Charles & Keith

IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION DIVERSE WORKFORCE ON OUTLETS Charles & Keith’s company has a priority on recruiting people to work in the company’s workforce through their rules and regulations. Their priority is to recruit people who have a true potential in handling the customers, numbers and visual merchandising. The company also accept the local and non-local employees to handle the outlets. Besides, the company should have a limitation to recruit the non-local employee based on government’s policies.

CUSTOMER TYPE Globalization has a big impact on deciding the customer type of Charles & Keith’s Company. It has a big impact on their product development, career development, brand progression, and other practices. Charles & Keith’s company have a lot of worldwide branch around the world. Because of the expedition in today’s competitive competitors, Charles & Keith should maintain their brand and product through a wide range of size and design to reach their local’s customers. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

Franchisee Originally, Charles & Keith distributes the merchandises throughout the outlets in Singapore and other countries. Due to globalization, Charles & Keith expand globally, not only in Asia but also in Europe, Middle East and other Western countries. And so, Charles & Keith adapts franchise. Expanding globally, HRM has to work not only focused on recruiting and selection, but also on competition internationally. Also, HRM has to adapt the local culture of the countries to do standardization of employees and other services.

Employee Because of the globalization, Charles & Keith has a diverse customer based. Means, workforce diversity is needed. Supplier In the past Charles & Keith got supplies of raw materials locally. After globalization, Charles & Keith started got supplies from overseas especially from China. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS Linking to Corporate Strategy Charles & Keith’s business strategy is of a cost leadership, therefore, money is key to provide customers with affordable products.

In such case, employee retention is very important, as constant recruitment and training is very expensive. However, it is observed that employee turnover is very high; this could be the result of bad recruitment, which is also observed from the stores. As in most cost leadership companies, recruitment and selection process is always a quick and short process and it leads to hiring the wrong type of people and many other problems. Thus, the company has to relook into their Recruitment and selection process to ensure that they recruit the correct type of people into the company.

Training budget management Recruiting in the company happens once every two months, which is quite frequent, even though it was explained that business is expanding throughout the world, that’s why more staffs are required. Whatever it is, new staffs would mean more training and ultimately more budget spent on training. Other ways of increasing employee retention, through interviews with the staffs in the store, it is understood that the only benefit they get is 7 days leave. Therefore, Charles & Keith should look into this area to up employee retention by recognizing employees’ effort, since the company’s culture is of an open-minded one.

Recognition can come in different forms, a salary or bonus increase, but it is understood that Charles & Keith is a cost leader, therefore, salary or bonus increase is not workable. Therefore, They might want to consider other benefit methods like stock ownership plans. Charles & Keith should also consider employment branding as a benefit for their employees, which they do not have at the moment. A feedback and praising system can also be a recognition channel, whereby an employee’s effort can get recognized and applaud for.

It can also come in other forms like, giving employees additional, but more important roles in the company, however, this can only be done after understaffed problem is solve. This allows employees to feel their importance in the company and in turn increase company loyalty and decrease employee turnover. Communication between employees and the company is also very important, as this is the only way to find out problems the employees have, and also if the company can inform employees of their future plans, this can boost confidence and morale amongst employees.

However, it must be understood that the communication between company and employees must be two ways, in forms of staff’s surveys, that certain level of privacy must be ensured, so employees can speak freely and also quarterly of at least half yearly staff meeting should be held to inform all employees of strategic action plan of company. This simple act of communication can increase employee satisfaction.

Skills gap Charles & Keith are not hiring the correct type of people for the job, people that don’t fit their company image, people that are not equip with the right skills and experiences. Even though training will be provided, but the training provided is mostly on the job training, meaning, employees are sent out to serve customers with no actual training and get train only as they work, therefore there is skills gap. This causes a lot of problems, like long waiting time for customers, overcrowding store, frustrating employees and customers and all these problem causes lost of sales.

Besides on the job training, orientations and mentoring should be provide before actual work commence, so the new employees can get familiarize around the store, knowing the products available, where things are and also how things work in the store, before serving customers. Focusing on global competition, productivity and quality In Charles & Keith, productivity is generally high and is at a relatively low cost to provide affordable prices for customer, therefore compromising on quality, their products tend to be less durable and has a cheap finish.

To cope with global competition, Charles & Keith have to deal with this problem, as customer nowadays have shift from buying affordable but not durable products to more expensive yet good quality products. In Charles & Keith, other then quality issues and employment issues, they are doing quite a good job in coping with global competition, by expanding their business throughout the world, whereby Charles & Keith can grow and thrive into a global company. Workplace diversity Workplace diversity can both be an advantage and a disadvantage to a company.

To be a successful company, company must learn to manage workplace diversity to their full advantage. Workplace diversity can be seen in terms of age, gender, race, ethnic composition, religion and nationality. Workplace diversity can help in the shift from manufacturing to a service industry, employees in the service industry needs to understand the needs and expectation of their customers. With customers base that is diverse, company with a diverse workforce come in handy to enable smooth operations and more cordial interactions between company and their customers. There is this saying “workforce should mirror heir customers”. Globalization, with a limited market locally, companies need to expand to sustain itself, with that company need to learn to manage their workforce diversity, and try to learn from their colleagues around the world to enhance corporate performance. Therefore a system to manage workplace diversity is crucial. Innovative business strategies that demands teamwork, traditional forms of organizational structure has its limitations, therefore it has to give way to new strategies that required teamwork, and for that to happened, workplace diversity cannot pose any problems and challenges teamwork.

Since globalization is necessary, workplace diversity is inevitable, thus, companies need to train and educate their employees about workplace diversity and it usefulness to the well-being o the company by enabling innovation through creative thinking in the company. CONCLUSION Due to global competition, Charles & Keith is force to globalize. In the process, new problems arise and add on to current existing problem within the company. In order for Charles & Keith to grow healthily, HR department has to come up with new solution to solve all the problems the company face.

Employees are the best assets to a company, therefore the problems with employees is the most important and pressing matter. We realized that there is an apparent lack of staffs in each store, and this leads to a lot of problems within the stores. There is also a problem with the type of employees Charles & Keith has been hiring. The employees generally do not match company’s image and often are non-English speaking, who are not well trained. Therefore they are not capable of coping with the well-informed, diverse society nowadays.

These problems are causing high employee turnover and constant recruitment is expensive and not in tune with Charles & Keith being a cost leader. Training is another big problem Charles & Keith faces. Employees are often only trained on the job, this leads to a whole load of problems, therefore Charles & Keith should come up with a better training program quickly as this would solve quite a number of problems that they are facing now. Lastly, Charles & Keith is a promising local company that have many prospects, it can be seen as they have franchises globally, they are even available in the United State.

Therefore, by dealing with the problems that HR department currently face could help and aid Charles & Keith further in their future plans. APPENDIX INTERVIEW Interview questions with Nyan Yuen Keong, Charles and Keith Human Resources Administrator are below: How would you describe the culture of your organization? The culture of the organization is young, open and dynamic. The people age average is 25 and below. The oldest is 40 and his not the boss. And his pretty update on Facebook.

Charles and Keith their self is only 30 plus years old. How often is the recruitment and selection exercise carried out? The recruitment and selection for higher level staff is carried out every 2 months. Means, there are 6 recruitments and selection in one year. It is carried out often because the business of Charles and Keith is keep expanding today. Normally we do internal promotion, but because we need more people to work on China and other countries, we do not have enough people to replace.

Recruitment for higher level manager is done by putting ad on internet, the reason is because we expect people who at least know how to use internet and up-to-date with worldwide issues. And that is the first cut. The second cut is sort list them, they must have experienced at least 2 or 3 years managed store before. If they do not, it depends on how potential they are, and then we hire them that we call as trainee manager. They are trained for one year. But they firstly need to have diploma or bachelor degree. Then they are interviewed by hr people.

Make sure that they are officially approved then we hire them. How do you recruit/select people? The criteria are they need to have basic skill like counting and communicate well with people (good customer service). As store manager they must know how to count know how to manage people. They must know how to make selling. Normal organization like us exists to make money, so choose right person who can make money for us is very important. Do employees receive training? How is it conducted? Employees receive 2 days of training for all retail staff training before they really work on the position.

First day is products and services. Second day is visual merchandising. Then we put them on job training. For store manager they have to come back every month to do presentation, show what they have done on the shop and what the new idea to run the shop. The first 2 days is in class room. The next day is on the job training. For the shop manager they come back on the next day for additional theory training to learn how to understand the profit and loss statement, how to manage people and customer services and things like that.

If they are working for us more than 2 or 3 years, we will send them for WDA, to develop the work force. How is the employee’s efforts recognition? It is recognized by the selling that they can do. The higher the selling means the better performance they did. Is the payment based on performance? Payments are divided by 4 types, Base pay, commission, performance based and benefits. Can you tell me something about career opportunity in this organization? The career opportunity of this company is good.

Because the company business is keep expanding worldwide and number of people is needed. How the appraisal works? Basically there is a form after your progression. For retail staff is 3 months and shop manager is 6 months. It depends on selling and performance, how they act as leader, how they manage people. OBSERVATION Do they look motivated and willing to serve? Not really. It seems that there is a serious lack of staffs, therefore staffs are usually very busy and exhausted and sometimes look and act quite pissed when serving customers.

Generally, staffs look like and give of the “I am just here to earn my living and then go home” feeling, they do not look extremely motivated or willing to serve. Do they suit the profile of the company? No, to a certain extent. The staffs at Charles & Keith are not really suited to the profile of the company. The Image of Charles & Keith is of a young, creative, open-minded and up-to-date environment. Their target consumers are women of any race, aging from 15-30s, who are trendy and fashionable or working class.

Their staffs, on the other hand, are more on the older side, “Aunties”, and not at all trendy or fashionable looking. However, they do have younger people working but overall, they still do not quite fit the company image that Charles & Keith hope to portray. Do they have Product knowledge? As they uses on the job training, staffs are generally always unfamiliar with things that are going on the store. When customers were to ask them questions, they could not answer and some even show discontent at the customers, before telling someone else to help.

Because of this problem, they will tend to provide unsatisfying services and might even appear unfriendly and unhelpful. Is the outlet sufficiently resourced with manpower? With only approximately 2-3 staffs in each outlet, there is generally a lack of staff in most of the outlets. During slow hours, the outlets can still cope, but during peak and busy periods, the outlets will be in a mess, with frustrated staffs and irritated customers, and end up losing customers as there is not enough staffs to serve the customers. What is the job design of the employee? Greet customers

Find out the customer’s needs Recommend, select and help locate the right merchandise Describe a product’s features Answer customer queries regarding the store and the merchandise Provide information about care and maintenance of merchandise provide information about payment method Receive and process cash, check and charge/credit payments Provide change and receipts Bag or package purchases Maintain sales records Organize and process merchandise exchanges Recognize and monitor security issues Arrange and display merchandise Keep merchandise area tidy Take stock inventory

Store Manager: Maximize the sales return per square foot from the department by utilizing all the information and resources available effectively Actively implement sales promotions and follow the selling plan given To ensure high standards of customer service is provided across the departments by monitoring and implementing the Company’s service values Enable customers to pay quickly, efficiently, easily and with goodwill Handle all enquiries quickly and effectively in a helpful and friendly manner Help with Sales as and when needed

Maintain and monitor the supply of stock to the sales floor to ensure maximum return on the investment in inventory Monitor the sales performance and be fully responsible for stock replenishment or returns Plan and control stock levels held in the store stockrooms Provide timely feedback to the Buyers on all appreciation and markdown action, including aged/slow selling merchandise and ensure effective clearance of stocks Manage, control and supervise the departmental stock take exercise to ensure the accuracy of the result Minimize losses and maximize the profitability of the department by assisting in the achievement of agreed targets for staff costs, theft and loss and controllable expenses Using all available information, forward plan for seasonal changes in sales, covering, sales events and promotions, space and equipment needs and appropriate stock availability Lead and motivate staff, setting and maintaining high standards Apply company personnel principles and ensure effective appraisal of department staff Establish training and development needs of staff and support implementation Ensure good communication throughout the department and the company Ensure that the views and needs of the departments they are responsible for are represented in the store What are the working hours/rest days/break times? hour break, 2 times a day. Benefits are 7 days leave. (They would not reveal anymore. ) Is there teamwork? As staffs are generally overworked, tired and frustrated, they do not like and want to take on extra work, therefore they are not really happy when they have to take on their colleagues share of work, they get irritated when colleagues ask for help, especially when they are in the midst of serving other customers. They do not seem to have communications within the outlet. BIBLIOGRAPHY John M. Ivancevich, Lee Soo Hoon. Human Resource Management in Asia. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia), 2002. http://www. charleskeith. com Company Background