Human Capital

Introduction

The chosen organization is Walmart Corporation. It is the largest retail company around the globe and the largest private employer with over two million employees. It is worth noting that the prevailing economic factors such as the recession and current recovery affect human resourcing at the company. The effects are seen in terms of wages paid and the number of staff members the company can hire with the available resources. The social factors also influence human resourcing because of the diverse cultural thinking in terms of the notions of individualism vs. collectivism and femininity vs. masculinity. Accordingly, political and legal factors influence human resourcing at the company through shifts in political systems and significant changes in the employment laws. The internal factors influencing human resourcing at the company include management style and the established organizational structure. They define the manner in which the organization hires and manages its human resources. Again, internal factors tend to influence the productivity of human resources at the organization.

This report explicates the influence of economic, social, political and legal factors, and internal factors on human resourcing at Walmart Corporation. The report also presents recommendations for the best practices to approach the human capital management at the company.

The Influence of Economic Factors

The prevailing economic conditions influence human resourcing at Walmart Corporation in two significant ways. First, the prevalent economic downturn has increased the cost of doing business for the company and has reduced the capacity of the company to attract a larger pool of skilled employees in contrast to the previous periods. This implies that most members, who constitute the human resource at the company, work as casual workers on a contractual basis. Marcilla (2014) affirms that because of undesirable economic performance the company has not been able to attract more skilled and qualified employees in such departments as finance because of low wages it offers. Therefore, human resourcing at the company had to focus continually on casual workers to solve the crisis. Keil and Spector (2006) agree that there are still complaints of inadequate payments for the heavy work done by the casual workers offering their services to the organization. Overall, the prevailing economic conditions have influenced the ability of the company to attract highly qualified members of staff because of high costs associated with hiring skilled employees.

The second influence of the prevailing economic conditions relates to the corporate training program. As mentioned earlier, the economic downturn has put more pressure on the company and, as a result, limited the opportunities for human capital trainings. Most employees have lost morale in their respective areas of work because the management tends to force the personnel to work without improving their skills and knowledge through training. Basker (2007) reiterates that most of the trainings offered are shallow and do not capture the most fundamental elements of the retail sector. For instance, employees in the logistics department have not had substantial training on product management for a significant period, hence affecting their ability to deliver the required services efficiently. Thus, the prevailing economic conditions have limited the company in terms of providing effective training services for its human resources and resulted in worse performance.

Influence of Social Factors

Social factors influencing human resourcing at Walmart Corporation relate the feelings of employees on matters such as individualism vs. collectivism and femininity vs. masculinity. With the prevailing social factors relating to the balance between male and female employees at the workplace, Walmart has had to mix up employees in all departments to avoid the dominance of one gender over another. According to Bassi et al. (2011), the social factors influence the allocation of gender roles in the process of human resourcing even though the company tried to be open in the process of allocation of responsibilities to its employees. For instance, it does not demarcate some responsibilities as suiting to either male or female employees. In summary, social factors relating to femininity vs. masculinity have influenced the employment of a balanced staff where the responsibilities are fairly distributed among the employees without unnecessary gender differentiation.

Additionally, social factors relating to individualism vs. collectivism have been instrumental in influencing the formation of teams within the organization. It is clear that Walmart employs individuals with diverse demographical background. They have different beliefs in the spirit of teamwork because of their diverse social backgrounds. Nevertheless, collectivism has influenced the human resource management at the company by facilitating the creation of teams. Araimi (2011) confirms that the company is focused on ensuring its employees work together as social teams toward the realization of the set goals. Individualism is not widely encouraged because it slows down achievement of the company’s objectives of remaining the best in the retail industry. The management motivates employees to embrace the teamwork initiatives put in place by the company, hence ensuring harmonious working conditions and interactions among them.

Lastly, the social factors associated with work life balance influence human resourcing in terms of developing work arrangements and schedules at the organizations. Most employees in the organization like balancing their work and personal life. Martin and Whiting (2013) opine that human resource management at the organization characterizes by flexible working schedules where the employees have paid sickness and maternity leaves that make it easier for them to attend to other vital matters in life. Therefore, human capital management considers the fact that employees need time to rest and attend to other matters such as family and leisure. 

Political and legal factors exhibit massive influence on human resource management at Walmart Corporation. First, political and legal factors define the minimum wage rates that the company pays to its employees. The prevailing political and landscape regulations in the country have ensured that stricter employment laws are put in place in order to safeguard employees in different companies. Walsh (2012) informs that as the largest employer, the company has had to ensure that it pays the required minimum wages to its employees immediately. It is easier to manage the employees, as the company does not have to deal with employee strikes relating to minimum wage payment.

Second, the legal factors influence human capital management at the organization in respect to the working environment of employees. Human resources are only able to work effectively and to deliver on the goals of the organization in cases when the existence of a supportive environment. Marcilla (2014) believes that legal factors have influenced the design of the work environment to alleviate the occurrence of sexual harassment and insecurity at the workplace. There have been initial cases of sexual harassment at the workplace, but the line managers have assumed control of the illegal practices.

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Third, the political factors also influence the hiring process at the organization. Political ideologies always focus on creating job opportunities for citizens. Snell and Bohlander (2012) inform that the company had to recruit more employees to attract political will and continuous survival as the best retail company around the globe. As a multinational company, Walmart employs mostly locals in line with the stipulated procedures, hence attracting more political support in every country.

Lastly, the legal factors influence the human resource management processes through assertion of clear terms and conditions on the termination of employee contracts with the company. Walsh (2012) believes that Walmart dismisses employees only by complying with all the legal regulations. Every employee has the freedom to sue the company in cases where the employer breaches the terms of an employment contract through unfair dismissals. Because the management of Walmart fears engagement in legal suits, the company has created a team that handles matters of employee misconduct. The human resource function is efficient and ensures that employees are only dismissed on reasonable grounds as stated by the employment law.

Influence of Internal Factors

Internal factors, also refer to as controllable factors, are fundamental to the organization. One of the most significant internal factors that influences human resourcing practices at Walmart is leadership. Basker (2007) agrees that the leadership style practiced at the company is democratic. It influences human resourcing approach through the decision-making process. The organization makes several decisions that affect employees directly. Undesirable decisions affect the personnel’s morale and focus on the goals of the organization. However, the democratic style of leadership embraced at the company influences human resourcing by empowering employees with opportunities to contribute to the decision-making processes at the company. This makes it easier for the organization to move forward with its plans without facing employee rebellion and resistant to change.

Another vital internal factor noticeable at the organization is strong organizational culture. Flamholtz and Randle (2011) assert that strong organizational culture emphasizing the need to follow the established ethical principles influences human resourcing by ensuring every employee is working in tandem with the required standards. Therefore, human resourcing functions in conjunction with strict rules and regulations to ensure the maintenance with ethical standards. An employee interacting with clients have to be clearly motivated in line with the established rules and principles. The internal factors relating to the organizational culture influence human resourcing by directing their behavior and overall attitudes in interactions with clients from different backgrounds. All employees are supposed to respect each other and follow rules and procedures on a regular basis.

Recommendations for Best Practices

The first significant recommendation for best practices is to introduce and implement equal opportunities in job advancements at the organization. There have been reported cases of unequal treatment of employees because of their sexual orientation and racial inclination. However, the organization could redeem its image by introducing and observing the equal opportunities motto. Araimi (2011) holds that this would ensure each employee has equal opportunities for career advancement regardless of their gender or demographic. This notion is vital at alleviating social conflicts in the organization, leading to sustained success in its business operations. Equal opportunities for all employees might also reduce legal pressures because the company preempts possible legal misconduct that could lead to unnecessary losses. Therefore, mutual respect and equal opportunities nurtured among all employees are essential to the proactive control over the effects of destructive external factors on the organization.

The second vital recommendation for best practices is to focus on fair compensation and rewards for its employees. In its capacity as a retail company, employees work for longer hours and need fair compensation for their respective services. Human resourcing should not offer higher compensation to management while underpaying other employees because this might lead to a high level of dissatisfaction. It would be prudent for the company to come up with a fair wage structure that reflects what all employees are doing in their different departments. Bassi et al. (2011) inform that this approach might prevent impending conflicts with political and legal systems that act in the interests of employees. As noted earlier, constant and fair rewards are effective motivators for employees. Employees are motivated and focused on delivering on all the goals of the organization in cases they receive regular rewards as appreciation for their commitment and performance.

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The last significant best practice at the company is the adoption of clear and well-defined recruitment, selection, and placement procedures. Defining the process of recruitment is crucial because it sets the ground for a fair system that accommodates human resources from all social backgrounds and physical capabilities. Clear understanding of the costs related to hiring and paying wages to employees might reduce the cost of doing business on the part of the company. Mathis et al. (2013) opine that every step undertaken in the recruitment of employees should be supported by the existing systems in order to stimulate realization of the desired goals within the company. Walmart should be ready to adopt clear channels to ensure attracting skilled human resources, who are able to deliver on the goals. The company should also realize that hiring unfitting candidates can result in difficulties managing them. Thus, the management needs remain vigilant at preventing any malpractices in the hiring process.

Conclusion

In conclusion, human capital management is a challenging task that requires vast experience and understanding of organizational behavior. Various external factors including economic, social, and political and legal factors influence human resourcing at Walmart Corporation. As noted in the report, economic factors influence the number of human resources hired. The prevailing economic factors continue to pose challenges on the company’s ability to attract highly trained employees because of the high wage demands. The social factors influence teamwork and recognition of the minorities such as women in the organization. The working schedules have also been recognized and designed to fit employees. Internal factors are controllable and affect the ability of employees to contribute to the decision-making process. The report recommends the adoption of better recruitment procedures, fair employee compensation, and the provision of equal opportunities for all employees.

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