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The Levels of Retention at Marks and Spencer

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    The level of retention of staff can vary from different sectors, from my research I found that many companies had internal issues that caused their staff turnover. So from that I was interested to see if this affected the company that I work for, Marks and Spencer. So as we know Marks and Spencer is one the most well known retailers in the uk with over 450 stores and in turn employees over 65000 people. But over the last few years it has faced more compaction in the retail sector, so with that a new strategy had to be developed to meet their customers need and expectations and to keep them head, so Marks and Spencer developed the promotional campaign based on it new slogan “Your M&S” which helped the customers connect with business.

    But with this did Marks and Spencer let their staff in the process, from my reseach I would have to agree that Marks and Spencer have let there staff down because they have staff turnover. So from my research I wanted to investigate why marks and Spencer had a high staff turnover like what was the main reason why their staffs were leaving and what they could do if anything to try and reduce it. So from my research I wanted to investigate nd understand why marks and Spencer has a high staff turn over and in turn how it affects the remaining staff and the running of the business, to know the methods used to find out why employees are actually leaving and some solutions into how they can reduce it.

    Many organisations are of the opinion that once employed individuals with them unquestioningly believing that a wage or salary secures their loyalty ad long service. However the strategy involved in recruiting new employees should be progressed into their plans for their retention, and failure to do so is likely to result I demotivated and high labour turnover. Maund, L. 2001) But I found that was so off the mark when it came to Marks and Spencer because from the research pay was not an issue when it came to leaving the company there loads of other issues that made them leave. From my research I found that they were a number of reasons why staff left them jobs some of the popular ones are Under-staffing/stress of the job – employees expected to carry an unrealistic workload that sees those working long hours day after day without respite or promise of a better future Lack of Empowerment – staff feel empowered to make reasonable decisions in their job?

    Because of the micro-management rule Limited Work-Life Options – staff feel that M&s. are not flexible with job sharing, maternity / paternity and study leave even though they say they are they don’t really understanding the fact that peoples life situations change No Enjoyment -employees simply stopped having fun at work to the point were they hate their jobs Lack of development/Promotions outside the work place- employees are leaving because they feel that they need more responsibility and more of a challenge, so they go looking else where and find the opportunities that hey were looking for which just don’t exist in there current role Change of career- the two main reasons why employees left for a change in careers are: firstly, most employees feel after a certain period of time they need a complete career change for example moving from retail to an office based job.

    Secondly, many of the M & S employees are students , therefore after they have finished university, they move on to find a job in their chosen degree’s field Number of hours – as you can see from the graph, numbers of hours had the highest percentage, M & S are simply not flexible enough with heir hours, and may for example, restrict employees to only working their contracted number of hours. And have the mentality that once you pick those hours you never change them. If the retention levels are in lie with the norm for the type of organisation, then the productive employees should be encouraged to stay and the poor performers will leave. Companies need to understand that, the cost to replacing staff that have left can lead to two and half times the workers annual salary theses coat are rarely specifically identified in any accounting records. Therefore turnover costs ata should be used to demonstrate the success of retention strategies over time (Blyton pand Turnbull, P, 2004)

    As you can see from the graphs above M & S uses many different ways to investigate the reasons for why people leave, and as you can see internal exit interview was the highest due to the fact that when leaving M & S all employees leaving must have an exit interview, where the reasons for leaving are written down. So all this can have a chain effect on other aspects of M & S, and in turn leave the business being under staffed; this can then lead on to: Low morale – where the employees begin to feel e-motivated Decrease in productivity – having less staff means having fewer hands, so the time it takes to do a simple task may take twice as long Work load of remaining staff increases – this ties in to decreased productivity, as less staff means extra work for current employees handle, Stress levels increases – the increase in work loads, then causes current employees to become more stressed, which in turns affects productivity rate Absences increase – the reason for absence has been analysed by Huczynski and Fitzpatrick (1989) under three main headings; job situation, personal actors and attendance factors (Armstrong 2009) but for the purpose of this work I am going to look job situation. Employees can tend be absent due to high stress levels, it is estimated that 40 million working days lost each year in the uk through stress (Armstrong 2009) this can because of work load, poor working conditions, shift work, conflict and relationships and organizational climate.

    Employees can easily become ill and will need to take a sick day, on the other hand it could simply be that they are tired from working so much, or there just dared going into work so they just call n sick. Costs M&S Money – A major factor of high employee turnover that impinges on M & S is the cost. It can be broken down into leaving, replacements and transition cost. The leaving cost is the payroll and personal administration of the employee leaving. Replacement costs are spent on recruitment of potential employees, the money and time spent on interviewing and placement fees involved. Transition costs for M & S include the training cost of the new employer, the unproductive time that new employee is learning the skills required and any induction cost for the new employee.

    So after conducting this research I found some solutions that I feel would help M & S reduce the amount of staff turnover. When beginning the recruitment stage a considerable amount of thought should be made, so that the right person for the right job is selected. It is vital that the applicant is a good “fit” for the company, both short and long term. Look for a proven track record and someone who demonstrates the right skills, knowledge and attitude for the role. They should give all levels of employees, opportunity to progress and develop within the company; this can e done by training them when higher placed positions are available. Continuous training makes the employee feel as though they are continuously learning new skills and gives them the chance to further their ability. Vary the jobs that employees do, so that they remain interested in the job, they can transfer employees to other areas of the company to ensure that they remain focused, challenged and grow their knowledge of all areas within M&S.

    And encourage the development of social ties with company in the words of cappelli 2000“loyality to a company may disappearing but the oyalty to colleagues is not” and the most important one that I feel would benefit M&S the most is for them to try and steps to improve work-life balance by developing policies which include flexible working hours the recognizes the needs of the employee outside work (Armstrong 2009) Whilst the reasons for high staff turnover can be varied, to me it is clear is that in order to prevent high performers from leaving you must take the time to understand what’s important to them, and tailor the job to meet both their needs and the company’s objectives.

    To achieve this marks and Spencer should conduct regular employee reviews that specifically probe what’s important to them in their job. Bibliography Armstrong M. (2009) (11th edition) the hand book of human resource management Linda Maund (2001) an introduction to human resource management theory and practice Blyton pand Turnbull, P, 2004) human resource management a contemporary approach Huczynski and Fitzpatrick 1989 Cappelli 2000

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