Avon Case Study
How Avon Should Handle HR Globally
Avon is a leading beauty product company and also the largest direct seller of the products in the world. The company has got an expansive network of sales representatives, which reach out to more than 5.8 million people. The representatives are evenly spread across various geographical locations, with a global reach of about 100 countries. Besides, Avon also has more than 42,000 employees (Peng, 2010). This presents a unique problem to the company when it comes to the management of its human resource, which is spread across the globe.
An effective strategy is one that contributes to the attainment of the goals of the organization. Avon should implement a system for managing its large workforce and while also ensuring that it retains its competitive edge in the market. The use of an information system to assist in Human Resource management is a strategy that can benefit the company in solving this problem. Such an information system can be used in handling important and repetitive processes that are critical in the management of its workforce.
Avon has used such kind of a system in partnership with IBM in order to provide a system to help in the crucial processes. This involves compensation, payroll management and tracking of performance. In the deal, IBM will be responsible for maintaining the employee call center. This is an important strategy because repetitive tasks may consume a lot of time and resources, thereby curtailing productivity. Besides, this strategy can also enhance convenience in the management of largely distributed workforce. This is an example of convenient use of information technology to focus on the needs of employees and effectively handle them without regard to their location and number. This helps in the standardization of company processes globally and also making these processes to be more streamlined within the company. It can also ensure easier tracking of employee performance.
As highlighted above, a combination of strengths between companies can foster mutual benefit. The use of such a strategy is a great move that can ensure numerous benefits for Avon when it comes to managing its most valuable assets that are the workers.
Avon’s Corporate Social Responsibility
Avon’s areas of focus when it comes to social responsibility include women empowerment, sustainable operations and philanthropy. Their main goal is to enhance women empowerment economically. Women make up to two thirds of the total global population living below the poverty line. The company contributes towards lifting this standard by giving loans for women representatives to start their own businesses and also create employment opportunities for others. This is revolutionary and a significant boost for women considering that gender disparity is still alive in several parts of the world. Therefore, Avon is playing a role in narrowing this disparity by enabling women to also have a voice and be self reliant (‘’Committed to Empowering Women,’’ n.d).
By giving loans to their representatives to start and run their own enterprises, Avon is also playing the role of a microfinance provider. This is done through issuing of loans to cater for the costs of starting businesses. This has numerous benefits considering the fact that it is not usually very easy for one to acquire credit facilities for starting a business in the current business environment. Avon offers a lifeline, which can help in the creation of a business and also provision of income in times of turmoil. This is an ideal example of an organization that contributes positively to economic growth and empowerment of the population.
Avon is making a significant contribution to the creation of employment opportunities. This is beneficial not only to women but the entire society. Based on the flexibility of the direct selling strategy, both the employed and unemployed can benefit from it. To those who are not employed, it offers the much-needed income. For the employed, it is a fallback plan in case they lose their jobs in the contemporary unstable business environment.
The impacts of the depression have made people to become more aware of the relative insecurity of their occupations and the need for an alternative option for income generation. The intangible benefits that come with the direct selling model applied Avon include giving the people the opportunity to get out and socialize with others. Since those without jobs often shy away from social engagements, this will help them in getting more involved in the society and also be more outgoing.
Avon’s Stakeholders and their Views
A stakeholder refers to ‘’any group or individual who can impact or is affected by the achievement of the objectives of the organization’’ (Peng, 2010). Avon has several stakeholders that are involved in the course of the company’s operations. These stakeholders include business associates, sales representatives, customers and shareholders.
This group involves mainly the workers. The company strives to maintain regular contact and communication with its employees through innovative communication strategies. Avon uses global intranet, which enables employees to engage with one another and also the company at large. Besides, the company also uses frequent email communication, especially when passing across sensitive or personal information. This is also important because of the wide spread of the company’s employees across the world. Therefore, online communication is the most ideal means of communicating with the employees. Workers give their feedback through regular engagement surveys, which are then evaluated. This is followed by the creation of action plans. The classification by location is useful in the tracking of changes.
These independent sellers work together with the company towards the promotion and sales of the Avon’s products globally. They earn commission for the sales accomplished. Therefore, they are of importance to the success of the company. They are regularly engaged by the organization in obtaining feedback about their earnings and the possibility of growth. One of the methods of engagement used is regular email confirmation. The company also has a dedicated email and phone lines for use in personal communication or urgent matters. In order to take advantage of the popular social media, Avon has got a Facebook account that is regularly updated to enhance communication in a more natural and informal way that many people are used to today. The increase in the number of representatives shows a conceited effort by the company towards making sure that their needs are attended to.
Avon has a variety of avenues for obtaining customer feedback about their products or any other important information that they may possess concerning the products. For example, comments about customer satisfaction. A dedicated phone and email lines are also provided to ensure that customers are not inconvenienced (‘’Stakeholder Engagement,’’ n.d).
Avon recognizes the importance of shareholders since they are effectively the owners of the organization. Their views are collected through conferences and meetings that are organized by the company at their convenience. Therefore, the shareholders are accorded a platform where they can give comments on their thoughts about the organization. According to a recent view from a shareholder, the business was termed as being ‘in a mess’ and that the process of restructuring has to be effectively implemented so as to make the company successful (Pitman, nd).
As presented above, Avon is having problems in the management of its human resource. Through the use of innovative human resource management strategies, the problem can be contained. Avon is also committed towards social responsibility, especially women empowerment. A good association generally exists between the organization and its shareholders. This presents a bright future for this global organization that is committed to changing lives across the world.
Committed to Empowering Women.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.avoncompany.com/corporatecitizenship/corporateresponsibility/empoweri ngwomen/index.html
Peng, M. (2010).Global Business.Cengage Learning.
Pitman, S. (n.d.). Avon stake holder refers to business as “a mess.” CosmeticsDesign.com USA. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Business-Financial/Avon-stake-holder-refers-to- business-as-a-mess
Stakeholder Engagement.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.avoncompany.com/corporatecitizenship/corporateresponsibility/corporate responsibilitypractices/stakeholder-engagement.html