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Strategic HRM: Barclays Bank Pakistan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3456 words Published: 18th Apr 2017

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With a network of more then 155,000 people working globally across a range of businesses, we consider Barclays one of the best organizations for case study in order to explain the strategic human resource management; Barclays Bank Pakistan commenced operations in July 2008. With such a diversified network of the organization the HR experts work with every single employee and Business Unit to help the Barclays stay ahead from other organizations in the competition and by attracting and retaining the best people available, all over the world. This is not done by recruiting new employees but also committed to nurturing its established colleagues. The HR teams play a vital role in monitoring performance and managing a host of training programmes.

More importantly in the last one decade, the Banking Sector in Pakistan has become highly dynamic and competitive because of more international banks and local banks are offering the same products and services to the customers.

To motive the employees the Barclays bank also introduced a pension scheme which also falls within the Human Resources Teams’ remit. This team makes sure the full support to all 155,000 employees across the world. Retirement Fund and the Pension Fund Executive works with the fund’s Trustees to ensure the scheme operates to the highest standard.

Resource Based Strategy

Resource Bases Strategy (RBS) is a tool of business management which is used to know the resources available to the organization. The fundamental principle of the RBV provides the basis for a competitive advantage of a firm lies primarily in the application of the bundle of valuable resources at the firm’s disposal. At Barclays this strategy is used to convert the company short-run competitive advantage into a sustained competitive advantage requires that these resources are heterogeneous in nature and not perfectly mobile. Each organization is a collection of unique resources and capabilities that provides the basis for its strategy and the primary source of its returns.

Resourced based strategy is mainly used in Barclays to achieve the competitive advantage by using the current resources and capabilities of the firm that creates the superior value. Each organization is a collection of unique resources and capabilities that provides the basis for its strategy and the primary source of its returns.

Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Sustainable competitive advantage is the focal point of your corporate strategy. It allows the maintenance and improvement of your enterprise’s competitive position in the market. It is an advantage that enables business to survive against its competition over a long period of time

Distinctive Capabilities

As per the new resourced based view the organization sustainable competitive advantage is achieved according to the changing market conditions and creating new resources and capabilities in response to these changes. The opportunity for your company to sustain your competitive advantage is determined by your capabilities of two kinds – distinctive capabilities and reproducible capabilities – and their unique combination you create to achieve synergy.


Leadership is the necessary condition for long-term competitiveness. In particular in the knowledge economy, what is proving to be most effective is “the emerging style of values-based leadership, both as motivation for constant innovation up and down all organization levels and as a source of unity and coherence across fragmented firm boundaries.”

Systemic Innovation

Innovation is needed for the development of new products this can be done by using new knowledge and modern technology. Now innovation is neither singular nor linear, but systemic. It comes from organizations and environmental factors and from complex interactions between many individuals. It cannot be done just through technologies and innovations but also through getting expertise in other areas of their business, such as manufacturing, distribution, human resources, marketing, and customer relationships.

Radical Innovation

Barclay’s long ability to achieve its goals comes from the ability to innovate. Although corporate investment in improvements to existing products and processes does bring growth, it is new game changing breakthroughs that will launch company into new markets, enable rapid growth, and create high return on investment.

Resource and Competence-based Strategy

The main objective of any organization is to satisfying their customers’ needs, and finally developing the product and services according to the customer needs and existing markets needs. This is the way to assure the Opportunities and Threats half of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

So achievement of any of your business objectives is dependent on your strengths and weaknesses. Like many firms may wish to reduce their cost of production, times but one will do so more quickly and reliably than others. By achieving these objectives you make your firm unique from others in the competition.

Resource and competence-based approaches are particularly valuable when:

The boundaries of your business can be changed through, for example:

Considering Make versus Buy alternatives

Entering new markets around the globe

Installment of new technologies

Adversity is at hand.

Achieving sustainable competitive advantage.

You need innovation to improve your business.

Best utilization of your resources in plans to achieve your objectives.

Human Resource Strategy

HR Strategy is aligning the goals of HR to the goals or strategy of your organization, recruitment, retention and termination are a small part of it. PEOPLE designed and structured a variable compensation scheme for Barclays Bank – Investment Banking Group. The new scheme was built upon an equitable and balanced approach which took into account individual performance factors as well as market movements. The idea of Human Resource strategy and its alignment with the business strategy came in to practice by most of the organization in 1960s. There are different strategies and patterns related to HR systems which are involved in the formulation of HR strategy.

Preparation of Job Description Documents / Job Profiling

Evaluation and bench marking

Grading structure development

Compensation mechanism and quantum evaluation

Development of a comprehensive set of policies in the form of a HR Manual

Evaluation of all organizational and operational needs of the Bank

Re-structuring the business divisions of Barclays Bank according to change management agenda

Compilation of a comprehensive Job Description Manual for all unique position in Barclays in light of the newly restructured organization

Performance management system and related training

Compensation policy design and realignment

Barclays Human Resource strategy components

Employee Training – Barclays is very keen in employee’s training whether the employee is newly hired or existing one. Training is mandatory for newly hired staff and after the training they are tested if they failed in the test they are not eligible for the job. For the old employees the company conduct on-job and off-job training programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of the employees.

General Benefits from Employee Training and Development

Barclays conducts the employees training for these benefits:

Improved job satisfaction and morale among employees

Enhance employee motivation

Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain

Development of capacity to adopt new technologies and methods

Increased innovation in strategies and products

Reduced employee turnover

Enhanced company image,

Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training

Learning Management System – Barclays offers Learning Management System that is an online tool designed to help individuals to manage their training

Mentor programmes – Barclays encourages mentoring within the organization. Colleagues will be rewarded through this mentoring programme.

Recruitment and Selection – The process of recruitment and selection at Barclays is initiated by the concerned departments and for this purpose candidates are interviewed by different persons of the concerned departments at different levels. From this process of identified that what is organization need and who is the suitable candidate to fill this post.

Performance Appraisal – Each employee at Barclays know his/her key performance indicators. A performance appraisal is a part of guiding and managing career development. It is the process of obtaining, analyzing, and recording information about the relative worth of an employee to the organization.

Job specification – A job specification goes beyond a mere description – in addition, it highlights the mental and physical attributes required of the job holder. For example, a job specification for a trainee manager’s post in a retail store included the following:

Barclays clearly highlights the job specification to the hired employees. Job analysis, description, and specification can provide useful information to the job holder and he clearly knows his responsibilities.

Career Development – Through this way employees manage their careers within organization. The way of career development clearly indicated to the employees.

Rewards and Benefits – Barclays employees all over the world enjoy a range of benefits including financial bonuses, private healthcare and flexible working, which vary depending on the region in which they are based.

Remuneration – Barclays pays competitive salaries and bonus and benefits according to the industry benchmark. Bonus and benefits depends on the individual performance and a company pension scheme is also available.

Discounts – Employees in certain parts of the world benefit from ‘YOUniquely Barclays’ – a range of Barclays products and services offered to employees on preferential terms. Including Buy-A-Car scheme, banking products, insurance and travel services, and the scheme offers comprehensive cost savings.

Health – Barclays offers a health and wellbeing benefit to its employees and many of them qualify for medical expenses scheme, offering the comfort of access to private healthcare treatment. It also provides discounts at major health care clubs.

Flexibility – Barclays offers flexible working hours to the employees through flexible working practices.

Linking business and HR strategy

In today’s world it very important to incorporate the HR strategies with Business objectives. Another important principle, articulated by Michael Armstrong in his book A Handbook of Human Resource Management, is that business success “is most likely to be achieved if the personnel policies and procedures of the enterprise are closely linked with, and make a major contribution to, the achievement of corporate objectives and strategic plans. “A third guiding principle, similar in scope, holds that it is HR’s responsibility to find, secure, guide, and develop employees whose talents and desires are compatible with the operating needs and future goals of the company”. Other HRM factors that shape corporate culture-whether by encouraging integration and cooperation across the company, instituting quantitative performance measurements, or taking some other action-are also commonly cited as key components in business success. HRM summarized Armstrong, “is a strategic approach to the acquisition, motivation, development and management of the organization’s human resources. It is devoted to shaping an appropriate corporate culture, and introducing programs which reflect and support the core values of the enterprise and ensure its success.”

Armstrong, Michael. A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. Kogan Page Limited, 1999.

Organizational Design/Structure

Organizational structure shows the Hierarchy of organization management system along with flow of duties and responsibilities. Organization structures are different in different organizations it depends on number of factors like organization size, geographical locations, organization type, nature of product etc. A hierarchy exemplifies an arrangement with a leader who leads leaders. This arrangement is often associated with bureaucracy. Hierarchies were satirized in The Peter Principle (1969), a book that introduced hierarchiology and the saying that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”.

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Organizational Structure of barclays

At Barclay’s organization structure is divided into different work groups and work units based on their skills, expertise, resources, and knowledge, as shown in the figure each department has individual head that is called HOD (head of department). All HOD’s are reported to the Country Head, and each manager is reported to the Head of his/her department.

Roles of different Worker Groups at Barclays

Every worker group/division of Barclays has separate role and functions, which are stated as under:

Head Finance – Head Finance is responsible for bringing important financial controls to a company and all the financial activities in the organization. These controls includes management of all the cash flows, expenses, establishing credit policies for customers and also responsible for conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis in order to arrive at an understanding of the options that are available.

Head Risk – The core responsibilities include managing a team of credit specialists covering performance management, Set up and then manage robust monitoring & control systems & procedures, Ensure that Risk Control & Credit procedures, training & developing. Shaping the team and improving processes. Acting as an escalation point for complex credit cases as well as dealing with internal and external clients.

Head Corporate Banking – This segment involves in sales to the corporate segment of the particular region, making credit line, credit proposals and making sure of effective utilization of bank credit line. Corporate sales and planning is an integral function of this business division.

Head Audit – Barclays audit department is an independent authority and helps the organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.” It is designed in way to add value and improve operational and governance process.

Head Investment Banking – At Barclays Investment Banking Unit is developed for the investment actives of the bank.

Head Human Resource – Barclays this division is responsible to manage the human resource and is responsible for all the HR functions which are mentioned


Head Marking – This segment is responsible for marketing campaigns for all the new and existing product and services of the organization. Getting feedback from consumers and making the new strategies to achieve the required targets. Business planning that involves the future market forecasting market segmentation is also a function of this department.

Head Liability Sales – This is the core unit of Barclays and responsible for bring in the new customers and finally deposits for the bank. They get the deposits in different kinds like current account, saving account and term deposits.

Head Retail & Commercial Banking – Commercial banking is also known as business banking. Bank provides current account, saving account and accept time deposits. Commercial Banking is different from investment banking and retail banking, bank accept deposit from individual customers and corporations and gives loans to large businesses.

Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning is needed to have a sense of both the current external environment, and anticipate things that may happen in the future in the labor market place. Human resource strategies to be implemented must be translated to the employees clearly so that they can well understand the strategies and you can get best out of it.

At Barclays Human Resource is considered as a capital of the bank the course of action of planning process translated to the Human Capital for the achievement of predetermined goals. This is the organization’s most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business.

If the Strategies are not properly communicated to the employees which is a barrier in the increase of loyalty factor of the employees with the organization. The company also needs to categorize the HR planning in to short, medium and long term.

The Process of Human Resource Management Planning

The most important thing for HR management is to understand the needs, demand and nature of business requirement, in this way he will be able to employ those who will deliver the required performance. The manager have to take keen interest for spotting the talent, this is called right man for the right job and ensures that the workforce is competent enough the meet the targets. Future workload must be calculated before hiring new employees, and from this way you HR can design an accurate job profile and job expectations. At Barclays well experienced HR manager are hired and motivate his prospective employees to perform to their potential.

Steps in the Human Resource Planning Process

Steps involved in the Human Resource Planning Process are as under:

Designing the Management System

It must be ensured that a proper system is in place to handle the process. The objective of this system is to manage human resources in line with organizational goals and matching the organization goals with human resource. Human resource plans, policies, procedures and best practices are comes under this system. Through this system to can understand human resource management trends, such as outsourcing, flexible work hours and increased use of modern technology can be implemented according to the desired outcomes.

Environmental Analysis

The first step in the human resource planning process is to recognize the background of human resource management. External and internal environment should be understood by the human resource manager. For external environments data should be collected and includes the following the status of the economy, industry, technology and competition; labor market trends, rate of unemployment, availability of skilled workforce etc… and for internal environment data needed includes organization plans both short term and long term, strategies and the current status of the organization’s human resources

Forecasting Human Resource Demand

This is a kind of future forecasting in which future need of employees and their types is determined. To analyze and estimate future human resource needs Bottom-up forecasting method is used gather human resource needs of various organizational units.

Analyzing Supply

Hiring of employees can be done through external and internal sources. To keep track of internal supply a method of skill inventories is used, this is a computerized system that keeps records of employee experience, skills and education.

Reconciliation and Planning

The final step in human resource planning is developing action plans based on the gathered data, information, analysis and alternatives that are available. The acceptation of plan is the key issue for top management and employees and barriers to success of plan should be identified to the key players. Many of these plans include training and management development plan, appraisal plan, employee utilization plan and human resource supply plan.


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