Table of Contents Research Proposal Memo Introduction of Company Mission and Vision of the company HR Forecasting and Succession Planning Diversity initiatives Training and development Compensation and benefits Corrective action and discipline Turnover issues S. W. O. T Analysis Conclusion/Recommendation To: Professor Steven Cates, GB 520 class, and To Whom It May Concern Date: 3-20-2009 Re: Wal-Mart: Human Resources Project Proposal For this course project I have chosen a company that I am very familiar with and have first hand knowledge of, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
My plans for this project are to first gather information concerning Wal-Mart’s human resource practices, policies, and functions by using my access as an Assistant Manager to research materials. Through my gathering of information I will analyze this company’s human resources as a whole using the SWOT analysis method (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and give a recommendation on their overall Human Resource Management. Introduction of the Company Wal-Mart is currently named #1 on the Fortune 500 as well as other prominent lists of prosperous companies, but it was not always that way.
Wal-Mart began in 1950 when a young man by the name of Sam Walton opened the first “Walton’s 5 & 10,” which was renamed to Wal-Mart in 1962 by his assistant at the time, Bob Bogle. (www. wikipedia. com) Wal-Mart is the “world’s largest retailer with $374. 526 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2008. ” (www. walmartstores. com) According to the company website they have more than 7000 locations with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. (www. walmartstores. om) Wal-Mart Stores employs more than two million associates worldwide; this includes more than 1. 4 million in the United States alone according to the company’s corporate fact sheet. Wal-Mart’s Mission and Vision Wal-Mart has a simple purpose.
It is not fancy or dressed up, and it appeals to all mankind whose individual purpose is to make the most out of life with what they have. According to www. walmartstores. com, Mr. Sam Walton said it best, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life. This translates into the sole purpose of Wal-Mart; “Save Money, Live Better. ” According to the website, this was Mr. Walton’s goal from the very beginning. In my opinion, it may sound corny, but in most instances with Wal-Mart’s convenience and variety of products/services to buy, it makes all the sense in the world. HR Forecasting and Succession Planning In this day and time, it is important for all companies to be equipped with a strong Manpower Forecasting system, and a solid succession plan.
By having both of these items in place, not only can that company maintain a solid system of scheduling for their employees, but when the inevitable comes, that company will already be prepared to venture on with business as usual. In this analysis, we will look at how Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. works with their scheduling system in forecasting schedules for over 2 million associates weekly as well as how in 2005 a shuffling of their top executives made even the almighty Wal-Mart consider having a solid succession plan. According to the dictionary at www. net. com, Manpower Forecasting is “the prediction of future levels of demand for, and supply of, workers and skills at organizational, regional, or national level. ” This concept is important for all companies because in order to run the business to its full potential, there must be a systematic way of predicting and scheduling the employees.
According to Wikipedia, the concept of business succession planning “involves planning for the smooth continuation and success of a business which depends greatly on the availability of competent people. Wal-Mart: Manpower Forecasting Analysis As an Assistant Manager, I am familiar with scheduling/forecasting, and I am also familiar with how Wal-Mart forecasts their need for their employees. It all starts with the “availability” of an associate. This is where an associate to write down what hours they are available and which ones they are not. Once this information is placed into the scheduling system, the system will automatically schedule that associate days and times to work within that parameter.
By allowing the associate to state this information upfront, they are able to meet the needs of their family, education, or secondary job needs without confusion down the road. Now this is not to say that the associate will get to work a luxury schedule of their choosing, because there are other factors that play a role in the Manpower Forecasting. According to www. walmartstores. com, the main goal of their scheduling/forecasting system is “to ensure that we have the correct number of associates in our stores needed to serve the customers shopping which we believe results in better customer service hour by hour. In order to accomplish this goal, their new scheduling system which was instituted in January 2006 put in place to create schedules that meet two requirements “they will better match customer traffic demands, and their schedules will be more consistent week to week because we can more accurately forecast customer hour by hour, thus giving our associates predictability to help plan their lives away from work. (www. walmartstores. com) This system was implemented with a lot of communication and training for managers as well as associates to help in the transition. This system has proven effective in my opinion because it has greatly reduced the amount of time that it takes to work on schedules. Wal-Mart: Succession Planning In order to sustain a business, there must be longevity.
The concept of succession planning is extremely important to companies because even though longevity is greatly desired, if the leader retires or dies, a large level of chaos and uncertainty sets in and without the right people in place to carry on and keep the business operations going as they should, it is likely that the business will struggle, they will lose profits, opinions will clash, and it is in evident that the company as a whole will fall.
The number one thing that all companies need to have in place is knowledge and experience. These will be two key elements that will aid in the succession of a new leader(s) to take over a company’s operations. By having people in place that know the business very well, it makes for an easier transition from one leader to another. According to Mire Troy at www. findarticles. com, during 2005 when former president and CEO of Wal-Mart International John Menzer and former president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s U. S.
Stores division Mike Duke were both given the title of vice chairman, they actually switched jobs which put both of them in a position to succeed Lee Scott as president and CEO. (Troy, 2005) Who knew that 3 years later the inevitable would happen? Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. decided to retire and “go out with a bang. ” It was his opinion that he leave while the company was still doing well. His successor turned out to be Mike Duke who as of January 2009, the new President and CEO.
When the news was filtered down to me and other associates on store-level, the transition came quickly and was completely harmless. Wal-Mart as a whole can be seen as a lot of things as the internet clearly fabricate, but when it comes down to scheduling/forecasting as well as being prepared with a succession plan, they are at the top of their game. Diversity Initiatives When one thinks of diversity, they think about race, gender, age, national origin. These are indeed different aspects of diversity, but there are so many more.
Aspects such as geographic location, sexual orientation, physical ability, marital status and others make up the diversity of not just individuals, but of this entire nation. According to the Wal-Mart Wire, “At Wal-Mart “diversity” means respect, equality, opportunity, cultural exploration, growth, fair treatment and understanding. ” This goes back to the 3 beliefs that were instituted by Mr. Walton in the earlier days of Wal-Mart. They are: • Respect for the Individual • Service to Our Customers • Strive for Excellence
Everybody matters at Wal-Mart, from the cart pusher outside to the CEO at the Home Office. Wal-Mart has always been considered a diverse company. For example, one of our top Vice-Presidents is Cuban. His name is Eduardo Castro-Wright. This company is a melting pot of all kinds of races, creeds and nationalities. That is why Wal-Mart tries to celebrate and recognize each one. There is a National Hispanic Month that Wal-Mart celebrates by highlighting foods from that culture that are sold in the stores.
There is also literature that is available to help others understand and appreciate the Spanish culture. This type of thing is not just limited to a few majorly known cultures, but it is seen all over the world where a store is located. As the old saying goes, “You can’t throw a rock without hitting a Wal-Mart these days. ” This is true. For example, even in areas where the Amish community is prevalent, there are wide, extended parking spaces for the horse and buggies that they use to travel in to be parked into.
Whatever culture, whatever area of the globe, Wal-Mart is there highlighting the food and culture of that area. The diversity does not stop here. Even on a management level the concept of Diversity is considered to be very important. All managers are required to participate in at least one diversity event every year. Training & Development Training and Development are key elements in an organization’s overall performance. In order for employees to be trained and developed, they must learn.
According to Jeffrey Mello, “learning implies ongoing development and continuously adding to employees skills and knowledge to meet the challenges the organization faces from its external environment. ” (Mello, 2006) The process of training and development begins at the point of hire. New employees are considered to be “balls of clay” just waiting to be molded into the ultimate employee; one who is punctual, self-driven, has a good academic skill set, good character, good judgment, and a good work ethic. Wal-Mart has been known amongst all major retailers as a company with really good training programs overall.
From my access as an Assistant Manager I was able to research Wal-Mart’s training and development programs from a first-hand perspective. Computer-Based Learning (CBL’s) This type of training is part of the first line of training that an employee (known in Wal-Mart as “associates”) will receive. It includes going through computer modules that teach, train, and develop them in the basic skills that are needed to execute the job that they have been placed in as well as regulations and policies that are important for their overall workplace education.
Wal-Mart Television In every store location, there is a live feed that broadcasts Wal-Mart Television, an internal broadcast that comes direct from the Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas. It shows informational programs that guide associates in such areas as product information, department information and changes, as well as supplemental information such as Spanish lessons to help associates become well-rounded as well as aid them in better customer service with people of Hispanic origin. Tire Lube Express (Automotive Department) |Technician training/ certification | |Pharmacy |Technician training/ certification | |Photo Center |Technician/Specialist training | |Electronics |Product info. omputer training (Cyberscholar) | |Vision Center |Opportunity to become licensed optician | |Assistant Manager |17 week in-store training program | |Home Office training |Representatives go all over training on new initiatives and programs. | Area-specific training guides
These guides are the backbone of every department in the store. They contain area-specific information in the how-to of everything that goes on in the different departments. Since no one can remember everything, these guides can be seen as a “bible” for all associates in their departments. Area-specific job-training plans When an associate is hired, they receive a training plan of their own that is their responsibility to complete; sometimes within the first ninety days of employment. This chart breaks down the training plans by department: Wal-Mart University
Wal-Mart University is a new initiative that was instituted “to transform the development opportunities offered to Wal-Mart’s Associates to better prepare them for success, thereby driving company performance. ” (Wal-Mart Wire, 2009) This type of training and development is rooted in the foundational 3 beliefs of Wal-Mart that were originally instituted by founder Sam Walton from the very beginning of the company. They are: Customer Service, Strive for Excellence, and Respect for the Individual. Wal-Mart University is one of the most innovative, and newest creation of
Wal-Mart’s Training and Development. It not only exists physically on the Home Office grounds, but it exists on the company intranet known as the “WIRE. ” This allows associates to learn new skills without having to leave the job. It is my opinion that Training and Development are key elements to the success of this company. Even Sam Walton himself went to other retailers and learned as much as he could to create the empire that you see today. Compensation and Benefits Ask the average working American why they go to work everyday and they will probably tell you that the paycheck is their driving force.
In more formal terms, it is called compensation. According to www. compensationframework. com, the word compensation is defined as “may be in the form of financial returns, tangible services, and benefits received by employees as part of their employment. It does not include other forms of rewards such as recognition and interpersonal relationships etc. ” All companies have different systems that they work by to pay their employees. According to www. totalqualitymanagement. wordpress. com, the traditional compensation system is based on: • Pay for performance Pay for responsibility (a job description) This is a basic formula for how most companies pay their employees. In the case of Wal-Mart, this is no different. It is recorded that Wal-Mart’s compensation to its associates totaled more than $5. 2 billion dollars in 2008. (www. walmartstores. com) The company feels that compensation is more that just a paycheck. They believe in giving all of their associates the opportunity to obtain bonuses as well as incentive programs to entice productivity. They even have incentives for simple things like working on Sundays.
If you work on a Sunday, you are entitled to a $1. 00 increase in your hourly pay. For example, if you make $6. 00 per hour, then when you work on Sundays, you will make $7. 00 per hour. Also, if a person works on the 3rd shift which is commonly known as “overnight” an incentive is available for those associates as well. They are paid what is called a “differential” which equals to an extra $0. 50 per hour on their regular daily pay. These incentives are in place as a way not only for recruitment purposes, but because in my opinion, it is considered a courtesy.
Most people desire to go to religious services on Sunday, and depending on the level of their religious beliefs, they see working on a Sunday as a sacrifice. This incentive to work on Sundays helps to reward their sacrifice. Also, having to work overnight is not the most popular of shifts, so the incentive to do so helps to reward their sacrifice as well. Pay incentives such as these have been going on in Wal-Mart since 1991. For long-term associates, if they were hired before 1991, they are paid time and one-half.
They also get to keep a lifetime associate discount, which is the standard 10% off of most items in the store that all associates get. The benefits are endless with Wal-Mart. Here is a brief list from www. walmartbenefits. com: Medical Plan Health Savings Accounts Pharmacy Benefit The Dental Plan COBRA / Notification of COBRA Rights Resources for Living Cancer Insurance Policy Accident Insurance Policy Company-Paid Life Insurance Optional Life Insurance Dependent Life Insurance Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Short-Term Disability Short-Term Disability Plus Long-Term Disability
Truck Driver Long-Term Disability Business Travel Accident Insurance The Associate Stock Purchase Plan The Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plan Your Associate Discounts Your Pay Programs Your Paid Time-Off When it comes to benefits, it is my conviction that Wal-Mart stands out above the rest. Other benefits that Wal-Mart provides for its associates include: • Online pay stub • Online w-2 • Associate Mortgage program • Access to company cars for sale • Access to the Emergency Operations Center in case of emergency • 10-35% off on movie tickets • Discounts on car rentals and hotels Online education discounts (Like at Kaplan University) • Online check printing • Access to the nutrition hotline • Access to the Mayo Clinic online The list goes on and on. Compensation and benefits go hand in hand at Wal-Mart. Voluntary/Involuntary Turnover & Corrective Action and Discipline Introduction It is understood that when a person breaks the rules, then there must be consequences. Whether it is getting a traffic ticket, or selling company trade secrets, there are consequences for when people break the rules, in the ordinary world as well as the business world.
According to www. wikipedia. com, employee turnover or “labor turnover” is “the rate at which an employer gains and loses employees. ” A simple way of explaining this is posing the question: “How long does an employee plan to work here? ” This website also defines the phrase corrective action as “a change implemented to address a weakness identified in a management system. ” In normal cases, corrective action is only used in the instance of a customer complaint or if an employee is not following the company rules and policies.
Employee separation policies in place for voluntary non-complaint separations Wal-Mart has an employee separation policy in place known simply as employee termination. In the instance of voluntary non-complaint separations, these tend to occur because of family issues, income issues, employees moving away, as well as employees gaining employment opportunities elsewhere. When situations like this occur, then the track record of the employee is looked at, and a decision is made to determine whether or not this employee would be eligible for rehire or not.
On the termination sheet, a box is checked either yes or no depending on the employee’s overall job performance during their time with the company. Company rules/policies about successful employment As stated above, when an employee is eligible for rehire, then they are able to wait for 90 days and apply again. When this happens, the employment record is reviewed again and depending on their eligibility, they can be rehired; not at their previous pay rate, and not at their previous position, but the opportunity to obtain employment at whatever position is available that they are most qualified for.
Company action/disciplinary system Wal-Mart’s disciplinary system is known as “Coaching for Improvement. ” (Wal-Mart Wire, 2009) This policy is not just for employee separation, but it is in place as a reminder for employees to let them know that they have gotten off track in their position, and it also gives the employee the opportunity to voice any issues they may have which may be helping to cause the imbalance in their work performance. This policy allows the manager to help the employee learn what their mistake was as well as what can be done by both parties to help correct it.
In extreme cases, this policy is used to help validate an employee separation from employment. As the employee goes from level to level in the Coaching for Improvement, they get closer and closer to employee separation or as it is called in Wal-Mart, termination. On every level of the process, the employee is made known the severity of their mistake and also how close they are to termination. Some employees use this process as a learning tool, while others see it as management “picking on them” and they are usually the ones to become terminated. Are rules consistently enforced for all?
Can anyone say truthfully that all the rules of any company are enforced for all? In my opinion, it depends on the store location and the enforcement ability of the management team in place there. People who work together cohesively and agree that all policies are to be enforced by all managers on all levels tend to have more positive results; whether it is in the consistency of the enforcement of the disciplinary action for all who break the rules, or the actual employees following the rules because of that consistency, the overall flow of that stores understanding increases.
It is understood by all that if you break the rules, you will see consequences. S. W. O. T Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) |STRENGTHS |Training & Development |HR Forecasting/Succ. Plan. | |WEAKNESSESS |Corrective Action/Discip. |Turnover Issues | |OPPORTUNITIES |Corrective Action/Discip. |Turnover Issues | |THREATS |Corrective Action/Discip. Turnover Issues | Conclusion/Recommendation It is my conclusion that while Wal-Mart has a top-level training and development program as well as good diversity initiatives, their issue comes in with turnover, corrective action, and compensation. Wal-Mart is getting to the point that they are turning employees over as fast as fast-food restaurants. Also, the corrective action is, in some locations, done by the book; while in others it is done out of the need to pick on employees.
It is my opinion as a consumer that Wal-Mart is not what Mr. Sam envisioned years ago, and if the higher-ups don’t start seeing the employees as people and not monkeys to be bossed around, things are going to go from bad to worse. The television program will have to be revised from “The Age of Wal-Mart,” to “The End of Wal-Mart. ”
Works Cited Business Net :http://dictionary. bnet. com/definition/manpower+forecasting. htmlwww. walmartstores. com Barbaro, Michael (2007) Wal-Mart Discloses Some Compensation Details. The New York Times www. compensationframework. org/index. php/resources/glossory/c/c/ Mello, Jeffrey. “Strategic Human Resource Management”(1998) Troy, M. (2005, October 10). Retrieved February 26, 2009, from www. findarticles. com: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0FNP/is_19-44/ai_n15693272 Wal-Mart Wire (company intranet) www. walmartbenefits. com. www. wikipedia. com www. totalqualitymanagement. wordpress. com ———————– Wal-Mart: A Human Resources Perspective Team X GB 520 Final Team Applied Project