Organizational HRM at Unilever
This Organizational HRM research paper focuses on Unilever which is an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company. It’s headquarter is located in London and its product range includes food, beverages, personal care products and cleaning agents. After Nestle and Procter & gamble, it is considered to be the third largest consumer goods company. The products of Unilever are available in almost 190 countries. Some of the major objectives of Unilever include maximization of the profits by providing quality service to the customers. Similarly, it also aims to achieve operational excellence by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the employees (Zisa, 2010). Furthermore, another important objective of the Unilever is the retention of the employees which is done by providing them excellent service. Moreover, producing innovative and high quality products is also another objective of Unilever. Human resource management (HRM) plays a very important role in the achieving the objectives of any organization. Similarly, the role of HRM is also very important in helping Unilever to attain its objectives. An important function of HRM is to hire and train the employees.
The HR department at Unilever not only hires the quality staff but also provides them training which increases their efficiency and effectiveness. The HR department of Unilever trains the employees in such a way that not only their service towards the customers improve but they also they achieve operational excellence as there are minimum wastes in all the operations of the organizations. The role of Organizational HRM in Unilever is not only limited to hiring and training the employees but also devising a proper compensation and benefits policies for the employees is also an important task of Organizational HRM. At Unilever, all the employees are provided appropriate incentives in order to increase their motivation towards their work. It is one of the reasons that the employees of Unilever remain committed and help the organization in achieving all its objectives. Thus, Organizational HRM increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the employees who demonstrate excellence in their respective departments due to which the overall efficiency of the organization increases and it achieves all its objectives successfully (Shantz & Latham, 2011).
Role of Organizational HRM at Unilever
HRM plays an important role in the overall success of the Unilever. With the help of Organizational HRM not only the best employees are hired but are also provided excellent training to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Similarly, the motivation of the employees is increased with the help of proper compensation and benefits policy (Price, 2011). There are many benefits for the employees like monthly bonuses, promotions and incentives which are all associated with their performance. Those employees who achieve their targets are rewarded accordingly. Similarly, Organizational HRM also plays an important role in providing the excellent services to the customers (Price, 2011). The relevant staffs who directly interact with the customers are provided special training in order to win the new customers and retain the existing customers for a long period. Furthermore, performance management and performance appraisal of the employees is also an important role which is played by Organizational HRM in Unilever. At Unilever, the feedback of HRM is also considered to be very important in the key decisions of the organizations. For instance, if the organizations intends to expand into a new country than the HR department will also have to devise the plan for the recruitment of the staff in that area. Moreover, Organizational HRM also plays an important role in planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and budgeting at Unilever.
Recruitment and Retention Strategies
The recruitment and the retention of the employees are considered to be very important in different organizations. It is the role of Organizational HRM to not only to recruit the best talent for the organizations but to also retain them for a long time. The recruitment at Unilever is done on a constant basis and a candidate has to go several tests and interviews before the final selection. The major aim of recruitment tests is to check the aptitude and critical thinking abilities of the employees and only those employees are finally selected who meet these two requirements. The recruitment process begins with the advertisement for the recruitment after which the applications are received and among those applications the applicants are shortlisted who have on the basis of their qualification and experience that have to then appear in the interview (Hendry, 2012).
After the success in the initial interview, the candidates are asked to appear in the second interview before the panel and after success in the second interview the candidates are finally hired. The hired employees are then provided orientation about the major operations of the organization. The role of Organizational HRM does not only end at recruitment but also retaining the employees is also considered to be an important function of the HR. Unilever provides lots of benefits and incentives in order to retain the employees for a long term. The employees are provided bonuses and promotions on a constant basis. Similarly, all the managers are trained to treat their subordinates well and increase their motivation by providing them all the support. Furthermore, a consultative approach is applied at Unilever and all the major decisions of the organization are taken with the consultation of the employees which also increases their motivation. Thus, the employees are not provided the monetary benefits but also a get a sense of recognition which due to which they stay with the organization for a long period of time (Hendry, 2012).
Developing Employees in the Organization
The development of the employees is very important for the success of the organization. There are various techniques and strategies which are implemented at Unilever in order to increase the motivation of the employees. A variety of strategies are employed at Unilever in order to develop the employees in an effective way. The workforce is organized in such a way at Unilever which encourages team work among the employees. Team work is very essential for achieving the goals of the organization. The teams could be formed either within the same department or among the different departments. The role of Organizational HRM is very important in creating a spirit of teamwork among the employees (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). At Unilever, the employees are provided training which encourages team work among them. For the development of the employees it is also essential that apart from the traditional sessions, they must also be provided additional training.
Therefore, Unilever conducts seminars, meetings, weekend retreats, mentoring and web-based training programs are all considered to be very important in increasing the knowledge of the employees. Furthermore, it is also essential for the employees that they should be held accountable for their productivity. Unilever expects best work from its employees and conducts regular assessments in order to judge the performance of each employee. The assessments also help the organization to determine the effectiveness of the training model and make changes wherever possible. Furthermore, the use of the reinforcement techniques is also considered to be very important for the development of the employees (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). By using the reinforcement techniques, the productive behaviors are encouraged and the counterproductive behaviors are avoided. There are four forms reinforcement which are employed at Unilever for the development of the employees. These include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction.
Ensuring the engagement of the employees
The techniques which are used for the development of the employees significantly increase the engagement of the employees. They skills that are provided to them to work in different teams increase their performance and they take active part in all the teams which are wither formed within the same departments or among the different departments. Similarly, the additional training which is provided to the employees also increases their productivity and effectiveness and their knowledge also increases to great extent. The productivity of the employees also increases as they think that they will be assessed on the basis of their performance (Sharma, 2013). The performance appraisal also helps the employees to increase their performance and they take active part in all the activities. Moreover, due to the reinforcement techniques which are used for the development of the employees, the employees engage in the productive behaviors. Those employees who work well are provided recognition for their accomplishments using the positive reinforcement. Thus, the strategies which are used for the development of the employees increase their overall performance and they engage in productive activities which are not only rewarding for the organization but are also detrimental to the success of the organization (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014).
HRM department Strategies
The HRM department can play an important role in helping the organization to achieve its goals. There are many. Thus the HRM department must employ effective strategies which should encourage the achievement of the organizational strategy. The HRM department must devise an effective recruitment strategy with the help of which the best employees are selected for the organization. Similarly, the creation of an effective training program is also very essential with the help of which the productivity and knowledge of the employees could be increased. The HRM department must also devise a proper compensation and benefits program which should increase the motivation of the employees and encourage them to work hard (Sharma, 2013). The performance appraisal of the employees is also an important function of the HRM department which will significantly increase the motivation of the employees. The achievement of the organizational strategy of an organization is totally dependent upon the effective HRM strategies. Thus, the HRM department must keep into consideration the organizational strategy and use the effective strategies for achieving the organizational strategy.
Planning Human Resource Requirements
The planning of the human resource requirements is very essential for the success of the organization. The human resource is an important resource for the organization and if the organization does not have this important resource then it will face lots of difficulties. The organization must plan the human resource requirements in such a way that it should neither have the employees in excess nor in shortage. The Human resource planning at Unilever is done in effective way at Unilever (Zisa, 2010). The employ retention ratio is very high at Unilever and most of the employees do not leave the organization. But even then the organization keeps the employees in loop. Furthermore, the organization hires the employees on an annual basis from the reputable universities as every year many of its employees retire as well. Furthermore, due to the expansion in new country or the development of some new product or project, the human resource requirements are planned in advance and are hired subsequently. In planning the human resource requirements, it is ensured at Unilever that the employees are neither recruited in excess nor in shortage.
Management of Physical Resources
The management of the physical resources is considered to be very important for the success of the organization. The physical resources include production facilities, marketing facilities and information technology (Milan, Edita & Aleksandar, 2014). The production facilities include location of the production facilities, investment and maintenance, capacity and production processes. The marketing facilities include marketing management process and distribution channels. Furthermore, the information technology includes IT systems (Milan, Edita & Aleksandar, 2014).
The following table indicates the objectives of the Unilever and the physical objectives required to achieve each of these objectives.
|Organizational HRM Objectives
|Resource Management Implications
|To maximize profits
|Production facilities, marketing management facilities, Information technology
|The profits can be increased significantly by management of all these resources
|To increase customer satisfaction
|Marketing management process, Ensuring quality
|The effective marketing management processes and excellent quality will increase the satisfaction of the customers
|Expansion of business into new countries
|Increasing production processes, Getting new facilities
|In order to expand the business the new facilities must be hired and the production processes should also be increased
|Development of new products
|Increasing capacity and increasing distribution channels
|For the development of the new products the existing capacity should be increased along with the distribution channels.
The physical resources are considered to be very important at Unilever. The locations of the facilities are properly selected in the different countries. Similarly, the production facilities and the marketing facilities are also managed in an effective way. The physical resources are managed in an effective way at Unilever at whether it is the management of the production facility or that of the distribution facility it is done effectively. Furthermore, Unilever achieves the operational excellence by properly managing its physical resources. The planning of the physical resources at Unilever is done by keeping in consideration its objectives (Zisa, 2010).
The marketing activities are very important for an organization and help it to achieve its goals in an effective way. With the help of the marketing campaign the objectives of the organization can e achieved in an effective way. With the help of the marketing activities an organization selects its target market and provides its offerings in the best possible to way to its target market. One of the major objectives of every organization is to increase the satisfaction of the customers and it could be done by providing them quality service along with discounts and other offerings. An important marketing activity involves promotion of the products of the company and different medium of advertising are used by the companies like online advertising, advertisement through TV and advertisement through newspapers and magazines (Kington et al., 2012). The marketing and promotional activities have also become very important due to the competitive environment. Unilever relies heavily on the marketing activities for the achievement of its objectives. All the products of Unilever are marketed in an effective way in order to get the attention of the customers. With the help of the marketing activities Unilever presents its product in a best possible way to its customers which thus increases the chances it success. Thus, the marketing activities are directly related to the success of the company and help it to achieve its objectives (Kington et al., 2012).
The marketing operations of the Unilever are different from the other local and small companies. It is due to the fact that it is a multinational company and has presence in more in almost 190 countries of the world. Therefore, the marketing operations of Unilever are also global. Unilever produces a variety brands and it devices a separate marketing campaign for each of its brands. Furthermore, Unilever has also an effective marketing mix for its products. It has an efficient distribution network with the help of which the products reach the customers in effective way. The pricing of the products are also done differently in the different countries based on the buying power of the customers. The promotions of the products are also done using the different modes of advertising. Before devising a marketing campaign for a brand, the target market is kept into consideration. For instance, in many developing countries, the online advertising is yet not very effective so the advertisement through TV is only used in these counties as it is considered to be effective in these countries. The packaging of the products is also done in different sizes with different prices in order to facilitate the customers. Thus, the overall marketing operations of Unilever have been quite successful which can be ascertained from its overall global success (Kotler & Armstrong, 2013).
Processes used by the Organization
Different processes are used by Unilever for the development of its markets. The first step in this regard includes market segmentation in which the market is segmented. The second step involves the selecting the target market which are considered as the potential customers of the company. A detailed research is conducted before selecting the target market for the company. Once the target market is selected, the next step is to provide the products and offerings of the company to the selected market. The company introduces its products with an effective distribution network accompanies with a powerful promotion (Zisa, 2010). The promotion activities involve marketing the product using different medium of advertising. The advertising could either be done with the help of TV, newspapers and magazines or through internet. Furthermore, the pricing and packaging of the different products is also done keeping in view the needs and buying capacity of the consumers of that market.
Information Systems Management (ISM)
Information systems Management (ISM) involve the application of the information to support the major activities or functions of the organization. At Unilever, ISM is considered to be very important for achieving the objectives of the organization. With the help of the ISM all the activities of the organization are linked with each other (Laudon & Laudon, 2011). The communication among the different departments is considered to be very critical and ISM facilitates the effective communication among the different departments. Similarly, the coordination among the different departments enables them to be focused on achieving the objectives of the organization. With the help of the ISM information resource managed effectively in the entire organization and important information among the different departments of the organization is shared in an effective way (Chaffey & White, 2010). The ISM is usually used in the functional areas of the organization such as manufacturing, finance, marketing and human resources. With the help of the ISM all the major information of the business is shared among the different functional departments and key people which increases the overall efficiency of the organization and helps it in achieving its objectives.
Planning IS requirements
The IS requirements are planned in an effective way at Unilever. The IS requirements are planned at Unilever depending on the nature of the product. The IS requirements are planned according to the overall strategies of the organization. If for a certain product or process more coordination is required among the different functional areas then the IS requirements are planned accordingly. On the other hand, if the information is only to be shared only between the few departments such as marketing and finance then the IS requirements are planned accordingly by Unilever (Zisa, 2010).
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