Walmart is an American-based operator of discount stores, which was established by Sam Walton in 1962 and had headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Under the current company CEO and President John Furner, Walmart is focused on saving customers money so that they can have better lives through working together to lower the living cost for everybody and allow the world to save and have a live better. The company manages over 11, 200 stores under 71 banners in over 27 countries as well as e-Commerce platforms in 10 countries. The company has over 2.2 million stakeholders and associates across the world, with the US leading with 1.5 stakeholders (Doh & Quigley, 2014). Various company unique policies, principles, rules, procedures, and processes have contributed to its growth. This paper aims to aim at analyzing various issues in the company regarding its personnel, planet and profit realization and sound business practices it employs, and the recommendations the company can implement to better its operations and its personnel and the planet and how to implement them.
Analysis of the Issues
Walmart has been found to engage in various corporate irresponsibility practices affecting various stakeholders, which stained its reputation. In 2017, the company's human relations department was found to be lagging after the brand came under pressure for abusing its store acquaintances, and supply chain employees being exploited (Waldman & Balven, 2014). The brand was also involved in the systemic deprivation of migrant employees locally and internationally. The federal administration cracked down the brand's egg supply for inequitable practices' in an attempt to screen immigrant employees. Its major supplier of lettuce, Taylor Farms, was stroke by a wage-theft class-action charge, among other allegations of abusing migrant employees in California (Antunes & Franco, 2016). The brand has been reported to have a combination of intimidation as well as market control, which runs the brand much-hyped 'Heritage Agriculture' plan for USA farmers and those in emerging markets such as India and China. The brand has been reported to dominate the corporatized market for milk that devastates small scale dairy farmers, which caused brutal industry consolidation as well as price decline of as much as 40% for farmers. Cases of underpayment have dominated the brand's business model with the brand's supply chain paying workers less than $15 hourly base wage. FCWA explained that breaking labor as well as employment laws has become an integral part of its business model, which has pushed Walmart's suppliers to a threshold where they have integrated law-skirting as well as all-out misdemeanor into their company model leading to unethically sourced profits. For example, in 2015, the brand's supply chain in Cambodia, India, as well as Indonesia, workers reported that garment suppliers in these regions were forced labor, worked under unsafe working conditions, were sexually harassed, and poorly paid (Elder, & Dauvergne, 2015). In 2018, a study by Global Labor Justices as well as the Asia Floor Wage Alliance among other organizations reported various cases of harassment and violation among the women in Walmart's garment supply chain.
Current corporate responsibility regarding personal relations requires employees' needs to be considered for high output. A report which surveyed over 1000 Walmart employees confirmed that brand routinely declines to recognize doctor's remarks and also penalizes workers who need to attend their sick family associate; punishes workers for legitimate absences which against the Disabilities Act as well as Family as well as Medical Leave Act among others employee-protection Acts (Waddock, 2014). For instance, a report published by Times revealed that over 1.5 million employees go to work each week, and most of them lack paid sick leave benefits. This is very irresponsible and unethical for a world-class brand like Walmart to ignore the social and basic needs of its employees. Under such treatment, it's too hard for the employees to have positive, healthy relations with the brand. For example, most of the major hotels have a history of overworking employees and underpaying them, which often results in poor output and employer-employee relations. A report published by The Atlantic in 2018 showed the hotel industry has the worst personal relations with employees get $7.50 per hour and working for 40 hours per week. Also, Walmart uses an absence-control policy to track the employees' time off work and works in 3-strikes' model. Most of the employee's term this strategy as intimidating (Marques & Mintzberg, 2015). If an employee gets less than 6 points, he/she is terminated, and employees often do well to avoid termination. Practices like these create mistrust rather than fostering engagement between the brand and its employees.
Walmart believes in reducing greenhouse gas emanations from its activities and operations. By 2030, the brand intends to reducing 1 billion metric tons of discharge from its worldwide supply chains. By 2017, the brand achieved 93 million metric ton cutback of supplier emanations as well as a 6.1% annual greenhouse gas emission reduction. In its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) report released in 2019, the brand listed various actions and practices it has activated to combat climate change (Blakeley, 2016). The brand is working with autonomous third party consultants to clearly comprehend the scenery of climate change as well as the possible impacts for the retail division to ally its operations across all the stores with the implemented combat measures. For instance, between 2015 and 2017, the brand managed to achieve a 6.1% reduction rate of its total greenhouse gas emissions. The brand also launched 'project Gigaton, ' which managed to reduce the brand's greenhouse gas emissions by 93 million metric tons. The project was launched in 2017, and it aims at inviting all the brand's suppliers and stakeholders in dedication to avoiding 1billion metric ton emanations in the brand's joint values chain stores by 2030. The brand aims at being supplied with 50% renewable energy by 2025, with the brand already achieving 28% supply needs from renewable energy. It is also focused on mitigating wastes from its operations (Waldman, Siegel & Stahl, 2019). For example, by 2018, the brand diverted 81% of the unsold goods, casing as well as other waste supplies from landfills. It recycled over 430 million pounds of plastics film as well as rigid wastes across the world. All these practices and initiatives, among others, illustrate Walmart's positive impact on the environment and planet as a whole.
The brand has been linked with violation of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and federal pesticide regulations endangering both habitats as well as public healthiness in society. Its supply chain strategies have been termed as ineffective with low-priced foodstuffs for broke people in Bakersfield being associated with the unsafe waste which Walmart has discarded around Los Angeles. According to FCWA, Walmart's company model benefits by maldistribution the social overheads of mass manufacturing across an atomized food network (Caraway, 2018). For example, in 2014, Walmart was charged $81.6 million for agreeing to the violation of environmental laws in both California and Missouri states. The brand employees dumped bleach as well as fertilizer into the neighboring sewer system instead of handling them as harmful waste. Ever since then, the brand has been attributed to having unsustainable practices that have had a main impact on the planet, creating issues including loss of habitat air pollution, sprawl, and water pollution, among others. The company's greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing gradually with the brand admitting to producing over 22 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. The brand is voraciously consuming land with the brand leaving over 150 empty stores in the US, and many vacated when the chain opened a newer supercenter nearby (Hibbert & Cunliffe, 2015).
These environmental practices and initiatives can have both short-term as well as long-term impacts on various stakeholders. For instance, the policy of mitigating waste can exclude the brand's suppliers from any possible lawsuits, which might affect them as a result of poor waste disposal. Also, both suppliers and Walmart will benefit from various climate change measures by having a good reputation and public image, which can attract more investors and customers both in the short and long-term hence improving the brand's profitability (Whelan & Fink, 2016). For example, one of the most sustainable brands in the modern contemporary market is Nisolo, which deals with the designing and manufacturing of shoes, whips, and handbags, among other products. The brand also makes shoes from vegetable and sugar cane wastes rather than plastics or other non-degradable materials. As a result, the over 30 000 suppliers from Peru wants to be part of the company with tones of customers and possible investors wanting to be part of the brand. Sustainable practices and environmental protection practices increase the brand's marketability and attract more customers and investors, benefiting the brand in both long term and short-term.
Sound Business Practices
Company shareholders have attention in company practices as they count on the brand to stay profitable as well as offer a return for their investments in the company (Barnett, 2019). Creditors offer financial assets to the business, resources, and other services to the brand, and they would want to be paid on time and in full. The continued profitability of Walmart opens a possibility for the brand to expand its operations and hire more employees and promote the experienced ones. Also, continued profitability can benefit the brand's employees as it can opt to increase their pay or deduce monetary incentives and policies to motivate its workforce (Prieto, Phipps & Addae, 2014). The growth and expansion of Walmart depend on its ability to attract investors for more financing, and this cannot be achieved if the brand is not profitable. Profitability can also lead to happier business partners, considering it is the primary goal of every business. Walmart's profitability implies better rewards to its shareholders in the form of dividends as the value of shares increases as the brand's profitability increases. The company remaining profitable also implies better compensation to owners and employees (Michelon & Rodrigue, 2015). However, the brand needs to balance profitability with corporate responsibility. Maintaining the balance between profitability and corporate reasonability helps the brand to expand the potential customer target market size, improve retention of the employees as well as improve their motivation and productivity. A good example of a brand that failed to balance its profitability and corporate social responsibility is Volkswagen. The brand designed car engines that poisoned the planet by emitting 40 times the legal nitrogen oxide limit, which impacted its profitability (Visser, 2016). Other brands that have significantly failed to balance between their profitability and CSR are the AIG insurance company, American Airlines, and Goldman Sachs, among others, which have impacted their market share and damaged their corporate reputation.
Implement better employee tracking policies rather than the intimidating and pressuring ones. For instance, apart from the below 6-point-score termination strategy, the company should employ another criterion for assessing the performance of its em...
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