Abstract This paper discusses FedEx Corporation and details the linkage between the business strategy, workforce strategy and HR strategy that has been adopted by the company. The paper also lays emphasis on the comparative advantage of FedEx Corporation due to its commitment in making differentiation as competitive advantage and the unique way it has positioned itself on the world map of parcel or small packages service providers.Again, the paper has also highlighted the way the whole workforce of the organization has adopted to the FedEx Strategic culture and how effectively the whole of human resource strategy has been implemented right from the grassroots level to that of the highest levels of management.
FedEx is the largest among the world’s transportation service companies and has carved a niche area for itself in the small parcel delivery area in US as well as in 220 countries around the world.With around 280,000 employees FedEx has been able to successfully carry on its operation with a definite edge with that of its competitors due to the way it has established a coherent linkage with its different stages of strategic operation along with the overall business strategy, workforce strategy and human resource strategy. It has been noted that in spite of the recessionary trends in the world economy FedEx has been able to retain its employees when the competitors resorted to lay off.
The success of this or the positive outcome of this was mainly due to the unique workforce strategy it adopted while keeping in view the overall objectives of the company. In order to understand the deeper linkage that existed in the management employee relationship at FedEx Corporation it would be quite pertinent here to note some of the business strategy it adopted that merged with that of the aspirations and well being of the employees. ?Maintaining differentiation as a competitive advantageFedEx has a competitive advantage in its differential approach in carrying out its operation and functional organization structure. This has kept its cost quite low enough in relation to its competitors, but covered more area of service and nimble enough to make changes on the fly. This enabled it to distribute its cost over a wider number of customers worldwide and in turn helped in giving it all the benefits of large economies of operation.The employees of FedEx were likewise trained to help their maximum by keeping this in mind that the customer value is of utmost importance and therefore it is rather imperative for each individual employee to focus his job on to the area which gives the maximum benefit to the company. This uniqueness was again manifested by the team effort on the part of the management and the employees in order to imbue a strategic culture and capabilities that would eventually benefit all parties in the long run.As the strategy adopted by FedEx was to transport any parcel or packages that was less than truck load the main customers were small and medium business organizations who were in need of such service at affordable rates.
Thus, this also necessitated the employees to keep good relationships with all customers and even develop an intimacy with them and thus paved way for build up of trust right from the grass root levels to the upper ladders of administration. This has in fact become deeply embedded into every employee as a psychological contract.According to Aggarwal and Bhargava, firms need to craft and effectively communicate their human resource practice based on their business strategies and employee relations. Their role would make the attitudes and behaviors of the employees form into a psychological contract between the HRP and the employees which again would ensure an effective organization culture (2009).
At FedEx the very idea of human resource was to develop in line with the strategy adopted by the organization. Strategic product choice and operational excellence FedEx Corporation has been doing its business keeping in view its unique advantage over others in delivery of small packages both in US and the international market. This has made it focus on the types of packages in order to meet the needs of every individual customer. Therefore FedEx has segregated its stores into sections that require well trained employees for sorting it into different category.There are in fact, general parcels, urgent parcels, parcels containing valuables, parcels containing hazardous items or that require special handling. There are some packages that require specialized handling or extra security or temperature controlled transports, the latter being medicines, certain temperature sensitive items and bacteria cultures. In order to meet this varied requirement at the storage and delivery point FedEx has trained and developed its own staff as well as those having the technical qualifications.The employees are at their best at every point of the organization’s operation due to the fair way they are treated and also encouraging greater responsibility and freedom in assessing the job and the required priority that must be given to it.
The FedEx is seen to guarantee ‘Fair Treatment Procedure’ that fully ensures that all the grievances and complaints of the employees are addressed at once and to its fullest extent. It is true that some employees who are lacking at one task may be good at another while some would like to change departments.For this the company has a ‘job application and tracking system in place’ for both regular and non regular employees. The company further has ‘Leadership Evaluation and Awareness Process’ that gives the company’s non managerial employees the opportunity to seek managerial positions.
Apart from these the company also has a ‘survey feedback procedure’ which can be used as an opportunity by the employees to give feedback on management policies. All this is very reassuring for the staffs that have every reason to feel satisfied while they are at work at FedEx.Given to reason FedEx might even find the need to grow up from this level to a higher level if it has to keep up with its growth all over the world while enhancing the HRD program. As Holton and Yamkovenko has stated in their papers that the time has come for a new paradigm to advance the field of HRD to a higher level of organizational impact (2008). •Successful implementation of workforce At FedEx, diversity is a serious business at the company was formed on this very philosophy which puts people a most important asset of them all.
The “People First” philosophy is further aided theme that serves as the basis of the company foundation. According to this theme, the employees will always be the prime factor of the company as they are the one by whom the company is run. The People-Profit theme is the continuation of the initial theme, both of them stand for the same purpose i. e. employee motivation. By motivating and rewarding their employees both in terms of money as well as other facilities, they manage to extract the required performance from them that makes them the leading express delivery service of the world.
It is among those companies that have a turn around of over. FedEx provides ample opportunities for growth and benefit to all of its employees. The human resource management seems at its optimum where each employee is treated on performance basis. Employee retention is an integral part of winning employee confidence in his organization and FedEx takes great care in this regard. They regularly provide salary bonuses along with performance linked compensations to their employees so that the employee dedication towards their company is not negated and the results show the expected outcome for the betterment of the company.Federal Express initiate its employee retention efforts by centralizing its recruiting efforts in order to keep the process on first come first serve basis. They also organize regular training programs for their workforce to improve their working capability along with learning new skills to conduct operations.
As per their philosophy, the human factor is most important in the entire business value chain. All other components are secondary but a dedicated and motivated work force is the most important part in any business.The above factors no doubt lays the foundation for a good working environment at FedEx Corporation yet this by itself isn’t sufficient and for this the organization has implemented several packages for the employees for rewarding their excellence in performance.
Among the most systemized success metrics in use within the organization are those for financial improvement, customer satisfaction, business process and suggestion for operational improvement. The employees by their nature of involvement and working as a team are very positive of giving good feedbacks and boldly point out the areas that need improvement.The company on its part takes due notice of these feedbacks and if tried and found successful makes sure that the individual employee or the whole team is duly compensated. Here, there isn’t much differentiation between the top level managerial staff and those of ordinary line employees. As it is yet another business strategy of FedEx to give contract to truck drivers they are never given the same treatment as a regular employee and for this reason they remain outside the scope of HR strategy of the company.
Within the organization the employees are given oth ordinary and specialized training for successful completion of the tasks. Although the full benefit of many learning process and training procedures are yet to be ascertained nevertheless they do have a very positive impact both in the employee performance as well as the growth of the company. As new evidence is suggesting that the real measure of strategic success can be better found in evaluating how ‘employee learning’ can help organizations secure something much more sustainable and macro economic than mere profit.In other words, satisfaction of mutual concerns over the long term in case of personal safety and the contribution that can be made to the society can pave way for better employee success than anything else (Tom, 2006). In conclusion it can be stated with emphasis that linkage shown between business strategy, workforce strategy and hr strategy has embedded a deeper involvement among the whole of staff in the FedEx Corporation.The future is quite reassuring as the same has also spread to the vast customer base of the organization and they too are beginning to see the possibility of better involvement and even better service. Reference List Aggarwal, Upasana and Bhargava Shivganesh (2009). Reviewing the Relationship between Human Resource Practices and Psychological Contract and their Impact on Employee Attitude and Behavior: A Conceptual Model.
Journal of European Industrial Training, V33n1 p4 – 31. Holton, Elwood F. , III and Yamkovenko, Bogdan (2008). Strategic Intellectual Capital Development: A Defining Paradigm for HRD? Human Resource Development Review, v7 n3 p270-291.
Short Tom (2006). What is the Moral Imperative of Workplace Learning: Unlocking the DaVinci Code of Human Resource Development? Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v46 n2 p287-29.