Assignment Briefing:

| December 11, 2015

Assignment Briefing:

A retail company based in Hatfield, employing 125 employees has been experiencing considerable success in expanding sales. You are the newly appointed team of HR Consultants, commissioned by the company to prepare a report advising the company how to excel in the following four areas:

1. Motivating employees

2. Groups and teams in organisations

3. Organisational Processes

4. Equality and Diversity

Your essay should demonstrate a wide range of secondary research; using 2 UK-based companies. Reference should be made to the latest theories and academic models.

You need to provide definitions, facts and figures, and also identify the benefits and challenges for organisations when addressing the four issues. Reference List: At the end of your assignment you must attach a list of references set out following the Harvard system. A minimum of five sources is expected, with a range and mix of material used. All sources also need to be referenced within the text of the assignment.

Checklist for Individual Report
1. Make sure you fully read the Assignment brief in the module Guide and it is also loaded under ‘Module Information’ ?
2. Word count – 2000 ± 10% ?
3. You should add in addition which will NOT be included in the word count:
a. A Title page ?
b. A Turnitin Originality Report ?
4. c. Appendices ?
5. A Reference List (not included in the word count) needs to be attached. This should follow the Harvard referencing format. A minimum of five references should be used for each topic. Make sure the references are valid and reliable (do not use Wikipedia etc. for example). Harvard Referencing! All sources used must be referenced in the main body and in a reference list at the end using the Harvard referencing system. ?
6. Can bullet points be used? They can be used but they will need explaining and supporting with the source or with evidence. For example you might list some bullet points relating to the benefits of implementing initiatives to prevent absence and one may be: ?* Cost – this would not be enough – you would need to say something like ‘Tesco’s saved £52,000 in the first year of using xxxx in their graduate recruitment campaign’ (Personnel Today, 2014) ?
7. Please remember that at the end of each section you are expected to summarise whether the HR topic covered is an area that the company should pursue or not based on the research you have presented. The company is a small organisation in the retail sector – can this topic area be helpful to them or is it too ambitious? ?
8. Can we use company examples based on our own work experience? This is a good idea but you must make sure that it is referenced appropriately e.g. (Asda Handbook, 2014) (Next Staff Guide, 2013). Using a blend of secondary and primary sources would be great. We recommend a maximum of one primary source per topic and one secondary source. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A PRIMARY SOURCE. ?
9. Do all the company examples need to be from the retail sector? The company examples do NOT need to be from the retail sector. ?
10. You must use a range and mix of valid and reliable sources to back up your work. These include for example textbooks, broadsheet newspapers, academic journal articles, professional journals such as People Management, Government websites such as the DWP, ACAS. ?
11. Remember all facts and figures used to show context should be UK based and up to date ?
12. Do we write in the first person? No, you should avoid ‘I’ ‘We’ and use the third person. This means you write objectively and do not personalise your work. ?

Where can we find resources? Lots of hints are given on the lecture slides – you can go and look at the original sources. In addition use the Resources list loaded under Module Information which has links to the ‘e’ books. Remember to read some of the material on the Taking Your Learning Further pages and use these. ??
Below are some guidance points per topic showing what we would expect to be included in the assignment:- ?
Motivating employees
• Have you defined motivation and explained how it can be achieved? ?
• You could include reference to an academic model such as Hierarchy of Needs theory or expectancy theory in order to visually present and explain motivation – make sure you reference the source(s) used ?
• You need to build in some facts and figures on motivation in organisations– these need to be UK based and up to date. What do the usage figures regarding learning and development opportunities tell us for example? ?
• Find two company examples to show learning and development/ training opportunities (and other forms and types of motivation) in practice. What benefits or challenges are the organisations facing? Make sure these examples are referenced. ?
• Include a section on the benefits and challenges of motivation backing up all the points made with a range and mix of sources. ?
• Summarise whether this is a topic area that would be useful for the company to pursue/implement or not based on what you have found. At this point you are not using personal opinion but writing in third person. The summary should be short and concise. ?
Groups and Teams in Organisations
• Have you defined how groups are developed? ?
• You could include reference to a model such as Belbin’s team roles to visually present and explain behavioural contributions in the workplace– make sure you reference the source(s) used ?
• You need to build in some facts and figures on the effective management of teams showing patterns of growth or decline– these need to be UK based and up to date. What do the usage figures tell us for example? ?
• Find two company examples to show effective teamwork in practice. What benefits or challenges are the organisations facing? Make sure these examples are referenced. ?
• Include a section on the benefits and challenges of teamwork backing up all the points made with a range and mix of sources. ?
• Summarise whether this is a topic area that would be useful for the company to pursue/implement or not based on what you have found. At this point you are not using personal opinion but writing in third person. The summary should be short and concise. ?
Equality and Diversity
• Have you defined Equal Opportunities and Diversity and explained how they differ? What is diversity? ?
• You could include reference to a model such as Gardenswartz and Rowe’s work to visually present and explain Diversity– make sure you reference the source(s) used ?
• You need to build in some facts and figures to show why the topic area is of interest, these may include demographics regarding the ? Organisational Processes
• Have you defined communication and employee participation/involvement and explained their significance? ?
• You could include reference to employee voice methods to visually present and explain how employees’ participation can be enhanced – make sure you reference the source(s) used ?
• You need to build in some facts and figures on the employees’ voice initiatives showing ?
ageing population or women representation for example – these need to be UK based and up to date.
• Find two company examples to show a proactive approach to managing diversity. What benefits or challenges are the organisations facing? Make sure these examples are referenced. ?
• Include a section on the benefits and challenges of achieving a age diverse workforce backing up all the points made with a range and mix of sources. ?
• Summarise whether this is a topic area that would be useful for the company to pursue/implement or not based on what you have found. At this point you are not using personal opinion but writing in third person. The summary should be short and concise. ?

ONLY ALLOWED TO USE THESE SOURCES AND REFERENCES!
Recommended Reading

Smith, P., Farmer, M. &Yellowley, W. (2012) Organizational Behaviour 360 Series. London: Hodder Education.

Foot, M. & Hook, C. (2011) Introducing Human Resource Management. 6 th ed. London: FT Prentice Hall.

Gilmore, S. & Williams, S. (2009) Human resource management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gordon, J.R. (2002) Organizational Behaviour: A Diagnostic Approach. 7 th ed. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Marchington, M. & Wilkinson, A. (2012) Human Resource management at Work. 5th ed. London: CIPD.

Torrington, D., Taylor, S., Hall, L. & Atkinson, C. (2011).Human Resource Management. 8 th ed. London: Prentice Hall.

Some examples of useful Journals:

British Journal of Industrial Relations

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management Review IRS employment review

People Management / Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Personnel Today Some useful web sites are as follows:

http://www.cipd.co.uk the website of the CIPD

http://www.hrmguide.co.uk a useful site with information on many HRM-related themes

http://www.flexibility.co.uk excellent information on flexibility in the UK

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/ the expert body on equality in Great Britain

http://www.acas.org.uk the ACAS website

http://www.xperthr.co.uk/home/ a useful data base providing a variety of information and resources relating to HR issues.

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