Background of study
Any company worth its salt ought to know that its workforce is its most useful resource. This implies that the company should continuously focus on ways to improve employee relations and to motivate these very employees. This is the reason why Tesco Ireland has dedicated a lot of time and resources to projects that make their employees prosper.
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It is also crucial to include members of the community in an organisation’s activities. These are the very people that keep the company going.
The report examines all the development programmes carried out at Tesco in the recent past. Development programmes should include all the stakeholders within an industry, in this case; the retail industry. Tesco has developed its employees, the Irish society, customers and business partners. These developments are what will be looked at in detail. (Adrian, 2005)
Development projects and policies in Tesco
Candidate care at Tesco
Tesco takes care of its candidates during their recruitment and selection process. During the recruitment process, Tesco collects all application forms and places them in a store. In compliance to the Data Protection act of 1993 and 2003, the company ensures that the latter these forms are taken to a secure location. Screening of the forms is done for a period of five days afterwhich letters are sent to three categories of candidates; candidates who have been invited to the interview, candidates who will be reviewed after a period of six months and candidates who have been rejected. The last two categories of letters are held on file for a period of one year.
Tesco conducts interviews for a period of five days. It then communicates to all candidates who participated in the interview through letters. These letters are sent to three categories i.e. candidates who have been accepted for the offer, candidates who will be reviewed after six months and candidates who have been rejected. These letters are kept on file for one year, for candidates who had been rejected. Successful candidates are placed in the personnel file. (Sarah, 2007)
In addition to adequate communication o candidates, Tesco also follows international guidelines for recruitment of successful candidates. Before an employee stars working, the company ensures that the following documents are in order: a copy of identification, birth certificate or passport – this is done in order to verify an employee’s citizenship, a copy of the application form as proof that due process was followed prior to their recruitment, a copy of references, a copy of offer letter and a copy of interview notes. These are done in compliance with Employees Act (1996) (Ervin, 1999).
Career discussions in Tesco
Tesco carries out career assessment of its employees to ensure that they are progressive. This acts as a performance appraisal for the company and a source of motivation for employees. This is done by a career discussion form normally filled out annually. The form examines employees’ career goals for the first five years. Employees are to fill in these details. In addition, Tesco Ireland monitors mobility of these employees for the first year, second and the third year. The company also examines an employee’s experience. Here employees are supposed to give details of their biography, key successes, key development needs and key successes. A talent nomination is also done by the company where management chooses an employee’s next career move. These moves include: moving to the next level in employment, moving within the same level of work, improving performance or suggesting an employees’ next move. (Schuler, 1998)
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Tesco Ireland also demonstrates clear criteria for career moves for its employees thus demonstrating transparency in the organization. This is included in the career discussion form. Some of the things the company considers prior to career mobility are; has an employee achieved green or blue rating in their previous assessment? Does the employee have sponsorship from his/her line manager? Has the employee developed skills to the level required in their next career move and gas the employee been observed practising values behaviour (EL, 2007).
Employment of persons under the age of eighteen years old
Tesco complies with the Protection of young persons Act 1996. This ensures that working conditions are favourable for minors. The first requirement before a minor can start work is written approval; from parents or guardians. Employees must work for no more than eight hours daily and a maximum of forty hours per week. These minors are also given a minimum of thirty minutes rest after working consecutively for a period of four hours. They are also given a minimum of two days rest per week. Minors are also not allowed to work night shits that begin from ten to six in the morning. They are also entitled to fourteen hours consecutive rest for every two days. As proof of these, an employee’s starting and finishing times are placed on file as part of Tesco’s records (Michael, 2002).
Tesco’s School leavers programme
As part of people development, the company engages in training of school leavers for a period of four to five months. This programme trains school leavers for positions in the company and intends on equipping student with leadership, operating and general skills. The programme was put in place so that Tesco can have new talent within the company. The programme targets school leavers interested in the retail business. It also focuses on staff members who may have friends and family members interested in the school leaver’s programme (Jack, 2003).
Some of the topics covered include: performance packs, customer focus, payroll, PI and Management Hols, Policies within the organization, Duty Management and dignity at work and safe and legal stock loss. Attendance is normally checked for all students who have enrolled for the programme.
Tesco Ireland’s training awards
The organization offers Fas Fetac training accreditation award. Fetac is a national awarding body that offers and is in charge of this programme. Training normally lasts for six to nine months. The programme deals with retailing and can be recognised by other organisations within the same line as Tesco. Tesco offers this programme inorder to motivate staff since they can get additional qualifications. The programme also assists Tesco in identifying future team leaders (Fine, 1999).
There are two levels that employees can participate in the lower level (level 4) is called Certificate in retail skills while the higher level (level 6) is called the Advanced Certificate in retail skills. All employees of the company can apply as long as they have been with the company for a period of one year or more. So far, Tesco has about forty-five candidates in this programme. Store managers and line managers participate in this programme too. They give feedback about the ongoings of the programme. The company has decided to use external trainers because its members are not well trained in the awards. Lastly, Tesco offers this service for free as any expenses incurred during the training will be handled by the company itself. Besides, the company is funding the programme in collaboration with FAS.
Some of the modules studied under level 6 include; retail brand effectiveness, Retail marketing and sales, Retail product and service management, customer relations management, communications skills, health safety and welfare, personal effectiveness and retail point of sale management. (Monk, 2006)
The programme is still under pilot scale and will be reviewed after successful completion of the programme by the first set of candidates. The company is the first to offer this kind of programme in retail. This put candidates ahead of other in the retail industry.
Tesco Ireland’s Performance Packs
Performance packs are a tool used by the company to assess the employee performance. It is normally done four times a year and is divided into four sections. The sections are as follows: (Berkeley, 2007).
- Steering wheels
- Personal development plan
- How am l doing?
The objectives section has a list of employees’ objectives. These are normally set inorder to help employees stretch themselves pr to achieve their targets. These objectives are usually Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Timed and Achievable. Performance of employees is usually rated as green, blue, amber or red. The ‘How am l doing section’ deals with an employees’ performance, it leads to discussions between the manager and a store’s employee. It has a do next section that will outline necessary action to be taken by an employee in order to improve their performance. At the end of the review, employees should agree with their managers on the kind of rating they deserve. The steering wheel section is a performance indicator that is also rated. This is normally done against four groups i.e. Operations, finance, customers and people. Lastly, there is the personal development plan section of the pack. It normally incorporates training or other activities that help with personal development. These activities also facilitate future development of employees (Billikopf, 1998).
Equality in employment and business
The company has been known to recognise the value of people who have passed retirement. This implies that the company does not discriminate people on the basis of age. The company does not discriminate along racial lines. This is because it has a number of Polish immigrants under its employee wing. Most of these workers have claimed that they are happy with the treatment they receive from the company.
Tesco prides itself in incentives that it provides to its employees. Most of the employees are given affair chance during promotions and it also offers flexible working hours. This is because the company respects its employee’s right to attend to personal business (Rosenberg, 1999).
Tesco Ireland has a population of eleven thousand employees under its wing. This implies that the company has to address issues of diversity and equality. These issues also arise when the company has to make partnerships with various stakeholders in the retail industry. The company has shown adherence to diversity through some of the programmes, deals and recruitments it has engaged in.
The company has a grocery section that is handled by the visually impaired. In addition, Tesco Ireland has recorded the highest purchase of indigenous food worldwide. The organisation started programme that benefits children through computer hardware and software. It donated about six million worth of these equipments to around four thousand schools; the programme is called Tesco Computers for Schools programme. The company has also donated about 1.6 million to a number of charitable causes that include; Alzheimer, cancer, and Down syndrome societies in Ireland (Fogleman, 1999).
Tesco has also shown equality in employment through recruitment of a number of sidelined groups in Ireland. In the year 1999, the company started a store in a region of the country that was experiencing a high rate on unemployment. It had reached sixteen percent by that time. It started a store in Clare Hall that employed people with disabilities, travellers, former drug addicts and older people. This programme includes training and recruitment of those social groups.
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Inclusion of society in decision making Tesco has plays its part in equitability since it takes its customers seriously. Tesco Ireland normally conducts Customer Surveys and Customer Question Time Panels. In these programmes, the company investigates consumer preferences and takes note of their suggestion. Some of the improvements which the company has seen as a result of customer surveys include: lower shelves in their stores, increases in product ranges, wider aisles and other changes that have been incorporated after suggestion from customers. This has contributed to improved services and consumer satisfaction.
Tesco Ireland has engaged in a number of people development programmes in the past year. This has been shown right from the recruitment process where it communicates effectively to all candidates who participated regardless of performance (Mondy, 1996). After employment, the company motivates and maximises the potential of its candidates. These include performance discussions, performance packs and training awards. Also, the company provides equal opportunities in employment because it has recruited a number of groups that would have been considered as social deviants. Lastly, the company has engaged in a number of charitable projects to develop the Irish society. All the above show that the company is dynamic and has taken on its corporate responsibility and is upholding work ethics (Cherrington, 1995).
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