Effective talent management is vital for companies operating in such tight industries as sugar-sweetened beverages production. The industry is facing considerable challenges due to the changing habits of customers and certain trends taking place in the global and local markets. The present report includes the key highlights of the steps PTP Soda Drinks needs to undertake to manage talent effectively and be competitive in the market.
Current Labor Trends
Automation is a common transformation in diverse industries on a global scale. Automation is taking place at a considerable pace, and it leads to increase salaries and working conditions in many instances, especially when trade unions are strong in a particular country or industry (Parolin, 2020). People are trying to adapt to the changing trend and invest in their training and development, obtaining new skills and gaining an education. Technology has also offered an effective solution for millions of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health-related crisis that is still shaping people’s choices and the development of industries led to an increase in the rate of employees working from home (Ding & Molina, 2020). The COVID pandemic contributed to the acceleration of the automation process.
Such countries as the USA and the UK were affected considerably, so lockdowns have been introduced for prolonged periods. Employees in these countries were asked to work from home, which gave rise to numerous changes. Organizations in these countries also started investing in staff training associated with computer skills acquisition (Ding & Molina, 2020). Kidway (2021) notes that such companies as Shell, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, and many other giants in their industries provide training on artificial intelligence to their employees. Outsourcing is becoming increasingly used in UK and US companies as they managed to develop methods to ensure security and data safety (Kidwai, 2021). Security issues were some of the typical obstacles to increasing the rate of outsourced workforce, which is not a problem for many UK and US companies at present. In the Saudi Arabian context, this trend is also apparent, which is especially true for large and multinational companies.
Other external factors, such as public views on social justice, have also had a significant impact on labor markets. For example, equality has become one of the central labor trends in recent years. One of the major issues related to this sphere is the role women play in the labor market (Klasen, 2019). In the countries of the Middle East, these concerns are also affecting the development of the labor market. Klasen (2019) notes that female participation in the labor market is beneficial for countries’ economies. However, cultural norms and regulations existing in Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, prevent women from entering the country’s labor market freely and effectively.
In such countries as the USA and the UK, companies are also trying to enhance their gender diversity. The introduction of quotas and staff development projects aimed at empowering females are some of the ways utilized to increase the rate of female employees in companies (Collins & Hutzler, 2017). Women of color are specifically vulnerable in both the United States and the UK, which is another concern of companies and governments.
Importantly, health concerns and people’s views on healthy lifestyles have a substantial effect on businesses as well. The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia introduced high taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SBB) in 2017, which led to a 50% increase in prices (Alsukait et al., 2020). The UK also has high SBB taxes aimed at reducing consumption and promoting the reformulation of the industry (Alsukait et al., 2020). These external factors made companies reconsider their strategic approaches to many areas and operations, including staffing.
These trends have an influence on the equilibrium of supply and demand, making labor markets tight or loose. Gumata and Ndou (2017) argue that a country’s labor market as a whole can hardly be referred to as tight or loose. For example, the UK and Saudi healthcare systems, as well as healthcare in other countries, tightened considerably as there has been a shortage of healthcare professionals, especially nurses (Ding & Molina, 2020). The pandemic also led to the loosening in such areas as entertainment as many businesses had to downsize due to the quarantine measures and decreasing demand for their products and services.
Automation often has multiple impacts on industries making some areas loosen while making others increasingly tight. For instance, the need for highly skilled professionals increases while the supply is still low. At the same time, the unskilled labor force is available and even excessive, so the demand is shrinking since many operations are automated. Organizations have to consider these trends and their effects on the labor market when developing their talent management strategies.
Employers have to shape their staffing policies depending on the shifts in the industry. Companies should ensure the availability of professional growth opportunities and appropriate compensation. However, governments and trade unions can also have an influence on talent planning. As mentioned above, trade unions can safeguard employees’ rights and high compensations for skilled labor (Parolin, 2020). Governments can launch programs and initiatives facilitating people’s professional growth.
For instance, the government of Saudi Arabia implements an English education policy that is instrumental in satisfying the demand for a skilled labor force (Barnawi & Al-Hawsawi, 2017). Hence, governments manage to address the imbalances in the labor market. As seen from the review of the current trends, industries also have an effect on talent planning as skilled employees with a set of qualifications and traits (problems solving skills, time management, English language proficiency, and so on) are needed.
Regarding the exact strategies and mechanisms organizations should use to remain competitive in the current situation, several major areas can be named. Further investment in staff development and training is essential; nurturing employees has proved to be an effective strategy due to organizations’ ability to make their employees more committed to organizational goals. Providing competitive salaries to manage talent is another effective instrument (Parolin, 2020). Finally, companies need to create a comfortable working environment and make sure this aspect is publicized or made visible to the target population.
Talent Management Plan
Talent Management Plan
In order to develop a talent management plan, it is important to identify the primary goals and the current challenges the company faces, analyzing the most recent gaps and their relevance. Below is the table highlighting the talent management plan for PTP Soda Drinks (see Table 1). Based on this plan, the most effective recruitment methods, as well as succession and career plans for employees, are suggested for consideration.
Table 1. Talent Management Plan
|to manage talent effectively by recruiting and retaining high-profile employees committed to achieving organizational strategic goals
|financial losses, the need to downsize, limited resources, post-pandemic economic situation, public’s health concerns, and changing consumer habits
|Gaps to address
|Risk of losing an employee due to retirement
|10% employees who are prepared and willing to replace retirees
|60% employees who are prepared and willing to replace retirees
|Stable – 90%
Career growth ambitious – 10%
|Stable – 60%
Career growth ambitious – 30%
Innovation-focused – 10%
The company will benefit from the implementation of a modified 6B’s model developed by UC Systemwide Talent Acquisition (2016). The six B’s include such steps as bind, build, bounce, buy, borrow, and balance (UC Systemwide Talent Acquisition, 2016). These six steps are instrumental in addressing the gaps highlighted in Table 1. Due to the company’s need to downsize, the focus should be on binding, meaning the retention of the most talented employees in the central positions. The best performers personally and acknowledge their potential, as well as needs and professional goals. These people should be provided with a set of career opportunities. Monetary rewards are only some of the options as recognition can take different forms (vertical or horizontal promotion, providing more opportunities and responsibilities, involvement in new projects, and offers of more flexible schedules, among others).
Building is the next measure to concentrate on when managing talent. According to UC Systemwide Talent Acquisition (2016), building is the development of the talent within the company. This step involves the provision of training to the staff, mentoring and coaching, and the use of proper knowledge sharing platforms. Some of the risks associated with this measure include poor training effectiveness, the need to invest funds and time.
Due to the need to downsize, the company should pay considerable attention to bouncing. This step stands for the removal of poor performers and unproductive roles (UC Systemwide Talent Acquisition, 2016). The introduction of clear performance standards and regular testing will help in identifying poor performers. The company should also provide opportunities to acquire new skills (reskilling). One of the pitfalls linked to this step is the low morale of employees, especially if the process is conducted in an improper manner. In order to avoid or minimize these risks, it is necessary to plan every relocation with considerable precision and communicate effectively with survivors.
Buying is also a possible option for PTP Soda Drinks, especially when it comes to high-profile professionals who achieved high results under similar circumstances. Bringing in new talent often requires a substantial investment (UC Systemwide Talent Acquisition, 2016). The negative side of this measure is a high rate of external talent that failed, and low morale among the existing employees. In order to mitigate these adverse effects, it is necessary to hire a candidate who outperforms internal employees considerably (30-40% better).
Borrowing that is associated with outsourcing is another option that can be employed. Consulting can be instrumental in identifying the existing workforce gaps and filling them. One of the major challenges related to this step is the loss of intellectual property, increasing dependence on the partner and low morale of the existing employees. However, this measure can be an opportunity to develop a network of partners. Finally, the sixth step to take is balancing, as it is important to make sure that these methods have benefits and certain downsize. So that the company could balance the five measures mentioned above, it is necessary to develop diverse scenarios and consider the corresponding benefits and associated risks.
The development of effective job descriptions, person specifications, and competency frameworks is essential for the successful recruitment process. It is possible to focus on the Marketing Specialist position to illustrate some of the aspects of appropriate areas to cover in the documents mentioned above (see Table 1.1).
Table 1.1. Marketing specialist job description, person specification, and competency framework
A set of recruitment methods should be utilized to address the needs of the company. These tools can be used for attracting both external and internal high-achievers. Networking is the central method to employ as it often needs quite limited resources but leads to high results (Taylor, 2018). The development of social links internally and externally can help in reaching the talent. Social media are the digital domain that can be utilized to recruit people. PTP Soda Drinks should also use its official website to post the corresponding advertisements and promoting its own employment brand. Although outsourcing is a possible option, this recruitment method needs additional investment, so the company may consider this option in case of emergency.
When selecting and recruiting, organizations must pay attention to the current legal aspects. For instance, for UK companies, it is critical to make sure that an applicant has the right to work in the country, as well as reside in the UK. Similar regulations exist in Saudi Arabia, so HR specialists should make sure that the candidate (mainly expatriates) has the right to work in the country. In addition, the two countries also have mandatory criminal record checks for employees, so HR managers have to address the corresponding authorities to ensure that a candidate is eligible for the position. In both countries, companies should also make sure that the applicant has the necessary qualifications and appropriate health conditions to complete the tasks.
When assessing the potential succession opportunities, it can be helpful to complete the following chart (see Table 2). The present chart includes critical areas to concentrate on when choosing the most potentially successful candidates. As mentioned above, it is necessary to determine employees’ intentions to leave (or transit to another position) on a regular basis. This information may be needed to update the succession plan.
Table 2. Succession Planning
|Number of candidates
|Director of Sales
|Director of Marketing
The development of career plans can be a part of employee development initiatives. Employees should be encouraged to work on their plans so that they remained motivated and had clear goals regarding their career paths (Taylor, 2018). Career plans should include such sections as goals, SWOT analysis, and an action plan (see Table 3). Employees should also be encouraged to review and update their plans regularly, which will enhance their motivation.
Table 3. Career Plan for a Marketing Specialist
|Improve public speaking skills
|Participate in a new project launching process
|Become visible to supervisors and top management
|Transition to the position of the Director of Marketing
|Proper knowledge of marketing strategies, considerable experience
|Strong leadership skills
|Resilient and independent
|Involvement in a limited number of product launch projects
|Company is planning to launch new products and marketing projects
|Employees’ initiatives are negotiated and can be realized
|The company’s focus on downsizing
|Deliver 3-5 presentations to colleagues
|Develop a new product launch project
|Develop a new marketing project
|Participate in meetings
It has been acknowledged that the turnover rate during the period of considerable changes taking place in organizations increases. First, downsizing is associated with substantial changes that are often seen as negative. Srivastava and Agrawal (2020) argue that the resistance to change is an antecedent to employees’ intention to quit. Employees’ turnover intention is linked to burnout that can be mitigated by organizational support (Srivastava & Agrawal, 2020). Moreover, employees can find their career prospects doubtful, so they would start looking for professional growth opportunities in other organizations.
Mentorship and support programs are instrumental in motivating employees to continue working for the company. Hence, PTP Soda Drinks should have support initiatives for its high-achieving employees and those who can potentially grow (Srivastava & Agrawal, 2020). Peer mentorship is another option that can be utilized to retain key talent in the company. Training is also an effective method to retain talent during times of uncertainty associated with turnover (Taylor, 2018). People may need to develop new skills or build resilience, which can be achieved with the help of a training program.
In addition, it is possible to consider employee empowerment as a mitigating factor. Boakye et al. (2020) state that employee empowerment had a positive relationship with employee commitment and a negative relationship with turnover intentions. Therefore, during the period of change, it is critical to ensure the availability of professional growth opportunities, especially when it comes to high-achievers (Taylor, 2018). Moreover, employees can be invited to create projects regarding the reorganizations or diverse organizational changes that could help the company address the challenges it is facing.
It is necessary to add that the strategy of downsizing chosen by the company is associated with both involuntary and voluntary turnover. Voluntary turnover is likely to be higher among the key talent who may wish to leave the company if they see no opportunities for professional growth, burnout, low morale, or fear of being fired. Involuntary turnover is “highly disruptive and very costly” and can lead to considerable losses (Hesford et al., 2016, p. 61). According to Hesford et al. (2016), the costs associated with an unskilled workforce tend to differ from the costs of skilled employee turnover. These differences may be specifically relevant in some spheres, including the beverage industry.
It is possible to evaluate the potential cost of human resources turnover. Provided, the average salary in the organization is $50,000 and the attrition rate will reach 30% this year. The approximate costs of employee turnover can reach up to $775,685, which is a considerable amount due to the overall company’s financial performance and the challenges it is facing. As far as the exact costs related to staff turnover, these include leaving, recruitment, and training costs (Taylor, 2018). In addition, costs associated with the lack of motivation and low productivity may also be significant (Taylor, 2018). Finally, the costs linked to the loss of trade secrets and other sensitive data should be considered.
AC 2.5. Advice on the key procedures and processes in regards to best practice in terms of activities that will need to be conducted during the downsizing exercise
One of the major aspects to concentrate on during the period of downsizing is communication. The process should be transparent so that the stakeholders could clearly estimate their prospects in the organization, the roles they can play, their career opportunities, as well as the future of the organization (Tran & Quach, 2017). The reasons for downsizing and procedures to be implemented should be articulated properly and timely.
Diverse procedures that are regulated by employment and labor laws should be undertaken during downsizing. These standards may differ across countries, but they are compliant with international regulations and recommendations (Collins & Hutzler, 2017). Unless the employee is fired due to violations or inability to fulfill the contract requirements, the person must be notified about their dismissal. The exact period of notice is defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996 Part IX (Section 86) (and referred to as Minimum period of notice) (“Employment Rights Act 1996,” 2021). According to the UK employment and labor legislation, an employee has the right to receive “a week’s notice per year of service” but no more than 12 weeks (Martin & Broadbent, 2020, para. 10).
In Saudi Arabia, an employee receives an employment termination notification a minimum of 60 days before the day of dismissal (Hammad, 2021). The terms of employee dismissal and the rights and responsibilities of the employer are provided in Article 83 of Labor and Workmen Law enacted in 1969 (“Labor and Workmen Law,” n.d). In Saudi Arabia, a certain compensation can be provided to the employee instead of the termination notification. In both countries, the periods of termination notification are usually set down in employment contracts.
The company should also provide the corresponding compensation to the dismissed employees. The compensation given to dismissed employees is regulated by the Employment Rights Act 1996 Part IX (Sections 120-122) (“Employment Rights Act 1996,” 2021). As far as the UK employment laws are concerned, employees should be paid no less than a basic award (approximately ₤525 week pay) that is increased depending on the years of service and some other factors (the employee’s age) (Martin & Broadbent, 2020). In Saudi Arabia, employees are usually paid an equivalent of the employee’s three-month payment (Husein et al., 2017). Articles 86-88 of the Labor and Workmen Law regulate the compensation and describe employer’s responsibilities regarding dismissal compensation (“Labor and Workmen Law,” n.d). It is noteworthy that the compensation size depends on the employee’s status (Saudi national, expatriate) and other characteristics (age, years of service).
Depending on the scale of downsizing, the company may need to implement a certain redundancy process. Companies operating in Saudi Arabia are not obliged to contact trade unions or authorities when redundancy is planned (Husein et al., 2017). In the United Kingdom, the process is regulated, and businesses must notify the corresponding trade unions and authorities a month or 45 days before the first dismissal occurs (Ornstein et al., 2017). The legislation regulating these aspects is the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 Part III (sections 161-162) (“Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992,” 2021). The period of notification depends on the scale of the redundancy with minimal requirements for a redundancy involving 20 employees. If more employees are subjected to redundancy, the notification period is increased up to 90 days. Hence, the company can consider redundancy as an option, but it is recommended to include no more than 20 people in a unit. Other recommendations that are provided below are not strictly regulated by the UK or the KSA legislation, but they do not violate any of the enacted laws or rules.
Asking for Voluntary Dismissal
It is recommended to ask employees to consider voluntary dismissal. The company should reach poor-performers and employees with doubtful prospects in the organization (Tran & Quach, 2017). In order to identify the target people, it is advisable to conduct performance research (based on KPI analysis and self-reporting) and use the software facilitating the decision-making process (Oktafianto et al., 2018). People may have the corresponding ideas, so the exit process will not be associated with serious difficulties for all stakeholders.
Early retirements can become a viable option for some employees, so the company should help employees find the optimal package. This option is associated with certain financial losses and can even lead to the loss of top talent (Hyde & Dingemans, 2017). Hence, it is critical to make sure that the most valuable employees will be retained while those who underperform could retire, but all stakeholders’ needs have to be met.
In order to avoid negative outcomes and mitigate the negative consequences of turnover, the victims of this process should be supported in different ways. In addition to the provision of the corresponding compensation, the dismissed person should receive transition assistance (Tran & Quach, 2017). Human resources professionals should provide the employee with possible employment options and educational opportunities
As mentioned above, it is also critical to support the remaining staff during the downsizing process. It is possible to launch peer support programs where employees will work on innovations and new projects. Training programs should also be offered to help the remaining staff accommodate to the new working environment (Tran & Quach, 2017). Some of these people will have to (and be willing to) take up new or more responsibilities. The company should make sure that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete new tasks. Junior staff support programs can improve the motivation of senior staff (Tran & Quach, 2017). Team-building activities should also be conducted to help employees build new social links and different types of relationships. It is vital to monitor the working atmosphere and remaining employees’ morale to address the challenges that may take place. The remaining staff should receive the information regarding the downsizing process and its benefits, as well as the company’s prospects.
- Develop a clear downsizing plan that will include a list of talent to retain and employees that can (or should) be dismissed.
- Develop retirement, dismissal, redundancy, and transition plans for those who will be dismissed.
- Articulate the upcoming changes during a general meeting with the staff and department meetings, as well as via the corporate email. The reasons for this decision should be provided openly.
- Provide detailed information to and respond to all questions of the staff (both victims and survivors).
- Notify the employees about employment termination and provide notifications to the corresponding authorities if necessary.
- Provide proper compensations to the dismissed staff.
- Offer early retirement options and voluntary layoffs if possible.
- Launch the support program for dismissed people who will be guided during their transition or exit period.
- Launch support programs for remaining employees (including but not confined to training, promotion, mentorship incentives, new projects development, and team-building activities).
- Monitor the working atmosphere and remaining employees’ morale and motivation.
In conclusion, talent management can contribute to the successful implementation of downsizing that will help the company remain competitive. The company has to address external challenges such as the COVID pandemic, consumption habit shifts, and the automation of production. New recruitment, and retention methods should be utilized to attract high-profile employees. To ensure the smooth implementation of the downsizing process, the company should have a clear plan. The major aspects to consider when creating this plan are provided in this report.
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