Jinnikins Jeans’ approach to HR

Jinnikins Jeans’ (JJs) people management is informal and loosely structured making it a method of managing personnel without completely adopting HRM structure and strategic components. JJs people management approach loosely aligns with HRM. The informal and loose approach of JJs is not sufficient to enable the exercise of control and direction to link activities with goal achievement through guidelines and rules. This created human resource problems relating to job specification, performance management, organisational communication, and diversity.
The company has to find a way to reconcile good HRM practices and its thrust towards informal processes to support creative thinking. JJs flexible and personal performance management process is not sufficient to support its business objectives. Motivation of performance and competency building is insufficient. There are no objective criteria for individual performance evaluation. Without objective evaluation, JJs is having problems understanding de-motivation and other performance-related problems. There is no feedback system. The flaws in its performance management activities require resolution.
Specific areas of improvement is the establishment of clear job functions, basic but complete rules covering performance targets and measures, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and transparent communication to ensure feedback sharing. Jinnikins Jeans’ (JJs) people management is informal and loosely structured making it a method of managing personnel without completely adopting HRM structure and strategic components. The company is run as a family business, with family members and old friends holding executive and management positions.

Informal social relations get transferred into the manner of handling people (Moores and Barrett, 2002). The atmosphere at JJs is casual and relaxed, which the founders, George and Trevor, intended to support their vision of the company as an organisation of creative thinkers (Mathews, 2005). The company has a unique approach to people management that worked for the company but the downsides are catching up as JJs expanded and faced greater competition. These have implications on the human resource problems faced by the company and its competitive positioning.
Assessing JJs people management approach points to the degree of formality and structure of people management as the underlying consideration. Drucker (2001) strongly advocated the formalisation of management to achieve the economic and social goals of personnel management. Pursuing economic goals lead to efficiency. Addressing social goals result to workforce effectiveness and improved performance. The formalisation of people management ensures efficient and effective day-to-day functioning to achieve short and long-term goals. JJs approach to people management deviates from the idea of formal management.
It was only through the initiative and lobbying of the financial director that the top executive agreed to have a formal mission statement. There are no formal written rules and procedures governing a number of human resource functions including selection, training, promotion and termination. The lack of processes and rules governing these basic human resource functions could explain the human resource problems faced by the company. The organisation life cycle theory also supports the need for internal structures and people management systems to exercise control.
These could be formal or informal provided the internal structures and systems enable control and direction. (Moores and Barrett, 2002) JJs informal and loosely structured people management approach aligns with this theory. Nevertheless, consideration of the company’s approach points to insufficiency expressed by the loss of its marketing director to its competitor and de-motivation of employees that translated into quality and delivery problems (Mathew, 2005). The informal and loosely structured approach of JJs gave rise to four encompassing issues in HRM.
The first issue covers job specification, description and design. Job specification, which forms a strategic HRM practice, refers to the identification of basic qualifications needed in performing a particular job. The basic qualifications form part of the job description in the recruitment process. Job design, which is another strategic HRM practice, involves the identification of the specific tasks involved in a particular job, the methods applied in doing the tasks, and the manner that the job relates to other jobs within the organisation.
(Dessler, 2004) There are other factors given more weight other than job specification in personnel selection at JJs. George and Trevor decide the people to hire, especially in the management positions and the people hired do not necessarily meet the basic job qualifications according to standard practice (Mathews, 2005). Second issue is on performance management, which refers to the process of developing a common understanding between management and employees over expectations on job functions, achievement of business goals, integration of work contributions, and corresponding incentives or motivators (Bacal, 1999).
This is integral to HRM. Performance management practices including performance assessment and training ensure work efficiency that contributes to improved performance and job satisfaction (Dessler, 2004). The practices at JJs indicate there are no clear criteria of individual performance assessment to support compensation increases and bonuses as well as no measurement of the impact of involvement in seminars and workshops. Problems of absenteeism and tardiness also abound.
The organisation also has no succession plan, which performance management covers. This adversely affects the career development prospects of personnel. (Mathews, 2005) Third issue is organisational communication, which is an HRM tool. Apart from establishing open communication channels, communication should cover the identification of clear objectives and awareness building over these objectives by all managers and personnel (Schein, 1997; Drucker, 2001).
Effective communication builds identification with the company that in turn promotes teamwork and collective results (George and Jones, 2007). The informal and loose structure of JJs establishes open communication lines between employees and their immediate supervisors to facilitate teamwork. However, there is a communication gap between frontline employees and top executives as shown by employee perception that they are not heard by top management and the rejection of George and Trevor of unionisation intended as a mode of communication (Mathews, 2005).
This gap also prevents the communication of clear objectives as the common ground for team building and collaborative outcomes such as bridging creative and financial considerations. Fourth issue is diversity, which refers to the adoption of human resource practices that accommodate socio-demographic characteristics including age, gender, ethnic background, religion and disability (Chemers et al. , 1995) by setting objective criteria for selection, retention, promotion and encouraging inter-cultural exchange or interaction in the workplace (Muncherji and Gupta, 2004).
The company accepts ethnic diversity expressed through its workforce composition and roots in London’s East end. However, there are only a few women in management and the human resource director has no idea of the other components of diversity, discrimination issues and laws, and implications on the firm (Mathews, 2005). JJs people management approach loosely aligns with HRM. It is clear that present approach cannot sustain the company. There are a number of weak areas that require improvements.
The company has to find a way to reconcile good HRM practices and its thrust towards informal processes to support creative thinking. It could adopt strategic HRM that links company goals with practices to ensure targeted outcomes (Salaman et al. , 2005). This means JJs have to identify clear basic people management guidelines, processes and systems. There is room for creative freedom by adopting a more formal and structured system since creativity is channelled towards goal fulfilment.

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code: RESEARCH