Walmart Strategic Human Resource Management Case Study Solution
QUESTION # 01:
How HR Strategy can be Walmart’s competitive advantages?? What is the importance of strategy setting with respect to Human Resources and how organizations can mobilize it??
Effective human resource management will create a high perspective teamwork, fair competition and respective environment. Especially in the large-size company, Walmart has more than 1.6 million associates to work, so human resource management plays the most important role in the organization. Furthermore, in Walmart, there is never called “employee” or “worker” while it is called “associate” since the founder believed that there is no boss and workers, as well as the people who work for War-Mart are partners to make profit together.
HR strategy is competitive advantages by followings ways:
- The HR strategy is to focus Walmart’s employees to do everything they possibly can to hold down cost and, they do. Whenever Walmart is successful in lowering its expenses, it passes those savings along to its customers in the form of lower prices putting even more pressure on its competitors.
- HR’s role is to focus Walmart’s leaders and employees on continuous learning, continuous improvement, superior execution, employee empowerment, and employee ownership all designed to create synergistic teamwork. Walmart teams are highly productive but at the same time the staffing levels are lean.
- For Walmart, its corporate-level strategy and business-level strategy, as I analyzed is the low cost leadership. Then I’ll focus on its HR strategy. Walmart builds its low cost leader on employment policies that help it to achieve extraordinarily low employment costs. Through low-cost HR activities, Walmart tried to maintain it’s predominate competitive advantage.
Importance of HR Strategy
The HR Strategy is a managerial decision making tool as the HR Strategy sets the way the management should approach to the particular HR project proposals. The HR Strategy helps to employees to decide common daily decisions as they can see, if the request is fully aligned with the HR Strategy and the organization will benefit from such a solution. The HR Strategy sets the vision, but it is fulfilled by many daily small decisions and the strategy helps to set the decision process.
QUESTION # 02:
Analyze the HR policies at Walmart & its integration with corporate strategy???
- Managers engage in three levels of strategic planning the corporate-level strategy; the business-level strategy and the function-level strategy. The functional strategy should serve the overall company strategy so the corporate strategy could be implemented more effectively and efficiently.
- There are three SHRM theoretical models in the WALMART case study: the universalistic best practices, the contingency perspective of “best fit” and the resource-based configuration perspective.
- The contingency perspective of “best fit” With this view, the individual HR practices will be selected based on the contingency of the specific context of a company. Like the Walmart has different corporate strategy with those retailers with differentiation strategy, which actually cultivates the primary contingency factor in the SHRM literature.The individual HR practices will interact with firm strategy to result in organizational performance, and just for this interaction effects make the “universal best practices”
- In the “fitness” part of HR practices in Walmart. There are the HR policies and activities such as how the company recruits, selects, and trains and rewards employees that comprise the HR system itself. From the recruitment Walmart has tried its best to reduce the cost considering so big number of its employees.
- From training perspective, Walmart refers to its employees as “associates”, and encourages managers to think of themselves as “servant leaders”, that is, to encourage them to serve others while staying focused on achieving results in line with the organization’s values and integrity.
- Through this training and encouragement, Walmart tried to adjust the employee behaviors and competencies to what the company’s strategy requires, that is to low down cost more.
- From the performance management perspective, Walmart made very high demanding standards and job designs.
- From the compensation management perspective, Walmart has also showed very aggressive HR policies and activities to fit the “low-cost” strategy. Walmart imported $15 billion worth of goods from china, not only for the strategic consideration of supplier chain economy, but also Walmart has some factories in china, whose products are branded with Walmart name.
- From the employee benefit and safety perspective, Walmart’s HR policies are also well aligned with the corporate-level strategy. At Walmart, workers eligible for benefits such as health insurance must pay over the odds for them.
QUESTION # 03:
What you advice to improve the employment practice at Walmart???
Actually from the above analysis we knew from different theoretical SHRM models, there are still many things to improve.
- Human capital resources include such things as the skills, judgment, and intelligence of the firm’s employees.
- Walmart exploited its workers by various HR policies to low down the cost to the minimum level, which would certainly reduce the loyalty and dedication of that human resource in the company. So Wall Mart needs to improve it
- Wall mart need to make little training and other activities to the employees taken to develop its valuable human resources, while human capital and learning could be a core source of sustainable competitive advantage.
- They should play more positive roles in training and using their human resources, and maybe cultivating better organization culture, all of which may prove more cost-saving.