The Business Environment
1.1 Application of an analysis tool (such as PESTLE) to examine the key external forces impacting or likely to impact an organisation’s activities.
The external environment of the organisation influences both the internal operations and also the way organisations relate with each other and compete in their markets. different sectors/ industries have different factors affecting hem which are unique to their nature of business and they might not necessarily affect firms in other environments. There are several tools used to assess the external business environment for example the PESTLE Analysis which is described below. PESTLE is an acronym for Political Economic, Social Cultural, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors affecting businesses.
Political Factors- these are the factors which are stimulated by political environment of the country and they comprise of the nation’s stability, corruption levels, tariffs as well as trade control (PESTLE Analysis 2021). When the country is stable politically, then businesses are able to operate in a conducive environment and also they are free to move around without any fear or tension. The tariffs set by the government determines the growth rate of the organisations as they dictate the taxation levels. When the environment is also corrupt, there is minimal growth as most of the funds are not utilised in the intended purpose which leads to mismanagement of resources. The level of trade control for any business environment also determines how much organisations can invest and what would be their Return on Investment rate.
Economic factors- some of the economic factors which impact organisations include the interest rates and the exchange rate. When the interest rates are very high, business shy away from taking facilities which reduces their rate of growth. The investors also may be discouraged to invest if their returns could be delayed. The exchange rate also impacts the rate of foreign investment in any business since the investors and shareholders want value for their money. This hence can either sloe or hasten the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Social factors such as the culture of the organisation influence how organisations function. The culture of the people determines their mind set, their perception and even their working culture. The organisation has to consider the culture of the people since it helps them determine how the employees perceive their jobs, how customers will perceive their products or services. Market analysis helps the organisation be in touch with reality.
Technological advances are also rapidly influencing the operations of organisation. New technologies are being adapted and organisations are having to automate their operations to achieve competitiveness and attract more customers to themselves. Remote working is also being embraced and more firms are encouraging their employees to work remotely from whichever geographical location they are at in a bid to increase their flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness.
Legal environment consists of the legal and judicial requirements of the country. The organisation has to be compliant to the rule of law in their prevailing countries to prevent bad publicity and a possible law suits. The organisation has to also obtain the required permits and licences for its staff to warrant that the employees are qualified and experienced in their jobs.
Environmental factors such as conservation and preservation impact how businesses are run as they have to consider how they dispose their wastes which has to be in a responsible, harmless manner. This is to conserve the environment and ensure sustainability in our surroundings. Some of the most commonly used policies in environmental conservation efforts include; reduce, reuse and recycle.
1.2 An explanation of an organisation’s business goals and why it is important for organisations to plan for how they will achieve these.
An organisation’s business goals are the objectives and the aims which they look to realise. Organisations’ objective drives the firm and dictate the kind of direction that the company will take to not just achieve competitiveness in the market, but to also to attract and retain its customers and market share. Planning and strategizing on how the organisational objectives will be achieved is very essential. Planning ensures that the employees get to comprehend the nature of their jobs, to reduce or entirely eliminate risks, having the skilled, qualified and talented employees work on the project, guarantee sufficient safety standards are maintained as well as setting the standards, monitoring and measuring the performance step by step (Tatham 2021). Planning in an organisation assists in knowing when to introduce different policies and how to ensure they are implemented fully to optimise on their benefits. Planning also allows for control to be exercised where need be to avoid misuse of resources.
1.3 An explanation of an organisation’s products and/or services and main customers.
Salesforce is a marketing company that advertises and connects buyers to sellers. Salesforce offers marketing services based on the need, industry/ sector and the size of the business (Salesforce 2021). The assist in driving sales for their customers which are mostly the small and medium sized companies. Salesforce also assists in customer retention through provision of a Customer Relationship Management system that addresses the customer complaints while seeking to attract others to grow the market share of the firm.
1.4 A short review of different technologies available to people professionals and how these can be used to improve working practices and collaboration.
There are several technologies which greatly assist the firm in its people practice. The adaption and integration of these technologies to the normal operations of the firm guarantees increased performance and better output. Some of these technologies include; communication technology such as the use of emails also for information sharing, record keeping technologies such as the use of cloud based systems to store information and also learning technologies which allow the employees get as much information as possible for the specialisation of their jobs.
2.1 What is meant by workplace (organisation) culture
The organisational culture is how the employees operate or their way of working. The organisational culture is the general manner in which employees conduct themselves in an organisation. This includes their actions, dressing code, their manner of talking and also their behaviour while at work. The organisational culture dictates how the employees perceive their jobs, new challenges and even how the react to changes when made. An organisational culture is a very critical tool with regards to the performance of duties, induction of new employees, customer retention and also when employees retire from work.
2.1. Why it is important to foster an appropriate and effective workplace culture.
An appropriate and effective workplace culture only results to good performance. Amon the benefits of an effective workplace culture is that; the culture assists in the creation of an identity for the company, encourages the actualisation of the core values of the company; assists in the retention of key employees thus ensuring continued competitiveness; assists also on the selection of the candidates considered to be the best fit while on boarding new employees; the organisational culture also promotes cohesiveness and improved team work and finally an effective organisational culture impacts the performance and well-being of the staff. This indicates that when a company has a conducive working environment, the employees are more comfortable to work in peace and as such, they become more productive which increases the overall productivity and profitability of the organisation.
An effective workplace culture also promotes team work where the strengths and potential of each employee is identified and optimised. This means that the performance will be better as each team member feels cared for and that they make a significant contribution to the final performance of the organisation. This boosts their morale and self-motivation while at work.
2.2. How organisations are whole systems in which different areas and aspects such as structure, systems and culture, are all interrelated.
Organisations though have one common objective, they have individual functions and operations which each department does to ensure the realisation of the organisational goal. Sone of the key functions in any organisation include the Human Resources Function which is responsible for the management of the employees and their welfare, the finance department which is responsible for availing the resources to run the company operations, the administration and the top management as well as the operations team who are in charge of the normal tasks to be performed. All these functions do not work independently as they rely on each other for information and also resources. The staff have to work in collaboration to ensure that the different functions achieve synergy and fit perfectly into each other. This kind of working promotes team work as each employee makes a significant contribution to the overall performance and by extension, the actualisation of the goals and objectives of the company.
2.2. An example of how good people practice, and an example of how bad people practice can impact other parts of the organisation or beyond the organisation.
Good people practice causes the organisation to achieve increased benefits such as reduction of operational costs, saves on time and increased efficiency and effectiveness. For instance, through streamlining operations, the employees get an easy time while at work and they are able to concentrate on what really matters. Such improved operations motivate the employees to keep being productive and also become and remain to be the firm’s core competence. This improves the reputation of the company and attracts new employees to join them while the existing employees prefer to stay longer in the organisation. For example, good people practice such as team work motivates each employee to give their best.
Poor people practices result to legislative penalties when the company is sued in a court of law. For instance, poor people practice such as unfair treatment of employees makes them have a negative attitude towards those employees who are favoured and this ultimately adversely impacts the team spirit. Poor treatment of employees also results to reduced morale and in dire cases, the employees can initiate a go slow or any other industrial action resisting the management’s form of leadership. This causes negative publicity which hurts the public image of the company.
2.3. How individuals may learn and develop in different ways in organisations and how this might be accommodated in assessing and developing skills and capabilities.
Employees can learn while on the job in several ways. Some of these ways include; through observation (visual as well as verbally), research, coaching and mentoring, through frequent trainings and also through acquiring the practical skills. These types of learning can be effected at the employees’ convenience and they may learn in more than one form or channel. The employees may also learn from experience and from their top management by emulating their actions and modifying them to suit their unique situations. All these forms of learning may be evaluated by the Human Resources Function to determine the most effective way and the one that is simplest to learn, take the minimum effort and time and they would advocate for the employees to learn through it. Also they may reward the employees who are currently learning so that the others can feel motivated and challenged to also do the same.
3.1. Why it is important for an organisation’s business that change is predicted, planned and effectively managed.
For any organisation looking to change its operations or even parts of it, there must be proper planning, forecasting as well as execution. This is due to the fact that if change is not well forecasted, it may not be effective and the benefits which the organisation would have received are almost not felt. Effective planning also guarantees the effective utilisation of resources availed, the experienced, talented and qualified manpower is trained on how to manage the changes to be made and offer support to their fellow employees and also a way of managing and ensuring that the changes are sustainable. Effective change management will see to it that the organisation achieves a smooth transition from the old way of doing business to the new improved and enhanced style of operation. Effective change management also has to ensure that the feedback and concerns raised after the changes are made are taken into consideration, worked upon and integrated into the normal operations of the firm.
3.2. The nature and importance of different roles that can be played by people practice professionals, in relation to change agendas. You might consider roles such as gatekeeper, champion, facilitator, critical friend or record-keeper.
The different roles played by the different personnel throughout the organisation greatly contributes to the overall effectiveness of the organisation. The gatekeeper for instance, mans the premises and ensures the safety and calm of the employees as they work. The facilitator on the other hand guides and provides direction on how the employees will perform their tasks to become effective and efficient while at it. The record keeper on the other hand warrants the safe keeping and custody of key documents which influence how the organisation operates. All these roles are significant to produce a conducive and environmental friendly setting for the employees to work. There is no position or job that must be considered to be superior to the others. The Human Resources Function must also look to create a favourable and equitable working environment that every employee stands a fair hearing and also when it comes to being rewarded, they should all be qualified irrespective of their position. This is done to create a safe space where employees can work in peace in order for them to be more productive.
3.3. How change can impact people in organisations, such as changing their role or status or financial situation, and the different ways people may respond to change
Change is inevitable and may be hard to be accepted. Changes in the organisation be it in terms of the sitting positions, the job descriptions, the roles played by the employee or even the management changes are all very tough to be implemented. Different people react to change differently; some may readily accept change and readjust themselves to accommodate the new way of doing things while the others may reject change and prefer to stick to the old ways of doing things. This however will change gradually and with time as they will get used to the change and then fully integrate it to daily operations. Some implement change only for a limited time period before they can then revert to the old ways but this must be avoided. The Human Resources Function must provide the employees with the necessary support to uphold these changes and to keep them motivated to continue embracing change.
Change can also change the status or even the financial position of the employee and therefore they must be well trained in advance, during and even after changes have been made on how to be cope with the changes. They must be shown the benefits they stand to gain by accepting these changes and the positive impacts the changes will bring to ensure that they are willing to embrace the change and even continue practising it without reverting to the old ways of operation.
PESTLE Analysis 2021, “Political Factors Affecting Business” PESTLE Analysis Available on: https://pestleanalysis.com-political-factors-affecting-business/ (Accessed on 02/10/2021).
Salesforce 2021, “Headspace increased leads by 300%, powered by customer 360 Salesforce Available on: https://salesforce.com/headspace-increased-leads-by-300%-powered-by-customer-360/ (Accessed on 02/10/2021)
Tatham 2021, “5 reasons to plan work activities” Brown Safety Services Available on: https://brownsafetyservices.co.uk/5-reasons-to-plan-work-activities/ (Accessed on 02/10/2021).