Discuss how the HR environment at Dell is managed. Your discussion must cover the following: ? Linking HRM practices to the company’s business objectives. ? Designing work that motivates and satisfies the employees as well as maximising customer service quality and productivity. Human Resource Management refers to the policies, practices and systems that influence employee’s behaviour, attitudes and performances. Nowadays more and more companies are recognising the fact that the key to company success is its employees, since effective utilisation of this resource results in a sustainable competitive advantage and optimises shareholder value. Dell is thus adopting HRM practices, namely job analysis and design, recruitment, selection and placement, training, development and career management, reward to ensure that the company is staffed with people who have the necessary knowledge, skill and ability to perform their part in implementing the company’s strategic goals. Dell pays market-related salaries and offers a range of standard big-company benefits as a means of attracting top performers into its business and to motivate its current employees. Listening to what employees have to say, how they feel about their jobs, supervisors, tools and resources, assessing their satisfaction are very important for Dell. In this context, an online Human Resource feedback form is provided to its employees to allow them to give anonymous feedback about the working environment. They can also rate their managers, company culture and benefits through a climate survey which is carried out twice a year. To give assurance to its employees that they are being treated fairly and that HR policies are being applied consistently throughout the company, Dell has a formal code of conduct that emphasises high ethical standards in every area of the company’s business, from interaction with customers, competitors, government and other stakeholders, through to employee privacy, environmental standards, and managing potential conflicts of interest. But Dell does not believe that above average remuneration and outstanding fringe benefit, fair treatment and pleasant working conditions only, can motivate its employees. According to Hertzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation, two sets of factors influence motivation and job satisfaction; they are hygiene factors and motivators. Hygiene factors which include organisational policy and administration, equipment, supervision, interpersonal relationships with colleagues, superiors and subordinates, salary status and work security can only satisfy employees, while it is motivators namely achievement, recognition, progress or growth, responsibility and feedback which can motivate people to exert a bigger effort in achieving goals. Based on Hertzberg’s ideas, Dell aims at designing jobs for its employees such that they are more challenging and interesting, and provide opportunities for responsibility, growth and recognition. Every permanent Dell employee has a performance plan which is reviewed regularly, as well as an individual development plan that is a working document for personal and career development within Dell. There is a strong emphasis on on-the-job training as well as on mentoring. Employees are also encouraged to learn new skills and take on innovative projects through international training and work experience opportunities. The company identifies top performers every year and places them on an accelerated development plan. The executive team reviews employees bi-annually to set strategies around succession planning, critical roles, business key talent, exportable talent and leadership programmes. Succession planning across all positions, including management, sales and technical, forms an important component of dell’s HR strategy. Communication strategies such as newsletters and meetings have been adopted by Dell to ensure that employees understand their role and contribution to the success of the organisation and also discuss about the organisational future. Every month, newsletters are sent out to employees by the HR department and monthly information sessions are hosted to share information with employees. Dell really values its employees’ opinions as, each month, the managing director meets with groups of the employees to hear what their views and concerns are, as well as any suggestions they may have. Decisions at Dell are made quickly and with little bureaucracy. Employees experience certain autonomy relative to their job as they are given scope for a fair amount of independent action. In an attempt to be in conformity with the equal employment opportunity laws, which ensures that all individuals have an equal chance for employment, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, Dell is investing heavily to provide opportunities for new entrants to the job market to gain a year of hands-on work experience. By maintaining environmental conditions at a satisfactory level, an organisation safeguards its own future. Dell thus engages in social responsibility through elements of its Black Economic Empowerment strategy which include employment equity, corporate social investment, enterprise development and providing access to technology to people in disadvantaged areas. A Dell foundation has been established which helps black entrepreneurs to set up businesses in a range of industries. More than R65 millions have been spent on a range of education, training, HIV, and AIDS awareness programmes, providing ICT products and services to under-serviced areas as well as enterprise development and community upliftment projects. All these have helped boost Dell’s image with customers, gaining access to new markets and attracting and retraining talented employees. The goal should be to create an environment that allows Dell to outperform any of its competitors. This will happen only when employees are fully engaged and enthusiastic to perform at their best. Therefore HR strategies, policies and practices should ensure they support employee high performance
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