Workforce planning at British Gas
A British Gas case study

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Page 2: The role of human resource management

Managing a successful large business involves acquiring, developing and maintaining a wide range of resources. These resources include materials, buildings, land, equipment, technology and, crucially, people. Any organisation needs good employees who have the right skills to achieve the company”s aims and objectives.

Human resource management (HRM) is the business function that focuses on the people aspects of an organisation. It ensures the efficient management of people in the business. It is responsible for ensuring that an organisation has the right people to deliver its overall business plan.

Meeting customer needs

Centrica, the parent corporation of British Gas, has to deliver long term profitability. Its shareholders expect the business to show a return on their investment by making profits, now and in the future. British Gas needs to contribute to these profits. This means consistently meeting the needs of its customers with competitively priced products and services that give good returns to the company.

Residential consumers across the country are the core customer base of British Gas. These customers expect top-class service at keen prices. If British Gas does not meet this standard, the company may lose business to competitors.

To ensure customer satisfaction, British Gas engineers must have the technical skills to undertake work to the required standard and the people skills to deliver good customer service.

Through its engineer recruitment team, the British Gas Academy must therefore ensure that the company attracts and retains the best engineers. This involves several complementary tasks. It requires planning to assess the future needs for skilled employees at British Gas. It requires a recruitment and selection programme to bring new people into the business. It requires a training operation to equip new recruits and existing employees with the right skills.

Retaining people

Importantly, British Gas must also ensure that it retains its best people. It is much more cost effective to retain trained and highly skilled staff than recruit and train up new people. British Gas seeks to retain people by offering a mix of financial and non-financial benefits.

As well as good pay and a pension scheme, the company provides employees with the opportunity to buy shares in Centrica and it offers a great place to work and high-class training.

British Gas | Workforce planning at British Gas