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Apple Inc. is a publicly-traded company that has 393 retail stores in 14 countries and 92 600 full-time employees. It means that Human Resource Management is an essential direction of their management. The global strategy of Apple Inc. is based on the development of human resources through diversity and integration in the international market. New products like the All-new iMac, iPad 4, iPhone 5, and iPad mini prove future perspectives of the company and the endless potential and creativity of its employees. Increasing profits at 24% prove the financial stability of the company and. As a result, one can say that it is at the peak of success that is provided by human resources (Ashcroft, 2012).
Apple Inc. supplies the best gadgets to the different customers (students, businesses and government agencies, educators). Their business strategy is based on their unique ability to develop and design their own hardware, operating systems, services, application software. It can be concluded that they do not copy anything from their competitors but try to be unique and original. Their continual investment in development and research is the way to continual success.
Human Resource Management is an essential part of the management of Apple Inc. that provides both selection and recruitment processes. Human resource managers are interested in creative and inventive people as they produce new tools and try to be the best in the industry. The current essay intends to explain the peculiarities of the HRM strategy of Apple Inc., describe the selection and recruitment, and evaluate the competitive advantage of the company with efficient Human Resource Management. It also reveals the impact of diversity on organizational business strategy.
How Apple Inc. Uses Its Human Resource Management Strategy to Support its Business Strategy
An increase in net sales from $9.3 billion to $10.2 billion in 2014 proves Apple's growth and successful business strategy (Ashcroft, 2012). The key aspects of the business strategy of the company can be listed as follows: realizations of potentials of the company, strategic management, the strategy of diversification, creating of shareholder and individual value. Apple’s business strategy includes diversification of business, making the business of the gadgets dominant, and constraint diversification. However, one should say that Apple Inc. uses its Human Resource Management strategy to reinforce the business strategy.
Firstly, Apple Inc. uses HRM as a contribution to the achievement of the organizational mission, competencies, priorities, and objectives. Improvement of employee performance, successful human resource planning, development and recruiting processes, and organization of learning and training are the key aspects of HRM and driving forces for the business strategy. Secondly, employee performance can increase sales and profits. Human resource planning provides a search for efficient and talented employees. Recruiting processes only diminish the probability of failures and losses. Learning and training will promote the implementation of change processes and innovation.
HRM strategy supports the business strategy of Apple Inc. through negotiation skills, conflict handling skills, interpersonal skills, and management skills that create a friendly atmosphere and benefit an organizational success. One should mention that HRM strategy uses an innovative and creative approach to management. As a result, it destroys all traditional methods and presupposes constant changes. Apple Inc. uses its HRM strategy to support its business strategy through building future perspectives in recruitment, training, and performance. HRM strategy is constantly changing and becoming innovative as a business strategy of Apple Inc. Obviously, one should not separate such strategies but use them in the complex. Conflict management, performance, and diversity are the factors crucial to the HRM strategy and business strategy of Apple Inc. The business strategy of Apple Inc. is supported by HRM strategy, its recruitment techniques, and diversity policy. HRM strategy is the component of Apple's business strategy (Berman & Bowman, 2010).
How Apple Inc. is Leveraging its Human Capital to Contribute to the Financial Performance of the Business
The efficiency of the financial performance of Apple Inc. results in high profits. For example, with a profit of $622 billion, Apple received the status of the most valuable company. 26.9 million iPhones were sold, as well as 14.0 million of iPads (Ashcroft, 2012). The figures prove high progress rates and the proper leveraging of the company’s human capital. The financial prosperity of Apple Inc. was ensured by the efficient, creative, and talented employees.
Asia manufactures hardware products for Apple Inc, being the primary outsourcing partner of Apple Inc. OEM partners delegate the raw materials. Apple Inc. also implements automated receiving systems. Apple Inc. collaborates with many manufacturers of the world. One should say that due to such fact the company involves diverse human capital due to their international policy and operating worldwide. As a result, political, economic, technological, and cultural factors define the quality of human resources.
Direct and indirect distribution channels are used by Apple, and it means that the company deals with a large number of employees. They are retail stores, direct sales force, cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, resellers. Despite the well-developed distribution system, Apple continues developing it. Such several operations prove the necessity of human resources development as they are the most crucial for the financial strategy of Apple Inc. Leveraging its human capital by Apple Inc. is done through the involvement of domestic and international resources. Human resources make Apple Inc. more advantageous and competitive. The company should develop further to make HRM more strategic and efficient.
How the Legal and Regulatory Environment Impacts Human Capital Management
One should mention that the legal and regulatory aspects impact human capital management. Apple Inc. must comply with safety, health, and other legislation to have an effective HRM. Local, state, and federal laws to the legislation that are influential for human resources should be observed, as well. Following laws and regulations are necessary to avoid costly penalties and remain compliant. Federal laws include the whole scope of employment from hiring to termination. Federal laws define working conditions, employees' compensation, retirement, health benefits, safety and health and standards for wages and hours. If Apple Inc. follows such requirements, federal laws benefit human capital management.
The human capital management of Apple Inc. deals with state laws that cover such aspects as medical and family leave, employees' compensation, wage and hours, safety, and security. As Apple Inc. is an international company, it must follow all state laws to provide a good reputation and promote the efficiency of human capital management. International laws are legitimate in challenging foreign environments. Such regulations can make human capital management more efficient through the promoting of diversity and practicing of the international experience. However, international laws can be harmful to Apple Inc. if it fails to follow them. Managing employees should be done according to the principles of equality, respect, care, and ensuring benefits provided by the legislation (Azzam, 2014).
The legal and regulatory environment increases the efficiency and transparency of human capital management and demands the proper governance structure from the organization. The legal and regulatory environment manages employee engagement risk, demands from Apple Inc., compensation programs, and benefits. Legislation manages operational issues of human capital management and compliance and develops effective controls and processes. To benefit their human capital management, Apple Inc. should implement policies recommended by the federal and state laws. They should address the Department of Labor to provide equal treatment for every employee.
Apple's Hiring and Employee Retention Strategies
“(Azaam, 2014: 18)”. It means that the hiring process demands such strategies as proper planning, achieving social responsibility, training, examining for achieving special activities. Apple's hiring strategies are based on the combination of methods and ways to avoid discrimination and unequal treating. Apple uses such methods as resume selection, testing, and interviewing.
Another hiring strategy of Apple Inc. is based on the proper planning of the application process. As a result, it consists of such stages as contacting with the applicants, pre-application period, formal procedures, public notification, evaluation, decision-making process, and notification. The hiring process of the organization is complex and includes collecting data about applicants, monitoring, review, saving, and analysis of the received information, reporting, and making decisions (Chen & Huang, 2009).
Apple Inc. has a high-performance environment that demands the hiring of young, full of energy, talented and creative employees that will not be afraid of innovation and change management process. Employee retention is an issue for the company because Apple Inc. deals only with the most talented and productive staff. Consequently, the company uses such retention strategies as offering a competitive benefits package and fostering employee development to make the employees sure that they are valuable for the organization. Apple Inc. offers financial rewards to increase employees’ enthusiasm and meet their interests.
The company hires human-resource professionals whose aim is to retain employees and motivate them to better performance. HR managers check the discrimination issues to treat every employee fairly. Besides, Apple Inc. gives detailed requirements of what they expect from their employees. Every worker has his/her responsibilities that refer only to his/her work direction. Another strategy used by Apple Inc. to retain employees is to communicate about the organizational goals with them. Such connection keeps employees emotionally and mentally connected to the company. HR managers of Apple Inc. spend time coaching employees, minimizing poor performance, and helping good employees move to new positions. Training and learning are also the driving forces of employee retention (Murray, 2009).
Training and Development Programs for Apple's Management Team
Apple's management team needs current training and development programs for achieving better performance and being advantageous and competitive comparing with other employees. One can distinguish many learning management systems that improve the welfare of human beings, especially when dealing with learning and training processes at the workplace. The Learning Management Systems help improve knowledge in any field and develop practical skills. They help avoid challenges of HRM due to their consistency and rationality. Learning Management Systems develops creativity, strategic thinking, endless potential, and innovation within the company.
There are such Learning Management Systems as Business Intelligence (BI), Balance Scorecard (BSC), Total Quality Management (TQM), Performance-Based Instructional Design (PBID), Human Performance Technology (HPT), Instructional Systems Design (ISD). All of them imply acquiring new skills, training, learning, and practicing. They have their peculiarities and every employee can choose any of them according to his/her necessity.
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Total Quality Management (TQM), Performance-Based Instructional Design (PBID), Human Performance Technology (HPT) are the best Learning Management Systems for employees. First of all, they will help learn how to avoid fear and uncertainty with mobile devices. Apple Inc. should give them additional time for practicing, training and development. Providing extra skills to the employees increases productivity and safety and leads to job satisfaction as extra skills result in better corporate performance. When an employee is knowledgeable and competent he/she makes the right decisions that benefit the company and customers (Wilkes, Yip & Simmons, 2011).
To make Apple Inc. more innovative, HR managers should not only train special skills but create a positive environment within the organization and provide organizational culture between employees. Training and development programs provide a competitive advantage of a company’s workforce, make employees well-trained, experienced, motivated, and dedicated. Business Intelligence (BI), Balance Scorecard (BSC), Total Quality Management (TQM), Performance-Based Instructional Design (PBID), Human Performance Technology (HPT), Instructional Systems Design (ISD) will be the best for promoting efficiency and productivity of the organizational operations.
Training and development program appropriate for Apple's management team includes such points:
- Implementation of Management Information Systems.
- Providing the additional instructions for working with information systems.
- Conducting seminars and additional training by HR managers.
- Practicing the new knowledge and skills.
- Reflecting on new skills in the creative projects.
Apple's Compensation Strategy
Apple's compensation strategy belongs to the human resource tools for managing employees, their motivation, and retention of the most skilled ones. The compensation system should be well-organizations and take into consideration employees' interests and demands. The compensation strategy should correspond to the organizational objectives and goals and align with the HR strategy. Low payment and lack of appraisals can lead to employees' dissatisfaction and lack of motivation. There are many ways of rewarding employees to motivate and retain them. First of all, employees like financial rewards that are bonuses for their effective work. Financial rewards are considered to be the most powerful way for retaining productive staff. However, not every organization can afford constant financial rewards. Therefore, there should be other ways for motivation and retaining. It is proposed to promote ownership among employees as it makes them feel like an important part of the team.
It is a laborious and expensive process to recruit new employees. In this case, compensation will be more essential as it increases motivation level, renews Apple's energy, and earns the trust of current employees. However, the compensation system demands also valuable resources and extra money. Apple Inc. always does regular planning to evaluate its performance appraisal and compensation systems. Pay decisions should be made according to productivity, performance, and consistent communication with employees. A compensation system should rely upon the personal decisions of employees. Apple Inc. uses a compensation system to motivate employees to stay within the organization, perform at the top of their skill set and join the organization (Berman & Bowman, 2010).
Compensation programs of Apple Inc. include such aspects as:
- Evaluation of the work to provide comparable wages.
- Variation in payment should be based on the differences in responsibilities and required abilities, skills, and knowledge.
- Classifying and evaluating job positions.
Compensation structures and systems of Apple Inc. include pay for performance, incentive pay, broadband, gainsharing, team-based pay, goal sharing, competency, and skill-based pay. Rewarding issues also belong to Human Resource Management due to the limited budget. Low payment and lack of appraisals can lead to employees' dissatisfaction and lack of motivation. There are many ways of rewarding employees to motivate and retain them. First of all, healthcare managers appreciate financial rewards that are bonuses for their effective work. Moreover, financial rewards are considered to be the most powerful ways for retaining productive staff. However, as the organization cannot afford constant financial rewards, there should be other ways for motivation and retaining, like unplanned holidays (Berman & Bowman, 2010).
How Apple Inc. Gains a Competitive Advantage by Adopting a Strategy of Diversity in its Employee Base
The strategy of diversity in the employee base of Apple Inc. is regulated by legal requirements relating to equality and diversity. Leading organizational equality and diversity processes in Apple Inc. are done according to the legislation related to discrimination, employment right, and responsibility, equality, contractual terms and condition, health and safety, pay, and data protection. Data Protection Act and Disability Discrimination Act, Equal Pay Acts, and Employment Relation Act coordinate the strategy of diversity in Apple Inc. The strategy of diversity includes many aspects, such as physical and mental abilities, ethnic characteristics, age, race, and gender. Apple Inc. has gained its competitive advantage through the strategy of diversity (Babalola & Marques, 2013).
First of all, Apple Inc. uses a diverse workforce as a way of promoting its reputation and image in the market. Similarities and differences between an organization’s employees bring challenges. However, Apple Inc. uses them as a way of foreign market targeting and creating gadgets adapted to the needs of people who diverse backgrounds. Retaining and hiring diverse employees is a beneficial strategy for the organization. Involvement of the diverse employees presupposes the widening of the target market, becoming more competitive, implementation of foreign practices, and promotion of the company (Fujimoto, Hartel & Azmat, 2013).
The strategy of diversity benefits the company due to its international character and global orientation. By treating every employee equally, the company provides a good retention strategy. Diversity has also an economic sense as it captures a greater share of the consumer market and drives economic growth. Diversity creates an image of a socially responsible company. Hence, it gains more trust and loyalty from its consumers and more revenues as a result. Another advantage of the strategy of diversity is related to the work quality. It has been proved that diverse employees are more qualified, devoted, and hard-working. Furthermore, Apple Inc. can save money as the employment of diverse people is cheaper. The diverse staff stays with a vivid and reliable employer and does not search for the perspectives in other companies. A strategy of diversity provides a competitive advantage to Apple Inc. through fostering a more innovative and creative workforce (Babalola & Marques, 2013).
Human Capital Strategy for Apple, Inc.
Human capital strategy is crucial for such a big and innovative company like Apple Inc. As a result, the organization should improve it constantly. It is recommended to put a human capital strategy in one line with business strategy. They should be interrelated and interdependent. The human capital strategy should include such aspects as training, development, and recruiting processes, successful human resource planning, and employee performance. All such processes are influential for the business strategy of Apple Inc. One should also consider ethical and moral values and organizational culture here.
The human capital strategy of Apple Inc. demands improvements. First of all, the company should provide HR managers with a distinct management style to control the recruitment processes within the company. Moreover, Apple Inc. needs to develop a human capital strategy in its activity as it is more efficient and more perspective. It is necessary to mention that human capital strategy should pay attention to people management, continuous development and security of employment, communication, involvement, work-life balance, and the quality of working life. Human capital strategy is a must for Apple Inc. dealing with the improvement of the selection and recruitment practices.
The human capital strategy of Apple Inc. presupposes three stages: planning, development, and acquisition. Planning includes the building of future perspectives for the learning and training of human resources. Development demands conducting seminars and implements management learning systems. Acquisition presupposes inquiring of new knowledge and practical skills. HR managers should analyze constantly challenges provoked by employees and conduct monitoring of productivity and performance. Also, it is recommended to organize an employee’s attitude survey with an employees' personal opinion to solve the emerged problems and make the human capital strategy more efficient. Such a strategy should be also used as a way of providing retention and compensation policies (Berman & Bowman, 2010).
In conclusion, it should be stated that Apple Inc. uses its HRM strategy to support its business strategy through creating shareholder and individual value, providing compensation and retention policies, diversification, strategic management, and realization of the company potentials. Apple Inc. leverages its human capital to contribute to financial performance through innovation and implementation of the latest gadgets. Human capital management depends on the legal and regulatory environment. If the company follows federal and state laws, it has not legislative issues. Following laws and regulations are necessary to avoid costly penalties and remain compliant.
HRM strategy of Apple Inc. includes hiring and employee retention strategies. The company combines hiring strategies to employ the best staff. Retention strategies presuppose offering a competitive benefits package and fostering employee development to make the employees sure that they are valuable for the organization. To retain the best employees, Apple Inc. is ready to pay more and provide bonuses. To improve its HRM strategy Apple Inc. uses training and development programs for management staff. They include Business Intelligence (BI), Balance Scorecard (BSC), Total Quality Management (TQM), Performance-Based Instructional Design (PBID), Human Performance Technology (HPT), Instructional Systems Design (ISD). Analysis of the diversity and compensation strategy has shown that the company needs constant improvements to be efficient in human capital strategy.