Everyone knows that Sainsbury’s is one of the most famous and most respected retailers in the U. K. However, not everyone knows quite how successful they really are. Started in 1869 by John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury, the first store was established in the heart of London’s west end- Dury Lane. Due to 131 years of enthusiastic work by generations of committed people at all levels of the company, Sainsbury’s now boasts over 400 stores and a team of over 130,000 people.
Sainsbury’s is one of the U.K’s largest supermarkets and their mission is to be the consumers first choice for food, delivering products of outstanding quality and providing a great service at a competitive cost through working ‘faster, simpler and together’.
They constantly monitor 10,000 of their products on a weekly basis to ensure that they remain competitive. Delivering great service is a key objective of their business transformation programme and during the year they have made a great effort to re-train employees in order to maintain a high quality service when serving customers.
Many retail outlets already have in place the idea of a ‘mystery shopper’. This is whereby an undercover employee (normally selected by the head office) enters the store as a customer. The idea is to test what kind of customer service their employees really provide for true customers. Normally they will ask a member of staff for an item that is not available or will appear to be an awkward customer in order to test the level of training the employee has undertaken.
However, the outcome of a mystery shopper is more a reflection of the stores management as it highlights areas needed for improvement, which is extremely beneficial to any company. In order for Sainsbury’s to function properly as a company, close attention has to be paid to its Personnel function, as it is an essential part of the process of management. The effectiveness of any work organisation is dependent upon the efficient use of resources in particular, the human resources available.
Most medium and large companies today have a Personnel department whose job is to manage the firms HUMAN RESOURCES. These are the employees or personnel in a business that help it to achieve its objectives. They might include office staff, members of the marketing team, Sales Assistants or cleaners. However, the importance of a Human Resource Department is ever increasing, yet there are two different styles of approaching it. Personnel Management, as described by Torrington and Hall, is ‘workforce centred’ directed mainly at the organisations employees.
Those who work in the organisation are the starting point. Although evidently a management function, personnel is never totally identified with management interests. Traditionally, personnel managers enforce rules and procedures and are less concerned with change. The efficiency of staff, their commitment to the aims of the organisation, and the skills and attitudes they bring to bear on the quality of service offered is adopted by good human relationships.
Success in the field of human relationships stems from good personnel policy and practice and an effective personnel function. The second approach is Human Resource Management (HRM). HRM is ‘resource centred’ directed mainly at management needs for human resources to be provided and deployed. There is a greater emphasis on planning, monitoring and control rather than mediation. The basis of HRM is the idea that this is much the same as any other aspect of management and an integral part of it that cannot be separated out for specialists to handle- everyone plays a role.