Walmart's name is associated with many tags; it is the largest grocery retailer and the second largest corporation nationwide. Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, the corporation has grown to be the largest employer in the United States. On record, Walmart has more than 1 million employees touching about 100 million customers per year with an estimated market of 20% of America. However, despite this splendid record, some factors have brought changes making Walmart hit news headlines for wrong purposes. The company has been criticized for how they conduct their business in regards to ethics. Walmart is not exempted from acting ethically towards their employees throughout the country. Some community organizations and the women rights group have disparaged the company for operating discriminatively towards women employees. The corporation is alleged for paying women lower wages when compared to what their male counterparts receive. Equally, there is a lot of gender discrimination when promoting workers. It is acceptable to believe these assumptions as many former and current employees have attested to this. What is worse is that the company has presented a false number of the female workers that are employed by the corporation. In another case, the company is accused of violating the wage law. Walmart employees in California alleges the company fails to provide an unpaid 30 minutes lunch break as the laws of that state require. Their associates also blame the company for failing to pay them adequately for the services they offer. Notably, the company is blamed for leaving the associates to suffer the cost that is incurred after lowering the prices for customers. Nonetheless, the company is acting to correct some of these vices they are accused of.
Effects of Walmart Business Philosophy on Its Human Resource Policies
During its inception, Walmart founder Mr. Walton relied on customer satisfaction and low pricing as the main aspects that can drive the business to success. To make this possible, he devised a 10-foot rule where employees were to work within 10 feet from the customer. The routine required that the workers greet the customer and ask them if they required any form of assistance. This approach to customers is seen as the philosophy of 'servant leadership.' Casual observation of every employee in a Walmart store including managers work together on the floor and not behind desks. Subsequently, the leaders are left to lead by example making the approach work as a motivator to not only employees but the company's associates as well. The other philosophy is that Walmart encourages an open-door policy where horizontal and vertical communications are encouraged. Walmart recognizes the importance of communication for business success. Associates and employees are encouraged to table their grievances at any time. This is a good policy that makes the efficient process of solving problems and solving conflicts. Considering the above philosophies at Walmart, you realize that it makes things easy in regards to human resource operations. To restate the obvious, the company has an enormous employment base of 200 million. If these associates are treated as an integral part of the business, there is the feeling of belonging consequently giving them the morale to offer their best at work. Without a motivated employees base, it would be a hard task to achieve mission and goals set by the business.
Legal Mandates' Walmart Has Been Accused of Violating
In the first place, Walmart has been accused of denying an employee the minimum wages required when they work overtime. When the workers chose to protest to have the issues dealt with, the company punished union activities (Workplacefairness.org, 2018). According to federal authorities from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), at least 60 workers and officials were either fired or threatened for organizing a strike. These are following the legal demonstrations that were carried out in protest for meager wages. The National Labor Act protects employees' rights on protesting, and it is regarded as legitimate to demonstrate (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). Subsequently, Walmart is facing a lawsuit because of their unethical acts. Even though there might be no fines issued against the company, it is without a doubt that the company will have to offer extra payments to their employees plus revoking the disciplinary actions.
In a separate incident, Walmart made claims to closing their Quebec stores for economic reasons. However, since there was evidence that the store intends to reopen after some time, the court denied the company's claim. Scrutiny in the complaint would reveal that the underlying intention was to reorganize its employees. Subsequently, the closing of the store was not genuine and definitive under the law. As a result, Walmart had to pay suit for approximately 100 employees that were fired. The company is accused of exploiting its worker's rights.
The Efficiency of Structures of Ethical Decision Making Used by Walmart In Decision
The founder of Walmart intended the store to be a place where goods would be provided at the lowest cost with customer satisfaction being the number one priority. However, with the growth of the company, some of these philosophies have seemed to change. With the incorporation of new managers and executives, the company has taken a huge turn. Rather than being the family-friendly store it intended, the company has made other similar franchises run out of business. The sole reason is the failure to keep up with the competition on Walmart prices. Additionally, with the company expanding to international markets, it faces new challenges such as zoning bids and maintaining a safe work environment. Such factors have resulted in Walmart decisions to become more business guided rather than what the founder intended. The company has since tried to rebuild its reputation, but critics have since claimed that the corporation is not what it used to be. When a company is this big, it is hard to reduce the risks that come with a billion dollar company.
Actions Walmart Human Resource Should Take to Improve Employees' Perspective of Its HR Policies
Staff is a very crucial part of a business, and it is what will determine the future success of a company. Courtemanche and Carden (2011) assert that proper management of staff can be a competitive advantage to a company when plans and objectives are drawn in consideration of their expertise and skills. The reason HR is essential is that they are responsible for improving the performance of employees. One of the ways that Walmart could improve employee's perspective on its HR is to ensure that the companies compliance and ethics are maintained and followed. The Board of or committee should monitor compliance with the codes of conduct imposing disciplinary actions in case of in compliance. The managers that are hired in the company should also be people who can make sure that the codes of compliance are followed to the word. The company should take great care in who they bestow the responsibility of representing them.
Courtemanche, P., & Carden, A. (2011). Supervising Supercentres? The Impact Of Walmart Supercenters On Body Mass Index And Obesity. Journal Of Urban Economics, 69(2), 165-181.
Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson Education.
Workplacefairness.org. (2018). The Good, the Bad, and Wal-Mart - Wal-Mart. Retrieved from Workplacefairness.org: https://www.workplacefairness.org/reports/good-bad-wal-mart/wal-mart.php
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