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Employee Retention of Hewlett-Packard

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Pratik Kukreja
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Employee Retention of Hewlett-Packard - April 12th, 2011

Employee Retention of Hewlett-Packard : Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly referred to as HP, is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, and is now one of the world's largest information technology companies, operating in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise & industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers, all-in-one's and other imaging products. HP markets its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises directly as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also has strong services and consulting business around its products and partner products.
HP's posted net revenue in 2010 was $126.3 billion, in 2009 net revenue was $115 billion, with approximately $40 billion coming from services. In 2006, the intense competition between HP and IBM tipped in HP's favor, with HP posting revenue of US$91.7 billion,[2] compared to $91.4 billion for IBM; the gap between the companies widened to $21 billion in 2009. In 2007, HP's revenue was $104 billion,[3] making HP the first IT company in history to report revenues exceeding $100 billion.[4] In 2008 HP retained its global leadership position in inkjet, laser, large format and multi-function printers market, and its leadership position in the hardware industry.[5] Also HP became #2 globally in IT services as reported by IDC & Gartner.[6]
Major company changes include a spin-off of part of its business as Agilent Technologies in 1999, its merger with Compaq in 2002, and the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009.[6] In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com;[7] with the deal closing on April 12, 2010.[8] On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Palm for $1.2 billion.[9] On September 2, 2010, won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion) which Dell declined to match.[10]
On August 6, 2010, CEO Mark Hurd resigned.[11] Cathie Lesjak assumed the role of interim CEO, and on September 30, 2010, Léo Apotheker became HP's new permanent CEO and Ray Lane, Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was elected to the position of non-executive Chairman. Both appointments were effective November 1, 2010.

Business benefits:

Retention of top performers, increased work/life satisfaction.
Enhanced employee effectiveness.
Office space and travel savings.
Improved customer service.
Emergency coverage.
Disaster recovery.

HP was started in a one-car garage in 1938 by two Stanford University classmates, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, trying their hand at anything that could make a buck - with no business plan. Their initial investment of $538 included a used drill press and they assembled their contraption in a rented non-descript Palo Alto garage that is today considered to be the birthplace of silicon valley. They tried their hand at making and marketing an audio oscillator - an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. The idea worked and Walt Disney Studios, ordered eight oscillators to use in developing and testing a new and exciting sound system for the movie Fantasia. Their initial success made them formalize their partnership between on January 1, 1939. More information on HP's history can be found on the HP's history website.

As their company grew in size, HP's founders, William Hewlett and Dave Packard instituted a management philosophy called the HP Way. It included a value system that set the standard for ethical behaviour in Silicon Valley and beyond - a set of values that included integrity, respect for individuals, teamwork, employee retention, innovation, contribution to customers and the community.

The HP Way included MBO: management by objective - "the antithesis of management by control." Workers determined how best to accomplish agreed-upon goals, thus fostering innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit. Management and employees were part of a single team, information was shared, and discussions we characterized by the use of the word "we". While the founders stated that profitability was a primary objectives they also placed valuing the people who joined the HP team above a blind pursuit of profits. The result of the HP Way was a highly motivated, productive, loyal and fiercely dedicated work force that believed in the HP Way as others believed in a religion.

When Packard and Hewlett passed away in 1996 and 2001, respectively, their enduring legacy was not the technology giant they had created. Rather, it was the HP Way.

Hewlett-Packard Plan for Career Development & Education Offer Services and Support to Help Employees Develop and Meet Changing Organizational Needs: Hewlett-Packard selects and manages its businesses with a goal of providing long-term employment for its people and opportunities for personal growth and development. In return HP employees are expected to meet certain standards of performance on the job, adjust to changes in work assignments and schedules when necessary, and learn new skills, applying them where most critically needed. HP feels that this flexibility is particularly important to maintaining employee satisfaction in the face of rapid technological change and intensifying worldwide competition in its industries. Incorporate Diversity Training into Employee Development: Hewlett-Packard has had a management-diversity training program since 1988. The training is given to the company's first- and second-level managers. One improvement opportunity identified within the program was the company's lack of a top-down approach.

As an expansion stage company you should get the most out of your employees in order to do well, but are your management teams rewarding employees for overworking?

According to a study by the New York-based Families and Work Institute, overworked employees are far more likely to exhibit anxiety, make errors on the job, harbor angry emotions toward their employers for expecting them to be on the job for long hours, and despise co-workers who don’t pull what they think is their share of the load.

The study also found that almost half of employees who really feel overworked also noted they were in bad health, and virtually one-quarter (21 percent) of those overworked experience symptoms of clinical depression, compared to 8 percent of those who are not overworked. I read a wonderful article on HR Executives Online which outlines ideas on how managers can help their employees feel less overworked, and at the same time see them end their tasks in a given day. Part of your startup employee retention strategy should entail making sure your employees are not overworked.

Many companies have long recognized that training pays a dual dividend. It results in more effective on-the-job performance, and it also sends a message that management cares enough to invest in its workers for the long term. Palo Alto, CA-based Hewlett-Packard not only reimburses employees for business-related education and training, but also allows a select number of its engineers, including those who work in packaging, to take up to 18 months off work to pursue advanced degrees. One HP packaging engineer who's taking advantage of this program is Matt Daum, who is finishing up work on a Ph.D. in packaging from Michigan State University in East Lansing. He will be one of the first such Ph.D.s to graduate from MSU's packaging program. Under HP's fellowship program, says Daum, "all the tuition, books and lab fees are paid for. You get a partial salary and you don't have any day-to-day job responsibilities. You're allowed to go to school instead." Daum normally works out of HP's Boise, ID, facility doing product and packaging R&D for the company's LaserJet line of printers. Daum says the advanced degree "will allow me to do some research in some areas that I think might be strategic for us down the line related to product damage and how things fail. I'll be trying to develop software tools that will give some better information upfront before we design packages, and to understand what are some of the issues we might have in the field later on with damaged products. From a strategic point of view, I hope to be branching out into product design, not just packaging." The advanced degree, he adds, will help him move down these paths. In terms of being a tool of retention, Daum says that the degree will definitely influence how long he sticks around at HP. "I'm a big fan of higher education, and [HP's willingness to invest in education] was one of the drawing points for me. They'll even work with you if you need to take classes during the workday at a local university.
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