Page 1: Introduction
In today’s business world, organisations face highly competitive markets and rapidly changing technologies. Change has become a dominant feature of organisational life. In order to succeed, adaptability and flexibility have become essential characteristics. In meeting these challenges, organisations have realised that people are valuable assets which need to be maintained and developed. In fact it is with the help of people that organisations either maintain or advance their competitive edge.
There is wide agreement that recruiting the right people and improving the skills they require through high quality employee training and development are central to securing future competitiveness. In this respect, over recent years there has been a recognition of the strategic importance of having the right people within organisations. Having entered the second half of the 1990s, talk of planning for the people we require in the year 2000 and beyond is no longer crystal ball gazing. It is hard reality. Many individuals who are today taking up training and education will not have completed it before the year 2000.
For these individuals, the workplace of the future will be quite different from that of the past. For example, there will be a continuing need to develop and update skills, be more flexible, work in teams empowered to make decisions and use information technology daily as part of working life. Many of these changes will have been influenced by external factors, such as increasing competition. All of these changes represent important challenges for the employees of the future.
This case study focuses upon the commitment of Great Mills, a leading DIY retailer, to the recruitment and development of its employees. Great Mills is not simply concerned with taking on individuals to fill specific job vacancies. The Company takes a longer-term view of recruitment and development, which hopefully will, over a period of time, recruit the individuals who fit in with the wider personnel strategy of the organisation.
Great Mills is one of the leaders in out of town retailing in the UK, operating a nationwide network of thriving DIY superstores and garden centres. From its beginning in 1972, Great Mills has grown from a small unit in Paulton, near Bath, serving mainly the building trade, to a multi-million pound business. Today the Company employs over 3000 people, has 92 stores nationally and is still expanding. Great Mills provides a wide range of goods at low prices, whilst making shopping easy for customers with spacious, well-designed stores and garden centres with ample free car-parking. The Company is part of RMC Group p.l.c, a major British Public Company.