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Challenges facing Individuals Resource managers

Q/1 Business environment is changing everyday and delivering new challengers to the HR professionals. What are the challenges encounters by Hr professionals at British Gas in the UK?

The ultimate goal of any company is to get success in the market it is operating in. To be able to achieve the aim organisations need to create an agent that operates in a number of real world surroundings. It is very important to add some mechanisms that let it operate in a strong environment, one which changes over time in addition to the actions. Certainly there are surroundings that not change with time and are static but they are usually small organisations that are limited in size and opportunity.

Traditionally the surroundings used to be static but the trends on the market are altered, the static and well expected market changes have been distorted to energetic and ever changing market situations. To cope with the changes on the market and achieve their ultimate goal organisations need to consider not only the exterior but also the evenly important interior constituencies.

Among all the inner factors employees can be said as you of the most important part. The role of the employees for the stamina of any company is well recognized in the current modern vibrant and competitive business community. Therefore employees have been the centre of attention and are being invested in by the organisations by providing them training and development, competitive remuneration and other benefits.

Thus in the current powerful market environment when organisations have felt the necessity of taking care of their workers, they can also sense the need of professionals that can deal with the above mentioned problems. This is where HR managers come into the picture who deals with all the issues related to the employees. The role of the People Resource administrator has been developed as time passes from just administrative tasks to modern role of strategic partnership. (Bratton and Silver, 2007).

British gas which is renowned energy brand in United Kingdom is a part of Centrica. British isles gas is working in an powerful rivalry and to be able to stay in advance in the contest to success they have to consider all the stake holders including employees. English gas recognises that their success has been based mostly upon the capacities and commitment of their employees, and because of this they are focused on meet their people needs. S

The different changes within the business environment can be summed up using PEST analysis, which include the changes in both internal and external environment. PEST Evaluation is a straightforward, useful and widely-used tool that helps you understand the "big picture" of your Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural and Technological environment. Consequently, it is utilized by business leaders worldwide to generate their vision into the future. A diagram demonstrating different the different parts of the Pest Research can be seen below.

This platform helps the HR administrator along with other management to deal with different changes in the environment the company is operating by which they provides a good working environment.

Now let's analyse the changes within the several aspects of PEST analysis and the troubles it brings to HR managers in English Gas.


The political factor of Pest analysis handles the consequences of government plan. Inasmuch as federal government policy is exercised through legislation, it includes all legal elements of this analysis. This consists of items such as government stability, taxation plan, and government polices. Government steadiness is not a major issue in American economies but performs a essential role. (Henry, 2008).

Although In European countries UK is reported to be the least protecting legislation but still has many regulations that can affect and ensure the smooth running of the businesses.

Firstly there are many laws regarding the equivalent opportunity within the company. Any organisation must consider individuals for recruitment and selection regardless of race, gender, age and religious beliefs (CIPD). Avoiding the mentioned factors means discrimination which has its negative aftermaths and may damage the organisation. British gas has considered many steps to avoid this discrimination which would be discussed at length later under Recruitment and Selection. Regulations for health and safety at office have also been enforced and organisations should adhere to it in order to make a safe working environment.

British gas to be in energy related industry needs to consider this aspect in depth. It really is role of a HR manager in particular to deal with the related issues. British gas considers health and safety for their employees and the environment as being fundamental to their business aims. Conventionally Health insurance and Safety had not been considered comprehensive but in today's world there have been many changes with laws guaranteeing a safer working environment. (United kingdom gas web page).

There are many changes made to the laws as time passes. Other regulations for HR revolve around things such as pay rates, fair competition, taxation and reasonable dealings with employees. The laws for these factors do change with the change in federal government as well and British isles gas has always been ahead with regards to the laws.

Equally important is the discourse about the privatisation of British isles gas in later 1980s that actually had a essential role over the HR dealings within the business, example being the job loss (from 91, 599 in 1986 to 78300 in 1992) which were made as a result of privatisation, this experienced a real impact in the HR and they handled it in superior manner to keep their maintained employees determined. (International labour company, Sectoral activities program)


Economical changes such as monetary uncertainly, changes from processing to service or knowledge economy, mergers and acquisitions activity and increased energy and fuel costs. In the knowledge-based economy, the most crucial business investments involve investing in staff, putting HR professionals at the centre of a few of economic debates. Issues related to individuals capital and folks management are now among the most crucial challenges running a business, bringing the experience of HR professionals to the main not only of business but also of nation monetary competitiveness. Understanding the broader business and societal implications of these fads will be essential how to address their resulting problems at the organisational level and can require HR professionals to be well informed about macroeconomic improvements.


Social factors include ethnical changes within the surroundings and are often known as socio-cultural. This consists of health consciousness, human population growth rate, years distribution, career behaviour and emphasis on security. (Henry, 2008).

HR professionals may increasingly find themselves coping with the impact societal developments, such as 24/7 work culture, changing family structure, and an evergrowing emphasis on work/life balance have on time-related issues in the workplace. Benefits associated with adaptable working and controls over schedules are likely to continue being in demand. Possible changes to the bargaining electricity of employees and women, in particular, could make conference this demand an increased goal to employers. Finding ways to keep to engage workers with high levels of responsibility and skills but who might not exactly be able to work regular could become more important. This can be exacerbated by the necessity to find enough skilled staff which could possibly pose difficult in the arriving generations as education cost surge and skills requirements increase.


Any organisation needs to be the pioneer of the new technology and to be forward in the competitive contest on the market to be able to lead. This absolutely has a significant effect on HR as they have to train their staff accordingly and make them flexible enough to adjust to the changes within the technology.

For HR managers, the efficient use of technology has emerged as an integral skill. Recruitment strategies can be affected by Changes in the technology while major growth in e-learning could influence training strategies.

Q/2 Comment how HR activities donate to the success of Uk Gas. Use any 2 HRM Models to explain you answer?

Employees are the most crucial factor needed for the survival of any organisation and HR is in charge of catering the need of the employees and building a relation between your organisation and its own employees. In order to succeed in today's world it is provident that there need to be effective HR activities that could help the employees feel as part of team somewhat than being alienated. Only then it can possess the competitive gain over their rivals and the employees would work hard and whole-heartedly in the favour of the company they will work for.

In British Gas employees do feel appreciated and as a part of team only as a result of effective HR activities. We have now will discuss the HR activities in British Gas in accordance with two HR models which have helped these to be in the lead in their market.

David Ulrich Model

The first model which we will discuss is the David Ulrich Model. The model we made by David Ulrich in the entire year 2000, who is said to be the HR guru. In the model he suggested that the centre of attention for all the HR activities must be on the contribution to organizational success. He further described that the key to stand out organizational performance is to ensure that real human resource's activities are in line with the organization and focusing on productivity, service and quality.

Below is the diagram showing David Ulrich model.

Productivity can be discussed as the outcome per staff. With the increase in competitive rivalry incessant improvement in efficiency has a substantial role. Uk Gas has been taking into consideration the significant need for the afore-mentioned facet of the model. With the view of increasing the production Uk Gas has been investing 24 million yearly in their Executive Academy to continue their exceptional training for designers working there. The Academy eve achieved 'quality one' performance in a 2007 Ofsted inspection. Within the academy employee are provided with related training which helps those to be more effective and useful with regards to productivity.

Quality of the merchandise and services supplied extensively affects organizational success in the long run. The quality of products and services provides competitive edge to any firm. The quality of products and services is immediately interlinked with the progress and performance of the organization as a whole, therefore it requires similar attention. The stress on quality requires constant changes targeted at improving work procedures.

HR management factors should be contained in order to indentify the obstacles and service blockages and redesigning functional processes. The procedure should also entail the employees as well rather than just the managers. All these activities should be done with accordance to the organization's objective.

British Gas itself clarifies that its the service they provide to the customers gives them competitive advantages over their competitors and units them apart in the marketplace. The English Gas Academy of Customer Quality in addition has been setup which underpins their try to consider their customers among the key stakeholders. The academy provides training to the front-line employees.

Warwick Model of HRM

Bratton & Jeffery (2007) proposed the Warwick model in which Harvard framework has been prolonged with 5 elements including Internal context, outer context, business strategy content, HRM context and HRM content. The model points out the link between your changes in inner and external and both content and context in it. The effectiveness of the model is that it underpins the top environmental affects on HRM. Below is the diagram demonstrating the model.

Outer context

Inner context

Business strategy content HRM context

HRM context

Basically HR Manager of Uk Gas firstly projects their future strategy and recruits people appropriately mostly through exterior sources like advertising in newspapers, journals and through staff referrals. First of all they display all the applications and then choose candidates based on their potential, knowledge and experience typically through face-to-face interview. Successful individuals are placed through induction and are provided with continuous training.

British Gas will consider the actual fact that financial rewards is only one of the numerous needs of individuals and for that reason provides them with many non-monetary cultural needs such as adaptable working time and a better and relaxing working atmosphere. Employees within English Gas are also appraised regularly in order that they know how well they are simply doing.

Keeping at heart the broader facet of the business enterprise HR administrator maps the hyperlink between interior and outer context followed by an approach which causes the changes in the content as known in Warwick Model.

Along with this HR managers also connects their activities of Planning, Integration, Staffing, Developing, Motivating, Designing, Taking care of Relationships, Controlling change and Evaluating by remember the everyday changing business environment. But aside from this I think to survive and maintain a good market position in this globalized, competitive, impressive and rapidly changing business environment Uk Gas must change their 'Mechanistic Framework' to 'Organic Framework' which is very adaptable and progressive.

The HRM strategies at English Gas satisfy customers to the best but surely not at the trouble of their employees needs which helps them to lead in their industry.

Recruitment and selection is said to be one of the key role of a HR specialist, as they have to ensure that they choose the best staff. While going through the process they need to consider many factors including equivalent opportunities without the factor of discrimination. To be able to ensure this, there are laws to avoid discrimination against race or ethnic source, religion and notion, disability, love-making and age. The ones who avoid this practice will indeed break the law and can have to handle the consequences (Tackling Discrimination, 2009).

K Aswathappa (2003) identifies recruitment as 'a process of finding and attaching competent application for a credit card applicatoin for employment. The procedure start when new recruit are desired and end when their application are submitted. The effect is the pool of applications that new employees are preferred. '

Derek Torrington (1987) claims that 'Planning the right people in the right place at the right time is seen to be essential to achieving rapid expansion. The emphasis is on controlling the projected demand for and supply of labour, in order to really have the right amount of the right employees in the right place at the right time'.

In conditions of recruitment and selection it is important to carry out thorough job examination to determine the degree of skills/technical skills, competencies, versatility of the staff required etc.

Since 2003, English Gas did a whole lot of work in order to enhance the variety in their workforce which helps them in their customer basic and is a reply to changing demographics as well. With all the increase in demand and the competitive rivalry British isles gas was required to appeal to more employees as well as for that the HR managers dealt with it in a well-mannered way. Carole Willsher, Recruitment and Diversity specialist, points out ' We have a tendency to use the analogy of an pond absent; if we don't recruit women, that's over 50 % the pond eliminated ; if we don't recruit folks from an ethnic history, that's about another 10% absent, and we're still left with only a very small part of the fish pond to fish from. '

The procedure for recruitment and selection at British isles gas is shown in the following diagram.


Initial Review

Online Application

Assessment Centre

Second Stage

Job Offer

In the process prospects have to complete a credit card applicatoin form and online test which is then acknowledged by an email upon successful distribution. The submitted application is then assessed and prospects are updated within 14 days. After the successful original review the applicants are required to give a telephonic interview for some job tasks which is then followed by the evaluation centre where in fact the candidates go through a face- to- face interview, useful tests (for some assignments) and role has. After careful consideration of the complete application process individuals are then offered the work within 14 days of the examination centre.

Recruitment and selection is done by both inner and exterior manners. As stated earlier to be able to attract a huge group of job seekers HR professionals at British Gas use both ways.

Internal recruitment includes promoting the existing staff or moving them from one department to other. In addition, it includes the referrals made by the current employees. The benefit with interior recruitment is the fact that it allows the organisations to learn the advantages and capabilities of the existing employees which help those to allocate them consequently.

As mentioned previously, the main goal of English gas is to increase the quantity of applications for the several vacancies to be able to attract an array of talent as possible. For this they use the several types of exterior recruitment strategies. Some of these strategies are the following:

Tester days:

British gas regularly runs women only and BME tester days, with the specific aim of bringing in women and ethnic minorities into engineering and apprenticeships.

Partnership working:

British gas also use different partnerships with different organisations to be able to focus on under-represented communities including Jobcentre Plus, Windsor Fellowship, Women and Manual trades.

Targeted Advertising:

They also use a variety of ways and mass media to appeal to its focus on audiences. They use advertising in newspapers like Bliss and Glucose. They also redesign their special website for recruitment regularly.

Attracting an array of candidates is not the only purpose of the professionals but also to choose the right staff. For that a right recruitment process has to be applied. A diagram is shown below which illustrates different periods of the recruitment process within British Gas. The only way to raise the performance of the company is to have an effective process.

Q 4 Explain how HR training and development helps English Gas to build up highly competent staff and teams. Describe use of variety of HRD methods used at British Gas.

According to Mackey (2003), inside our lifetime of learning we meet many people who donate to our knowledge, and in today's world training sometimes appears as an important aspect in HRM practice. Training is often viewed as something that is work related - on-job training, off-job training or work training techniques. Many organizations desire to be learning ones, but it requires dedication to do this. It requires commitments from everyone to permit individuals to manage their own development and support the process through coaching, reviews and outgoing performance management. Instructors have a key role to learn in the masterpieces of an learning environment. The normal role of Training & Development functions has been to answer in a reactive manner to the training and development needs to other functions throughout the business.

British gas always means that it offers effective training whatsoever levels, which can help its highly proficient staff and groups to develop. In order to offer continuous training because of their engineers British isles Gas is committing 24 million every year in their English Gas Anatomist Academy. The Academy also managed to achieve 'quality one' performance in a 2007 Ofsted inspection. They have also aligned their apprentice design to the Duke of Edinburgh's Platinum Award, that actually provides increased personal development and life skills to the trainees.

As other company United kingdom gas also feels that it's the client service which helps those to lead in the competitive race. The English Gas Academy underpins their try to put customers at the heart of everything they certainly. The Academy therefore also provides training to their front lines employees.

Building on the success of our executive academy, the client service academy motivates best practice and knowledge writing. By co-ordinating activities nationally, this new composition improves the steadiness of the training design and delivery.

Effective training to the employees causes improve quality of the process they will work into. Among the key skills of any trainer is the ability to design training programs and learning activities that are innovative, thrilling and fun. Trainer also needs to identify specific learning styles and react to the needs of the business. The field of training and development (T&D) has been through changes that represent the powerful factors in the organization world overall. T&D's objectives continue to change from a concentrate on programmed instructions (and behavioural and process examination), to performance-system analysis. Learning is currently defined as a competitive strategy in the global office. Therefore, coaches must engage in defining proper goals, examining organizational operations and providing better organized performance within the business enterprise context.

Increased dependence on increased performance requires better ways to identify, recruit, and increase the training and education of the workforce. As traditional, hierarchical organizational buildings are increasingly transforming to self-directed, cross functional, process oriented, and knowledge-based models, both organizations and people are increasingly confronted with the new challenges to increase the organizations competitive edge, and meet new specifications of brilliance in performance. First, in order to understand what is nowadays expected from management instructors and educators, it is essential to comprehend how current perceptions of the manager's job and responsibilities have developed. Then, it will be argued that the adoption of a simple solely task-related style of training - often used to train managers from growing countries - has proved to be inadequate.

Therefore, a realistic management training model ought to are the "task related" and "people-related" aspects of the manager's job as well as the trainee's own development, in its design and content. Based on the above a far more realistic approach to management training and development will be offered and some of its implications for trainers and training companies will be talked about and certain conclusions will be reached.

This has always been a key matter for trainers. T&D that's not delivering the expected results is likely to be potentially harmful to the business, demotivating to learners and damaging to the trustworthiness of trainers. In today's business world evaluation has used on sustained significance than in the past. Evaluation is performed with the purpose of pushing improvement. When evaluation is planned, it is performed with the objective of analysing results and utilizing suitable changes regularly followed by further evaluation. Such cyclical techniques agreeing standards, evaluating, improving, checking specifications etc will be the basis of really useful analysis processes for each and every aspect of the training and development process.

The target is on making the most of the utilization of resources, maximizing the probability of business success and making the most of the impact of personnel motivation. One needs to critically evaluate each T&D event in which you are involved. This is as true for a week-long course as it is for a person coaching event. A lot more one evaluates, the greater one discovers, the quicker the business enterprise will advantage and the quicker individuals skills will develop. Each type of T&D event will have its type of evaluation, but each gets the common aim of change and improvement.

As compared to other Departments enjoy it and Finance, T&D is also one of the important departments in the company as its trains people in the organisations who using their full potential & calibre help the business to achieve its set in place goals with high quality &requirements.

Q5 What role Performance Management takes on in obtaining higher performance at Uk Gas? Describe use of variety of performance appraisal strategies used at English Gas.

Staff development doesn't just happen. It takes a mindful and concerted effort for the manager to support and encourage their employees' effort. It requires a continuing attention of both employees and the supervisors or the professionals involved. Performance appraisals are performed to let an employee know his/her performance and compare it with the expectation of the company all together. The process will involve clarifying the work role, job information and duties and explains how the role can donate to the wider goals of the company.

It is important that the employees recognizes how their performance plays a part in the entire performance of the company. This direct interconnection helps to encourage team play and distributed responsibility within the company, even though performance goals should be specific and agreed between the staff and the supervisor.

In a performance appraisal employees also get the opportunity to give their feedback about the working conditions and any guidelines which could be helpful for the organisation to improve their productivity. In order to ensure a highly effective performance appraisal the administrator should keep an archive of the procedure that could be helpful for the future reference.

There are many different types of performance appraisals. Following are a few of them which are usually used at British Gas:

Top-down Appraisals: Regarding to Harrison (1995) this group of performance appraisal includes the line administrator executing the formal appraisal of the staff. Managers in this kind of appraisal can be biased and may be less open up, honest and can lead to the favouritism factor. In such situations another director or HR specialist can be engaged to do something as a moderator in the process.

This is seen as an extremely traditional kind of performance appraisal which is rarely practiced in the modern world. It was used at United kingdom gas as well but is substituted by other new frameworks and other types of performance appraisals.

Self Reviews: Harrison (1995) explains that personal reviews are based on the theory that employees are most acquainted with their work and their participation is vital. They have got proved to be superior to supervisory reviews in figuring out individual strengths and shortcomings. The largest problem with this approach lies in the actual fact that this violates the traditional mores regarding the proper relationship between your employer and the subordinate.

Upward Appraisal: Harrison (1995) details that in this technique, the views of the employees, who report to the appraise (administrator) are believed and may also be an important dimensions of management development. It really is effective within an organisation which includes an available and supportive culture and which encourages participation as the best element, . Upward appraisal may be intimidating for a director and unpleasant for the subordinate appraisers.

360 Degree Responses: N. Bahra (1997) areas that "This method is an evaluation technique lies at the heart of several successful organisations. This briefing aspires to offer an objective approach to assessing a person's performance in a number of critical and non-critical areas. " This technique being found in many big company in today's world and it is hence used at Uk Gas as well. Harrison (1995) clarifies that is a way of limiting the result of the top- down appraisal program and building on the positive aspects of home, peer and upward appraisals. This technique includes peers, subordinates, internal and exterior customers and the managers.

Its aim is to accomplish a broader view of worker performance. It could increase customer focus, support team initiatives, decrease the hierarchical approach and provide greater employee analysis. It really is an assessment technique which lies at the heart of many successful organizations. This briefing seeks to offer an objective approach to assessing a person's performance in a number of critical and non-critical areas.


Book Personal references:

Bach, S. (2005) Management Human Resource: Staff Management in change. Oxford: publicized by Blackwell posting.

Henry, A. (2008), Understanding Strategic Management. published by Oxford.

Bratton, J. and Yellow metal, J. , (2007) Man Resource Management: Theory and Practice. 4th Model, London: Publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

Bernardin and Beatty (1984). Performance Appraisal : Assessing People Behaviour at Work. Published by Kent Pub. Co.

Torrington, D. , Hall, L. and Taylor, S. (1987): Human Resource Management. Sixth edition, Spain: Printed by Mateu cromo artes graficas.

Aswathappa, K. (2005) Human Resources and Employees Management. 4th edition, New Delhi: Released by Tata Mcgraw-Hill.

Mackey, D. (2003) everything you ever needed to know about training. London: published by Kogan Site Ltd.

Taylor, P. (2003) How to Design an exercise Course. London: Continuum publication.

Harrison, H. S. (1995) Advanced Appraisal Methods: Basic Certification Supplement. Oxford: Publicized by H2 Co.

Bahra, N. (1997) 360 Level Appraisal. London: Printed by Feet Pitman.

Online References:

British Gas and Variety (online) Cited on 10/11/2009. Gain access to Via

British Gas Health & Safeness 2009 (online) Cited on 08th Nov. 2009. Access Via

British gas and politics factors (online) Cited on 04th nov. 2009. Access Via

Equal opportunities at English Gas, (online) Cited on 16th Nov. 2009. Access Via

Tackling discrimination (2009), (online) Cited on 26th Nov. 2009, Access Via

British Gas Academy (online), Cited on 27th Nov. 2009, Access Via

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