Employees are consider as an assets of company who perform operations for its success and in order to align their efforts toward the organisational goals the management of employees is very essential (Renz, 2016). As effective management of people will support in keeping employees motivated and focused toward their work. Mark & Spencer is a British multinational retailer which is headquartered in London. It offer variety of product or services worldwide such as selling of clothes, furniture, grocery, food and other household products. This report elaborates about the importance of leading and managing people within the organisation. It includes a detail description about the management and leadership of employees. After this it includes an explanation related to various leadership and management theories that a line manager must adopt for managing employees. At last this report depict about the relationship that a line manager shares with the human resource representative in managing people. It includes importance, limitation, overlapping and clarity in maintaining a relation between line manager and human resource manager.
Management of people is very crucial for a company, as it support in achieving the desired level or quality of performance which contribute toward accomplishment of organisational goals (Shin and et. al., 2015). Human resource manager are generally responsible for the management of employees working within the organisation. But line manager act as a link between the HR manager and employees in an enterprise by directly interacting with workers and reporting higher management. The line manager is responsible for managing the employees and other operations performed within the organisation and then reporting it to Human resource manager. Therefore, it can be said that line manager plays a crucial role in managing people and ensuring that their operations must be aligned toward the accomplishment of organisational objective. Mark & Spencer is a British multinational retailer of clothing, home products and footwear which operates its business throughout the world. As Mark & Spencer is a global brand, it contains large number of employees worldwide (Gruber and et. al., 2015). So, in order to maintain them effectively, company focuses on appointing highly skilled and competent managers who have capability to keep employees motivated and leading them to work efficiently within the organisation.
1. Management and leadership of employees
Managing refers to the process of organising and coordinating the activities within a business so that the desired objectives can be accomplished. On the other hand, leading refers to the process of guiding people about the way operations needs to be performed so that set targets can be achieved (Thomas, 2015). A company requires a great talent to grow a business successfully by managing people as a team and leading them towards the organisational goals. A manager is considered as a most essential part of an organisation as they work toward managing and leading employees so that objectives can be met. Manager only focuses toward executing their work effectively for the accomplishment of set targets.On the other hand, if manager is also a leader then it focuses on guiding employees and formulating strategies that can support in accomplishing the organisational objective along with personal goals of employees. The managers of Mark & Spencer use following strategy in order to lead and guide their employees:
- M&S created its internal social media network named as Yammer for connecting workers and providing them a platform to have a conversation with one another. At this network managers congratulate its employees over their good performance and in-store which employees share over this network(Marks and Spencer takes a mixed approach to staff motivation, 2018). This help in encouraging employees and keeping them motivated to perform well.
- Managers of M&S also arrange awards like 'employee of the month' for rewarding their employees over their better performance and accomplishment of targets. This support line managers in maintaining a healthy relationship with its employees and motivating other to improve their performance for getting reward.
- M&S also provides staff performance incentives to its employees over their quality of work. Line manager encourage its employees to work harder and achieve their sales targets for availing the benefit of incentives. Further, line manager also provide information about the performance of employees to their human resource manager so that incentive process can be initiated (Bolden, 2016).
These all are the strategies that are generally used by line manager of Mark & Spencer for keeping its employees motivated. Apart from this, a line manager also has to perform several roles within business in order to manage people effectively and keeping them motivated for working as a team. The role of line manager can be better understood using following points:
Maintaining good communication:-Line managers are also known as direct manager as they are the person who are responsible for communicating directly with employees. Hence, they have to maintain a effective and continuous interaction with its employees so that performance of employees can be managed properly and they help in accomplishment of organisational goals (Champy, 2018). Line managers of M&S generally uses an internal social media network 'Yammer' for communicating with its employees and keep on checking the status of their work done.
Delegate jobs to right people:- The major role of line manager is to manage employees and contributing their efforts toward the accomplishment of organisational goals by delegating work among them as per their capabilities. Line managers of M&S analyse the performance of its employees in order to delegate them work as per their capabilities. This support them in keeping their employees happy with job and also help them by providing opportunity for further growth.
Manage conflicts:-While managing employees, there are number of conflicts that may arise between them and thus line manager is having responsibility for handling those issues by negotiating among employees (Aycan, 2015). Being a channel between high level managers and employees, line manager focuses toward managing and leading the employees to encourage them for working with coordination as a team for achieving their goals. Line manager of Mark & Spencer ensures that only constructive conflicts should be arise among employees which results as a positive change within organisational process.
So, the major role of line manager is to guide employees and managing their operations so that positive outcomes can be extracted out of their performance. But in addition to this, the attitude and belief that a manager have also influence the performance of employees. For instance, if a line manager have a belief that employees must be controlled by superiors for keeping them focused toward organisational objective, then this may create dissatisfaction among workers as they only have to follow instruction of their superiors (Donate and de Pablo, 2015). On the other hand, if line manager have an attitude or belief that employees must be provided with opportunity for enhancing their skills and bringing innovative ideas for improving organisational processes then in such environment, workers will remain more motivated and focused toward their goals as they get a chance to share their views.
2. Models related to the management and leadership of employees
A line manager is a person who directly interact with employees and monitor them to perform operations effectively (Shek, Chung and Leung, 2015).So, for managing them in an appropriate manner line managers are required to adopt proper leadership models in its organisation for motivating its employees and keeping them focused toward goals. There are various management and leadership models that can be used by line manager of Mark & Spencer for managing its workforce. These can be better understood using following:
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There are number of philosophers, researchers and professors who have published their leadership model to develop an understanding about what method or strategy must be adopted by a person for leading its team. These models contain a set of behaviour or actions that a line manager of Mark & Spencer must exert for guiding people and motivating them toward their work (Leadership Model, 2018). The leadership model is explained below that can be used by Mark & Spencer for managing its employees effectively:
The 4-HLeadership Model
This model describes about four major criteria that a leader must consider in order to grow and accomplish their targets.
From the above given image it has been cleared that 4-H leadership model focused over four major factors that a manager or leader must consider in their practices.These factors are explained below:
- Humility:-This factor focuses over two attributes such as listening and respect for diversity in which listening factor suggest that leaders must listen to its team members and try to understand their perspective or frame of mind. So, the line manager of Mark & Spencer must listen to the problems that their employees are facing and also encourage them to bring their ideas for keeping them engaged in operations and to bring coordination among workers. Apart from this Mark & Spencer operates its business worldwide and also maintain a diversified workforce so that there must be no chance of miss-communication or dissatisfaction among customer due to language or culture barriers.
- Humanity:-This factor suggest that a good leader is one who must have a sense of empathy towards other people working in the organisation. A caring and humbled nature of leaders develop a sense of belongingness among employees and they try to work as a team toward accomplishment of organisational goals (Antonakis and Day, 2017). Apart from this a leader must also act with compassion and also help others when they need. The line manager of Mark & Spencer must exert a empathy and compassionate behaviour toward its employees for indulge them in their operations. They must support them in different situations and also work with them for gaining their trust over management.
- Hope:-A good leader is one who have an ability to predict the outcome of actions that are being performed by their team members. They must be assertive in taking decision and have an ability to manage the work performed by its team members so that the desired result can be achieved. The line manager of Mark & Spencer should try predict the outcome of its employees' performances so that effective action must be taken to improve the current performance for a better future outcome.
- Humour:- This factor suggest that a good leader is one who have a great sense of humour and use it to create a positive environment at workplace so that employees can work in a most effective and satisfactory manner. Line manager of Mark & Spencer must provide its employees a positive environment where they are free to communicate their view and speak up about their will. This will support in developing a most productive workforce.
Transactional Model of leadership
Transactional model is most commonly used framework worldwide which suggest that a leader must delegate work to its employees as per their capabilities and evaluate the work performed by them time to time(Dartey-Baah, 2015). If employees perform tasks effectively then it must be appreciated or rewarded and in case when employees not perform as per the expectation then they must be punished for deed. This theory involves more managerial power rather then leadership which includes evaluation of employees' performance by manager, providing training and rewarding them over their work if targets are being meet. By applying this leadership model, line manager of Mark & Spencer can fix certain goals or target which its team members has to follow under their guidance to achieve desired results. On the accomplishment of set objectives, employees must be rewarded (Barnlund, 2017). This could be anything from bonus to increment which always encourage workers to perform well and achieve their targets. But in order to achieve desired result, the line manager of Mark & Spencer is required to develop a strong bond with its organisational members and follow an agenda that people comes first.
It refers to a framework which is a combination of various set of actions that a manager must perform in order to manage its employees effectively and aligning their efforts toward the accomplishment of organisational goals (Management model, 2018). Following are the most commonly used management models that a line manager of Mark & Spencer can use to manage its workforce effectively:
Deming Cycle model:-
This is one of the most effective management model which focuses towards improving the productivity as well as skills of employees. By applying this model, line manager of Mark & Spencer will be able to manage its employees effectively by providing them proper guidance regarding the work which they have to perform (Al-Haddad and Kotnour, 2015). This will support them in performing operations in a well informed manner which will result in accomplishment of goals along with the employees personal development. Deming cycle model is also known as PDCA cycle because it consists of four parts such as Plan, Do, Check and Act which are as explained below:
- Plan:-Under this stage, managers will plan about the task they have to perform and in what manner its implementation should be done. An effective plan present a blueprint of what actions must be taken in order to achieve desired result. The line managers of Mark & Spencer generally develop an action plan for the targets that are being set by higher management
- Do:-After deciding up the goals to achieve and actions that are required to perform for accomplishing those objectives next step is to delegate task among employees. Line manager of Mark & Spencer generally maintain an internal social media network 'Yammer', where they share the schedule of work for employees. This provide an information about actions that a particular employee has to perform.
- Check:- After the scheduled action has been performed by employees, the next step is to check their performance in order to determine whether the work done by them is as per the plan or not. The line manager of Mark & Spencer generally set standards for the quality of performance they required from its employees and once their work has been analysed to determine the deviation in their performance (Donnelly and Kirk, 2015). Then proper training is provided to its employees in order to enhance their skills and capabilities.
- Act:- After analysing the work performed by employeesnext step which this model suggest is that managers must take corrective action for eliminating those deviations. This is an ongoing process which a line manager of Mark & Spencer must follow so that they can manage the work performed by employees and take corrective actions to enhance the performance of employees.
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Kurt Lewin's Change Management Model:
This model generally focuses over improving the skills as well as performance of employees by changing their old method of doing work for increasing their productivity (Sallis, Owen and Fisher, 2015).
The above given image depict about the change management model and steps it includes
that a manager should follow in order to enhance the performance of employees. These steps focuses on determining the need of performance enhancement among employees and then modifying the old process followed within the organisation for overall development. These steps are explained below:
- Unfreeze:-This stage focuses over interacting with its team members and determining that whether the old method of doing work is good to adopt or require some changes for achieving the desired level of performance and productivity. Marks & Spencer follow the transparent communication channel where line manager asks its employees about the issues they are currently facing and also take suggestions regarding the improvement they can make for enhancing performance.
- Change:-After determining the changes that are required to be made for providing employees a better place to work and enhancing the quality of work performed by them. But, it is one of the most toughest stage as employees take time for implementing changes and working effectively by adopting those changes. The line manager of Mark & Spencer perform regular analysis over their internal operations and after determining the requirement of changes they suggest it to higher authority. Apart from this they also organise training for its employees so that changes can be implemented easily without affecting the level of performance.
- Refreeze:- Once the new system has being implemented within the organisation and employees get families with it, the next step is to engage people in this new system so that these efforts can be set for permanent and become a part of operations. Under this step the line manager of Mark & Spencer is responsible for managing the people involve in these changes by providing them proper guidelines and motivating them by setting up reward over their performance (Al-Haddad and Kotnour, 2015). This keep people more engaged and motivated toward accepting the changes which further support in enhancing their skills as well as performance for career advancement.
3. Relationship between line manager and HR representative in management of people
Line manager is a person who directly interact and guiding the employees operations performed by them for ensuring that desired result can be achieve (Kilroy and Dundon, 2015). They are also responsible for reporting the higher management about the operations performed by their team. On the other hand Human Resource representative or manager is a person who plan, direct and coordinate the administrative function performed within an organisation. They perform operations like hiring people, payroll, formulating corporate strategy etc. Hence, HR manager is responsible for the management of people working within the organisation. But the line and HR manager share a relationship in term of their operations where line manager act as a link between the employees and HR representative.
Mark & Spencer is a global brand which operates its business worldwide and maintain a workforce with large number of employees. Hence it is not possible for HR manager to manage employees that are working over different geographical area, as there are number of issues that may arises among them while working (Cooper and Baird, 2015) . Therefore in order to maintain the performance of employees by solving their issues and fulfilling their demand, HR manager requires a network through which they can interact with employees. So line manager act as a link between HR manager and workers where they work with employees and report the HR representative about the issue employees are facing and improvement that are required to be made in current system. This support HR manager in formulating effective corporate strategy which provide a information regarding the objective to achieve and way through which these goals can be accomplished. Apart from this the information provided by line manager also support HR representative to formulate effective human resource plans and policies which support in keeping customer satisfied with their jobs.
Therefore, it is very essential for HR representative to maintain a healthy relation with line managers so that the workforce can be managed properly and effective actions can be taken for improving the unproductive or old working system. Following are the benefits of maintaining an effective relation between HR and line manager:
Departmentstaffing:- The main function of HR department is to fulfil the workforce need within the organisation. For this line manager must provide information regarding the requirement of people within their department, so that HR can hire candidates with required skills and capabilities (Azmi and Mushtaq, 2015). For instance, HR manager of Mark & Spencer can communicate with line manager before creating job advertisement so that people with required skills or capabilities can be attracted toward it.
Workforcestrategy:- The line manager report to HR manager about the capability as well as performance of employees which support them in formulating strategies regarding the actions that are required to perform by employees. This information also support HR manager of Mark & Spencer in formulating effective strategy which support in minimising the issues that employees are facing while working.
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Performancemanagement:- The HR manager of Mark & Spencer arrange meeting on regular bases for taking up a report regarding the performance of employees. In this meeting line manager provide information regarding their department and training requirement of employees which support in improving performance (Karimi and et. al., 2015). For instance, through this information HR manager arrange training programs for employees and also involve reward system in their policies which support in motivating employees to enhance their performance.
Legality:- As Mark & Spencer maintain its workforce all over the world and in order to manage them some authorities are delegated to line manager for that the level of performance can be maintained and quick actions can be taken. But this may also have negative impact as for managing employees effectively, line manager either have HR background or must have knowledge about employment law. Because there are many legal pitfall in which line manager can step and which become costly to business.
StrategicGoals:- Formulating and implementing the business strategic goals is an ongoing process and line manager is a part of strategy formulation. But the involvement of line manager in excess may create dependency and HR manager only focuses over the information provided by line manager and not willing to assess other areas for formulating strategy. This may result in failure to accomplishment of targets and can also affect the image of company in marketplace.
Clarity between relationship shared by line manager and human resource representative:
The line and human resource manager both perform operation toward the management of employees so that the set targets can be achieved. But there must be a clarity between the understanding of their responsibilities and operations they are required to perform so that their operations may not be overlapped with one another (Azmi and Mushtaq, 2015). Because both of them perform operations which are similar and miss-conceptualisation may create a issue regarding the formation of policies. For instance, in case of emergency both the manager take decision to solve the issues by passing their order to employees regarding the operations they have to perform. In such case employees get confused regarding whose action they have to follow which creates unnecessary delays in operations. Apart from this if employees work over these order then it may leads to downfall in their performance which in turn will affect their goodwill in marketplace.
There is a huge difference between the role they have to perform, as HR manager is responsible for the formation of policies regarding the operations performed by employees within the organisation. On the other hand, line manager have to consider the policies formulated by the HR manager and use them to manage particular group of people working under them. Apart from this line manager is also responsible for providing information about the requirement of employees regarding the working hour, operational procedure, training need, changes in current system etc.
From the above given report it has been summarised that management of people within an organisation contribute toward its success. Management of people involve listening to their issues, improving policies for providing them an environment to work and exerting training for improving their performance. These all are the factors that support a human resource representative to manage its employees and keeping them satisfied with their job. But for managing and leading them, HR manager must communicate with line manager to determine the requirement of employees in each department. As line manager of thorough knowledge about issues that employees have and this information also support in dBarnlund, D.C., 2017Dartey-Baah, K., 2015etermining the requirement of training. Apart from this management and leadership models also support a line manager in leading people effectively these models are The 4-H Leadership model, Transactional Model of leadership, Deming Cycle model, Kurt Lewin's Change Management Model.
- Al-Haddad, S. and Kotnour, T., 2015. Integrating the organizational change literature: a model for successful change. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 28(2). pp.234-262.
- Al-Haddad, S. and Kotnour, T., 2015. Integrating the organizational change literature: a model for successful change. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 28(2). pp.234-262.
- Antonakis, J. and Day, D. V. Eds., 2017. The nature of leadership. Sage publications.
- Aycan, Z., 2015. Paternalistic leadership. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, pp.1-2.
- Azmi, F. T. and Mushtaq, S., 2015. Role of line managers in human resource management: empirical evidence from India. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 26(5). pp.616-639.
- Barnlund, D. C., 2017. A transactional model of communication. In Communication theory (pp. 47-57). Routledge.
- Bolden, R., 2016. Leadership, management and organisational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.
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