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Human Resource Management and Culture in Woolworth Australia Assessment 3 Answer

Assessment 3 - Group Report and Presentation

Task description: This assignment involves students working in groups (4 students in a group). The students will be divided into engineered groups. The groups are then required to select a organisation in conjunction with the lecturer. The groups need to seek lecturer's approval before finalising the organisation for the purpose of the assessment. Find examples of Human resource management practices they utilise; such as the organisations culture, how they motivate and engage their workforce or what they do to develop areas of diversity within the organisation. Do an evaluation of ONE of these areas for your selected company.

Task Length: 2500 words

Group Presentation (Week 11, Presentation is Individual marking)

Task Weight: 40% (Report - 30%, Presentation -10%)

Answer

Woolworth in Australia

Executive Summary

Through this report, the discussion is on Human resource management and culture within Woolworth Australia. It is important to note, how the company is building its future, by hiring the best suitable talents at present. As observed, how the company has streamlined its process and expanded, but by hiring and integrating the best suitable talents, the company would ensure to produce benchmark results. To ensure the best suitable talents are within the company's interest, it has to train, develop and also provide a stable environment.  By background, the company Woolworths has been a pioneer in embracing technology and was the first store in Australia to install electronic cash receipt machines as early as 1926. The company has a pragmatic focus on technology and innovations were there to stay. It has always mapped the market and created a sensation in the market, either when it's focusing to launch its new product, open new stores or hiring new talent. Woolworths not only expanded their stores but also experimented and introduced multiple products under its roof. In the end, motivation level and the organization's interests would be accessed and the specific key areas would be recognized, a conclusion and recommendation would be a draw. 

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to analyze the internal and external factors related to Woolworth Australia Management. The Woolworths Limited (Woolworths Group) was founded on 22 September 1924 by five Australian entrepreneurs – Percy Christmas, Stanley Chatterton, Cecil Scott Waine, George Creed and Ernest Williams (Grimmer, 2017). While they had the first store opened on 5 December 1924 in Sydney, the store name was "Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement". Initially, the shareholders were few and it took time to get investors and public money to its shares, Woolworths have been famous for giving excellent dividend to shareholders.

Woolworths was quick to expand and had a great strategy wherein they claimed to sell at the lowest prices and with a money-back guarantee and thus there was a huge rush of buyers to their stores and Woolworths became a household name in no time. It was around 1927 that they had introduced fresh vegetables and groceries which were a rage as consumers felt the cleanliness and comfort in buying groceries from supermart than going to local markets. This was a new experience and was well taken as well. As it was an ever-evolving organization, Woolworths in line with sustainable growth had announced to ban single-use plastic in its stores in 2018 and thus saw a massive reduction in plastic going to landfill (Haskins, 2017). It also took steps to remove plastic packaging’s form its stores. 

Background

The Woolworths brand was always visualized to lead and be the topmost supermarket.  It has always acquired with the action in line to changing trends. In 1982, Woolworths Limited went on massive expansion by acquiring two Tasmanian grocery brands Roelf Vos and Purity by which they came to a significant presence. It also bought American supermarket giant Safeway Inc.'s stores across Australia and this also led to a massive hike in its store numbers and also made a statement to the world that Woolworths is a giant and would not let other brands to settle and stay in its homeland. Woolworth had focussed on fresh food and was trying to source almost 100% produce from Australia, its homeland. In line with such a theme, they launched a tagline that "Australia's Fresh Food People" to establish the fact that 96% of fresh produce sold in Woolworths supermarkets is grown in Australia (Govender, 2017).  

Motivation and Engagement Overview

To keep employees engaged and involved, Woolworths has ensured that the motivation and engagement are directly proportional to each other and an organization can reap huge benefits if employees or its stakeholders are motivated enough to work. In a situation where employees are motivated, their engagement levels would be very different and they would treat the task or the job as their own and work as business owners rather than a mere employee of the service provider or a supplier. A motivated supplier would take every step to help the organization by working hard to manage his supplies or to produce better products thus helping the organization and helping him indirectly (Fernie, 2018). Similarly, an employee would treat the work as his own and would be able to manage things better and be happy as well which would directly improve his productivity. In a scenario wherein an employee or stakeholder is not motivated, he/she would only perform the task at hand considering it as a mere job that needs to be done and ultimately the organization would suffer because of this. Thus it is in the interest of the organization as well to keep its employees and stakeholders motivated and increase their engagement levels which would ultimately increase the productivity and the results (Govender, 2017)

Similarly, the ultimate customers need to be felt motivated enough to visit a store or be fixated to a particular brand or store chain. It is important that a brand should think of its customers as well so that they are not lured by competitors or to give them a reason to revisit and keep revisiting the store or the brand. Since employees and suppliers are known to the brand owner, their incentives and perks could be fixed by the brand owners but the trickiest part is to understand customer’s behavior and his sensitivities (Coetzee, 2017). Brand promotion or advertisement needs to take care of customers' choices, race, ethnicity, creed, etc. and cannot be at any time biased intentionally or unintentionally.  Thus to be ahead of competition, it needs to hire motivated people, keep on the engagement levels up, speak with employees and listen to their suggestions and wishes, try and add motivation by improving incentives and perks,  recognize and reward people performing well and motivating others to outperform themselves in the process (Biddle, 2016)

Motivation and Engagement at Woolworth

Woolworth’s team values its clients and staff and includes various excellent programs to keep them glued to the company (Mortimer, 2019). The motivation and engagement factors are taken care of by various loyalty schemes and numerous incentives and rewards, coupons, etc. the well thought rewards form a major attraction as the rewards or coupons are of real use to customers. Woolworth also launched its membership card which tracked all the purchases and other rewards as applicable thus reducing paper and manual work. This step proved to be a vital factor is studying and understanding consumer behavior and their shopping preferences including demographic purchases. Woolworths also launched its co-branded credit card to its customers which were combined with features of a normal credit card and had benefits to be redeemed at Woolworths.  Woolworths also had a reward program named as the Frequent Shopper Club, stylized as F$C. For the employees, they frequently treat them with the heavy cash voucher instead of routinely going for the shopping and using the accrual points. For the  employees, the company ensures, to provide rewarding performance parameters and evaluates them at every step. The company considers employees as their priority and brand has provided programs and incentives which are adaptable and flexible to suit employees. The company business model and practices are built around the employees (Luiz, 2016).

Specific Areas

a) Customer-Centric 

As observed, how to understand by now that Woolworths marketing and strategy are very dedicated and focused and have been able to reap benefits as the policies are customer-centric and thus are well received in the market. Its flexibility and adaptability have made Woolworths relevant and in demand. It is due to their good study of changing trends and market demand that Woolworths is at the top of the industry and are looking like Australia's fastest-growing food and liquor retailer. The focus on consumers of all age brackets has reaped benefits and they have attracted kids as well with their Aussie Animal Trading Cards, which attracted a large market of children (Haskins, 2018). While the advertisements for petrol and grocery discounts and brand promotion by celebrities have impacted positively on sales.

b) Employee Centric and Management

Employee centric and management are the main Woolworths criteria to relate and manage with. As a focus area, Woolworths ensure that the products put on shelves are the products that a customer wants to buy and is in great demand. As a result, the stores are well stocked with the established household brands known and loved by all. In addition to this, there would be various upcoming brands and products around the store to add to the line of products (Hepworth, 2019). All the food products are sourced by food experts and then tested by qualified taste testers and thus it reaches to stores which in turn are appreciated by Woolworths shoppers. It is ensured that the Essential items are packaged at the right size and cheapest of prices so that the everyday essentials and must-have item of a very kitchen are available at ease to all at an affordable price. While all this, the range of organic food is developed closer to the way it should be natural and is packed with simplicity and with wholesome ingredients resulting in the goodness of the product. The meat and other animal products are sourced from farms with the highest standards and welfare conditions and animals are raised naturally to the meat rather than giving them chemically enhanced food, they are reared naturally so the harmful impact on the body is negligent (Fernie, 2018). Thus this ensures a sustainable rearing of animals which also is good for nature.

c) Dignity &  building a reputation

Woolworths has a solid foundation wherein they are committed to working hard with integrity. They have been down to earth and thus have been able to be related to its consumer's choice. Also, it has grown organically and the current senior leaders were shop floor owners years back and thus it has a great focus on its people and staff which also gives ownership feeling to the staff who work towards the growth of its organization. With such a workforce, the focus is only on its customers and thus every step taken is customer-centric and they strive to make the lives of customers simpler, easier and better. Woolworth has been open, honest, fair and transparent in all dealings. Woolworth team can manage its stakeholders well by putting their interests first and thus they have thought of customers, team members, manufacturers, producers first and the impact on them before finalizing any strategy and thus have been able to win trust and heart of all its stakeholders and earn brand equity in the market (Grimmer 2018). This is proved by sheer numbers wherein Woolworths service 28 million customers every single week and has a staff of more than 190,000 team members while 6,500 have been there for over 25 years.

d) Stakeholders

There are certain core principles Woolworths wherein they focus on building a relationship of trust with their stakeholders and partners and are governed by three simple ideas of collaboration, fairness, and sourced locally. Their sourcing team can earn the trust of suppliers and over 80% of their relations can be traced longing for more than a decade now. Due to this bonding, the Woolworths team can communicate the customer's demand or wishlist to its suppliers and can fetch them rather quickly so that they can fulfill the wishes of its customers. Besides, Woolworths has also promoted a culture of easy access to senior management for any partner and is open for feedback or any other concerns they have.  To be fair to small suppliers as well, Woolworths has taken a bold step to help them with faster payouts by helping them supply in smaller quantities as the small suppliers cannot take a big order and their working capital cycle would be a stretch hence, Woolworths order smaller quantities to them.

Recommendations

Woolworths integrates people from different and diverse backgrounds and integrates the people with diverse background and work alongside with the opportunity to work. To ensure, diverse people from the enriched background works within the Woolworths, should be managed through the desirable performances, rewards system and designing it as per the standards of the market. The Woolworth should also integrate the policy of Equal Employment opportunity and sign anti-poaching, to avoid Woolworth trained employees getting into the competitor's business. It should also work over the violation to share any trade secrets or any business information, which the competitors can bank upon. The Woolworth should also consider employing the disable people and provide special recognition and opportunity to such people. To ensure, Woolworth employee's engagement and performance are within the employee's interest, the company should open its communication and should also take a personal interest in building a suitable career within its company (Grimmer, 2018).

Conclusions

Woolworths Group is a fantastic brand and a very good franchisee who believes in adding quality in everything they do and outperform themselves by enhancing the quality in every product they sell and thus they can add on to the delivery experience. While they aspire to be the world's most responsible retailers, their commitment to sustainable growth sums up their efforts and endeavor to be passionate and committed to doing and promoting good business practices. The approach is well deserved as they remain customer-obsessed and think for a customer at first place, they remain focused and responsible and thus are inspirational to all other players and also influence business practices of other corporate players. Their collaborative approach has earned them a place in the heart of suppliers and consumers and they always take all their stakeholder's interests into account while deciding on a strategy or arriving at a decision. All said and done, the constant endeavor for delivering quality in everything they do have made them distinctive and made them different from other retailers in Australia and maybe globally as well. 

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