Wal-Mart’s business is the result of Sam Walton’s visionary leadership, along with generations of associates whose focus was on customers and how they could save money and live better. Sam Walton believed that by putting everything a person may need in one place such as food, electronic, clothing, toys, home goods, office supplies and even automotive items would increase the amount of people that would shop and decrease the amount of different places customers would have to go for different items. Wal-Mart is the largest multinational retailer corporation that employs employees worldwide. Wal-Mart is known for their discounts and their one stop shop. This study paper will provide information on how viable employee relations’ practices have contributed to Wal-Mart’s success as an employer. It will also show how the benefits may contribute to the success of Wal-Mart’s employment practices. Lastly it will describe how the organizational culture and the use of performance criteria could affect the introduction of a union.
Explain how viable employee relations’ practices have contributed to Wal-Mart’s success as an employer. Employees and managers are charged with continuous improvement, nonstop learning, and employee ownership. Wal-Mart promotes an environment that encourages superior performance and, employee empowerment in an effort to unite employees together as a team. Wal-Mart teams are highly productive but at the same time the staffing levels are slender. HR insures employees are held accountable for keeping a poised focus on customer service, theft control, and keeping products in stock (Townsend, 2011). Wal-Mart’s spend a considerable amount of time and effort trying to make employees feel like they are a valuable part of the company by soliciting new ideas through surveys. Wal-Mart is a continuously expanding company and that is why they are constantly searching for good candidates to hire; as a result of the company’s success in America, they were able to go global with their success. Wal-Mart is always hiring worldwide as they continue to strive to be the largest most successful retail distributor. There are two ways in which Wal-Mart recruits, internal and external.
Wal-Mart’s recruitment uses both of them depending on the situation. When using external recruitment the applicants can apply in any local or foreign store or office by simply sending their resume by mail or email. Then applicants are called for an initial interview or examination depending on the position they are applying for. Wal-Mart provides an equal opportunity regardless of religion, race, gender or age. Visit the Wal-Mart employment website. Determine how the benefits may contribute to the success of Wal-Mart’s employment practices. According to the Wal-Mart employee website, Wal-Mart offers some pretty good benefits for their employees. The one that I find most impressive is that Wal-Mart offers a 401k plan with a company match. There are not a lot of companies that can and will do that in today’s economy. Along with this, Wal-Mart also offers education assistance, health care benefits, retirement plans, and training and development opportunities. Let us not forget, benefits are exactly what they are, benefits. Companies do not have to offer anything above and beyond an hourly rate or salary. However, in order to attract and maintain a high caliber staffs, benefits are not just needed, they are mandatory. One of the biggest attractors for potential employees is education assistance which Wal-Mart is a big proponent of. Wal-Mart boasts of growth and promotion from within, and helping one to obtain a degree with education assistance is definitely a way of supporting your employees (retrieved from http://walmartwatch.com).
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Along with this, Wal-Mart also provides training and development opportunities for their employees that can also help to advance their role within the company. Investing in the employee is a solid step in ensuring future leadership for the company. And with the added bonuses of a 401k plan with company match, and retirement planning, Wal-Mart is sending a message that they are not just investing in their employees here and now, but that they are also helping to invest in their down the foreseeable road futures. Describe how the organizational culture and the use of performance criteria could affect the introduction of a union. Upon reading Wal-Mart’s employees website, Wal-Mart boasts about an organizational culture based on a diversified work force that is teamwork oriented. The philosophy being, a work force that works together can get more done in less time saving on labor costs (Schein, 1992). Oddly enough, in today’s economy, every company seems to be on a slim fast diet. Companies are getting leaner, cutting the fat where ever they can.
But these leaner companies have one major drawback; current employees are being asked to do more jobs for not much more money. As employees are being asked to do more, this opens the door for errors to occur big and small. This can become a problem when an employee is due for a raise which is based on performance criteria. A performance criterion, in my opinion, is severely flawed. Performance criterion lists the basics of what is expected of you concerning your job on a daily basis, and it also has a section to pinpoint shortcomings. Herein lays the problem. Regardless of how good your performance has been over the current evaluation period, the bad will outweigh the good. More work, more responsibility; equals mediocre performance evaluation and less of a decent raise. Is this the big “GOTCHA” that companies rely on to save on labor expenses? This type of employee abuse by any company is perfect for the introduction of a union. This is the very nature as to why unions were created. Unions are to fight for the right of employees. They fight against any wrong doing being done by employers. Unions are the stabilizing factor between the employee and the employer (Richardson, 2003).
Holley, W. H., Jr., Jennings, K. M., Wolters, R. S., Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2012). Employment labor & relations. (2nd ed.). Mason, OH: South- Western Cengage Learning. Richardson, M. (2003), New Unions, New Workplaces: Strategies for Union Revival, New York, NY: Rutledge Taylor & Francis Group. Townsend, K (2011), Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations, North Hampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publication. Schein, E (1992), Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey-Bass Business& Management series), Houston, TX: Jossey-Bass Publishing. Yates, M. D (2009), Why Union Matters, New York, NY: Library of Congress Catalog-in-publication data. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from
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