Royal Mail's Human Resource Strategy

1. The Royal Mail do have three degrees of strategies:-

Corporate level -which handles the overall organization. Ex: Geographical regions, Market selection.

Business level strategy is mentioned for each and every kind of business completed by the Royal mail.

Functional level- The Finance, Human Resource Management, Production, Marketing, Research and Development comes under this section.

The Corporate strategy of Royal mail is designed so that this shows their ability to cope with the market changes in a negative and positive manner. It's the hardships of the employees and their standard customer services makes the Royal mail to get a competitive advantage over its competitors like TNT, DHL etc. Royal Mail which was once reported to be the Monopolist in neuro-scientific Postal services lost the title of Monopoly in the beginning of 2006. It had 99% of the market share in its hands. Royal mail do have a view to make their corporate Strategic responsibility to become part of their strategic management process. They are simply:-

2. Corporate Strategic responsibility includes:-

The support of the personnel from the workplace which forms the backbone of the Royal mail. The management also handles the staff in a far more friendly manner without any kind of discrimination.

Being workers said to be the assets of the firm, Royal Mail takes good care of their staff and about the working conditions too.

To make its actions designed to have a solid positive influence on its workers, customers and to its suppliers.

Achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2015 and support their clients to do their activities to truly have a positive advantage towards the environment and to attain a competitive advantage.

With their Corporate responsibility at heart Royal Mail wishes to vary from its competitors

Royal mail had created their corporate strategy by firmly taking into consideration of their Organizational objectives and their achievement. It is in the Functional level the Human Resource Strategies arrives. This is of the Human Resource strategy and the Human Resource Strategies of the Royal Mail from 2005-2010 are mentioned below.

3. Human Resource strategy (Definition):-

Before moving to Human Resource Strategy we ought to know what is intended by the word strategy?. Strategy usually means choosing the right decision from a blast of decisions. According to "Lundy and cowling" (1998, p16), strategy is: " The art of war, generalship, especially the art of directing military movements in order to secure the most advantageous positions and combo of forces. " The Human Resource Management team in the Royal Mail directs the personnel by motivating them and providing them proper trained in order to attain the Organizational goals also to get a competitive advantage over its rivals.

The term Human Resource Strategy is well defined as - "Human Resource management (HRM) is a strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasises that leverage people's capabilities is critical to obtaining sustainable competitive advantage, this being achieved through a unique set of integrated employment policies, programmes and practices. " [Bratton and Gold, 4e, p3]

4. The Human Resource Strategies from 2005 - 2010:-

Human Resource Management forms the most crucial function within an Organization as the workers are believed to be the valuable assets of the firm. The right kind of men and women in right position at the right time is the objective of the HR Manager. It is stated that normally per day HR Manager usually spends 20% with their working hours in dealing with the grievances of the employees without affecting the Organization's routine activities. HR Executives should have an ability to cope with their staffs in a good and friendly manner rather than imposing more control in it. The Royal Mail take the efforts created by their staff into good consideration and rely on the actual fact about their career development rather than simply employment. The Royal Mail's Human Resource strategies in the time from 2005 to 2010 is mentioned below which includes several threats they faced and the steps undertaken to face those threats.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in 2005:-

One of the most important actions of the Royal Mail is seen initially of 2005 which employed prospects from the socially excluded groups. The individuals who were recruited performed perfectly in the selection process as well as in the Organization too. New recruits by this technique were placed in position as post man, delivery van drivers, letter sorting who were ex-service men or those who are homeless. This Pilot program helped the Royal Mail in lowering the price and labour turnovers and proved as the firm with best employee satisfaction. The employees thus had a long-term commitment and had a self motivated method of work hard for the firm to achieve its goals. The employer expectation of high commitment and the employee expectation of caring for their social needs made the personnel of the Royal Mail to be loyal to the firm and improved the ratio of trust on the firm. The voluntary organizations like the Royal Association of Disabled and Rehabilitation, Business action on Homelessness etc helped the Royal Mail to get applicants of socially excluded groups. The Human Resource team played a very important function in sorting out the set of disabled applicants and choosing the right candidates through a standard selection process. The Human Resource Manager who've the Management as a skill aspect means having inborn talents will have those skills to recruit those individuals who can donate to the maximum of the extend towards their Organization. The Royal mail team supervised by Mr. Adam Crozier made record total annual profits in 2005 which helped to give 1074 pounds of bonuses to its workers. They were achieved by the employee performance, better customer support by properly trained staff and their performance related pay strategy of the Human Resource team.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in 2006:-

The Human Resource team in the Royal Mail could actually provide instant solutions to the grievances of the employees. The starting of the year 2006 was not nearly as good for the Royal Mail as it faced a postal strike in Belfast. Nearly 200 postal workers stopped their benefit 14 days which made a very negative effect on the Royal Mail's services to the clients. The customers were thought to contact the office directly for just about any important matters and almost all of the letters and documents were blocked in some places remained undelivered. The Communication Workers Union says that the strike was because of the bad and unfair practices of the managers to the employees in Belfast and the core issue is not accepted by the Royal Mail. Important delivery including specialized services were stopped temporarily and the management took immediate action to resolve the issue. The Workers in strike were assured that they can not be treated badly when they return to their work and necessary actions will be taken against those who were found guilty. The Human Resource team in the Royal Mail took the issue seriously and they guaranteed that the personnel will be treated fairly and without any discrimination. The psychological contract which says high motivation and high commitment should be taken into consideration which made the Human Resource Manger to cope with the problem in an agreeable and wise manner. It had been this season the Royal Mail lost its position as a Monopoly in the postal Industry and started facing wide spread competition. The management agreed that their will be no reduction in the task force, high job security will be provided with raise in pay scales to the staffs. The Christmas season of 2006 also made the clients of the Royal Mail to suffer due to the strike of 800 workers which caused huge volume of undelivered documents in the office. The managements decision to change some regular post to in your free time when an job opening arise was objected by the trade union by saying that it's against the National agreement. The problem grew up very seriously and the Royal Mail taken care of immediately it by saying that the decision will be with the consent of the worker agreement. The strike was stopped by reaching to the point that the new job openings in the Royal Mail will be completed by the management with the combined hands of the trade union to make decision regarding whether to treat the vacancy full time or in your free time and the management assured that no staff will be forced to change his regular job status to in your free time. The closing of the sorting office in Paddington, London in the same year was explained by the Royal Mail as a step used order to boost their client satisfaction and productivity from the wide spread rumours about some illegitimate actions of the postal workers. The 950 employees who worked their were temporarily kept away from their duties and some of them received transfer offers. The employees commitment in a firm not only be based upon their salary but also on other factors like work atmosphere, employee- employer relationship, colleague character etc. The sacking of 5 staff who treated their women colleague very badly in one of the Royal Mail branch shows the immediate response taken by the Human Resource team in those matters which impacts an employee to perform well within an Organization also to reduce those activities which impacts the trustworthiness of the firm. The Human Resource team has made recently certain improvements in medical and safety measures for the personnel because of the huge fine the firm was required to pay about the death of an employee, which was made as a health and safety issue by the court.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in 2007:-

The Privatization of the Royal Mail was the main problem discussed by the Human Resource team in the Royal Mail and the staff point of trust towards firm tends to decrease daily affecting their performance in the task. The Communication Workers Union was opposing the issue however, many managers say the Privatization can help the continuing future of the Royal Mail.

A deal was agreed between the management and the labour union in 2007 accompanied by stopping the workers strike. The brand new policies changed the working time and new technologies were introduced which was implemented in every single branch of the Royal Mail improved the productivity and performance of the workers. The new modern thought process and acting was successful in the Royal Mail. Also Mr. Mark Higson the managing director of the Royal Mail added that the continuing future of the Royal Mail Pension scheme won't form any area of the agreement. The Human Resource Strategy of making the employees feel these are a part of the firm made the management to come to a point of distributing around 20% of its shares to the employees was opposed by the federal government and the program was rejected. The Human Resource team and the other managing partners have intend to explore the unused markets and also to identify new opportunities to make the Royal Mail to provide quick and friendly based customer services. The Human Resource Department also do have plans to provide Occupational pension schemes for their employees in future. The Human Resource Manager also responded to the worst situation of low quality service by the Royal Mail in Scotland and he promised to provide better customer service the year ahead. The contract lose with the web service provider "Amazon" hits very badly for the Royal Mail and its bad position to face more rigorous competition.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in 2008:-

In order to handle the competition and the consideration into the future of the Royal Mail, the Human Resource Department made plans to reduce the amount of personnel and providing better benefits for those who remains. The Workers and the union feared about the reduced amount of the full time jobs and including more part time workers. The Privatization of the Royal Mail which the British public doesn't like was also considered as the main issue by the trade unions and the management. The Privatization may cause more job losses says the union members however the Royal Mail needs finance to support its future plans says the Management. The Management also planned to improve the offices from old buildings to new ones where the trade unions responded and they said that the change of offices may cause problems in sorting of letters, loosing some customers and they feared about loosing jobs too. Also plans were made by the Human Resource team to improve the salary scale of the executive Directors of the Royal Mail who are the main key players in obtaining maximum profit. The "Devanna" model which ultimately shows performance appraisal, Human resource development and reward systems should get due consideration. Many office branches of the Royal Mail were turn off and the rest of the staff should be motivated by their performance and the management should create trust from the medial side of the staff which gives high commitment. The "Soft HRM" feature of high commitment and high motivation as well as the "Hard HRM" feature of managing the workforce in a more rational way should be undertaken by the Royal Mail.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in '09 2009:-

To Avoid the customers complaint about the closing of the post offices the Human Resources team implemented an idea to provide mobile post office services to the clients by Van. The Royal Mail's intend to make 30% privatization was opposed by the general public and the Government continuously, if privatized it will cause raise in prices, job losses and the customers as well as the staff trust in the Royal Mail will reduce. The RECRUITING team introduced new uniforms to the workers which is ideal for the climate and having big pockets to put the handheld computers that your customers prefers to sign and trace items was considered as an integral part of the improvement in the delivery system of the Royal Mail. The entire year also faced a strike on the pay cuts, salary freeze of the workers. The Communication Workers Union said that even cutting the wages or freezing the salary will not help the Royal Mail instead it should implement new ideas in technology and new advanced machinery to aid the workers. All over the strike is making the clients to move away from receiving the services from the Royal Mail. When it concerns improving their services, the Royal Mail and the Microsoft had joined hands to hands by introducing the "new e-mailing service without having computers". The HR strategy of how to contend with their rivals has made these decision to implement in the Royal Mail.

Human Resource strategies of the Royal Mail in 2010 2010:-

The Privatization of the Royal Mail is the key consideration of the Royal Mail as the firm is running out of Finance, huge pension deficits and inefficiency in operations. The private fund is necessary for the smooth function of the business, says the Managing director of the Royal Mail. The Human Resource Manager is taking keen steps in promoting the existing staff with good training but the majority of the workers had lost the trust with the Royal Mail. The privatization will cause more job losses, price for the merchandise will be raised and the most notable level managers will get more benefits; a trade union leader says in a gathering. The personnel says that if the new management can help them in providing benefits and good promotional appraisal packages to them, it is better to get privatized. The natural constraints like volcano ashes also influenced he Royal Mail's service in some part of the UK. The Psychological contract between your employee and the employer is broken. The employees social and other needs are not fully met and the huge sacking of employees made these to loose commitment for the firm which contributes to inefficiency, reduced services, low productivity and down turn of profits. The Royal Mail continues to be regarded as the provider of the greatest service on the list of European nations with lowest service charges. The Human Resource team have plans to boost the state pension age for men.

The Royal Mail is wanting in many ways to boost its services by providing different types of stamps, weekend services, superior customer service however the competition and its bad financial position is weakening its movements to move forward. Though it is known that the entry of new organizations into the Postal Industry is very hard due to entry restrictions, the Royal Mail is facing very tough competition. The businesses like TNT, DHL and lots of the online services are serious treats to the Royal Mail. The day when the Royal Mail lost its Monopoly in 2006 marked the beginning of competition as a headache to the Royal Mail. Another problem which the Royal Mail faces is the decrease in the volume of the letters but the postal staff tells that the quantity is increasing day by day.

The Royal Mail like all other organizations had undergone a "SWOT ANALYSIS" to comprehend its advantages and disadvantages internally and Externally. The"SWOT analysis" is done to identify their threats and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses.

5. SWOT ANALYSIS:-

The Swot Analysis is usually conducted by the management which gives the Royal Mail a very good sign of its Strength and Weakness internally and its own Opportunities and Treats in the outside market.

The highly skilled hard working staffs having high commitment motivated by the efficient management and the businesses large and other financial resources forms the Strength of the Royal Mail.

Some complaints have been raised about the letters not achieving the destination and stealing of the letters/parcels by its staffs affects the Royal Mail's prestige and the strikes which are made by the trade unions in Royal Mail forms its major weaknesses which hardly hits its reputation and directly states that employees aren't satisfied with the management actions.

The Royal Mail do have new opportunities to identify more customers and Business clients and providing support to them that may have a competitive advantage over its rivals.

The Competitors like TNT, DHL, UKMAIL and the possibility of more rivals to enter the Industry forms the main threats for the Royal Mail. The wide use of internet, online banking, online delivery and e-mailing has reduced its range of customers to a sizable extend has made huge decrease in the quantity of mails in the Royal Mail is also considered as big threats.

The Royal Mail still stands as the Standard postal service in the United

Kingdom using its valuable staffs and its improved services like High grade service, weekend service etc. Royal Mail also provides online supports and International postal services. The Administration of the Royal Mail includes group of committees just like the Audit and Risk committee, The Management board, Pensions committee, Remuneration committee, Nomination committee and Social and Responsibility Committee. The brand new Human Resource Strategy and policies are being Introduced by the Royal Mail in order to face these threats and for the motivation of the workers.

6. The brand new Human Resource strategy to support the Royal Mail in the present bad condition:-

Steps have been taken in the all the degrees of the Organization to aid the firm from the credit crunch and competition.

To the workers:-

Workers are given with improved new range of training and guaranteed performance related pays.

The employees who are considered as a very important assets in the Royal Mail were provided with revised employee policies and procedures and long-term job security and motivation. To be able to improve its reputation and to obtain a good employee- employer relationship some additional steps were also taken. They can be:-

The new arrange for short-term redundancy and early retirement are going to be enforced at the earliest opportunity.

Existing contracts will be renewed and new standardized contracts will be provided to the employees.

The introduction of new machinery and techniques helps the staff to achieve world class standard in performance.

The new revised Pension scheme plans are going to implement for those employees in the Royal Mail pension scheme.

The working hours, the minimum wages are also revised. The safety of the staffs are used great consideration. Improved working conditions, first aid facilities, stress relief exercises, changing their job tasks over a period of time, self appraisal process, promotional and increments are also introduced to the new plan.

To the firm:-

The modernization of the firm with improved customer support support is the main objective of the firm.

The co-operation of the Management with the workers and the trade union added with signing an agreement in new policies and procedures of the firm supported by the trade union is going to happen.

The improved efficiency and productivity with unmatched competition by providing cheap and better quality services to its clients.

To the Trade Union:-

The firm will give suitable position for the trade union in its management activities.

Support from the trade union in motivating the workers to handle the Organizational rules and regulations and also to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

To develop new communication levels between your trade union and the management.

7. The Royal Mail's respond to the Competition and also to the recent MARKET MELTDOWN:-

The Royal mail which was once called as a Monopoly firm now faces serious competition and holds an undesirable reputation because of its continuous strikes, shutting down of the offices and complaints regarding its employees. Even though any firm can contend with its rivals in two ways, one of many ways by reducing its prices and the other is by increasing its quality of service/product. The Royal Mail provides high quality service to its customers as well as the lower service/product price compared with its competition helps the Royal Mail to realize a sustainable competitive advantage. The Human Resource team is making its level best efforts to prevent such issues however the employees relationship with the management is unclear. One of the primary issues is the privatization of the Royal Mail which will make the staffs to loose trust into the firm making them de-motivated. The organization strategy is well defined and the Human resource planning and its own strategical process is some what following a corporate strategy.

Making a friendly relation with the CWU and a solid psychological contract between your staff and the Management is very much indeed needed for the smooth functioning of the Royal Mail. The recent credit crunch has made the Royal Mail to close the majority of its offices and also to sack many of its employees. The monetary downturn in the united kingdom has been faced by the Royal Mail in a few extend because of its very skilled, flexible core employees. The peripheral personnel who were highly skilled were also taken into good consideration by the Royal Mail. The customers still rely on the Royal Mail due to its better quality services and lowest prices compared to its competitors the TNT, DHL, UKMail etc.

The name of the above mentioned model is "The Five Forces Framework" which is developed by "[Porter 1980]" shows the fact - from where does the competition come from?.

We can combine this model with the Royal Mail's competitive nature. They have elements like

1. Potential entrants mentioned as new competition of the Royal Mail.

2. Rivalry from existing companies like TNT, DHL etc that are faced by the Royal Mail using its high quality products/services and of its very skilled workforce who are trained and developed by their talented Human Resource team.

The substitutes can be shown as the e-mail, online transfers and online mail ordering groups.

Threat from the customers in the form of bargaining power, their change of demand, their potential for forward integration (which is implemented by the firm with the availability of suitable Human Resources).

Threat from the Suppliers includes their bargaining power, switching costs, market dominance of the suppliers, the potential for backward integration (which is implemented by the firm with the availability of suitable Human Resources). The suppliers are the printing and stationery, technology, clothes, transport and travel companies.

The Royal Mail uses the "Generic Strategies" frame work of "Mr. Porter(1985)" to define that they faced these competitions. The essential idea which is derived from the framework is:-

Any firm can contend with other by lowering their prices

Competing when it concerns quality makes each firm different

Focusing on the primary market and its customers can gain competitive advantage over its rivals.

The Human Resource strategy of identifying the competitive areas and setting plans for how to compete helped the Royal Mail to handle all types of competition and gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. The Human Resource Management team of the Royal Mail have a good background from the most notable Ranked Business Schools added using their inborn talents and experience helps the Royal Mail to contend with their rivals in a far more technical way which is problematic for the competitors to recognize and making the Royal Mail to have a strong base in the UK postal industry. "The very best quality products/services with the top quality employees makes the Royal Mail to go forward with confidence". The Human Resource strategy of implementing new techniques and training services with the performance related pay aspect for the staff can be seen in the Royal Mail. Last year the Royal Mail received three bronze awards from the World Class Manufacturing Association because of its performance, health and safety care of its workers. The Royal Mail consider every single worker when it concerns safety and performance plus they say that if they can make one worker to perform well, it will make another to perform well and it continues on and the whole workers will succeed gives high productivity and profits to the firm.

8. Conclusion:-

The essay can be concluded by stating that the Royal Mail have to handle the credit crunch and today's difficulties to be able to hold a strong position in the UK postal Industry. The Royal Mail do have a strong corporate responsibility strategy and Human Resource strategy which is properly planned and beneficial to the employees as well as the to the firm for further development. The Human Resource Strategy from 2005 - 2010 shows the problems faced by the Royal Mail and the Strategies employed by them to resolve these problems. The privatization and the pension deficits are the primary problems faced currently by the Royal Mail where the management have certain plans to overcome the problem. The new entrants and today's rivals are competing very roughly with the Royal Mail and they are faced by the Royal Mail by its good quality services and its own lowest service/product prices.

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