M&S’ new performance strategy starts to sow the seeds of recovery

HR is playing a central role in turning around Marks & Spencer’s
fortunes, with analysts predicting the announcement of positive financial
results today.

Helena Feltham, director of HR at M&S, told Personnel Today that HR was
driving a culture change in performance management within the organisation.

The HR team has been restructured and more closely integrated into the
business and is supporting the retailer’s strategy of restoring its UK market.

Developing the talent and capabilities among its 60,000 staff has been a

Feltham said: "The big thing is talent and capability. We learned that
getting the right people in the right place at the right time has to be our
overall focus. The recruitment and retention of fantastic people is the

M&S is currently reviewing its recruitment procedures to ensure it is
hiring staff that fit in with its ‘ways of working’ targets, which include
customer focus, passion and team working.

Last year, it strengthened its 17-strong leadership team, which included the
recruitment of Roger Holmes as managing director of UK Retail.

Feltham said: "What we have put together very quickly is a really good
leadership team and HR played a key role in that – much of the recovery has
been about getting leadership capability in place."

A new performance management team has also introduced a range of tools to
understand and improve staff capabilities and productivity. These include a
staff survey, a new bonus structure and staff business involvement groups.


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