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HRM Assignment: Impact of Environmental Forces on Canva


Task: For this HRM assignment task, you will be required to find and research a real Australian-based company “Canva” that also operates overseas.

You should avoid selecting companies that have only cursory operations overseas, or have no employees working overseas.

You will need to conduct extensive research on the organisation you have chosen, specifically focusing on HR issues and policies relevant to the company. Your report should outline how the HR practices of this company have been affected by external environmental factors (such as the COVID pandemic, Political or Economic instability in the host country).

Your report will also provide recommendations on how the company should adjust its HR strategy in future in light of the significant environmental forces affecting both Australia and the host country.


The growth of any company is highly dependent on the human resource that they own in order to carryout their operation in a proper manner. The human resource directly impacts on the company various aspect such as productivity, profitability and their performance growth. All this reason makes the human resource management an essential part of the organisation. Human resource management helps to deal with all human resource issues and policies to maintain a smooth operation within the organisation. The company also tried to maintain a good practice of human resource within the organisation. Company those operate internationally, generally face diverse employee culture within the organisation which createseveral challenges. This report will make a discussion on the human resource policies and practices in an Australian based company Canva, which also operate internationally with their overseas employee. The report will make a discussion on the company background which help to understand the company history and its present condition in a better way. It makes a discussion on the human resource policies and practices that are followed by Canva. It will make a discussion on the environmental forces that impacted the company in a significant way. It discusses the recent change made by the company. The report also provides a set of recommendation for the company.

Background of the company
Pucik, Evans &Björkman (2017), opined that Canva is a company based in Australia which is known for its excellent graphic design. The company is founded in the year 2012, and since then,they have gained a large amount of success because of their creativity, hard work and great service. Canva is founded by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams in a city of Australia named Perth. The present headquarter of Canva is situated in Sydney, Australia. The company is popular for their document, poster creation, presentations, media graphics for a various social media site, graphic designing and various other pictorial content. Their application also provides several templates for the user at no cost, which they can use for various purpose.Apart from this, they even provide paid subscription likeCanva for enterprise andCanva pro, which provide more customisable options.More than 1500 employee work in Canva offices which is situated at multiple cities within Australia and also outside Australia.In the past few years,Canva has acquired more than six company across the globe in order to expand their self globally. Among those two companies are European company for online designing, one company is from the Czech Republic, which is an ecommerce company named Smartmockups(Zhu et al., 2019). All these Acquisition help to raise their revenue by $60 million, and their funding also increased from 3.3 billion dollars to 6 billion dollars. Thus, because of all these reasons, they have a diverse employee who is spread across the world and to manage this efficiently, they use various HR policies and practices.

Human Resource policies and practices
As per the statement of Bonache&Festing (2020),Canva has three major offices which are situated inthethree most popular city in the world that is Sydney, Manila and Beijing. All these three cities situated in three different countries such as Australia, Philippines and China, and because of this, they have several employees that are working in the overseas as an employee of Canva. It creates a diverse culture for Canva in term of their employee, which is made challenging for them to manage their entire human resources. Canva human resource policies are clear and straightforward in order to become the biggest company in the world. The human resource team of Canva is on a huge mission to make a company that is highly engaged with the world and also provide a maximum level of effectiveness. They are pledge to search, grow and empower the best operator, growth marketers, product managers, designers and engineer around the world in order to make Canva a world leader in graphic and designing platform. There are multiple human resource policies that Canva follow in their organisation for better efficiency. Employment Contract is an essential part of this policy which is followed by Canva in a better and advance way, and it helps them to reduce the risk and define all term and condition of the employment.

Canva also uses strict policy for wages of their employee and conduct a regular audit for their wages to make sure it is able to compete with the country labour market from where they are operating(Sposato& Rumens, 2021). Policy for termination of employment is also followed by Canva, which is mention in the term and condition during the hiring of any candidate. Canva uses policy to prevent any kind of sexual harassment within the company, which help them to build a better work environment in all their offices situated inadifferent country. Public holidays also a major concern for Canva, as they operate from different countries, so the list of public holidays also varies. They need to provide public holiday keeping in mind about the country where their office is situated. Apart from this, Canva also maintains various human resource practices within their organisation, such as giving security to all their employee, using a selective hiring process in order to hire suitable people for their company. Canva tries to build an effective team that can be self-manageable. Canva compensation uses a fair policy that is based on the performance of the company. Canva trains their employee so they can get relevant skills which will be helpful in the company growth. Thus, all this give a clear understanding of human resource policy and practice carried out by Canva.

Environmental forces impact on the company
According to statement of Edwards et al. (2017), the external environmental forces provide a great impact on the company, and when the company operate from multiple countries,then the scale of external environmental force even increased. The same exists for Canva, and it operates from three different countries because of which their entire operation is affected by the external environment forces of three different countries. These Environmental forces can be various different things such as political factor and economic factor. In recent days the COVID-19 pandemic act as a major external environmental force that providesasignificant impact on the company present operating condition, which is a huge matter of concern for Canva.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Canva in the most significant way. It also affected several other companies of Australia, but the impact on Canva due Covid-19 pandemic is high, and it happens because Canva operates from 3 different countries(Miedtank et al., 2017). Canva operation felt a combinedimpact from all these three countries, which increased their challenges in a significant way. Canva was operating on a strategy to becoming a global leader in the market of graphic designing. For this purpose, they had made several strategies and working on them in order to achieve their goal but the COVID-19 pandemic, which suddenly arises caused a major problem for Canva. It creates uncertainty and chaos within the world, which also affected Canva in a significant way. It creates a barrier for Canva in achieving those goals, which is defined by them for the recent year. The COVID-19 pandemic also bringsa major change in world politics and economics, which affected Canva in a certain manner which will create hindrance in their future growth(Harzing&Ruysseveldt, 2017). These effects are long-lasting, and the world will take time to recover this, and it is the same for Canva. They are also pushed back, and they will definitely going to have a delay in order to achieve their goal.

Wood et al. (2018), opined that the COVID-19 pandemic also provided several other impacts on Canva. Some of them are direct impact, whereas some of them were indirect impact. The COVID-19 provide a huge impact on the customer those buy and use the product of Canva. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, the people lost their job, and their financial condition got weaker, and this causes a decrease in sale for various company. Canva is one of those company whose sales is significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted the workforce and various operation within Canva in a significant way. All the country of the world goes through lockdown because of which the moving of people got restricted which stop all kind of operation within Canva. The employee those are working with Canva find various difficulty to come at the office to work which provide a major impact on Canva operation that directly affect their productivity in a significant way. Apart from these, it also provides a major impact on the finance and technology of Canva(Ayentimi, Burgess & Brown, 2018). Thus, all these effects were created by the COVID-19 pandemic on Canva, which is an external environmental force, and it also created a challenge for Human resource management in a significant way.

Recent changes made in the Company
Tung &Punnett (2017), stated that the company required to make various changes in order to deal with the external environmental factor in an efficient way. Canva also made several changes in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in a significant way. Canva gives a boost of digitally operating their entire business model, which will help them to serve their customer even in the pandemic. They use various digital means to make interactions with their customer in order to get information about their requirement and make them informed about the product and services they are providing to their customer. This change helps to gain a significant amount of customer even in the situation of a pandemic. The other change that is made by Canva is dealing with their customer in a direct manner without any involvement of a third party which benefited the company in a significant way.

As per Collins & McNulty (2020),The COVID-19 pandemic also changed the way of working for the organisation. The pandemic gives rise to a new working method where the employee works for their company by staying at home. Most of the company utilise this strategy in order to stay productive even in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canva also introduces this change in order to keep running their entire operation so they can have a significant amount of productivity even in the COVID-19 pandemic. The work from home provides several benefits to Canva, and it gives them a flexible working time which providesamajor contribution to increasing productivity. It also gives the employee a more comfortable work environment. All this factor provides major help in the effective management of human resource even in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canva had already made several changes within their operation in order to deal with the external environment forces in an efficient way which provide a major help for them to stay productive even in the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic(Morley &Heraty, 2019). Still, there are some recommendations that can help Canva to gain a significant amount of growth even in the pandemic situation. Most of the people are getting bored at home because of the lockdown, which happens due to the covid-19 pandemic. Canva can start a competition for them where they can submit their creative artwork and get exciting prizes. This will help Canva to build a better relationship with their customer. Canva can give reward to the top 10 finalists, and the top 100 will be enlisted on the Canva website with their name. This will help them to give more value and recognition to their brand even in the situation of a pandemic which will indirectly benefit the company policy in a significant way.

In conclusion, it can be said that the human resource policy and practices are an essential part of any organisation which can be affected by various external environmental force such as politics, economics and the covid-19 pandemic. The report chooses an Australian based company Canva for the study that also operates from an overseas office with an employee from 3 different countries. It gives understanding about the company background which help to know about the company past and present situation in a detailed manner. The report gives a piece of knowledge about the human resource policy and practice that work within Canva. It gives an idea about the various external Environmental forces that impact the company in a significant way. It also gives an idea about the changes made by the company to deal with the external environmental change and also provide a list of recommendation.

Reference list
Ayentimi, D.T., Burgess, J. & Brown, K., (2018).A conceptual framework for international human resource management research in developing economies.Asia Pacific

Journal of Human Resources, 56(2), pp.216-237.

Bonache, J. &Festing, M., (2020). Research paradigms in international human resource management: An epistemological systematisation of the field.

Collins, H. & McNulty, Y., (2020). Insider status:(Re) framing researcher positionality in international human resource management studies. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 34(2), pp.202-227.

Edwards, T., (2017).International human resource management. Pearson Education Limited.

Harzing, A.W. & van Ruysseveldt, J. eds., (2017). International human resource management: A critical text. Sage Publications.

Miedtank, T., (2017). International human resource management and employment relations of Chinese MNCs. Chinese Investment in Europe: Corporate Strategies and Labour Relations, Brussels: ETUI, pp.79-95.

Morley, M.J. &Heraty, N., (2019). The anatomy of an international research collaboration: Building cumulative comparative knowledge in human resource management. Comparative_Knowledge_in_Human_Resource_Management/links/6064b482299bf1252e1ce8c2/ The-Anatomy-of-an-International-Research-Collaboration-Building-Cumulative-Comparative- Knowledge-in-Human-Resource-Management.pdf

Pucik, V., Evans, P. &Björkman, I., (2017). The global challenge: International human resource management.

Sposato, M. & Rumens, N., (2021).Advancing international human resource management scholarship on paternalistic leadership and gender: the contribution of postcolonial feminism.The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(6), pp.1201-1221.

Tung, R. &Punnett, B.J., (2017). 5. Research in International Human Resource Management. In International Management Research (pp. 35-54).de Gruyter. Wood, G., Cooke, F.L., Demirbag, M. &Kwong, C., (2018). International Journal of Human

Resource Management (IJHRM) Special Issue on: International human resource management in contexts of high uncertainties.

Zhu, J.S., (2019). Chinese multinationals’ approach to international human resource management: a longitudinal study. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(14), pp.2166-2185.


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