Microsoft Corporation, a publicly owned company, founded in 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft is ranked 15th in the world’s top 500 companies and its operating software has driven 93% of the world’s desktop computers since 1991. Its operations can be divided into seven segments: Client, Server and Tools, Information Worker, Microsoft Business Solutions, MSN, Mobile and Embedded Devices, and Home Entertainment.
“As of June 2003, the company employed approximately 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions.” (corporate watch,2004) Microsoft’s mission is “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential” (Microsoft, 2004) that requires great people who are bright, creative, and energetic, and who share the common set of goals and values laid down by the company. Microsoft’s UK operation was established in 1982 as a subsidiary of the American company that made its founder, Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men. The firm now has five sites in the UK under the hands-on UK managing director, Neil Holloway. (Times online, 2004)
According to research conducted by Business Times Online (March2004), Microsoft UK is among the top 20 companies
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( anonymous, 2004). Microsoft’s Human Resource Practices Microsoft one of the world’s most valuable company, attributed its outstanding performance to one capability: ‘its ability to recruit, develop, motivate, and retain capable people’ as Bill Gates like to boast. (Harvard business review, 2001). In 2000, Steve Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as new CEO of the company and he sets out a new mission statement ‘improving customer relations and contact with other people in technology industry’ and ‘realizing potential’. (Anonymous, 2003)
A template is created for every important action, especially the tactics that will beat the competition. (high performance companies: distinguished profile) Microsoft HR specialist worked hard to make sure recruits were placed on jobs best suited to them. And to see whether each individual was engaged and excited about his job. (Harvard business review, 2001). Microsoft also designed a set of courses to teach management skills and software development taught to mid level managers by senior executives to learn how company works internally.
(Johnston & Stuart. J, 1995). As Herbold (vice president) said, ‘Microsoft is special because of incredible competency in recruiting training and developing people’ (Harvard business review, 2001) Microsoft’s Work Environment Kay Winsper, Head of HR said ‘Microsoft has reaped huge rewards from allowing people to work flexibly and by creating an office environment that breeds productivity’. It designed the office in the shape of X which has large windows and an enclosed office which ensured privacy to sit and think.
It has got numerous cafeterias with food, air that is recycled 8 times a day, and a lake where they can relax. The company spends more than $8000 per employee on nonmandated benefits which includes food and beverages. HR handles the internal communications in the company so that every employee knows what’s going on in the company (Miller. M, 2004). The employees have a feeling of college campus where they can dress informally, no status symbols and no set work hours (Harvard business review, 2001)