Free «Managing People» Essay Sample

This paper explores a case study of company with respect to various elements of its human resource base. In particular, it focuses on the various operational motives of Coca Cola Company which is a producer of a highly competitive soft drink brand in the world. The company sells its product through a brand name, Coke among other new products that have been created in the recent past. However, Coke remains a backbone of the company brand which has been boasting of being well established worldwide. Coca Cola Company traces its origin back to the 19th century when it was invented by John Pemberton and actively promoted by Sir Asa Griggs Candler who is credited for the extensive growth of the company to the world class status it has to date.

Coca Cola does not produce the final soft drink directly. Instead, the company produces syrup which is then sold to various bottlers distributed worldwide. Such bottlers include Coca-Cola Enterprises located in North America as well as Western Europe. Besides this product, the Coca-Cola also trades in soda fountain concentrates to big restaurants and other food service traders. By virtue of this fact, Coca-Cola demands an active and well equipped workforce which will not only increase its production capacity but also promote its public relations in order to maintain and enlarge its clients’ base (Pendergrast 1993).

Furthermore, the company fights to maintain its main selling brand despite producing other new products under the brand name Coke. With the increased competition and negative publicities, the company also engages in thorough awareness campaigns and advertisements which do not only cost huge managerial inputs but also reduce the amount of profit generated by the company (Brewster 2012). This, therefore, means that the company must be highly alert about various aspects affecting their employees who are the operational agents involved in promoting of company name to the public as well as direct production of commodities within the company precincts (Albrecht 2001).

The task of managing people in an organization is the responsibility of the human resource Management (HRM). This department is very vital in any organization that incorporates the input of the employees. Indeed, it is the employees’ management body that allocates the roles of each employee as well as their welfare (Pendergrast 1993). This paper puts a central focus on the Coca Cola Company which is a renowned producer of soft drinks. In essence, the company assumes a franchise production model which basically involves production of the syrup and the subsequent sale to worldwide spread bottlers who also undertake the actual distribution process. The world has been undergoing various changes especially in medical perspectives with regard to good eating habits. This has been detrimental to the consumption of soft drinks which has also necessitated the company to extend its advertisements in order to convince people to use its product (Thomson & Thomson 2002). The company serves a huge region and produces a wide range of products with many competing firms as shown in the table below:

Name Coca Cola
Served industry Beverage (Worldwide)
Headquarter US
Current Revenue $ 48.01 billion (2012)
Net profit $ 9.01 billion (2012)
Served geographical area Global
Competitors Pepsi Company, Unilever, Kraft Foods Inc, Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Employees 146,200

Consequently, the company requires a well established human resource management as it deals with maintaining a highly recognized brand and its indirect customers spread throughout the world. This, therefore, means that the company needs to encourage its employees from within and beyond its immediate production line. In this regard, Coca Cola HRM is responsible for carrying out such roles as the performance appraisals in conjunction with the entire board of organizational management (Thomson & Thomson 2002). Besides that, HRM is also charged with the responsibility of employees’ motivation aimed at building the vigor of the employees and the anxiety to offer additional services to the organization besides what is mutually deemed mandatory. This situation helps uphold the company’s publicity (Pendergrast 1993).

In a business situation, effective management of the employees or the general task force aims at realizing their full potential which translates to additional output realization. Such effectiveness can be realized through training and the subsequent retention of skilled personnel with heightened abilities as well as aptitudes towards the responsibilities given. For any profit-oriented enterprise, the main capital investment involves the investment into the human capital, the human resource (Thomson & Thomson 2002).

 Indeed, there are various segments of administration in relation to human resource management that are seemingly tedious and insignificant, particularly to the individual entrepreneur in a given business organization. Indeed, most entrepreneurs tend to focus on direct income generating ventures. However, in order for a small-scale enterprise to realize a paradigm shift from loose collection of self-centered performers and an integrated enterprise team in the long-run, the entrepreneurs must give a huge thought to the human resource of the respective enterprise (Australian Committee for Training Curriculum 1994).

There are various key elements of people management in a business organization. These include, among others, understanding the business competitive advantage a business can have attributable to good hiring procedures which may entail the planning of effective workforce within the business strategic plan (Yoder 1970).   Furthermore, a business should also develop task force management strategies as well as proper structures and performances which operate in line with the entire business strategies which are all customer-oriented interventions (Kirton & Greene 2005). Besides that, the business should also embrace effective training and hiring procedures which will enhance the workers retention within the business premises and the subsequent development of the employees’ engagement in the organizational practices (Thomson & Thomson 2002).

Other than proper hiring procedures, the organization should also develop workers’ recognition plans which also imply viable rewarding systems. Such rewarding systems include performance review as well as feedback, performance appraisals and requisite support on the employees’ personal plans. Finally, in this context, a business should develop indispensable human resource systems in full compliance with the legislative requirements with respect to employment procedures (Dwyer 1993).

In particular, this paper focuses on a physical production arena where the production of overall output is a function of the aggregate output of the employees. An example of such organization may include but not limit to sugar processing plant and a shoe manufacturing factory. Consequently, management is therefore mandated with a need to provide a favorable environment that would support high vigor of the employees in the production line. 

2.0 Theoretical Assertions

Many HR-oriented theories have indeed asserted that human resource is the cornerstone for realization of suitable competitive edge in any organization. Indeed, the irrefutable fact remains that the organizational taskforce is a major contributor to invaluable and unique features that competitors may effectively imitate (Yoder 1970).   It is also clear that a successfully imitated technique is as good as innovation and the impact the latter brings to the organization is as vast as that of an innovation. According to a collection of research outcomes at organizational level, human resource engagements affects the organizational performance by controlling the directions of the employees’ conducts as well as attitudes towards the organization. Indeed, the attitudes of the employees as well as their individual habits clearly demonstrate their perceptions towards the organizations and their expectations therein (Brewster 2000).

In the recent past, the role of the HRM has been perceived as more strategically focused and operational due to the increased revolution in both the perception of the taskforce towards the organization and the entire changes that has eminently affected the former production line. Indeed, the HRM is now perceived as a strategized human enterprise guided by the organizational values, visions and missions. As a result, there has been an increase in the need to improve the employees’ and the general organizational performance (Yoder 1970). 

 Besides this, the current aspects of human capital has put a considerable pressure on the management to undertake extensive affirmative action policies as well as gender mainstreaming activities aimed at offering equal employment opportunities. Additionally, due to increased workforce diversity, the management had to provide a set of techniques that would be used in consolidating the taskforce and a requisite avenue for communal production within the organizational framework (Luftman 2011).

Despite the fact that majority of the contemporary organizations opt for the formulation of strategic policies that align with the organizational culture and priority features, the employers should have in mind that there is an irrefutable need for the formulation of policies which consider the interests of the employees (Hall 2003). Moreover, the policies should also account for their rights in job placement other than being an absolute initiative of the management alone. In this regard, the management should incorporate employees’ contribution when formulating laws and regulations governing the conduct of the employees. In essence, people’s management is a vital and necessary task of any HRM team if the organizational objective is to be achieved at best (International Labor Organization 2001).

2.1 Human Resource Management and Its Strategic Achievement of a Competitive Advantage

The Coca Cola Company also engages in a number of solution-based measures aimed at achieving the company’s competitive advantage. In particular, the company adopted a resource-based approach towards achieving a competitive advantage through massive investments in human capital development which satisfied a variety of criteria. Human resource capital is a fundamental resource of the company (Hall 2003).  Human resource is involved in performance of the workforce which is a major agent in the enhancement of the employees’ performance and, thus, the competitive advantage of the organization. Indeed, human resource department carefully segments the taskforce through appraisals among other motivators (Pendergrast 1993).

 In essence, workplace motivation is a major task of the human resource which leads to increased initiatives by the employees to devote full potential to the production process. As a result, an enterprise is able to realize some distinctive output features that are squarely specific to the organization and completely absent in other organizations of the industry. This aspect does not only improve the overall production but also provides a competitive advantage in the performance of the respective organization. Consequently, it proves extremely necessary to look at the aspect of employees’ motivation which is a part and parcel of the responsibility of human resource geared towards increasing the competitive advantage (Yoder 1970).  

According to the research of the University of Wisconsin conducted in 1997, it is also noted that more than 75 per cent of the employees recruited by any organization are likely to change it for another in search for better terms. Indeed, this aspect of migration may result in loss of well-trained and skillful employees and, therefore, a decline in the production of the firm owing to lack of skilled manpower. To minimize this, the organization’s human resource task should focus on maximizing the organizational production aims at retaining high performing employees in order to maximize the output level while at the same time minimizing the aggregate costs of new recruitment (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 2005).

According to Dr. Jac Fitz-enz who is believed to be the founder of Human Capital Strategic Analysis, there is an aggregate loss of 1 million dollars for any departure of ten professional employees in an organization. In order to avoid such escalating losses, the human resource management is charged with the responsibility of encouraging the high-performing employees stay in the organization (Thiederman 2003). Furthermore, it is also recommended that performance-based appraisals should be used in any job placement in order to recognize striking abilities. Indeed, disengaged and unmotivated workers present the highest volatile group of company leavers (Colley 2003).

According to the Theory of Human Motivation developed by Dr. Abraham Maslow, motivation of humans is trailed by unfilled demands. Indeed, he further asserts that basic human needs of employees are the ones that the human resource must seek to satisfy first before venturing to multiple appraisals with regard to other necessities such as safety which occurs second in the scale of preferences. Consequently, an employee is motivated at all stages from the basic needs to the esteem and self-actualization. Therefore, all the employees’ needs above are pegged on the employees’ retention strategy which is placed below the human resource body of an organization (Hall 2003).

2.1.1 Building a Competitive Advantage through Talents Development

Competitive advantage of the organization can be achieved through a thorough and persistent follow-up of company’s mission and strategic objectives. However, the formulation of the latter framework demands a thorough understanding of the organization’s ability to acquire the requisite resources needed for the raising of the necessary investments. In order for an organization to develop a formidable competitive advantage through human resource processes the enterprise must be able to define strategic differentiating capabilities. The HRM should seek to acquire fundamentals of special abilities that an individual within the organizational human resource base contains (Prasad 1997). Despite the increasing competition in the beverage industry, the company is able to maintain a high competitive strategy particularly through effective management of the human resource. 

Conversely, human resource can only qualify as a source of strategic competitive advantage if it is characterized by the following: rareness, inimitability, being non-substitutable and also having a strategic value. Human resource feature of non-substitutability means that other enterprises cannot substitute it by other features to realize the same output as the mother enterprise. In this regard, the strategic feature of human resource acts as an irrefutable source of competitive advantage (Dessler 2012). Furthermore, in order for such aspects of human resource to be maintained, it must exhibit rarity in the sense that it should be hardly obtainable by competing enterprises. This presents the firm possessing this feature with a huge competitive advantage over others.  Inimitability means that a certain quality can hardly be copied by the competing enterprises and therefore becoming an advantage for the mother enterprise which can freely exploit the quality before the competitors do (Wilkinson 1998).

 Finally, the human resource must also exhibit huge ability to contribute substantial value of income to the firm and, therefore, prove to be worth of hiring and sustaining. Besides, the resource must also be inseparably appropriable to the organization it exists in to contribute substantially as a competitive advantage over other firms. The organizational management should, therefore, be in a position to maintain specificity and uniqueness through careful handling of special cases and differentiated ability in order to sustain them in the organization. Indeed, a business lacks any other aspect that can present a fair competitive advantage attributing valuable features discussed above except the human resource (Weightman 1999).

2.2 Employees Esteem and Self-actualization

Highly motivated employees with respect to desires for establishing good reputation continue to produce high quality goods or services for the good of the organization. This also helps build up self-esteem which translates into self-actualization in the long-run. Indeed, failing to provide self-esteem through absence of extra training and skill development, the employees becomes reluctant to continue offering their services to the same enterprise and leave for other organizations which can offer the missing elements. Failure to recognize the employees sends a motivation-killing message to them and in the long-run translates into poor performance of the company. Indeed, to the employees this means that service-rendering task in the company does not bring the expected outcomes which results in mental later physical disengagement of the employees (Thomson & Thomson 2002).

The management is also responsible for realization of self-actualization of each employee after achieving good skills and organizational image. Indeed, the most important strategy implies that the employees at this juncture are given more responsibilities in order to assess and re-evaluate their personal abilities within the working environment (Albrecht 2001). Besides that, the company should also recognize the employees through added authority and salary increment as a source of motivation which equally translates into good employee-employer relationship and the subsequent high level of production capacity. However, it should be recognized that, according to the article of Marshall Goldsmith based on Harvard Business Review, money is not the only variable necessary for motivation. On the contrary, the employees also needs to be involved in the processes of decision making which enhances the sense of ownership of the organization by the employees and their readiness to achieve the best for the organization (Burger, Theron, & Van Rooyen, 1996).

Goldsmith also asserts that top executives can be motivated through project opportunities and the entire recognition of their fateful achievements. This explains the reason for most CEOs who migrate from a smaller company to a larger one to acquire senior positions and more responsibilities where chances of recognition are higher than at their previous places of work.

Indeed, the concept of managing people in an organization takes a variety of dimensions which help achieving good managerial skills with respect to employees’ management (Brewster 2012).

The table below shows various ways in which financial allocations of Coca Cola are made

2.3 Preferential Treatment of the Employees Concerns

Careful handling of the employees concern by providing a listening ear besides offering the actual resolution helps the employees feel cared for and, therefore, own the organization at heart. Indeed, the management should always give a thought to the services that there employees are deemed to offer to the organization in the future. As a result, the management gives thoughts to the welfare of the employees, either personal or concerning the organization in general (Brewster 2007).

On the other hand, the management should also demonstrate a positive reinforcement. By virtue of positive reinforcement, the management makes a regular plan of reminding the employees about the good job they undertake within the organization at the most appropriate time. Recognition of good performances by any positive means other than the performance appraisals spurns the employees’ confidence making their time spent in the organization worthwhile. Thus, the overall effect reveals itself in the employees feeling encouraged taking pride in their respective jobs and improving their individual outputs under minimal supervision (Kossek & Lobel 1996).

Besides that, human resource management team is also responsible for making working conditions easier to engage through carefully outlined instructions for every level of operation. This lightens the work of the employees and helps avoid unnecessary wastages of major inputs that would result from the employees’ awkward handling of production processes. In this regard, HR managers should engage in elaborating procedures by directing the employees through the entire process of production in non-patronizing manner. In this regard, the management should carefully utilize the employees’ diversities in boosting their overall performance (Jamieson & O'mara 1991). The management should use highly skilled personnel to integrate highly acquainted skills to other lowly skilled employees which are viable means of boosting aggregate employees’ performance in the long-run.

The main contribution towards the organizational progress and success is the effective management of the human taskforce. The main process involves the organizations’ HRM strategy which aims at streamlining HRM practices within the scope of the organization with regard to wider organizational goals (Dessler 2012). There is, however, an ever increasing need for extra strategic models aiming at combating the challenges of human capital in an organization, particularly within construction industry. It is particularly relevant since the industry relies heavily on virtual teams and fragmented groups besides other independent subcontracted workforce. The industry also depends on a multi-organizational program-project undertaking framework. However, the contemporary incidences have seen the adoption of the advanced Society Human Resource Management (SHRM) strategies which entail investing in people (Hunsaker & Hunsaker 2009).

According to Armstrong, SHRM is concerned with the overall HR affairs with regard to their respective implementation. However, SHRM also integrates the people’s affairs with the organizational corporate strategies which ensure full achievement of the organizational objective through the enhancement of quality, motivation, cultural values which fasten the employees to their respective organizations. The members’ views and their personal attributes are integrated into the management and decision making which ensures that members exercise their full potential output in the organization (Dessler 2012).

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2.3.1 Staffing Objectives

The staffing objectives have a primary role of acquiring the best suited people for a given job at the right time. This refers to the whole process of recruiting and selecting the organizational staffs. However, in the modern human resource strategies, this also advances to both outsourcing and subsequent subcontracting processes with respect to hiring of employees. Other than the entrants, staffing also accounts for the departure of staffs from the organization due to such reasons like resignation, redundancy, retirement as well as unprecedented dismissal of staffs (Calvert & Harvey 2001).

2.3.2 Performance Objectives

Human resource managers have a significant role to play in helping the organization through the adoption of viable means of recognizing employees for their service to the organization and the subsequent appraisals that act as motivators towards increasing the employees’ willingness to provide more services to the organization they feel worthy in. Furthermore, the management also needs to develop sharp and effective performance management systems which act as welfare supporting mechanisms which spearhead production. In addition, the performance objective also entails the disciplinary procedures that an organization seizes in order to reshape the conducts of its employees to align with the organizational objectives and guidelines (Calvert & Harvey 2001).

The table below shows a comparison of various stages involved in human resource staffing process at the Coca Cola Company.

Ranking Activity Amount of Financial Allocation in Dollars
1 Examination of staffs 200
2 Personal Audits 100
3 Interviewing panels 100
4 Training of Employees 200
  TOTAL 600

Figure 4. Stages of Human resources Staffing at Coca Cola

2.3.3 Change Management Objectives

This objective involves careful determination and management of the employees’ relations as well as developing a task force with the requisite leadership skills and competence forming the basis of the effective management of the employees. Indeed, the basis of this objective underlies the fateful impact of the management skills as exercised in human resource management. Furthermore, it also projects particular attention on a viable reward system that would be used to underpin the resultant changes. Indeed, the recruitment of new staff members with a view of adding more staff or the subsequent addition replacement of the dismissed, resigned or retired personnel are some of the instances that may result in an organizational change in staffing and necessitate the management to undertake extensive plans to reinstate a new taskforce to fill up the gap (Calvert & Harvey 2001).

2.3.4 Administrative Objectives

Last but not least in this context is the administrative objective. This objective mainly aims at maintaining a reliable data with respect to the employees in an organization characterized by accuracy and clarity. This information may include attendance, contracts and social welfare as well as the organizational placement with respect to compliance with legal authority requirements. Employees’ education boosts workers-employers relations due to full compliance with the set regulations within and beyond the organizational precinct by both the employees and the employers (Calvert & Harvey 2001). In order to capture the target market, Coca-Cola management team and HRM in particular should engage in vigorous planning with respect to the employee management in order to factor virtually all factors affecting employee as far as their personal and company matters are concerned.

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3.0 Maintenance of Employees’ Relation by the Organization

Coca-Cola Company basically maintains a resource-based approach towards developing of human capital and, therefore, enhances resource capacity of the company towards establishing a sustainable workforce (Albrecht 2001). It does not only boost the overall production, but also enhances quality production through encouragement of talents and special employees’ qualities via specialized investment in human capital development. Good employees’ relations are pegged by the organizational management of the human resource. However, it is clear that there is no individual within the management who is charged with this responsibility in isolation. Indeed, the particular management role assumes different technical approaches depending on the vitality of the issue at hand (Brewster 2012).

Complex issues regarding employees’ relations are dealt with at relatively higher levels of the organizational hierarchy, presumably at the director’s level. However, in spite of seriousness level of the issue concerning the employees, the management should treat it with heightened significance as failure to do so may result in a more complex problem that would further deter the progress of the organization. Human resource practitioners should not only develop policies aimed at increment of output level but also other personal-oriented policies that will spur the development of an individual for ease of service delivery. Human resource panel should use equitable and merit-based performance appraisals which would motivate employees and increase their unit outputs (Albrecht 2001).

Finally, the active management of people in Coca-Cola Company has been one of the major contributors in turning the company to a highly competitive brand in the field. Indeed, good employees’ relations are presumably one of the most important aspects of management which dictate the extent of advances of the organization. In this regard, human resource management with the contemporary intervention of the society through SHRM is an important determinant of the overall progress of the organization particularly those that depends on the employees’ direct contact with clients or assuming a direct output model. Additionally, it necessitates the conduction of careful procedures during the recruitment for the purpose of acquiring highly competitive workforce and a subsequent formulation of outstanding measures meant to retain the staff within the production line of the organization. 

4.0 Conclusion

This paper focuses on various elements that need to be implemented by Coca Cola Company in order to assist in improving efficiency of Human Resource Management practice. It provides elements of management of people within the organization and the role played by employees in production of the drinks. The major key elements that need to be incorporated in managing people include planning of the workforce and task force development and embracing training and hiring procedures that enhances retention of employees within the organization. This paper also includes an emphasis on the role of rewarding systems as a method of motivating employees and enhancement of employees ‘plans. It also states the importance of compliance with the legislative systems during employment processes.

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It also explains some theoretical assumptions regarding human resource management such as the effects of human resource on performance of organizational directions control and attitudes of organizations.  It then explains the specific strategic goals that have been developed by Coca Cola Company to gain a competitive advantage such as adoption of resource based approach towards achieving a competitive advantage through enhanced investment in human capital development that satisfy a number of criteria. It also involves an explanation of the role of work place motivation in increasing employee devotion to full production process.

Talent development is identified as an area of gaining a competitive advantage over competitors and this paper explains ways in which talent development is practiced at Coca Cola. This involves seeking specific abilities in an individual within the organization. It also explains the role of maintaining specificity and uniqueness

Self esteem is also regarded an important area where employee competitiveness can be achieved by the Human Resource Management Department. This involves provision of extra training and skill development to enhance the willingness of employees to offer their services to the organization.

Staffing objectives that are intended to be achieved by Coca Cola include acquisition of qualified employees for a given job. It emphasizes on processes such as recruiting the right staffs and outsourcing and subsequent subcontracting of expertise in various fields within the organization.

Generally, Coca Cola Company intends to enhance Management of people by maintaining a positive relationship with employees within the organization, implementing the right management policies,  and implementing the right leadership structure.


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