Objectives and HRM in Unilever
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Main Objectives of Unilever:
- The main objective is to ensure that Unilever managers across the globe are equipped with a consistent set of skills and a common language that enable them to effectively tackle the business challenges they face.
- Prior to the initiative there were as many as 650 different suppliers providing management training, so the achievement of consistency was a key driver.
- Following a complex selection process TACK International was selected by Accenture as a key partner to develop the management capability for Unilever globally over a 5-7 year period.
- TACK was one of the few partners able to offer the consistency, breadth and depth of training portfolio Unilever needed.
- TACK's proven track record with global blue-chip companies and a robust infrastructure and delivery capability in close to 40 markets and 25 local languages was vital to managing this global solution.
HRM Models in Unilever:
For any social group to perform its tasks efficiently and achieve its common objectives, the management of its most important resources - the people - is of utmost importance.
Until about the 1970s the task of ‘finding and controlling people' was handled by Personnel Management which was largely an administrative function, dealing with the management and control of subordinates.
The concept of Human Resource Management developed with a more strategic level of thinking about the nature and role of people (as total 24hr per day human beings) working in organizations which are ‘cultures' in their own right.
Recent thinking has moved from the control-based model to the compliance model.
The soft edge of the latter involves eliciting employee commitment and expecting effectiveness and efficiency to follow.
The hard edge of the latter involves ridding the organization of unnecessary layers of middle management which, when stripped of control functions, have very little by way of value added.
Like every other MNCs Unilever follows partial policies of both models. They are discussed as follows:
Job Design Principal:
a. Divide their operations into different subdivisions.
b. It follows both specific job accountability and combined planning & Implementation according to the need of their operation.
c. The tasks operated by the employees are both in team and individually.
a. The employees are assigned into different hierarchies. It varies from country to country.
b. As there remains strong hierarchy in Unilever so top-down control and coordination is practiced in this MNC.
c. Status symbol is also visible in Unilever. But it does not create any confusion among the employees of different countries or cultures.
a. The employees of different position in the hierarchy are paid compensation according to their job performance. Salary is paid monthly. Other packages such stock options, bonus, etc are also provided during special occasions like religious festivals, company's progress etc.
a. Unilever follows Unionized policy to ensure the highest employee benefits like control damage, bargaining.
Labor Management Relations:
a. Joint problem-solving and planning policy is practiced in Unilever to encourage the willingness of the workers towards the company.
a. Management is responsible to the stakeholders for their performance. Top level management discuss with other managers and related officials to reach in a decision. It believes that fulfillment of employee's needs is a goal rather than an end.
Key HRM activities in Achieving Organizational goal of Unilever:
The key HR activities performed by Unilever to achieve its organizational goal are described as follows:
- Organization structuring
It refers to developing an organization which caters for all the activities required, groups them together in a way which encourages integration and co-operation. HR is very helpful for Unilever to achieve its goals. As we said before that Unilever managers across the globe are equipped with a consistent set of skills and a common language that enable them to effectively tackle the business challenges they face. The complete structure of Unilever made by its HRM department is very much effective and efficient to meet this goal. HR professionals follow different structure methods to select and choose the best option for structuring.
- Job design and role specification
It refers to deciding on the contents of the jobs- their duties and responsibilities and the relationships that exist between job holders and other people in the organization. The job designed by the HRM department are very much straight forward for meeting the goal and purposes. On the other hand the role specification of each employee are so organized that the partners like TACK are able to offer the consistency, breadth and depth of training portfolio Unilever needed.
- Organizational development
It refers to stimulating, planning and implementing programs designed to improve the effectiveness with which the organization functions and adapts to change. The market is changing every moment. Like other companies Unilever has to cope up with this change to remain and fight with its competitors in the market. The development made by HRM department is so structured that it describes a perfect way to meet its goals.
- After Lundy O (1994) From Personnel Management to Strategic Human Resource Development, International Journal of Human Resource Management Vol 5 pp 687-720
- Beer, M., Spector, B., Lawrence, P.R., Quinn-Mills, D., Walton, R.E. 1984. Managing Human Assets. New York, USA. Free Press
- Pilbeam, S., Corbridge, M. 2002. People Resourcing: HRM in practice, 2nd ed. Harlow, England. Pearson Education Ltd.
- Prahalad, C. K. and Hamel, G, 1990. The Core Competence of the Corporation, Harvard Business Review. Vol. 68, No 3, pp 79-91.
- Mullins L.J., Management and Organisational Behaviour (7th edition, Prentice Hall, 2005) ISBN: 0-273068876-6
- The arrangement (formal system of relationship) which is necessary to pursue goals (Perrow, 1965).
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