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1. Introduction:
Apple Inc and Relevant HR Issue


Inc. is an American multinational technology company that designs, develops and
sells consumer electronics, computer software and online services.  The company became the first U.S. Company to be valued at over $700
billion. The
company employs 115,000 permanent full-time employees as of July 2015 and
maintains 453 retail stores in sixteen countries as of March 2015.  Human resource strategy is the reason for
Apple to stand strong and grow big to rule the world. Recruiting is a key factor of the
company’s success. Apple
requires all candidates to be hard worker, committed to the company, and get
every precise detail perfect. In many occasions, Apple recruits high-quality
workers from other firms. Great talents and unusual talent management
approaches are considered as the most important reasons why Apple could be the
leader in consumer electronics. Thus, understanding how human resource
can deliver a strategic contribution is highly important to the company in
delivering competitive advantage. I will be critically evaluating contemporary practice
within Apple, focusing on three HR issues considered most relevant to the firm.
The three issues include:

HR Issue 1: Managing

Apple Inc.  have managed to become to stay on top of the
game with their innovative capabilities and cutting edge technology. The
company have achieved a large market share from their technological
innovations. The company
didn’t always focus on their customers. Previously, they used to focus
primarily on their technology and products but since then they have shifted
towards the employees who have contributed to the huge success of the company.
The employees at the company are very commitment and satisfied about their
work. Apple have successfully made employees to feel valued within the
workplace and that their work ethic is important and how significant their work
impacts on the world.  This boils down to
the highly talented employees at Apple Inc. Employees are extremely smart, they
appreciate to be working with highly knowledgeable peers. This nurtures a
competitive environment and helps brings out the best of each employee. To manage the employee’s
performance Apple Inc. uses a balanced scorecard, this helps the company to
innovate and elevate itself to new heights of performance by assisting their
leaders in making key decisions that are in line with the company’s objectives.
Moreover, it creates a foundation for the company which they can add to until
they have achieved their desired outcome. Apple Inc. use five performance indicators; customer
satisfaction, core competencies, employee commitment and alignment, market
share and shareholder.  Apple decided
to make their own surveys instead of collaborating with a customer-survey
company because they wanted to fulfil their customer wishes. Equipping
employees with innovative solutions, e.g. user-friendly interfaces is vital for
them to develop their competencies. However, a lot of the worker’s leaders believe measuring the impact
these solutions have is a complex task. In the long run, the company
will be carrying out quantitative measurements so they can find out the answers
they need and use it to help them identify whether doing this enables the
employees to nurture their skillsets. The company strongly believes that
commitment and alignment among employees is essential, to assure this they
carry out an employee survey of every organizational branch every two years.
This questionnaire helps to identify how employees understand their individual
strategy and how they can link this to the company’s strategy.



Based on research, empirical evidence
and theory discussed regarding Apple Inc., this report proposes 3 fundamental
recommendations to maximise the contribution of HR.


1: Apple will need to know how to react
to the possibility of such scenarios and understand the reasons for weaknesses
when employees at times may underperform.


As we are aware Apple Inc. want all
their employees to work at a high level consistently, this expectation has
contributed to employees providing high performance to the company. This has
led to a lot of stress for employees to perform to the maximum. The company
will not accept any poor performances from their employees. There might be
situations where an employee is unable to perform well at a certain task
because they lack the knowledge or do not have the specific resources they
require.  Even though Apple have a “Secret
Apple Employee Training Manual” which gives instructions to how to approach
customers and solve their problems I recommend the company’s HRM to train the
employees more specifically. If the employee lacks the required knowledge to
undertake a certain task, then the HRM needs to give the appropriate training
to better equip the employee. Secondly, if an employee does not enough motivation
to work this will without a doubt impact the quality of their work. I recommend
the company to provide compensation and rewards, this will boost the employees’
motivation. The other reason for lack of motivation might be because they are
not challenged enough. For this I recommend the HRM to provide job enrichment
by assigning tasks that are more challenging, this will make the employees feel
more valuable to the company as they are given more complex tasks. The company
can provide feedback. From evaluating the employees via constructive criticism
this will allow them to apprehend exactly how they can improve in the future.
The company can also provide possible solutions for employees to take on board.
The HRM need to assure that they give a positive and fair feedback and provide
a mentor who work in a different department. The pros of doing all this will
help reduce stress levels and from identifying the areas of improvements this
will encourage employees to improve their work ethic.

Issues 2: Motivation and Team working

Apple Inc.’s motivated workforce is one of the primary reasons for their
high performance results. The company have implemented Maslow’s Hierarchy of
Needs Theory; the managers have created methods to keep the employees motivated.
The company makes sure the employees’ physiological needs are fulfilled, they
do this by providing them with sufficient wages which they use to purchase
their basic needs. In addition, they provide some financial incentives to their
employees’ e.g. flexible benefits and saving plans. As well as this, Apple Inc
provides a good environment for their employees to eat, e.g. the corporate
cafeteria called Caffe Macs. They provide a variety of high quality food which
employees are very satisfied with. Employees’ safety needs are met via
providing them with job security and a safe working environment. They provide
medical insurance to all their employees who have worked at least for one year.
Furthermore, they provide pension and sickness schemes to their employees. The
employees’ social needs are also met as the company has developed team
atmosphere and assured that all the employees are working in a big project.  The huge company has maintained their
corporate culture of their start-up days. This culture plays a big part which
makes it successful. Moreover, Apple Inc. fulfils their employees esteem needs
by valuing their hard work and for the respect they have for their fellow
peers. Apple Inc. also use the appraisal system, they do this so they can
recognise each worker’s contribution and reward them with their outstanding
achievements, e.g. the CEO Tim Cook gave employees a major discount on apple
products on top of their 25% discount on apple products. They were given an
extra $500 off Macs and $250 off iPads, this is a huge discount as this meant
that the cheapest MacBook air will only cost $250. Also, self-actualization
needs are met as Apple Inc. have always pushed the limits in how people create
with technology in whatever they do. Steve Jobs in the past has helped people
to create ways they would have never thought of being able to achieve before. He
has dictated the company’s direction to huge success, he led Macintosh via
arguably the largest innovations, and he has helped a lot in contributing to
the company’s profitability.  

Edwin Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation applies to Apple Inc. as
they focus on the motivational that arises from employees taking on tasks. This
theory highlights on how important it is meet goals and to perform well.
Employees tend to give the most effective performance when their goals are
challenging and specific. Having deadlines improve the effectiveness in meeting
their goals. The management of goals helps to clarify performance expectations
within the company. This enables a foundation for behavioural self-management.
This motivates the employees and gives them job satisfaction. The
multi-national company have always set specific goals for all their employees
to achieve, e.g. In 2010, they wanted to achieve a recycling rate of 50& on
a global basis. This specific goal will create self-efficacy for the employees
and it will them to achieve their targets.

Fredrick Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory outlines that there are certain
factors within the workplace that causes satisfaction whilst other factors
cause dissatisfaction. This theory states that there are intrinsic factors
which link to job satisfaction and extrinsic factors that relate to job
dissatisfaction. Satisfiers are the ones who are motivated whilst the ones who
are dissatisfied are hygiene factors. The motivators symbolized the
psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit e.g.
recognition for accomplishment whereas the hygiene factors symbolized the
physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled
e.g. working conditions. In relation to Apple Inc., the employees’
accomplishments are recognised by their manager and are rewarded with a bonus
and a possible promotion. Regarding hygiene factors Apple Inc. offers health
care plans to their employees and offer them with a safe and clean working

John Stacey Adam’s Equity theory outlines
that ‘any perceived inequality becomes a motivating state of mind’. The
foundations of equality are centred on the social comparison. In relation to
Apple Inc., Employees are motivated to work in a form of manner that maintains
equity in situations.  The employees of
Apple Inc. will expect a fair return for what they have contributed to their
work. Moreover, in terms of social comparison the employees of Apple Inc. will
determine what their equitable return should be after they compare their work
input and output. The other primary implication of the equity theory on Apple
Inc. is that their employees who see themselves as being in an equitable
situation will look to reduce the inequality either by altering the inputs or
their outcomes in their own minds, they do this by directly altering input or
output or even by leaving the organisation.



Recommendation 2:

I think the HR Department should create events time
to time to keep their employees motivated e.g. a work gathering. Furthermore,
they I recommend that they should continuously set goals this can be short-term
goals as well as long-term and as a reward they can be given a small gift. This
will help motivate the employees to strive working to the best of their
ability. Apple Inc. need to regularly measure employee’s goals and take it
serious. If employees are underachieving their goals and are not noticed on a
frequent basis this will allow their competitors to overtake the company. Time
who is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple is a great leader for the company,
he shows his appreciation to the employee’s hard work. However, there are still
managers and employees leaving their job who are no longer motivated. It is
essential for the company to sort out any problems before it the negative
impact worsens. To overcome any problems Apple Inc. need to analyse them and
maybe carrying out a survey for their employees. The surveys will help
understand better in what needs to be done and it will help them to use this to
improve their services. Also, to improve their services to customers in terms
of delivering their service and providing them with the knowledge of products
they should undertake training and incentive more frequently. In addition,
Apple Inc. needs to assure the employees are always working in a comfortable environment
so they are more relaxed and not feeling the tension when working.

 HR Issue 3: Work and Family
(Life) Balance


Work- life balance is a reference to the positive
interrelationship between work and outside work related roles attained when
individuals can effectively address responsibilities concerning them (Frone,
2003). In relation to Apple Inc.’s work life balance the employees are very
satisfied with the flexibility of the company’s retail positions, e.g. an
employee of Apple Inc. has expressed that there is a lot of room to move within
the company or to a different Apple retail location. However, it is difficult
to achieve work-life balance as one software engineer has said “Work-life
balance is non-existent” and that the “vacation is not very good”. This
emphasises on the fact that Apple Inc. even though they truly care about their
work they have a ‘workaholic work environment’.


Regarding organizational culture, Steve Jobs in the
past has developed the company to have an organizational culture of
confidentiality. This secrecy is partly why the company can minimize theft of
exclusive information. When recruitment takes place, employees agree to the
company culture’s secrecy, this reflects on the firm’s policies and rules. From
doing this, this helps to protect the business from any corporate spying
alongside with the negative effects of employee poaching.


Employees at Apple Inc. tend to feel the pressure
of working long hours which causes work-life imbalance which leads to
work-family conflict (Allen et al, 2013; Janasz et al, 2013; Kossek et al,
2011). A worker has said that from working at Apple you need to ‘expect to work
15 hours a day even on weekends and during vacation’. This workload makes it
difficult for employees to take up their normal responsibilities outside work
properly, e.g. childcare. This is supported by Janasz as too much working hours
can result in emotional and physical strain on an employee, negatively impacted
with stress affecting their work and family life (Janasz et al, 2013; Kossek et
al, 2011).





Employees will find it difficult to
always give perform highly due to having concerns outside work. High levels of
absenteeism are linked to the result of employees being stressed from work-life
conflict (Janasz et al, 2013). In relation to Apple Inc., this will cost them a
lot as they invest heavily on training and development on their employees (Almer,
Cohen and Single, 2003). As well as the company making a loss regarding their
investment in training on employees, they will be making a loss on employees
gaining knowledge and relationships with each other. This is a very important
source when it comes to competitive advantage in professional service firms
(Hitt et al, 2011).



3: The company need to make sure they are
more aware of the work-life balance of employees.


I recommend Apple Inc. to improve their
awareness with employees’ work-life balance through two initiatives. With management,
this enables advising and permitting the use of flexibility policies. From
increasing the level of managerial support and training this will help Apple
Inc. to gain a better understanding of employees’ work life balance (Allen et
al, 2013). I also recommend Apple to offer more employee benefits, e.g. paid
parental leave and partner benefits as (Brough & O’Driscoll 2010: 281-2) believes
this one of the types of intervention of work-life balance. This is will
benefit greatly for the employees and the organization because this will reduce
the amount of the stress for employees and for the company they can witness a
more relaxed and hard-working environment on a more frequent basis.








Employee Motivation in Apple Corpotation