Human Capital In International Companies Management Essay
To expand internationally, arises different problems and challenges for HR managers in human resources department. It is more difficult to manage employees abroad, than if employees were in the home base.
The growth of Wooden Bakery internationally determined new assignment and tasks. There is a need to successfully manage this for the benefit of both Wooden Bakery and the individuals.
The paper observes the change from domestic to international HR management, which examines issues of culture, contracts, agreements, recruitment process, and remuneration in Wooden Bakery expansion to other countries. All the same, the paper discusses suggestions for HR managers, which involve cultural research, and the functions of selection, training, performance management and remuneration.
In this new era of globalisation, international human resource management is becoming a vital concept for human resource managers to be able to practice human resources functions, starting to mention, recruitment & selection, performance appraisal, compensation & benefits, training & development and finally employee’s relations. This is important for human resource managers in multinational corporations and also in domestic based human resource managers who import employees from overseas.
To stay updated with the changing world, human resource managers will have to have an international vision of how to manage their individuals successfully both at home and abroad.
Managing international human resources allows wooden bakery to participate more effectively in the market place, and is a developing tool for its employees.
Part 1: Introduction
Human Resources Definition
Human Resources is not only involved in paying the employees their salaries and providing them with the benefits; however it comprises one of the organization’s important resource that is the Human resource through hiring, training and developing and most importantly retaining them for the benefits of both parties.
Human Resources refer to the policies, systems and employment practices that are used to attract, motivate, develop and retain firm’s employees. In other words, human resources is considered as an organization function, that focus on recruitment, providing career path for the people who work in the firm, and deals with personnel issues such as hiring, compensation & benefits, performance appraisal, safety, employee’s motivation and finally training & development.
Human resources is no longer a traditional personnel, and administration, however Human resources role is more strategic and deal with strategic aspect, to make sure that employees contribute effectively and works in parallel with the company direction to achieve the firms goals and objectives.
Human Resources functions are common to most firms, first by attracting talented people by recruiting and selection, secondly retaining talented people by wage and salary, benefits and employees relations and finally developing the people by training, development and performance appraisal.
Nearly every company says itâ€¦
Human Resources importance and Need in International Companies
The Human Resources department is important in all multinational and international companies. Recruiting and selecting is one function completed by HR, and their main responsibility is hiring and retaining company’s most important asset that is our “PEOPLE”.
Failure to do so, and lack of strong, motivated and satisfied employees, working in the right place in a firm will leads to hiring the wrong people, high turnover, employees will not do their best in their jobs and having some candidates demotivated. Thus, without good employees, the best business plan and ideas will be unsuccessful.
As well, Human resources take care of all the employees concerns, make sure to solve employee’s issues immediately and to play the fair judge between the employee and the organization, for both sides advantage.
Nevertheless, Human resources guarantee smooth functioning of the operation, good and safe working conditions and ensure that all staff is performing their jobs efficiently and toward the organization goals and objectives. Accordingly, Human Resources Manager evaluates all the employees, reward, takes disciplinary actions or dismissal.
Another important role under the human resources umbrella is training and development, and creating career path for all employees, to retain and develop the existing employees, and attract new talented people, in this way the HR will improve the organization reputation, credibility and commitment from staff, thus become an “employer of choice” and reduce turnover.
In this world of globalization, and company’s expansion to other countries, Human resources adopt new cultures, and take care of all legal requirements as per the new country rules and regulations, as well as managing payroll, and other presented benefits.
As per the strategic approach, human resources play an important function in developing an organization strategy, and managing the employee’s activities.
Part 2: Analysis of the Organization
2.1- Wooden Bakery History
Wooden Bakery was founded in Jal El Dib Lebanon in 1969 by Mr. Edward Bou Habib. It was a simple Bakery providing the market with freshly baked quality Bread.
In the last decade Wooden Bakery literally revolutionized the bakery industry in Lebanon by setting new standards and upgrading its products and services.
Edward’s two sons Assaad and Ghassan Bou Habib planned and designed the new concept on paper in 1996. With immense vision and an innovative spirit, Wooden Bakery developed a unique concept gathering Bread (of all kinds), Pastries, Sweets, Sandwiches, Salads and Deli.
The first Wooden Bakery Outlet opened at Zalka highway in October 1999.
Wooden Bakery launched the first franchised operation in 2002 and expanded to 26 franchised outlets in Lebanon by the end of the year 2012.
Wooden Bakery opened the first Master Franchise Operation in Saudi Arabia in July 2009, and currently negotiating the sale of the Master Franchise with a number of companies from the GCC countries.
The Concept of the Factory
Wooden Bakery system revolves around a state of the art industrial baking facility. It includes the latest and most advanced machinery and equipment in the baking industry.
Human Resources department make sure to hires top Master Bakers, Pastry Chefs, and highly qualified Managers and Quality Controllers to assure the freshest and most consistent products for our markets.
The Wooden Bakery factory produces from 100 to 150 tons of flours per day depending on the market need and factory size.
Wooden Bakery is the leading supplier of high quality Freshly Baked Arabic Bread in the Lebanese market.
The Wooden Bakery Factory is capable of supplying a large number of:
Arabic and European Bread Products
Dry Desert Products
French Pastry Cakes
Cakes for any occasions (Wilton Cakes)
Croissants and Danishes
The Wooden Bakery Factory houses a central kitchen facility which produces Mixes and Semi Finished Products for the outlets such as:
Marinated Chicken and Beef
A Variety of Mixes and Blends
PAR Baked Products
The Concept of the Outlet
Wooden Bakery Outlets are designed to service all classes of people in any market around the globe.
All Wooden Bakery Outlets are located on Main Road Arteries in Strategic Areas, and considered as a One-Stop-Shop where one can buy Fresh & Hot French and Arabic Bread, French, Arabic and American Sweets.
The Wooden Bakery Outlets offers all mentioned products at Competitive Prices and offer a warm ambiance through its Unique Design, Clean & Safe Environment and Excellent Service for its customers.
The Wooden Bakery Outlets offer a wide variety of products:
Fresh & Hot Bread
Mouth-Watering Arabic, French and American Pastry items
Scrumptious selection of hundreds of Cheese & Deli products
Self-Service Products offering the Top 100 items found in every Home
Delicious Manakish, Salads, Sandwiches, Submarines, Pizzas, etcâ€¦
2.2- Mission and Vision
Our mission is to push our presence and create a brand in the Bakery Industry by Offering MORE and Delivering BETTER
Our vision is to dominate the market by building stores on all main road arteries and major cities and towns in Lebanon and beyond,
Our products would be available at ALL grocery stores, supermarkets, catering companies and therefore in every single home in Lebanon.
2.3- Local and Multinational Expansion
Wooden Bakery first Outlet opened at Zalka highway in October 1999.
The first Wooden Bakery franchised operation launched in 2002 and expanded to 26 franchised outlets in Lebanon by the end of the year 2012.
Jal El Dib
Wooden Bakery opened the first Master Franchise Operation in Saudi Arabia in July 2009, and currently negotiating the sale of the Master Franchise with a number of companies from the GCC countries.
Wooden Bakery KSA
Wooden Bakery plan was centred on the key concept that customer satisfaction all over the world is the main goal. It has established and developed its first Master Franchise in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on July 2009.
Its successful set up can be measured by how our products and services that we supply meet however surpass the Saudi customers’ expectations.
“The Bread Factory Outlet” was built on a 10,000 m2 space to house all the production equipment that will supply Bread and Pastry products and Central Kitchen Food Production to a number of outlets along with the wholesale distribution of Wooden Bakery Products.
“The Store” is spread over two levels that house a main showroom with an eating area and a restaurant.
Wooden Bakery has received the award for the “Fastest Growing Lebanese Company” at the prestigious Social Economic Award 2011, instituted by the global communications agency First Protocol to recognize outstanding achievements by organizations in the social and economic sphere.
Today, the name of Wooden Bakery not only spells trust and quality, however, it has become a marked proof that a brand can be born, even in the Lebanese bakery industry. Wooden Bakery’s expansion in the Lebanese territory has facilitated the achievement of the owners’ mission, proving that Wooden Bakery is worthy of the award that comes as a natural translation of its ever-expanding drive to Offer More and Deliver Better.
2.4- Wooden Bakery SWOT Analysis
Serves all classes of people
Big Variety of products (produced and non-produced by WB items)
One Stop Shop
Mushrooming Franchise (outlets are located on main roads in strategic areas)
All outlets have the same image
Product differentiation in the PRESTO section sandwiches. Ex. Rustic Bread
Quality (Shelf life limited)
Freshness products (core value)
Diversity of products (Arabic, French Pastries – Viennoiserie – charcuterie – Arabic Bread)
Rank among the top 25 companies in Lebanon
Hold high level of market share in Leb.
Balance menu (variety, quality, and price)
Quality Control Management during process, on final product and in outlets
Outlets are rented premises which leads to increase the operating expenses
Franchise operated outlets might not have same level of loyalty as the outlets owned by Wooden Bakery
Increase in raw materials and labour costs
Not every franchised store owner get involved in the P&L statement
No direct authority
High start-up cost
Advertising plan to increase sales through brand awareness
Market trend turning bakeries into a wider shopping outlets
Healthy eating trend
Opening new and international markets
New inventions for competition
Increase in Labour costs put pressure on button line margins
Increase in raw materials costs put pressure on gross profit margins
Quality of service focus with the presence of competitors in the market
Many competitors (bakery’s, supermarkets, etcâ€¦
Part 3: Methodology and Results
3.1- Describing “Human Resources” at Wooden Bakery
At Wooden Bakery, the human resources department used to work the traditional personnel management tasks, generating payroll and registering employees in NSSF.
The Main human resources achievement was shifting from personnel management to human resources management, implementing all human resources functions, and be more involved in Wooden Bakery strategic plan.
Human Resources department today mainly concentrates on recruitment, management, and providing directions and guidance for the people who work in Wooden Bakery.
Human Resources department deals with employees concerns such as compensation, hiring, performance appraisal, employee motivation, safety, benefits, employee’s relations, and training & development.
However, Wooden Bakery HR department make sure that all the employees are effectively contributing to the overall company direction and to accomplish the organization goals and objectives.
The administration roles usually played by the Human Resources department are becoming increasingly aligned with the company strategic plan, which in turn is evolving the HR into becoming: Human Resources Management.
3.2- HR Functions in Wooden Bakery
3.1.1- Recruitment and Selection
The ability of Wooden Bakery to achieve its objectives of profitable and sustainable growth and high-quality product and service standards depends on the quality of its “Human Capital”.
The recruiting function, which directly affects the quality of Wooden Bakery’s human resources, will represent a critical function in the company’s development. It is therefore important that a clear recruiting mechanism is established in order to optimize applicant selection, while supporting Wooden Bakery’s strategic orientation and values.
Proper and professional recruiting is necessary in order to avoid undesirable effects, including:
Negative publicity or damage to the company’s image
Wasted time and effort to interview applicants who do not meet Wooden Bakery’s needs
Cost incurred in training recruits who should not have passed the recruiting interviews
High turnover rates
The hiring process in Wooden Bakery includes Recruiting, Processing, Eliminating, Selecting, Rejecting, File Building, Placing, and Orienting.
The recruiting process is divided into three phases: Pre-recruiting, Recruiting, and Post-Recruiting. It involves:
Posting a job advertisement in appropriate places
Evaluating the information provided on each application
Screening candidates to determine which ones to interview
Verifying references and information
Conducting personal interviews
Deciding who will be offered the job
Orienting the new employee about the organization
3.2.2- Performance appraisal
Wooden Bakery use a new assessment concept for evaluating employees, “365 Evaluation”, that is created to monitor and evaluate the productivity of Wooden Bakery administration and management staff throughout the year.
The concept covers three different aspects and tackles employees’ productivity by looking at:
Missions accomplished (Monthly Evaluation)
Key performance indicators (KPI) (Quarterly Evaluation)
Yearly competency evaluation
The purpose of the 365 Evaluation is to:
Monitor the productivity of Wooden Bakery administration and management staff throughout the year.
Compensate and reward exceptional achievements, and where applicable take disciplinary actions against under-achievers.
The benefits to be gained from conducting performance appraisals include:
Recognizing accomplishments and reflecting the results through monetary terms (Salary increase, Promotion, Bonus, etc.)
Identifying newly acquired competencies
Preparing employee development plans
Planning improvement where deficiencies are found
Communication between supervisors and employees
Monthly Evaluation “Mission Based”
Mission based evaluation is a tracking system that records and rates the mission undertaken by Wooden Bakery administration and management staff on Monthly Basis.
Date of registering the idea and expected mission duration
The employee who created the idea and who is the custodian for its implementation
Mission Scope &Objectives
Scopeis the sum total of all products, services and outcomes needed to make sure that the mission is successfully done.
Objectivesare the benefits, outcomes, or performance improvements that are expected to be accomplished by the mission.
List of personnel involved and needed for the completion of the mission and the designed authority distribution
Breakdown of tasks and assigning a start and a duration for each task
3-Mission Kick-off &Registration
The mission owner has to register the mission with the HR department after it has been noted by the direct supervisor and approved by the concerned VP
Human Resources Manager
Score for Innovative
At the completion of the mission, the owner has to get the formal evaluation of the concerned VP. 3 criteria will be used to evaluate the mission (Innovative, Importance, Impact)
Score for Importance
Score for Impact
3 parties and the checking of the Internal Audit department
Once rated by the concerned VP, the mission score is registered by the HR in the Mission Tracking System.
The internal Audit team is entitled to monitor the proper implementation of the system.
Quarterly Evaluation (Productivity Based)
The Quarterly Evaluation is a system that measures the productivity of Wooden Bakery administration and management staff by looking at five (5) aspects:
Policy and Procedure Development (creation and implementation of new procedure)
Introduction of Improving Ideas (Cost saving ideas – Process improving ideas)
Productivity Measurement (Vary from one department to another – each department will be evaluated by using five indicators)
Yearly Evaluation (Competency Based)
The Yearly Evaluation is a systematic way of measuring, reviewing and analysing employee performance on a yearly basis and using the information gathered to plan for the employee’s future with Wooden Bakery. The feedback is used to judge employee effectiveness as well as provide necessary Training and development to improve the employee’s contributions to the Wooden Bakery’s goals.
The purpose of the Yearly Evaluation at Wooden Bakery is for the manager or the direct supervisor and the concerned employee to have an open discussion about performance expectations and actual performance.
The employee’s actual level of performance is compared to the estimated level of performance using standards that were developed by the supervisor.
This expected level of performance is to be derived from competencies needed to perform the job in the highest level of professionalism.
The comparison of actual performance with expectations and standards serves as a basis for recognizing accomplishments and planning for improvement where insufficiencies are found. Performance appraisals may also be utilized in a progressive disciplinary process to resolve continuing poor performance.
3.2.3- Training and development
Wooden Bakery encourage growth and career development of its employees by coaching, and helping them to achieve their personal goals, through providing adequate training, encouragement of staff development, and chances for growth.
Wooden Bakery training methods include:
Orientation training is the process Wooden Bakery use for welcoming a new employee into Wooden Bakery family. New employee orientation, often organized by a meeting with the Human Resources department, that generally contains information about the new job description, the work environment, company culture, company history, the organization chart, tour of department, introduction to colleagues, Wooden Bakery rules and regulations, etcâ€¦
On the job training is used in both our branches and factory to teach new employees how to perform job duties.
Sometimes training sessions take place in the headquarters and some other times on site. For example, customer service, food safety and hygiene, menu implementation.
Conferences and Seminars
Wooden Bakery works on developing its employee’s skills by sending them to international conferences, Seminars and Workshops.
Some of the trainings attended by Wooden Bakery administration employees:
R&D Technician and R&D Manager were sent in 2010 to Las Vegas to attend “Baking Industry Trade Fair”
Production Manager and R&D Manager were sent in 2012 to Bulguim to attend “Professional training session held by PURATOS”
Quality Controller Supervisor and R&D Supervisor were sent in 2012 to Paris to attend training with “Chopin Technologies”
Maintenance Manager was sent in 2012 to Vienna to attend a conference in “ROSENDAHL Company”.
3.2.4- Compensation and benefits
The term compensation in Wooden Bakery refers to the wages used to reward employees. As for benefits, Wooden Bakery offers paid vacations to its employees.
Wooden Bakery wishes to maintain a sense of fairness and equity within the pay structure – Grading System.
For each position at Wooden Bakery the following will be defined:
The Minimum, the Middle, and the Maximum fixed salary range
The minimum and maximum of each fixed salary range is selected in line with market realities, and based on external salary surveys of comparable organizations.
The parameters used to determine the weight of each job and thus giving an accurate grade based on numerical study:
Highest Education Level
Influence on Others
Freedom to Act
Magnitude of Action
Impact of Decisions
Long Working Hours
Working during Holidays
Hazardous Environment and Critical Encounters
The grading system at Wooden Bakery offers a clear career path for employees who show potentials to advance within the company hierarchy.
Moving horizontally within the same grade is governed by different factors including:
Seniority (1.5 years spent in each level)
Performance Appraisal Recommendations
Acquiring Additional Skills (Experience and Education)
Top Management Discression
Moving vertically is governed by different factors including:
Performance Appraisal Recommendations
Acquiring Additional Skills (Experience and Education)
Availability of the vacancy
3.2.5- Employees Relations
Wooden Bakery promotes a positive atmosphere, and encourages positive relations between employees, to be able to reach the organization goals and objectives.
Employees Relations is concerned to prevent and resolve problems involved by employees which arise out of or might affect Wooden Bakery work atmosphere.
Wooden Bakery employee’s relation involves the relation between the employees with each other or their relation with their supervisors.
Wooden Bakery concerned supervisors provide advises on how to correct poor performance and employee misconduct.
The Company Disciplinary Action is to help and encourage employees to improve, achieve and maintain standards of conduct, attendance and job performance. It also enables management to deal effectively with those employees who do not comply with Wooden Bakery standards of conduct, attendance and performance in the workplace.
Employee relations are designed in a manner which is non-discriminatory and which is “Fair” consistent and effective. It must also be applied in a timely manner and without undue delay.
3.3- Human Resources Planning for Global expansion
Global expansion is a growth strategy for the future. It is at the heart of Wooden Bakery’s development strategy. The owners are constantly striving to raise market share through expansion primarily in the Middle east and subsequently worldwide, in order to win over increasing numbers of customers.
Wooden Bakery began seeking out growth and expansion, looking to reach out into new markets through Master Franchising and/or Partnership/Joint Venture.
Wooden Bakery planned to expand worldwide after going through a number of challenges and risks that need to be taken into consideration along with is the Human Resources. The human recourse factor refers to the hiring of employees in the foreign markets, and the challenges and risks that come with doing so.
Wooden Bakery will always take into consideration the foreign country laws, rules and regulations, which might be far different from our country of origin and which may seem difficult to manage with.
One of the differences is the employee’s contracts in other foreign countries, which define the parameters of an employee’s job benefits, including vacation time, working hours, salaries, compensation, severance pay, etc.
The differences stated earlier will mandate that the total packages offered abroad are tangibly higher than those offered within the Lebanese region.
Thus, the existence of all the above variances means that any organization looking to expand internationally will need to do unlimited researches in regards to the foreign markets, since it might affect its operation.
Implementing a global business strategy requires having the right people in the right places; it requires specialized leadership skills-managing the work of people with different backgrounds and customs.
3.4- Global Expansion Requires New HR and Training Strategies
Recently the role of HR shifted from being a normal cost center and support service into becoming a strategic partner.
Most organizations simply understand that their people are their competitive advantage, and view human resources as an investment, not an expense. Companies invest in their employees, because the future of the company belongs to the people who are continually involved in educating themselves and developing their skills and knowledge.
As companies grow internationally, it is so crucial for global regular employees training. It is human resources challenge to train employees to be able to meet the organization mission as well as the requirements needed and the new region customs.
Unfortunately, the majority of companies have the passion and commitment, to invest in their employees and provide them the necessary training for international exposure, but the budget necessary to achieve these goals may not.
However, Wooden Bakery focuses on training and has enlarged its training department with highly qualified people who provide all the employees with necessary trainings and skill development opportunities to make sure that organizational goals are achieved. Top Master Bakers, Pastry Chefs, and highly qualified Managers and Quality Controllers are being sent to Wooden Bakery – KSA to provide necessary training that ensures standardization and product consistency are being implemented.
Companies that have a clear training and development strategy will note growth in the following areas,
Reduced turnover: well trained employees are more likely to stay with your organization and it decreases the expenses of employing and training costs.
Better productivity: well trained employees are more productive.
Workforce: employees will have a deeper understanding of organization goals and mission, and will know their role in reaching those aims.
3.5- The HR Challenges of International Expansion
One of the very important skills for domestic companies to grow global is the international HR management. As much as it is important for multinational and international companies, it is essential for HR department in domestic companies that recruit people from abroad.
Nowadays there are many challenges that international human resources department has to take into consideration, starting to mention the cultural impacts, the local rules and regulations and finally working conditions and salary packages.
HR policies and leadership development should grow since almost every business in all sectors risk a big share of their growth strategies on global expansion. There are many activities and skills that have become crucial to success. These activities include attracting and retaining skilled employees, increasing productivity, improving the workforce in the market, organizing the company by placing the competent and credible leadership in the right positions and moulding the beliefs and differences between personnel.
Ethnical preferences and expectations can weaken a company’s human resource strategy in globalization and can affect its effectiveness due to the influence of the economy.
In order to implement global business strategy, a company is required to have the right people in the right places. It necessitates special qualifications skills and the ability to manage people with different backgrounds and customs. Globalization entails a company to run with different kinds of people and urge them to operate as a global company rather than just one company that have different locations around the world.
An international Environment requires acquiring talented people and managerial skills which is a very complex thing to do. Consider Wooden Bakery, a Lebanese-based company operating in KSA. The needed staff to operate in such a business covering and industrial bread factory and retail stores would require to recruit nationals from the parent country in this case Saudis, host-country nationals such as Indian and Filipinos and third-country nationals who might come from anywhere such as Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians. In this case, standardizing grade scale and terms of employment is very difficult; for instance, expatriates may need to be provided more benefits than nationals to attract them and retain them which would cause some problems among staff.
In many countries, labour, even the skilled workers can be found in big numbers and can be available at low cost; but performance management would be an issue in such a case. This may cause devaluations for some remarked performances leading them to dismissal instead of motivating them to stay and perform better.
It is only normal that a manager encounters barriers while hiring in the global environment however when they are added up, those very barriers become obstacles. This is a challenge that is repeated over and over through the entire employee’s lifecycle; therefore the management challenges increase radically and the company eventually can fail in performing its entire global strategy.
3.6- Wooden Bakery Expansion to KSA
Wooden Bakery decided to expand through Franchise and/or Partnership/Joint Venture models that not only provides more reliable service around the world but also can be quickly adapted to meet the local market requirements. The Wooden Bakery strategy was centered on the key concept that customer satisfaction all over the world is the main goal.
Indeed, The Company opened the first Master Franchise Operation in Saudi Arabia in July 2009 and currently negotiating the sale of the Master Franchise or Partnership with a number of companies in the GCC countries.
Its successful set up can be measured by how our products and services that it supplies meet however surpass the Saudi customers’ satisfaction.
In only seven months, Wooden Bakery had opened a 10,000 sq. m. bread factory in Riyadh, KSA and One Stand Alone Store of 1,000 sq. m in size spread over 2 levels that house a main showroom with an eating area and a restaurant.
From the Franchisor center located at Headquarters in Lebanon, HR services can now be provided faster and more consistently to the company’s employees, wherever they are. A knowledge source helps standardize functions and materials, and helps process transactions consistently and in compliance with local laws.
Wooden Bakery recruiters know what an employee is looking for, and make a career out of tailoring resumes to job descriptions; they can identify which candidates are likely to truly possess the skills Wooden Bakery requires for its business. The initial step reduces the pool of candidates without taking the time of the HR staff.
Wooden Bakery HR team is an expert at job descriptions and capturing performance expectations. They also have a much greater perspective on how and where to advertise for job candidates, like they did when recruiting for the KSA franchised operation. Advertisements were placed in qualified recruitment agencies in different countries such as Syria, Philippines, India, KSA and Lebanon as the positions require. The process of identifying and then selecting employees becomes a much simpler task. In addition, the amount of time, energy and money expended in the search for a quality job candidate becomes a definable resource expense that allows for greater stability in the bottom line.
For Wooden Bakery creating a high-performing operation in KSA or in any other country depends first on finding and hiring the right people, then promoting, developing, and rewarding those people to deliver high performance hence the success of the Franchise in the set territory. This is what the Human Resources department was working on.
The operation at Wooden Bakery is very complicated and diverse; for this reason, the HR department’s main concern is to retain its employees. Among the top reasons people left a company were higher salaries and better career development opportunities; hence the HR department included in its retention strategies comprehensive training and development opportunities as well as career planning for both local and international centers.
The Wooden Bakery operation requires hiring different people with different skills from different countries; therefore the social, political, and economic differences affected the HR department’s ability to implement consistent HR practices in KSA. They had to consider factors such as government regulations, local employment laws, cultural differences, and employee expectations. Practices that work in Lebanon might not be acceptable in another country such as Syria, Philippines, India, KSA and others for any number of reasons. For instance, a selection practice that includes asking personal questions about age and marital status might be perfectly acceptable in one country but illegal in another..
The Wooden Bakery Company’s HR department has taken many effective actions to ensure that the HR practices are more consistent across all locations generally and in KSA particularly:
Developed a long-term HR plan to ensure alignment of HR objectives with corporate objectives.
Standardized assessment, development, and compensation practices.
Introduced practices to KSA Franchised Operation and allowed the HR function in KSA the autonomy to do its job.
Created global policies and procedures for data management, performance management, compensation, education, and development.
Tied regional accountability to performance management.
Decentralized HR to be more responsive to local needs.
Built a solid team willing to train and develop managers to interpret corporate policy in their own environment.
Introduced common programs (e.g., online evaluation, 360-degree evaluations).
Improved communications and rolled out standard programs that are customized by country.
3.7 Culture Comparison
Culture has been identified as a significant determinant of ethical attitudes of business managers.
Culture impacts on every stage of the HR cycle, from selection and recruitment, to feedback, evaluation, coaching, and exit interviews
Having the right people with the right skills doing the right jobs should not be an accident, an afterthought or the last thing on the to-do list. It requires planning to ensure that all the people working in the museum are doing and are capable of doing those tasks that need to be done.
Wooden Bakery Company has worked on a model of Culture Fit of the Saudi Arabia socio-cultural influence on the work of the human resource management practices.
Have job descriptions for all positions
Have a process for recruiting and interviewing staff
Conduct performance appraisals to support training and development and human resource planning
Take action to support teamwork
Comply with labor legislation
Have a process to review and determine compensation and benefits policies
One of the major international HR issues that Wooden Bakery faced is the differing rules and regulations that countries have with regard to workforce safety and labor. In some countries, safety standards are different than in Lebanon, and employees may require certain equipment and training that is different from what the company has in place.
Another main issue that Wooden Bakery international HR department faced is the language barrier between the local workforce and overseas employees. Often times, the mistake that companies make is to simply translate materials written in the English language into Arabic for the KSA.
In addition to language barriers, the Wooden Bakery international HR team considered cultural differences and how to address them. In certain countries, such as those in KSA, it is still not allowed to assign certain positions to non-Saudis. It was important to discuss openly with employees the fact that in KSA, chatting about the Islamic religion will lead to banning form the country forever.
The HR department had to adapt the job descriptions, the employment agreement, the stores’ opening hours and operation according to the country’s laws. Some positions require the recruitment of women; but since in KSA women are not allowed to work, therefore the HR department had to find men to fill in these positions. The culture has a strong influence on employees’ adaptation.
The mosaic of cultural diversity presents a major challenge; Wooden Bakery was able to adapt all its documentation, but, in the same time, to keep the note of originality, so that the global image of brand to gain consistency.