Analysis of Human Resource management in British Gas

‘British Gas is one of the oldest and leading recognised energy supplier company in the UK. It deals in providing gas, electricity and also deals with the installation and maintenance of domestic central heating and appliances. It is a part of centeria group. British gas has high calibre staff; it has more than 9,000 trained engineers. As the market of the UK nowadays are highly challenging and competitive, whereas the energy market is even more dynamic and booming the demands as it has been used as the daily needs of everyone living in the UK. (www.thetimes 100.co.uk)

Human Resource can be described as the organizational function accountable for obtaining and maintaining qualified employees. In today’s complex environment, fulfilling that mission is a major contributor to an organization’s success. (American Management Association, 2000). The HR department role has been transformed from administrative to strategic, as it is been related with the main strategy of the organisation to recruit the right candidates for the desired job , and give them training to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation.

Human Resource department is responsible for the recruitment and selection of the right candidates for the right position. It is the responsibility of the human resource department to provide safer and suitable environment which will help the employees to work more efficiently. Human Resource department also help in motivating the employees. The main role of the Human Resource Department in the organization is administrative, operational and employee advocate and strategic.

Task 1 a.

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment means to select the employees with the required skills either internally or externally, if there is any vacancy in the organization. As the recruitment process in British Gas is predefined, there is an online process till the selection and training of the candidates. British Gas encourages candidates from different communities to come and apply for the job, as it helps the British Gas to cover the vast majority of customers who are from various other countries. British Gas has a diversified culture as it motivates female engineers. Advertisement for the recruitment is done through various media like newspapers, TV, radio and website.

Selection of employees is basically done on their qualifications, as their age should be more than 17 and should be educated at least GCSEc level. Selection of employees plays a vital role as to get the right employee on the right position. British Gas emphasises mainly in the core consistencies as the life skills which deals any individuals personal skills and directly affects the customer experience.

Training and Development

As there is a tough competition in the market, British Gas provide the best training and help their employee to develop their skills , so that they can give the customers better service and satisfaction, as it will help them to attract the new customers. British Gas established the British Gas Academy in 2002 to train and develop the skills of the employees. The Training program is divided into two main categories technical skills and people skills. As for the technical skills there is been proper program like apprenticeships and technical training are given. As employees are directly interacted with the customers so the British Gas provide then customer awareness programs and increase their cultural knowledge.

Performance Management

Performance Management helps to ensure that all the employees in the organisation are performing well. Performance is either individual based or grouped based British gas helps its employees to increase its performance skills. Human Resource department helps its employees to perform well by giving them bonus/rewards, promotions and giving them training. This appraisal scheme helps the employee to perform and provide best services to the customers and company.

Task 1b.

Objectives of Human Resource

Recruitment and Selection

The main objective of the recruitment and selection is the appointing of the right employee to the right place. Recruitment helps in selecting the qualified employee and places them on the right position. ‘Recruitment is the process of generating a pool of qualified applicants for organisational job.’ (Mathis & Jackson, 2008).

Selection helps in identifying the candidate’s knowledge and helps in appointing him on the right position in the organisation. ‘Selection is the process of choosing individuals with qualification needed to fill jobs in an organisation’ (Mathis & Jahn, 2008).

Recruitment and selection helps in identifying the candidates working skills, attitude towards the work and then placing them on the right position in the organisation. Recruitment is mainly done when there is the requirement of the employees in the organisation, recruitment is done in two forms either internally offering the promotions to the employees for the vacant position or externally where the candidates are been selected through an organised way from online selection till the training of the candidates. As the British Gas is a service based company, the Human Resource department selects the candidates with the right knowledge and adequate skills, candidates have to go through a questionnaire, and then the selected one are called for an interview. The candidates have to demonstrate customer service skills to get selected, as there is been some manual dexterity test for the candidates who are gas engineers, which shows that candidate has the ability to deal with the engineering problems.

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Human resource department of the British Gas has an effective recruitment and selection process, which mainly helps them to increase the market value to the best customer service company.

Training and Development

Training is basically given to enhance the employee’s skills, and understand the technological changes in the company. As British Gas has a competitive market, thus the employees are been given proper training sessions to understand the new technological changes and provide the customers a better service. Employee training is planned as it helps to facilitate employee learning of job-related knowledge, skills and behaviour. It also intends to help the organization function more efficiently and improve the employee’s productivity.

British gas has a training academy named as ‘British Gas Academy’ which was established in 2002. It helps to develop and refocus training facilities to handle the extra training requirement in recruiting an additional 5,000 employees into the engineering workforce. (www.Thetimes100.co.uk)

British Gas focuses in giving both the technical skills and the customer service skills, and also helps the employees to learn how to work along with full health and safety of the workers himself and the customers also. The objective of British Gas is very strategic as the main is to provide best services to the customers and retain them.

Performance Management

‘A Process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organisational performance.’ (Armstrong and Baron, 2004). Performance management establish shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure that it is achieved.

The main objective of an organization is to achieve its goals, with the help of the team or an individual. Performance management is continues process, which helps in the improvement of the employees and achieve the objectives of the organization. Performance of the employees is assessed by the manager of the organisation. Performance management is done as to identify whether the work of the organisation is up to the standard level or not. Performance management helps in identifying the weakness of the employees and help in overcoming those weaknesses by giving proper training.

Human resource department helps in monitoring the performance of the employees time to time. This assessment is either done monthly or weekly to identify the eligible workers. As a reward the employees are given vouchers, incentives and benefits, which help in motivating the employees to perform well for the organization.

Task 1 c Models

Harvard Model

The Harvard Model represents the soft model of Human Resource Management. In this model employees are taken as valuable resources, and it believes that human resource is essentially different from other resources and should not be treated in the same way. It helps in maintain a good relation between the employee and the employer.

There are two considerations in the Harvard Model:

Situational Factors: The external and internal environment factors of organisation that includes labour market conditions, business strategies, technologies and market conditions will contain the formation of Human Resource Management policies.

Stakeholder’s interests: Stakeholders influence short term Human Resource Management polices those are unions, management employees and government agencies.

The Human Resource management policies are categorized into 4 themes:

Human Resource Flows – Recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, appraisal, and termination.

Reward System- Pay systems, non-monetary recognition schemes.

Employee influence- responsibility, authority, hierarchy and delegation of power.

Works Systems- definition of work and alignment of people.

(Michael Beer, 1984).

British Gas being a service Provider need to consider internal and external factors and this model applies perfectly to the Human Resource Management of it. This model is appreciated in the subject of motivating and rewarding Human resource, it concentrates on managing people as human assets to obtain strategic goals. (Alan Price, 2007)

The Competitive Model

This model is based on the framework of VALUE, RARENESS, IMITABILITY and ORGANISATION. This model denotes the value , rareness, non-imitability and scientific organisation of Human Resource that provides sustainable competitive advantage to the organisation to be precise, the model presents three elements of Human Resource Management that provide the competitive advantage as indicated below:

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Sustainable competitive advantage stems from firm- specific more than general skills: To be successful an organization needs specific skilled employee, it would be difficult to compete with the competitor and continue the business if the employee have general skills.

Sustainable competitive advantage comes from teams more than from individuals: all the employees in the organisation work to achieve the common objectives of the organisation. All the tasks are interrelated, from one staff to another staff, one department to another department, and one branch to another branch. This team work develops the trust between the employees and bonds them.

Sustainable competitive advantage stems from Human Resource Management system more than single Human Resource Management Practices: in success or loss of a firm, a single Human Resource Management practice should not be responsible. Human Resource Management steps like planning, recruitment and selection, training, rewards, compensation, benefits etc are need to be integrated in the human resource management system. (Kandula, Srinivas R., 2005)

Task 2 Human Resource Planning and Development

Human resource planning and development method helps the organisation to think before implementing any plan. They should analyse and then take the necessary action for the determination of the objective.

Task 2 a. HR Planning method

Planning methods are:

Forecasting

Forecasting help in making future strategies, or predicting something for the future, it helps in determining the objectives in advance. In British Gas planning is done by the management experts, there are two types of planning short term planning which is usually done for one year and long term planning which is done for more than five years. British gas deals with both the type of planning methods.

Human Resource department in the British gas also forecast for the future supply of employees. The various positions need to be filled due to the retirement or the other chain effect. As the British Gas expanded its business area from supplying gas to the maintenance and installation of the central heating, it required 9000 highly qualified engineers to install and maintain central heating and gas appliances. (Workforce planning at British Gas, 16.10.2010) British Gas follows the Delphi techniques for the forecasting.

Skill Inventory

Skill inventory is done within the organization, human resource department should know about the employee working, they should evaluate the employee on their work and liabilities. At British gas Human resource department scans the employee database through SAP system. It is a very effective method for skill auditing that is being used by the British Gas human resource department. Using the results from this system human resource department can make strategies for the current and future jobs. Using inventory it makes easy to identify the KSA’s of current employees and this forms the base for recruitment, selection and human resource development.

Gap Analysis

‘Gap analysis is the process of comparing the workforce demand forecast to the workforce supply projection.’ (Bhattacharya, 2006)

It mainly identifies the difference between the current employees and the demand of future employees, an organization will need. It helps in showing the exact figure of the required workers. As a result of gap analysis, the organisation works on the workforce strategies. The result of gap analysis is

A gap- when the projected supply will decrease the forecast the demand- it identifies the future shortage of the employees.

A surplus- when projected supply is greater than forecasted demand- it identifies the surplus of employees in the organization and necessary actions need to be taken. In this kind of situation surplus should be those employees who are less skilled and are not needed in the organisation, at least for some time. (State of Texas State Clarification, workforce planning guide, 20/10/2010)

Task 2b Effectiveness of Human Resource planning Methods

Forecasting

With the help of forecasting British Gas can predict the how many employees they will need in the future. It helps to identify whether the current employee will help in fulfilling the demand of the customers or there will be an extra need of employee for that. Formulation of strategies is done through forecasting, where the human resource department analyse and predict the necessity of employees. Forecasting shows that in 2011 how new customer will join British gas and total customer will be increased by 100,000. To provide good and adequate services to all the customers, British gas needs to recruit new employees.

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Skill inventory

British Gas has the full idea about the abilities of its employee. As each and every employee has his own qualities and experiences, so the organisation can utilise its employees to get the extra result from them. British gas can shift the employees from one department to another department to get the best possible result from its employees.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis helps to identify and maintain the number of employee with the required skills and knowledge. Excess of employees and shortage of employees is always a high risk for the organisations. If in future British Gas faces shortage of employees, they will not be able to provide the customer services which will result in, customer will switch the company. On the other hand, if British gas has more employees it may increase in expenses of the company and all of the employees in the organisation may not be able to utilise the total ability of the contribution.

Task 3 a Performance Measurement and Monitoring

Employee’s performance is very important for the organisation, as the employee’s performance helps the organisation to get the success directly or indirectly. To get the organisation work more efficiently and effectively employee should give their best. Employee’s performance can be measure in

Technical knowledge for the assigned work.

How the targets are been achieved.

How the employee is working in groups.

Performance based on time and quality.

On the above basis employee performance can be measured by constantly reviewing the employee’s progress. It helps in indentifying the weakness of the employee and should be given proper training in particular skill. Monitoring the employee’s performance helps organizations to understand what are the weak points of the employee’s. This helps the organisation to run training sessions for the employees and also there are some motivational programme like increase in salary and benefits, promotions, distribution of bonus and benefits. This helps the employees to work more efficiently.

Task 3 b Performance Measurement and Monitoring at British Gas

The main objective of British Gas is to provide good services along with gas and electricity. To fulfil this requirement British Gas need is employee to be well trained. Performance measurement activities are based on pre set goals. To improve the performance of the British gas should do the following for the employees:

Current employees- Performance can be measured through getting the feedback from the colleagues in the organisation working with him. The work should be reviewed on a timely basis, as how much work is been done by the current employee. Monitoring is done by self appraisal or the peer appraisal this help the Human resource managers to evaluate the status of the employee. This help the human resource department to get an exact idea about what kind of training need to be provide to the employee and what skills are there with in the employee.

New employees- as there always need for the new employees, British gas recruits the employees and gives them training which help them to understand about the organisation, and the working procedure. The employee are given proper training sessions both practical and theory which help them to understand the work more efficiently. As most of the employees are engineer’s British gas give them advance practical sessions to overcome any uncertainties that may arise in future. Once the training is been over the manager or the supervisor should inspect the work of the employees as they have completed their work properly or not. They should get the feedback from the customers by examining the work done. This help to measure the performance of the new employees, whether he should be given more training or he is not fit for the British gas. If the work done is appreciated employee should be given proper appraisal in the form of benefits, bonus or other leisure activities.

Performance in British gas need to be evaluated from time to time, as most of the work is technical work; motoring is the only way to know about the performance of the employee as it gives exact figure of the employee. Measuring is just one part of the process but for the better performance from the employee we have to monitor these performances so as to know who is doing the assign task efficiently.’

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