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Developing Individual, Teams & Organisations - Marks & Spencer

University: UK College of Business and Computing

  • Unit No: 35
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 14 / Words 3456
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: A/508/0594
  • Downloads: 245
Question :

This assessment will cover the following questions:

  • Explain employee knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals in.  M&S
  • Evaluate the factors which need to be considered when implementing inclusive learning and development to drive sustainable business performance.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to the ways in which high-performance working (HPW) contributes to employee engagement and competitive advantage in M&S.
  • Explore ways in which performance management, collaborative working and effective communication can support high-performance culture and commitment in   M&S.


Answer :
Organization Selected : Marks & Spencer


Every business organization needs to adopt innovation and develop its business in order to sustain its position in competitive markets. And in order to develop its business, organization needs to focus on developing its individual employees and teams. This will result in development of organization and which will benefit in achieving overall objectives. Marks &Spencer operates is a large multinational business dealing in retail markets. It aims at developing knowledge and skills of employees which results in driving sustainable performance. In this study report, knowledge, skills and behavior of HR are explained. Differences between organizational and individual learning are discussed and also different approaches to performance management are explained. This report also demonstrate about effective use of high- performance working which supports high performance culture in an organization.

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Section 1

A. Appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviour required by HR professionals across the department

HR professional requires knowledge and skills which can drive sustainable performance in an organization. Knowledge and skills will develop and advise on implementing policies related to make effective use of individual and team(Mostafa and et.al., 2015). HR professional ensures to hire right people for right place and providing training and development to them which can result in enhancing their performance and achieving overall objectives of organization. Various knowledge, skills and behavior are required in HR of Marks &Spencer which can benefit overall organization and some are explained as follows:

Knowledge in HR

  • Personnel and Human Resource: HR needs to have the knowledge regarding principles and procedure related to recruitment and selection of employees in Marks &Spencer. He also needs to know about training and development programs, benefits and compensation which are needed to be provided to employees.
  • Administration and Management: HR needs to know about management of Marks &Spencer which includes principles applied in strategic plannings, human resource management, adopting leadership style. This will guide HR to adopt principles of management of HR. Knowledge regarding production methods adopted is also required to have in HR.
  • Rules, regulation and laws: HR is required to know about various laws, legal codes, regulations applied on Marks &Spencer. HR needs to also advise on employment law, deals with grievances and implement various disciplinary process and procedures.

Skills of HR

  • Listening skill: HR needs to have good listening skill and listen to employees, understand their point of view and resolving their issues or doubts. This will benefit Marks &Spencer to maintain smooth functioning of business activities.
  • Coordination: HR needs to work in coordination with various other departments of Marks &Spencer(Maheshwari and Vohra, 2015). HR acts as consultant to other employees and other departments, assists line managers and make them understand policies and procedures.
  • Promote equality and diversity: HR needs to maintain equality and diversity in business environment of Marks &Spencer and make it a part of culture of business.

Behavior of HR:

  • Adaptability: HR manager needs to aim at collecting relevant information regarding procedures and policies and make changes accordingly in the working of business activities.
  • Positive behavior: HR needs to adopt behavior which can make employees satisfied towards their job. Positive behavior leads to motivate and encourage employees.

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B. A completed personal skill audit to identify training and development needs

Personal skill audit of employee helps to identify their strength and weakness which can be used in developing their skills and knowledge(Otley, 2014). Strength needs to be developed and weakness needs to be overcome by giving training and development. Following is a skill audit for employee Jane Cambridge working in Marks &Spencer, audit is done to identify the needs for further training.


  • HR manages recruitment and selection of employees in Marks &Spencer by using various techniques and tools, this brings effective staff for organization.
  •  HR aims at developing and implementing various policies which results in better working environment and satisfies employees(Mostafa and et.al., 2015).


  • Marks &Spencer operates in retail market which is growing at rapid speed and brings various changes in operations. Adapting various changes is difficult for HR.
  • Employees come up with different views and ideas to HR which makes him confuse. Listening skills of HR may not be best used while making decisions.


  • It is an opportunity for HR to use its positive behavior in gaining advantage which will help him to grow in carrier.
  • Adaptability nature of HR will lead him to bring positive changes in business operations and make organization to achieve its objectives.


  • Marks & Spencer faces large competition and it requires effective and updated techniques to manage business activities which can help business to gain competitive advantage, if HR fails to do, this be treated as threat.
  • Lack of coordination in various department will not bring effectiveness in business operation and affect HR as he responsible to maintain the same.

C. A professional development plan

Professional development plan of employee is done to identify career goals and develop a strategy which can help in meeting goals and objectives. It identifies various skills which necessary to be adopted and results in positive outcomes. Professional development plan of Jane Cambridge is made and given below.

Skills and knowledge to be developed

Strategy adopted

Steps to be taken to develop skills

Time duration in developing skill

Use of effective techniques and tools

HR needs to make use of effective tools and techniques which can result in bringing positive outcome for the organization. Hr needs to attend various training sessions to develop techniques.

Training sessions, reference and guidance from other HR employees(Moorley and Chinn, 2015).

2-3 months

Lack of coordination

HR needs to maintain effective coordination between departments and employees. Coordination can be maintained by effective communication among members.

Integrating business activities, involve other departments in decision making.

1-2 months

Listening skills

HR needs to have good communication and listening skills which can make smooth functioning of business activities. This can be developed by asking for suggestion, review and feedback from employees, also asking their issues and problems.

Rephrasing employee's ideas and view, understand the behavior of employees.

2-3 weeks

Developing various skills and knowledge will lead to growth and development of professional career of employee. This also develops understanding of HR role in Marks &Spencer which results in better functioning of business activities and overall objectives are achieved.

D. Differences between organisational and individual learning, training and development

Organizational training is given in order to create and develop knowledge of its employees which can be used in betterment of operations. It also aims at retaining the talent and knowledge of employees. Individual learning aims at self-motivating and it results in better  performance in business activities.  It helps employee to take advantage and bring opportunities for career development and growth.


  • Organizational learning aims at creating skill and knowledge for employees which can benefit organization to gain competitive advantage(Stewart, 2014).
  • The organizational learning creates skills which are helpful in responding to changing situation in company.
  • For example, organization provides learning about succession planning which results in positive outcomes.
  • Organizational development programs helps HR to understand goals and objectives of organization and it teaches various techniques that needs to be adopted to accomplish those goals.
  • Training and development provided by organization will enable HR to understand ways to manage the human resources of Marks &Spencer.
  • Organizational learning and training guides and motivates employees to achieve business objectives and it also makes employees satisfied towards their job(Mostafa and et.al., 2015).
  • Individual learning and development is a method used by individuals to develop their own skills and knowledge which can help them in future professional career.
  • Individual learning creates motivation in employees, they feel confident and perform better activities than before.
  • Individual learning and development helps employee in accomplishing short term as well as long term goals(Mostafa and et.al., 2015).
  • Individual training enable employees to identify their strength of which needs to be used to bring positive development.
  • The individual training and development can be done by identifying own weakness and finding measures to overcome them.
  • Individual learning, training and development can be done by using various instructional technology, reading theories and from guidance of leaders.
  • Development and training results in developing skills and knowledge which can bring positive results for individual employees.

E. Need for continuous learning and professional development to drive sustainable business performance

Marks &Spencer faces large number of competition as it operates in retail market offering variety of products and services. Various other businesses are present offering substitute products and services as of Marks &Spencer. This makes organization to adopt continuous learning and development programs for employees which can bring innovation and creation in business process and operations. The innovation will bring effectiveness resulting in increase of market share and profits and also helps organization to gain competitive advantage.

Organizational learning and development is a continuous and repetitive process. The continuous learning helps employee to learn about various changes in business environment which can be resolved by taking required steps and actions. This ensures that employees have potential which can make organization to sustain business performance(Armstrong and Baron, 2018). Continuous learning and development refers to continuous increasing of skills and knowledge of employees. Changes in business and business environment can be adopted by continuous development of skills and knowledge.

Organization aims at to provides various training and development programs for employees so that they can respond to changes occurring in business environment. The introduction or implementation of updated technology will need training programs for worker. The training and development regarding technological advancements will guide them to make the best use of it.

Need and importance of continuous learning and professional development:

  • Continuous learning helps employees to keep updated with current standards of organization.
  • Training and development maintains and enhances knowledge and skills of employees which results in delivering better outcomes(Lebas, 2015).
  • It also guides and motivates employees and also make them satisfied for their job.
  • It positively contributes to organization in form of innovation and creation in business activities and also drives effectiveness in process.
  • Continuous learning and development creates new opportunities and areas for both individual and organization.
  • Professional development in skills of employees will benefit him to gain more respect and value in business organization and professionally as well.

Continuous learning and professional development aims at creating better working environment by developing knowledge and skills of employees. This results in effectiveness in business operations and also increases productivity of Marks &Spencer which helps to gain competitive advantage and makes its business to sustain performance.

Section 2

I. Contribution of HPW to employee engagement and competitive advantage

High Performance Working(HPW) framework refers to combining HR practices, working structure and process and procedure followed in company(Otley, 2014). It aims at enhancing knowledge and skills of employees and providing them training and development to improvise it. Overall objective of this high performance working framework is to utilize the knowledge and skills of employees and gaining competitive advantage.

High Performance Working aims at managing stimulating involvement of employees in effective way which leads to achieve high level of performance. It increases capacity of organization by selecting and hiring right employees and providing them with right training and development which can lead to retain high performing employees(Mostafa and et.al., 2015). It majorly focuses on engaging employees in business activities which can help organization to gain competitive advantage. High performance working contributes in utilizing best and full knowledge and skills of employees so that it can business to put in to work and gain advantage.

High performance work practice are adopted by Marks &Spencer to bring effective performance level of employees, some of them are explained below:

  • continuous guidance, training, learning and mentoring programs
  • performance appraisal and rewards
  • suggestion from employees regarding innovation programs
  • performance based pay
  • involvement of employees in decision making

High Performance Working results in positive outcomes for Marks &Spencer in following ways:

  1. HPW leads to bring innovation and creation in business operations of Marks &Spencer which results in increasing productivity and market share. It helps Marks &Spencer to identify new markets and creates opportunity for development and growth.
  2. HPW generates and creates better knowledge and skills of employees and Marks &Spencer get benefit of talented and knowledgeable employees in organization.
  3. HPW enhances employees attendance and satisfaction, which in turn benefits Marks & Spencer in reducing employee turn over.
  4. It also helps in improving employee engagement in business activities. Employees excitingly take part in business activities and decision making.
  5. HPW makes better working environment which benefits Marks &Spencer to accomplish overall goals and objectives and also gain competitive advantage(Maheshwari and Vohra, 2015).

II. Different approaches to performance management supporting high performance culture and commitment

Marks &Spencer measures the performance of employees by assessing contribution of employees and their development and growth of skill and knowledge. Performance management evaluates the performance of employees, provide them feedback which creates positive impact on performance of individual and also on business of Marks &Spencer. Performance management is based on various factors such as companies policies and procedures, work profile of employee, bonus and compensation system, nature of work environment. It also includes motivation factors which creates satisfaction towards job for employees.

Marks &Spencer uses different strategies and approaches to measure the performance of employees, which are explained as follows:

  1. Behavioral Approach
  2. Attribute Approach
  3. Quality Approach
  4. Comparative Approach
  5. Result Approach


These approaches carry various characteristics and suitability, Marks &Spencer selects one or  combination of approaches according to situation(Mostafa and et.al., 2015).

  • Comparative approach for performance management:

This approach gives ranks to employees by comparing with other employees. The ranks are given from high to low level of performance. Various techniques and tools are used while adopting comparative approach for measuring performance of employees. Graphic ratings, forced distribution technique, paired comparison are some techniques used by Marks & Spencer. For example, employee with good outcomes in sales department gets 30%, average outcomes gets 25%, top performers gets 35% and bad performers get remaining 10%. This facilitate employees rewards who have high level of performance(Katzenbach and Smith, 2015). Poor performer are given training and development and chance for further improvement.

  • Result approach for performance management:

This is simple approach in which employee's performance is measured on the basis of results. It considers balanced scored tool, productive measurement and evaluation system. This approach used by Marks &Spencer benefits in motivating employees as it enhances and measures productivity and gives feedback accordingly. Productivity measurement approach identifies goals and objectives to be achieved then it aims at evaluating performance of employees if it meets well with targeted objectives. And feedback are given accordingly which results in creating high performance of employees and organizational culture as well.

  • Quality approach for performance management:

Quality approach aims at providing employee satisfaction which can result in smooth and effective functioning of business activities of Marks &Spencer. This approach takes person and system factors in to consideration while measuring the performance(Moorley and Chinn, 2015). Organization takes feedback from leader or manager, even peers and clients and also from customers. Use of quality approach benefit Marks &Spencer to assess both employee performance and system, it facilitates involvement of internal and external factors of business environment such as clients, customers and peers.

  • Behavioural approach for performance management:

Behavioural approach consists various vertical scales for measuring performance of employees according to dimensions of job profile. This approach considers various techniques and tools and one of them is Behavioural Anchor Rating Scale which consists five to ten vertical scales for rating. Behavioural observation scale is another technique used by behavioral approach which provides specific description regarding performance level. The behavioural approach facilitate in bringing positive outcomes and maintains organization's culture performance which can result in gaining competitive advantage.

  • Attribute approach for performance management:

Attribute system approach considers specific parameters while evaluating the performance of employees. Various parameters considers while evaluation are skills and knowledge of employees relating resolving conflicts and disputes, bringing innovation and creation in business process, coordination and team work. Employees are given ratings as high, low or medium considering various parameters(Stewart, 2014). It also includes above(+), below(-) or equal(=) for rating employees performance.

Marks &Spencer uses one or combination of above mentioned approaches for evaluating and measuring performance level of employee's. Employees performance enhances good working environment and makes organization's culture and commitment.

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HR professionals needs to have various skills, knowledge and behavior which helps them to grow and develop in their professional career. HR needs to get engaged in business activities and make organization to achieve its goals and objectives. Personal audit and development plan helps employees to identify and understand their strength and weakness. Learning, training and development programs ensures to increase knowledge and skills of employees which can be utilized to gain competitive advantage. Organization adopts different approaches of management which helps in creating high performance culture and leads to satisfying employees. High performance working framework results in achieving overall objectives of organization and it also sustains business performance.


  • Armstrong, M. and Baron, A., 2018. Performance management: The new realities. State Mutual Book &Periodical Service.
  • Lebas, M.J., 2015. Performance measurement and performance management. International journal of production economics, 41(1-3), pp.23-35.
  • Otley, D., 2014. Performance management: a framework for management control systems research. Management accounting research, 10(4), pp.363-382.
  • Albrecht, S.L., and et.al., 2015. Employee engagement, human resource management practices and competitive advantage: An integrated approach. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 2(1), pp.7-35.
  • Maheshwari, S. and Vohra, V., 2015. Identifying critical HR practices impacting employee perception and commitment during organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 28(5), pp.872-894.
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