managers have intimate contact with the customers and workforce on the daily basis giving them a sound overview of the general demands and requirement of the business. This allows them to build up a clear picture of the best directions and actions needed to maintain efficient and effective working teams. Also in the area of recruitment, the idea of using J Sainsbury’s own website to advertise vacancies helps to reduce costs of recruitment process.
In authors point of view J Sainsbury’s has very strong leadership, an indication of this can be seen in the annual report 2010 which says “Since 2005, sales have grown by around £1 billion each year and profits have more than doubled”.
It can be suggested that whilst an HR department is required in its roll to support the workforce, maintain recruitment policies, oversee grievance and disciplinary proceedings, and shape training programmes, the often large HR departments found in many businesses are in many ways over staffed and ‘top heavy’. As an example of this Coca Cola Enterprises have reduced their HR departments down to one manager and a specialised computer terminal which act as a portal providing information on HR topics.
 A handbook of Human resource management practice M.Armstrong 10th edition, 2007. p.3
 A handbook of Human resource management practice M.Armstrong 10th edition, 2007. P 299