Bigi Canada HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES OF BIGI CANADA- Natalie .G. Bigi Canada Ltd. is a major competitor in the retail industry of mens and womens clothing. It operates under the familiar store name, Dynamite. The head office of Bigi Canada is in Montreal, Quebec.
It has existed and catered to the Montreal community for the past twenty years. Bigi Canada is a privately owned enterprise. As a contrast to its competition, Bigi Canada does not have shares on the open market. This can be viewed as an advantage because of the personal link that the president, Giggi Sing has to his own personal investment. Another factor that gives Bigi Canada the edge on the competition is the fact that the president is a clothing wholesaler as well. Thus, most of the competition must purchase merchandise through Bigi Canada.
As an organization, as diverse as Bigi Canada, with over 85 stores in Canada alone, the human resource department of the company must be extensive. Direct quotes from the interview conducted will be used throughout this paper. This paper will focus on the policies and procedures of the human resource segment of Bigi Canada Ltd. The retail industry itself is a fast paced and dynamic environment. Hence, the policies and objectives of the retailers must mirror these changes. Antionetta De Rosa was the representative interviewed. She is the director of human resources.
Bigi Canada Ltd. refers to her department as being readily able to adapt to its external environment. By external environment, she is making reference to the economy, the consumers needs and the competition. This is evident within the organization as the policies that they hold are reviewed and altered on a regular basis. De Rosa adds, ..it is important for Bigi or any organization for that matter to be flexible and change with their environment.
The mission statement of Bigi Canada Ltd. is viewed semi annually. The reviews are often conducted by the vice president, the controller and the president. Reviewing the organizations missions statement is important because it is within the mission statement that the purpose of the organization lies. In essence, a mission is a written statement that distinguishes an organizations official objectives. The mission of Bigi Canada includes this excerpt, ..to provide good service for all customers..provide high fashion merchandise to all our customers at affordable prices.
Having a good mission statement is imperative to an organizations success because it provides a clear sense of purpose and maintains a certain degree of focus in strategy formulation. Likewise, the goals of Bigi Canada are reviewed and revised on a monthly basis. The reviews of the goals are usually done by the vice president. The goals of the organization are met through a quota system. In this system, the organization as a whole has a primary quota for the month. From this point, the quota is divided and allocated to each store according to its volume, performance and location. The monthly quotas take into account each individual store budget.
These budgets are formulated according to rent factors, clothing costs, margin profits and theft loss. Furthermore, the quotas for each month include 25% increase over last years actual sales. The objectives for Bigi Canada Ltd. for the most part are stable. The primary objective of this organization is to cater to a vast majority of people with highly fashionable and trendy merchandise at affordable prices.
Likewise, another objective is to set trends in the retail industry. Also, changes to the organizations objectives are usually made in accordance to the competitors policies. For example if the competitors commence to offer promotions or changes their policies to allow refunds, then the companys policies must change as well in order to remain competitive. The strategies of the organization are viewed and altered bi-monthly. The strategies used to achieve the target quotas differ.
Depending on the situation, the strategies can be used alone or in various combinations. Possible strategies utilized by Bigi Canada range from: repeating merchandise that was high selling, offering promotions to increase sales, reduction of merchandise that fails to sell, catering to the needs of each consumer in each location and the transferring of stock internally within the organization. This includes equipping high volume locations with fast moving merchandise. A trend in most organizations is the decentralization of authority. This is seen through shorter chains of command, wider spans of control and more lateral relations throughout the organization.
(Bretton, 88) Bigi Canada Ltd. supports the decentralization of decision making and proposals through their bi-monthly Managers Meeting. Monthly staff and personnel meetings allow for greater input from the front line employees. Supervisors and managers are in constant contact with the buyers. Hence, the centralization of decision making is avoided. An important aspect of human resources is the ability to attract a quality work force.
The recruitment process of any organization attempts to bring employment opportunities to the attention of those individuals whom possess the appropriate skills for specifications. (Bretton, 57) Bigi Canada Ltd. uses both internal and external recruitment procedures. The company tries tries to attract a quality work force through advertizing the vacancy in newspapers and on signs within the location that requires help. When recruiting managerial positions, Bigi Canada Ltd. has a distinct approach.
They recruit potential managers through their competition. This is known as raiding. Raiding is taking your competitors workers and putting them into your company. By doing so, the supervisors would shop around at their competitors stores anonymously, and while shopping make a mental note whether the service they received was good and if the employee conducted themselves well, then they would offer them a job with Bigi Canada. Incentives would need to be incorporated within the rehiring of the ex-competitors employee to get them to switch and work for your company. Cash incentives work best. Ms.
De Rosa adds, ..this way we can see the service that our competitors employees are providing for us as their customers.. This enables them to acquire the experience and good sales performance necessary to be a successful manager at Bigi. Employee referrals are also another manner by which Bigi Canada recruits employees. Recruitment is also done internally. This is done as the supervisors make the present employees aware of the possible positions. The procedure that Bigi utilizes to inform its employees of the vacancies is usually through memos from the head office. Likewise, pressure is also put on the managers to recommend subordinates for promotions and advancements.
Internal recruitment is preferred by Bigi Canada. his is such because not only is it inexpensive, but it also offers a degree of motivation for its members. Ms. De Rosa states that, ..internal recruitment offers motivation to our employees to increase their effort at work in hopes of being promoted. Furthermore, the employees are simply being promoted thus they are aware of their past sales performance and their goals.
Just as recruitment is an important function of the human resources department, so to is the training process. The training process that Bigi Canada utilizes is similar to most other retailers. They hold a Policy and Procedure Booklet and a Sales Course Training Book in each location. These books are used as references by managers and their subordinates. The training that is done within the organization is done on a personal basis.
Seminars are offered to managers at their monthly meetings. At the Managers Meetings, speakers deliver presentations on the management of the store, motivation of employees and how to increase monthly sale figures. It is through these presentations that the managers are kept up-to-date and informed. This information is then relayed to the subordinate through the bi-monthly staff and personnel meetings. Newly hired employees are usually coached by managers of staff development trainees.
This coaching is done on a personal basis to work on improving personal weakness and strengths. An orientation to the organization is given by the supervisors to each employee upon hiring. In order to train managers, Bigi Canada has developed a few training stores. These are locations which are high volume and where there is a competent and efficient staff. These training stores offer the new manager a simulation of the obstacles and situations that they may face within their own location. Therefore, they are able to become familiar with the companys policies and procedures. In these training stores, an experienced manager would mentor the new one. Hence, developing and instilling them with the necessary problem solving skills and thought patterns.
Ms. De Rosa adds, ..we at Bigi Canada have found that our training stores are extremely effective because no speaker can really prepare you for what you will face each day, only experience can do that… Bigi Canada does not only offer any off the job training to its employees, but prefers their employees to have completed a grade twelve diploma. Likewise, managers are preferred to have completed a Retail Management Course, but these a …