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Wal-Mart’s Key International Human Resource Practices

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Wal-Mart is one of the leading organizations in today’s corporate world. Its progressive achievements are greatly attributed to the culture and organizational behavior assumed in the organization. One of the most valued departments is the human resource department.

Staffing and recruitment in Wal-Mart is a bit diverse. This is because, Sam Walton, the owner of Wal-Mart, believes that his employees are the most valued asset of his organization. Hence, treating them well makes them feel valued, hence, motivating them to work hard and treating the customers well. This is strategic concept since every organization must enhance employee motivation in order to ensure high productivity levels.

Sam values his staff so much that he changed his human resource department name to people department. Before Wal-Mart stores expanded to the large organization it now is, Sam used to visit the stores once a year and he would talk to his customers and staff. His employees, on the other hand, would walk to him and they would talk like they were old friends. This kind of attention and his down to earth attitude motivated the employees, and, in turn, they portrayed it to customers.  This resulted to a good public image. He treats his employees as family, which has led to increased number of employees, though there have been several law suits against Wal-Mart due to gender discrimination against women (Soderquist, 2005).

Recruitment in Wal-Mart stores is done, when new vacancies arise. For instance, in case of a death of an employee, retirement, transfers, promotion, in case there is a new store being opened, or when there is a need of new technology or talent (new breed) in the organization. In this process, senior managers are involved in identifying and hiring great talent as required by the organization. Employees normally sign a contract to agree to be ready to go for transfer in case of a promotion, which is not easy for female employees. This means the terms of employment are usually clear beforehand to employees. When a need for new employee arises advertisements are made to outside job seekers only if the needed employee cannot be found within the organization. Otherwise, if a vacancy arises, the first priority is given to the qualified employees within the organization. International organizational training and development programs are provided and supported by managers and supervisors. They are involved in identifying and training the needy employees of the organization, hence, improved service provision and personal development of employees, which leads to motivation.

Training is organized by managers in their different division or branches, then they consult with the main office or branch and decisions are made on whether to hold on job training or off-the job training or to hold seminars, according to the amount of resource available and the needs of employees. The employees are also trained on the culture, leadership development and diversity is practiced within the boundaries, which lead to right ethical and sensitive behaviors towards the employee and customer, hence, good public relation and growth of the organization (Paauwe, 2004).

Wal-Mart leaders from all around the world are trained in Walton institution to learn about the uniqueness of the company culture. The institution provides management skills and helps in developing talents of it customers. The organization is located in different countries like Brazil, Canada, China, and Japan, United Kingdom etc., hence, giving most of Wal-Mart employees a chance to join and attend classes. Training takes place during orientation of new employees to help them cope and familiarize themselves with the organization quickly and easily, hence, quality of work provided. This kind of training makes employees feel valued. Expatriate training program helps managers and supervisors know how to treat companies’ employees as the most valued assets of the organization. The program helps them know the need of being divers and people oriented as well as result oriented.

Wal-Mart assists in career development of it employees, e.g. through training programs, orientation, team work and career assessment. The only problem that this company is facing is labor turn over due to poor salary and wages and lack of paying attention to employees career needs; they only attend to those needs, when unions intervenes. Though they have been very keen in ensuring that service delivery is effective, they are still struggling with law suits from the employees union. Training programs assist employees to better perform their duties and responsibilities, hence, improving services, provided to the customers of the company. This theory was said and practiced by Sam Walton. He believed that when employees feel valued in a company, it is translated in their performance, which will be reflected back to the company performance (Coburn, 2011).

From the above analysis, it is clearly evident that the management of Wal-Mart stores is on point in regards to meeting employees needs. This has translated into high productivity levels. Also, it is clear that leadership is an important part of an organization’s success. Walton’s leadership style of being extremely close to his juniors has enhanced both horizontal and vertically communication. This, in turn, has helped in the level of motivation of employees and productivity of the organization. This leadership style is one that should be emulated by firms all over the world in order to attain great results. It is evident that valuing the human resource department is an extremely crucial strategy in order to be successful.

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