Strategic Human Resource Management In Asda

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
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What is Human Resource Management?

In Order to understand the Stratergic Human Resource Management (SHRM) we need to discuss what is Human Resource Management (HRM)?

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment, management , and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management can also be performed by line managers.

Human Resource Management is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.

Human Resource Management is a process of managing manpower through proper selection, training and assigning right tasks to suitable persons in an organization.

What is strategic human resource management?

According to Hendry and Pettigrew (1986)

The use of planning.

A coherent approach to design and management of personnel system based on an employment policy and manpower Strategy and often underpinned by a ‘Philosophy’.

Matching HRM activities and policies to some explicit business strategy.

Seeing the people of the organization as a ‘strategic resource’ for the achievement of competitive advantage.’9

The pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable the firm to achieve its goals. (Wright and McMahan, 1992)8

Tyson (1997) points out that:

Strategy has always been emergent and flexible. ‘It is always about to be’ it never exists at the present time.

Strategy is not only realized by formal statement but also comes about by actions and reactions.

Strategy is a description of a future-oriented action that is always directed towards change.

The management itself conditions the strategies that emerge. 7

Strategic human resource management is a complex process which is constantly evolving and being studied and discussed by academics. Its definition and relationships with other aspects of business planning and strategy is not absolute and opinion varies between writers. The definitions below are from the CIPD book Strategic HRM: the key to improved business performance1 within which there is comprehensive coverage of the various definitions and approaches to HRM, strategy and strategic HRM.

Strategic HRM can be regarded as a general approach to the strategic management of human resources in accordance with the intentions of the organisation on the future direction it wants to take. It is concerned with longer-term people issues and macro-concerns about structure, quality, culture, values, commitment and matching resources to future need. It has been defined as:

All those activities affecting the behaviour of individuals in their efforts to formulate and implement the strategic needs of business.2

The pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable the forms to achieve its goals.3

Strategic HRM can encompass a number of HR strategies. There may be strategies to deliver fair and equitable reward, to improve performance or to streamline structure. However, in themselves these strategies are not strategic HRM. Strategic HRM is the overall framework which determines the shape and delivery of the individual strategies.

Boxall and Purcell4 argue that strategic HRM is concerned with explaining how HRM influences organisational performance. They also point out that strategy is not the same as strategic plans. Strategic planning is the formal process that takes place, usually in larger organisations, defining how things will be done. However strategy exists in all organisations even though it may not be written down and articulated. It defines the organisation’s behaviour and how it tries to cope with its environment.

Strategic HRM is based on HRM principles incorporating the concept of strategy. So if HRM is a coherent approach to the management of people, strategic HRM now implies that it is done on a planned way that integrates organisational goals with policies and action sequences.

In simple words, we can say that Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is actually the managment of human resource through applying different strategies which are made to achieve the goals of an organization through proper planning. It is a combination of Human Resource Strategies to get the best output for the organization.

Importance of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

A good business strategy is one which is likely to succeed, is informed by people factors. One of the driving factors behind the evaluation and reporting of human capital data is the need for better information to feed into the business strategy formulation process.

In the majority of organisations people are now the biggest asset. The knowledge, skills and abilities have to be deployed and used to the maximum effect if the organisation is to create value. The intangible value of an organisation which lies in the people it employs is gaining recognition by accountants and investors, and it is generally now accepted that this has implications for long term sustained performance.

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It is therefore too simplistic to say that strategic human resource management stems from the business strategy. The two must be mutually informative. The way in which people are managed, motivated and deployed, and the availability of skills and knowledge will all shape the business strategy. It is now more common to find business strategies which are inextricably linked with and incorporated into strategic HRM, defining the management of all resources within the organisation.

Individual HR strategies may then be shaped by the business strategy. So if the business strategy is about improving customer service this may be translated into training plans or performance improvement plans.

Strategic Human Resource Management in Asda

Introduction of Asda

ASDA is one of the UK’s fastest growing retailers and is employing over 170,000 colleagues across their business throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland. Since 1999 ASDA has become a part of Walmart. Walmart is a US based company which is the world’s largest retailer with over 7,000 stores and two million colleagues worldwide. ASDA has a huge number of opportunities available in many roles across all areas. For example you could be a Department Manager in one of ASDA’s 400 stores. ASDA is always looking for professionals to join them in one of their Pharmacy or Optical departments on a permanent contract or even as a Locum.

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There are number of strategies which Asda is following in their Human Resource management to attract the potential workers to work hard in achieving the goals of the company. Asda has a unique culture and it gives all the benefits to the emloyees so that they can enjoy their career development opportunities which they expect through Asda’s development programmes. ASDA is an exciting and stimulating place to work where new ideas are always welcomed and where personal and team successes are always acknowledged and celebrated. Being a large company Asda has a huge number of roles to offer. So the question really shouldn’t be “Why join ASDA?” it should be “Why apply to work anywhere else?”

Why join the team at ASDA?

If you are the type of person who is a real team player and believes that virtually anything is possible – the chances are you will do well at ASDA.

This will give you an overview of Asda’s unique culture, all the benefits One can enjoy and the career development opportunities that you can expect through the development programmes.

Above all, ASDA is an exciting and stimulating place to work where new ideas are always welcomed and where personal and team successes are always acknowledged and celebrated.

As you can expect from a company as large as ours, ASDA has a huge number of roles to offer.

ASDA offers a competitive package, as it believes in rewarding their colleagues for what they do.

Every colleague makes a valued and unique contribution to the business. To show how much this is appreciated Asda has developed a world class benefits and rewards package.

Colleague discount

After 12 weeks time you will get your Colleague Discount Card. Just show it at the checkout and you’ll save 10% off many items you buy in ASDA or ASDA Living stores – from the weekly shop to DVDs and from fantastic fashions to a new home entertainment system. Whats more, your card is also welcomed in Wal*Mart stores around the world, which is great if you’re going on holidays.


Asda provides its colleagues an annual discretionary bonus scheme. The bonus scheme is designed to recognise and reward colleagues for their valued contribution throughout the bonus year and their continued contribution to the business. As long as you meet the length of service criteria you’ll be eligible to receive a bonus payment.

Flexible workingFlex logo

These days we all have so many demands on our time that it can be impossible to fit everything in with our normal working lives.

This is why ASDA leads the way in offering all their colleagues flexible working patterns with their Flex scheme. It offers the opportunity to do everything from swapping a shift, if for example you need the afternoon to watch your child’s sports day, to taking an unpaid career break of up to three years after you’ve been with Asda for at least three years. It can even give you time off if you wanted to be a blood donor.

There are six flexible working schemes in all which cover virtually every aspect of achieving a great work/life balance for the colleagues.


It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement and whatever arrangements you’ve made already, the ASDA Pension Plan is a great addition to them. One of the best bits about it is that ASDA contribute to your pension too, which really adds to its value.

Share Save Plan

With Share Save you decide how much to save (between £5 and £250) every four weeks, which goes straight into your own account. After saving for three years you can choose to receive your savings plus a tax-free bonus or you can use the money you’ve saved to buy discounted Wal*Mart shares. Since 1994, over 200,000 colleagues have benefited from Share Save. In 2008, Asda has paid out nearly £38 million to 17,000 colleagues who planned to spend their cash on anything from horses, to shark dives to laser eye treatment.

Night Manager allowance

Working at night means you come to work when most people are finishing for the day, but that’s when you will be able to ensure that the store is 100% perfect for the day team to take over in the morning. As recognition for this and for the havoc working at nights can play with your body clock, Night Managers receive an extra allowance of either £3000 or £5000 per year depending on the responsibility of their role.

Voluntary benefits

Every year ASDA produces a colleague Benefits Book featuring special deals and savings for colleagues on a whole range of things including days out to theme parks, discounted new cars and fantastic savings on your family holiday. You can take the children to Chester Zoo for free, get in shape at a David Lloyd Club and save up to £200 on the joining fee or save up to 60% on airport parking next time you go on holiday. There are so many ways to receive discount that over the year it could save you hundreds of pounds.

ASDA Law Club

For only 10p a week, you can join the ASDA Law Club. This is an invaluable service, which could come to the rescue if you ever find yourself needing legal advice, maybe over a car accident, a disagreement with a neighbour or a store which has sold you faulty goods. Membership means you will save money on potentially expensive legal fees and a 24 hour legal helpline is there to give instant advice and support.

Private medical cover

Asda always looks after their colleagues, especially when they need it most. That’s why they have teamed up with a leading healthcare provider to offer colleague discounts on private medical cover to give them the very best care as soon as they find they need it.


When someone does something extraordinary, ASDA makes a point of recognising it in a number of ways, which include:Recognition photo

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

The Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) scheme, is the company’s wide recognition scheme, which gives all a chance to recognise outstanding individual performance, as well as giving customers an opportunity to highlight great service. you could receive an ABCD nomination where you could receive an array of different rewards including paid time off, a box of chocolates or an Asda gift card.

In addition each business area nominates a monthly ABCD Colleague who receives a Golden Reward Card. This could result in the colleague receiving cinema tickets, a meal out and even a holiday! At the end of the year, one ABCD Colleague is selected for each workplace and then nominated into the regional finals.

Long service awards

ASDA is proud of the length of time colleagues stay.

Its proud to display the number of years colleague worked for ASDA on name badges and milestones in long service are always congratulated locally and even nationally.


Asda is using all these rewards and benifits as a HR strategy to attract the people who have got the potential in them to work for the betterment of the organization. There is no doubt that once you have been able to join the Asda then it gives you number of chances to take yourself to growth. Asda is also using the strategy of recruiting the local communities in their stores.


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