Mattel is one the strongest manufacturers of toys in the world. It is the market leader in developing toys of highest international standards. But staying at the top is not easy for Mattel, as it is positioned in one of the most intensive natured markets in terms of competition. Mattel has over twenty-five thousand employees around the globe (Mattel, 2010). In fact, what makes Mattel No. 1 in the toy industry is its well trained and high skilled workforce. This paper will discuss the strategies implemented to enhance the productivity and skills of Mattel workforce.
Question 1 The most important challenge for Mattel is to recognize and provide for the need of coordinated development. Development is an essential part of any organization. Mattel’s development programs were introduced by the CEO of the company. The first step was to develop broad based strategy. These development programs resulted in skilled and productive workforce. Secondly Mattel wished to integrate corporate culture, for which development facilitators met groups of 10 or 12 employees globally and supervised them how to implement the new culture.
Mattel also introduced digital training centers, by which employees have access to more than 200 e-development courses. These measures have helped Mattel to convert its workforce as the most important assets of the company. As a result of all these actions, Mattel’s selection and recruitment strategies would likely improve and become more intense. The succession plan aims to retain HR talent, but as a result Mattel’s selection criterion would be more challenging.
Apart from this, Mattel would wish to seek employees who are sociable and have good communication skills, as coordinated development efforts require employees from different departments to interact more. Further, Mattel might also judge the GK (General Knowledge), IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient) levels of new recruits as a part of enhanced selection strategy. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008) Question 2 There is no probability of the instance where the developmental efforts of Mattel would appeal to some employees more than others.
The rationale behind this is that the coordinated development efforts were aimed to work for all employees of the Mattel industry. Most employees of Mattel are related to manufacturing process, even if they work in different departments. Since majority employees work towards similar goal (manufacture highest quality toy), their mental and developmental processes would almost be the same. Furthermore, the developmental efforts and programs aim to create skilled and productive workforce does not involve technical training in manufacturing a toy, hence these processes are developed such as to appeal all Mattel employees equally.
Lastly, Mattel has recently implemented an integrated corporate culture. This culture acts as a niche for the Mattel employees where they interact with other teams and seek to pursue coordinated development efforts. Thus Mattel employees can be defined as ‘bees collectively working to produce honey’. In such instances, these development efforts appeal all employees the same. (Bratton & Gold, 2001) Question3 There can be several reasons for the ‘Barbie’ girls group and ‘Hot Wheels’ boys group not interacting with one another and working effectively together in the past.
Firstly, Mattel requires its employees to feel the passion and become a part of what they manufacture. Hence, the Barbie girls group had all the instructions and manufacturing processes that coincided with Barbie’s feminine nature. While the Hot Wheels boys group reflected aggressive, daring and bold nature concepts in their manufacturing processes and instructions. Secondly, ‘Barbie’ and ‘Hot Wheels’ were brands of Mattel, and had different market segmentation and target markets. Hence the strategies designed to sell each brand was different and couldn’t have been merged.
Barbie was targeted at teenage girls while Hot Wheels was targeted at teenage boys. Furthermore, the culture within which the employees of Hot Wheels and Barbie worked were completely different. There was nothing common in the cultural environment where both the brands were manufactured. (Montgomery, 1993) There are, however, several methods by which Mattel could reinforce the needs for these groups to work together. Firstly, the identity of both groups should be reinforced as a part of Mattel family rather than separate entities.
Hence, the employees of both brands would realize that they are part of a Mattel family, and could interact with one another and share their secrets and strategies about skills, labor empowerment and employee dedication. Secondly, Mattel should more intensely implement a common corporate culture within the company which will create a common ground for Barbie and Hot Wheels manufacturers to work together. Thirdly, the need for coordinated development efforts should be emphasized upon by promoting teamwork and interaction to achieve goals (Mathis & Jackson, 2008).
Furthermore, managers can also use succession plans for key positions. Thus they can use terms as ‘Boys need Girls, and vice versa’ to emphasize the reality that both Hot Wheels (boys) and Barbie (girls) are equally important part of the company. Conclusion Mattel has developed several strategies and techniques to empower its employees. The development programs aims to improve skilled labor, and succession plans aim to retain human resource talent. If properly implemented, these strategies, along with the new corporate culture could enhance the performance and efficiency of all employees.
These methods would surely help Mattel to retain the No. 1 spot as market leader in toy manufacturing industry. References Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2001). Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. 2nd EditionNew York: Routledge Mathis, R. L. and Jackson, J. H. (2008). Human Resource Management. 12th Edition. New York: Cengage Learning Mattel (2010). Mattel Website. Accessed on August 23, 2010 from http://www. mattel. com/ Montgomery, B. P. (1993). Mattel, Inc. International Directory of Company Histories Vol. 7, pp. 304.
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