This paper critically analyzes the case study on the Human Resource management of the Hewlett-Packard with an emphasis on the cause-and-effect relationship in the existing trends in this field. It is highly important to recognize that the Human Resource management strategy developed in the early years of the company is known as a “HP Way.” The implementation of the fundamental concepts of this strategy resulted in the high levels of employees’ loyalty and their identification with the company (Beer & Werssowetz, 1985).
It should be underlined that a “HP Way” cannot be defined applying definite, clear postulates, because even the employees cannot formulate it. However, the effect that it has on the employees’ participation in the company’s success building is very important. Obviously, it is the merit of the participative management style, which provides support to the employees, gives them the opportunity to bear responsibility for the decisions they take and motivates them to take risks and be creative (Werner, Jackson & Shuler, 2012). The “HP Way” is the path for the employees, where they see a well-defined goal, efficient communications and shared data, can obtain all necessary resources for the implementation even of the most ambitious solutions, but they are not limited by the strict rules that keep them from reaching their goals. It is the place for freedom, creativity, and for the right to make your own contribution to the company’s development.
Informality and a sense of purpose and closeness were not lost with the expansion of the business from a small company to a market leader. Hewlett-Packard is defined as an adaptive company, where the employees enjoy its fuzziness and always have the chance to offer their own solution to the particular market challenge.
It should be mentioned that Hewlett-Packard style of HR managment differs from other companies. A great attention here is paid to the combining the supportive management and a common process with the sense of the individuality, trust and openness. It is crucial that the clear message of the established objectives is communicated to each employee.
Analyzing the elements of the Human Resource management of the Hewlett-Packard, it is necessary to describe the most essential procedures and traditions that comprise hiring and training processes, structural devices and work systems, communications, promotion and awards.
It is obvious that the most important step in creating a decent team of professionals is the hiring process. Hewlett-Packard emphasizes that each employee has to be highly adaptive and should fit into the organizational culture of Hewlett-Packard. All hiring decisions are based on the common interviewing process and rarely include testing. However, employee who is recruited after the thorough selection feels the pride of being the part of such a company. Moreover, there is a fundamental principle that the employees are not hired for the short-term tasks and for some projects; they are hired “forever.” The company gives them the chance to continuously grow professionally to reach the top management positions, knowing the background and having an in-depth understanding of the initial processes in the company. Telling company’s stories, developing training sessions, and providing comprehensive coverage of all policies conducted in the company are used to help the new employees to adapt to the new corporate culture of the Hewlett-Packard.
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It should also be mentioned that higher productivity of the employees and satisfaction with the achieved results are reached with the help of the management by objectives (MBO) system of day-to-day activities. It is an iterative process that provides the employees with an understanding of the short- and long-term objectives that are divided into the more precise goals at each company’s level. Defining objectives and goals and not setting strict tasks is the most distinctive feature of Hewlett-Packard’s “way.” Moreover, a participative decision-making process and a high teamwork spirit maintain an efficient performance.
Communications policies inside the company play an important role in the Human Resources management strategy. Open door policy encourages open dialogue between the employees at all levels of the organization. There is no barrier for the manager to seek an advice from the senior executive. However, the style of decision making and the need for the ongoing counseling with a large number of experts before making any decisions often causes difficulties in adapting to the new organizational culture of Hewlett-Packard. The culture of openness that employees of Hewlett-Packard enjoy is supported with the open door policy and HP managers initiatives expressed in the management by wandering around concept, division reviews and various corporate events.
It should also be mentioned that employees who experience the “win-win” attitude to their work make more significant input to the company’s development (Collings & Wood, 2009). The employees are not only members of profit sharing process, they also have the eligibility for stock options, and they can always rely on the company’s support in personal questions.
Moreover, Hewlett-Packard developed a system of rewards that allows the company to reach the maximal employees commitment, involvement and interest in the results of their work activities. Such examples of sufficient rewarding system are the possibility of the various cross-functional rotations inside the company, so called “carrier maze,” wage curves with a 10-40-40-10 system, quarterly performance reviews.
To sum up, it is needed to underline the HP “Spirit” and the HP “Way” create an organizational culture where each employee identifies himself/herself with the company, experiencing the company’s support, having a clear vision of the objectives and goals and having the possibility to show his/her creativity to solve the problems while enjoying the freedom and openness.
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