In a competitive economic environment, human resource management has taken more of a strategic, hands-on role in many companies to handle the challenges they face to stay competitive. Companies must find ways to bring in customers and keep good, well-motivated employees on the job. With this in mind, companies that are successful must have sound HRM practices and provide a positive workplace for employees. Looking at the Top 10 Companies to work for, we want to know if HRM practices have an effect on that company being one of the best places to work. We will look at REI, number 9 in the top ten companies to work, to see if Strategic Human Resource Management plays a role in their success.
First, I want to provide a little background on REI, Recreational Equipment, Inc. REI is an outdoor equipment and apparel supplier. REI is a co-op, or a consumer cooperative. This means that the company is not publicly traded, but owned by their members. A group of mountain climbers who needed outdoor equipment started the company many years ago and now consists of over four million members nationwide and still growing. For twenty dollars, a consumer can buy a lifetime membership to the REI consumer co-op. In doing so, the member is eligible to receive a portion of the company’s profits depending on the purchases the member makes throughout the year. REI has made FORTUNE magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” ever since FORTUNE started ranking companies. According to REI’s website, they believe “employees are the heart of the co-op and the ultimate source of our success.” This statement already shows that REI places a high value on human resources. Now let us look at those HRM functions that keep REI employees the focus of their success.
Strategic HRM at REI consists of employees as their focal point. Noe et al. says that the goal of strategic management “is to deploy and allocate resources in a way that gives it a comprehensive advantage” (72). Part of REI’s strategy includes “three core strategic objectives - Customers, Employees and Partnerships” according to REI’s website. These three core objectives together provide REI with that comprehensive advantage. REI strives to offer a shopping experience that makes their customers feel comfortable and welcome when they walk into a store. REI also puts a lot of effort into making sure their organization is diverse and reflects the customers they serve while providing excellent service and expert advice to customers so they can have the best outdoor experience possible.
REI puts a lot of effort into making sure their employees work in a positive environment. According to REI’s website, “REI dedicates significant time and staff resources to ensure our work environment is inclusive and welcoming for all employees. We provide training for employees at all levels, and we reinforce positive behaviors and emphasize respect for all individuals.” This philosophy lets employees enjoy a family oriented...