The role of training and development in career progression
A Marks and Spencer case study

Page 1: Introduction

As an organisation develops, it creates working practices within the business that reflect its way of doing things. These practices become embedded in decisions and operations. The way of doing things guides and influences employees as they carry out their work. However, when organisations develop a new business strategy this creates a process of change. This leads to different ways of working.

Company background

business values

With more than 120 years of heritage, Marks & Spencer is one of the best-known British retailers. The company has more than 450 stores within the UK and employs more than 65,000 people. It also operates outside the UK where it has a developing business in places as far afield as Hong Kong.In recent years, the UK's retailing industry has been characterised by intense competition. Customers are more aware of where and how they want to shop. They also know what sort of shopping experience they require. This has made it much more difficult for retailers to survive.

Facing the challenges

The result was that Marks & Spencer had to develop a new business strategy. This created a period of change for the whole organisation. The period of change involved refocusing the business upon the basics. This included the three business values of Quality, Value, and Service.

Marks & Spencer developed a promotional campaign that emphasised 'Your M&S'. This helped the company to connect customers with the heritage in the business. It also linked the business in the minds of customers with its two other values of Innovation and Trust. The process involved three key features:

  • developing products that customers wanted
  • investing in the environment within stores
  • providing good customer service to look after customers.

These changes have created a business environment with more challenges for employees. Managers had to prepare employees for whatever role they would be asked to undertake in this new environment. The answer was to develop career paths for the employees.

This case study looks at the processes of training and development at Marks & Spencer. It shows how this helped employees to cope with the challenges they faced and created a career path for them.

Marks and Spencer | The role of training and development in career progression

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