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Human Resource Management Profile and Assessment: A Case of Apple Inc.Institution:Tutor:Course:Date:IntroductionEvery organization has a governing body that deals with all issues pertaining to the employees. Employee-related issues are handled by the Human Resource Officer (s). The overall interaction between the Human Resource Officer and employees constitute a discipline known as Human Resource Management (HRM). This paper seeks to describe and evaluate HRM policies and practices of a popular public company in the U.S, Apple Inc. The paper will present a thorough company profile and assessment. The key issues include the company description from an internal perspective, staffing issues, major HRM policies and practices, the effectiveness of HRM in the company, as well as how the company handles human resource-based challenges. The paper will conclude with a set of recommendations regarding improvement of certain HRM aspects in the company.Company descriptionApple Inc. was established on April 1st, 1976 by Steven Paul Jobs, Ronald Gerald Wayne, and Stephen G. Wozniak in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. was later incorporated on January 3rd, 1977 (Shetty, 2011). The current Chief Executive Officer and Director is Tim Cook. The company’s vision statement is “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings”. Apple Inc.’s mission statement reads as follows: “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad” (Jurevicius, 2013). As highlighted in the mission statement, Apple Inc. designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication gadgets, computers, media devices such as TVs, software applications and digital music players (Apple Inc., 2016). The company operates in particular regions namely America, Europe, China, Japan and Asia Pacific.According to a 2015 graphical presentation on the CNN website, Apple Inc.’s employees have been increasing steadily from 63,300 employees in 2011 to 110,000 employees in 2015 (Apple Inc., 2015). The company embraces diversity in its recruitment of employees. In a publication on Apple Inc.’s website, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook affirmed that the company believes in diversity to foster innovation. Mr. Cook added on to say that Apple Inc. aspires to offer new opportunities fairly to both gender and different races. In 2015, the company recorded a significant change in the percentage of new hires as compared to the previous year, 2014. That is, 35% women (global), 19% Asian (U.S), 13% Hispanic (U.S) and 11% Black (U.S) (Inclusion inspires innovation, 2015).Values Adopted By Apple Inc. Relative to Recruitment, Retention, Motivation, and EvaluationApple Inc. employs a number of values related to employee recruitment, retention, motivation and evaluation. The company values equality in its recruitment process. A publication on Apple Inc.’s website quoted the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook shedding light on the issue. Mr. Cook confirmed that the company is putting in extra effort to the recruitment of talented and skilled people from underrepresented groups in the industry (Inclusion inspires innovation, 2015).The electronic technology-based mobile and computers company has an adorable employee retention history. In 2015, Apple Retail Store recorded an 81% employee retention rate. Apple’s Retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, attributed the high employee retention rate to employee satisfaction and love for the work they do (Hauk, 2016). The company employs the value of unity and teamwork. Employees gain a sense of belonging and hence minimize their chances of leaving the company.Employees gain motivation from live examples at work, especially from the senior management. One of Apple’s founders, Mr. Steve Jobs, has been appraised of demonstrating exceptional leadership skills (Mehta, Kurbetti & Dhankhar, 2014). Apple, therefore, employs the value of emotional intelligence of senior management to motivate the employees. The employees are bound to yield better results regarding productivity.Employee evaluation at Apple Inc. is an ongoing process. Evaluation is founded on the value of a two-way feedback system between the appraiser and the appraised. The employees are evaluated based on company objectives, tasks and results yielded in accordance with the joint agreement between and an individual and their line manager. The process of performance evaluation and appraisal provides an opportunity for counseling individual staff members, salary reviews and allocation of merit payments. In addition, employees who score highly on the performance sheet receive great rewards, thereby boosting their morale (Mehra, 2015).HRM Policies and Practices in the OrganizationThe success of Apple Inc. is mainly determined by its human resource management policies and practices. The company’s HRM policies are founded on a favorable and conducive working environment to foster innovation (Cheng, Huang & Hsiao, 2010). As mentioned earlier in this paper, Apple Inc. offers equal employment opportunities to a number of nationalities. The better working environment and diverse personnel enable the company to hit peak performance. Moreover, the company engages in an employer-employee relationship through programs geared towards personal development and growth, as well as organizational development. Iliev, Lindinger & Poettler (2004) note that Apple seeks employees’ contribution towards resolving underlying issues in the company. The staff members’ feedback is used to improve the company’s training programs and overall company operations.Personnel commitment to excellence is yet another policy upheld by Apple Inc. The company ensures that its workforce is well-trained and skilled. The personnel’s passion for the work is inevitable (lliev, Lindinger & Poettler, 2004). As mentioned earlier, Apple Inc.’s employees love their job and possess a sense of belonging. The company’s HRM practices are a major contributing factor to employees’ peak performance. Apple Inc. demonstrates integrity in its selection and recruitment processes. Furthermore, employees are taken through educative training programs and a motivating appraisal process. Also, the company fosters teamwork and effective communication skills (Prowse & Prowse, 2010). However, the company has imposed certain limits on the employees; the employees are not supposed to post pictures online taken within an Apple Store. Further, the privacy policies of the company restrict staff members from using their Apple email accounts for personal use or unleashing information about unreleased products (Camm-Jones, 2011).The Effectiveness of HRM in the OrganizationThe effectiveness of HRM in Apple Inc. is witnessed in its overall employee performance. Apple’s relationship with its employees yields more commitment, increased flexibility, easy adaptability and general employee welfare (Prowse & Prowse, 2010). The future of Apple is predictably bright. With its HRM practices, employees are bound to vest more interest in learning new skills and gaining creativity to boost innovations. Other than increased productivity, the company is likely to encounter minimal interpersonal conflicts due to the effective teamwork endorsed by the HR function.Employee cooperation and the self-drive to perform tasks at Apple Inc. simplify the work of the HR managers. The processes of monitoring and evaluation of performance become less hectic. The company achieves high levels of efficiency in both quality and innovations. The diversity of the task force enables creation and sharing of innovative ideas (lliev, Lindinger & Poettler, 2004).Apple’s HR practices contribute to the company’s profitability as well as ability to manage change. Apple aims at designing an interactive process for boosting the capacity of sharing and absorption of knowledge in a centralized location (Apple Inc., 2010). It is believed that training programs enhance productivity outcomes among staff members. Apple focuses at inventing new aspects of knowledge based on a reevaluation of current knowledge. The objective is set to be achieved by seeking partnership with novel associations in the technology field (Apple Inc., 2010). The planned partnership is yet another illustration of Apple’s bid enhance employee skills and competitiveness in the fast growing technology industry. New knowledge will enable the employees to tackle various challenges related to the firm’s products and operations.Strategic knowledge management fosters innovation. This is one key philosophy that Apple has adopted, geared towards fresh innovations. In the previous paragraph, the paper has pointed out the plans that Apple has put in place to acquire new knowledge. Management of the knowledge is the next key step. Understanding new concepts and how various technological developments function arises from proper management of creative ideas. Apple has succeeded in improving efficiency and the creation of new products and services by effective management of existing knowledge. Moreover, the company engages in systematic investment in employee skills, talents and capabilities of innovation (Flynn, 2011). Consequently, employees adapt to the technological advancements in the competitive technology industry. It is evident that Apple places a high priority on advancing the employees’ skills towards the performance of more tasks. Furthermore, an increased performance and innovative technologies impact positively to the company.The Relationship between Organizational Philosophy and Operational PoliciesThe company’s organizational philosophy and operational policies are interdependent. Apple Inc.’s philosophy is underpinned in the relationship between labor productivity and profitability. To maximize profits and increase productivity, the company’s operational policies play a strategic role. Prowse & Prowse (2010) point out that Apple operates on a contingency plan rather than conformity. That is, the company does not have a rigid way of conducting its operations. A contingency plan gives the employees freedom and flexibility to exploit their creativity and improve their quality of work through increased commitment. In addition, enforces motivation strategies to boost personnel performance. Apple creates a competitive advantage for itself by creating incentives aimed at retaining skilled staff members.Apple Inc.is organized in departments comprising of groups that perform similar functions. The company applies the functional approach to distinguish the main divisions namely, human resource, finance, marketing and production. Departmental hierarchies are formed from the existing subsystems in each division (Hendrix, 2014).Staff management is done by grouping personnel with shared skills, expertise and resources together. The coherence of skills among the employees has enhanced better implementation of the different functional divisions. Therefore, the company is able to pay special attention to the particular functions thus reducing the cost of production. Furthermore, Apple Inc. has experienced greater flexibility in its operations (Hendrix, 2014).Apple Inc. exercises a decentralized form of management. That is, decision-making is not solely by the top management, even though the managers possess a greater control over the implementation of tasks. Lower level managers and employees are given the opportunity to raise any issues or recommendations towards improving the company’s productivity. The company enjoys a number of advantages accrued to decentralization. These include improved planning, decision-making and control processes (Hendrix, 2014). Apple Inc. has identified its competitive advantage which is the production of highly advanced technologies. Consequently, the company has directed its energy to marketing strategies on its popular sales avenues like iPod and iTunes. The marketing department has generated relatively high revenue from the sales at a global level. The company recorded quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and a net income of &18.4 billion for its fiscal year 2016 first quarter ended December 26th, 2016 (Apple reports record, 2016).Apple Inc. assigns the role of providing the financial policy to the company to the personnel in the Finance Treasury division. The personnel is charged with the responsibility of handling the international capital transactions of the company, financial stability and financial risk management. The company considers the role of the financial manager as crucial for the company’s strategic management. The Finance division also drafts the capital required for the R&D. The capital is used to maintain the innovation capacity of the company (Hendrix, 2014).How the Organization Addresses HRM-Related ChallengesThe company has a strategic way of addressing challenges related to the human resource. Apple Inc. internal problems include direct access to the sales force to corporations. In a comparative analysis with another multinational technology and consulting corporation, IBM, Apple Inc. is said to have relied on 300 manufacturers while IBM had over 6000 direct salesmen. Apple Inc., however, has resorted to contingent plans such as establishing more sales staff. The company is also reported to experience a marketing problem. This is after it failed to elaborate on the nature of one of its products, Macintosh, to the potential target market. However, Apple Inc. failed to meet the customer needs and hence failing to address the challenge accordingly (Hendrix, 2014).The company’s organizational structure also poses as a management problem. The production and shipment problems in Apple Inc. are associated with supply inconveniences. Apple’s supplier, IBM, is said to have experienced manufacturing problems hence the delay in shipment of various products. The speed of delivery of products in any market is critical. The delay cost Apple Inc. quite a fortune. However, the Human Resource department in Apple Inc. seeks solutions to such competitive disadvantages as it organizes meetings, conferences, special projects to cope with the fast paced store environment (Hendrix, 2014).RecommendationsBased on the thorough analysis and evaluation of Human Resource Management of Apple Inc., the paper brings forth some specific recommendations for improving several aspects of HRM in the company. The company may consider seeking volunteers to educate the top management on advanced human resource management strategies. Another idea would be the use of technology to train employees on various tasks such as how different company software work, rather than manual training. Such technology may include audio-video tutorials on the company’s portal, where the employees would use their Apple emails to sign in. The company may also consider expanding their scope of operation to the global circle including the African continent. Employee recruitment and selection can include the absorption of physically disabled persons. The disadvantaged group can get an opportunity to be trained on how to handle the different devices. For instance, the blind may be trained on how to use the voice commands on mobile phones and computers to execute the desired functions. Regarding performance evaluation, the company may introduce an internal technology challenge. Individual employees may then be required to design a unique application in a bid to foster innovation and finally reward the most creative and feasible application. Lastly, Apple Inc. may consider joining a labor union and registering all their employees. This would ensure the employees’ rights are respected and the employees are duly compensated for their efforts in the company operations.ReferencesApple INC. (2010) Annual 10 K Report. Retrieved from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Njc1MzN8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1Apple Inc. (2015). Retrieved May 6, 2016, from CNN: http://money.cnn.com/quote/profile/profile.html?symb=AAPLApple Reports Record First Quarter Results. (2016, January 26). Retrieved May 6, 2016, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2016/01/26Apple-Reports-Record-First-Quarter-Results.htmlCamm-Jones, B. (2011, December 5). Apple employee blogging and social media guidelines revealed. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from Macworld: http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apple/apple-employee-blogging-social-media-guidelines-revealed-3322764/Chen, C., Huang, J., & Hsiao, Y. (2010). Knowledge management and innovativeness: the role of organizational climate and structure. International Journal of Manpower, 31(8), pp. 848-870.Flynn, S. (2011). Can you directly motivate employees? Exploding the myth. Development and learning in Organizations 25(1), pp. 11-15.Hauk, C. (2016, January 1). Apple Store Had 81% Employee Retention Rate in 2015 – Angela Ahrendts: ‘I See Them as Executives’. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from MacTrast: http://www.mactrast.com/2016/01/apple-store-had-81-employee-retention-in-2015-angela-ahrendts-i-see-them-as-executives/Hendrix, S. J. (2014, July 29). Apple’s Organizational Structure. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from Academia: http://www.academia.edu/7937905/Apples_Organizational_StructureIlliev, V., Lindinger, A., & Poettler, G. (2004). Apple Computer Inc.: Strategic Audit. Dublin Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://www.andreaslindinger.net/downloads/strategicmgmts-lindingeretal.pdfInclusion inspires innovation. (2015). Retrieved May 6, 2016, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/diversity/Jurevicius, O. (2013, September 14). Mission statement of Apple. Retrieved from Strategic Management Insight: https://www.strategicmanagementinsight.com/mission-statements/apple-mission-statement.htmlMehra, M. K. (2014). Review Paper – Study on Employee Retention and Commitment. International Journal of Advance Research in, 2(2), 154-162.Mehra, S. (2015, February 4). Performance appraisal system & Management systems of various companies. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/SherylMehra1/performance-appraisal-system-management-systems-of-various-companiesProwse, P., & Prowse, J. (2010). Whatever Happened to Human Resource Performance? International Journal of Productivity and Management 59(2), pp. 145-162.Shetty, N. (2011, January 22). Human Resource Management of Apple Inc. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from Management Paradise: http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/human-resources-management-h-r/213861-human-resource-management-apple-inc.html
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