1. HRD and Training
Human Resource Development (HRD) is the system that can be utilized by a company in aiding its employees to improve both their personal and institutional capabilities and knowledge (DeSimone & Werner, 2012). This system goes a long way in the inspiration of employees hence maintaining them in the company. HRD can be done formally where a group of the employees, for instance, the Shop Managers of the newer shops can be assembled in one hotel room, or even in a boardroom in the company’s premises and a well-experienced trainer, who could be a more experienced manager of one of the older shops, can train them on all matters pertaining the shops. It could also be done informally by way of a Shop Manager of an older shop training the Shop Manager of a new shop in his/her office.
There are several strategies that can be employed in HRD. Training of staff by either senior members of the company or more experienced colleagues can be done. Career development can be employed, where the employees’ personal interests and organizationally expected occurrences are taken care of (Balakrishnan & Srividhya, 2007). It is done, for instance, by training the assistant managers in the current shops (both older and newer) for their expected role as Shop Managers when new shops are opened. Another strategy that can be employed is tuition assistance where employees willing to go and further their studies in order to be qualified for more senior jobs, as has been noted in general consensus that the newer shops have underqualified and ill-prepared managers. Organizational development can be employed as a strategy, where organization-wide interventions are put in place, in all the shops, to increase positive output in the organization, and get the best out of its employees. It can be done in a way as training employees on customer service to address the significant number and frequency of customer complaints, especially in the newer shops.
Training is done in perspective of what position the employee holds, and its effectiveness evaluated upon it. This continuous training aims at improving an employee’s skills and knowledge on the position he/she is in. Training has quite a number of benefits including increasing the overall organization’s productivity, reducing chances of an employee doing a wrong action, and improving an employee’s spirit and self-confidence leading to them working under less supervision (Mesics, 1960). In Discounts 2 U, training can go a long way in making the Shop Managers of the new shops more effective, opening up career advancement opportunities for the Value Partners in the shops opened after 2010, and uplifting the attitude of the employees in the new shops.
2. Coaching/ Mentoring
Coaching, as a form of development, can be defined as a situation where a person (coach) bolsters another person to achieve a professional, personal or organizational goal. Usually, the coach is a more experienced person in the same field, and with greater expertise and knowledge on the targeted task (Garvey, Stokes, ; Megginson, 2018). The coaches can also be from outside the organization. Discounts 2 U can make use of more experienced Shop Managers as coaches, and can also employ an organizational psychologist to be an executive coach in the organization, in addition to making use of external coaches. Coaching aims at improving an employee’s interpersonal relations (which can lead to better customer relations), strategic thinking on various matters and situations, and knowledge on dealing with conflict in case it arises.
Benefits come with coaching. The employee’s morale automatically goes up together with the attitude towards the company, aiding to retain talent. Inter-personal relations are well uplifted since coaching is a personalized form of development, with the coach interacting directly and personally with the employee. The employee’s teamwork skills are therefore improved. Coaching also helps to increase both levels of performance and job satisfaction, hence can be used on the Shop Managers of the new shops to improve their performance, and on the Value Partners and Assistant Managers to boost their performance levels to high standards and to bring about pride in their jobs.
Mentoring is a network where a more knowledgeable or more skilful person assists a less knowledgeable or skilful person to gain skills and knowledge needed in his/her line of work, or for personal, professional or organizational growth. Mentoring is different from coaching in various respects. It is long-term compared to coaching which is short-term and task-based. Mentors become a sort of ‘role model’ and is trusted very much by the mentee. Mentorship entails informal communication for a sustained period of time (Herholdt, 2012).
The preponderance of mentoring is markedly significant. The advice that the mentee gets from a mentor, together with suggestions and answers to the mentee’s questions go a long way in maintaining the mentee highly relevant and effective in the business world. Mentors also give critical perspectives to deal with certain cases, which have not been thought before, owing to their vast experience. Long-term skills are also acquired from the mentors, with long-term relationships being created. Mentorship can go a long way to revitalize operations and output in Discount 2 U Retailers.
Culture is defined as those arts, customs, lifestyles, background, and propensities that describe a specific group of people, social order or country. Organizational culture alludes all the of the structure from claiming imparted beliefs, presumptions and qualities which oversee how individuals behave in an organization, influencing how kin dress, how they act, how they perform their jobs, business hours, office setup, representative benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, customer fulfilment and each other part about operations. It contributes to the interesting social and mental status in an organization (Schwartz, Davis ; American Management Association, 1991).
From the case study, it is concluded that there is a significant cultural difference between the employees in the older shops and those in the newer shops. This difference is because of a number of factors including the difference in the management of the shops, poor execution, change in the market the company serves and possibly changing customer requirements. As Discounts 2 U continues to expand, its geographical coverage diversifies. The cultural difference is evidenced by the negative attitude and behaviour witnessed in newer shops, the general disorganization in the newer shops in terms of cleanliness and appearance, and the prevalent lack of pride in work done and hence lower performance in the newer shops.
A number of solutions can be applied to settle these cultural differences and improve performance. Leadership development can be done to help the managers and those in authority to execute their leadership roles optimally. After those administrators have assessed the circumstances and have agreed that upgrades are necessary, they examine which transforms will improve or expand benefits. They, at that point, create a correspondence arrangement to clarify the recommended change activities to their staff. Punctual and more compelling correspondence serves should get additional workers to help execute those changes, and additionally address whatever apprehensions or protests that may arise. The last and most important step is to ingrain the culture change in the management objectives, making it real and making it stick onto all the employees (Films Media Group,, ; Teletime Video, Inc.,2016).
As the human resource director, I have always believed that Discounts 2 U is a world-class retail organization, whose productivity can be escalated from where currently stands. It had been founded in 1991 to be a leading organization in retailing of products to consumers at highly discounted prices. The discount gives customers good value for their money. With its currently expansive and extensive status, Discounts 2 U faces quite some challenges, especially in its newer shops. On keen observation, I have noted that the environment in the newer shops has changed significantly from what I have met in the older shops and what I had been used to. All is not lost. Therefore, a collective action is necessary to revamp operations in the new shops.