Rewarding employees consists of base pay, individual performance-related pay, bonuses, incentives, commission and allowances depends on their contributions to organisations ( Armstrong, 1999 ). M&S attracts, motivates and retains the best people by rewarding and treating fairly. Its reward system is to get the balance between promoting teamwork and rewarding individual achievement.

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It also offers greater incentives for personally achieving superior results. It includes ( i ) fixed pay, i. e. a basic salary plus an extra amount for personal performance, ( ii ) variable pay i. e. a sliding scale of pay based entirely on business and personal performance, ( iii ) benefits, i. e. 20% discount for its employees, interest-free loans for transport season tickets, preferential loan rates from M&S’s financial services, save-as you-earn share options, profit sharing, access to preferential car leasing, generous pension, and holidays scheme. M&S spends 60 million to 60,000 employees as bonuses. But if performance targets are not achieved, no bonuses are paid to all including top level directors. Work-life balance/family friendly policy

Vloeberghs (2002) points that ” most women an men wish to combine a professional job with their private and family life balance. Balance means different things to different people and can change during one’s career”. It is simple to understand that to recruitment and retain the best people; firms have to find innovative ways of helping employees to achieve a balance between work and personal life. M&S understands the need to support staff who need to balance their caring and working commitments. M&S recognises the importance of working parents and the need to balance their works and family lives.

M&S ensures for both mums and dads to get helps they need. M&S offers time off for antenatal, midwife, health visitor and parent craft classes as well as maternity pay and leave. Health teams are also available to carry out health checks anytime before and after the birth. M&S offers a child2 break scheme for up to 5 years at supervisory level. It also offers a range of options for flexible working, part-time work, job sharing or term-time working. Besides it supports f up to nine month’s unpaid leave for staff who wish to study.

Pension scheme M&S review pension scheme annually based on the Retail Price Index (RPI). Its pension scheme is adjusted with Inland Revenue and the cost of living increases. Health and Safety at work M&S understands to achieve better results, Health and Safety at work is important . M&S maintains employees health and safety at work by treating safe and pleasant working environment. Support M&S has a welfare program to give advices and support for employees. Giving supports covers such area as disability and caring for the eldery, financial problems and stresses. Communication and Consulting

M&S develops how are we doing? survey to know the employees needs for communicating effectively. M&S announces regular information to employees to make sure its colleges hear about important information. It consults formally employees to get effective communication between company and employees, among employees and between customers, employees and suppliers. Comparing M&S HR activities with Best Practice and Fit M&S’s HR activities match best practice model. Concerning best practice, M&S recruitment, train, motivate and retain employees effectively to achieve the best organisational outcomes.

M&S also recognises employees are assets for company, so it solves employees problems by forming consulting and help teams as disused above. M&S not only focus on the employees within the firm but also emphasis on stakeholders’ interests. After designing recovery strategy, M&S informed shareholders by sending letters to confident on M&S. M&S frequently informs to its stakeholders concerning its activities. M&S tries to give benefits to its stakeholders and customers through designing effective HR policy as discussed above. Therefore, we can say that M&S is very good in best practice approach.

Concerning best fit, M&S can try to design competitive strategy ( innovation, quality enhancement, cost leadership ) by using employees effectively and efficiently. But the main reason why M&S closed its stores around the world was lack of matching HR strategy and corporate strategy. It means M&S lacked to design HR strategy and adjust it with corporate strategy. In other words, aligning M&S’s HR strategy and corporate strategy were poor. Concerning the former, M&S could not design HR policies effectively as discussed above.

Concerning the latter, M&S lacked to recognise that to be effective corporate strategy, strategic analysis ( SWOT ) is firstly important. M&S did not apply SWOT analysis and monitor environmental factors. Therefore, we can say that M&S’s matching corporate strategy and HR strategy were poor. In other words, M&S’s best fit approach were ineffective. Conclusions and Recommendations In conclusions, all researchers expressions are true. As discussed above we can conclude that M&S’s strategic HRM approach follows HRM theory. It treats employees fairly and so M&S does not need trade union.

In order to lead customer-oriented retailer, M&S should watch customers’ ever-changing needs and wants, competitors’ activities, stakeholders’ expectations and environmental factors. M&S should prepare its strategies according to findings of those factors. M&S needs to learn from the previous losses and design the strategies. To achieve competitive edge, M&S should maintain its present HR activities which are discussed above and should open its stores weekends by hiring secondary labours, part-timers and labours from agencies. M&S needs to integrate its HR strategy with its corporate strategy to achieve the best synergetic effect.

M&S should create HR mission, vision and strategic goals which reflect the organisation’s corporate direction. To achieve competitive advantage over competitors, M&S should train employees to be multi-skilled employees to perform different tasks. HR department should conduct customer’ survey, followed by action and change. M&S should design HR strategies which satisfy its product markets and organisational structure. M&S’s strategies should be flexible for different situations in different regions. M&S should have contingency plans for emergency issues.