Week 1 Assignment
Read the following case study:
HR Contributes at SYSCO
Many people in the United States are not
familiar with SYSCO, but they see its results because SYSCO is the largest food
services and distribution company with almost $24 billion in annual sales.
SYSCO supplies food products to customers in restaurants, hotels, supermarkets,
hospitals, and other companies. In a firm the size of SYSCO with more than
40,000 employees, HR management is making significant contributions to
organizational success. As an indication of this success, SYSCO received the
Optimas award for general HR Excellence from Workforce Magazine.
years ago, the need to revitalize HR activities was recognized by both
executives and senior HR staff members. At the time, the SYSCO operating
regions had administered many of their own HR practices. To bring change to HR
corporate-wide, while preserving the entrepreneurial independence of the
regions, a “market-driven” HR approach was developed. In this approach, corporate HR
identified ways it could assist regional operations, and then developed
programs and services that met regional needs.
However, unlike in
many other corporations where corporate HR programs would be “mandated” to operating units, SYSCO took a different
approach. Key to market-driven HR is that managers in the regional operations
must be convinced to “buy” the corporate HR services. For example, if a
supervisory training program is developed by corporate HR, regional managers
decide if they want to use the program for supervisory training in their
Another part of
creating HR as market driven was the establishment by corporate HR of a Virtual Resource
Center (VRC) to provide
services to managers and employees. A key aspect of the VRC is use of HR
technology to gather extensive data on HR activities and provide that data to
operating managers. One source of data is workplace climate surveys of
employees. Using the survey data, HR developed initiatives to increase safety,
which reduced workers’ compensation claims by 30%, resulting in savings of $10
million per year.
Another problem that
SYSCO had was high turnover rates of night shift warehouse workers. Recruiting these workers
has been a constant challenge for SYSCO and other distribution firms. By
implementing a variety of programs and services, based on employee and
managerial input from surveys, the retention rate for these warehouse employees
has been increased by 20%, resulting in savings of $15 million per year. These
savings are due to reduced time and money spent recruiting, selecting, and
training new employees. Also, employees with more experience are more
productive and more knowledgeable about SYSCO operations and products.
Another area where HR has contributed is with
truck and delivery drivers. Data gathered through the VRC has been used to
revise base pay and incentive programs, increase driver retention rates, and
improve driver safety records. Additionally, customer satisfaction rates
increased and delivery expenses declined.
All of these changes illustrate that HR
efforts at SYSCO have been paying off for the company, managers, and employees.
But as the value of HR efforts is recognized by more managers, HR’s role at
SYSCO is likely to continue growing and changing
Write a 2-3 page paper. In the paper address the following questions:
How does the market-driven
approach illustrate that HR has strategic, operational, and administrative
roles at SYSCO?
Discuss what types of
HR changes could have affected reductions in workers’ compensation expenses,
employee turnover, and increases in customer satisfaction.
Include a cover
sheet and 2-3 references. References should be obtained through the
Grantham University online library. Only one website reference will be
allowed (not Wikipedia). Please adhere to the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (APA), 6th ed., 2nd printing when writing
and submitting assignments and papers.