HomeDepot is a multibillion rated company headquartered in the UnitedStates with branch stores in Canada, Mexico and china. It is a worldleading hardware and home equipment retailer though it ventured intosome wholesale business under the leadership of MR. Nardelli as itschief executive officer who joined the Home Depot Company from theGeneral Electric Company. Mr. Nardelli’s tenure saw massive changesin the running of the company as the company decided to employ humanresource managers as business partners to the store managers acrossits 1,970 stores across the United States. The move led to theduplication of roles and finally the assumption that human resourcemanagers were a luxury and this led to the firing of about 1,200 HRstaff from each of the stores. The fired human resource managers wereall granted a two month’s severance pay. This though is areflection of the hire attrition nature of administration adopted bythe company’s management in cost cutting procedures to helpincrease profits and improve business performance.
Therevamping of the HR functions at Home Depot was equally a nobleundertaking. This is because as the human resource managers worked asbusiness partners to the store managers, the in this case their rolesgrew lean and at time counter clashing with the decisions of thestore managers. They had to concentrate on only giving technicaladvice which obviously majority of the managers had from theirexperience in service, hence making their positions and huge salaryperks a luxury to the company. In addition to that, the storemanagers had all along been tasked to oversee recruitments acrosstheir stores provided they kept a positive profit scale. Thus, thesehuman resource managers were all but a luxury to the company. Further, true to the word, the company realized double profits in thetenure of no human resource managers with growth even being realizedin the new wholesale establishments across the stores.
Onthe other hand, the revamping of the HR functions at the Home Depotdid more harm than good to the company. Firstly, the move portrayed anegative picture to the outside world as it depicted Home Depot as ahuge company that doesn’t respect essential professional positionsin its administration in addition to depicting itself as a companythat embraces the culture of high attrition rates in its operations.A culture that is not attractive to very many aspiring employees. Inaddition to this, the scrapping off of the HR function guaranteesgaps in the efficiency and quality of new recruitments as some of thestore managers lack sufficient experience to professionally handlesuch duties in a move that could see decreased staff efficiencylevels for the company. Internally, the revamping sends fears acrossvarious employees who could equally doubt the sustainability of theirroles in the company and hence lack job security as they can’t tellwhen their curtain hall similarly be brought down.
Thedelivery of the Home Depot’s human resources can only be desirableto the company management itself in the line of cost cutting andprofits as it helps reduce the recurrent costs in the name ofunnecessary salary remissions to the human resource managers whoseroles the company deems luxurious. To other staff and the generalpublic, the move of human resource revamping is extremely undesirableand unwelcome. This dimension is of the view of many because thecompany’s move to scrap off the HRM function kills the confidenceof many qualified personnel of getting genuine honest considerationas the store manages lack the expertise to undertake exceptionalevaluations to recruit the very best. Further, the move creates theperspective of a risk in getting hired by the Home Depot Company asthe trickledown effect of their perceived high attrition rates takestoll, in addition to killing the morale of young collegeprofessionals undertaking human resource courses.
Thisidea of eliminating HR functions across various companies as depictedby Home Depot Company brings more challenges that far exceed themyopic focus of cutting costs. The quality of staff being recruitedand maintained can’t be maintained at its crème unless we haveexperienced competent human resource managers who equal the task tohelp maintain high efficiency levels of service delivery forincreased revenues. In addition to hat, there are bound to be gaps inthe staffing modifications and professional cracks are going to passby unnoticed and this is bound to be very detrimental to the companyand therefore it is not a good idea to fire and disrespect acompany’s HR functions.
Inthe view of a Kuwait company, it is very difficult to transfer theexperience of the Home Depot Company to Kuwait as it is likely toface myriads of challenges from political involvement to publicdemonstrations and legal battles. This is because for Kuwait, adeveloping economy, such moves are bound to largely affect thecompany’s staffing quality as is bound to increase levels ofcorruption among companies and decreased efficiency in servicedelivery.
Thus,the move by the Home Depot Company was very drastic and to a greatextent hugely unwelcome despite it being conceived as a cost cuttingmeasure.
Robert,J. G., (2008). Remodeling HR at Home Depot. After cutting 1,200 jobs, the retailer’s leaders found out thatless may be more. Vol. 53, (11), 67-72.