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HRM Assignment: Case Analysis of Google Australia & Akshay Sales Corporation

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HRM Assignment Instructions: Students are required to answer questions based on two comprehensive case studies.

HR Practice - Google Australia
Google Australia opened the door to its new Sydney headquarters and it was easy to see why the company was found by Business Review Weekly to be the best place to work in the country - the office appears more like a day-care centre for adults than a workplace.

The new building, located in the harbour side suburb Pyrmont, now houses 350 Australian Googles who have been the driving force behind several global Google products including Google Maps and the forthcoming Google Wave, which seeks to reinvent email.

Bu the media pack touring the new building today could be forgiven for wondering how any work gets done, as staff are constantly tempted by copious free perks, including games rooms, snake rooks filled with junk food and several chill-out areas built around themes such as parks and the ocean.

When they’re not hard at work, Australian Googlers can relax in a hammock, bean bag or lounge chair while playing any of the three major games consoles, pool, table tennis and any number of board games. A live webcam allows them to see if the equipment is being used without leaving their desk.

Google chefs provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner, and dishes are colour-coded green, yellow or red to allow staff to gauge how healthy their meal choice is. A new term, the ‘Google 15’, was coined to describe the weight propel add upon starting at Google.

‘People tend to go nuts when they first start and eat a lot’, Google Australia’s first employee, Kate Vale, said.

The campus-style office, the first six-star green Star building in NSW, was officially opened this morning by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. Much of the décor is green-themed, the reception area resembling a rainforest and a plethora of plants dotted all over the office.

Overseas, Google’s fun-filled campuses and playful décor have helped fuel Google’s run of good PR. In April 2009, a BRW study, conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute, found Google was the No. 1company to work for in Australia.

CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS

1. What do you believe are the benefits to Google in offering such conditions?

2. Are there any disadvantages in offering such a workplace conditions?

Case Study - Talent Management in Small Organisation Akshay Sales Corporation is a partnership firm established in the year 1994 at Surat, Gujarat. The founder and the CEO of this firm is Mr. Amar Patel. This firm is the distributor, wholesaler, and supplier of all types of wood working, laminate pressing, shoes PU adhesive, and SR rubber adhesive for foam and flooring and mattress. Akshay is one of the top five performers in this type of business out of about 50 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in its region of operations. Being an experienced firm, it also enjoys good competitive edge over others in business. The average turnover of this partnership firm is Rs. 24 crores, whereas the strength of its workforce is 348 employees, including clerical, supervisory, and managerial categories. Akshay is well known for achieving customer satisfaction, ensuring timely delivery, innovating new designs, and honouring commitment to buyers. However, the critical and thorny issue of this firm is the talent management and retention. The human resource management system of Akshay is very much traditional and similar to any typical Indian SME. This firm does not have a specific manager or officer with HR responsibility. Most basic HRM functions such as recruitment and salary fixation are done by the line managers either by themselves or in consultation with the CEO of the firm. In recruitment, it seeks professional competencies among the potential candidates and also offers competitive pay packages. In most cases, the promotion is given to the employees based on the assessment and recommendation of the line managers. As regards the talent management, the major problem for Akshay is in retaining the talented people with the firm for longer duration. This problem persists despite the abundant availability of skilled people in labour market. Akshay offers financial incentives to employees at highly competitive rates as a retention device but without much success. The firm has no record of conducting any form of formal skill training for its employees. This is because the CEO of the firm Mr. Amar Patel strongly believes that employee training can only worsen the problem of talent retention as the well-trained employee is more likely to leave the firm-seeking greener pastures. Consequently, this firm ruled out training as a solution to the problem of high attrition. In Akshay, the attrition related issues remain untamed and continue to affect the plans and future growth prospects of the firm. During temporary recession, it was decided to lay off the people to lessen the wages cost resulting in to draining out the talent people. Remained only were average performers. After recovering from recession, when managers reached out to sacked people offer them to re-join, it came out as a shocking surprise to the management that most of them refused to rejoin on some pretext or the other. Now the problem before the, managers and CEO is to employ not only the good people but also to retain them. The organisation suffered business as started getting complaints about poor logistics and quality of products. In all likelihood, this issue may worsen in coming times as the competitors may adopt aggressive style with using their ex- workers knowledge about the important business information of Akshay Sales Corporation. CEO has asked the managers to come forward with a blueprint to address the problem.

Questions:

1. What is your assessment of the whole situation in Akshay Sales Corporation from HR perspective?

2. According to you what specific steps are to be taken by Akshay to tackle the problem of rising attrition rate?

3. What should be long-term strategy of this firm in terms of HR policy, procedure, and practice?

Answer

Case Study - Talent Management in Small Organisation

1. What is your assessment of the whole situation in Akshay Sales Corporation from an HR perspective considered in this HRM assignment?

Amar Patel, in 1994, founded a firm that was named Akshay Sales Corporation. Mr Patel is the CEO of this partnership firm to this day. The company was founded in Surat, Gujrat, and since then has increased its operations and has become one of the largest firms of almost fifty small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) operating in the region that is specialising in distributing, wholesaling, and supplying woodworking, various adhesive for foam and mattress and flooring. The firm has a certain advantage over its competitors because of its experienced management. The firm generates over 24 crores a year, and it boasts a robust workforce of 348 employees who are assisting the firm in various capacities such as clerical, supervisorial, and managerial capacities. The partnership firm is renowned for the ethical values of the firm, such as satisfying customers, delivering its products in a timely fashion, and loyalty towards the customers. The firm also innovates and creates new designs to spice up its products. Looking at the company from an HR point of view, there is no fault to be found in these aspects of Akshay Sales Corporation's organisational operations.

  • The main problem of the company comes from its complete inability to manage attrition. The company does not have a fully-fledged HR team, which is a practice seen commonly among many SMEs operating from India. However, a company with 348 employees is bound to have problems without the aid of a dedicated HR Team. Not having an HR team will result in employee dissatisfaction and low morale due to various conflicts raised inside the workplace (Tcgco, 2019). Akshay Sales Corporation’s managers execute the necessary HR duties by consulting with the CEO. This state of HR management is not recommendable and is the main shortcoming of the corporation.
  • In terms of recruitment and developmental training, there is a lot to be desired from the managing team of the firm. The firm uses managers’ recommendations and assessments as the basis of its recruitment process. This is not advisable from an HR perspective. Effective recruiting processes are important because it helps the business’ growth and revenue figures by hiring capable workers (Wilson, 2018). The company is not using any of the HR strategies that have been proven to work. This is also a major problem for the firm.
  • The company also does not employ any developmental training for its employees. The CEO believes that if the company provides the employees with the means to develop their working skills, they will search for a better organisation to work in. This is not true at all. Studies have pointed out that 93 per cent of all employees are more likely to stay at their position if it shows interest in developing their professional skills (Linkedin, 2018.) The retention rate is smaller for the companies that do not show interest or invest in their employees’ careers (Biro, 2018).
  • The company also turns to sack employees when the business is not earning its full potential. This laying-off strategy hurt the company a lot because when the sacked employees were approached with a job offer, most of them did not want to come back. Mass layoffs are expected to cause instability in the work environment and workloads of the employees of any organisation (Lumen Learning, 2021). Akshay Sales Corporation was no exception.

2. Specific steps recommended for Akshay Sales Corporation to tackle the attrition rate problem.

The company is experiencing a hard time due to its past negligence. This negligence gave rise to the attrition rate of the company. Talented, highly skilled employees left the company during layoffs and are refusing to come back. In this time of hardships, few steps can be recommended for Akshay Sales Corporation to tackle the challenges.

  • The first and most important step for the company is to appoint a talented HR manager. This HR manager should be experienced with the work culture, and the industry Akshay Sales corporations work in. This will help the company establish an HR department that can manage the dissatisfactions and moral issues of the employees. HR manager can manage the administration, help in recruiting new talents, make sure that the company complies with legal terms, and is essential in keeping up the morale and productivity of employees (Handrick, 2019).
  • The executives and managers of the company must assist the new HR manager in performing their responsibilities and make sure that the recommendations are followed properly. The HR manager should work independently as their department will be run far smoother this way. Being independent will help the manager work without bias and transparently (HRBartender, 2016).
  • Incentivising the employee base and letting them know that they are appreciated will also go a long way in regards to the employee retention problem. All the managers of the respective departments should provide constructive feedback and acknowledge the efforts of their employees. Arranging award ceremonies, team dinners, an employee of the month, etcetera are also important to motivate the employees currently working in Akshay Sales Corporation. It can be shown that offering various benefits skyrockets the productivity of employees, reduces turnover rates, increases their morale, attracts people to join the company, builds a healthy and supportive workplace culture (IRIS FMP International, 2019).
  • Managers and the CEO are regarded as the leaders of a company. They have to prove that they are capable of holding a leadership position. Communicating with the employees, establishing bonds with employees, mitigating the conflicts by engaging in active and open discussion with the workers, etcetera can all be used as a strategy. Employee loyalty should be earned and maintained through the active participation of the company's leaders (Gibbons, 2021).
  • Arranging developmental plans for training existing employees and setting up a proper unbiased recruitment process is also important for the company to deal with its plights. A proper recruitment process will help in attracting new talents to the company, and developing the skillsets of existing employees is a cost-effective way of increasing the performance of a workplace. Training programs address the weaknesses in an employee's professional skillsets, enhances the productivity and performances of individuals, helps portray a company as employee-oriented in the eyes of potential recruits, boost innovation, motivation, etcetera (CFI, 2021). The CEO must understand the benefits of this process and make sure that workshops and training are set up for the employees.

3. What should be the long-term strategy of this firm in terms of HR policy, procedure, and practice?

The discussions mentioned above discuss the flaws and recommend various strategies to help the company recover from its mistakes. The long-term strategies of the firm should reflect this mindset. A long-term strategy is recommended in this section of the assignment.

Investment in development and training sessions
A company that organises regular training and developmental programs for its employees sees its productivity rate rise exponentially. Not to mention that development plans are also one of the more cost-effective ways of improving the performance of the company. Employees are the backbone of any company's success. All successful companies have one thing in common, and they invest in their employees' development. The competitive market is ever-changing based on various internal and external factors (Simplilearn, 2021). Making sure that the employees can keep up with it is a crucial aspect of employee management. Various benefits can be achieved from organising training and developmental programs for the employees of Akshay sales corporation, such as,

  • To minimise the knowledge gap between the employees working in the company.
  • To improve performance and productivity rates in a certain area of work.
  • To make sure the employees do not feel bored doing the same thing repeatedly and not learning anything new.
  • To keep the workplace up to date with the technological reality of the world.
  • To make sure that employees are able to adapt to change in the workplace.
  • To make the company more attractive for potential employees.
  • To gain a significant advantage over the competitors of the company.
  • To improve employee retention.
  • To adapt the existing workers with new responsibilities so that the company does not need to recruit new employees for every new venture.

Various processes and policies can be taken up regarding the development and training of employees. These processes can be formal or informal and will cover the specific needs of the employees (Valamis, 2020). Rotating responsibilities between employees that are working on adjacent tasks is an efficient way of training employees. The company managers can also talk with the veteran workers of the company to teach and mentor the relatively newer recruits of the company. This will help the newcomer to adjust to the company culture rapidly. Various simulation activities and workshops can also be arranged to attend to the needs of employees in need of training.

HR Practice - Google Australia

1. What do you believe are the benefits to Google in offering such conditions?
Google Australia is providing several privileges to the Google of the newly opened Sydney headquarter. The new Google building has snake rooks filled with junk foods, game rooms and several chill-out areas. The googlers can enjoy playing table tennis, relaxing on hammocks or bean bags in the workplace in their free time. Chefs of Google provide free meals to the Googlers. The decor of the office campus is mesmerising (Referred to the case study).

By giving google several privileges, Google can increase its productivity and retain its sustainable growth. According to Forbes, the companies with higher standards of employee satisfaction and friendliness gained better returns on their equity and assets than the companies with lower employee satisfaction and friendliness (Krapivin, 2021). The more facilities you give to the employees, the more efficient will be the employees. However, in the present world of competition, several companies are running in this rat race, where, it has been a significant approach to provide benefits to the employees. It has the potentiality to enhance the performance of the employees effectively by which the company can gain effective competitive edge over others. With the help of all these, the company can move towards a more sustainable growth approach by which they can lead the competition from the front. There are several benefits for Google Australia for providing several privileges to the Googlers. They are-

  • Satisfied employees are the most engaged employees. Having employees who are engaged enables the employees to understand their job roles better. When it comes to Innovation and growth, cultivating such a work environment allows a company to outperform their competition (Schwab, 2019).
  • Satisfied employees encourage creativity at the workplace. According to Alice Isen research, being happy enables a person to be creative and Innovative and be flexible.
  • Satisfied employees are more accurate and have better analytic abilities.
  • According to Forbes, employee engagement is the "wonderful drug " for the satisfaction of the customers. Building meaningful and long-term relationships in a B2B setting drives client happiness and success. The point of contact of a business must be very satisfactory for every client. Having satisfied and engaged employees enable this point of contact level at a high level. Engaged employees always want to build long-term relationships and partnerships with their clients.
  • By giving privileges, Google can attract top talents to their workplaces and retain the best talent in their organisation. Through this, the company will be able to get the top-notch performance from the employees, and it will help them to achieve growth significantly.
  • Employee satisfaction can create evangelists for Google. Evangelists are the people who are dedicated to the company and passionate about their work. They publicly share their work experiences with the company across social networks. Evangelists also provide positive feedback about the company on several websites. It will help Google to retain talented employees in their new branch.
  • According to Gallup's global health study of 2008, companies with satisfied employees experience a lower rate of sick leaves, which helps the company to increase their productivity.
  • Studies show that satisfied employees are better at handling adversities. Employees who are not satisfied with their job tend to find a problem in every work given. They are extremely difficult to compromise with any adverse situation of the company. That is why giving privileges to the employees to satisfy them is important. Satisfied employees accept all kinds of challenges and deliver their work in the worst circumstances. Apart from all those, satisfied employees give their best at their performance or their workplace so that their productivity can be counted as the enhanced one and the company achieves benefit from it.

2. Are there any disadvantages in offering such workplace conditions?
Having ample relaxation time, gaming consoles and healthy food curated by chefs is great, but there are numerous disadvantages. In Google offices, the employees are already working in front of the screen for long hours. Taking a break in the gaming consoles can prove to be an additional burden on the eyes of the employees. Their screen time will increase exponentially, and it can seriously impact their eyes. Gaming can help in refreshing the mind, but it can also be addicting to an employee. The employee can get distracted and neglect work to play games. Apart from that, relaxing on the bean bags or lounge chairs can make the employees disinterested in making any physical movements. It can discourage the employee from having a walk outdoors. Spending some time outdoors is equally important for health. Free food in the office is a lucrative plan to encourage healthy eating in the workplace, but it has its demerits. It also affects the employees in the same way as gaming consoles. Availability of food in the office means the employees are not required to leave their office searching for food. This reduces the inclination of the employees to go out of their office premises. Since the food is free, employees tend to overeat. This is not a good practice for one's health. It also adds to the financial burden to the company. Google allows the employees to take ample time to relax. Free food coupled with a relaxing workplace is interesting, but it means that employees need to spend more time in the office. The perks they are offered is to compensate for the time they do not spend outdoors or at home. It seriously disrupts the work-life balance as the employees are expected to stay at the office. This can be detrimental to the well-being of any employee. Also, while interacting with the seniors, the employees can be intimidated by them. If an employee is intimidated, the employee will suffer from a lack of confidence. Working with several talented co-workers may become burdensome as the employees will need to upgrade themselves constantly. They will be under pressure to generate ideas as they are given ample opportunities to develop and critically think about new ideas. As an employee of Google, the employees will be expected to perform at their level best always. There will be constant stress to meet the expectations and contribute to the growth of the company. This can impact the mental well-being of the employees. These disadvantages can diminish the advantages of the interventions that Google has taken to improve employees' performance. It can lead to limited performance and serious health issues.

References
Biro, M., 2018. Developing Your Employees Is The Key To Retention -- Here Are 4 Smart Ways To Start. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Corporate Finance Institute. 2021. Employee Training and Development - Overview, Benefits and Methods. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Gibbons, S., 2021. 4 Tips To Winning Employee Loyalty. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Handrick, L., 2019. Why Human Resources Is Important for Small Businesses. [online] Fit Small Business. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

HRbartender. 2016. Should HR Be Autonomous From the Operation - Ask #HR Bartender. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

IRIS FMP International. 2019. Why Are Incentives So Important for Your Staff? - IRIS FMP International. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Krapivin, P., 2021. How Google's Strategy For Happy Employees Boosts Its Bottom Line. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

LinkedIn. 2018. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Lumen Learning. 2021. Layoffs vs. Firing | Human Resources Management. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Schwab, G., 2019. 4 Benefits of Employee Satisfaction in The Workplace. [online] Newbreedrevenue.com. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Simplilearn. 2021. Top 8 Benefits of Employee Training and Development in 2021. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Tcgco. 2019. Consequences of Poor Human Resource Management. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Valamis. 2020. 11 Employee Development Methods and their Benefits. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

Wilson, E., 2021. What Is the Role of HR Department in Recruitment and Selection. [online] Hrdaily. Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2021].

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