Efficient human resource management

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・APA ・10 Sources

Any organization must prioritize effective human resource management in the face of a fast evolving business environment defined by escalating competition and a drive for company expansion. The one competitive edge a market leader has over its rivals may be a focus on the appropriate human resource development activities. In the United Kingdom and the United States, Sainsbury is one of the oldest food retailing chains. Although it owns a sizable chain of supermarkets, it also has financial and real estate holdings. Founded by John James in the 1869 the company have grown to capture a significant market share with a total of 827 stores comprising 537 supermarkets and 335 convenience stores(J Sainsbury Plc, 2010). In an industry which employs over 3,335,000 people and with sales figure of GBP 137,590 million (Euro Monitor International, 2014), Sainsbury enjoys a market share of 16% and serves 19 million customers weekly with a product offering of 30,000(J Sainsbury Plc, 2010).

The Sainsbury’s brand is built upon a heritage of providing customers with healthy, safe, fresh and tasty food(J Sainsbury Plc, 2010). Sainsbury’s stores have a particular emphasis on fresh food and strive to innovate continuously and improve products in line with the customer needs(J Sainsbury Plc, 2010). To attain this goal, the company has to acquire the right management strategies and in particular the human resources development.

In this essay, the writer identifies and analyses Sainsbury’s approaches to human resource development and in addition looks at the company’s approach to managing equality and diversity in the work place. Further, the essay evaluates how these two aspects of human resource management help to deliver Sainsbury’s strategy through contributing to competitive advantage, and how its approach is affected by both internal and external factors.

Sainsbury’s approach to human resource development

An organisation is as good as its people(Werner & DeSimone, 2012). But what is Human Resource Development? For a start,(McGuire, 2014) terms human resource development as an evolving, dynamic and every changing field that is shaped by the global environment and the people and organisation within.Richard A. Swanson on the other hand, defined human resource development as a process for developing and unleashing human expertise through training and developments and organizational development for the purpose of improving performance(Swanson & Holton, 2001). One thing is similar in all the publication under the discipline that in human resource development, there must be the element of learning and continuous development of the employee’s skills and knowledge. Under this section we evaluate the human resource development strategies incorporated at Sainsbury.

Recruitment and selection marks a significant step in ensuring that only the best staffs are brought on board. At Sainsbury this is taken seriously and marks one of the proactive approaches towards identification of best talents for the company. The company have partnered with key universities and colleges and recruits approximately 100 graduates annually through their online recruitments platform. The graduate recruitment is majorly for entry levels whereas job advertisement is done for the experienced hires. The company receives credentials from interested candidates after which shortlisting is conducted with the shortlisted candidate called for an interview. Through the interview the company is able to match the most appropriate candidates with their suitable positions.

Job matching forms another crucial technique used by the company to identify the most suitable personnel’s for a given position. This is done through a thorough job analysis in which the company determine the duties and requirements for a given position and match that with the individual with the right qualification and inherent motivational strengths(Greenberg, 2010). With this well accomplished, the company then offers a competitive reward packages. Their £7.66/hour is 2.2% above the recommended National Living Wage for the year 2016/17(J Sainsbury Plc, 2017). “We offer a competitive rewards package, above the National Living Wage, we pay colleagues for breaks and we provide them with a range of benefits including a colleague discount and pension. It is important we remain a strong and competitive business for both current and past colleagues; we pay pension contributions for over 120,000 current colleagues, and look after defined benefit pensions for 80,000 former colleagues” Mike Coupe (J Sainsbury Plc, 2017).

Another major approach for human resource development in Sainsbury is their training and development programme. New employees are oriented to the company’s values, culture through an induction training that take two days. They are educated on basic statutory requirements and compliance issues such as health and safety and food handling course. Further, it is a requirement for every employee to be given the foundation training basically covering the productivity and safety at departmental level. In addition, the management, leadership team and any individual rising to a leadership position have to be given an advanced training. (J Sainsbury plc, n.d.).

Students are also given a chance to intern on their free periods and receive an on job training while still making some pocket money. Through apprenticeships such as the café hospitality apprenticeship programme that builds hospitality and customer service skills, the company is able to secure a talent pipeline that is crucial for business continuity. These trainings leads towards a cohesive workforce and increased team work. Other similar apprenticeship programme in the company include; team leader and management. About a 1000 employees are currently enrolled on different apprenticeship programme(J Sainsbury Plc, 2017).

Sainsbury have also put in place an employee friendly career programme. The programme looks into the needs of the staffs to continuously motivate them. The staffs enjoy discount cards, annual bonuses, paid parental leaves and childcare vouchers, pensions for the retired, insurances and a save as you earn scheme. The policies and working conditions have been made as family friendly as possible. To this ends Sainsbury have the honour of being crowned with the Gold accreditation by Investors for three times, a true indication that indeed they are a leader in that.

Measurement of results and feedback surveys are key ways that the company involves their staff while still building ownership and employees’ job satisfaction. Through such models like Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model, the company can get feedback from employees especially after trainings and seminars. It measures employee affection and loyalty to the brand over the long term and whether colleagues feel like they have the support to be the best they can be in their roles. In 2016/17, more than 116,000 of Sainsbury workers participated in the company’s Talkback surveys while in 2016/17 an online engagement survey was piloted with 77% of employees feeling that Sainsbury’s is a great place to work and over 78% trusting the company to do the right thing for them (J Sainsbury Plc, 2017).

In a nutshell it is clear that Sainsbury have a pro-active approach to human resource development, always ensuring that the employees are giving out an optimum performance with high level job satisfaction. Before-hand trainings and feedback systems are well developed to meet the company’s goals and objectives.

Sainsbury’s approach to managing equality and diversity in the workplace

Over the years and in many companies the question on how to reduce work place inequality have been rive. Equality in the work place is manifested through such parameter as offering equal employment opportunities, promotion, payments and creation of a working environment friendly to every person regardless of skin colour, sexuality, gender or disabilities. Gender equality statistics indicate that the gender gap in employment is 40% for women and 56% for men with the women still earning 20% less than men in the UK(the Guardian, 2017). The statistics further indicate that women account for only 7% of board chairs and 6% of chief executives in the largest companies in the EU. In Britain, reduction of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity have made positive progress but still much is to be desired with only a 5.7% from the minorities holding managerial positions in the corporate world(Osborne, 2016).

As a company operating in UK, Sainsbury is leading from the fore-front in changing this literature. Being in the service industry, Sainsbury have to serve customers from diverse backgrounds, therefore, it is crucial that it build an inclusive culture among its employees. “It’s important that our colleagues reflect the diversity of the customers in our communities, especially at management level. Our inclusive recruitment policy means we’re committed to training and developing all our colleagues, treating everyone fairly and equally when they come and work with us.”(J Sainsbury plc, n.d.).

Diversity and inclusivity is reflected in the company’s workforce. The company have policies that ensures equal employment opportunities are offered to all the members of the community. The company runs a ‘You Can Scheme’ that have given job opportunities to 25,700 people from all walk of life in the year 2017 alone, provided they meet the job requirements.

Sainsbury also champions for equal employment opportunities for women. More than 2,000 women have been taken through a mentorship programme. From the programme, the participants are matched with mentors to discover personal and career growth. Further, 195,000 employees’ have participated in ‘Embrace the Difference’ campaigns that demonstrate their support for diversity and inclusion(J Sainsbury Plc, 2017).

The top management starting from the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Human Resources, Company secretary, Corporate Service Directors and the Board members among other leadership personnel lead from the fore-front in advocating for diversity and inclusivity. The leadership group meets regularly to govern progress and updates the Board and Operating Board and in so doing ensure that inclusivity and diversity is upheld in all areas of the business. A team of 100 champions have been constituted to support diversity in the company’s all branches and divisions. In the year 2017, over 2,000 staffs attended 28 pride event across the UK in support of the LGBT community[2].

In embracing people with disabilities, Sainsbury also have strategies in place. The structural development of its buildings are friendly to people gifted differently and the staffs are well prepared to help and make such people feel appreciated. The company have won the Business Disability Forum Disability smart Award two years in a row latest being 2017(J Sainsbury Plc, 2017). The staffs have been taken through basic sign language skills so as communication with deaf customers can be easy. Further, the company have severally hosted the non-visible disabilities awareness week. Sainsbury continues to participate favourably in the Disability Confident Business Leaders Group which engages, community members, business community enabling them to give equal chances of employment to the people enabled differently.

A reporting mechanism have been put in place where colleagues facing harassment or discrimination issues can report. Calendar of events targeting people from different religious background is incorporated in order to capture the religious holidays and observe them. Further, the requirement to register age during job application have been scrapped off and the company prides itself in having mixed age workers.

Contribution of above Human Resource Management Aspects towards Sainsbury’s Strategy and Competitive Advantage

The human resource development strategies undertaken by Sainsbury coupled with diversity and inclusivity contribute significantly to the company’s competitive strategy and towards the overall productivity. Having a motivated workforce, eventually contributes to happy customers. For example, having a mixed age group of workers automatically reflects the customers profile and therefore the customers can be able to identify with them. A happy customer will most definitely become a return customer and ultimately a brand ambassador i.e. he/she will definitely feel obliged to mention to a colleague where they shop and the quality of services rendered. Through this therefore the company will increase its customer base resulting to higher productivity and similarly the profits will increase.

Diversification the workforce and having people from diverse backgrounds opens up a wider pool of ideas and bring onboard individual aptitudes which translates into flexibility in adapting to various changes in the business environment and also in changes in customer’s tastes and preferences. Further, a wider pool of languages and culture among the employees ensures that the company can serve a wider clientele with minimum barriers. The company can base its strategies by identifying the diversity in its employees to meet current and future business goals.

At an overall level, and through incorporation of human resource management strategies and other business strategies, Sainsbury have achieved a significant market growth and market share. It is among the market leaders in the food retail business.

Effects of Internal and External Factors on the HRM strategies above

External factors in a business set-up include the Political, Environmental, Socio-Economic, Technology, Legal and Ecological factors while the internal factors range from the business culture and values, financial, management and operations aspects. The above human resource management approaches are pro-active as opposed to reactive. Sainsbury is able to predict any impending changes and prepare accordingly to ensure that there is continued growth with minimal interruptions.

The various strategies are customer oriented and modelled to ensure the employees are well motivated to work optimally and effectively. Internally, human resource management approach affects all the internal aspects of a business. The performance of a company is tagged upon the talent of its workforce regardless of the department in question. External factors are always affecting a company and the environment it operates in. The approaches must abide by the various statutory requirements and the staffs are trained accordingly.


From the above discussion it is evident that every business is driven by the quality of its workforce. Human Resource Management strategies and approaches are critically important if the company have to continue operating a productive business. Such approaches like good remuneration, user friendly work environment, trainings etc. are just some of the methods that Sainsbury have continued to invest in. Job matching is crucial and it is important to ensure the right person have the right job. Continuously improving the skills and knowledge of the employees keeps them motivated, competent and able to work effectively. A good attitude and faith in the company’s brand reflected by the employees especially when a company have a lot of them, is reflected even in the society and definitely that is good for the business.

Diversity on the other hand increases creativity, innovation, understanding and development within the company. It brings people from a wide background together and through this it reflects the customer’s profile. Sainsbury have put their employees’ welfare as a priority and looks into their personal and career growth with as much equality as possible. This is done at all level of the business.

In the today’s world the service industry is becoming more dominant. Firms offering services such as Sainsbury have no option but to always anticipate for changes in their business environment both internally and externally. It should be able to predict forthcoming changes with the customer’s tastes and preferences and adjust their policies accordingly. Further it should be able to embrace people gifted differently and make the services friendly to them despite the various limitations they may experience.

Lastly, a company can have the best human resource development strategy but it doesn’t end at that. There is need to integrate all functions of management to drive a common goal and business objectives. All management functions should complement each other for either to function efficiently. Through this, the overall company goal of driving profitability will be very attainable.


Euro Monitor International, 2014. Euromonitor International Research Reports, London: s.n.

Greenberg, H. M., 2010. Job Matching to Hire Motivated Employees. National Precast Concrete Association.

J Sainsbury Plc, 2010. Annual Report and Financial Statement , s.l.: s.n.

J Sainsbury Plc, 2017. Annual Report and Financial Statement , London: s.n.

J Sainsbury plc, n.d. Commitment and Engagement. [Online]
Available at: http://about.sainsburys.co.uk/making-a-difference/commitment-and-engagement
[Accessed 09 January 2018].

McGuire, D., 2014. Human Resource Development. Second ed. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Osborne, S., 2016. 6 charts that show what its really like to be black or an ethnic minority in Britain. Independent, 18 August.

Swanson, R. A. & Holton, E. F., 2001. Foundations of Human Resource Development. First ed. San-Francisco: Berret-Koehler.

The Guardian, 2017. UK gender inequality as bad as 10 years ago, EU league table shows. The Guardian, 11 October.

Werner, J. M. & DeSimone, R. L., 2012. Human Resource Development. Sixth ed. s.l.:South-Western.

Get a price
Academic level
Pages *275 words
Total price

Prices that are easy on your wallet

Our experts are ready to do an excellent job starting at $14.99 per page

What Clients Say About Us
Our Customers Rated UsGreat
Out of 5 Based on 280 Reviews
I experienced difficult times trying to complete huge number of assignments to my university at the same time and you, guys, literally saved me. Everything was done in time and on the highest level! I really appreciate your help.
Essay, History, 12 pages, 7 days, Master's
First time when I placed an order with you, I just lacked time to do all the homework and it was a lot going on in my family. But today I’m doing it sometimes just for fun – I really enjoy communicating with your Customer Support members and just letting myself being a bit lazy
Yuong Lo Mui,
Literature review, IT, 17 pages, 4 days, Master's
My GPA is 4.0 and I’ve always been doing everything myself, but there is a class which I was about to fail thus my GPA would decrease first time in so many years. I ordered few assignments to be completed with GrabMyEssay.com and you did a great job! Thanks to you I still remain one of the best students on campus.
Essay, Politics, 8 pages, 5 days, Junior
I am not used to such services and I usually write all the papers by myself. But this time I got in a very difficult situation and had to order my paper on this website. To my surprise it appeared to be quite good. Thank you, it is really nice service. Think I'll get back to you soon!
Thesis, Management, 34 pages, 14 days, Master's
I am on my maternity leave now, so I spend a lot of time at home taking care of my little son. I’ve decided to get one more higher education degree while I’m spending so much time at home and applied for distance learning in one online college. But caring a baby takes even more time then I excepted so I’m the way too busy to write the complicated masters level research works, but GrabMyEssay.com is so-so-so cool! Thank you for that you exist! I don’t know what I would do without you all!
Essay, Education, 15 pages, 8 days, Master's
I am studying and working at the same time and it is difficult to cope with university assignments as I am very tired after the work day. You service is a salvation for me as it helps to do everything on time. I am really happy about it. Wish you everything the best! Especially my lovely writer 109!
Coursework, Religion, 11 pages, 7 days, Master's

We at GrabMyEssay.com

work according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which means you have the control over your personal data. All payment transactions go through a secure online payment system, thus your Billing information is not stored, saved or available to the Company in any way. Additionally, we guarantee confidentiality and anonymity all throughout your cooperation with our Company.

Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!  

Order Now