The organization that has been selected for analysis in the report is Woolworths. The context behind the choice of Woolworths for the analysis is based on the ways by which the company has been able to develop its position in the Australian industry. Woolworths has acquired the position of second largest retail organization of the country after the Australian conglomerate named Wesfarmers. The report will be based on the analysis of different human resource based activities that are performed within the organization (Afr.com 2018).
Nature of the industry
The retail based sector of Australia is quite large in spite of the low population of the country. The highest number of employments are provided in the country by the Australian retail sector. The retail organizations of the country do not have high prominence in the other countries of the world. However, the companies have not been able to flourish globally in the industries of different countries. According to the report named “Global Power of Retailing” which is compiled by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, ranks have been provided to the Australian retail organizations in the different countries (Patty 2018).
Level of competitiveness within the industry
The Australian retail sector is highly competitive in nature and the organizations which operate in the industry have thereby started facing huge levels of competition from the new entrants. The levels of competition in the industry have increased both from the domestic and the international organizations as well. The factors which have led to the struggle of retailers mainly include, the decline in margin levels, high rates of price deflation and the changes which have been seen in the spending patterns of the consumers (Brewster, Chung and Sparrow 2016). The increase in competition which is provided by the international retailers has been able to affect the consumer staples based area of the Australian retail industry.
Key external stakeholders of the industry
The retail industry of Australia has many internal and external stakeholders who are a part of the operations of major retail organizations in the country. The external stakeholders of the industry thereby include, auditors, buying groups, competitors, consumer groups. Government based agencies, investors, customers, suppliers, shareholders, wholesalers, local authorities. The levels of revenues that are earned by the organizations are affected in a huge manner by the external stakeholders (Crawshaw, Budhwar and Davis 2017).
About the company
Woolworths Group Limited is an Australian retail organization which operates in both Australia and New Zealand. The company has been able acquire a large part of the Australian retail industry along with Australian conglomerate named Wesfarmers. The first store of Woolworths was established in the year 1924 in Sydney. The five founders of the company include, Percy Christmas, Stanley Chatterton, Cecil Scott Waine, Ernest Williams and George Creed. The store model which is used by the company is innovative in nature and the customers are provided with huge importance (Woolworths.com.au 2018).
Nature of work done by the organization
Woolworths is considered to be one of the largest supermarket based chain in Australia and the company relies on more than 100,000 members who are a part of the stores, support offices and the distribution centres. The major responsibility of the company is thereby to provide effective services to the customers by providing them with the fresh products. The needs and demands of consumers based on the simple and new ways of shopping are thereby fulfilled by the company (Marchington 2015).
Products and services of the organization
Woolworths is known in the Australian retail based sector for the products that are offered under various brands which include, Delicious Nutritious, Free from Gluten, Farmers Own, Gold, Macro wholefoods market, The Woolworths Food Range, The Odd Bunch, Little Ones, Apollo, Baxter’s, Your Majesty, Smitten. The company thereby offers a wide range of products under the brands which are based on different needs of the consumers. Woolworths is also known in the industry for different services like Woolworths money, drinks based business (Woolworths.com.au 2018).
Current strategy of the organization
The major goal of Woolworths and the strategy that has been employed by the company is based on five major priorities which include,
- Building the store-led and customer based team and culture.
- Generation of the sustainable levels of sales momentum based on the Food business.
- Evolving the Drinks based business.
- Empowerment of the portfolio based business in order to pursue the strategies for delivering value to the shareholders.
- To become a lean retailer (Marchington et al. 2016).
Current level of performance of the organization
Woolworths has been able to increase its revenues in the retail industry of Australia for the seven years in a row. The company has thereby grown faster as compared to its biggest competitor Coles. The organization had however suffered from huge amounts of loss in the year 2016 which led to the increase in its aggressive strategies. Woolworths had increased its focus on needs and consumers and was able to bounce back again in the industry (Rathi and Lee 2015).
Five keys problems being faced by the organization
Low compensation levels and strikes in the workplace – The levels of compensation in Woolworths which has led to many strikes done by the employees within the organization.
Discrimination and bullying in the workplace – The issues based on discrimination are quite high in Woolworths. This has led to the development of a negative workplace culture in the country (Patty 2018).
Unrest among the employees and high degree absenteeism – The employees of the organization taken multiple actions based on strikes related to the fair wages that are to be paid by the company.
Greater levels of competitive pressure due to entry of Aldi – The competitive pressure in the industry has increased due to entry of global companies like Aldi. This has affected the loyal employee base of Woolworths.
Weak morale of staff – The morale of the employees has been reduced due to the lack of effective levels of revenues of the retail organizations (von Bonsdorff et al. 2015).
Analysis of the HRM performance of the organization
The retail organizations face some major HRM based challenges which can be both from the point of the employer and the employee as well. The employees in the retail industry have direct contact with the customers. The human resources or employees of Woolworths thereby play a major role in the organizational operations. Human resource based department of Woolworths has been designed in an effective manner in order to develop and recruit talent within the organization. The functions of the Human Resource department of Woolworths have been performed both on the functional and strategic levels (Taylor 2017).
Different types of activities are also performed by the line managers of the company in order to conduct effective organizational operations. Recruitment and Selection is thereby considered to be an important function which is efficiently performed by the HR managers. The right people are recruited by the HR department of Woolworths at the right positions. The constant feedback based process in Woolworths has ensured the effective operations of HRM department of Woolworths (von Bonsdorff et al. 2015).
The report is thereby concluded by stating that Woolworths has been able to depict an effective performance based on the HRM department. The company has shown continuous improvement based on human resource operations in order to retain the employees in different positions. The performance management based strategies of the company are based on the operations of the HRM based department.
Woolworths can be recommended to implement feedback based systems within the organization so that the employees are able to provide their opinions to the management. The diversity within the organization can be managed with the help of training provided to employees.
The lesson that I have learnt from the analysis of Woolworths is that the organizations need to address the grievances of the employees in order to maintain the levels of performance and provide them with effective working environment as well.
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Crawshaw, J., Budhwar, P. and Davis, A. eds., 2017. Human resource management: strategic and international perspectives. Sage.
Marchington, M., 2015. Human resource management (HRM): Too busy looking up to see where it is going longer term?. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), pp.176-187.
Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A., Donnelly, R. and Kynighou, A., 2016. Human resource management at work. Kogan Page Publishers.
Patty, A. 2018. Woolworths workers claim alleged $1 billion in underpayments. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/woolworths-workers-claim-alleged-1-billion-in-underpayments-20180823-p4zzbj.html [Accessed 26 Sep. 2018].
Rathi, N. and Lee, K., 2015. Retaining talent by enhancing organizational prestige: An HRM strategy for employees working in the retail sector. Personnel Review, 44(4), pp.454-469.
Taylor, S., 2017. Contemporary issues in human resource management. Kogan Page Publishers.
von Bonsdorff, M.E., Janhonen, M., Zhou, Z.E. and Vanhala, S., 2015. Team autonomy, organizational commitment and company performance–a study in the retail trade. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(8), pp.1098-1109.
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