Wal-Mart: a Human Resources Perspective

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Table of Contents

Research Proposal Memo

Introduction of Company

Mission and Vision of the company

HR Forecasting and Succession Planning

Diversity initiatives

Training and development

Compensation and benefits

Corrective action and discipline

Turnover issues

S.W.O.T Analysis

Conclusion/Recommendation

To: Professor Steven Cates, GB 520 class, and To Whom It May Concern

Date: 3-20-2009

Re: Wal-Mart: Human Resources Project Proposal

For this course project I have chosen a company that I am very familiar with and have first hand knowledge of, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. My plans for this project are to first gather information concerning Wal-Mart’s human resource practices, policies, and functions by using my access as an Assistant Manager to research materials. Through my gathering of information I will analyze this company’s human resources as a whole using the SWOT analysis method (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and give a recommendation on their overall Human Resource Management.

Introduction of the Company

Wal-Mart is currently named #1 on the Fortune 500 as well as other prominent lists of prosperous companies, but it was not always that way. Wal-Mart began in 1950 when a young man by the name of Sam Walton opened the first “Walton’s 5 & 10,” which was renamed to Wal-Mart in 1962 by his assistant at the time, Bob Bogle. (www.wikipedia.com)

Wal-Mart is the “world’s largest retailer with $374.526 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2008.” (www.walmartstores.com) According to the company website they have more than 7000 locations with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. (www.walmartstores.com) Wal-Mart Stores employs more than two million associates worldwide; this includes more than 1.4 million in the United States alone according to the company’s corporate fact sheet.

Wal-Mart’s Mission and Vision

Wal-Mart has a simple purpose. It is not fancy or dressed up, and it appeals to all mankind whose individual purpose is to make the most out of life with what they have. According to www.walmartstores.com, Mr. Sam Walton said it best, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.” This translates into the sole purpose of Wal-Mart; “Save Money, Live Better.”

According to the website, this was Mr. Walton’s goal from the very beginning. In my opinion, it may sound corny, but in most instances with Wal-Mart’s convenience and variety of products/services to buy, it makes all the sense in the world.

HR Forecasting and Succession Planning

In this day and time, it is important for all companies to be equipped with a strong Manpower Forecasting system, and a solid succession plan. By having both of these items in place, not only can that company maintain a solid system of scheduling for their employees, but when the inevitable comes, that company will already be prepared to venture on with business as usual.

In this analysis, we will look at how Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. works with their scheduling system in forecasting schedules for over 2 million associates weekly as well as how in 2005 a shuffling of their top executives made even the almighty Wal-Mart consider having a solid succession plan.

According to the dictionary at www.bnet.com, Manpower Forecasting is “the prediction of future levels of demand for, and supply of, workers and skills at organizational, regional, or national level.” This concept is important for all companies because in order to run the business to its full potential, there must be a systematic way of predicting and scheduling the employees.

According to Wikipedia, the concept of business succession planning “involves planning for the smooth continuation and success of a...
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