Managing People -- Wal-Mart
Summary of the Company and Facts
Wal-Mart is among many multi-national retail businesses that are well-known. It runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouses all over the world though it's an American multinational retailer corporation. It is also the biggest private employer in the world, to employ such a big number of workers can be very challenging and hence the employee relationship with the management requires thorough evaluation. With corporations such as Wal-Mart always chasing to grow higher and getting better returns come with the temptations to go really wrong in many ways. Wal-Mart does a lot right; it has expanded its productivity by being more efficient and leaner when compared to many companies. Shoppers accrue a lot of benefits from the expansion of Wal-Mart. Like all this retail businesses the employees in Wal-Mart are given low wages, they work on part-time conditions particularly having a strict policy of scheduling their employees that ensures that they are not paid overtime. The employees are therefore required to clock out early if they had been working over on a previous day. Wal-Mart has a very high employee turnover rate, on average at any Wal-Mart store at the end of a year like half of the employees would have left this leads to mismanagement of employees and overall lack of morale by the employees. This is attributed to the low wage levels in Wal-Mart to the employees.
Employees at Wal-Mart are expected to be busy all the time i.e. At work all the time clocking out during lunch and breaks on time are mandatory for employees. In other cases some employees are required to work off the clock and they are denied the overtime pay and in other cases they are not even allowed to take breaks for lunch or even mere rests. There are some unethical practices carried out in Wal-Mart like gender discrimination when it comes to hiring and the actual work area. Women employees in Wal-Mart fare worse when compared to their male counterparts when it comes to receiving adequate take home pay, the hours they have to work, the training they go through and respectful treatment. There are general discriminatory practices among the Wal-Mart management when it comes to women. Another unethical issue is the fact that Wal-Mart employs minors who work too late, during school hours or even for too many hours in a day. They are extensively violating the children's rights and child labor laws.
Wal-Mart is known to employ even undocumented immigrants in their stores. Wal-Mart has health insurance that set to cover only a small percentage of its workers. The fact that there is an insurance policy for the workers is a good thing but this would only be very effective it would cover all its employees. The fact that it covers less than half its employees is not something to be happy about. Wal-Mart is even set to reduce or bring down its health care expenses through measures such as the employment of younger and implicitly healthier workers through attracting them by offering educational benefits. They are even set to eliminate completely full time positions and instead hire part time employees who will be ineligible for expensive health insurance .Wal-Mart is also an anti-union company where they urge their employees not to form any unions arguing that they have no need to pay third parties to discuss problems with management sine it as a company has an open door policy where all the complains and suggestions by employees can be lodged
These factors have led to several symptoms that indicate a problem in the management of Wal-Mart to address the issues that relate to its employees. This include the warnings by disgruntled Wal-Mart employees, joined by labor unions and community groups to stage combined protests and educational campaigns...
There have been also recorded walk offs by employees in many store to protest working conditions and poor wages, and this move to strike soon spread to other stores in other states. This has also made employees in Wal-Mart realize that there is power in unions which they are so much being denied the opportunity to form in Wal-Mart. Data from unions also indicates that Wal-Mart employees are the most recipients' of government assistance among people employed in many states. This is a clear symptom that the employees in Wal-Mart are really suffering. The employee walkouts and go slows will continue to take place among the employees of wal-mart attempt to make the management address the issues and treat them fairly. If these issues are not addressed then Wal-Mart will find itself in a situation they cannot come out of (DE-DE Group LLC, 2012) The numerous law-suits that Wal-Mart is faced with is another symptom that shows something is definitely amiss in Wal-Mart. They have been forced to pay millions in settlement for its employees; this is a clear indication that Wal-Mart is definitely doing something wrong otherwise there would be no cases against Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart, being a big company that is very reputable, should be a place where many people want and have dreams to work but this is not the case. It is beyond any reasonable doubt that Wal-Mart is not a company where one would be dying to get employed in. It has therefore qualified to be termed as a company that people love to hate. The major problem that Wal-Mart has is when it comes to its labor it is reputable in not dealing with the rights of its workers and also the shirking of the benefits of the employees. The employees there are not in any way treated well and this range from the employees being forced to work overtime to union busting. There are various problems that are associated with Wal-Mart when it comes to employees, first when it comes to payment. Anyone who seeks employment has needs that ban only be satisfied with money. Therefore the wage policies in Wal-Mart do not allow the employees to completely take care of their needs.
Many people who work in Wal-Mart are on food stamps this is a clear indications that the wages they get there are not sufficient for them to take care of their needs even the basic of them food. Another problem is the working conditions; the poor working conditions in Wal-Mart are very disheartening. Every employee who goes an extra mile to work for extra hours expects to be paid for their valuable time they have committed in the extra time. However, in Wal-Mart employees may be required to work for extra hours and receive no pay for this. On top of that they are even denied any breaks to rest that may result to fatigue among the workers. Lack of payment for the overtime also brings down the morale of the employees and they may end up not doing a good job since they lack motivation.
Another problem in the working conditions is the fact that most of the workers are not covered in the health insurance policy if the company only a few are covered and hence when the employees fall sick they are in big problems since most of them cannot afford healthcare services. The employment policies when it comes to women are also a problem in Wal-Mart. This is because of the unequal treatment of women in this working area and soon many women will boycott employment in Wal-Mart this will leave only men in Wal-Mart stores which is not a healthy working environment.
One of the biggest problems comes from unions and community groups; though no one can force to have unions in Wal-Mart these problems will eventually hurt the company itself. Many unions complain that Wal-Mart is in business to take advantage of its staff not only when it comes to income but also when it comes to insurance and other benefits. The workers in Wal-Mart give the company high performance though they are not accorded the proper pays and benefits that they deserve.
The management should therefore look into all this problems within Wal-Mart that pertain to the workers or else they may just find themselves with no one willing to work for them and continue paying out millions in settlement of lawsuits that are constantly being brought against the company.
Causes of the Problem
The problems in Wal-Mart that pertain to its employees can be linked to various causes. The lower prices that Wal-Mart offers to its customers may be the cause of the low wages that are offered to the employees. Wal-Mart offers lower prices on their commodities when a comparison is made with many of its competitors, the benefits of the lower prices are therefore implicitly clawed back when Wal-Mart drives down wages to its own workers and throughout the retail sector as a whole. The…
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