Approaches to Human Resource Management

Approaches to Human Resource Management
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Approaches to Human Resource Management
The human resource management can be used to refer to systems which are put in place
to manage organization’s employees. The human resource practices have a significant role in an
organization’s success particularly in their retail segment. There are three approaches to the
Human resource management namely, best fit, best practice, and the configuration models. These
approaches will be looked into, in this essay as applied by Woolworths Limited which is a
leading retail outlet Australia.
This model assumes that there exist Human resource management practices that can be
applied universally in all situations that an organization may encounter (Armstrong, 2011). These
practices include selective recruitment, having teams that are self-managed, and offering training
to employees. The other practices include; security in employment, sharing of information,
reducing differences in status, and offering compensation on the basis of performance. This
model has been criticized since it is hard for there to be universal practices that can be applied in
all organizations. Furthermore, some practices may work well in a particular organization and
may not fit in a different one due to the differences in culture, style of management, and culture
(Banfield & Kay, 2012).
Regarding Woolworths Limited the organization has managed to recruit the best
candidates by advertising their job vacancies through an online platform where the candidates
are also required to apply online. By doing this, the organization has ensured that the process of
their recruitment becomes and remains transparent. Additionally, the purpose of the online
recruitment process is to ensure that all candidates receive equal treatment. Moreover, in
handling the personal information of the candidates the organization has constantly acted in
agreement with the Privacy Act where the information is kept confidentially. After selecting the
right candidate, the company takes the new employees through a program through which they
receive training.
Furthermore, the organization also has a system of managing talents where employees are
trained and developed. The training has ensured that employees that are newly employed do not
waste much time before getting integrated into the organization (Arli et al 2013).The
organization's retail segment which continually keeps changing has benefited most from the
development and training of their employees (Gibert, 2013). Woolworths Limited has also
applied the best practice approach in its human resource management by developing better
communication methods (Wilkinson & Johnstone, 2016). The organization has to the process
design team continually engaged their staff to communicate the benefits of having a process
approach regarding their projects. Furthermore, the organization through the Woolworths
Business Process Management has ensured continuous communication between the management
and the staff
Moreover, the constant appraisal of the employees has assisted the organization in
gauging the operational performance of their workers. Woolworths Limited analyses their
employees based on the skills which they possess currently and the ones which they may need to
develop for their career in future. Additionally, the organization engages their employees during
their decision-making process with an aim of enhancing satisfaction in their jobs.
In comparison to the best practice, this model seems more realistic, as it holds the view
that what is regarded as best depends on the circumstances within an organization (Fottler et al.
2010). Though the best fit model is better in comparison to the best practice, it does not take into
account the processes involved in change. Additionally, the model holds the view that the
practices of human resource management are dependent on which are contextual like employees
groups, country, and the organization’s strategies among others (Wilkinson & Johnstone, 2016).
Woolworths Limited has had a high rate of turnover in recent years which has provoked the
management to look for ways to decrease the high turnover rate. Through the best fit model
which ascribes to the expectancy theory, the management has gained an understanding that the
key to success is people. This belief has led the management to look for ways of retaining their
employees (Gordon & Kaswin, 2010).
Some of the ways of retaining their employees which have been used by the organization
include among others; providing their employees with health care plans, disability benefits,
retirement funding schemes, and also offering scholarships and educational training to them
(Woolworths, 2017). Furthermore, parental leaves and fitness centers are among other benefits
provided which have assisted the organization in retaining their employees (Sawang & Kivits,
2014). This is a human resource approach which combines both the internal and external fit of an
organization (Armstrong, 2011). This model develops and implements different practices in the
human resource management which helps in complementing and reinforcing. The configuration
approach holds the view that the performance of an employee is based on both their motivation
and ability. Therefore, the practices which an organization uses in managing its human resource
should aim at improving both the employee’s ability and motivation.
Furthermore, institutions mostly use the configuration model with the aim of achieving
performance which is high by maintaining consistency. The consistency is attained by jointly
reinforcing the human resource practices and policies that are already developed to contribute
jointly to the achievement of the organization’s goals, and strategies. Additionally, this approach
is usually used to match an organization’s resources to its needs, improve its performance and
assist it in gaining a competitive advantage in the market. Though the configuration model is
most favored by many organizations, it brings with it a few challenges. One of them includes the
company may become unable to select the best configuration or bundle which is suitable for the
organization (Armstrong, 2012).
In relation to Woolworths Limited, the organization has used this model by carefully
selecting and training their employees while at the same time offering non-financial incentives
like parental leaves and fitness centers to their employees (Sawang & Kivits, 2014). By doing
this, the company has put together the best-fit and best practice models in managing their human
resources. Additionally, the company has through the use of the configuration model established
reward systems which address all employees in the entire organization. The configuration model
which puts together various human resource practices has assisted the organization to encourage
high performance by rewarding employees whose performance is extraordinary. The
organization’s managers assist in identifying employees who are best-performing and award
them on the spot. The managers give the awards frequently as they walk around the
organizations (Woolworths, 2017).
Additionally, the company has established the difference awards which are given to
employees who contribute extraordinarily to the company. All employees are involved in
choosing the person who will become the winner. The organization gives this award to
encourage the other employees to work harder for them to receive the awards. Moreover, besides
these two awards, Woolworths Limited gives out the yearly CEO award to individual employees
and groups that are performing highly. The company also offers opportunities for developing
one’s career as a way of promoting its employees. There is no single approach which can be
deemed suitable for all organizations. Therefore an organization should strive to use the
approach which is most beneficial to their employees and also the company as a whole.
Woolworths Limited has used both the best fit and practice approaches to managing their human
resources, which indicates that the approach mostly used by the company is the configuration
Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong's handbook of strategic human resource management. Kogan
Banfield, P. & Kay, R. (2012). Introduction to human resource management. Oxford University
Fottler, M., Khatri, N. & Savage, G. (2010). Strategic human resource management in health
care. Emerald Publishers.
Sawang, S., & Kivits, R. A. (2014). Greener workplace: understanding senior management's
adoption decisions through the Theory of Planned Behavior. Australasian journal of
environmental management, 21(1), 22-36.
Wilkinson, A. & Johnstone, S. (2016). Encyclopedia of human resource management.

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