Human Resource Strategy of KFC
At KFC the customer is the boss. Hence all the strategies that the human resource department comes up with are formulated with the long term vision of achieving customer satisfaction. This is accomplished via effective strategies for the employees at work.
KFC seeks opportunities for investment where others do not look and examines these opportunities with open-mindedness, thoroughness and hard-headed practicality. It aims to create value through change, challenging existing paradigms by applying vision, innovation and skilled execution. The company has always accentuated corporate social responsibility. Its fast food chains focus on consistently providing a pleasant dining experience, with fast friendly service, in a clean and convenient location (Beamish, 2000).
KFC has long term plans to build an organization dedicated to excellence and consistently deliver superior quality, and value in its products and services. It wishes to maintain a commitment to innovation for continuous improvement and growth, striving always to be the leader in the market place. The idea is to generate consistently superior financial returns and benefit its owners and employees.
Behind the KFC restaurants is an organized management. The organizational structure is flat and horizontal rather than vertical. This saves a lot of trouble in the communication network at KFC. It reduces the time and money spent in communicating. The head office of KFC has departments and departmental heads. It is like an inverted pyramid because at the end of the day, it is the bottom line workers who have to deal with the customers.
Each departmental head has a senior manager reporting to him. Senior manager supervises three to four junior managers. Junior managers work with the executives on different projects and assignments. This shows that the management of KFC has a relatively wide span of control. The approach to departmentalization at KFC is a combination of functional and divisional.
The values of KFC include focusing all its resources to its restaurant operations because that is where it serves its customer. The customer is the boss. The human resource department believes in rewarding and respecting the contributions of each individual at KFC. It continuously expands and updates training. Training is expensive but the cost of not training is even higher. Training at KFC is on-the-job as well as outside the office premises. Either way, it involves a lot of time and money.
Amongst the core values of the management of KFC is the value to be honest, open and direct in its dealings with others. It wishes to commit itself to the highest standards of personal and professional integrity at all times. The managers of KFC encourage new and innovative ideas as these are the key to competitive growth. They reward results and not simple efforts, and promote team work.
The management of KFC has high consistency in its espoused values and employee behavior. For example, espoused value is that customer is the boss, and this is reflected in the employee dedication to deliver high quality to the customers. This consistency assures the accomplishment of corporate goals.
It is the job of the human resource department, along with the support of top management, to ensure that a comfortable and friendly culture prevails in the organization, not just at the KFC outlets, but at the head offices as well. Hence, a constructive culture exists at KFC where employees are free to interact with others and to choose their assignments in ways that help them grow and develop. Constructive culture includes emphasis on achievement, self-actualization, humanistic-encouraging and affiliative.
To feel a sense of achievement, the human resource management at KFC plans activities in a way that enable employees take pride in their work and have a passion for excellence. For self-actualization, KFC believes in its employees, trusts positive intentions and encourages ideas from everyone and actively develops a workforce that is diverse in style and background. To be humanistic-encouraging, KFC employees coach and support each other. They find reasons to celebrate the achievement of others and have fun doing it. Finally for affiliation KFC employees execute with positive energy and intensity. They practice team together, team apart.
Communication at KFC is done through both formal and informal channels.
Formal Communication – Upward and Downward Communication
In the formal channels there is two way communication between the managers and the subordinates: downward and upward communication. In downward communication, the CEO frequently walks around the office to see how people are doing. He talks to employees and discusses their progress at work. Managers impart instructions to team members at the restaurants and sometimes hold meetings to communicate important information or changes in management policy.
The team members at the restaurant outlets do not have access to the internet. Therefore all the communication that takes place between the head office and the restaurants is either done on the phone or through meetings. It is the job of the human resource department to ensure effective communication while protecting the rights of the employees. Moreover, the employees are free to give their suggestions or launch any complaints to the human resource managers.
In the upward communication network, since the business of KFC is mainly concerned with the final consumers, it is very important to get information on all changing trends in customer behavior. This information is provided by the bottom line workers as they are the ones who deal with the customers. Hence the managers communicate with them on a regular basis to get updates (McNamara, N.D.).
There is also an “Open door” policy. Employees at the head office are free to give in their suggestions. They can put these in the suggestion box which is placed at the reception so all the employees can easily access it. The best suggestion of the month is awarded. The restaurants have a CEO suggestion box through which the team members can express their problems or opinions. Only the CEO can access these.
There is also lateral communication at KFC. Managers of all departments communicate regularly with each other in order to coordinate activities concerning finance, design, quality control, operations and human resource. The aim is to achieve synergy and a strategic fit of organizational resources. Also learn Dell human resources management
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As part of the informal channels of communication, the CEO has a hotline which is a private e-mail account which only he can access and employees can convey their comments, complaints and grievances as anonymous. The grapevine is an important part of the communication network. They meet up during lunch and they can even take breaks whenever they want. This time is used to discuss personal and work related issues. The location of the head office gives employees the opportunity to relax together after work. This builds strong interpersonal relationships between employees and enhances the informal exchange of information (McNamara, N.D.).