The philosophy on managing people is a broad strategic issue associated with management style, and it is one that may never be articulated and so often remains on a ‘taken for granted’ basis, like other manifestations of corporate culture. But to adapt a common if somewhat inadequate definition of corporate culture, strategic HRM is about ‘the way things should be done around here in the future’. Questions can be asked about the traditional or underlying philosophy, the extent to which it is still relevant and the directions in which it might usefully change.
The philosophy of the Managing Director of Megastores on managing people was expressed as follows:
There is immense strength and talent in any body of people numbering 50,000 and we are negligent if we don’t tap that resource as far as we possibly can… The contribution of our managers to added value is immense because they are people managers… They are not managing systems, they are not managing machinery and they are not managing shops – you can’t manage a shop, you manage people within a shop.
I have always advocated the employment of the highest calibre of people we can find, and I think we’ve got that… We are in the vanguard of retailing. Our net profit to sales ratio is about the highest in the high street and in profit terms we are growing at a faster rate than the market. The biggest challenge will be to maintain that competitive advantage and to do that we need to maintain and continue to attract very high calibre people.