The Human Resource Development (HRD) is vital to any organization that strives to embrace growth and change. It involves detecting, deploying, nurturing, and using the competencies of people in their places of work. The experience of such employees is tapped to bring an organizational behavioral change in a given period. Businesses ought to treat workers as an asset since they can make either positive or negative influence. However, the presence of too many workers in an organization may bring nonprofitable years and finally result in the closedown of the business (Bormann, 2015). Through the adoption of modern technology, Ford Motor Company has decided to employ the workforce reduction strategy for minimizing operational expenses and maximizing profits.
The Overview of the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company came into being in 1904 (Ford Motor Company Chronology, n.d.). Today, it is one of the largest American automakers; it sells vehicle worldwide. The headquarters is situated in Michigan; the company remains one of the most profitable and largest family-controlled businesses globally. Initially, Henry Ford founded Detroit Automobile Company in 1899; later, it was named the Henry Ford Company. Financial challenges made Ford look for support; in 1903, the company engaged 12 investors owning a total of 1000 shares (Kwiecien, 2005)
Ford Motor Company produced the first vehicle named Ford Model A in 1903 (Ford Motor Company Chronology, n.d.). The model was expensive because the company had not yet developed techniques for the assembly line. It was followed by Model K and Model S. A few years later, the famous Model T that was affordable for many Americans and was highly demanded was introduced. The company strived to develop its assembly line and start the mass production; thus, it launched the first assembly line worldwide in 1913 (Ford Motor Company Chronology, n.d.).
Ford manufactured vehicles used by the U.S. military. Later, the automaker produced cars used in the World War II, including the Willy Jeep. Henry Ford died in 1947. However, the brand survived, and in 1956, it was named the car brand of the year (Kwiecien, 2005). For the last 100 years, Ford Motor company has become one of the most recognized and dominant automakers in the world. Today, it produces reliable and innovative vehicles such as Taurus, Explorer, Focus, and F-150. It has also grown to be an innovator in the hybrid and alternative fuel technology. Ford Motor Company designs various policies aimed at minimizing the operational cost and maximizing the own gross profit.
The Assessment of the HRD Opportunity
Recently, the Ford Motor Plant in Illinois has experienced massive losses due to the excessive number of workers. Consequently, the company is not able to make more investment in other areas of development. To solve the reduction of profit, the management has embarked on the reduction in the workforce to minimize expenses and maximize profits. In this regard, it has come with a policy to reduce its staff by 10 percent; this decision will allow the company to save about $3 billion annually. The procedure is expected to be employed all over the world, hence ensuring more profit. The money will, in turn, be used to explore other investment avenues, for example, the construction of a bigger Ford Motor Plant in Michigan. To reduce the cost of retrenchment, the company targets ununionized workers in order to reduce possibilities of judicial battles and compensations. The company is considering giving early retirement to its workers who have worked for a long period. The idea to lay off workers is brilliant in that it will bring positive results to the entire business. The reduction of the workforce is a good solution in the modern hi-tech world, where almost everything can be done using the modern technology. To cater for the big gap that will be left by workers, the company can consider the use of robots, which are more effective and less costly than humans and can work on a 24-hour basis (Bormann, 2015). In such a manner, the plan aims at coming up with few dedicated employees who will help in taking the company to the next level.
Design of the HRD Plan
After reducing the number of employees, there are specific aspects that must be addressed. The structure of the organization must change. For example, the company should reduce the number of supervisors and make workers report directly to the top management. The policy also calls for overlapping some departments and making workers report to only one supervisor. The next step is assigning more responsibilities to particular individuals. Two or more tasks can be assigned to one worker. Also, the business should reduce the number of specialized jobs and levels of management. However, various departments must be interconnected to work efficiently. The next step is providing training to employees for them to understand better their new responsibilities and coaching them on the new organizational structure (Beardwell & Thompson, 2017). The last step is the improvement of the standardization of job responsibilities with the view to achieving the highest level of efficiency.
The Ford Motor Company designed the One Ford Plan. According to it, the company focuses on how to have few, diverse, motivated, and skilled workers, as well as how to embrace the new technology production process. It engages employees and fosters the development of leadership qualities; it makes people feel that they are engaged and valued. The company also ensures that there is healthy workforce, which is a critical element. The automaker competes for talents and does its best to find talented employees.
The staff works together to achieve objectives of the business (Thacker, 2012). The One Ford Plan directs employees towards a standard definition of success. It provides expectations and goals for every team member irrespective of where they work around the globe. Employees are held responsible for integrating the One Ford Plan into their day-to-day work. They are aware of behavior and skills they are required to demonstrate to accomplish the set goals. For the past years, the company has focused on strategies for the implementation of the One Ford Plan. (Jurevicius, 2016). As a result, it has generated outstanding working conditions and advanced the knowledgeable and capable staff. Their organizational structure is organized in such a way that it cares for all employees needs through the direct communication process. Under such condition, Ford Motor Company can easily implement the reduction in the workforce.
The strategy to lay down workers is not tragic if it is gradually implemented. In such a manner, the company will set its priorities right and ensure that the policy does not negatively affect its annual productivity. The implementation strategy is expected to go through various stages. For example, the company plans to lay off 1.400 workers by the end of the year. The approach is expected to be utilized for the next several years; at the end of the period, every plant will have laid down 10 percent of its workers. Also, the company is expected to have invested in much-needed infrastructures and technology. The company will also train its employees to use modern technologies. In such a way, a perfect combination of technologically savvy employees and hi-tech robots will fill the gap created by the reduced number of workers.
Ford focuses on securing finances and restructuring the company. It uses a clear business plan to achieve global success. The restructuring calls for identifying the future mission of the organization. It involves coming up with targets, deadlines, and objectives for the period (Roth, 2013).
In the case of the reduction of the workforce, Ford Motor Company should care about both the fired and remaining employees in order to ensure their satisfaction and salve difficulties of the transition period.
Every year, the company will engage their employees in the Pulse Survey. The survey enables the management to gain insight as to whether the workers are working towards the realization of the company goals and objectives or not. The ideas tapped from the workers are integrated into the annual business plan of the assessment processes. It is noted that the employee satisfaction is rising with each year. On the other hand, the firm ensures that employees are involved in the decision-making process and encourages them to stay linked with peers and societies. According to the corporate worldview, communicating with the workforce openly and with transparency promotes the success of the business. The company provides various interactive forums such as the Internet surveys, diversity councils, and plant newsletter (Beardwell & Thompson, 2017). The panels enable the management to make governance plans and come to the agreement on changes in operations. The company sets management committees where employees can influence their working conditions.
The Ford Company believes that the employees development is essential to achieving the companys vision of producing excellent vehicles, thus contributing to a better world. They standardize, simplify, and integrate the talent management process and implement the competent global framework. The company has management improvement programs to prepare managers with required skills. Ford Motor Company has provided a working environment that is safe and flexible; here, people are respected and valued.
The firm has announced that it will focus mostly on three strategic priorities. Such a priorities system leads to the profits growth and creates value. Fortifying the profit pillars in the business will ensure that the underperforming areas are transformed. The organization can invest in all emerging opportunities. It asserted that efforts to invent electric and self-driving cars would lead to lower profit margin in the future. The company noted that the electric and the self-driving cars are in high demand. Such long time bets usually take time to pay off, while others do not pay at all.
Ford Motor Company decided to reduce its workforce with the view to earning more profits. However, in line with its strategy, the company has come with various strategies to cater for fired employee. It has offered a number of benefits to the fired employees. For instance, it promised to maintain the health coverage, disburse severance pay, and give final paycheck. Additionally, the company offered people a small employment compensation until they find jobs in other areas. As a way of encouraging the fired workers, Ford Motor Company has written congratulatory letters and recommendations that will be useful to them as they explore other pastures (Bratton & Gold, 2017). The company has taken the step to give former employees such benefits so as to protect its image among the members of the public and governments in various parts of the world. The step can also act as a motivation to those who stayed since they will see a company that values its employees and the service they provide. Lastly, for the company to be able to earn profits, it has to embrace the latest technology in its manufacturing process. Today, much research is conducted to streamline the use of technology to replace the human labor. The company is considering the use of welding robots and molding liners. Such technologies will not only reduce the production cost but also help safeguard the health of workers in the company.
Methods of Evaluation
The productivity of any business decision in an organization is measurable. To access the efficiency of a technology tool, Ford Motor Company has to analyze its expenses and profits before and after the change, in this case, the reduction in the workforce. In addition, the company should monitor the performance of the reduced staff. Various methods can be used to evaluate the performance of employees in an organization. For instance, usually, companies use the graphics scale evaluation. The method is common when the managers need to compare the performance of an employee before and after some business decisions (Rowold, 2015).
Ford Motor Company uses graphics scale physical assessment, computations, and experimental approach to assess the viability of the One Ford Plan. The physical evaluation enables the company to know the value and productivity of every employee against the objectives of the organization. Also, the physical assessment allows the company to gauge the effect of the reduction of the number of workers. The total monthly productivity of each employee is determined by calculating the gross productivity of a unit over the number of employees. The One Ford workers reduction plan brought various benefits to the company. The business managed to save money by ensuring they cut operational costs and focused on high profits. Ford has been able to replace numerous global units with the single vehicle platform. Currently, the company can provide more vehicles than in 2007 using a smaller number of platforms (Bratton & Gold, 2017).
In conclusion, the Ford plan has been tested and proven. The company is making more profit and increasing outlets all over the world. The laying down of workers has been a part of the plan; it allowed increasing profits, salaries, and motivation of workers.