BUS500 Business and Management Assignment Sample
Based on FedEx – HR practices Case Study
A case study will be provided related to a management issue. Students are to use case study analysis method to answer five (5) questions related to the case, providing analysis and recommendations for the case.
The report is due to be submitted by Sunday 2nd October, 11:59pm. This is to be submitted via the Turnitin similarity checking link.
Provide a case study analysis of the case FedEx – HR practices publicly available. Answer the five (5) questions provided that relate to the case. Each answer to the question is between 550 to 650 words each. You may use additional external references to support your answer. Use in-text referencing and a reference list. Use theories and concepts from the textbook, to support each of your answers.
1) What is the corporate philosophy of FedEx? How does this vision and purpose engage and motivate employees?
2) How does FedEx use rewards and recognition to motivate their employees?
3) How does FedEx continuously receive feedback from their employees for continuous improvement of their human resource management?
4) How does FedEx leadership program develop leaders that are aligned to the corporate philosophy?
5) Diversity management is a key component of FedEx’s human resource management. Analyse these initiatives against diversity management good practice, as outlined in the textbook and other references.
To impart the kind of quality and service essential to become the leading player in the air cargo transport industry and remain there for good, FedEx has adopted the people-first corporate philosophy to develop an intimate relationship with all its employees (Qing et al. 2020). The CEO and founder of FedEx, Frederick Smith, decided to not only include employees in the process of decision-making but also make them an integral part of the same. This was on account of his belief that when people are given the highest priority, they will impart the best service possible, and profits will follow naturally (Courelas, 2020). Based on this very principle and resulting from it is the corporate philosophy of FedEx- People-Service-Profit for best assignment help. All business deals and decisions made by the company are based on the trinity of these three corporate goals (Yuan & Chen, 2022).
The emphasis on prioritising people is an acknowledgement of the significance of employee empowerment and satisfaction for the creation of an atmosphere in which employees feel safe and secure and are motivated enough to take risks and engage in innovation in the pursuit of service, quality, and customer satisfaction (Qing et al. 2020).
The term service is with reference to the service quality aim of 100 per cent, which has been a clearly stated and consistent goal for the company at all times. If the goals of service and people are achieved, corporate profit should be the natural outcome (Qing et al. 2020).
To ensure that the people-service-profit philosophy becomes a reality and a way of life for all employees, FedEx has put various programs and processes in place. These processes and programs highlight the strength of the commitment made by the company to the people-first philosophy (Courelas, 2020). The company organises an employee satisfaction survey every year, which is based on the survey-feedback-action principle. The survey requires employees to rate the performance of the company’s management, which subsequently becomes the basis for bringing about improvements and changes. The company also adopts a policy of promotions from within, which means that in the case of filling vacancies, the promotion of existing employees is given priority (Courelas, 2020). The company also has a system of online computer job posting in place for employees who work on an hourly basis. There is also a program dedicated to the recognition of hard work by employees as well as a program for rewarding the same. This goes a long way in motivating employees and encouraging them to work harder and better. The company has a separate program for the evaluation of leadership skills (Yuan & Chen, 2022). This is a program known as the Leadership Evaluation and Awareness Process that must be completed if employees wish to progress to the level of management. The company makes sure that there is regular communication between the management and other employees through both print as well as broadcast programming (Yuan & Chen, 2022). Employees are paid for their performance on the basis of project-by-objective and management-by-objective processes of goal-setting.
The company also has an Open Door program. This program involves a detailed process which seeks to deal with all the questions as well as complaints that the employees of the company may have regarding the various policies of the company (Yuan & Chen, 2022). This program helps employees give their feedback regarding company policies and is one of the great ways to redress their concerns. In fact, the company also has a separate process for employees to make appeals so that their complaints and issues are heard by the management of the company (Courelas, 2020). This process is better known as the Guaranteed Fair Treatment Procedure.
All these processes reinforce the corporate philosophy of people-service-profit, which FedEx believes in and help improve employee motivation and engagement.
FedEx has a robust program for employee recognition and rewards. The bonus program of FedEx is based on the sharing of goals. The program motivates employees to attain strategic goals by setting individual bonus levels on the basis of business unit goals, comprising up to 10 per cent of the total compensation of the employee (Madhani, 2021). The formula adopted by FedEx for the calculation of bonuses comprises various corporate variables such as net sales, corporate ROE, operating margin, shipped kilometres, customer returns, and total unit cost.
FedEx acknowledges and rewards its employees in accordance with its people-first policy (Madhani, 2019). The workers who work on an hourly basis are compensated on the basis of their performance. Apart from this incentive, there is also the ‘Best Practice Pays’ incentive that is given on the basis of team performance.
FedEx uses various reward programs to keep its employees motivated (Venkatesh et al. 2021). The recognition is given both locally and throughout the world to employees who perform well in their respective branches as well as to those employees whose positive contributions are felt all across the organisation (Madhani, 2021). The motivation received by employees as a result of these reward programs demonstrates the culture of innovation within the company. Two instances of the reward program of
FedEx are as follows:
The Five Star
This reward is for those team members who have improved profitability and service apart from working to promote a robust team environment (Madhani, 2021). The reward is given annually and is considered a huge honour within the community of FedEx employees. FedEx continues to emphasise team effort and cooperation by rewarding the same through this reward (Madhani, 2021). Teams which have cooperative environments, do not have issues with the sharing of information and do not make poor and rushed decisions are considered for this reward. The reward enables FedEx to keep its workers motivated and happy and encourages them to give the best output possible (Venkatesh et al. 2021). Although the concept of employee reward and recognition is nothing new, FedEx gives it a fresh makeover. All employees are expected to engage in innovation as part of their everyday jobs. Innovation is a challenging task, especially when it is on a regular basis (Venkatesh et al. 2021). FedEx is able to motivate its employees to do the same by means of such rewards.
This literally means well done and is an award given to individuals who have performed remarkably well, exceeding regular professional expectations. These awards, which are given along with rewards, are usually small, and managers give them out on the spot (Venkatesh et al. 2021). The rewards typically include dinner gift vouchers, cash bonuses, and tickets to the theatre. Despite the fact that the rewards have gradually been diminished in view of the degradation in the economy, the awards are still given out by FedEx (Madhani, 2019). Managers now send personalised letters known as Bravo Zulu letters to the winners of the award in the presence of their teams. This award defines the organisational culture of FedEx, which involves two aspects- catching workers doing the right thing and articulation of praise (Madhani, 2019). Many managers keep themselves from praising their employees because they feel it will make employees take things for granted. However, in the case of FedEx, it is different- praising employees is encouraged all across the organisation (Madhani, 2019). This small award, although not as prestigious as the Five Star award, goes a long way in helping the company carry on its operations in a smooth and successful manner (Venkatesh et al. 2021).
Although recognition and rewards are not innovative in themselves, the way, FedEx approaches the same definitely is. The company recognises both individuals as well as group efforts. The awards given by the company are not based solely on job performance but may also be based on other activities which contribute to the brand image and reputation of the company (Venkatesh et al. 2021).
FedEx has a robust employee feedback system. One example is the FedEx Survey Feedback Action or the SFA program. This program involves a survey conducted anonymously that enables employees to express what they feel about the organisation and their managers and also about the pay, service, and benefits (Tilahun, 2022). The managers then make use of the results of the survey to design plans for the improvement of workgroup commitment and engagement.
There are three stages in Survey Feedback Action. First of all, the survey involves an anonymous standard questionnaire given to employees every year (Dixit, 2021). The questions are framed in such a way that it helps provide information regarding what hinders and helps employees in their professional environment (Rony et al. 2020). The questions seek answers to such issues as whether an employee can share what they think with their managers or if managers are clear about what is expected of employees.
The results of the workgroup survey are gathered and sent to the manager anonymously. The second stage of the SFA program involves a feedback mechanism which takes place between the managers and their respective workgroups (Tilahun, 2022). The main aim of this stage is to identify problems and specific pain points, investigate the causes that lead to these problems, and design plans of action to address the problems and rectify them. After the feedback stage comes the third stage of the SFA program, known as the action plan stage (Tilahun, 2022). The action plan stage yields a series of actions that are to be performed by the managers to solve the problems faced by the employees and improve results. The actions are devised based on what the concern is, the analysis of the concern, the cause of the concern, and an evaluation of what should be done to mitigate it (Rony et al. 2020).
Apart from the SFA program, FedEx has a grievance redressal process known as the Guaranteed Fair Treatment Process (GFTP). An appeal made through this process reaches up to the top management of FedEx (Rony et al. 2020). This ensures that the complaints do not get accumulated and that all managers are discouraged from acting in an unfair manner. Matters such as disciplinary actions, ambiguous performance reviews, and terminations are dealt with by the GFTP, which is available to all employees of FedEx (Rony et al. 2020).
Guaranteed Fair Treatment Process packets, made available by the HR department, are made use of by employees to lodge complaints through GFTP. These packets include tracking sheets for the names of the various complaints, the name of the complainant, their work history, a mechanism for tracking the resolution of the complaint, the rationale of the management, space for necessary documents, witness statements, etc. (Dixit, 2021). The employee filing the appeal through GFTP must first try to resolve the issue with their immediate supervisor.
There are three stages in GFTP. The first stage is known as Management Review, wherein the employee gives a written complaint to a senior manager within a period of seven days from the date of occurrence of the related incident (Dixit, 2021). The manager then scrutinises the relevant information, gets in touch with the complainant through a meeting or telephone call, makes a decision and communicates the same to the employee in writing (Dixit, 2021).
The second stage is called Officer Complaint. If turned down in the previous stage, the employee submits the complaint in writing to a senior officer within seven days of the decision made in the first stage (Dixit, 2021).
In the final stage, known as the Executive Appeals Review, the complainant submits the complaint in writing to the employee relations department if necessary. The final decision is made by the appeals board consisting of senior executives of the company, wherein necessary action is suggested to redress the grievance (Dixit, 2021). The decision of the board is final.
Senior managers at FedEx Services and FedEx TechConnect may participate in the nine-month Purple Pipeline (PPL) director development programme. Participants' capacity for strategic thinking and innovative problem-solving will be honed via a sequential learning curriculum incorporating various teaching methods. Workshops, interactions with subject matter experts, field visits, real-world application activities (like director shadowing and job rotations), executive mentoring, and required reading all play a role in the curriculum. In addition, a battery of leadership tests will be administered, and the results will be discussed in detail with the participants (Chehab et al. nd.). Within FedEx Services, there is a need for highly promising managers/sr. Managers to get the training and education necessary to advance to director positions. Hence PPL was established to meet this need. After completing the programme, graduates should be qualified for director-level positions in Services and TechConnect (Hanscom, 2022).
Five workshops make up the content: Self-awareness, an upbeat demeanour, and a willingness to face challenges head-on are hallmarks of personal leadership. Participants will be asked to complete a battery of mental tests in addition to various physical activities, such as a high-ropes course, over the length of the programme. As a thought leader, one must be able to synthesise data from many sources to assess possibilities and make sound judgments (Chehab et al. nd.). This course requires participants to complete an innovation workshop with some other Fortune 500 organisation. Fiscal literacy, career development, and creative problem-solving classes are offered. Working as a unit, inspiring enthusiasm in others, and making it crystal obvious how each member of the team fits into the bigger picture are all hallmarks of effective people leadership. The Memphis Grizzlies, an NBA franchise, and Crucial Conversations are both part of the course requirements (Hanscom, 2022). Leadership focused on achieving results entails making good choices that help achieve objectives and seizing chances to provide value. Activities like visiting the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and participating in a Harvard Business School simulation are part of the programme. Leadership that gets results in the real world, or "living leadership." The final event is a simulated job interview with a panel of executives, in which students demonstrate their abilities as a director (Chehab et al. nd.).
The programme's main benefit is that it gives participants the chance to develop their skills and advance their careers to the level of director at FedEx. Education-wise, the examinations, seminars, and reading will provide each participant with the information they need for their future position. At the end of the programme, each graduate gets a detailed report on how they have improved, which they may use to impress future employers and further their professional growth (Hanscom, 2022). If one thinks about the program's reach, it consists of managers from around the company. It allows each member to make connections throughout the whole company.
Moreover, each participant is assigned a vice president-level or higher executive coach from inside the organisation. During the programme, each participant receives guidance and observes the work of at least four (4) established directors. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with Olympic athletes, the Memphis Grizzlies, and published writers during the programme (Chehab et al. nd.). As a capstone, participants connect with another Fortune 500 company's Leadership Development programme to learn from their strategies and practices.
The founders of FedEx had faith in the power of inclusion and diversity. The management of the company is dedicated to the promotion of safe, respectful, and inclusive work environments, celebrating the contribution of each employee (Ury & Jammaers, n.d.). With the continued determination and focus of the leadership, the company invests in programs and policies throughout its workforce, marketplace, culture, and communities, acknowledging the unique needs, experiences, and backgrounds of people (Lee et al. 2020). There are various initiatives taken by the company in line with its commitment to be a part of the process that brings systematic racism in the community to an end.
The company is proactive in investing in the recruitment and maintenance of diversity in the workforce that reflects the communities served by it (Ohunakin et al. 2019). Diversity is one of the strengths of FedEx. The ability of the company to engage in innovation and provide leadership with a diverse team serves its mission to resourcefully and responsibly connect the whole world (Ury & Jammaers, n.d.). In the year 2019, 29 per cent of the workforce of FedEx comprised African Americans and Blacks, while Hispanic or Latin comprised 16 per cent. Thirty-seven per cent of the management of FedEx in the USA was composed of people of colour. The Board of Directors in FedEx includes thirteen directors, including four women, of whom three belong to ethnically diverse backgrounds (Lee et al. 2020).
Diverse Young Talent
The internship program at the FedEx Services College Connections intends to fill nearly 170 intern positions each year during the summer. The recruitments are targeted to reach out to Black students with the help of events at 16 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and career fairs at the National Black MBA Conference and the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Conference (Lee et al. 2020). The company also makes recruiting Latinos at universities and colleges a priority, which is accomplished through events in association with Hispanic organisations such as the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and UnidosUS. FedEx Freight (Lee et al. 2020). FedEx, in association with these organisations, has opened the doors for Hispanic, Black and other minority students for careers at FedEx. This is a part of the organisation’s efforts to introduce diversity in entry-level and internship talent.
The people-first philosophy forms the foundation of FedEx, and respect for all has been an inherent part of the culture of the organisation (Ohunakin et al. 2019). The company believes that a culturally inclusive and competent workplace enables all members of the team to get their authentic and real selves to work. The employees of the organisation are encouraged to engage in open dialogue leading to action (Ohunakin et al. 2019).
Platform for Executive Leadership
The top leadership of the company is engaged in executive steering committees related to inclusion and diversity. The leaders belong to a range of functional areas, including engineering, Human Resources, finance, and air ops (Ohunakin et al. 2019). These leaders set their goals, visions, and expectations to incorporate diversity, hold one another responsible for progress, and share best practices.
Black Female Leaders
There is a professional program for the development of Black female employees known as My Sister's Keeper. The program incorporates relationship-building and mentoring activities and workshops led by directors and officers who are female and Black (Ohunakin et al. 2019). The rationale behind the program is to lift Black women up and help them climb up the corporate ladder through the use of knowledge, experience, and established influence (Ohunakin et al. 2019).
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