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Hard Rocks

Human Resource Strategy

BA 240 - WFP
Group 2

Group Leader

Alyssa Loren Arellano

Group Members

Carlos Ibarra Rev Cao

Goodwealth Chu
Chernobyl Diones
Mara Angelica Raina Aranas
Maria Daisy Cortes

December 4, 2013
6:30 - 7:50 PM


Understand how a human resource strategy contributes to competitive advantage

Understand how to manage labor, and design jobs to utilize people effectively and efficiently
Understand how the differences between goods and services companies influence the
application of a human resource strategy

The case study focuses on one of the 10 operations management decision areas, human
resources. Hard Rock Cafe was used as a case in point. The Hard Rock Cafe value system was
then compared and adjusted with the decision strategies implemented on an assembly line
1. The group discussed how Hard Rock Cafe manages labor and designs jobs to effectively
and efficiently utilize its employees.
The human resource strategies adopted by Hard Rock Cafe were identified.
The role of the human resources department and how it supports these strategies
were also analyzed.
2. The group then analyzed the operations of a traditional assembly line to adopt the human
resource strategies of Hard Rock Cafe.
The Hackman and Oldmans core job characteristics were used as the basis for the
implementation of a human resource strategy in an assembly line.
Companies are defined by people. The skills and attitude of employees shape the supply
chain, product design, and overall quality of the companys offerings. How the company relates to
employees plays a big part on how employees treat the end customers. Competitive advantage can
definitely be built and reinforced through a solid human resource strategy.
Hard Rock is primarily a service company. Its dining and merchandise sales are driven by
the people who deliver the Hard Rock experience in a fun, unique, and memorable manner. Through
close and frequent customer interaction, employees have numerous moments of truth to drive
customer satisfaction; hence, a good human resource strategy is a must.
Hard Rocks turnover is low at about half the industry average. The above-average benefits
package is one clear reason. Retention programs such as the 10-year Rolex watch, and the internal
promotional opportunities are some of the things that employees look forward to. Respect for
individuality and the prominently displayed employee bill of rights also emphasize each employees
value to the company. All these reinforce the feeling of belongingness to the Hard Rock family.
This is a great strategy because after all, family members stick it out with each other through thick
and thin and gloss through minor inconveniences.
Hard Rocks human resource department is a key element of the companys overall strategy.
Recruitment is focused on the most qualified applicants - only the right applicants join the family,
not just the right now applicants. The applicants music tastes and personality are also matched

against the companys norms. Job fit is a mutual relationship; the applicant and company should be
right for each other. The compensation and benefits team supports the recruitment team by
maintaining an abundant supply of applicants, through attractive work remuneration. Once
employees are on board, they have to attend the standard 2-day Rock 101 training where they learn
the companys history, culture, and expectations. Later on employees can periodically refresh their
knowledge through interactive learning modules. Finally, employees are provided with further
opportunities to feel part of the Hard Rock family through community service initiatives and charity
Hard rock acknowledges that HR strategies are expensive and take effort to sustain.
However, heavy investments in employee development also enable Hard Rock to reap
commensurate benefits, lending credence to the mantra that Quality is free.
How could this successful strategy be applied to other industries, say for assembly line
workers? While an assembly line would value worker traits different from what Hard Rock would, the
same emphasis on job fit should be observed. For example, machine operators should be
consistent, patient, and show great attention to detail. Recruitment strategies must have a good
concept of what makes a good worker for a particular job and hire accordingly.
A traditional assembly line could be adjusted in the following ways to address more core job
1. Skill variety
Both the company and workers can profit from employing the latters variety of skills
and talents. Through job rotation and work assignment flexibility, the company can locate
manpower where it is most needed, and workers improve their skills at the same time.
2. Job identity
When workers perceive the job as a whole and recognize start and finish points, they
feel more accomplished and satisfied. In the case of an assembly line, management should
try to assign complete modules to workers and not just bits and pieces of work. While shortterm efficiency could take a hit, inspired workers will make up for it through higher-quality
3. Job significance
Workers should have a sense of the jobs impact on the organization and society.
Management should constantly stress that every part of the work is essential to the
companys overall success. Being careless in the smallest of ways could harm everyone
elses output. For example, a loose bolt might come off and make an otherwise well-made
automobile veer off the road.
4. Autonomy

The high demands on worker efficiency might afford minimal leeway for discretion in
tasks. At the same time, management should see the value of a bottom-up improvement
process. Those closest to the work know it best, and would know how to make it better.
Suggestions and recommendations from employees on how to improve the process and
perform their job more efficiently should also be encouraged. Relaxing small policies such as
dress codes, if applicable, can also boost employee morale.
5. Feedback
Workers need clear and timely information about their performance. The first step is
to have reliable metrics that measure parameters relevant to the job. Next is to have frequent
informal meetings between workers and supervisors, in addition to formal peer reviews and
performance appraisals.
Hard Rock Cafe recognizes that a companys human resource strategy can yield competitive
advantage. Building an environment with mutual respect and commitment, and a reasonable quality
of work life are the underlying rationale for their human resource strategy. The emphasis they put
into their employees gains them not only loyal and efficient staff but also loyal and happy customers.
However, the way a service organization formulates its strategy is different from how a
manufacturing company would. The focus of a service company is on how well its staff interacts with
its customers while a production company focuses on the technical skills and efficiency of its
employees. Thus, adopting the core job characteristics to a manufacturing company may be more
challenging given the repetitive nature of their work and lack of customer interaction.
Recommendations are focused on more specific suggestions on how to improve the HR
strategy of assembly line companies using the job design model of Hackman and Oldham:
1. Skill variety
For manufacturing companies, hiring requirements should include experience or at
least the potential to perform at least 2 tasks from the set of processes in the assembly line.
Likewise, job rotation should be regular and aimed at maintaining the dexterity of workers in
at least 2 functions. The aim of regular job rotation should not be to merely assign employees
to where bulk of the workforce is required.
2. Job identity
Allow employees to wear uniform or apparel representing their department or job
function. This is similar to sports teams who wear well-designed jersey uniforms in order to
strengthen team identity. Companies may shoulder (in part or in full) the cost of building job
identity to foster loyalty and belongingness. Regular inter-division reports may also help in
showing the end-to-end performance of the company.
3. Job significance

Mission statement can be conceptualized on a per task basis in order to emphasize

the significance of ones function to the whole end-to-end process. For a shirt-manufacturing
company, sample mission statements could be: We are producing 10,000 needles every
year which help produce 1 million shirts for Filipino men every year. for the needle-maker,
or: I am a shirt sewer who patches 35 fabrics in a day to make 10,955 shirts yearly and sold
to Filipinos nationwide.
4. Autonomy
Autonomy can be highlighted by setting-up avenues for the production workers to
directly propose process improvement stategies and policies to management; unlike in
traditional policy development processes wherein policy officers would represent and report
the workers ideas and initiatives. Allowing employees to directly propose changes will
empower the workers to find ways of continuously improving their tasks.
5. Feedback
Performance reports should be given regularly to employees and not only for yearend evaluation and salary adjustment purposes. Performance reports should be a
comparative of the employees previous and present output in order to see if his productivity
is improving or declining.