Wal-Mart was established in Rogers in 1962 by Sam Walton. Its mission was to save people’s financial assets and resources in order to ensure they lead better lives. Thus, the purpose of the company was to strive in lowering the cost of living for everyone in order to give the world an opportunity to save and lead a better life. Although the company was established decades ago, it is still a powerful multinational company that continues to grow and expand. The Walmart Corporation therefore is based on a good and strong foundation driven by a good vision. It has been excelling in the global market while embracing the use of the advanced technologies and production innovations. This evaluation paper will therefore focus on Wal-Mart. It will determine how the company’s organizational behavior has enabled Wal-Mart to grow and expand into the current successful multinational company (WSI 1).
Levels of Organizational Behavior at Wal-Mart
There are various levels of organization utilized by multinational companies including personal, group/team, and organizational as well as dependent and independent variables. The organizational behavior adopted at Wal-Mart is based on various factors fueling business functions and operations undertaken by the company. Foremost, the company relies on personal relations with customers in order to meet and fulfill their individual needs. This has played a key role in ensuring the global company maintains a local feel while sustaining relevance with current markets seeking to fulfill their consumer needs and wants. The managers at the company are tasked in ensuring talents hired at the company are capable of influencing and addressing local and global based business functions and challenges respectively (Kelly 1).
As a result, employees at the company are required to work as a team or group of talented individuals striving to meet the firm’s mission. The talent management board ensures leaders at the company are constantly building teams of workforce to be effective and efficient in their duties. They are also trained to be global leaders hence, the need to move the teams across Wal-Mart branches in the world. In 2012, Micah Laney, The Senior Manager of Global Associate Communications at Wal-Mart presented secrets of success helpful in ensuring the company grow and develop at the Intranet Global Forum. He asserted that, employees are empowered to use resources at their disposal to add value. This ensures teams are held together by developing a sense of belonging. More so, the culture ensures teams at the company holding it together do not give up. Instead, they are motivated and supported in formulating viable solutions to resolve issues impeding the company’s growth rate either internally or externally (Kelly 1).
Organizational Design and Structure at Walmart
The organizational structure at Wal-Mart Corporation can be described as a formal and bureaucratic structure, which has achieved in implementing several positive changes since 2010. There are three successful operating divisions at the company namely logistics, real estate and store operations. The structure however ensures they are unified under a single leadership team in the company. The unified team is further organized into three distinct geographic business units. Thus, the company design at Wal-Mart has developed from departmentalization based on functions to geographic departmentalization (Clifford, Dennis, Justin and Thomas 8).
The reporting structures at the company were established to ensure people, policies, systems and processes comply with the firm’s objectives. With regards to people, the company ensures they integrated and coordinated in line to corporate structure, global compliance to business ethics, legal functions and investigations. Thus, people are required to report to the executive vice president and corporate secretaries with regards to global governance across the geographic departments. In 2014, a compliance personnel program was developed to ensure personnel resources comply with organization’s global organization requirements and ethics. This has minimized incidences of corruption, legal violations, and money laundering activities (Clifford, Dennis, Justin and Thomas 11).
The degree of autonomy at the company differs among the retail store. For example, some retail stores rely on hourly workforce through which the store management team such as higher-level managers, regional vice presidents and district managers supervise, control and manage the subordinates. A clear chain of command from the top to the bottom however exists across the geographic departments in the company. This ensures the span of control is narrow. This is because the Wal-Mart organization management teams are required to decide and provide employees with guidelines to run the company. For example, management teams decide the pricing and shipment of merchandise. Consequently, the employees are provided with an independent opportunity to apply integrity and ethics in assisting customers to acquire the merchandise across the company’s global stores (Deloitte Development LLC 1).
Leadership at the Company
The effectiveness of motivating employees at Wal-Mart is based on the company’s culture, which emphasizes on patriotism, religion, rationality, and progressiveness as well as low costs. Thus, company employees are motivated based on the values embodied in the life and myth of Sam Walton. The founder emphasized that success is achieved through teamwork. The teams however should be fully equipped and allowed to engage in fair and friendly competition while reflecting on the company’s cultural ethics, values, and principles of running the firm. The organizational culture at Wal-Mart has therefore maintained a competitive working environment (WSI 5).
This is because it is regarded as fun with managers, seniors, and subordinates working and competing to be recognized as individuals dedicated and supportive in ensuring the company meets and fulfills its goals and objectives. Although managers and geographical departmental heads are held closely accountable, employees ought to ensure they are also responsible as they strive to deliver their skills and talents in achieving company’s mission. This is because they ought to acknowledge the company is the epitome of successful capitalism. Thus, the company’s capitalistic cultural force remaking and destroying idealized world and emotional links can be applied in creating new identities and patterns motivating and encouraging employees within the company. Thus, managers and geographical departmental heads at Wal-Mart engage and motivate employees based on the slogan that, there is “something better than socialism, capitalism, and communism (Stuart 1).
Employee engagement at Wal-Mart was created in accordance to the organization’s culture based on the image of the founder. Sam Walton was a small town merchant who grew and became an American tycoon after opening the first Walton’s branches in 1950. By the time he passed away in 1992, he was running a phenomenally successful empire comprising retail stores across national and international geographical regions. The characteristics of employees hired by Sam Walton whom he referred to as “associates” were based on the individual’s professional skills coupled with the ability to enthusiastically and positively nurture a charismatic company leading in the industry (Stuart 1).
The founder asserted that, employees should not be regarded as persons working for someone else. Instead, they should be regarded as persons helping out the company by working hard to achieve the firm’s mission. Thus, the founder developed an organizational culture encouraging leaders to allow and engage employees in order to motivate them in taking part in the functions and operations of the company. This involves engaging the employees in the company’s profit sharing program in order they can grow rich with the company and derive pleasure, happiness and satisfaction while helping the company achieve its goals and objectives (WSI 7).
Employee engagement should however ensure customer satisfaction is achieved. Wal-Mart operates and functions through the following three basic rules. Foremost, the company asserts the customer is the boss. Thus, employees should ensure they meet and fulfill their duties and responsibilities by sundown in order to satisfy customers visiting the company. The founder also established a cultural rule asserting that, employees should greet any customer within ten feet. This shows they care, treasure and appreciate the customers. As a result, they have to strive and ensure they meet and satisfy the customers’ needs, wants while exceeding their expectations. Thus, the company’s beliefs are the foundation of the organizational culture, which asserts that, providing the customers with impeccable service shows respect and integrity. Consequently, employees adhering to the unique principles created to develop the work culture at Walmart across global company stores and offices uphold the firm’s unique brands associated with consumer value. Thus, delivery of service to customers requires employees to be respectable, excellent with integrity. This is because employees have to serve company customers by making them the first priority while providing local communities with diverse measures ensuring the company connects with the customers (Kelly 1).
Communication channels at the company have undergone changes to improve and provide more regular, effective and efficient compliance communications. Persons tasked in ensuring the communication channels are effective meet regularly to provide feedback on measures to implement to improve how communications are sent and received. The communication channels ought to be consistent involving functions and operations affecting the company regionally and globally. This is because they earn and keep customers’ and regulators’ trust. More so, they promote identification and resolution of challenges and issues affecting the integrity through which the company operates and functions. A global escalation and review procedure was therefore established to identify precise and detailed categories of allegations affecting global ethics within the company. Wal-Mart associates are also provided with a global helpline to ensure they access reports discussing ethical concerns within the company. The reports are provided in different languages for local, regional, international, corporate and senior leaders acknowledge the importance of communication integrity at the company (Stuart 1).
Leaders at the company are also tasked in motivating employees. They undertake this role through various measures. Foremost, leaders are required to acknowledge employees create value among the employees in order to recognize their contributions towards achieving the goals of the company. Consequently, leaders should ensure employees own the functions and operations in the company based on the sense of urgency. This can motivate and empower every employee to achieve company goals while striving to meet and fulfill their professional and personal goals. The most important task in engaging employees involves communicating with them. This provides employees with an opportunity to listen and address issues affecting employees’ at their workstations. More so, leaders can listen and implement viable ideas provided by company employees in attempts to improve their working environments and the firm as it strives to achieve its goals and objectives. Leaders are also required to develop a model with positive examples to engage and guide employees in pursuing company’s high expectations. The model should also encourage innovation. This involves encouraging employees to try new methods and approaches of doing things at the company in order to improve their professional and personal skills on a daily basis. More importantly, engaging employees working as a team can provide them with an opportunity to help each other while asking for help from more capable colleagues and leaders (Stuart 1).
It is therefore evident employees at Wal-Mart are allowed to provide feedback. The company believes this nurtures a strong and pervasive culture promoting entrepreneurial spirit driving the company to success. More so, the founding culture laid down by Sam Walton aimed at ensuring employees work together to achieve the company’s mission and vision. As a result, employees’ cultures, principles, and values influencing the company’s beliefs are upheld. This is because employees are able to improve service delivery while being respected due to their diverse backgrounds. More so, addressing employees’ concerns motivates them to act with integrity as they strive for excellence (Susan 5).
Wal-Mart draws the most virulent dissenting voices in order to ensure employees’ and customer needs are met and fulfilled. Through a public relations program, the company ensures customers purchase products and services quoted with feel-good prices. They are served by smiling and warm employees who are motivated and appreciated as well as valued for the services they provide. This image is portrayed across social media platforms as well as promotion and campaign posters to indicate working and seeking services as well as products at Wal-Mart involves dealing with Multinational Corporation with a positive image. More than one million associates of Wal-Mart Corporation benefit from the positive image achieved and sustained by the company. Everyday customers are therefore engaged with compelling content from employees to prove the company strives to meet and fulfill their day to day needs satisfactorily. For example, a campaign launched in 2013 sought to prove that, the company was still dedicated in saving peoples’ financial assets. As a result, communication managers had to persistently talk directly to the public and address issues and claims against the company claiming Wal-Mart’s employees were being underpaid due to corporate financial wrangles. Thus, public relations at Wal-Mart strive to maintain a positive image of the company amidst attempts to taint the company’s brand (Kelly 1).
Stakeholder engagement at Wal-Mart applies direct and indirect approaches in ensuring they benefit through organizational development. Stakeholders at Wal-Mart include financiers, employees, customers, suppliers, and the community at large. The company therefore has to meet and fulfill their unique needs including improvement of business practices to enhance profitability. This guarantees the stakeholders’ benefits will also expand enhancing the value chain. Currently, the company has launched a benefits package providing employees with an opportunity to obtain discounted college degrees. This is because it will improve their professional and personal skills and talents, hence enhance their dedication towards improving service delivery and the benefits and rewards achieved ay the company (Susan 7).
Walmart recruit employees with skills and talents needed to achieve the company’s mission. The employee turnover however has been high due to a large number of part-time, hourly and non-exempt employees. The recruitment process involves hiring talented and skilled workers to work part-time. Consequently, those that have worked for more than three years as part-time are retained permanently. More so, workers who have worked at the company for one year on permanent basis are also retained (Deloitte Development LLC 1). This improves the rates of retaining employees while reducing turnover costs. It is however vital to ensure the employees are motivated. As a result, they are remunerated fairly and equally (Kim and Lisa 17).
Employees are paid their salaries on hourly basis. This provides the employees with opportunity to work overtime and be compensated. More so, a flexible working schedule is developed enabling employees unable to report to work to seek for a replacement without being fined or punished. With regards to benefits and vacation, employees are allowed to take at least four days off per month. The supervisors determine when the vacations are awarded as well as the form of benefits hardworking and overachieving employees are awarded. Thus, Wal-Mart recognizes work ethics and dedication by providing employees with incentives in both financial and non-financial forms (Alice and Christina 27).
Diversity Program at Wal-Mart
Diversity program at Wal-Mart seek to attract and retain a diverse workforce. This is because the company strives in employing a diverse group of persons able to demonstrate wide variety of different skills and talents. Thus, the diversity program at Wal-Mart ensures employees differ in age, gender, culture, and personalities. This is because the company also serves a base of customers from diverse cultural backgrounds, economic levels, with different socioeconomic needs and wants. In order to serve and meet the diverse expectations among the customers, the diverse program aims at providing diversity a voice. For example, employees are provided with a voice to provide feedback on ideas they believe can further embrace diversity. Thus, every employee acquired through the diversity program is required to provide different skills, talents, values, perspectives and experiences to the work teams striving to achieve company goals and objectives (Clifford, Dennis, Justin and Thomas 19).
The main CSR initiative undertaken by Walmart involves environmental preservation and conservation. The company strives to create sustainable processes with an ability to manage environmental risks. Thus, the company is engaged in regular environmental compliance activities. For example, the company provided training by conducting internal monitoring to educate the company’s employees and associates on measures applicable in maintaining environmental compliance. This involved providing them with a settlement on ways to handled returned or broken merchandise without polluting or degrading the environment. These efforts have enabled the company to obtain an approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to formulate a work plan and semi-annual report on how the firm ought to settle the agreement and continue conserving the environments (Clifford, Dennis, Justin and Thomas 23).
Organizational Issues at Wal-Mart
There are however various organizational behavior issues that have affected Walmart over the years. Most have resulted to bad Publicity leading the company to be under fire with various forms of complaints. For example, the company was accused of wage discrimination against women in 2001. Women who had been providing their skills and talents claimed the management underpaid them compared to their male counterparts. More so, they were denied promotions in favor of men at the company. In order to address these issues, the company should ensure gender equality is achieved. As a result, Wal-Mart ought to ensure women and men are remunerated equally and fairly based on the amount of skills and time they dedicate in helping out the company to achieve its goals and objectives. More importantly, the human resource management teams across geographical stores globally should offer women and men an equal opportunity of employment (Natalie 1).