Short Pest or Pestle analysis Essay This short â€˜PESTâ€™ or â€˜PESTLEâ€™ analysis will be carried out on the supermarket sector and discount retailers in Northern Ireland with the majority of the analysis being carried out specifically on Lidl. A PESTLE analysis will be ideal for Lidl in terms of effective market research and will help them come to decide how much they should expand given the fact that they have plans to do so particularly in the UK over the next 12 months. The PESTLE analysis directly and comprehensively evaluates the industryâ€™s external environment elements in order to identify the overall available opportunities and dangers of specific procedures. It cannot be undermined how crucial effective market research is for companies such as Lidl who are constantly looking to gain a competitive advantage in the supermarket sector. Specifically, a PESTLE analysis mainly highlights the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental variables of the company and, if carried out efficiently, can be instrumental in terms of helping Lidl to improve their overall profit margins through expansion and their profits in terms of their overall net income. EXPRESS REFERENCE From the opening of its first ever store in the early 1970â€™s in Germany, the Lidl brand has grown a great deal to become one of Europe\s leading food retailers, a growth beyond their wildest expectations. Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 and since then they have went from strength to strength as they now have a grand total of over 650 stores and ten distribution centres across Great Britain employing some 20,000 people. Lidl has just recently just beaten close competitor Waitrose to become the UKâ€™s seventh largest supermarket chain, according to the latest grocery market share figures (BBC, 2017). Lidl are currently drawing on a net income of Â£5.8 billion for 2017 rising some Â£800 million thus growing their overall market share by 0.6 percentage points to 5%. Aswell as being active in the retail business, Lidl also carry out a number of services such as DVD rental (launched in 2009) and bakery services which have been an excellent addition since their introduction in 2012. Through expansion, in what can be considered an oligopolistic market, companies like Lidl are hoping to get ever closer to the â€˜big 4â€™ who are currently Tesco, Sainsburyâ€™s, Asda and Morrisons. Companies such as Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose have thrived after the economic crash of 2007-08 as consumer behaviour since then has led us to believe that the trend of low prices for good quality products is a popular one and has led to a shift to the right in demand for the products and services of such companies. The first aspect of this PESTLE analysis is the political aspect. With over 10,000 stores in Europe alone, Lidl have the tricky task of managing many unique political factors that affect their everyday business operations. One of these major political components that heavily influences the day to day running of the organisation comes in the form of natural assurance laws. These specific laws compel companies to comply with all the government requirements. Another imperative law that Lidl must abide by is the UK government vitality advance for innovative work of retail products. With the sheer political anarchy that the UK is currently going through at this moment in time Brexit negotiations and the legal trading aspects surrounding it are another external component that Lidl must carefully juggle. According to Mintel, following the Brexit vote, political and economic volatility and uncertainty are widespread across consumer markets with the BPC market which Lidl operate in no exception. While changes to laws and regulations will affect business operations and brand practices, consumers already report that they are feeling the impact of the UKâ€™s divorce with the EU. This is likely to result in BPC companies facing challenges following the changes in legislations, while consumers are likely to feel the impact of Brexit on their disposable income. With potentially limited spending money the BPC market might note fluctuations in retail value across various segments. As a result of the instability, over 40% of Irish consumers are unsure how Brexit will affect their finances, with a quarter of NI consumers worrying about the future. Only a fifth of NI consumers believe that their personal situation may improve. In addition Lidl uses economic internal and external factors.
The war for talent Attracting and retaining organisational commitment Time has changed the way organisations operate today. Contemporary organisations not only need to compete for reputation and tangible organisational resources, but also need to participate in the war for talent (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002). Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) described the war for talent as competing for talented and skilled workers by attracting them to work for the organisation as well as retaining their loyalty. Hence, this paper will centre around three human resource management (HRM) strategies, that is, attraction, motivation, and retention. These strategies are important because they help organisations to gain competitive advantage (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002; Global Reporting Initiative 2002; Jensen 2005). Competitive advantage refers to an organisation maximising its strengths as a method to compete in the marketplace (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002) which consists of cost leadership and differentiation in products and services (Global Reporting Initiative 2002). Organisations can win the war for talent and hence increase their competitive advantage by creating and maintaining loyalty within organisations, albeit sometimes requiring considerable investment, effort, and commitment to overcome obstacles. This discussion will demonstrate that HRM performs more than administrative duties and plays a vital role in determining an organisations success. Examples of organisations successes in attracting, motivating, and retaining employees will be illustrated throughout the discussion. This essay concludes with an analysis of the skills HR managers need to become an organisations strategic partner. Attracting staff into an organisation is one of the main HR activities and is usually the first step towards acquiring skilled employees or talent to build competitive advantage (Holland, Sheehan De Cieri 2007). The relationship between employee attraction and organisational factors can be perceived through the workplace attraction model developed by Amundson (2007). In developing his model, Amundson (2007, p. 161) reviewed different approaches and identified ten attractors that appeared to heavily influence workplace attraction; security, location, relationships, recognition, contribution, work fit, flexibility, learning, responsibility, and innovation. Amundson (2007) drew meaning of attractors from Bright and Pryors (2005) chaos theory of careers whereby career behaviour needs are mostly understood in relation to uncertainty, adaptability, possibility, ongoing change, and predictability (p. 156). Amundson (2007) also espoused that the impact of each attractor differs for everyone and can change with time. In addition, there are basic guides that encourage behaviour on one hand and limits on the other (Bright Pryor 2005). Consequently, it is important for organisations to actively motivate and retain employees once they become part of the organisation since attracting factors vary according to individuals needs, desires, and circumstances. Kimberly-Clark runs on the values of care and innovation from its brands to the way it treats its employees, customers, community, and the environment (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). This is demonstrated with its Employee Participation Program in which it enables and supports the contributions of employees to any cause or community organisation of their choice (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). For example, all employees are allowed to take a paid working day off in a year to volunteer at the charity of their choice (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). Furthermore, the employees contributions are acknowledged with an award (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). Kimberly-Clark also emphasises its dedication towards employee training and development, as well as safety and wellbeing. This commitment has led to the reduction of reported injuries by 30 per cent in 2008 (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). Overall, it appears that Kimberly-Clark corresponds to Amundsons (2007) attractors which would in turn invite skilled workers to be part of the organisation. Kimberly-Clarks motto of care would also attract people who hold the same values and consequently, be motivated to strengthen and maintain its reputation as a company that cares. Accordingly, organisations can win the war for talent with investment, effort, and commitment and thus, increase its competitive advantage. In order to gain competitive advantage, organisations need to attract intellectual capital to ensure sustainability (Earle 2003). Sustainability refers to the capacity for organisations to survive and be successful in a dynamic and competitive environment (Global Reporting Initiative 2002). It also includes policies and practices of attracting, motivating, and retaining employees (Earle 2003; Global Reporting Initiative 2002; Holland, Sheehan De Cieri 2007). Sustainability is significant as people are unique. They create growth in the organisation by bringing distinctive knowledge, skills, and experience into the organisation (Amundson 2007; Harell Daim 2010; Ramlall 2004) which further contributes to organisational value and enhanced performance. To illustrate the argument above, St. George Bank, as part of the members of Australias leading Retail and Business Banking brands (St. George Bank n.d.) has proved its sustainability by winning numerous awards and recognition, including participating in the 2008 Family Friendly Employer of Choice program to appreciate family friendly practices and diversity; as well as being the winner of the Australian HR Awards 2007 Employer of Choice (St. George Bank n.d.). These awards also resemble Amundsons (2007) relationships, recognition, and contribution attractors which could then serve as an encouragement for people to work at St. George Bank. Furthermore, these attractors have the ability to create and maintain loyalty towards the bank. Organisations are required to actively seek talented employees due to the challenge of globalisation. This is because in order to survive, more markets are internationalised to compete both locally and internationally (De Cieri et al. 2008; Jorgensen Taylor 2008; Ma Trigo 2008). Besides this, multinational enterprises face the challenge of managing the global workforce mobility due to the international assignments of its employees (De Cieri et al. 2008), which usually involves a significant amount of investment (Dowling, Festing Allen D. Engle 2008). Subsequently, the result of having an increased global human capital movement increases competition for skilled employees (Earle 2003; Jorgensen Taylor 2008; Ramlall 2004). Therefore, there is a need for organisations to actively implement strategies to attract and retain skilled employees. Organisations are also competing to attract skilled employees because of critical skill shortages (Amundson 2007; Holland, Sheehan Cieri 2006; Holland, Sheehan De Cieri 2007; Hunt Rasmussen 2007; Jorgensen Taylor 2008; Ma Trigo 2008). Skill shortages are intensified due to an increase in the ageing population, which is characterised by increased longevity and lower birth rates (Australian Bureau Of Statistics 2007; De Cieri et al. 2008; Jorgensen Taylor 2008; Office for an ageing Australia 2001). Hence, the issue of skill shortages becomes more prominent as the ageing population retire (Ruch 2000). Subsequently, organisations that also attempt to attract the ageing population indirectly create a diverse workforce (Erickson 2010; Jorgensen Taylor 2008). As a result, organisations can win the war for talent as numerous research suggests that diversity within organisations leads to competitive advantage (e.g., Henry Evans 2007; Kochan et al. 2003; Riach 2009). This is because different groups bring different knowledge and experience into the organisation, which consecutively creates richer intellectual resources. Three complementary employee retention models are briefly mentioned. The first is the matching model; a form of employee selection approach where both the company and applicant tries to mirror the requirements, interests, and principles of the other (March Simon 1958, cited in Samson Daft 2005). Second is the goodness-of-fit model that concurrently considers individual and contextual factors (Latham Pinder 2005). Finally, the career decision-making model considers internal and external factors that impact upon peoples career decisions (Parsons 1909, cited in Hartung Blustein 2002). These models also complement Amundsons (2007) attraction model that was previously discussed. Consequently, it is advantageous that organisations recognise individuals appealing factors so that HRM can devise attracting strategies and policies to invite and maintain talent in the workplace. Organisations need to proactively retain its employees to prevent voluntary turnover because significant expenses are associated with its loss (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Garger 1999). The Diversity Dividend (2002, cited in Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.) reported that each employees departure costs organisations between 90 and 2000 per cent of an employees yearly salary. Moreover, recruiting and retraining new employees costs money and time (Brundage Koziel 2010; Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Peterson 2005). Furthermore, losing talent equates to losing knowledge since employees have unique talent (Amundson 2007; Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Ramlall 2004), as previously discussed. Additionally, company targets are not achieved (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Garger 1999), the remaining employees productivity and morale are affected (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Garger 1999; Hunt Rasmussen 2007), and the organisations reputation might be jeopardised (Garger 1999). Wal-Mart has successfully demonstrated effective retention strategies through its beliefs of getting, keeping, and growing good people, amongst other HR strategies (Peterson 2005). Value is placed upon knowing a person during the recruiting process so that the applicant and organisation can determine a match of needs, interests, and values. This corresponds to the matching model (March Simon 1958, cited in Samson Daft 2005) and goodness-of-fit model (Latham Pinder 2005). Managers are involved in the orientation programs so that a good working relationship is built (Garger 1999; Peterson 2005). Successively, employees can feel connected towards the organisation and feel secure in voicing out grievances (Peterson 2005). Besides that, clarification of goals and paths within the organisation are established from the beginning (Garger 1999; Peterson 2005). Furthermore, strong leadership is emphasised in Wal-Mart since leaders become a role model for the employees (Garger 1999; Peterson 2005). With these, Wal-Mart has illustrated organisational commitment towards its employees, and is likewise rewarded with loyalty from its staff. While there are various strategies available for organisations to improve employee motivation, it is valuable for HR managers to ground them from motivation theories so that they can be more efficient (Ramlall 2004). Since numerous motivation theories can be applied to employee attraction and retention; and since theories of attraction, motivation, and retention complement each other in winning the war for talent, this essay will mention a synthesised model; Jeffries and Huntes (2004) extension of Lockes motivational sequence (1991). This is because the model connects key motivation theories into a successive structure to illustrate individuals motivational drivers (1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004). Amongst the theories included are Maslows (1970) Hierarchy of Needs to represent the antecedents of values and desires (Locke 1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004); Adams (1963) Equity Theory to illustrate individuals value-driven choices and actions (Locke 1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004); Banduras (1986) Social Cognitive Theory that states performance is determined by direct, immediate purposes and a sense of efficiency (Locke 1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004); and Hackman and Oldhams (1980) Job Characteristics Theory where work performance determines job satisfaction (Locke 1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004). Jeffries and Hunte (2004) introduced the role of intermediaries in which appropriate interventions can have influential factors on individuals. A synthesised motivational model is also relevant because organisations usually use more than one approach in motivating and retaining employees (e.g., Wal-Mart, in Peterson 2005), although they may not be grounded on theory (Ramlall 2004). Additionally, researchers have warned of the dangers for managers to generalise a theory because this could jeopardise their employees motivation aside from their career (Harell Daim 2010). As mentioned earlier, one of the consequences of staff turnover is the loss of motivation and productivity amongst the remaining employees (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency n.d.; Garger 1999; Hunt Rasmussen 2007). In addition, overall productivity decreases with the use of new, inexperienced staff (Smith et al. 2004). Therefore, motivating employees could prevent or at least reduce turnover intention (Ma Trigo 2008) and simultaneously improve productivity (Hunt Rasmussen 2007). In turn, organisations can prevent major expenses related to innovation, production, and quality (Harell Daim 2010) and create a high-performance workforce (Jensen 2005). A classical strategy to attract, motivate, and retain talent is by offering financial rewards, such as high wages and profit sharing (e.g., Ma Trigo 2008; Ramlall 2004; Smith et al. 2004). Besides that, some organisations also practice salary increments whereby wage increases according to tenure (Ramlall 2004; Smith et al. 2004). An extensive study conducted by Chew and Girardi (2008) particularly draws attention to the suggestion that wage is one of three strategic methods of motivating and retaining employees. The researchers believe that financial rewards are one of the most important factors that lead to organisational commitment, which subsequently, results in retention (Chew Girardi 2008). Other forms of financial incentives include loyalty bonuses (Smith et al. 2004) and performance-based bonuses that is determined by the employees financial objectives and individual accomplishments, as well as the organisations performance (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002; Brundage Koziel 2010; Gullickson Gunn 2003; Smith et al. 2004; Ma Trigo 2008). Thorough investigations conducted revealed that these strategies aid employee motivation because they are regarded as the managements form of recognition and appreciation (Chew Girardi 2008; Harell Daim 2010). Thus, organisations can succeed in motivating and retaining employees, although it involves great financial investments. While financial rewards seem to be an evident strategy of attracting, motivating, and retaining talent, the use of non-financial rewards succeed equally well. Organisations can recognise employees efforts by honouring them with reputation and awards (Hunt Rasmussen 2007), such as commonly practiced in the advertising field (Medcalf 2008) and as demonstrated by Kimberly-Clark. Therefore, as Adams (1963) Equity Theory suggests, when employees feel that their management recognises their efforts, they would feel more motivated and hence remain in the organisation. Financial and non-financial rewards can also be associated together such as during an awards-giving ceremony. Aside from those, organisations can attract, motivate, and retain employees with the use of perks such as employment benefit packages (e.g., car, phone, insurance, and holidays) and the physical environment (Earle 2003). Earle (2003) noted that organisations that usually gain recognition in Fortune Magazines 100 Best Companies to work for (p. 252) are the ones that offers perks to improve employees quality of life. She noted that the top ten listed companies offered practical facilities, such as health-related and family friendly amenities. Therefore, while organisations can win the war for talent by investing in various tangible and non-tangible perks, investing in perks that directly improves employees well-being is more effective. Moreover, when an individuals well-being is increased, turnover due to poor health is likely to decrease (Jorgensen Taylor 2008). Organisations that strive to create a corporate identity are often well rewarded with talented employees (Earle 2003; Hunt Rasmussen 2007). This is because the brand or reputation of the organisation tends to reflect employees sense of identity (Earle 2003). Successively, organisations can work towards achieving the title Employer of Choice that further attracts, motivates, and retains employees (Ruch 2000). Kimberly-Clark has won the Federal Governments Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA)s Employer of Choice for Women award several times (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). It is necessary for organisations to fulfil stringent criteria in order to receive this recognition (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). Kimberly-Clark was recognised because it offered mothers paid maternity leave and flexibility in arranging work (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). For instance, they could work from home or work on a part-time schedule (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). Flexible work arrangements are significant especially for females who may be caring for others or want to coincide work with school hours (Wrekin Council 1997, cited in Smith et al. 2004). Additionally, flexible working arrangements can draw females into employment (Earle 2003; Wrekin Council 1997, cited in Smith et al. 2004) while retaining valuable employees (Earle 2003). As demonstrated, flexible work arrangements appear to be an important factor in attracting, motivating, and retaining employees. Recent research suggests that employees prefer flexibility (Jorgensen Taylor 2008) because it can contribute to work-life balance (Earle 2003; Hunt Rasmussen 2007; Holland, Sheehan De Cieri 2007). Furthermore, this practice promotes the retention and re-engagement of the more experienced, older workers (Holland, Sheehan De Cieri 2007). Earle (2003) noted that Baby Boomers who are offered more flexibility and autonomy to balance their professional and private lives are more open to work in a different and possibly, less comfortable environment. Consequently, as diversity, knowledge, and experience are maintained, organisations can win the war for talent and increase its competitive advantage. Organisations can also provide other variations of flexibility and work-life balance such as flexi time, job sharing, unpaid leave, and the ability to telecommute (Earle 2003). Earle (2003) notes that there are people who highly value the ability to control their own work schedule. Therefore, they would determine their own work datelines or even only work on certain days (Earle 2003). She also notes that some employees prefer to telecommute because it is more convenient and they can save on travelling time (Earle 2003). Thus, organisations can win the war for talent by attracting skilled workers who may happen to live a distance away or find travelling difficult. Meanwhile, these strategies can motivate and retain existing employees because there is less organisational pressure and demand. Organisations can increase its competitive advantage by being familiar with generational differences because their formative years shape much of their values, needs, and expectations (Earle 2003; Erickson 2010). Nevertheless, each generation would also require different needs and wants according to their stages of life (Earle 2003). This reflects Amundsons (2007) attraction theory, Bright and Pryors (2005) chaos theory of careers, as well as Jeffries and Huntes (2004) extension of Lockes motivational sequence (1991). Therefore, different attractors and motivators apply when recruiting, motivating, and retaining them (Jeffries Hunte 2004; Lancaster Stillman 2002, cited in Jorgensen Taylor 2008). It is useful for HR managers to consider that they are also hiring attitudes besides expertise (Ruch 2000). It is documented that Baby Boomers generally favour a stable and peaceful working environment (Earle 2003), appreciate longer time lines to complete the assignment, prefer to be involved in consensus building, and participate in management activities (Jeffries Hunte 2004). Nevertheless, they are willing to endure less than optimal conditions if they are highly compensated and are provided with good health plans (Earle 2003). Besides that, organisations could make necessary adjustments and involve Baby Boomers in management. These benefits the organisations since older workers tend to have more knowledge, skills, and experience, and are aware of the organisations goals and processes (Earle 2003). While Baby Boomers tend to be loyal towards their employer (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004), adjusting to their needs further strengthens their commitment. On the other hand, Generation X are comfortable with ongoing changes surrounding their job and environment (Earle 2003). They prefer to work in empowered teams, but will only put in as much effort to what is appreciated by the organisation (Earle 2003; Ruch 2000). This corresponds to Adams (1963) Equity Theory. In addition, Generation X places a lot of emphasis on work-life balance (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004; Ruch 2000). Therefore, flexibility and recognition plays an even bigger role in attracting, motivating, and retaining them (Earle 2003; Ruch 2000). In fact, they are willing to receive lower wages in exchange for flexible work arrangements (Earle 2003). Therefore, in order to gain competitive advantage, organisations need to adapt to the working styles of Generation X as the older generation retires (Ruch 2000). Finally, Generation Y are more ethically diverse (Howe Strauss 2000, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004). Consequently, they tend to be more selective with their work places and are more apt to leave the organisation if they perceive it as meaningless (Earle 2003). They value factors such as training and development, recognition, innovation, relations, consistent and timely feedback, and a positive working environment (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004). Generation Y also welcomes new challenges in their work (Earle 2003). Hence, in order to attract, motivate, and retain Generation Y, organisations need to invest a considerable amount of time, effort, and commitment to comply to the factors above as well as to establish their company image as one that is worth working for. A good example of this is Kimberly-Clark, which this essay has illustrated several times. Moreover, Generation Y grew up in a time of technology advancement (Jeffries Hunte 2004) which enables anyone to research a particular employer at any given time. Henceforth, upon winning the war for Generation Y talent, organisations can increase its competitive advantage since Generation Y will create the bulk of the workforce in the near future (Earle 2003). This essay has discussed some strategies organisations can implement to attract, motivate, and retain skilled workers. Organisations can be successful in winning the war for talent through the role of its HRM to devise strategies that will contribute to employee satisfaction (Jeffries Hunte 2004). Nonetheless, in order to achieve this, organisations need to regard HR managers as strategic partners (De Cieri et al. 2008). This is because employees are less likely to resign if the management system is good (Ma Trigo 2008). Consecutively, an increase in job satisfaction will lead to an increase in affective commitment and hence, more success in talent retention (Ma Trigo 2008). Despite HRMs recognition of the importance of attracting, motivating, and retaining skilled employees, many fail to focus on these, focusing instead on administrative tasks (Jensen 2005). Furthermore, whilst HR managers may recognise the different strategies available to win the war for talent, it is futile if they are not utilised appropriately. One way of overcoming this is by using information technology (IT; Jensen 2005). For example, Delaware Investments outsources administrative work via technology to alleviate administrative time in order to focus on strategic human resource management (SHRM; Jensen 2005). Besides that, to maintain employee relations, Delaware Investments uses IT to help deliver messages efficiently and in a timely manner, especially those that would have a big impact on employees such as major organisational changes (Jensen 2005). Effective SHRM needs to be based on research, theoretical models, and information received from exit interviews (Garger 1999). It also needs to begin from the stages of selection and orientation so that organisations can determine the right people to hire (Garger 1999). Wal-Mart (Peterson 2005) demonstrated this with the practice of getting to know applicants before hiring. As cited, this relates to the matching model (March Simon 1958, cited in Samson Daft 2005) and goodness-of-fit model (Latham Pinder 2005). It is important for organisations to provide offers and values that are consistent with their advertisements during recruitment. Otherwise, motivating and retaining talent will be more challenging, if not failed, because the employees would leave for other organisations that provide better compensation and matching principles (Terjesen Frey 2008). This reflects Parsons (1909, cited in Hartung Blustein 2002) career-decision making model. Another method of achieving SHRM is by tailoring strategies according to the factors that each generation favours more, such as training and development, motivational factors, and compensation. For example, Generations X and Y appreciate constant feedback and evaluation (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004). Therefore, a strategic method to motivate and retain them would be to develop a comprehensive learning and development module that fulfils their learning goals (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004). Nonetheless, Jeffries and Hunte (2004) noted the irony that the additional skills would prepare the employees to leave the organisation for a different one. Therefore, an approach to overcome this effect is by developing a personal retention plan for individual employees such as flexible work arrangements, as discussed earlier, as well as developing goals surrounding approaching organisational opportunities (such as Wal-Mart). Targeted retention policies that are relevant include setting manageable jobs and expectations, providing career management, promoting good communication within the organisation, offering flexibility to achieve work-life balance, stating clear goals, and mentoring (Ruch 2000). In addition, since Generations X and Y seek challenges and prefer to work in teams (Earle 2003; Jeffries Hunte 2004), management could develop projects which requires an amalgamation of knowledge, skills, and experience of the generations. Organisations that maximises its employees resources tend to achieve competitive advantage (Jeffries Hunte 2004). An exemplary organisation previously cited is again, Kimberly-Clark. It is also worth noting that Kimberly-Clark has a dedicated HR team that works towards informing organisational strategy (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide 2009). This essay acknowledges Jeffries and Huntes (2004) extension of Lockes motivational sequence (1991) because the model connects key motivation theories into a successive structure to illustrate individuals motivational drivers (1991, cited in Jeffries Hunte 2004). In addition, the authors considered generational differences as one of the intermediaries that can influence interventions (Jeffries Hunte 2004). Thus, HRM can carefully formulate attracting, motivating, and retaining strategies following this synthesis. For example, HRM needs to consider the provision of recognition and health-related benefits to Baby Boomers (Jeffries Hunte 2004) while focusing more on learning and development for Generations X and Y (Jeffries Hunte 2004). Besides being highly proficient in the business strategy and being able to lead, HR managers need to be skilled in networking to obtain and share knowledge in order to be an efficient strategic partner in the organisation (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002). Thus, HR executives need to be able to communicate with the employees and be on the same wavelength in order to meet the employees needs (Harell Daim 2010). Subsequently, it is imperative that HR executives follow up on the feedback in a timely manner (Harell Daim 2010) to prevent the loss of employee confidence in the organisation. Additionally, HR managers need to understand that a wide combination of strategies is involved when attracting, motivating, and retaining talent. It is insufficient to only utilise a few convenient strategies and anticipate employee retention. It is also vital that HR managers regard employees as partners of the organisation and compensate them alike other stakeholders (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002). Smith et al. (2004) documented two transnational Japanese manufacturing plants in Britain that consistently experienced high employee turnover. They attributed this to company paternalism while acknowledging its HRMs role in minimising production disruption. Nevertheless, the strategies only focused on wage, careful employee selection, and job routinisation (Smith et al. 2004). Therefore, motivating and retaining employees greatly depends on the factors that employees value, as well as the organisations response to them (Dolea, Stormont Braichet 2010). Furthermore, HR managers need to understand that financial incentives programmes alone are not the basis of attracting, motivating, and retaining employees since employees who were initially drawn by an offer that pays well will usually leave for a different organisation that pays better (Bartlett Ghoshal 2002). It is important that HR managers understand this phenomena because it is common for policy-makers to use finance as an immediate boost when faced with a lack of human capital (Dolea, Stormont Braichet 2010). Clearly, competitive challenges like globalisation and skill shortages have contributed to a spirited war for talent. Adding to these is the challenge of satisfying the demands of different generations. Various literatures have documented the trend that parallels the views presented by Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002). This essay has explored strategies that HRM can adopt to attract, motivate, and retain talent in order to gain competitive advantage. Nonetheless, there is recognition that some strategies would require considerable investment, effort, and commitment to surmount the competitive challenges. This essay has also highlighted that HRM is an integral part to an organisations success. A review of selected models has been presented to guide organisational strategic planning to win the war for talent. In addition, this essay has identified several organisations accomplishments in attracting, motivating, and retaining skilled workers. Finally, this essay indicated the competencies HR executives require to become an organisations strategic partner. This essay closes with a reiteration that organisations can create and maintain commitment.