MGT490 Strategic Human Resources Planning
Instructor Stepheny Finnie
February 6th, 2012
Human Resources and Wal-mart
Wal-mart is the number one retail store in the U.S. and was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Wal-mart has expanded to include the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, China, and various other places. In 1988, Wal-mart developed the Supercenter concept to meet the growing demand for one stop family shopping. Supercenters combine grocery and general merchandise all under one roof. Their purpose is saving people money to help them live better (Wal-Mart, n.d). Even their success Wal-mart has still had many lawsuits for violating labor laws and discrimination.
In 2000, an internal audit was performed and it revealed that employees were not taking breaks that were required under policy of the company and state laws. Wal-mart ignored this audit and faced more than seventy lawsuits across the country that accused them of not allowing rest/meal breaks to their employees and for forcing them to work off the clock without getting paid (Friedman, 2008). Before the internal audit they had received complaints from employees and knew some managers’ had concerns that employees were not receiving required breaks. Many of the stores were understaffed so the employees were made to work through breaks to complete work tasks. Wal-mart denied all allegations of wrongdoing (Friedman, 2008).
These labor law violation lawsuits made it look like Wal-mart did not value their employees and as long as the work was getting done it did not matter if laws or employee rights were violated. Wal-marts spokeswoman Daphne Moore stated that “"Our policy is to pay every associate for every hour worked and to make rest and meal breaks available for our associates and any manager who violates either of these policies is subject to discipline - up to and including termination" (Friedman, 2008 para.6). When on the other hand thousands of workers were not getting breaks that were required and others were just down right being mistreated. There was one employee who soiled herself because she was not given time to go to the restroom (Greenhouse, 2008). Judge King who presided over this particular case said in his ruling that “the restrictions on using the restroom were "dehumanizing and reprehensible” (Greenhouse, 2008 para.21).
Human resource management is defined as a function performed in organizations that facilitate the most effective use of employees to achieve organizational and individual goals (Ivancevich, 2010). Strategic human resource management is defined as the development and implementation of human resource processes to enhance and facilitate the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives. The strategy of Wal-mart is linked to human resource processes. HR is used to help develop organizational objectives that affect how people should be managed more effectively (Ivancevich, 2010).
If Wal-mart continues to violate labor laws, they will continue to pay money for law suits filed against them. In three of the cases against Wal-mart, they were ordered to pay four hundred million dollars total for all three. This hurts Wal-mart but their net income is still ranging from ten billion a year or more annually. However, there are things that Wal-mart could have put into place to keep this kind of thing from happening. One thing that could have been done would be to have the Human Resources department or manager at every location make sure the company standards, rules, and policies were being followed and that managers were trained properly when it came to employee rights, the rules, standards, and policies of the company (Friedman, 2008).
SWOT analysis is a tool that is used for audit and analysis of the strategic position of a business and its environment. The purpose of the analysis is to identify...