Walmart Corporation is a multi-billion American multinational company. It has over 6000 stores worldwide. Walmart employs a lot of people and is considered a leading employer of minority groups. In the past, Walmart has had a high employee turnover. A part of my responsibilities as a member of the management team that deals with employee relations is looking at factors that might be causing stress in the work place and leading to a high turnover of employees. This will include the analysis of factors that are likely to cause stress among employees in the workplace environment. Other factors that will be analyzed are dealing with conflict within the organization and the best leadership approaches that will lead to a successful and prosperous organization will also be discussed.
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One of the likely stressors for employees, especially at lower levels, is the workload. This affects different employees in different ways as their issues may be different. This includes long working hours; carrying heavy loads, shift systems that cannot be predicted among others (American Psychological Association, 2012). Another stressor is low pay and benefits that few employees can manage, such as the current health care scheme; other likely stressors for employees are low wage rates and bad working conditions. In order to deal and mitigate these stressors, the company should have a job description for all employees so that they know what is expected of them at all times. Another recommendation is to revise pay and benefits to reflect current market conditions such as inflation. This will reduce some of the issues that cause stress among customers. In addition, workplace conditions should be continually improving to comply with government regulations. Once this is done, there will be better employee retention and employees will improve their productivity.
Teamwork in a place like Walmart is unavoidable. Managers should choose the best work teams among employees that are suitable to fulfill their responsibilities. The best types of work teams for Walmart Corporation are virtual teams, problem solving teams and self directed teams. Virtual teams are created across geographical regions and use technology to communicate. These groups are perfect since Walmart has many stores in different geographical regions. This allows interactions between the stores. The team can make decisions, do business and share information that is relevant to them. They use technology such as video and telephone conferencing to communicate and hold meetings. This requires a lot of commitment as the members cannot communicate face to face.
Problem solving teams are formed when issues that cannot be solved through existing structures of the organizations arise. This allows members from different departments to work together in finding a solution to a problem. When a problem is detected, a team is formed and charged with finding solutions to the problem. Once a solution is found and presented to the management, the team is disbanded. These are only temporary teams. Self directed teams within Walmart are formed especially among people of the same department. The team makes decisions concerning how they want an activity to be carried out. They choose the best way to complete the task.
There are many group dynamics that have to be considered and they determine the success of the team in accomplishing the tasks they are charged with. Group behavior will determine the success and effectives of the group. Commitment is required from all of the members. Development stages of teams involve the formation, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2003). These are the stages since the group is formed to the end when it is disbanded after the task is completed. Decision making within groups is generally slow as the members have to agree before the decision is accepted. Commitment is required from all members for sound decision making.
There are different leadership approaches within organizations. In Walmart, the leadership approach is transformational leadership where employees are encouraged to embrace and internalize change for the prosperity of the company. This is an emerging leadership approach where leaders are aware of the impact of employees to the success of the company. Leaders also look to the success of the company as being dependent on the customers and hence the customer always comes first. There are three major leadership approaches - traditional, contemporary and emerging leadership approaches. These are based on the incorporation of modern and traditional methods in leadership.
Traditional leadership approaches are mostly top down where the top level management makes decisions and gives instructions to employees at lower levels (House et al, 2004). Contemporary leadership is a mix of the modern and traditional leadership and does not revolve around the abilities of the management but also on employees. Emerging practices are modern and include approaches such as contingency, situational and transformation models. Recommendations for other best practices in the organization are participatory approach where the employees at lower levels are involved in the decision making process (House et al, 2004). This encourages them to embrace changes and be more committed to the company. Transformational practice is also a good leadership approach which enhances retention of employees as well as increasing their commitment to the company.
Interpersonal conflict within an organization is caused by human related factors. It is between individuals who work within the same organization (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2003). Factors that cause friction among individuals are different attitudes, perceptions, backgrounds and cultures. Conflict in this case can be maintained by having a code of conduct within the organization and ensuring that all employees are aware and understand it. Ambiguity of roles within the workplace also causes friction (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2003). These can be mitigated by ensuring there are specific roles for individuals in each level. These will reduce duplication of work as well as conflicts relating to who is supposed to do a particular job. Employees should be given written job descriptions during commencement of duties. This will reduce the possibility of conflicts coming up among employees.
In conclusion, Walmart should come up with approaches that will enhance employee relations. This will help in retention of good employees and attract talented new recruits. Employees are important in fulfilling a company’s mission and play a critical role in its success. The management should put in place policies that will ensure good working conditions in the organization to promote job satisfaction and higher productivity.