Walmart’s Comprehensive Management Plan:
Walmart is a public multinational corporation based in America that deals with chains of large discount department and warehouse stores. Based on the ratings by Forbes Global 2000 list, Walmart is considered as the 18th largest public corporation across the globe and the largest when rated by revenue. In addition to being the largest company in the world, Walmart is the biggest private employer across the globe with a workforce of more than 2 million employees. The company is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and is also ranked as America’s largest grocery retailer firm. Its rank as America’s largest grocery retailer emanates from huge sales in the U.S. grocery business that amount to billions of dollars. The company’s success can also be attributed to its expansion and growth strategy that has made it to have over 8,500 stores in 15 countries. While it functions under its own name in America, it operates stores under different names in its global operations.
Company History, Information and Growth:
The history of this multinational corporation can be traced back to 1962 when it was founded by Sam Walton. Walton began this company following his refusal to renew the lease of an existing store because of lack of an agreement with his previous business partners. During its inception years, Walmart generated huge sales than most of its competitors because of its slight mark up. Walmart’s shares started trading on OTC markets in 1970 and were listed in the New York Stock Exchange in 1972 (“About Us,” n.d.).
These huge sales resulted in the company’s rapid expansion to about 24 stores across Arkansas within 5 years of its launch reaching sales worth $12.6 million. By the end of that decade, Walmart had grown and expanded to 276 stores in 11 states in the United States. This was later followed by the launch of the first Sam’s Club membership warehouse in 1983 and the first supercenter that included a full grocery and general merchandise five years later. Following its opening of the first Sam’s Club near Mexico City in 1991, the corporation became an international company.
The company has now grown to become a household name across the globe from its modest beginnings in Arkansas. At the heart of the corporation’s growth is a unique corporate strategy and culture that was developed and established by Walmart’s founder. The unique corporate strategy and company culture was based on a simple business philosophy of making the customer the first priority. Walton believed that through serving the customer’s needs first, the company would also serve its shareholders, business associates, other stakeholders, and communities. Throughout its history, Walmart has developed into a universal brand known for highly efficient systems, unrivaled retailer with a commitment to serve customers’ needs first, excellent supplier relationships, and unwavering commitment to low prices.
The other significant growth of this company is the development of an online shopping website that provides over 1,000,000 products. Walmart continues to develop innovative businesses like music downloads and photos that enable customers to order products online and collect them at a local Walmart store. The company’s online shopping strategy combines technology and world-class retailing that provide customers with an extensive collection of their favorite products. The strategy also ensures that customers have friendly service, an excellent online shopping experience, convenient hours, and guaranteed satisfaction.
The company has grown to currently serve its members and customers more than 200 million times weekly in over 9,700 retail units with 60 different banners in 28 countries. The growth and rapid expansion has resulted in huge sales for the company, which were $405 billion in fiscal year 2010. According to the 2010 Most Admired Companies survey by Fortune Magazine, Walmart was rated among the top ten retailers because it’s a leader in sustainability, employment opportunity and corporate philanthropy. The company’s purpose of saving people money to help them improve their lifestyles has remained constant to the way its founder envisioned when the first store was opened over 40 years ago. This mission is more significant as the company strives to deliver on its promise to its members and customers worldwide. To continue making a difference in the lives of its members, associates, and customers, the company has continued operating with a similar level of respect and integrity that its founder established.
Walmart’s Career Opportunities:
Walmart has developed into what it is today because of the impact of its associates in making it an international retail leader through dedication, ideas, and innovation that has enabled the company to continuing growing. To reward this impact, the company works to support its associates in career development initiatives and building better lives. Walmart careers provide opportunities for people to grow in ways never imagined or envisioned before while gaining experience at one of the largest companies in the world. Consequently, the range of career opportunities in the company is limitless and provides a chance for an individual to help fulfill an exceptional and meaningful mission in life.
According to the information available on the company’s website, there are various career opportunities in several departments that are geared towards enabling applicants to take their careers in new directions. Some of the available opportunities are in corporate, store, logistics, driving, pharmacy, Sam’s Club, college and recent graduates, military, optometry, and international careers. The departments at the home office with career advancement opportunities include aviation and travel, corporate affairs, business sustainability, finance, global security, information systems, marketing, store operations. The other available career opportunities are in departments like Walmart.com, replenishment, human resources, merchandising, internal audit services, and benefits and claims management.
The Aviation and Travel division helps in protecting the company’s assets and transporting its associates efficiently and safely. While the Benefits and Claims Management division assists injured associates, customers, and store management in cases of disasters and accidents, Business Sustainability helps in influencing the environment through better practices. Corporate Affairs department provides Walmart’s associates with necessary knowledge on how to conduct their jobs effectively and be active partners in developing the company’s business.
Its global security division takes a detailed approach in protecting Walmart’s assets while the Internal Audit department ensures that all areas of the company function in cost-effective ways.
The merchandising division ensures that the customers’ expectations of value for money are met and the Information Systems department combines business strategies with technological advancements. Walmart.com provides convenient online shopping at the lowest possible prices to customers while Real Estate and Store Planning division ensures that the firm is at the fore-front of being a good neighbor to communities (“Departments,” n.d.).
With this wide range of career opportunities in Walmart, managing the company’s store is a position that needs tremendous leadership skills. The company is always looking for strong leaders to take these management roles and employees to enable it accomplish its mission while generating huge sales to maintain its market position. Consequently, Walmart works very hard to provide training and development opportunities to assist its employees to maximize their potential in their respective jobs. The company also provides the training and development opportunities to all its associates to help them ascend to the management positions within the company.
The human resource department plays a significant role in Walmart Company since it’s the department that helps the firm to achieve its goal by dealing with people. The department deals with issues like recruiting and hiring employees, training and career development of workers, compensation, and diversity and labor relations. As part of its mandate to ensure that the firm’s employees work effectively and contribute to the productivity of the company, the human resource department is committed to recruiting and hiring people who can add value. Recruitment can be defined as the process of seeking for and attracting qualified applicants to fill vacant positions in an organization or company. As the Executive Human Resource Manager, I will recruit potential employees who can think creatively and provide solutions to complex situations.
The recruitment process will be conducted either through internal recruitment or external recruitment. The internal recruitment basically applies to individuals who are currently working in the company by providing them with an opportunity to apply for a certain vacant position first. Internal recruitment may result in change of the employee profile and is a cost-effective and timely process for the company. On the other hand, external recruitment applies to external candidates who apply for an available vacant job position in the company. While external recruitment is more costly than internal recruitment, it provides the company with an opportunity to add new ideas and experience to its business because it draws upon a wide range of talent.
Generally, the recruitment process at Walmart will involve the following major steps of identifying suitable applicants. In addition to serving as recruitment elements, these major steps will also provide useful information to Walmart while acting as the foundation for the company’s selection process. These recruitment stages are & #8230;
Conducting Job Analysis:
This is the process of examining the available career opportunities to identify the specific requirements of every job and what it entails. The evaluation also includes the title of the job and a simple description of the employee’s roles and duties within the organization. In this stage, the human resource department will identify the type of people to be hired for the job and the training requirements for that particular job. The job analysis process can be conducted by direct observation of workers in the company, information in the training manuals, and information from interviewing job holders.
Developing Job Description and Job Specification:
Job description will provide the actual specifications on how a certain employee will fit into Walmart Company and portray detailed explanation of the job’s roles and responsibilities without referring to other job descriptions. On the other hand, job specification refers to the specific details about the human traits and experiences needed to perform the job effectively. Job specifications show the kind of person to be recruited and the skills or competence that the person should be tested. It’s important to note that a job specification involves more than a mere job description since it highlights the physical and mental attributes needed of the job applicant.
Advertising the Position:
The main objective of this recruitment stage is to attract a broad response from potential and suitable candidates. After conducting the above two steps, the human resource department will advertise the job position when a vacancy arises. This step would basically involve the placement of the job information in the public domain through the media via channels like newspapers and several job sites. However, as the executive HR manager, I will ensure that the advertisement is designed to clearly define the designation, job profile, and the required skills.
Criteria for Selecting Employees:
The selection process begins after the human resource department has received an adequate number of responses from various job applicants. The process is very critical since it ensures that the correct resume that matches the job profile is selected. To ensure that this process is effective, the HR manager will permit the selection to be competently conducted by individuals who understand the responsibilities linked with the designation in its totality. During the process, applications that don’t match the current nature of the vacant position but may be necessary for future requirements are preserved separately. As the Executive Human Resource Manager for Walmart, I will adopt a criterion for selecting employees that includes the following stages & #8230;
This is an essential stage to evaluate the skills and knowledge of the candidate based on the required set of skills and knowledge. Since it’s costly to recruit and hire employees in an organization, effective employment screening is important. The employment screening can be conducted through an online technique, which will be less costly and will save the company a lot of time (Ghosh, n.d.).
Psychometric testing technique will be an important step in the selection process to gauge a candidate’s intelligence, attitude, and personality. The psychometric testing step will help the human resource department to reach an estimated suitability quotient of an applicant for a specific job profile. The psychometric testing model is based on the assumption that the job can be separated into distinct tasks and each task graded on attitude, intelligence, and competence necessary for the job and these factors predict the applicant’s job performance.
Conducting an interview is one of the most important steps in the entire process of recruitment and selection. For many employers, knowing how to conduct an interview is imperative because of the importance of job interviews in hiring employees. When interviewing candidates, they should be at ease to help in breaking the ice and eliminating any nervousness. While the interview panel should begin with general questions to the candidate, the questions should be objective, job related, and understandable to the candidate. There are various types of interviews that employers need to consider before conducting an employment interview including structured, unstructured, behavioral, mixed, and stressful interviews.
As the Executive Human Resource Manager for Walmart, I will use the structured interview, which is a typical one-on-one exchange with the candidate at the company’s offices and includes various decision-makers. The structured interview will have a time duration of between 60 to 90 minutes with an interview panel that act as decision-makers. The interview panel will consist of a representative from the HR department, head of the department for the specific job vacancy, its supervisor, and the office staff. I will use this type of interview because it enables the interviewing panel to go into much more depth and permits different perceptions or interpretations of the answers. Some of the questions I’ll ask during the interview include:
1. Describe something about yourself?
2. What is the candidates work experience and how is it related to the vacant job position?
3. What motivated you to apply for this job?
4. How do you perceive the future of this industry?
5. Where do you envision Walmart in the next five years?
6. Given a chance, what will you do to enhance the growth and productivity of Walmart?
Evaluating the performance of employees is a formal management technique that offers the qualitative assessment of the individual performance of workers in an organization. Performance evaluation is always carried out for the purpose of recognizing good performance, offering opportunities to identify career development needs, and provide information for promotion and merit increases. This formal management system is also conducted to provide an outline which will facilitate improved performance and to establish measurable expectations for the upcoming review period. In Walmart, the evaluation of employee’s performance will be a management system that contains the following phases:
The first step towards an effective management process is performance planning that entails the establishment of key job responsibilities for an employee and development of a mutual understanding of objectives and goals to be accomplished by the employee. This process also includes the identification of key competencies that an employee must show when working and the establishment of a suitable employee development plan. By implementing this phase, Walmart employees will be aware of their respective responsibilities, goals, objectives, and expectations.
After completing the planning phase, I will ensure that conditions that motivate employees are created and confront and correct performance problems. This is critical to ensure that employees have a suitable working environment for executing the plan and achieving objectives. In order to ensure that employee performance is on track, performance execution will include periodic reviews.
As the third phase in the performance appraisal system, the assessment is basically an evaluation of the effectiveness of an employee in doing their job. This process will include a meeting with the employee and a review of documentation from the previous assessment. When conducting performance assessment with the employee, we will review the agreed objectives and noted from previous meetings.
Due to the importance of employee performance to the company, performance appraisals will help in developing employees and directing work performance. The process of conducting performance appraisal will begin with self-evaluation of the impact of the management team on employees. This will be followed by assessing and providing timely feedback of employees regarding their performance and choosing a suitable setting to inform the employee about his/her contribution to the company. When communicating to the employee, I’ll inform him/her on what he/she has done well and where he/she needs to improve. In the final steps of the process, I’ll encourage the employee to continue doing what he/she has done well and improve on areas that need growth (“Writing and Conducting Successful Performance Appraisals,” 2006).
As part of the strategy to ensure that employees develop in their respective career paths, Walmart needs a strategic and comprehensive plan for assessing employee needs and training and development. Employee needs are usually identified during the performance appraisal system since they have an opportunity to suggest and updates to their job descriptions and responsibilities during the process. The performance appraisal management system is the basis for a needs assessment program because it acts as a means with which managers and employees exchange feedback. To conduct a needs assessment program at Walmart, the information received from employees during performance appraisals will be documented. Generally, employees give feedback on improvement issues which will enable the company to evaluate their needs.
To meet the training and development needs identified during the performance appraisal process, Walmart will conduct on-the-job and off-the-job training. The training of new employees in the company will be in-house or on-the-job where these workers learn skills through experiences at work. Training of new employees at Walmart will be through an induction program where these employees will meet with other workers and shown necessary skills that they must learn. During the first few days of the induction training program, new employees will basically learn through observation of experienced or seasoned workers in the company. This will then be followed by testing these employees by asking them to get involved in work scenarios based on the skills they acquired in the initial stages.
For seasoned employees, an off-the-job training program would be ideal or more suitable to help them acquire new skills. The off-the-job training program basically involves motivating employees to attend workshops and college courses in order to learn new skills and obtain new qualifications. This mode of training is usually suitable and beneficial to employees of a large company or organization because of the diverse opportunities for growth. Since Walmart is a large multinational corporation, motivating its seasoned employees to attend college courses would be beneficial to the company. Through these courses, the seasoned workers will learn new skills that enable them to improve their performances in their respective jobs and thus contribute to increased productivity of the company. The seasoned employees should attend college courses based on their career paths in order to promote their personal development.
Advancement of Employees from Entry-level to Higher-level Positions:
Promotion or advancement of employees from an entry-level position to a higher-level position is dependent on the employee’s acquisition of qualifications and skills that enable them to perform more advanced jobs. Additionally, an employee’s promotion to a higher-level job position is dependent on the employee’s display of a flair for the job. This advancement or promotion of employees will mainly be conducted through retention and career development strategies at Walmart. This is because the training department at the company has the responsibility of ensuring that workers with the necessary skills are coming up through the organization. Employee retention and the promotion of successful and qualified employees are the foundations of a productive organization or company.
To ensure that employees are promoted effectively from low-level to higher-level job positions, I’ll ensure that HR practices support the involvement of employees in career advancement efforts and programs. This will include enabling entry-level employees to have access to training and career advancement opportunities to improve their skills and become more competent in their respective career paths. Through this strategy, the company will become interested in developing every worker with the possibility of promotion to a position with more responsibilities. As the Executive Human Resource Manager for Walmart, I will adopt an extensive training program that affects the entire workforce.
The program for promotion and advancement of employees will also be tailored in way that provides similar opportunities to entry-level and higher-level workers to advance their careers like any other employee. This will in turn create a more prepared and well-trained workforce that increases the strength and productivity of Walmart. Promotion from within the firm also serves as a means of overall improvement in the quality of employees. Generally, employee will move from entry-level positions to higher-level positions by being provided with equal and right opportunities to advance their careers. They are also promoted based on the skills and qualifications they have acquired during the training sessions and their career paths.
Management Team Leadership:
Leadership styles are the approaches and manners used by an organization’s management team to give directions, execute plans, and motivate employees. Since there are various leadership styles that can be used by the management team, each style has its own impact on employees’ performance. While many good leaders use the three major styles, they usually have one dominant leadership style though they don’t stick to a single style.
Authoritarian or Autocratic Leadership Style:
This leadership style is commanding and establishes clear objectives, goals, and expectations for the employees in the company. The style is used when the management team or leaders want to inform employees of their expectations and timelines for accomplishing the stated objectives. As they communicate these expectations, authoritarian leaders don’t seek for the advice of their subordinates or the organization’s workforce. This leadership style proves to be effective when these leaders have necessary information for problem-solving, less time to solve the problems and when employees are highly-motivated (Clark, 2010).
While some leaders use this style as a means for bossing people around, the style is not unprofessional and abusive. The authoritarian or autocratic leadership style may have a positive and negative impact on employees’ performance. The style may result in improved performance when used in urgent situations since it will increase their commitment and motivation. However, when autocratic leadership style is used in normal day-to-day occasions in the organization, it results in poor performance and less-motivated workforce.
Democratic or Participative Leadership Style:
The participative leadership style encourages response and input from both managers and employees in the organization’s activities. In this style, the management team involves employees in the decision-making process to determine what to done and how it should be done. While the leaders retain the authority to make the final decision, the style shows that employees are treated with respect rather than being a sign of weakness. Since this style encourages feedback from employees and their involvement in the decision-making process, it results in an increased employee performance. This improved performance emanates from the fact that employees become part of the team and are treated with respect providing improved satisfaction.
Laissez-faire or Delegative Leadership Style:
This is a hand-off leadership approach in which employees work based on their respective preference and schedule. While leaders are still responsible for the decision made, they allow employees to make the decisions. The style can have both positive and negative impacts on employee performance depending on the situations its being used. The leadership style can result in improved employees’ performance when are in a position to evaluate the situation, identify what to be done and how it should be done. However, the delegative leadership style can result in poor employees’ performance since it can contribute to poor work practices and poor employee motivation.
Since Walmart is a large multinational company with various career development opportunities, it needs a comprehensive management plan to maintain its success. The comprehensive management plan should cover areas like recruitment and selection of employees, performance appraisal, training and development, and promotion programs.
“About Us.” (n.d.). Walmart — Corporate. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://walmartstores.com/AboutUs/
Clark, D. (2010, June 13). Leadership Styles. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html
“Departments — Apply for Corporate Career.” (n.d.). Walmart — Corporate. Retrieved September
29, 2011, from http://walmartstores.com/Careers/7683.aspx
Ghosh, S. (n.d.). Recruitment Process Steps. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/recruitment-process-steps.html
“Writing and Conducting Successful Performance Appraisals.” (2006). Office of Human
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