Relationship between Human resources plans and strategic objectives

HR planning is one of the main departments in an organisation. This will help the organisation in recruiting the right person in the right place. It will help the organisation in achieving its goals, providing the best service to the customers and managing the employees. In this course work, we will discuss on HR planning and how it supports the different departments in an organisation.


STRATEGIC CAPABILITY: An organisation could be more competitive and successful when it will try to implement new ways of learning to the situation i.e., dynamic approach to learning. Organisations must not only rely on the traditional learning outcomes but also practice dynamic approach of learning to achieve better results. Sainsbury super markets are one such retail company which relies on dynamic approach of learning to achieve new goals and to sustain in the competitive market. The company tries to implement new methods according to the needs of the customers. The company implements new thoughts and ideas to achieve best goals. By this continuous learning, the company is able to compete in the market with other companies and be successful. Some of the strategies followed by Sainsbury’s are rising incomes, urbanisation, more female participation in the labour force, media and advertising.


The HR strategy provides framework for the evolution and maintenance of the HR policies and the practices which reflect the core value of the Sainsbury’s.

The organization strategy of Sainsbury is focused on the growth of the company in terms of increasing stores, business and to compete with the competitors with best prices and customer service. To achieve the organization goal the HR department has a key role to play. The Sainsbury’s uses the store card which displays the contributions from each department including HR in overall performance of the store. The key ways in which the organization strategy is linked to HR strategy are:

The HR to employ more people when the business is high in certain periods of the year.

To provide a good customer service as a part of the company long term strategy the HR focus on providing the customer service training to the staff

The HR Strategies can be of two types:

Short term HR strategies:

These are the strategies which are taken in a short time like recruiting people temporarily, strategies for small periods. These strategies will help in achieving long term HR strategies.

Long term HR strategies:

These are the strategies which are aimed for long periods. These strategies help the organisation achieve their goals and reach to greater heights.


The above design is the organizational structure of Sainsbury. We can find different types of cultures in the organisation. This organisational culture will help the organizational strategy as the organisation can plan the strategies in an efficient manner with the help of the structure. Though the culture adopted by sainsbury’s has not many complication. However still a lot changes can be brought in the present culture and to improve the overall smooth working and job satisfaction of the employee. The changes like top management to work closely with the staff which gives the management good information on the problems at low level and what the way to come over the problems and which also helps them in recruitment process.


The organisation must be sure that it is recruiting the employees according to the demand. If the organisation recruits more number of employees than required then it will be a huge burden on the organisation. The company should follow some methods while recruiting employees. Sainsbury’s will recruit the staff according to the demand. They will consider the attributes like the how big is the store, where the store is situated, the flow of customers to the store etc. These all attributes will help the organisation to analyse the demand and supply of the employees. Sainsbury will recruit the employees according to the season as well.


Attracting talent:

Organisation level of diversity:

Sainsbury does not forget the benefits that diversity can bring in the workforce. So, the organisation makes sure that the diversity in workspace is not being affected at any cost. This helps in understanding and adapting the changing needs of the customers. Sainsbury is concentrating to increase the number of female employees. The organisation is aiming to have women in 20% of their store manager positions by 2011. They offer diversity awareness among the employees which is working extremely well. The organisation does not have any specific retirement age. It is up to the employees to take decision of their retirement.

To improve diversity in our organisation:

There are several measures that can be taken to improve diversity in an organisation. Let us have a look at some of them. Age legislation is one such thing on which all the organisations concentrate. Age legislation applies to the people of all ages. Organisations provide different systems which can provide evidence of non-discriminatory practice. These systems will be important not only in the short term to obey with the law but also in the longer term as part of the organisation’s basic labour force planning activities and staffing and maintenance strategies.

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Sainsbury’s promotes diversity in the employment force and supports Age positive, investors inside people and the optimistic about disabled people initiatives.


The total reward system described by Armstrong and brown describes a reward strategy which brings the components like learning and development together with features of the work environment, into the assistance package. Both the tangible and intangible rewards are considered valuable. Tangible rewards will be arising from transactions between the employer and employee and take in rewards such as pay, personal hand-outs and other benefits. Development, learning and work experience come under the intangible rewards. Recognition, chance to develop, personal achievement and social service are some of these examples of this type. The main aim of the total reward system is to make the most of the positive impact that a broad variety of rewards will have on motivation, job appointment and company’s commitments.[ Carolina Mikander, 2010].

The benefits of a total reward system are greater impact, enhancing the employment relationship, enhancing cost effectiveness, flexibility to meet individual needs, winning the war for talent.

Sainsbury introduced a new reward system in 2005 which is devised towards in store standards and also accessibility of products to the customer which has been main fault point in the past. This reward system is discovered to create an organisation culture where provisions, their performance and the focus are paramount. The organisation provided a scheme to the employees in which they can participate and give suggestions with rewards and recognition for effective suggestions.

The changes that can be made to the organisation’s reward system is

To provide better reward system to the staff who has their family members working in the same organisation. It is like providing reward system to the family. This will attract the people in letting their family members join in the same organisation.

The marketing implications of applying are ‘want ads’ in the local or national newspapers, recruitment consultants, and career and recruitment fairs. All these methods of marketing will reach the public very effectively. ‘Want adds’ may be the best marketing methodology which is cheaper and best way of marketing.


Sainsbury’s recruit the talent all over the year. The best procedure is followed in recruiting the talents based on the roles. It also encourages the internal talent by giving an equal chance for all members to grow within the organization which is purely based on the interests and talent of the candidates and also provides the training programs to encourage the staff. Sainsbury provides a huge number of jobs and great variety of opportunities available in many of the stores. They look for staff with good customer service skills. They offer the colleagues to work in flexible hours. Sainsbury posts the job vacancies on in-store job boards, in local press and job centre plus. They recruit graduates and they train them for the necessary posts. A trainee management scheme is designed to train these graduates. Sainsbury offers work experience to the school people. These school people will work in different departments and gain experience. This will help the students to gain an understanding of work in general. Line managers say that they will be ahead of the game if they come as a graduate trainee. Sainsbury examines application data to observe the demographic characteristics of the people it is recruiting.

The recruitment process of Sainsbury is very effective and efficient in recruiting the right person. A HRM approach could be adopted to recruitment, which includes taking care in selecting people according to the needs of the organisation. The recruitment process is costly and cost linked with recruiting workforce that then carry out badly. It is necessary to Sainsbury to select the people carefully. Sainsbury should be very clear about the requirements of the job.

Let us have a look on the steps of Sainsbury’s recruitment process.

HR planning:

In this, they will think whether there is a need of recruitment, whether the post can be filled internally, whether the post fits with the objectives of Sainsbury and can the organisation recruit a new employee.

Job specification: In this, the specifications of job will be provided like job title, description of the job, location of the job, responsibilities, organisational structure etc.

Person specification:

This will help in providing the information about the person they are looking for the job. It is necessary to see whether the person specification fits the culture of the organisation or not. The contents of the person specification include the qualification, experience, skills. By giving the person specification, the organisation indicates that it is very clear about the person they are looking for.


The organisations will advertise depending on the audience they target.

Sainsbury advertisement contains the job title, job description, qualifications etc.

Sainsbury mainly follows the CMI’s recruitment process. It will shortlist the applicants and will conduct an interview for selecting people and then it takes the decision. After this, it will review the recruitment and selection process as given by the CMI. By doing this, Sainsbury follows the best way of recruiting the employees.

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Improving our organisation’s recruitment process:

The recruitment process of Sainsbury’s can be still improved by concentrating on some of the backdrops of the recruitment process.

One applicant has the chance of applying for many jobs by creating new email id’s. To overcome this problem, a new initial registration form should be completed by every applicant and the personal details like surname and post code should be stored in the database and each time when an applicant wants to create another id with his details, it should stop the registration of the applicant saying that the applicant is already registered with these details.

Sainsbury will recruit people who live near to its stores i.e., not more than 8 miles away from the store. But the people who live out of this range will be rejected only after they attend the interview. This must be done during the early process of recruiting so that the recruiting process can save their time as well as the applicant’s time.

In this way, the recruiting process of the organisation can be improved.

Selecting methods adopted by Sainsbury’s:

Sainsbury mainly recruit students for different roles in the stores. It mainly recruits students in September for the Christmas time. Sainsbury recruits employee for different departments like logistics, information technology, product technology, online, human resources (HR), commercial and buying. The importance for the students is on developing business abilities such as project management and business influencing. Sainsbury posts the job vacancies in its official website. People should register in the site and they have to log in into the site to find the vacancies in the Sainsbury stores. The applicant should provide the information about him in the registration forms. Sainsbury conducts an online exam to the applicants in which they have to pass in order to go to the interview phase. Once the applicant passes the online exam, they will be called to attend an interview in the particular store in which they have applied. They have to write an exam which consists of different tests. They have to pass in all those tests and they have to provide the required documents. If they are passed in all these tests, then they will be selected. Every recruiter undergoes an induction process in which they have to work for a particular period in store so that they can know what the business is all about. After the induction period, they will go to the division they have opted for so that they can know what that job is about.

This is one of the best selection methods through which the organisation can select the best employees. They can filter the applicants and can choose the best person.


The right person is selected by this method.

The staff who can accustom to the organisational culture easily will help in the organisation’s development.


The process takes a long time.

Some people may know about the tests which will help them in getting job even they are not worth of.

These must be made more effective to obtain better goals in an organisation. The selection methods can be made more effective by introducing new types of selection processes. By introducing alternative tests which the applicants may find it difficult to know about before they attend the test.

According to us

the success factor for review the positioning of the induction is 4 because the organisation will be able to know the outcome of the induction by reviewing and will be able to make any changes and rectify mistakes if necessary.

Check the coverage of the induction program is 3 because this is medium through which the organisation will teach the new staff about the culture of the organisation and all.

Appoint a mentor is 5 because the mentor is the one who will guide the new staff members about the different things they have to follow.

Plan the induction and involve and inform others is 4 because the planning of the induction is the main important thing to make the induction successful.

Prepare the work area is 4 because the staff must be comfortable with the work area they have to work.

Introduce the recruit to the organisation and department is 5 because the employee must be able to communicate with the colleagues and approach the department officials if anything is necessary and to participate actively in any of the team works.

Emphasize the importance of organisation policies and procedure is 4 because the new employees can work according to the organisation policies and procedures.


Culture and its affect on employees:

Sainsbury’s organisational culture will have a huge affect on the new recruits as it is a vast organisation and the employees will follow the organisational culture very carefully. The employees are work minded in the organisation and highly talented people. The staff must be accustomed to be work minded. The staff must be informed about the organisation’s main objectives at the induction itself so that they will get used to it starting from the first day of their job. The employees work together to obtain better goals. Everybody is treated equally in the organisation.

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We can make the new staff get used to the culture by making them participate in events; make them interact with the employees, practicing things.

Cultural web analysis of Sainsbury:

The cultural web tool is used to analyse the elements of the organisation to understand the cultural context of the organisation. This analysis will help in selecting the potential choices that can be made to emphasize which alteration options can be possible with present concept.

These elements of the culture must be helpful in deriving new business objectives and help the company in deriving an execution plan to overcome the difficulties. The involvement of the staff is the main strength for any organisation’s success.[ caltienne]

Changing work practices:

Flexible working practices will help the employee in changing their working hours if they are in need of it. These flexible working practices will help in reducing cost, increase productivity, inspiring staff and liberate more energy. Most of the organisations feel that these flexible working practices have a positive effect on the business. Sainsbury introduced flexible working practices to staff to allow them to watch world cup matches. This will let the employees enjoy during the matches and they will work with new potential.

The right for requesting flexible work hours is introduced in April 2003. According to this, the employees will have a chance to change their working hours if they want to.[ Alison maitland, flexible working]

Benefits of flexible working hours:

improved efficiency and productivity

better customer service

better understanding between the staff

loyalty of the employees

training costs will be low

less absenteeism

increased reputation


additional costs

customer demands may be effected

incapability to appoint new staff

planned structural alters [Imelda walsh, may 2008]

Work-life balance:

Sainsbury’s key reason to provide flexible working is most of the colleagues need flexible working hours to look after their children or other dependants. By providing these arrangements, the efficiency and productivity will be improved; they can provide better customer service to the customers etc.


better work-life balance to the employees

increased health conditions

optimistic ecological impact


additional cost burden to the organisation

have to appoint more staff

balancing pros over cons:

the increased health conditions will result in less absenteeism of the employees by which the organisation will have no need to recruit new staff. In this way, pros can be balanced over cons.

Legal requirements for HR:

The recruitment and selection process is very effective and efficient. It keeps all the legal issues in mind while selecting a particular person. It will consider all the issues like age, criminal record, disability while selecting the people. They will ask for the passport, visa details, age proof, references, and bank details. They will verify all these particulars during the recruiting and selection process.

As the recruitment and selection process of Sainsbury is very robust, it is very rare to face any problems while recruiting. There may a chance of problem with passport details of the persons by mistake.

The major problems in dealing with a dismissal are

Organisation must find a right substitute.

It have to give training to the substitute.

Disciplinary procedures in Sainsbury:

Let us see the disciplinary procedure of Sainsbury. Sainsbury organisation will not take any disciplinary action until the whole matter is investigated. The person will have the opportunity to state the case and get represented by the fellow employee. The organisation will provide the alleged offence to the person, the evidence they had with them, the possible outcomes of the case.

The organisation will give oral warning first, then a written warning, final written warning, dismissal, gross misconduct (theft, fraud etc), suspension. This is the disciplinary procedure of the Sainsbury’s. The guilty will have the chance to appeal against the disciplinary decision within five working days.[j Sainsbury plc].

Grievance procedure in Sainsbury:

The grievance procedure in Sainsbury is to settle fairly all the disputes and grievances that may rise.

The person should discuss the grievance with the person who is involved

If it is not resolved between them, then it must be taken to the line manager and should make a verbal complaint. If the concerned person is the line manager itself then the complaint must be given to the senior manager.

If the dispute is still not resolved then the person has to attend and address the meeting with the employer or the subcommittee. The decision will be given to the person in the written form.

If the person is not satisfied then he will have the right to appeal.

Role of external agencies:

The external agencies like ACAS and employment tribunals will help the organisations in resolving the disputes between the employees without legal issues. These external agencies will help the organisations in resolving the disputes in the early stage. Sainsbury would try to resolve the disputes within the organisation than taking it to external agencies. But if the situation is out of the hands of the organisations then the organisation will deal the disputes with the help of the agencies like ACAS.

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