Managing human resources refers to the functions that managers in organizations perform relating to the employees in the organizations. The functions that a manager in an organization carries out about employees determine the success of the organization. The key function of human resource management is determining the staffing needs of an organization and determining the methods that will be used to hire employees to fill the staffing needs. Recruitment and training of employees to ensure that are high performers is a responsibility of the human resource management and plays a major role in the success of an organization. Managing human resources plays a major role in determining the approach to employee benefits and compensation. Other functions include being examples to other employees, managing employee records and personal policies, creating a fair environment for employees, and others. There are philosophies, policies, and practices that relate to the management of human resources and ensure the success of an organization that applies them. The Container Store’s Retail Service is a retail industry that deals mainly with house furnishing and housewares. It also deals with storage and organizational products. The organization has been very successful and this can be attributed to the management of human resources in the organization. Other organizations offering the same products have been making losses and have been caused to close down as a result of the tough business environment. The organization uses recruitment and training as a competitive advantage. A human resource strategy has led to commitment and managing the resources available to meet the future needs of the organization. This more relates to the employees of the organization. The organization has a vision to better consumers’ lives by giving them time and space. This paper will seek to analyze the philosophies, policies, and practices that relate to the management of human resources at the Container Organization.
Human Resources in the Organization
The Container Stores Customer Service has been very successful as stated before owing to the management of human resources in the organization. The management in the organization is aware that people especially the employees are its greatest asset (Carter 2008, para.2). Strategic human resource management in the organization looks into the behavior and culture of the organization. All the employees in the organization are encouraged to work as a team to achieve the same goal and win the marketplace. The process of human resource management in the Container Store’s Customer Service covers planning, staffing, development and evaluation, compensation, and maintaining effective workforce relations. Management of human resources is not left to the human resource department alone but it is also the responsibility of managers and leaders in the organization (De Bono & Heller 2006, para.4). When it comes to the selection of new employees, human resource management ensures that the right people, in the right numbers, and possessing the right skills, knowledge, and experience are selected. The new employees are allocated the right jobs in the right place, at the right time, and the right cost. The organization has managed to make profits in harsh environments due to the philosophies, policies, and practices carried out.
Philosophies, Practices, and Policies that Relate to Management of Human Resources in the Organization
The Container Store has had a competitive advantage over all other organizations that have been competing with it. This competitive advantage has been achieved through the training and recruitment of employees. The organization has enjoyed an annual growth rate of twenty percent for about twenty years. The organization is usually very strict when hiring new employees. Employees are one of the limiting factors to the expansion of the organization. The organization can only expand if it has identified and trained people who meet the quality of employees at The Container Store. The organization would rather go for two months with a vacant place than hire someone who does not meet the requirements.
The recruitment policy that the organization follows when hiring new employees is highly selective (Bohlander & Scottt 2009, p.54). The employees in the organization are requested to propose friends or relatives whom they think are competitive for an available opportunity. The candidates are then telephone screened. Telephone screening provides the management with the candidate’s qualifications, experience, salary needs, and workplace preferences of the individual. A telephone interview helps the management save some time because all the unqualified candidates are eliminated. Inviting all these individuals for an interview could also have led to a wastage of money. Those who go past the telephonic screening are invited for a group interview. The group interview is then followed by two to three further interviews which last for about three hours. In addition to individuals referred to the management by the employees, the management can also recruit its customers who could be interested and have the qualifications. These qualifications are the right skills, knowledge, and competencies to contribute to the strategy of the organization (Bach 2005, p.218). The individual’s skill must be unique so that he or she can give the organization a competitive advantage. Individuals capable of working in teams and who are creative are likely to be absorbed than those who possess specializations. Core competencies in the organization lead to high perceptions by customers which lead to the attraction of more customers. Since core competencies are derived from skill, knowledge, and experience, competitors cannot imitate them not unless they have the core competencies equivalent to the ones possessed by employees in the organization (Heathfield 2009, para.4).
Sixty-two percent of the employees in the organization are women. This is contrary to complaints in other organizations where women claim to be discriminated against when it comes to opportunities. Women claim to be discriminated against when it comes to paying, promotion, and training. Women in The Container Store have equal opportunities with men counterparts in pay, promotion, and training. Gender discrimination is a common factor in most of the organization’s competitors and the strategy by the organization to hire more women than men in the organizations adds its competitive advantage (Stern 2000, p.45). More women would like to be associated with the organization that recognizes women and their rights as human beings. The management claims that female executives make fabulous team players meaning that the organization is willing to hire even more women.
An employee in the organization is allowed to choose the work which interests him or her most. This helps employees like the work that they do in the organization and increases output. It is very easy for an employee to swoop from one field to another especially if the salary for the two positions are the same. If a higher position arises in the organization, the priority is given to those employees who have been working with the organization (Bermberger &. Meshoulum 2000, p.67). Instead of hiring individuals from outside to come and assume positions of management in the organization, employees who possess the required skills can be awarded such positions. These are employees who are already aware of the trends in the organizations. Recommendations by managers and the skills of an employee are used to determine the most competent employee for a promotion in the organization. Managers are warned of any discrimination when it comes to recommendations so that the business ethics of the organization is maintained.
The training program that The Container Store has for its employees is unique and extensive. In most organizations, training is offered for seven hours when an employee joins the organization and there will be no more training of the employee in the future. With time, trends in the business may change making the employees incompetent to meet the needs of the business (Nadler 2001, p.7). Each store in The Container Store has a super sales trainer who is a full-time trainer and dedicated only to training the employees. The fact that the trainer has no other work in the organization gives him or her more time to research emerging trends and updates the employees immediately by training. During the first year of employment, full-time employees receive two hundred and thirty-five hours of training while part-time employees are trained for one hundred hours. For the full-time employees, training doe not end in the first year. After the training in the first year, full-time employees receive one hundred and sixty hours of training every year that follows. For a completely new employee, the first week involves orientation that is conducted by the store manager and other employees. During this week, the employees are also taught the history of the organization and the philosophy of the organization through its founding principles. The new employees are also shown how to control inventory, marketing, visual sales, and space planning. If an employee takes a new responsibility or is promoted, he or she gets more training to meet the needs of the new responsibilities to be assumed. In addition to the training on the job responsibilities, training how to dress on the job and where to park one’s car is also given.
Organization’s Philosophy/Foundation Principles
The Container Store’s philosophy is also called ‘do unto others. It is an encouragement to the employees to treat others as they would like to be treated. The first principle encourages the stakeholders to create beneficial relationships with each other. When the employee creates beneficial relationships with the vendors and consumers, the organization benefits because this will attract more customers (Nadler 2001, p.112). The employee will eventually benefit when the organization benefits. The organization is also dedicated to finding out the needs of the consumers and producing new products that meet these needs. The organization believes that one great employee is equivalent to three good employees. The employees in the company are great and the output of that one great employee is three times the output of three good employees. The organization can therefore comfortably pay the great employee twice the salary of one good employee and still save because the output is equivalent to the output of three good employees. Frequent training arms the employees with the necessary knowledge so that their minds are ready for anything. Other principles are to provide the best in terms of service, selection, price, and many others and create an air of excitement. The training that the organization gives to its employees increases the loyalty of these employees. It makes them feel confident when selling and also feel respected and more secure. The employees in The Container Store have a productivity that is twice the productivity in the average industry. This is attributed to the intense training that is given to employees as they join and later.
The organization contains employees’ conduct and policies that are enforced and supposed to be followed by all employees. The senior management’s policies are also supposed to be followed by all the employees in the management. Employees who perform excellently help others to improve their skills by revealing the secret behind their success (McLean 2006, p12). The management structure is flat and the employees and the employees in the management prefer being addressed by their first names. All employees both the full-time and the part-time employees are treated equally. The organization makes financial information available to the employees. This is information regarding sales, profits, revenue, future development plans, and others. The good work of the employees is recognized by the management and the employees appreciate each other. Employees in the organization are paid twice the amount that employees in other industries are paid. The organization’s wellness program ensures that the health of its employees is taken care of.
The functions relating to employees that the managers perform define managing human resources. The Container Store’s Retail Service is one of the most successful retail organizations in the United States and the success can be attributed to the management of human resources. Employee recruitment and training are key elements in the organization. The organization has some philosophies, policies, and practices that relate to the management of human resources and have helped in the success of the organization. Recruitment and training policies ensure that the employees of the organization possess the skills, knowledge, and competencies required by the organization. The philosophies ensure an enjoyable relationship between the employees, vendors, and consumers. The practices by employees both senior and subordinate employees ensure that all of them are responsible.
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