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Introduction 

Employees are one of the most important stakeholders of each organisation who lead it to productivity and success. This study aims to understand the effect of reduced work hours on the employees of Tesco, one of the leading multinational retail chains in UK. It will examine the importance of reducing working hours and its effect on employee satisfaction and productivity and the manner it will help the organisation attain its business objectives, succeed in the competitive market and gain a greater competitive advantage.

• Examine the impact of productivity from an operations point of view

For the smooth functioning of a huge and diverse organisation like Tesco, it is important for the management to take proactive steps to boost its productivity. Productivity is the measure of the extent to which a business is efficient in utilising its diverse resources to produce better quality goods and services.  By increasing productivity, Tesco is capable of producing more with the same amount of equipment and work and this in turn has a number of significant benefits. The employees of an organisation play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall productivity and success. They are the harbingers of high productivity for Tesco.

However, in order to achieve profit maximisation, employees are often forced to work for longer hours and give in extra efforts to increase the company’s productivity. However, Tesco acknowledges the fact that the employees are the main assets of the organisation and long working hours is detrimental to the employees as well as the organisation in the long-run. While long working hours may boost their employees’ productivity as they strive to meet the specific deadlines, in the long-run, their productivity level is likely to decrease because of losing physical as well as mental strength (Angrave, 2015). Prolonged working hours lead to employee dissatisfaction and this in turn, has an adverse affect on the smooth functioning, productivity and success of the organisation in the long-run. When the work pressure and working hours is less, the employees feel motivated to work harder as they remain satisfied with the company (Wheatley, 2017). Therefore, it is evident that reduced work hours have a positive impact on the productivity of an organisation. 

• Determine the impact on morale and company culture

Reduced working hours have a huge positive impact on employee morale and productivity. Employees tend to offer outputs that are more productive when they have autonomy over their work schedule. Reduced working hours positively effects employees’ health and well-being as they are able to balance their personal and professional life effectively. Tesco realises this situation as wellbeing at the workplace boosts productivity as well as commitment to the company and reduces chances of leaves and absenteeism (Kocakulah et al., 2016). Employee morale can be significantly boosted if they are provided with reduced work hours. Leading organisations today are coming up with flexible work timings and a flexible work culture that allows employees to work from home whenever necessary. This acts a motivational tool inspiring employees to work harder and more efficiently for their company. When employee morale is high, it positively affects the productivity and success of organisations. 

Apart from that, Tesco provides its employees with various incentives and benefits according to their performance, thereby further enhancing their morale and the overall company culture. Performance and skill assessment tests are conducted for all employees in order to monitor their current skills and identify their weaknesses. Appropriate training sessions are thereafter arranged for the employees according to their varying needs (Tabvuma, 2015) These training and development sessions help the employees in Tesco to develop their existing potentials and acquire new skills. These help in making them more productive as well as more responsible towards the organisation. This in turn leads to an enhanced employee morale and an effective company culture in Tesco which helps the organisation to achieve its diverse business goals and achieve profit maximisation in the market. 

• Assess the impact on HR in recruiting and retaining employees 

The HRM plays one of the most important roles in the successful functioning of organisations. Their primary roles within an organisation is to select and hire employees, train and develop them and provide them with appropriate benefits and appraisals according to their level of hard work and performance,  In Tesco, the Human Resource department plays a pivotal role in workforce planning and recruitment. They see to it that the most capable and skilled candidates are hired for their different job roles. They ensure selecting only those candidates who have the potential of adapting to the diverse company culture and work constructively for its productivity and success (Worrall, 2016).

In Tesco, both external as well as internal recruitment is conducted by the HR. This makes the company open to new innovative ideas outside their company as well as gives an opportunity to promote the deserving employees to higher responsibilities. This challenges the employees to work harder and help to keep them satisfied and happy with the work culture. Reducing work hours helps the organisation to retain the best talents and create an effective workforce who is committed to bring in growth and positive changes in the organisation. Reduced work hours also significantly boost employee loyalty and retention as the workforce is satisfied and happy with the company culture and the benefits that it provides them. When an employee is made to work for prolonged hours, he may lose his interest of performing well and might seek better career opportunities elsewhere. Therefore, it can be clearly seen, that by providing reduced work hours, Tesco ensures that it is able to hire the best possible talents from the industry and attain their loyalty and retention.

• Identify the type of leadership needed to manage this type of working environment. 

For an organisation to function efficiently, it is necessary that the appropriate leadership style is implemented to bring out the best in employees and boost organisational productivity and success. Organisations use different leadership styles to fulfil their business objectives and aim at profit maximisation. The most commonly used leadership styles are transformational leadership, transactional leadership and situational leadership. Transformational leaders are energetic, emotionally intelligent and passionate and strive to not only fulfil organisational objectives but also help his team members achieve their full potential. This leads to higher performance and better satisfaction among the employees. Transactional leadership, on the other hand, views the relation between leaders and his followers as a transaction. Under this style, the followers are made to complete their tasks in exchange of monetary compensation. Team members are compelled to obey whatever the leaders say. Apart from transformational and transactional leadership, situational leadership is one of the most effective styles followed in leading organisations. Under this style, the leaders adapt their behaviour according to the performance needs of his team members in order to fulfil the common goals. 

For a diverse organisation like Tesco, it is important for the leaders to implement transformational leadership. Transformational leaders are capable of developing a vision and inspiring his team members to achieve it. This is one of the most effective ways of boosting employee morale and making them put in their best efforts for the company (Giovanis, 2018).  Apart from that, this style of leadership would promote enthusiasm and motivation among the employees and in turn, help the company achieve its goals of success and profit maximisation in the market.

Conclusion 

The aim of this study is to emphasise on the immense significance of working hours on the overall employee performance and organisational productivity. It assessed the manner in which prolonged working hours leads to low morale and dissatisfaction among employees and negatively affects the productivity and success. It also analysed its effect on the HR team in its process of selecting, hiring and retaining employees. Apart from that, it identified various leadership styles and identified the most effective style for Tesco that would assist the organization in its path to higher productivity and success.

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