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Professional Development and Practice

Introduction

Home Bargains is a chain of discount stores with 4000 branding products line stocking up. It has over 17000 employees from head office to the workers working in warehouses and as staffs. They are growing at an increasing rate and their turnover is GBP 1 billion. And it has increased by 50% in three years. They have been serving over to 3 million customers. They are ranked as the highest discount retailer chain in the UK(Moon2013). They have given employment to over 17000 people. Management strategies are the strategies for the formulation and implementation of major goals and objectives of home bargain. It is the decisions taken by the top management on behalf of owners and it is decided in accordance with the resources that they have and the analysis of internal and external environments in which the organization is competing.

The present report is based on the analysis of the management strategies for increasing the productivity of stores of home bargains. Although they have been doing very well financially to sustain it they have to look upon the problem areas that they are facing such as Marketing, High staff turnover, Poor technologies, Supply chain management. For increasing productivity, each of the issues must be addressed separately and given full attention. As far as marketing issue is concerned they need new marketing strategies for their products. High staff turnover- as they have employed over 17000 employees, maintaining them is a big task, not everyone will be happy in your organization, so proper measures to retain the employees in the organization is very essential as if attrition rate increases it will add a lot in its cost, as to train an employee it requires lots of time, efforts and cost.

If the technology is poor it increases the efforts and time of the work that he has to put in doing the same work which can be completed early if the technologies are updated .the supply chain if not proper gives a lot of pain in the working of an organization. As if it is not proper then the products will not be delivered on time or not reach the sore as well and maybe they lose a customer because of this. For increasing productivity marketing strategies have to be intact (Avalos2011), they must measure the marketing success, and the markets must be targeted for increasing productivity and the results must be measured from time to time and actions must be taken accordingly.

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In this report it has been identified that what is the relationship between existing marketing strategies and increased productivity., the impact of current marketing strategies on the productivity of the organization will be studied here and the strategies that Home Bargains have adopted for retaining staff are: to be identified in this report.

This report is made to find out the solutions of the above-addressed problems. The analysis of managing strategies will help to find solutions for Home Bargains to increasing their productivity.

A statement of the issue, need or opportunity

Productivity has been defined as the quality of being produced, it the efficiency that how much a firm produces. Higher productivity higher the efficiency of the firm, they will produce more and more(Desimone2011) But there are issues that may hinder the productivity of Home bargains. These issues are:

Marketing: It has been the key element for increasing productivity. But there are some problems attached to it. There are issues that must be addressed asap. Some of the issues with marketing are that one product is not enough to please everyone. To find the ones that are interested in your product and segment your market. And then find the most potential customer targets.

High staff turnover: The staff turnover is not a good situation for Home Bargains as they have incurred lots of money in the training of staff, they have conducted seminars also for a better understanding of the work. The attrition rate creates the problem and it has to be resolved immediately and they should choose employees carefully as their attrition costs them much more(Borkond et.al 2011). They are the top employers as they have given employment to a lot of people but to retain them is a task.

Poor technology: This problem in Home Bargains is letting them face any trouble in handling the work. As they have cash counters and the system on that is not efficient. So it takes time in billing and the customer gets irritated and he may not come again due to poor service, all because of poor technology.

Supply chain management: Supply chain management is the backbone of products reaching the sto0re and customers. If the manufacturer doesn't deliver on time and the retailer or distributor delays it entire chain is disrupted. The supply chain consists of manufacturer distributor retailer customers (Florian2012). If there is the fault at even at one party then the entire supply chain breaks down.

Project aims and objectives

Aims and objectives of Home Bargains are to:

Identify the relationship between existing market strategy and increased productivity.

Their aim is to know that the current strategies that they are using will help them in increasing their productivity or not(McNiff2010).

Identify how current marketing strategy has impacted the productivity of the organizations

To know that the strategies that are currently going on in the organization is better for the organization or they need to be changed further so as to achieve the desired productivity(Moser2012). For increasing productivity, they must list the organization's long and short term goals. Employees must be reviewed on the basis of their performances.

Identify the strategy they have adopted in relation to staff retention.

For staff retention, proper measures and strategies are to be made as their retention will lead to loss of training and development cost of employees as they have spent a lot in their development. Their aim is to reduce the attrition rate so as the productivity remains intact and thus increases further(Jimoyiannis2010).

For achieving these aims and objectives they have to formulate certain managing strategies and implement them for the smooth functioning of their stores.

Methodology

Home Bargains was founded in 1976 by Tom Morris and is working as a chain of discount stores. For Home Bargains, the research methodologies to be used can be divided into two basic categories which are as follows:

  • Primary Research
  • Secondary Research

Primary Research:

Primary Research collects real or actual information to be directly implemented to the research process(Gallagherand et.al 2011). Primary research gives the authority to frame questions of ones own and the answers will be of great value to the company.

Primary Research include:

  • Surveys
  • On-site observations
  • Interviews

Secondary Research:

Secondary Research collects information from the existing resources which can be of great use to the growth and development of the company(Zepeda 2012).

Secondary methods of research include:

  • Internet
  • Available market research
  • Feedback of customers
  • Information agencies

In the case of Home Bargains as it is facing problems in marketing, staff turnover, poor technology and supply chain management it has to implement both primary and secondary research methods to improve its performance and growth.

Moreover, various marketing strategies are also responsible for the good performance of any organisation. Marketing strategies are nothing but the tools to gain overall performance of any firm and help in the long-term survival of the organization.

Marketing strategy involves the promotion, pricing, distribution and standardization of products which are crucial to the product's existence in the market(Rushton Lotteand Singer2011). There are various impacts of marketing strategies on the performance of any company. The following factors should be kept in mind while implementing marketing strategies:

  • Product
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Distribution

All these factors are responsible for the successful implementation of marketing strategy and improving the performance of any company in the organization (Danielson 2011). It not only focuses on the profit-making factor of the organization rather it lays emphasis on the customer-oriented factor also.

Issues, Needs, Opportunities:

For the various issues mentioned in the context of Home Bargains, various factors are to be considered that will result in reduced employee turnover and improved performance of the organization (Blackand Plowright2010).

For Marketing issues, there are various marketing strategies available that have been discussed above can work for the betterment of the company.

These include:

  • Product
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Distribution

With an addition to these factors, there are some more concerns that must be considered in order to implement an efficient market strategy. They are:

  • Developing a marketing strategy
  • Distribution marketing strategy
  • Viral marketing
  • Decision-making in marketing strategy

For High Staff Turnover, there are some tricks and techniques that must be followed:

  • First and foremost, select the employees who are actually capable of that particular job, if not then he/she will leave the job due to one reason or another(Runco2014).
  • Talent acquisition should not be neglected as the potential will pay the company a lot.
  • Employee retention must be implemented by offering them beneficial packages at times.
  • Employees should be provided the opportunity to come up with new ideas and creativity to enhance their knowledge and make them feel free to express their feelings.
  • Their performance feedback should be given to them with rewards.
  • Their decision should be given importance and should matter in the execution of an organization's functioning.
  • Certain flexibility regarding the working hours or location should be provided.

Poor technology may lead to the downfall of the organization as the present era is all about technology and the competition does not give a second chance(Bishopand et.al 2012). As Home Bargains is facing a problem regarding poor technology, it needs to change the existing technology and adapt to that technology a soon as possible. For poor technology factor, the following concerns should be kept in mind:

  • The change in technology brings a new challenge to management, as it absorbs the technology efficiently and effectively.
  • The difficulties at the time will lead to some misconceptions but it has to be handled properly in the right way so that the new innovation goes on smoothly.
  • The skills required to understand the new technology must be adopted as soon as possible as the organization has to come on the track again(Frost 2012).
  • The development and implementation of new technology are to be managed properly for the better infrastructure of the company.

For Supply Chain Management:

Supply chain management is the process through which the goods and services flow from the place of manufacturing to final or local markets. Supply chain management helps in improving the speed and efficiency of the process through which the products and services are supplied to the markets(Brooks2010). It can be improved by taking following points into concerns:

  • Customer relationship management
  • Collaborative approach
  • Transformation strategy
  • Process integration
  • Driver based metrics
  • Information sharing and visibility
  • Demand management
  • Talent management
  • Value-based management

Recommendations:

As Home Bargains is having problems in various concerns in marketing, staff turnover, lack of new technology and problems in its supply chain management, it has to work on all the aspects mentioned above so that it can sustain for a long- term(Stewart2014). It has to improve its marketing strategies in order to make sure that it occupies a safe marketplace for its products or services offered.

  • It has to implement the marketing strategies for beating the competition and making a place for its goods and services.
  • It has to conduct the research of the market and collect data through primary and secondary sources to get valid and genuine knowledge about the existing products and strategies being implemented over there.
  • It has to make sure that the data gathered is of use and is up the requirement.
  • Also, it has to lay emphasis on the promotion, pricing and distribution of the products so as to get the maximum benefit of the strategies being implemented.
  • It must take care of the concerns of employees for their retention so that it faces low employee turnover and improves its performance in terms of high staff retention.
  • Last but not least(Kennedy2014), time management is the most important factor which must be executed anyhow to ensure the long-term survival of Home Bargains.

A description of how you will access or collect the evidence or data you need, where it will come from and how you will analyze it to answer your research question.

The data that is needed will be collected by doing research, research further can be qualified as quantitative and qualitative. Data can be collected through either primary research or through secondary research. The collection of data starts with figuring out what type of data is needed, then from the population, the sample is collected. Then the tools are gathered for collecting of the chosen samples. The data can be collected by using primary and secondary sources of information. Primary data is customized for the need of your analysis.

These are the information gathered by the first source of information(Boudand Brew2013). It includes getting information through questionnaires and surveys. The secondary source of data information can be gathered from within the environment(balance sheets, statements of profit and loss, sales figures, invento0ry records etc.) or from external form(government securities, universities, foundations, media, trade, corporate filings, business affiliations, etc.).

These include information from books published, journals, reports, internet, articles, and newspapers. For determining the survival of the market, primary research entails the use of immediate data. While secondary data reprocesses the already gathered information and reuses it for the betterment of service or product.

Questionnaire

1. According to the current growth process of the organization, which of the following needs much attention and progress to boost the production?

  • Operational activities
  • Tactical activities
  • Current programming strategies

2. Choose the right option, where the supply chain department is facing problems in taking care of the raw material?

  • During storage
  • Packaging
  • Testing of packaging
  • Evaluation of defective raw material

3. To eliminate supervisors as a cause of turnover, you need to ask: Has he or she received adequate training?

  • Does one supervisor have more or less turnover than another?
  • Is turnover high on one shift or in one location but good in another?
  • Does the supervisor have performance goals that include retention, turnover, and employee engagement?

To evaluate other potential causes of turnover, ask:

4. Are employees leaving after three to five years or during their first 12 months?

  • Are you providing millennials enough opportunities to learn?
  • Are you providing generation X enough opportunities to advance?
  • Are your wages and benefits competitive?
  • Do they meet the needs of a multi-generation workforce?

How do key aims relate to the specific needs, issue or opportunity you have identified to research?

The key aims and objectives of Home Bargains are

1. Identify the relationship between the existing marketing strategy and increased productivity.

The marketing strategy helps an organization in achieving fundamental goals and helps to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage(BiancarosaBrykand Dexter2010). The strategies of marketing include all the basic long term and short term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic situation of a company, by formulating, evaluating and selecting various market-oriented strategies. The points that will help in managing strategies that are needed to be kept in mind are:

Human Resource Management: The manager has to manage human resources for the attainment of objectives. Human resources have been designed for employees to maximize their performance and efficiency. They are focused on managing people in the organization and focus on the formulation of policies. Human resources are the people who focus on increasing productivity. They are specialized in training, recruiting, employee relations and benefits.

Financial Management: Nothing can be done without finance. You cannot implement your thoughts and ideas into reality if you don't have finance in your hands. Managing finance in an organization is a big task. Managers have to manage financial conditions so as to make the organization cost-effective and maximize productivity.

Change: Change is the need of today. Rigid things or policies cannot sustain for long. change in systems makes it improve and they help in making the employee efficient and thus increase productivity.

Innovation: innovation in products, innovation in technologies helps an increase in productivity. with the help of new technology, many things can be achieved. Strategies must be made with innovative ideas and operating business innovatively increases productivity.

Global Strategy: Global strategies are made in the organization by keeping in mind that business needs to be extended, how they can build their presence worldwide. Global strategy includes the locations where the various value chain activities will happen.

Global Marketing: Marketing done on the basis of global expansion is considered. All the factors regarding the marketing strategies there needs to be formulated.

2. Identify how the current marketing strategy has impacted the productivity of the organizations.

Current marketing strategies have a lot of impact on the productivity of organizations. Some of the factors that influence the performance of the organization are:

Product homogeneity: Product homogeneity has a significant effect on the characteristics of sale performance and showed an effect on the standardized ability of the firm. However, the impact of product homogeneity characteristics on the standardization and firm performance relationship is strong, as customers perceive the products as interchangeable. When the difference in the market is minor and the product differences in other market showed by the competitor is high, in that case, standardization is regarded as a stronger performance alternative because useful adaptations may be difficult to be developed by the firms.

Impact of Product Life Cycle Stage on Financial Performance: When the customers are acquainted with the products they are offered for, it has shown similar demands, the export market is found to be the viable option and will improve the financial performance. It happens when the product remains at the same stage in the life cycle, in various export markets targeted for standardization.

Impact of Competitive Intensity on Customer Performance: The competition intensity in export markets significantly influences a firm's international marketing strategy toward customer performance(Kennedy2014). Intense competition leads to greater customer satisfaction which increases the productivity of the organization.

3. Identify what strategy they have adopted in relation to staff retention.

Staff retention is very essential in an organization as they have invested their time and money in recruiting them, training them and developing them.. reasons staff leaves the organization is:

  • The job was not what they expected
  • The job was not suited to him, there is a mismatch
  • There is too little coaching and feedback
  • There is no growth in the organization and no opportunities.
  • Employees feel devalued and unappreciated
  • Work-life imbalance and the feel stressed
  • Senior leaders do not trust them.

Retention strategies: The dilemma facing organizations is whether to invest more time and money fine-tuning their recruitment strategy or to pay extra attention to retaining the talent they already have. Recruiting new staff is expensive as a company has to invest its resources, time-consuming, stressful. Below is the list of effective methods that help the organization in maintaining the employees and keeping them happy and loyal.

Training: It reinforces the sense of their value. With the help of training, employers help their employees to achieve the targets and make sure that they have a proper in-depth understanding of their job requirements.

Mentoring: A mentoring program integrated with a goal-oriented feedback system provides a structured mechanism for developing strong relationships within an organization and is a solid foundation for employee retention and growth. With a mentoring program, an organization pairs someone more experienced in a discipline with someone less experienced in a similar area, with the goal to develop specific competencies(Wilding Curtinand Whiteford2012), provide performance feedback and design an individualized career development plan. It helped the employee to grow and learn something.

Show appreciation via compensation and benefits: Offering things like competitive salaries, profit sharing, bonus programs, pension, and health plans, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement sends a powerful message to employees about their importance at the organization. The rewards given by them must contain value to them. The rewards given to employees must be meaningful in order to impact their perception of the organization and therefore have a marked influence on its retention efforts. Moreover, if an organization promises a reward, it should keep that promise

Provide growth opportunities: Workshops, seminars, training should be provided to employees for their growth and make them competent enough to grab the opportunities in the work environment.

Make employees feel valued: the employees when they feel valued, they go the extra mile for the organization. when they get appreciated they feel that they have worth in the organization and make good use of their skills and receive recognition.

What does your acquired knowledge, evidence or data tell you about this issue within your given context?

Through the research which we have conducted gives us the idea that the proper managing strategies are to be made and with the help of the questionnaire we are able to find the opinions of the members of the organization that what they think about the problems that Home Bargains are facing. What reason do they think is behind their problems. With the primary and secondary sources of data we get the information about the company and its problem areas. The problem related to marketing, supply chain management(DeCuir-GunbyMarshalland McCulloch,2011), poor technologies, and high staff turnover rate., the cited entity have to deal with the attainment of their objectives.

Through the strategies that are made for the retention of employees, Home Bargains can practice those strategies and can retain their employees for a longer duration and make them happy and loyal. With the help of making proper strategies for every issue, the management can resolve them effectively. Which will benefit them and help them grow in this competitive world? These questionnaires and surveys help in gaining information about the company and with the help of secondary data, the information is got by the newsletters, journals, websites,and articles, etc.

Reflection

The above report gives a clear view of the analysis made throughout the project of the Home Bargain which deals with the discount retail store. This helped to design the decisions made by the cited entity to achieve the desired goals such that they can effectively attract the consumers toward it. This helped to focus on the research programs so that effective information can be gained to grab the opportunities present in the market and convert it into a profitable goal. It also helped the management of the cited entity to understand the need for skilled employees to increase the overall productivity and performance of the business entity. Thus, this encouraged the cited entity to develop the training programs at regular intervals as per the changing requirements of the dynamic environment.

This also encouraged the management to develop the moral and ethical values which have a direct impact on the social goodwill of the company. This increases customer loyalty which ultimately leads to enhance the brand equity of the cited entity. The reflection also shows the new path to the management to take continuous feedback from their clients so that their complaints and grieves can be quickly resolved and their demands can easily be captured and converted into a reality.

Also Read: Professional Development for Strategic Managers

Conclusion

Professional development is very necessary for an individual as it is reflected through the report which is mentioned in detail above. As it develops the skill in individuals those who are working in any organization. Home Bargain can frame better strategies if its workers have better skills and competencies to work towards the perfection and development of the organizational structure of the cited entity. Business enterprises like Home bargain have certain goals and objectives which can only be achieved if the persons those who are employed by it have that potential through which they can easily achieve the level which has to be attained by them. In this report, various types of objectives are mentioned which are to be achieved by Home bargain. Through this report, the user can detect and identify elements that relate to two factors which existing market strategy of Home Bargain and its productivity. Users can acknowledge that by implementing better strategy an entity can grow its productivity through which it can accomplish the goal of high profitability.

On the other hand, this report over professional development also defines how the management of an entity can perform better and how it can draft an effective business plan and marketing strategy. The skills are also developed with the training program which is provided by an organization to their employees. Through personal and professional development companies are able to improve their performance and meet their set of targets and goals. Managers and leaders of home bargains company have to frame some plans and strategies which help them to attain their long term as well as short term objectives. They have to develop skills among employees. Skillful workers' care help organizations to meet their target and provide good customer services in the international market. The development potential of members can improve and boost up their confidence as well. Various types of plans and strategies are helping to attain their target.

References

  • Moon, J.A., 2013.Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. Routledge.
  • Avalos, B., 2011. Teacher professional development in Teaching and Teacher Education for over ten years.Teaching and teacher education.
  • Desimone, L.M., 2011. A primer on effective professional development.Phi delta kappan.Borko, H., and et.al 2011. Using video representations of teaching in practice-based professional development programs.
  • Florian, L., 2012. Preparing teachers to work in inclusive classrooms: Key lessons for the professional development of teacher educators from Scotland’s inclusive practice project.Journal of Teacher Education
  • McNiff, J., 2010.Action research for professional development: Concise advice for new action researchers. Dorset: September books.
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