Wall-Mart has a lot of these things in common with Microsoft, although Wall-Mart tries to soften the low at times by cushioning their employment strategy with a discount card or special privileges. Most of the employees at Wall-Mart start at around $8. 80 an hour, but that is just the base pay. If an employee does well within the company, over time, Wall-Mart will steadily increase the employee's paycheck, depending on his or her performance of their duties that year. That is where the performance-based pay that is similar to Microsoft's strategy comes into play. If an employee does well, he or she will get a raise.
If not, then the raise will not happen. A lot of people who try to work at places like Wall-Mart expect instant gratification for their accomplishments, but they will not receive it. An employee must work hard to earn the raise given to him or her at their time of the year. In Figure 2. 8 in the text, Microsoft and AS are compared and contrasted in a compensation map. On Microsoft's side, there seems to be a very low focus on work/life balance, and the same can be said for Wall-Mart. If an employee accepts a shift at Wall- Mart, he or she had better show up, or risk being fired.
Wall-Mart is very strict in this area and does not accept a lot of excuses as far as frequent "family emergencies" or problems. From personal experience, if there is a death in the immediate family, Wall-Mart will ask for a copy of the death certificate as proof that the employee is not lying. This is a bit disturbing and could be considered offensive to some. Another mapping point from Figure 2. 8 is that Microsoft puts heavy emphasis on hierarchy. Wall-Mart and Microsoft share this part of their strategy. Wall-Mart believes that the basic employees receive Asia pay, while the managers and those on salary receive higher pay.
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However, there is a "price" to being on salary versus being an hourly employee. As an hourly employee, the shift is worked within the hours specified, and the job is done. There are no established hours for salaried managers at Wall-Mart. Some have even worked 80 hour weeks in the busy season just to try to keep up with customer satisfaction. One thing that does differ between the two compensation strategies is that Microsoft puts a medium importance to sharing group success, while Wall-Marts strategy is more about the individual.
There are really no "groups" per SE within Wall- Mart's hierarchy, just groups of employees who perform the same job. There is no focus on group success, or group incentives. There are the occasional pep talks in which the managers try to get their employees motivated, but really, the employees would rather be working than sitting in a meeting. It seems that Microsoft values group success, but it also values the individual as well, offering incentives for jobs performed. These companies seem very different from the outside, but when an inside look is taken, there are more molarities than can be seen from the outside.
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