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Question 1: Briefly outline the organization you are analyzing including the number of employees and whether it is a unionized or non-unionized environment.
Answer: Introduction: Human resources are considered as the foundation of any organization and therefore, it is highly important to ensure that effective HR practices are followed within the organization so as to develop a productive workforce culture that motivates the employees to deliver enhanced performances (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). In the following discussions, the various HR practices that are followed at Walmart Inc. has been explored to determine the good and bad HR practices that are experienced by the workforce. Furthermore, suitable recommendations shall also be provided so that the HR management of the organization can improve the HR practices for ensuring effective productivity from the workforce.
Walmart Inc. is the leading retail store of the United States and serves through the retail stores, online stores and the mobile delivery systems (Walmart, 2019). Every week, about 270 million consumers and members visit the stores of Walmart that ranges over 11700 stores, which are under 65 banners in nearly 28 countries, as well as through the eCommerce website of the enterprise. Walmart has been successful in gaining a revenue of 500.3 billion USD in the year 2018 while managing a workforce 2.3 million global associates (Walmart, 2019). Walmart Inc. continues to be the leader in the aspects of corporate philanthropy, sustainability and employment opportunity (Walmart, 2019).
Question 2: Analyze what is done well with respect to the functional area, what is not done well, and most importantly needs to include your recommendations that would enhance/improve and/or change the situation.
Answer: HR Practices at Walmart Inc.
The HR practices of Walmart Inc. has been under controversies for a long time. Despite the claims of the organization of being employee friendly and workforce oriented, there have emerged various accusations regarding the bad HR practices that are being followed at Walmart Inc. in the following discussions, the various HR practices of Walmart have been elucidated.
Good HR Management Practices
1. Employee Training and Development: Walmart Inc. offers year round training to its employees as well as managers through Lifelong Learning Program. Through this initiative, the management of Walmart offer its workforce the option to gain college credits through their formal training and job experiences at Walmart. Additionally, Walmart offers several training opportunities so that the managers can sharpen their leadership skills and advance through the organization. Walmart also offers Assistant Management Training program to all the salaried field associated of the company (Walmart, 2018).
2. Employee Benefits: Walmart offers its employees with effective and lucrative benefits such as health and wellbeing benefits and financial benefits. Walmart offers consumer-directed health plans such as Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) plans and a highly deductible plan with the Health Savings Accounts (HSA). The company also offers Associated Stock Purchase Plan with a corporate match to the employee. Along with that, Walmart offers Associate Discount Card for the associates, spouses and dependents of the employees (Walmart, 2018).
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Bad HR Management Practices
1. Punishing Workers for Taking Leave: In the recent reports it has been identified that Walmart has been punishing those employees who has taken some time off to spend the same with their families. The same has been observed for the employees who had taken sick leaves as well (Abrams, 2017). The report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 employees, accuses Walmart of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, among other worker-protection laws (Abrams, 2017).Walmart said that it had not reviewed the report but disputed the group's conclusions, and said that the company's attendance policies helped make sure that there were enough employees to help customers while protecting workers from regularly covering others' duties (Abrams, 2017).
2. Overtime Woes: Although Walmart has a policy of 40 hours per week for its employees, however, it has been identified that in some stores, the employees work between 5 to 15 hours overtime per week. As the company has strict no overtime policies, therefore, the managers who had paid compensations to the workers for overtime were either demoted or in some cases, even fired. At other instances, the managers were required to clock the employees at the end of their shifts and then allow them to continue working to avoid overtime (Jamieson, 2016). Another tactic that was employed at Walmart was to lock the doors of the store at the end of a shiftso as to prevent the employees from leaving at the scheduled time. This often, enraged employees as well as their families and created a poor image of Wal-Mart.
3. Sex Discrimination: Almost 2,000 women in 48 states have claimed that Walmart discriminated against them for pay and promotions. It has been alleged that there exists a biasness within Walmart against the female workers to be promoted or paid more (Hines, 2012). Such allegations prove that Walmart has been illtreating the female workers, thereby resulting in the biasness. Although the original allegations had emerged in 2012, similar allegations are again made against the company in 2019. Nearly 100 workers filed gender discrimination lawsuits against Walmart on 1 February, alleging denial of equal pay for retail store and certain salaried management positions. The plaintiffs include current Walmart employees and others who left the company from the early to late 2000s (Sainato, 2019).
Recommendation: 1. Walmart is required to improve its leave policies so as to avoid any kind of miscommunications associated with the leaves that are taken by the employees. This would avoid the issues of punishing the employees for taking an absence of leave for any reason of their convenience.
2. Walmart should work on improving its overtime policies so as to be able to overcome the issues of underpaying the employees and affecting the work life balance of the workforce. By improving its overtime policies and implementing suitable legislations, the company shall be able to offer the workforce with better work life balance and payment prospects.
3. Walmart should also introduce new policies and regulations of equal opportunities for their female employees so as to overcome the accusation of gender biasness within the organization. By offering management opportunities and equal pay to the female employees, Walmart can overcome the situations.
Conclusion: The discussion that has been provided above evidences that the HR practices in Walmart requires several changes and improvements so as to deliver an effective work culture for its human resources. Furthermore, issues related to the workforce eventually effect the overall performance of the organization and therefore, Walmart must take actions to improve its productivity through efficient work culture for its employees.
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