'The main purposes of all organisations are to survive and develop. To survive, the organisation must continue to provide the kinds of goods and services demanded by its customers and clients, bearing in mind of course, that such demands change' (Donald Currie) La Senza is a medium sized enterprise with 100-499 employees across the UK. It is a Flat type organisation with fewer management levels but is widely spread across the company. 'Flat organisations have smaller number of hierarchical levels and a wide p of control' (Managing people ACCA, 2005 - CPP class notes)
HR in La Senza has been more predominantly known as Personnel. Within the last year The Personnel Department has changed to the HR department as the company is growing and more and developing new positions and stores. The HR department has changed as a whole and the responsibilities have changed into a more HR function compared to the Personnel function. The HR Officers which were previously known as Personnel Assistants now have more responsibilities and deal with HR duties hands on which will leave the HR assistant to deal with administration duties.
The HR department's organisation structure The HR department is undertaken by HR specialists and is lead by the HR Director. The HR Manager deals with all the staff queries and issues such as disciplinary and grievance, Maternity rights, Sickness and absence, and the more advanced queries. The Recruitment manager deals with all the recruitment queries that hiring managers are enquiring about. This could be a second opinion on employing a member of management or making a decision on employment of suitable staff.
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The HR officers deal with the employment contract, contract hours, overtime and time in lieu and holiday pay. The HR Assistant will then deal with the administration of the work from the HR officer and also assisting the recruitment manager. The HR department will then liaise with the area managers and store managers to assist with the company's policy and procedures. The area manager is responsible for controlling all the branches within their designated area and is in charge of making sure the business runs smoothly.
When necessary the area manager will contact recruitment agencies to employ temps on a short term basis to help out with the company need. The main HR Recruitment and selection processes are down to the store manager and the requirements of each individual store. The store managers will need to assess the business needs and report back to the area manager. The Store manager is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of each member of staff and customers. She/he ensures that the appropriate training is provided to employees to complete their duties of work.
The store manager has the power to promote a member of staff, do appraisals and monitor staff and develop a career for the staff. From experience and also analysing the store training and development I have identified that the training is not professional and can lead to misleading information to our customers. Our training does not come from a training department but from management and other experienced members of staff. Some may have been there and had the relevant training and some have just learnt how to do bra measuring through another member of staff who may have been with the company a few weeks.
When dealing with customer requirements, giving wrong measurements can also have an effect on the customer and lead to a negative feedback. 'Training is important, for example, in the induction of employees to an organisation, in health and safety and helping an organisation to respond effectively to change' (Martin and Jackson 4th Ed) 'Induction is best handled through training. It is possible to overload people with information, and if you send them home at the end of their first day carrying an armful of documents, they 'may get down to reading them one day' and some of the information is critical.
On the other hand, if the information is put across in a training environment, clearly and in a controlled way, the person will absorb and internalise it more easily, and it is more likely to 'stick'. ' (Donald Currie) EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT PESTLE ANALYSIS There have been many different changes over the years which have an effect on all businesses, using a PESTLE analysis I have identified a few changes which may have affected the company over a period of time. After analysing the PESTLE analysis i have identified the key drivers for change that would happen within the next three years..
The economy at the moment is at its worst and is still looking at job losses and redundancies. Stores are cutting back on its budget and hours. This effects the economy as a whole and is looking to continue to change for the over the next few years. There is a strong competition with Ann Summers, also another luxury lingerie provider and offering other different types of products that La Senza do not offer, which is opposite the store on the lower level. This has an effect on the business taking in less money and could lead to one store closing down.
La Senza has had a great success over 10 years of trading and are still striving to bring in new ideas and new products to the business. This means having a wider range of products suitable for young females and continuous offers. 'There are some serious implications arising from the changing environment for employees. Smaller organisations mean fewer opportunities for promotion from one level to another. But rapid growth in the size of an organisation may compensate for this, offering other opportunities.
' (Martin and Jackson 4th Ed) SWOT ANALYSIS I have undertaken a SWOT analysis to establish how the business is surviving and if there will be any implications in the long run. Strengths - La Senza are expanding and are providing unique products within the market. Since the changeover in ownership the company is moving forward and expanding another 3 stores in London. This year for the first time La Senza are opening temporary Christmas stores just until January in Epson, Hammersmith and Bluewater.
Weaknesses - Staff training has been a weakness as it is a handover from staff knowledge Opportunities - There are many promotional opportunities to move on and develop within the company. I have assisted my manager to manage the store and have done managerial duties which has benefited me. There are many opportunities for on the job training which can lead to a higher positions within the business. Threats - Competitors Ann Summers and Debenhams can be a potential threat but as they differ in products this may not affect La Senza.
The company can lose customers due to wrong information being given. Staffs are not happy and come and go so recruiting is a regular thing. This can be due to: *lack of work hours given *not happy with pay or *staff finding another job elsewhere *lack or training provided. After analysing the SWOT analysis i have found the main key issues that need to make a change within the company would be to provide better training for the staff at La Senza for them to be able to provide a good service to the public and gain the knowledge on the products.
The staff members will need to be more competent on the products and services that the company have to offer as they will not be doing their job properly. For example: A bra fitting service provided to customers will need to be accurate as this could lead to unhappy customers and the company will suffer from loss of customers. The HR department should get more involved with the stores and be on hand to help rather than communication via other method. HR need to make store management and staff aware of the roles and the functions of HR and when staff will need to contact HR with issues.
CONCLUSION After summarising the key issues of the HR functions within La Senza I have managed to research the HR/Personnel functions within La Senza and have established that the previously known Personnel department has now changed over to the HR department due to an expansion within the company. The HR department has now developed and have gained more tasks and responsibilities with the effect from the business and the HR department will liaise with the stores for its day to day duties and communications.
The HR department is broken down into different levels in which each level of a HR practitioner with be assigned to different duties. The store management have a general understanding of the HR department but this will only be basic knowledge on what they have to deal with when they have to contact HR but they do find that having a HR department is effective and useful. When undertaking the SWOT and PESTLE analysis there have been many ways in which the company can be affected and with recent changes in the economy it will affect some business more than others.
The key issues are that the economy is still changing and will continue to change over the years and will mean a lot more job losses and redundancies and businesses will have to cut back on a lot hours, and the budget will be low. This will also mean less spending in stores. The positive thing about La Senza is that the company is still growing and are expanding to ensure the income is coming in which means there will be more opportunities within the organisation, more people are looking for a new jobs.
There will need to be some improvements in the HR functions and in the stores development to enable the effectiveness of the company. The current issues that are identified are that the HR department do not communicate with the stores enough and the managers do not have a thorough understanding of the HR department and what they do. Another issue is that the staff training is not up to standards and will need improvement to enable a better service to the public.
This includes the bra fitting service which needs high attention to as this provides customers with the information they need to make purchases from the store and incorrect information could lead to an unhappy customer and losing that customer. There may be possible barriers that might stop improvements being made to the company. At the moment the company is reducing staff hours and lowering the budget, which means it is possible they will not invest in appropriate training for staff members or make any changes to the HR function.
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