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Report for Human resources management system for Coles supermarket pyt ltd.

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1.1 Background

The retail industry in Australia comprises of about 140,000 retail companies and businesses. The Australian supermarket retail industry is one of the most concentrated and strong industries in the world (Wardle and Baranovic, 2009). The largest players of the Australian supermarket retail sector are Woolworths and Coles, which are owned by Woolworths Ltd. and Wesfarmers Group respectively. Though these giant supermarket stores offer good quality products.

Woolworths began operations in the year 1924 with a small basement store in Sydney, Australia. Since its inception, Woolworths has grown into a supermarket giant. It has become the first choice of almost every household in the metropolitan as well as the regional areas of New Zealand and Australia. Woolworths began as a fresh food supplier 60 years ago by 2012 the brand has widened to offer a huge range of grocery and food products. Woolworths is extremely sensitive to the customers' needs and is constantly providing newer and better product offers to its customers. Each brand under Woolworths Ltd. is unique and highly committed to provide the best quality of products to its customers

Woolworths is an Australian Largest Super grocery store chain. Its headquarter is in Bella Vista, Australia. At Woolworths focus is on ensuring the right people at the right jobs at the right time in the recruitment process. It has set its criteria for selection of an individual on the fair terms and based on merit, relevant experience as well as capabilities of the applicant. The company believes in treating its employees with respect and equally. The HR division of the company is committed to abiding by the company rules and regulations and ensures that Anti-discrimination law and Equal Employment Opportunity Legislation are followed fairly in the process of recruitment and selection. Along with that, as per the Privacy Act, HR department maintains all the personal documents that are provided by the candidates during the selection process (, 2015).

Though Woolworths Ltd. is primarily a retailer it has penetrated deep into supermarket sector of the Australian retail industry along with the general merchandise stores, hotels and petrol and gas stations. The retail product portfolio of the company includes liquor, grocery, fresh food products, general merchandise, electronics and fuel. Woolworths Ltd. currently includes 2,330 divisions, 577 general merchandise stores and 284 hotels. The company primary areas of operations include New Zealand and Australia, with subsidiaries in India, Hong Kong and China.

The following data gives a brief glimpse of the history of Woolworths Ltd.-:

1924- The Company established its first store in Sydney, Australia.

1930-1940- The company witnessed rapid growth and expanded its operations through various stores.

1970- 1980-: The brand established itself as the largest retailer of fresh food products in the world.

1980-1990 -: The brand became the market leader in the retailing sector of Australia

1990-Present-: The brand entered into several other sectors with petrol gas stations and hotels.

1.2 Introduction

HRM practice is referred to as the governance of employees of an organization that is responsible to create and implement the behavior of employees. The goal of HRM team is to balance the assets in a well-organized manner. Due to certain management-oriented problems the organization faced massive loss in the competitive business market; those HRM gaps are also going to be analyzed in this paper. In order to mitigate these gaps from the overall analysis, a conceptual model has been developed.

The literature review firmly focuses on the best of Human Resource Management Practices that are perceived to be applicable by different organization. Here the best HRM practices maintained in an organization namely a WOOLWORTHS LIMITED are discussed. The norms and regulations of HRM practices are different in every organization. These will demonstrate different HRM business models and theories.

HRM practices play a major role in the success of a company especially in the retail sector. This is a sector where customer satisfaction is paramount to the success of the company. Woolworths is one of the leading retail companies in Australia with thousands of employees. The company has had many challenges in the HRM department, as HRM practices are a new concept in the Australian job market. This essay looks at the HRM practices at Woolworths and offers recommendations on the best practices that the company can apply to have an effective HRN department.

Woolworth is the major company in Australia with extensive interest in retail industry throughout New Zealand and Australia as well (Woolworths 2016). By revenue, Woolworth is the second biggest company in Australia. Percy Christmas, Cecil Scott Waine, Stanley Chatterton, Ernest Williams and George Creed established Woolworth in 1924. Woolworth is headquartered in Bella Vista, New South Sales, and Australia.


It is thus clear that human resource management is a specialized knowledge and practice concerned with the management of human resources in an organization. It constitutes a significant activity of the management. It attracts and selects capable men, organises them in productive groups, develops their potential, gives them necessary motivation and maintains their high morale.

1.2.1 HR Department

Being one of the most renowned and famous retail organizations, Woolworth has a dedicated Human Resource department, which focuses on the effective employee management for the organization (Armstrong and Taylor 2014).


Woolworth has successfully designed their Human Resource Department with the help of few important as well as significant approaches of Human Resources (De Waal 2013). Developing and Recruiting Talent, matching staffing with the business requirements, retraining and training as well as downsizing are the crucial approaches those have been adopted by Woolworths Limited

1.2.2 Strategic Human Resource Management

If the proposed model of Strategic Human Resource Management by Nankervis et al (2014) is considered, therefore, it can be seen that there are few roles those are not undertaken by the Human Resource team of Woolworth Limited. The cyclical and long-term process of Strategic Human Resource with enough flexibility for permitting the directional changes in Human Resource is not undertaken by Woolworth Limited (Derous and De Fruyt 2016). Instead of this particular role of Strategic Human Resource Management, Woolworth outsources few functions of Human Resource. This organization follows the Business process HR outsourcing, with the help of which an external supplier can manage the discrete activities of Human Resource such as the recruitment or payroll administration.

1.2.3HR Functions

There are three major levels at which the line managers as well as the practitioners separately or together operate such as the functional, operational as well as strategic levels (Hendry 2012). The practitioners together with the line managers develop the action plans for meeting the present needs of labour. At the strategic level, the practitioners are involved in the human resource and corporate planning. The line managers carry out primarily several activities at the functional level that ensure employees are at the right time, for the right cost and in the right place.

In case of Woolworth Limited, this retail organization operates their Human Resource functions at the strategic and the functional level. This is simply because, the practitioners are involved in the Human Resource planning and corporate planning at the strategic level. On the other hand, at the functional level, the line managers carry out primarily several activities at the functional level that ensure employees are at the right time, for the right cost and in the right place.

1.2.4Performance Management

Woolworth is the major company in Australia with extensive interest in retail industry throughout New Zealand and Australia as well (Woolworths 2016). By revenue, Woolworth is the second biggest company in Australia. Percy Christmas, Cecil Scott Waine, Stanley Chatterton, Ernest Williams and George Creed established Woolworth in 1924. Woolworth is headquartered in Bella Vista, New South Sales, and Australia.

Woolworth Limited hires for the technical analyst profile for maintaining their stock market. Technical Analyst observes all the patterns of the stock market and they make prediction about different future performance. Woolworths promote their existing employees to the designation of Technical Analyst by performance Appraisal method.

1.2.5 Recruiting and Inducting New Staff

Part 1

Woolworths relies on having the best employees working in its operations. To recruit the best, Woolworths usually advertises its jobs online with the applicants required to send their applications online. This makes it easier to ensure transparency in the recruitment process. The aim is to treat all the candidates with courtesy, consideration as well as fairness. Woolworths follows or abides by the Anti-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity legislation that are required throughout the process. Besides, the company recruits based on merit to make sure that only the right person is selected for the job. The other important concept that is followed or appreciated by Woolworths is acting in accordance with the Privacy act when it is dealing with personal information. After the selection process has taken place, the selected applicants are taken through a training program where orientation takes place. This ensures that the new employees do not spend a lot of time integrating into the company's practices (Arliet al 2013).

1.2.6 Manages Staff Performance and Engagement

Woolworths has performance and talent management systems where the employees are analysed based on the current skills they possess, the ones they require and the future career aspirations. This allows the management and the employees to interact as they attempt to fill that gap in skills. The company also engages the employees in making decisions especially those decisions that directly affect the employees. The aim is to enhance employee participation and increase the job satisfaction of the employees. The talent management system is used enhance better performance through training and development of the employees. The retail sector is one of the changing ventures, which means that Woolworths has to ensure that it is prepared for any changes that might occur in the process (Gibert 2015).

1.2.7Identifies and Advances High Performing Staff

High performance is encouraged at Woolworths with the management rewarding those with extraordinary performance. Such an aspect goes beyond the scope of practice or provision of an extra contribution to the business. Managers play the role of identifying the best performing employees. There are on the spot awards for going above and beyond that call of duty. The managers give these awards on frequent occasions when they go round the company. The managers also give the difference awards for making an extraordinary contribution. The award engages all the employees in selecting the winner, which means that the winners feel appreciated by their fellow employees. The award encourages the rest of the employees to work hard and achieve the same fate in the near future. The other award for high performance is the annual CEO award that is given to both individuals and groups in the company (Woolworths 2017). This award has been found to provide the employees with the desire to work hard both as individuals but also as a group. High performance is also awarded a promotion through providing career development opportunities for the employees working (Gilbert 2015).

1.2.8Safety of the Employees

Woolworths has little concerns when it comes to the safety of the employees. However, safety is a concern in some specific areas like drivers, handlers of electrical appliances and employees working in stores. The company has a set of rules and regulations that govern the process of working in these departments (Woolworths 2017). For example, drivers are not supposed to work under the influence of drugs or drive beyond a certain speed limit. This makes it easier for them to prevent accidents from happening. Protective gear is required for employees working in the electrical department. This does not only apply to the internal employees but also to contractors as well. The arrangement of the stores is always done in a way that it does not endanger the lives of other people as they work or move around the store. These safety measures are to be observed by all the employees at all times (Woolworths 2017).

1.2.9 Encouragement of Staff to Stay in the Organization

Woolworths has had to deal with a high turnover of employees in the organization as they move for greener pastures in other companies. This has prompted the management to seek ways through which it can reduce the high rate of turnover of employees and in the process ensure that the best and most talented are retained. One of the ways of encouraging the employees to remain in the organization is through the provision of career development opportunities by promoting people within its ranks. The employees are also provided with numerous benefits such as discounts, retirement funding, healthcare plans, educational assistance through training and scholarships, disability benefits as well as death and funeral cover (Woolworths, 2017). Parental leave and the provision of fitness centres are some of the benefits that are outlined by the company that helps in employee retention. The employee engagement also improves job satisfaction and in the process ensures that employee retention (Sawang & Kivits 2014).

Part 2

Woolworths' management can address a number of issues to improve its HRM practices. The aim of the improvement is to ensure that the management can deal with the excess turnover that occurs in its stores. Firstly, the management can offer competitive salaries for the employees working in the organization unlike those offered by other companies as well. In essence, the HRM department should analyse the payment regimes of other retail companies in Australia and improve its salaries for the company to be competitive and attract the best talent (Mortimer & O'Connor 2014).

The HRM department should also expand the number of avenues that are used by the company in advertising for jobs. Increasing the advertising avenues means that the company will attract a large pool of employees, which increases the chances of getting the right or the best employees (Sablok et al 2017). Consequently, job descriptions should clearly state the role of each employee. Research shows that employees are organized and produce highly when their skills are well utilized. Sharing the responsibility has been pointed as an important thing to the HR department. Leaders should be encouraged to adopt transformational leadership at all times to ensure that they can develop the people they manage and at the same time harness the talent of the entire staff (Schuler & MacMilan1984).

The HRM department should understand the motivation to improve the performance of the employees. The department should not focus on monetary based motivation but should focus on better ways of motivating employees. One of the things that the HRM department should do is train the managers and leaders on how to coach and motivate the employees through transformational leadership (Theriou & Chatzoglou 2014). Woolworths' management may also provide incentives such as lunches, better parking or discounts for the employees. These will encourage the employees to not only work hard but also commit to the company.

Woolworths' performance management system is highly underdeveloped. The management should develop a performance appraisal system that should be implemented annually or semi-annually to allow the company determines the various gaps that exist in terms of skills that the employees have (Sablok et al 2017). Combined with the talent management program, the appraisal system should stand-in better planning of the training and development program. Specific scorecards should be developed for every department and should be used in analysing the performance of the employees in the organization by comparing their outcomes in different intervals. Training and development should be based on the gaps that are identified by the HRM department in the appraisal system. It is also important to make sure that the HRM department does not only represent the company but also the employees as well (Schuler & MacMilan1984).


After the entire discussion made in this study, it can easily be stated that Woolworth has a dedicated Human Resource Department and along with that this organization follows the strategic and functional levels of HR functions. On the other hand, this organization also maintains all the retention levers and this organization have also implemented the most suitable performance review method that is the self-evaluation performance review method.

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