The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a Fortune 100 company as of the year 2009 that primarily sells life and property insurance to its 7. 7 million members, which consists of active and retired military personnel and their family members (www. biz. yahoo. com). They also offer such services as banking and investment management, focused on helping military persons to manage their money wisely and offer them services at reasonable costs with low interest rates.
As of 2009, the company employees 21,500 people and competes in the industry of property and casualty insurance against other companies such as MetLife, State Farm, and Government Employees Insurance Company (www. biz. yahoo. com). USAA is headquartered out of San Antonio, Texas, where twenty-five Army officers founded the company in 1922 and set out to insure each other’s cars while standing firm in the values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and great service (USAA. om). “USAA’s mission is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates, and their families through provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services; in so doing, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community,” (usaa. com).
This mission statement from USAA’s website shows that the company has established its target market, segmenting it into the realm of military personnel and their families. Their main business strategy in attracting customers and beating out the competition for those customers is not only offering a wide array of financial and insurance services, but also by doing so at reasonable costs, rates, and carrying operations out with superior customer service.
As a USAA customer having dealt with their top competitors also, I know firsthand that they initially attract customers by internet and television advertising mostly, and achieve customer loyalty by offering a great product at a great price with superior customer satisfaction relationships; this gives the company a high sustainable advantage in their industry and creates a high customer value in the market.
This major corporation can afford to be such a customer-focused one because they are not a publicly traded company; in other words, they answer not to stockholders, but rather to the members of the association to cater to their desires. This is how they are able to beat out the competition and gain the edge on acquiring and sustaining more customers than other companies in their industry. Human Resource Practices
The USAA corporate website’s careers section pitches employment with the company to interested potential employees as not simply taking orders from customers, but rather truly making a difference in a military family’s life with each and every call. One thing they do that is effective is putting a section titled, “What’s in it for you? ” under which they share that the company pays competitively against the competition within the labor market and offer benefits such as a great 401(k) plan, fitness programs, and other beneficial incentives (usaa. com).
From an employee’s perspective, USAA is a great company to work for because the pay is competitive, the benefits increase the value of the job above the pay rate, and there is tremendous job stability once you become a part of their team. This website shows that the company’s human resource practices focus chiefly on pay and benefits to attract potential employees; furthermore the job qualifications insinuate that they are looking for people that have some sort of military service completed, with a moderate college education but skills that are focused on customer satisfaction and interacting well with other people.
Often times, customer service positions have a high turnover rate due to the nature of the position in dealing with disgruntled customers, however, USAA does a great job of attracting and retaining the type of individuals they are seeking by offering great pay and benefits that make the job tough to quit. Ethical Philosophy The USAA company website states that their core values are, “service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity; the same as the military community we serve,” (usaa. om); this portrays the corporate philosophy and ethical positioning quite clearly. They believe in working hard and faithfully to deliver the best service possible while doing what is best for the “greater good” of the society in which they operate. When compared with the Kantian Rights discussed in chapter one of our textbook, Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (Noe, page 15), USAA’s company ethics parallel with them quite well.
The four traits of service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity would completely support the Kantian Rights of free consent, privacy, freedom of conscience, speech, and due process because these are the very things the military fights to defend, and the military is the market which USAA seeks to serve. Foreign Operations The extent of USAA’s foreign operations is not too great considering they serve the people of the American military forces.
However, they do handle customer accounts while they are in foreign lands serving in the military; for instance, USAA offers great financial management support for military personnel who are about to be deployed so that they can use their combat and active duty pay wisely to support themselves and their family. HR Practices and Business Strategy
One trait that makes a large difference between successful corporations and lesser successful corporations is the company’s ability to implement its ideals into everyday business operations and sync its human resource practices with the overall business strategy. Seeing as USAA is rated in the top one hundred best companies to work for, they must be lucratively creating an environment in which their human resource practices are complimenting the overall business strategy.
This creates loyal and satisfied employees that will, in turn, carry out their tasks with diligence and create the superior customer service that so greatly defines USAA. If the customer service employees at USAA were not satisfied, whether it be for compensation reasons or any reason for that matter, they would not be in a position or attitude to maintain the core values of the company, thus the HR practices would no longer be in harmony with the overall business strategy.
It is in this situation that we see the utmost importance of the human resource department and its ability to compliment the company’s business strategy. Due to the company’s competitive pay and long list of great benefits that increase the value of having a career with USAA, it is fair to say that their employees should be satisfied and adequately motivated to carry out the overall business strategy.
Courtney from Study Moose
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