Harrods Case Study
Case Study (Harrods)
Human Resource Management
Harrods Case Study
Harrods is one of the well-known department stores in UK, London. Henry
Charles Harrod in 1849 opened a small grocery store at Brampton Road in
Knightsbridge that focused on service and quality rather than other things such as low
prices. Two years later, Harrods was invented and it is located in Knightsbridge; it is
accessible by subway and is very close to Buckingham palace. It is known as the store
where anything you could think of is for sale. You can buy anything from there, from
A to Z, starting with 18th century dinner plates to giant teddy bears and exquisite
1. Describe the difference between training and development.
Training is basically getting the skills needed for a job; these may be learned at
the place of work (on-the-job) or away from work (off-the-job). On-the-job training
tends to be more cost-effective and relevant. However, professional trainers usually
carry out off-the-job training. It also occurs away from the distractions of work. On
the other hand, Development not only improves job performance, but also teaches
how to become more effective and productive at work, facing different
responsibilities and challenges. Development concentrates on the broader skills that
are applicable to a wider variety of situations, such as thinking creatively, decisionmaking and managing people. In other words, training provides the skill and
development maximizes it. The training is basically teaching new skills, but
development it is perfecting existing skills. Training tends to have very specific and
measurable goals, such as operating an IT system or till, understanding a process, or
performing certain procedures (for example, cashing up). Training and development
is vital to any business. Its purpose at Harrods is to improve performance of
employees to enable Harrods to meet its business goals. For example, at Harrods the
Sales Academy develops employees’ sales skills, leading to increased sales when they
return to the shop floor. Allowing employees to acquire new skills, expertise and
qualifications supports employee progression, which leads to increased motivation.
This supports Harrods’ retention strategies.
2. Explain the importance of developing employees.
Employee development is crucial and important for the growth and development
for any business and any company because employees are one of the determining
factors for the success of the company. The company’s performance depends on the
capability and qualification of its employees. When they are well trained, they can
easily and smoothly handle situations, and please customers. For example, employees
at Harrods come from various backgrounds and different nationalities. They have
differing levels of competency, experience and education. Harrods offer
comprehensive learning and development opportunities that are offered at a variety of
levels to suit the needs of all Harrods employees. They offer workshops for sales
associates and Warehouse Operatives to developmental programs for senior
managers. Jessica is a great example to show how Harrods are concerned in
developing their employees, “My quick progression to Retail Manager was helped by
the fact that Harrods allows people to take control of their own development to a large
extent. Harrods supports you if you are keen to get on. The Harrods Management
Programmed gave me eight months of training, both in-house and external. This,
together with the support of my mentor, has equipped me with the specific skills I
need to carry out my job effectively.”.
3. Analyze the methods by which Harrods ensures it recruits and retains its
Recruitment and retention are two requirements for building a special talented
staff and obviously Harrods had a huge success in Recruiting qualified applicants and
encouraging them to join their corporation. It involves a series of steps in controlling
if there's a match between the applicant's qualifications and the job criteria. What I
analyzed from Harrods techniques in Recruits and retains is that employees does not
necessarily seek monetary incentive but also training and ways of motivation. In a
matter of fact, Amber is a great example of what I said, “Amber’s application was
successful because of the customer skills, she was able to bring from previous
experiences. She is now the Retail Manager of Childrenswear. Her responsibilities
range from overseeing budgets to managing both stock and people, as well as
upholding the Harrods standards of service.” Harrods scheme to provide development
opportunities it is the main aspect that maintains its high level of employee retention.
As the reading provides us of a glimpse of Sabrina’s career we come to the
understanding that Harrods not only train its employees but also develop their talents
in a way that they motivate them for more future careers, by professional training.
They gain skills needed for the job to keep their workforce.
4. Evaluate how training and development leads to career progression at
As we explored the differences between training and development along with
recruitment and retention, we come to the point where we evaluate the training and
development that leads to career progression. However, the processes of training and
development at Harrods shows how it helped the employees to cope with all the tasks
they faced and also formed a career path for them, it is important for the institution/
company to meet all the needs of the business. What you see today, that Harrods lead
to a career progression with success by matching its business strategy and linking it
together. They use training and development to improve their workers skills along
with the technical skills and business capabilities that's needed. Harrods is functioning
to maintain an efficient and effective, not forgetting very motivated and talented staff.
For example, Sabrina said: “Knowing that my senior managers recognized my ability
and supported me in my career development has made me eternally loyal to the
company. Before coming to Harrods I hadn’t really considered a career in retail, now
I can’t imagine working anywhere else. The thing I enjoy most about working at
Harrods is that every day is unique and the work is interesting and innovative.” What
I analysis from Sabrina is that workers really love and enjoy their work, which make
me believe or assume that Harrods appreciate their staff and motivate them, they
make them enjoy and love their jobs. Sabrina joined Harrods 10 years ago as a parttime Sale Associate whilst studying for her degree, after graduating she worked in
Human Resources and with Harrods support, she gained further qualifications. This
led to a series of promotions and experience in other roles including Business
Manager. As we can analysis, Harrods has different level of recruiting, they train
undergraduate, which help them to understand how Harrods operates which leads to
professional workers and expertise on the workforce.
Harrods was sold to Qatar Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of the State
of Qatar in May 2010 for £1.5bn. Its chairman, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr
Al-Thani, who is also Qatar's prime minister, said Harrods would add "much value" to
its portfolio of investments and generate "good and stable returns as a business"
(Mohammed Al Fayed sells Harrods store to Qatar Holdings, 2010). The success of
Harrods attracted a lot of entrepreneurs to Knightsbridge, resulting in an upscale
shopping district. I don’t think that anyone went to London without spending a day at
Mohammed Al Fayed sells Harrods store to Qatar Holdings. (2010, May 8).
Retrieved December 15, 2012, from BBC: