Human resource management is essential for every organization to find, employ, train, and manage talented and skilled employees. Not all companies draw sufficient attention to this activity, which makes them utilize insufficient practices. Thus, the purpose of the given report is to overview human resource practices of Lacoste, Pull & Bear, and GAP and offer recommendations. Evidence from scientific literature and the organizations’ websites was gathered and analyzed using qualitative methods to cope with the task. The report recommends that companies should choose human resource practices according to current literature and local market regulations.
Human Resource (HR) manages a company’s human resources and focuses on employee recruitment, training, compensation, and many other phenomena. Organizations typically draw much attention to ensure that they utilize acceptable practices that satisfy individual needs, attract talented workers, and contribute to their personal and professional development. The purpose of the given report is to compare various HR practices employed by Lacoste, Pull & Bear, and Gap in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and comment on which approaches are more effective. These three companies were chosen because they are relatively popular clothing businesses, have sufficient market shares, and employ more than 150 individuals.
Lacoste is a legendary and transgenerational brand specializing in sports and casual clothes. The company has a rich history that allows it to unite traditions and creativity while meeting high-quality standards. The organization has more than 1,100 stores in 98 world countries, with more than 8,000 employees in total, and Figure 1 below depicts this fact (Lacoste, n.d.a). That is why it is not a surprise that Lacoste invests much time and effort in developing and applying the best HR practices.
Pull & Bear
Pull & Bear is another clothing company that occupies an essential place in the UAE market. This fashion company employs thousands of people in more than 70 markets (Pull & Bear, n.d.). It entered the UAE in 2001 and is currently a significant employer in the country (Pull & Bear, n.d.). The company highly values teamwork, open communication, talented individuals, and other productive HR practices.
GAP is the third company that will be reviewed in the given report. GAP is also a clothing brand that offers its products to millions of customers worldwide. According to its official website, the firm welcomes racial equality, gender equality, women empowerment, and various sustainability principles (GAP Inc., n.d.e). According to this information, it is possible to suppose that the company utilizes effective HR practices.
What Is HR?
HR is a significant area that every business should adequately address. According to Noe et al. (2021), this term refers to “the policies, practices, and systems that influence employees’ behavior, attitudes, and performance” (p. 3). HR departments deal with training and recruiting employees, analyzing their performance, and others, while this activity can positively or negatively affect a company’s performance. It is reasonable to consider how the selected companies address this phenomenon.
HR Department of Lacoste. Recruitment/Selection Process at Lacoste
This company relies on a traditional recruitment approach because it publishes available vacancies on its website and asks candidates to apply for them. Once all the applications are received, HR managers do their best to select the best individuals. The focus is on skillful, experienced, and talented people who can positively contribute to achieving the desired outcomes (Lacoste, n.d.c). Thus, one can state that Lacoste’s recruitment and selection process refers to investigating candidates’ applications.
HR Department of Pull & Bear. Recruitment/Selection Process at Pull & Bear
It is possible to state that Pull & Bear follows the identical approach to recruiting and selecting candidates compared to Lacoste’s strategy. The most characteristic feature is that the given company strives to find individuals who want to learn and improve. This fact implies that a significant part of the organization’s current management team initially worked in the stores (Pull & Bear, n.d.). Pull & Bear also publishes its vacancies, receives applications, and selects the most suitable candidates.
HR Department of GAP. Recruitment/Selection Process at GAP
The main characteristic feature of GAP recruitment and selection approaches reis that the organization utilizes a specific strategy to create a diverse workforce. In particular, the company tries to ensure that its recruitment practices promote inclusion, equality, and sustainability (GAP Inc., n.d.a). Furthermore, the given organization offers specific opportunities for students to help them start their professional careers (GAP Inc., n.d.a). This information demonstrates that GAP utilizes more comprehensive recruitment and selection strategies.
What Is an Orientation?
Orientation is the process when employees get acquainted with their new workplace. Employers typically provide new workers with this information to help the latter get accustomed to the working environment. According to this term, workers are considered partners and one of the most valuable assets (Park et al., 2018). This phenomenon leads to mutual trust, supportive relationships, and other advantages that positively affect the workplace. That is why companies should do their best to orient their newly hired employees.
Orientation Process at Lacoste
It is possible to suggest that orientation takes place during the recruitment stage. At this time, HR managers provide new employees with exhaustive information about their employment and answer their questions about responsibilities, workplace rules, and others. The absence of formal coaching and mentorship is not a significant problem for Lacoste because the corporate culture aims at promoting new workers with the necessary support to get accustomed to new working conditions.
Orientation Process at Pull & Bear
There is no available evidence to claim that the company draws much attention to orient its new employees. However, it does not mean that such efforts cannot be implemented during the recruitment stage. There is no doubt that employees require this information to understand the peculiarities of the new working environment. According to this information, one can suggest that Pull & Bear will benefit if it develops specific procedures to orient new employees.
Orientation Process at GAP
This company has some processes that are responsible for orienting new workers. For example, GAP has specific internships and rotational management programs that help young individuals become familiar with the organization and understand the basics of workplace dynamics (GAP Inc., n.d.d). This information reveals that the given company understands that it can be challenging to start a new career or occupy a new position in GAP and offers assistance to the employees to adapt faster.
What Is Training?
Organizations typically take some actions to help their workers grow and develop personally and professionally. Noe et al. (2021) stipulate that training is an “organization’s planned efforts to help employees acquire job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors, with the goal of applying these on the job” (p. 200). This improvement is essential for businesses since they receive a more skilled workforce that, in turn, allows for enhancing performance and successfully achieving organizational goals.
Training Process at Lacoste
This company runs a comprehensive training program for broad populations. In particular, the needs assessment denoted that young individuals, vulnerable populations, and people with disabilities require assistance, while Lacoste needs manufacturing or sales professionals (Lacoste, n.d.b). The organization helps these individuals develop and offers employment opportunities to the best trainees (Lacoste, n.d.b). The possibility of getting promoted shows how the company evaluates its training programs.
Training Process at Pull & Bear
Pull & Bear is a company that does not invest much effort in training outside individuals. The company’s official website only states that it understands the benefits of continuous employee training (Pull & Bear, n.d.). That is why one can conclude that the organization does not perform need assessment, meaning that all workers are subject to training programs. Performance appraisal is further implemented to determine whether training efforts contributed to any improvement.
Training Process at GAP
Need assessment at this organization revealed that every employee should participate in training. That is why GAP Inc. (n.d.b) offers appropriate programs for new employees, managers, directors, and event executives, resulting in more than 4,500 learning courses being organized in 2020. Specific surveys represent how the company evaluates the effectiveness of its training efforts (GAP Inc., n.d.b). Consequently, one can state that this organization follows a good attitude toward this HR sphere.
What Is a Compensation Scheme?
Compensation refers to the amount of money an employee receives for performing their job obligations. This phenomenon can significantly affect individual motivation because higher salaries are more attractive for employees (Noe et al., 2021). Higher compensation can be a competitive advantage because it often leads to a more productive workforce (Noe et al., 2021). In the UAE, standard compensation packages include monthly salary, overtime pay, paid time off, sick days, and maternity leave (Papayaglobal, 2021). All three companies are expected to offer these services to their workers.
Compensation Process at Lacoste
This organization is committed to providing its employees with competitive financial rewards. In particular, Lacoste (n.d.c) stipulates that it offers competitive compensation, bonuses, and social coverage as per the local legislation. Furthermore, the company monitors changing salary standards in the market to ensure that its workers achieve increasing salaries (Lacoste, n.d.c). This information demonstrates that Lacoste draws sufficient attention to providing its employees with appropriate financial support.
Compensation Process at Pull & Bear
The organization’s official website does not offer any information about its compensation policy, while the available workers’ reviews are not reputable sources of information. In this case, it is reasonable to consider the data that the minimum wage for UAE nationals is $1361 per month (Papayaglobal, 2021). That is why it is possible to suggest that Pull & Bear offers higher benefits to attract skillful and talented individuals.
Compensation Process at GAP
This company is one of those businesses that advocate for equal pay to men and women occupying the same level positions. In 2014, GAP announced that it started offering equal compensation to representatives of different genders for similar work (GAP Inc., n.d.c). That decision was significant for the company because women constituted a greater part of its workforce, and Figure 2 (GAP Inc., n.d.f) below represents the gender peculiarities of GAP employees in 2020. This fact indicates that the compensation scheme in GAP promotes gender equality in the workplace.
What Is Performance Appraisal?
Performance appraisal is a significant activity for every organization that wants to improve its operations. According to Noe et al. (2021), performance management “is the process through which managers ensure that employees’ activities and outputs contribute to the organization’s goals” (p. 300). It is possible to assess employees according to their behavior, results, and specific qualities (Noe et al., 2021). In the UAE, performance appraisal methods rely on the expectancy theory and focus on employee efforts, performance, and outcomes (Rehman et al., 2019). Now, it is reasonable to consider how the three companies manage their employee performance.
Performance Appraisal Applied at Lacoste
Lacoste draws sufficient attention to analyzing the performance of its employees. According to East (2020), the COVID-19 pandemic increased the importance of this task, and the company relied on specific performance management software. In particular, the company relied on a people-centric approach because Lacoste considered employees their leading asset. One should also admit that the organization relies on this software to manage both remote and office employees.
Issues in Performance Appraisal of Lacoste
Lacoste is not the only company that relies on this appraisal method. In addition to that, Gymshark, another clothing brand, benefited from the people-centric management software because it seemed a suitable solution against the pandemic background (East, 2020). However, it is necessary to find reliable evidence to assess the quality of this strategy. Thus, the following section will present qualitative evidence demonstrating how Lacoste used the given method.
Explanation About the Statistical Tool Used and Its Analysis for Lacoste
The people-centric approach provides companies with an opportunity to manage employees efficiently. East (2021) explains that this tool allows for organizing regular conversations and collaborations among employees. It is possible to suppose that this approach is suitable for Lacoste. The rationale behind this statement is that the company has more than 8,500 employees, meaning that a specific software package is necessary to establish contact with them.
Performance Appraisal Applied at Pull & Bear
The organization’s official website and available literature provide no information regarding what appraisal methods Pull & Bear uses. It is reasonable to expect that the company relies on some because performance management is essential for meeting its objectives (Noe et al., 2021). However, the absence of the data does not allow for performing further analysis, meaning that issues in performance appraisal and the explanation about the statistical use will not be covered in the report.
Performance Appraisal Applied at GAP
The given company introduced a new performance appraisal system a few years ago. This approach consisted of four components, including performance standard, goals, touch base, and rewards, and relied on three elements of Grow, Perform, and Succeed (GPS) (Ivory Research, 2021). Thus, the new system provided employees with daily performance standards, set manageable goals, organized regular meetings separately for managers and employees, and created individual rewards for the best workers (Ivory Research, 2021). Thus, the new approach significantly changed the way employees were managed.
Issues in Performance Appraisal of GAP
It is worth admitting that the new management system brought a few challenges. Some managers did not understand why they needed to change how they appraised their subordinates, which restrained the change (Ivory Research, 2021). Simultaneously, other management team representatives failed to use the new system because it was difficult for them (Ivory Research, 2021). However, qualitative evidence demonstrates that the given method was successful for the company, and the following subsection will represent this information.
Explanation About the Statistical Tool Used and Its Analysis for GAP
The GPS system contributed to a few essential improvements for the company. Firstly, the increased touch base led to better working relationships between employees and their managers (Ivory Research, 2021). Secondly, the new approach significantly reduced the number of customer complaints from 30-40 to 1 per year (Ivory Research, 2021). Consequently, this information demonstrates that the GPS management system led to improved performance management at GAP.
Conclusion & Recommendations
The report has overviewed the leading human resource management practices employed by Lacoste, Pull & Bear, and GAP. This analysis reveals that similar organizations can differently approach the issue under analysis, which can affect their performance. One can rely on the identified evidence to claim that Pull & Bear uses the least productive human resource management, while the other companies typically utilize effective practices and highlight them. Consequently, the recommendation for any firm is to do research to find current human resource management practices and implement those strategies that satisfy local market requirements.
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