A summary of the microsoft business

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The information in this section summarizes the results of the assessment conducted on our network for our organization. Detailed information about each of the servers inventoried is also contained in the Microsoft Assessment Report workbook that accompanies this report. Using the results of this assessment, you can now make informed decisions about the deployment of Microsoft 2010 instances in your organization.

In addition to the results summarized in this document. the Microsoft Assessment Report provides the following detailed information:

• Summary worksheet. Provides a quick summary of Microsoft instances.

• Microsoft Database Instances worksheet. Provides a printable report for each database instance along with system hardware details that were found in your environment. This worksheet is provided to help you find which servers might be running older versions of Microsoft (for example, Microsoft 2000).

• Microsoft Components worksheet. Provides a quick list of any instances of microsoft components (Analysis Reporting, and so on) other than database instances that were found in your environment.

Table of Contents

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1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..4

1.1 Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

2. Microsoft's Background………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

2.2 Microsoft Goals……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………7

2.3 Microsoft Culture…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………8

3. Human Resource Practices in Microsoft………………………………………………………………………………….9

3.1 Recruitment Strategist………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10

3.2 Training & Development……………………………………………………………………………………………………..11

3.3 Performance Management………………………………………………………………………………………………….12

3.4 Compensation………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………12

4. Problems in HR Practices of Microsoft…………………………………………………………………………………….13

4.1 Discrimination at Workplace…………………………………………………………………………………………………13

4.2 Becoming too Large Corporation…………………………………………………………………………………………..15

4.3 Billion Dollar Cutback Initiative………………………………………………………………………………………………15

4.4 Poor Treatment of Temporary Employee……………………………………………………………………………….16

5. Recommendations for HR Problems………………………………………………………………………………………….16

5.1 Solution for Performance Evaluation………………………………………………………………………………………17

5.2 Solution for Discrimination in Work………………………………………………………………………………………..17

5.3 Solution of Temporary Employees………………………………………………………………………………….........18

5.4 Solution for Workplace……………………………………………………………………………………………………………18

6. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….19

7. References……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….20

"I hire smart people that are pretty high bandwidth, and I challenge them to think. I ask them to be pretty committed and to work pretty hard."

- Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft

1. Introduction

In immensely dynamic world, where workforce, markets and laws regarding business keeps changing, it becomes very important for the organization to also change their human resource practices in order to meet the needs of the employer. Human Resource (HR) Management is about designing management systems to ensure that human talent is used effectively & efficiently to accomplish organizational goals (Mathis & Jackson, 2007).

1.1 Purpose of the Study

To learn about Human Resource Management and its effect on the organization.

To study about the Microsoft's Human Resource practices and competitive advantage the company gain by them.

To analyze the problems that plagued Microsoft in their work culture and its consequences on the organization.

To suggest ways and measures by which problems regarding Human Resource can be mitigated and avoided.

2. Microsoft's Background

2.1 Microsoft History & Products

Microsoft Facts

Founder: William H. Gates & Paul Allen

CEO: Steve Ballmer

Vice President (HR): Lisa Brummel

Founded: April, 1975

Industry: Computer Software, Consumer Electronics

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, USA

Employees: 93,000

Offices: 100+ Countries

Training: 45 hours/year

Revenue (2009): $58.44 Billion

Stock Ticker: MSFT

Website: www.microsoft.com

Source: www.microsoft.com

The history of Microsoft can be traced back to April 1975 when William H. Gates and Paul Allen founded the company at Albuquerque, New Mexico, US. As its first project, the company developed a programming language, Altair BASIC, an improved version of BASIC, for the Altair 8800, the first personal computer (PC).

In 1980, in a major breakthrough, Microsoft received a contract from IBM13 to provide an operating system for a PC that IBM was planning to launch. Microsoft bought an operating system called Q_DOS from a Seattle-based programmer for US$ 50,000 and renamed it MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). IBM made MS-DOS the official programming language for its PC. In July 1981, Microsoft was incorporated

In 1986, Microsoft went public. The IPO brought in US$ 61 million for the company. In 1987, the company introduced the second generation operating systems, OS/2, later renamed as Windows. In 1989, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office soon became the dominant Office suite in the market.

In early 2000, Ballmer became the CEO and Gates the Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft. In October 2001, Microsoft launched the Windows XP, an improved line of operating systems for use in PCs. Also in 2001, the company entered the game console market with the release of the Xbox.

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In 2007, Microsoft launched Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

In July 2008, Gates took a two-year 'transition period' from his role as Chief Software Architect in Microsoft, to spend more time on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates continued to be the Chairman of the company and advisor on key development projects (See Appendix 1).

As of 2009, the company had a presence in enterprise software, computer peripherals, software development tools, and Internet access services. In the financial year ended June 30, 2009, Microsoft earned revenues of US$ 58.44 billion with a net income of US$ 14.57 billion (See Appendix 2).

Some of the Products and Services provided by the Microsoft are:

2.2 Microsoft Goals

Microsoft states "Our Goals Address Today's Most Pressing Issues" (Microsoft Corporate Citizenship, n.d.).

2.3 Microsoft Culture

Microsoft's corporate culture was based on six core values: integrity & honesty; openness & Respect; willingness to take on big challenges; passion for customers, partners, & technology; Accountability for commitments; and personal excellence & self-improvement. HR experts opined that corporate culture at Microsoft was characterized by its strong work ethic and casual work culture. Employees were allowed to dress casually. They were also given flexible working hours. Senior executives at Microsoft normally kept their cabin doors open. The company encouraged employees to directly send official e-mails to senior executives (Microsoft Careers, 2010).

Microsoft's work culture was also characterized by a challenging work environment, a culture of risk taking and encouraging of innovation. In spite of Gates not being directly involved in Microsoft's day to day activities since 2008, analysts believed that Microsoft was able to retain the culture that was prevalent under his leadership. According to Rob Helm of the research company, Directions on Microsoft, ― "Bill has been there so long he has lots of 'Baby Bills' that represent the same culture: very smart, very aggressive and focused on meeting competition head on" (Indiatimes Infotech, 2008).

3. Human Resource Practices in Microsoft

"Maintaining and strengthening the employee experience is one of the highest priorities for [Chief Executive] Steve [Ballmer], the leadership team, and me."

Lisa Brummel, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Microsoft

Microsoft had been considerate to be the 'great place to work for' right from the beginning. The company follows a good selection and recruitment process. It also facilitates its employees with proper professional training and other programs for developing the skills of their employee. It encourages work/life balances and introduces many other programs to support the people because of its work culture,

Microsoft generally emphasis on 4 stages of Human resources practices:-

3.1 Recruitment Strategies

Recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization". Recruitment is the activity that links the employers and the job seeker. Microsoft success was attributed to its effective recruitment strategies. Microsoft always attracts the best talent present in the industry and educational sector.

While doing campus recruitment Microsoft follows two types of campus selection:-

On - Campus.

Off - Campus.

On Campus: - For On-Campus selection, the company conducts job fairs in Various Universities & Colleges. In this job fairs, company performs first round of interview of the students. Those are selected were then invited for the second round of interviews which are generally conducted in the offices of the Microsoft.

Off Campus: - In off campus Recruitment Company processes the sent applications and will contact the applicants within 3-5 working days to let them know if they are going to be progressed. An initial telephone or face to face interview will be arranged by the Recruiter from the Recruitment Team to determine suitability for an interview. If successful, the applicants will then be invited for a series of interviews and/or an assessment day to be held at Microsoft Campus in Redmond or the other relevant Microsoft offices. According to the company, though they have the best selection process, it ensures it recruits people with "Sound computer science basics, ability to understand the technology, and its sharp application in creating superior quality software."

3.2 Training & Development

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Employee training involves a expert working with learners to transfer to them certain areas of knowledge or skills to improve in their current jobs where as development is a brooding ongoing multi-faceted set of activities (training activities among them) to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance, often to perform some job or new role in the future.

Reasons for Employee Training and Development:

When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement needs.

To "benchmark" the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort.

As part of an overall professional development programs.

As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization.

To "pilot", test, the operation of a new performance management system.

(McNamara, n.d.)

3.3 Performance Management

Performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization (Heathfield, n.d.).

Microsoft conducts periodic appraisal of performance, based on which decision are taken regarding salary hike, Bonuses and stock Options. Microsoft uses 5-point rating system to evaluate the performance of the employee. On 18 May, 2006 Microsoft Corporation, announced a plan to significantly revamp some of its Human Resource, Management Practices. The Plan named 'my Microsoft' was aimed at addressing employees concerns and at boosting their morale. According to the plan, the company will improve its performance-review system, increase allotment of stock options, introduce new employee benefits etc. Commenting on a plan, Lisa Brummel, Senior vice-president, Human Resource, Microsoft, said, "[my Microsoft] will help us continue to attract, develop and retain great people, drive success, and stay competitive". (Bishop, 2009)

3.4 Compensation

Compensation can be simply defined as - Generally, something received in return for something else. Wages and other financial benefits earned from labor (InvestorWords, n.d.).

The Microsoft's compensation and benefits are very competitive. Employees at Microsoft go through performance reviews every year. According to the reviews, company decides the compensation, pay hikes and incentives that would be then given to the employees. Microsoft also offers various benefits to all its employees. The common benefit included full Health Insurance coverage, increased Vacations etc.

4. Problems in HR Practices of Microsoft

4.1 Discrimination at Workplace

"There are glass ceilings and glass walls in place for African Americans at Microsoft. We are stunned and disappointed in their treatment of Black employees."

- Willie Gary, Lawyer of an ex-Microsoft African American employee, in January 2001.

Racial and sexual discrimination may be describe as physical or verbal act which is intended to cause individuals or groups to feel intimated, demeaned or abused because of their rational, ethnic, national background and gender. Microsoft has been charged on various occasions for discrimination at work place and they are accused of discrimination against its employees through Performance Evaluations, Pay Packages, Promotions, Wrongful Termination and Retaliation.

Discrimination through Performance Appraisal

Microsoft conducted periodic appraisals on performance based on which decision used to take place of salaries, bonuses and stock option were taken. The performance appraisal used to be conducted by Microsoft's managers. The employee's appraisals were alleged that the performance appraisal system allowed for discrimination on the basis of race, color and gender. Microsoft used to follow rating technique for evaluating performance of its employee. The employee argued that the technique allowed the managers to use this power in evaluating their subordinates. As, a result the performance was generally biased. It is also written in Microsoft policy that all mangers are trained efficiently to use rating technique for betterment of its employee performance, but it failed on giving the desired results.

Discrimination through Compensation

In a case filed against Microsoft, the plaintiffs alleged that the Black peoples were paid less as compared to white people for the same amount of work done. According to plaintiff's, the employee pay package were over lapping and broad, thus allowing vast and huge pay difference among employee. The condition became worse when discrimination in evaluation led to discrimination in compensation.

Discrimination through Promotion

The Microsoft written or unwritten policies enabled the managers and supervisors to select the candidate for different position through word of mouth or other informal channels. The plaintiffs claimed that due to such technique it disallowed or prevented those eligible and deserving Black African-American employees to enter the higher position in any division or department of Microsoft.

Following are the cases discussed below of discrimination:

In January 2001, seven of the Microsoft's former and current employees filed a discrimination case against the company. One of the largest discrimination suits ever filed in U.S.A, it alleged discrimination and plantation mentality at their workspace and they suited for $5 billion in damages.

During the early 1990's, many discrimination cases were filed against the company. In the Donaldson v/s Microsoft case, the plaintiffs allegations against Microsoft was that it discriminated its black and women employees by providing them small salaries, bonus, stocks against the white male employees for the same work. In the case it also stated that the company also retaliated with the employees who protested against the discrimination.

4.2 Becoming too Large Corporation

Another important reason of people leaving the job from Microsoft is its size problem and losing the element of its culture as it developed on 1980's. As the company grew the bureaucracy increased and internal politics started playing in regular activity. Internal projects also killed a few projects, creating despondency. It was not flexible and the decision making process also took a long time, and the system was also lengthy. There were five layers of management through which the decision has to be tested and discussed at each stage. "It got so frustrating. You want to do innovative work but you have to spend half of your defending your turf" as described by one of its executive member Eric Angstrom who left eight years at Microsoft to start an internet based company. He had created a powerful browser which could be better then Netscape, but due to differences with windows executing team and organizational politics the innovation was put to end.

New ideas were also not encouraged unless they had the potential to generate Billions of dollars in revenue. Concepts of smaller potential were often stuck down due to its low value. "At Microsoft, an idea has to be able to generate revenues like ten to the sixth power (a million) for it to be interesting." said by ex-employee Usama fayyad.

4.3 Billion Dollar Cutback Initiative

The changes in Microsoft's corporate culture and cutbacks in employee benefits resulted in low morale among the employees. Between 2002 and 2004, the employee turnover increased from 6.7% to 9.4%. Even minor changes in HR policies attracted the attention of the employees. For example, in order to cut costs, in 2004, the HR department of Microsoft decided to stop providing towels to its employees.

4.4 Poor Treatment of Temporary Employee

The company faced another major problem with regard to its temporary employees. Microsoft often employed temporary workers, sourced from employment agencies, to meet the need for workers at short notice. At any point of time, temporary workers constituted approximately one-third of the total workforce of the company. Temporary workers were employed as customer service representatives, software testers or even programmers.

These temporary workers, were on the payroll of the employment agency through which their job was routed, and not on Microsoft's payroll. Hence, they were not treated on par with the regular employees. They were also not eligible for any of the benefits the regular employees had, like sick leave, paid vacation or holidays, not to speak of stock options. They were not encouraged to take any initiative in their work and were considered inferior by the permanent staff. This was in spite of some of them being employed by the company for long periods of time, sometimes stretching to years. Marcus Courtney, a 'temp' for a period of two years, organized a union of temporary workers. They demanded that the temps be treated on par with regular employees, as they had worked for the company for long periods of time and therefore merited equal recognition. They also filed a suit claiming all the benefits they had not enjoyed as temporary workers during the period of their service.

In December 2000, Microsoft settled the lawsuit by paying $97 million to over 8,000 workers who claimed that they should have received various benefits during their period as temps at Microsoft. The company later instituted policies providing for the compulsory lay-off of temporary workers for a minimum of 100 days after a year of work,

5.1 Solution for Performance Evaluation:

Employees at Microsoft went through performance review every year. Depending upon the review they were given the hike incentives, bonuses, stock option and even promotions. The employees earlier used to be evaluated under "forced curve system" but after Brummel took charge as HR Executive of Microsoft she modified the evaluation system to "Commitment Rating". This system was basically revealed to measure the factor of bonuses. To measure employee's long term potential, a three tiered ranking was introduced. According to the company, this was one of the primary drivers to give stock options to its employees. Because of the implementation of the new performance review system the company's had a very low attrition rate

In November, 2009 Microsoft made a new move in its HR policies.

5.2 Solution for Discrimination in Work:

Here are few general guidelines to prevent discrimination in Microsoft:

Ensure that employment practices and employment decisions are based on actual business necessity and not on factors like race, caste, gender, color and nationality.

Review management behavior and ensure that managers offer equal treatment of employees irrespective of race, caste gender and color nationality etc.

Establish grievance procedures for reporting, processing and resolving complaints.

Train supervisors, managers, workers to recognize, confront, avert discrimination and avoid sexual harassment.

Formulate a strong policy, which specifies, in writing, outlawed behaviours and the penalties they carry.

5.3 Solution of Temporary Employees

The solution of temporal employers is very necessary as they comprise of one-third strength of the total work place of company. The temporal employees should get some benefits or comfort in work place, at least those who are working in Microsoft for a long time. They should be eligible for at least few benefits, as given to Microsoft permanent employees, like sick leave or paid vacations or holidays. The temporary employees should be considered as part of the workplace and should not get any inferior reactions or behaviour from permanent staffs. In a workplace, encouragement is very necessary for the motivation of employees, so temporary employees should be treated as they are part of the company to achieve its objectives and goals.

5.4 Solution for Workplace

In September 2007, Brummel introduced innovative office designs. The new workplaces included sliding doors, movable walls, and modular furniture. They used office walls in an innovative way. The office walls were floor-to-ceiling glass whiteboards which employees could use for writing anything from graffiti, software code, or any new idea. The workplaces were customized according to the specific needs of an employee. The company launched the Workplace Design Lab which showcased different office designs from which employees could choose their own office design. According to Martha Clarkson, Workplace-design Manager at Microsoft, said, "We know one size doesn't fit all. ... We still will have businesses that come back and say - The kind of work we do, we need a private office to do that" (Benjamin, 2007).

company's natural diplomats). The workplaces were designed according to the specific needs of each these groups (Conlin, 2007) (See Appendix 3).

Conclusion

The company's success is based on its PEOPLE it states how flexible they are and forward-thinking than its competitors to view a new innovative change. Microsoft for betterment of its employee has taken many initiatives by giving them lots of benefits, making new changes in its workplace in infrastructure as well as by giving them good allowances. Microsoft should always encourage its employees to start independent initiatives and they should have the time and resources to pursue new ideas. Microsoft as it is the largest organization, it faces many people problem, but it always try to overcome the problem as soon as possible as its main strength is its employees. The Microsoft should follow to improve or maintain their employee relation smooth are as below:

Promote friendly working culture.

Transparent strategies.

Encourage innovation.

Better treatment of temporal employees.

Other meaningful incentives like post-retirement benefits