TESCO PLC: Human Resources Management

Introduction

Advancements in technology can successfully be integrated into the process of human resource training and development in organizations. Technology is particularly convenient in enhancing training and development because of its flexibility. Introducing an e-learning mechanism for training the workers will enable the achievement of desired results within a short period and in an organized way in a large company such as TESCO PLC that has extensive international branches across several continents (Randall & Seth, 2011, p. 36). This report highlights how the changing role of technology can be integrated into the training and development process at Tesco Plc, which is among the world’s leading retailing stores (TESCO 2013).

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Communication

Technology plays a critical role in enhancing communication, particularly where speed and accuracy are required. In Tesco’s current structure, it is difficult to reach all the workers at once and train them on skill development without encountering location, as well as physical distance challenges. However, internetworking all the branches would offer a perfect opportunity for the company to reach out to all the workers at their opportune time and support their training. Tesco can achieve communication to its workers during such training sessions using various methods and tools that are based on technology;

Tutorials

These are training programs that are self-paced, and which can be delivered online or in the form of a CD-ROM. Workers can have different schedules depending on their work shifts where they can log into a special training portal and have their training online. This can be done at the comfort of their homes, given a large number of employees at the retailer that would be difficult to assemble at a single training location.

Alternatively, the company can have pre-saved tutorials on compact disc devices to be distributed to individual employees. This would not require employees to be connected to the internet (Pattanayak, 2005, p. 89). It is a perfect alternative for the company because it would eliminate the internet cost, which is likely to be quite significant given the labor force size at Tesco (TESCO 2013).

Online Forums

This is a more interactive online learning methodology. It allows the workers to have threaded discussions amongst themselves and their tutors through their computers. It requires the use of the internet since the discussions are often live. Online forums are of greater importance particularly when it comes to enhanced learning because they encourage the virtual participation of the learners, where they can seek more detailed explanations and clarifications (Barrow, 2003, p. 23). These forums are convenient for Tesco because, with its large employee base that straddles across several international borders, the platform can bring together all the workers in a single discussion. Workers will also exchange their unique experiences with each other, depending on the situations at their locations.

Web Conferences

Like online forums, web conferences have the advantage of involving all the workers in discussions and learning processes (Esin & Yasemin, n.d., p. 870). The workers will need to log onto their personal computers and access a specific website set up by the company where training is offered. Text, audio, and video contents can be used in the training in order to enhance the learning process (Esin & Yasemin, n.d., p. 871). It is a convenient method of training employees that can be adopted by Tesco because it would enable the company to train its workers all at once, thereby avoiding the challenge of organizing to hold separate training sessions for the many groups of its employees.

Electronic Mailing Lists

This technological capability works by allowing the sharing of messages amongst registered members of a group or organization. Employees would need to register themselves before using the service to ask and answer questions related to their work. It is a relevant training mechanism because Tesco can have trainers enlisted as members, who will then assist the workers in answering some of the questions posted. This method does not wholly rely on the input of trainers alone as it offers equal opportunities for all the other workers to equally train their colleagues through sharing their personal experiences. Thus, the organization benefits from electronic mailing lists by using its own internal talent to train the rest of the workforce (Esin & Yasemin, n.d, p. 874).

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Blogs

Tesco can equally adopt the use of web-based journals for training its workforce towards achieving greater skills and results. Such journal articles prepared by trainers and other experts can be uploaded on the corporate website of the firm, making it a repository location from where workers can access them (Esin & Yasemin, n.d., p. 870). The blogs may actually act as learning journals specifically prepared to suit the working environment at Tesco. Workers can have their own opportunities of accessing the website and reading through the blogs or even enjoy the opportunity of preparing their own articles and sharing them out with colleagues. This is an efficient communication tool that satisfies the training needs of such an elaborate firm like Tesco.

Development

Talent Management

As technology enhances employee training through convenient and flexible mechanisms, it also offers room for development in the form of talent management. With the limitless capabilities of the internet, the HR department at Tesco can enjoy the advantage of sharing data efficiently across the entire organization. Each of the HR activities, such as hiring, training, compensation, and even separation, produce critical information that is required by the whole HR function in order to sustain proper talent management (Florea & Badea, 2013, P. 344).

The use of technology makes it easy to automatically import the exact data for every individual employee that was captured from the hiring process. The information can be relayed to the training and development section, from where the actual skills needed by an employee can be determined. Tesco has a large labor force and, therefore, it is quite difficult for the company to have individual information and reports for all these workers unless it uses a computerized system.

Greater access to individual employee details and data makes it easy for the firm to perfectly align talent management processes. The technology makes it easy for Tesco’s HR to deal with all the employees from an individual point of view. For instance, the company will have accurate information concerning the specific kind of training that each employee needs when making training decisions (Florea & Badea, 2013, p. 344). This makes it easy to group the workers according to their training needs, thereby handling them effectively.

The HR function at Tesco will be changed positively by technology such that it will be well integrated. In addition, there will be an unending supply of highly talented staff to undertake vital job roles. In turn, this will eliminate the need for the company to rely on external sources for the supply of its workforce. It saves costs in terms of repeated hiring processes that aim at acquiring proper talent to run the organization.

Business Execution

Advanced technology has made it possible for companies to implement cloud computing applications (Corsello, 2012, p. 27). What this means for Tesco is the fact that its HR function will require less time in undertaking in-house maintenance of the talent management tools. Instead, ample time will be spent on effectively making use of the tools in order to enhance workforce productivity.

HR technology vendors are investing more resources towards achieving highly scalable and user-friendly applications in order to take advantage of cloud technology. Acquisition of this technology will enable Tesco to provide all its line managers with the HR embedded tools. Consequently, the HR personnel will have the chance to oversee other duties in the firm instead of paying all their attention to managing processes.

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Tesco is a huge company that has a workforce size exceeding half a million mark (TESCO 2013). With such a huge statistic, what the cloud technology capability does is to place details about each of the employees within the reach of the decision-makers. The information is availed to them in a format that they need, and only at the opportune time. This will enable the HR function as a whole to improve, fundamentally and profoundly, in the manner in which all its line managers execute their businesses.

Rather than the line managers engaging in the traditional roles of trying to understand who their employees are, which is difficult because of the sheer numbers involved, technology helps them maintain their focus on the business strategies (Corsello, 2012, p. 27). Theirs will be to ensure that the employees are being effectively used to actualize the corporate strategies.

Cost Implications

Technology is a costly venture that could fail to achieve its targeted objectives if it is not budgeted properly and carefully. Relying on online training for more than half a million workers at Tesco will imply that the company acquires personal computers for all its employees. This could be a very expensive venture for the firm.

An alternative that the company can adopt to beat the cost implications could involve a sharing mechanism, where up to three or four workers may need to share a single computer. This will reduce the number of computers that the company may need to acquire. Acquiring desktops will be an ideal choice as opposed to laptops because they are relatively cheaper. Tesco will need to secure a central location from where it can construct its computer laboratory to be strategically accessed by workers of specific branches because of the need for sharing of the computers amongst the workers.

The use of the internet could also make the costs to soar up. Tesco can address this challenge by opting for CD-ROM tutorials. This will not require the employees to go online in order to access the tutorials; instead, they will access their training material in the form of pre-recorded content on CD devices.

It is important that the acquisition of such IT components as computers be done in bulk rather than purchasing small quantities due to Tesco’s magnitude. There are economies of scale advantages that come with large-scale acquisitions, which will go a long way in enabling Tesco to maintain low operation cost.

Conclusion

Technology applications and capabilities will enable Tesco to achieve convenient and flexible training of its employees. Online training tools such as online tutorials are available for Tesco to utilize. The use of the internet eliminates the challenges created by physical boundaries, thereby providing easy reach. Tesco has thousands of branches across the world, and the only easy way to offer uniform training to the workers is by linking them up using a computerized system.

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Online forums will provide a platform for the workers to meet each other virtually and share their unique experiences for the purposes of sharing knowledge. Integrating modern technology will be critical in enabling Tesco’s HR function to effectively manage internal talents. Elaborate information is collected using a computerized system, which can be easily accessed by the managers. It is this elaborate data and its easy access that would enable the HR function to manage talent effectively and spur workforce development at the firm.

Recommendations

Tesco should, for a start, implement a tutorial training mechanism that relies on the use of computers, but without online connections. Such tutorials can be pre-recorded and saved on CD devices. This will help the firm to maintain the initial costs at a minimum level as opposed to beginning with online programs. However, the firm should adopt an online mechanism fully with time. An organizational intranet should be established, which will make it possible for Tesco to safely network its branches and employees. The firm can eventually adopt other online mechanisms to support the training programs for its employees, including online forums, web conferences, and blogs. Employee interaction is very healthy and should be encouraged in order to enhance training, while also strengthening corporate culture.

The HR managers should undergo training to enable them to be in a position to handle a computerized HR system effectively. Technology is constantly changing and it is important that the managers, who will directly deal with its handling, keep pace with the advancement. Tesco should organize for seminars and workshops purposely for the sake of the line managers in order to increase their effectiveness while handling the HR systems.

List of References

Barrow, C 2003, E-training and development, Capstone Publishing, Oxford, UK.

Corsello, J 2012, ‘Maximizing talent management through the cloudNew technologies offer opportunities to develop skills and careers’, Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 27-27.

Esin, E, & Yasemin, B n.d., ‘An interactive method for hr training: managers as simulation players’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, World Conference on Learning, Teaching & Administration – 2011, pp. 870-874.

Florea, N, & Badea, M 2013, ‘Acceptance of new technologies in HR: E-recruitment in organizations’, Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Management & Evaluation, p. 344.

Pattanayak, B 2005, Human resource management, Prentice Hall, New Delhi, India.

Randall, G & Seth, A 2011, The grocers: The rise and rise of supermarket chains, Kogan Page, London, UK.

TESCO 2013, Tesco. Web.

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