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Case in point 9—The role of Workforce Management in increasing employee engagement and commitment to the organisation

Focusing on people engagement enables Marks & Spencer to move closer to its goal of becoming an employer of choice in the Indian retail sector

Factors for success

  • Commitment to become an employer of choice

  • Comprehensive range of people practices that comprise the workforce management programme

  • Uniformity in systems and processes

  • Clear and transparent communication

Marks & Spencer created a “people engagement” programme that encompasses several important people practices in workforce management. Marks & Spencer created this programme with the goal of becoming the employer of choice in the retail sector. This programme, which has been customised for the Indian marketplace, includes Recruiting, Hiring and Orientation, Learning and Development, Talent Management, Performance Management, Health and Well-Being, Work Environment, Work/Life Balance and Financial Security.

Marks & Spencer indicates that their robust workforce management programme has positively impacted attrition and commitment to the organisation—

  • Attrition reduced from 30 to 35 percent to between 10 to 15 percent currently.

  • Marks & Spencer conducts an annual employee perception survey which is based on three main parameters—

    • Positivity index— Marks & Spencer scored 86 percent

    • Commitment index— 91 percent of staff indicated that they plan to remain with the organisation in the next 12 months

    • Responsiveness index— 97 percent of staff responded

Induction program

  • A robust induction programme offered to front-line staff

  • Program has a cohesive and collaborative approach with both HR and line function contributing extensively

  • Modules range from product information, values, company policies and procedures, etc.

  • Corporate staff too receives an induction program

Learning and development

  • Front-line staff are assigned individual development plans

  • Staff receive comprehensive training on several operational and

organisational strengths

  • Staff are assessed at assessment and development centers

Talent management

  • Staff receive 360 degree feedback and are aware of future career paths

  • Current leaders at corporate headquarters and store managers are asked to train, coach and develop the next line of leaders

Performance and reward

  • M&S uses a competency-based performance management system which is based on KPIs, reinforces company values and prescribes behaviours

  • M&S also offers performance-linked pay and a range of financial and non-financial rewards, such as—

    • Individual Contributors

    • Team Contributors

(Source: Primary research interview with Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd.)



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