Everyone knows about the 4 P’s of marketing (quick, rattle them off - price product promotion place). But there’s a fifth P which really should be part of the list, and that is People. Because the best-laid plans will never get executed (and probably not conceived in the first place) if you don’t have the right people in place.
When you think of People with the big P, the big guns typically come to mind. Steve Jobs, maybe. But the operation needs Indians as well as Chiefs. You know, the people who actually execute the plans and get things done. The rubber that meets the road.
Jump to the news today that Wal-Mart has announced a new plan to utilize a software program to more efficiently staff the stores by scheduling employees’ work hours on a very flexible basis. It’s great news for the company, and in the short run at least, great for the customer. But how about the employees?
Wal-Mart’s reputation for being a great place to work precedes it, what with the union bashing and locking the doors on the night shift to keep them in. This new policy strikes me as maybe slightly demotivational, since the average person likes to have assurance as to work schedule, not to mention weekly income. Stripping employees of that basic safety net can only lead to inciting the ‘ones that can’ to head for the exits.
Things have not exactly been going great for Wal-Mart lately, as the stock chart will attest. Happy, motivated front-line employees could possibly help to reverse this stagnation, but it’s hard to see that happening when the company implements policies to disrupt the lives of employees who don’t make enough money to justify the trouble.
I guess if it comes down to it, they could just lock the doors to keep them in.