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Hewlett Packard: Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 4707 words Published: 18th Jun 2018

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Consider an organization you are familiar with and with reference to associated theory and practice critically asses the approach that is taken to strategic HRM. Evaluate the extent to which the approach has contributed to the organizational effectiveness.


The report focuses on critically evaluating how Hewlett Packard has been using the variables of Human resource management such as training and development, performance management in order to bring all the employees from a diverse cultural background, with different personality traits to work efficiently and effectively towards achievement of the organisational objectives

HP, a giant in IT industry catering to the hardware as well as software needs of the individual customers and businesses, was started in the year 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard and currently employs over 300,000 people

The report delineates how HP has been supporting equal opportunities for people from different ethnic backgrounds by recruiting people without any bias towards any particular ethnic group. The report also states the role of performance management within HP i.e. activities which ensure that the organizational goals are met on time and with minimizing resource usage. The report even talks about the resource facilities and working environment provided to the employees, i.e. employee relations at HP.

Further the role of training and development in polishing the skills of the individual employees and making them become a part of the HP team is stated along with how the employees are trained to inculcate the necessary skills required for the job.


The following assignment is compiled so as to become familiar with the main theories in the field of strategic human resource management.

During preparation it intended to gain knowledge of the evolving role of strategic human resource management in the current world scenario, performance appraisal and its function in performance management system, administration and formulation of compensation and benefit programs, significance of development of human resource (development and training) at every level for employees and opportunity for management provided by employee diversity.

The study undertaken requires expertise in research of the subject but due to limitations of the words for the assignment covering all the HR policies is next to impossible; my objectives were to study the key processes and policies for which the company provides vital information.


Storey (1989) defined HRM as ‘Set of interrelated policies with an ideological and philosophical underpinning’.

Storey (1995) defines HRM as ‘a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques’.

HP was started in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. In 2010, fortune 500 ranking hp was placed at number 10. Its headquarters are located in Palo Alto California. HP has 304,000 employees. The company makes use of participative decision making management system in their company giving them an edge in the industry (HP website). The results of this investment can be seen in the two awards received by HP from the American society for Training and Development for inventiveness of its leadership development programs. Furthermore, Hay group recognized HP as one of the best company in the world for leadership development. (reference)

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To emerge as a complete technology company which offers an inclusive set of solutions all through the value chain, HP is practicing an inorganic strategy (Data monitor 2010). They cater to almost everyone ranging from individual customers, medium sized business and large corporations which include health, education and government sector. The company deals in a wide range of products, from portable devices to supercomputers, from computing to home printing. It has also sought a level of inorganic growth too, through its merger with Compaq in 2002 with an aim of providing excellent IT solutions. Consequently, HP today caters to over a billion customers in 170 countries (Data monitor 2010).



Smart organizations identify the need for swift action and are prepared and eager to disperse resources for management of diversity in the workplace. Workforce diversity can be defined as the differences between individuals in a company. Diversity includes gender, race age, education, background etc Diversity takes into account how individuals perceive others and how they perceive themselves. Their interactions are affected by these perceptions. Organizations’ diversity agenda is expected to increase in the future as we are moving into a more and more globalized setup. (reference)

In The Future of Diversity and the Work Ahead of Us, Harris Sussman says, “Diversity is about our relatedness, our connectedness, our interactions, where the lines cross. Diversity is many things – a bridge between organizational life and the reality of people’s lives, building corporate capability, the framework for interrelationships between people, a learning exchange, a strategic lens on the world.”

The benefits of diversity include greater competitiveness through higher adaptability, poising it for success. Organizations embracing diversity are able to offer a wider variety of solutions to different issues. Services to customers are easily provided by organizations employing a diverse collection of experience and skills (e.g. culture, language etc), offering the wealth of varying points of view. A large number of experiences and ideas can be accumulated by employing a diverse workforce which comfortably communicates viewpoints. The organization can use these to form strategies and cater to customers effectively. Some of the challenges of workforce diversity are the organization’s ability to successfully implement diversity agenda, which requires openness, transparent communication and sensitization of the existing staff. (reference)

A diversity of age, culture, potential, ethnicity amongst the labor force encourages innovation and creativeness. It is believed at HP diversity is the solution to understand the principles and demographics of the consumers and is fundamental in drawing and holding on to the finest employees. (reference)

HP supports diversity in the following ways:

  • Hiring of different collection of people and crafting them as leaders.
  • Constructing a comprehensive work atmosphere.
  • Supporting employees in navigation of their work and private commitments while complying with the business requirements of HP.


A comprehensive work atmosphere is encouraged by HP diversity policies. Respect, courtesy and dignity is required by every employee while treating others. Discrimination founded on attributes such as age, race, ethnicity, sex or disability is not accepted under any circumstances. Employees are persuaded to speak up and it is possible for them all over the world to report harassment or bias through the 24 hour anonymous helpline.

HP’ approach

Efforts by HP include expansion of its labour force by hiring best in class varied talent and implanting diversity in all major diversity in all major development processes and supporting main growth programs for career development and professional escalation. Gender diversity is calculated and kept in check by HP globally and ethnic diversity in its united nations labour force. For details over the previous 5 years see table:

Executive diversity

Minorities comprised 17.3% in contrast with 12.9 % in 2008. In the year 2009 17% of HP’s topmost executives in U.S. were women in contrast to 17.2% in 2008.

HP’s activities in the year 2009 were:

  • Partnership with diversity associations: HP supplied grant and products for cause of cause of underrepresentation of minorities in business positions which is addressed by management leadership for tomorrow.
  • Drawing a extensive range of human resource: 3000 women from extensive range of professions and businesses are brought together by the annual conference that is held in Boston.
  • Employee resource groups: workers with familiar interests and backgrounds are brought together by HP’s ERG’s.
  • Opportunities for internal development: celebrations of women’s international day in India. For talented omen, a series of virtual leadership was conducted in EMEA.


There is nothing new about the idea that company and employee performance should be improved by appraisals. Today managers are way more serious about the process- of training workers, rewarding and appraising them and forming goals. The whole incorporated process is called PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. Performance management may be defined as “a process that unites goal setting, performance appraisal and development into a single, common system whose aim is to ensure that the employee’s performance is supporting the company’s strategic aims” (dessler and varkkey 2010). Setting of standards, training of workers, feedback and appraisals related to performance and contribution to achievement of organizational goals is explicitly measured by performance management.

Performance management therefore never just means meeting with a subordinate once or twice a year to “review his/her performance” it means setting goals that make sense in terms of the company’s strategic aims. It means regular interaction to make sure there is continous growth in workers performance. It also takes into account and makes sure that the worker has the correct training to perform the job (hrm book pg 338). (reference)

According to Goel 2008 “manpower management is the most crucial job because managing people is the heart and essence of being a manager. Personnel management is concerned with any activity relating to the human element or relations in the organisation”.

Work life programs offered by HP

Employees at HP have the benefit of various work life choices offered to them. HP offers:

  • Flex time: altering the commencement and end of work, but working normal 8 hour a day.
  • Part time: temporarily or continuously working for less hours, part time employees account about 2%. The requirements of aging workforce are met with the help of this program.
  • Tele work: 28% of employee t HP work full time from home.
  • Flex work: mainly working in hp offices but occasionally from home.

Whilst improving employee productivity the cost of HP’s real estate has been reduced with the help of these arrangements.

Employee engagement

Open, honest exchange of ideas and continuous communication is what HP’s culture is based upon. This helps HP’s workers understand their contribution to company’s overall success and also gives the company chance to consider their input for various decisions.

Recognition programs

At HP employees are kept motivated and engaged by recognizing them for their contribution. Recognition @HP was conducted in 2009 to identify workers at HP for their qualities. Day to day non monetary recognition is stressed by the program.

Retiree engagement

HP has about 79000 retirees who are ambassadors of HP and the company keeps them connected and up to date. Retirees at HP connect through various social media. The retirees can also join HP alumni association which has worldwide members registered which account 17000 in numbers.

The Employment Relationship

A prerequisite for success in the organization is the maintenance of good employee relations. For high productivity and satisfaction, strong employee relations are needed. Employee relations are concerned with evading and resolving problems amongst individuals which occur due to the work situation. Safe and healthy work environment, incentives for motivation, useful communication and commitment of employees determines good employee relations. It is believed by many people that employee relations are about considering the larger picture and assisting the organization to take required action. (reference)

HP considers its employees vital to its success. Innovation of products, management of supply chain and the connection with the customers and partners at HP is driven by the talent expertise and skills of the employees. According to HP its competitive advantage lies in retaining and hiring the finest people. For employees to grow, HP attempts to create a helpful and inspiring work environment. HP’s policies are applicable globally and show company’s commitment to just treatment of workers. (reference)

HP complies with local laws but company’s own policies demand much more:

  • Best work environment: policy describes the principles of personal conduct that are expected by the workers to add to an optimistic, dynamic work experience.
  • Open door policy: Portrays HP’s promise to open communication and a place of work where everyone is heard.
  • Human rights and labour policy: commends HP to just treatment of all workers.

Management and compliance

Upholding environmental health and safety is a key goal of HP’s. Safety of products and services is the main aim and it is also made sure that the workers can perform without injury at the premises.

HP’s minimum obligation for EHS is legal compliance. The processes needed to abide by are made sure by HP’s EHS management system. Any allegation is thoroughly investigated and proper action is taken to avoid any recurrence. All operations related to manufacturing at HP are certified to ISO 14001. EHS systems are introduced to recently acquired companies to make sure that EHS objectives carry on to be fulfilled as the company grows. (reference)

Employee feedback

The employees are asked for feedback by voice of the workforce conducted annually and also though ‘pulse surveys’ on explicit issues.

There were various surveys conducted during 2009 including:

  • Onboard and monthly transition experience surveys.
  • Enterprise business quarterly pulse survey.
  • Hr manager communication survey
  • EDS integration survey
  • Voice of the workforce survey

Around 90,000 workers in 2009 participated in voice of the workers survey. Privacy of the respondents is strictly protected and the survey was available over the internet in 25 languages. (reference)



The process through which people acquire abilities to accomplish organizational objectives is known as training. It includes planned activities for specific learning to develop workers performance at work. (reference)


According to Drucker (1977), “the one contribution a manager is uniquely expected to make is to give others vision and ability to perform. A basic operation in the work of the manager is to develop people and to direct, motivate and train subordinates”.

Stern argues that ‘staff training and development have become matters of vital strategic importance’.

Importance of training and development (reference)

There are various reasons for an organization to conduct training and development programs. Some of them are:

  • Helps to avoid managerial obsolescence
  • Manage change due to acquisitions and mergers. Also helps in coping up with technological and diversity changes in the organization
  • Higher employee morale and increase in job satisfaction.
  • Elevated motivation among employees
  • Financial gain through higher efficiency in process and innovation in products and strategies is increased.

Developing leadership at HP

Since HP recognizes excellence as a key driver of its business success, HP significantly invests in leadership development. Dedicated to this mission, global talent consists of 3 firmly integrated organizations. (reference)

Employee relations at HP

The evaluation of data and insights to spot high potential leaders in the company and underlining of areas where additional learning resources may be needed are provided by the dedicated talent management team at HP.

Designing of HP’s major corporate wide leadership is crafted by executive and leadership organization. Learning by doing is emphasized by almost all of HP’s leadership development programs. E.g.: Projects providing major business impact are frequently powered by HP.

Learning experiences offered by these projects are not like the classroom experience. HP’s leadership programs are offered training and development support by more than 500 executives in a classic year.

To get used to dynamic business conditions the curriculum of leadership is frequently revised.

Leadership programs at HP are divided into 3 categories:

Choosing those at a particular level or creating career transitions through foundational programs is emphasized.

Leadership standards of HP and definition of expectations by HP leaders is carried out by skill based programs at HP.

For employees with elevated potential for development there ate select talent development programs.

With leadership development central portal, HP offers leadership knowledge. This is offered by podcasts, internet courses and quick tips.

Green advocates training program

Participation in this program is encouraged by HP in Canada. This program provides knowledge and allows workers to develop into ambassadors of HP’s environment projects. (reference)

Eco solutions advocate program

Through this program HP teaches its workers about environmental issues and company’s dedication to sustainability of the environment. It also offers workers the resources they require to communicate with consumers about HP’s solutions. (reference)

People Development

HP’s approach is based on interior and exterior benchmarking, HP uses an incorporated development framework for its employees.

The structure employs range of tools to help workers plan the next step in their career. HP’s developmental plans are divided in a 70/20/10 breakup. 70% of the plans are of the main concern. They include job rotations, special reports and cross functional team experiences. With hands on experience the workers are encouraged to develop their capabilities. Focus of about 20% of the programs is relationship based education. This is done through coaching and mentoring. Rest of the 10% of HP’s programs are provided through formal learning, interactive online resources etc. (reference)

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HP’s learning programs take the benefit of technology. About 83% of HP’s training lessons are conveyed through video conference or the web. Wherever there is a geographic focus of members HP uses face to face training. It has been acknowledged by hp that technology- based training provides major benefits: wider reach and saving huge amounts of money on travel whilst reducing related greenhouse gas release. It also allows employee access at the correct times and place, and also improves knowledge and retention. Training at HP is complimented as employees are also encouraged in following external educational prospects. (reference)


The human element of business and partners with every business is driven by human resource at HP to make sure that employee planning strategy is associated to convey the business objectives. The leadership team at HP works together with groups of business to make sure the company has the correct people, with accurate skills, in the correct job etc. The company is escalating its ability to develop by explaining strategic employee plans, support of acquisitions and mergers, providing cost efficient infrastructure in growing markets. To stay in front of the competitive pressure, HP optimizes every element of its operating strategy- to increase revenue, be efficient, making smart investments.

Even though the recent financial downturn of 2008 has had sever impacts in the IT industry, HP’s earnings per share has risen continuously from 2008 till 2010 Good business results are indicative of great human resource which has driven performance

On account of increasing globalisation, HP considers diversity as a major driver of innovation, invention and creativity. A diverse workforce differentiates the company and it is also vital for the company to relate and serve customers worldwide. At HP it is believed that people are motivated to do their best with a culture that respects differences. The company crafts an attitude in its employees, allowing them to think intentionally about diversity and its insertion in the company’s activities. It does so by knitting diversity into the fabric of the company. As a MNC, HP has had to prioritize this so that they are more efficient across different markets, understand local needs.

As far as performance management is concerned HP has a goal directed approach and has formulated a process to evaluate the manpower resource and their enhancement in terms of careers and work life balance is commendable. HP has a relationship oriented view to managing performance rather than a hierarchical top down approach. This approach has proved to be very concrete in terms of setting targets/achieving outcomes.

The most striking feature of HP is its emphasis on leadership development. It is held as a company that has some of the best leaders in the business which is only because they invest time, effort and resources into making this possible. As the company becomes more global, it is important that they keep this emphasis. To broaden its reach to its employees all over the world, it provides training through video based sessions, which also ends up having a positive cost saving and reducing environmental impact by eliminating the need to travel (hence reducing greenhouse gases). Therefore it seems that training and development at HP pays attention upon interrelation of the company’s goals and objectives with that of workers.

HP maintains employee relations wherever it has its operations without showing any disparity or bias with respect to ethnicity or cultural background in true terms it is a global company. The company monitors compliance with its policies principally through employee engagement surveys. This enquires questions on prejudice and diversity. It also assesses employees’ understanding of company’s approach to these issues. HP does not tolerate discrimination. It deals with this issue through stout polices that are accessible to all employees. HP has worked towards ensuring excellent work-life balance through various options provided to its employees. These programs have helped in improving employee productivity and therefore higher efficiency towards achieving organisational goals

With regard to workplace safety since HP is an IT company therefore is requirement to work in potentially dangerous settings (assembling products, hardware etc), hence HP has been committed to fostering the best health and safety norms and always keeping themselves up to date with changes in health & safety standards. Since the employees are assured of their safety the employee’s productivity to work has gone up leading to higher and more efficient production.


At HP the same performance appraisal standard is used overseas which they use in their headquarters. The external aspects that may affect performance in the international scenario were not considered while designing the performance appraisal criteria and has hence led to a number of problems. Therefore HP needs to formulate a new standard for evaluation according to the situation.

To prepare workers to work on an international platform HP can provide linguistic training. This training requires not only learning of the language of the country in perspective, but it also requires learning of how customers think and react.

Inclusion of higher level of responsibilities by expanding the job and access to important meetings should be facilitated to improve employee relations. Furthermore HP can assign employees to lead teams and projects and increase time spending between the employee and the boss.

Focusing on service training can help workers expand knowledge of managing customers.

Disagreement and conflicts can be prevented through transparent appraisals systems.

Educating employees and improved training for rating

Performance in the subsidiaries of the company is affected at times due to insufficient training and education of various related factors like interaction, culture, business and social information. By alerting managers about errors in judgment, it can be made possible to spot them before hand and prevent them. Clear cut performance in dimensions will help in reducing errors related to rating. Confusion and uncertainty circling the process can be avoided if the company’s purpose for appraisals is clearly stated.


HP is committed to developing a high performance culture where the employees can grow. To enhance its value proposition for its employees, HP has been formulating plans to support development of people with a lot of firmness and discipline. Talent management was driven deeper into the company and creation of strategic employee planning was done by a total redesign of company’s leadership programs.

HP has effectively and efficiently:

  • Excelled in transformation of business and planning of workforce.
  • Motivated people and developed leadership.
  • Maximized employee engagement and built a high performance culture.
  • Promoted areas such as development of career, performance management, development of management of leadership.

In both theory and practice HP has some of the best human resource management policies. The company has won awards for its diverse and innovative human resource systems. It is assessed that even though HP followed some of the best human resource policies, the recession had a major impact on the organizations employees. Dissatisfaction was caused among the employees due to the layoff and caused fear among employees for the loss of their job. It is therefore implicit that even some of the best human resource policies may not turn out to be satisfactory. It is hence implied that even though the organization includes some of the finest human resource practices the psychological aspect of humans are still erratic to rejection and acceptance hence making human resource practices should be made subjective to change.











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