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Hard Rock’s Human Resource Strategy Everyone—managers and hourly employees alike—who goes to work...

Hard Rock’s Human Resource Strategy

Everyone—managers and hourly employees alike—who goes to work for Hard Rock Cafe takes Rock 101, an initial 2-day training class. The Hard Rock value system is to bring a fun, healthy, nurturing environment into the Hard Rock Cafe culture. This initial course and many other courses help employees develop both personally and professionally. The human resource department plays a critical role in any service organization, but at Hard Rock, with its “experience strategy,” the human resource department takes on added importance. Long before Jim Knight, manager of corporate training, begins the class, the human resource strategy of Hard Rock has had an impact. Hard Rock’s strategic plan includes building a culture that allows for acceptance of substantial diversity and individuality. From a human resource perspective, this has the benefit of enlarging the pool of applicants as well as contributing to the Hard Rock culture. Creating a work environment above and beyond a paycheck is a unique challenge. Outstanding pay and benefits are a start, but the key is to provide an environment that works for the employees. This includes benefits that start for part-timers who work at least 19 hours per week (while others in the industry start at 35 hours per week); a unique respect for individuality; continuing training; and a high level of internal promotions—some 60% of the managers are promoted from hourly employee ranks. The company’s training is very specific, with job-oriented interactive DVDs covering kitchen, retail, and front-of-the-house service. Outside volunteer work is especially encouraged to foster a bond between the workers, their community, and issues of importance to them.

Applicants also are screened on their interest in music and their ability to tell a story. Hard Rock builds on a hiring criterion of bright, positive-attitude, self-motivated individuals with an employee bill of rights and substantial employee empowerment. The result is a unique culture and work environment, which no doubt contributes to the low turnover of hourly people—one-half the industry average. The layout, memorabilia, music, and videos are important elements in the Hard Rock “experience,” but it falls on the waiters and waitresses to make the experience come alive. They are particularly focused on providing an authentic and memorable dining experience. Like Alaska Airlines, Hard Rock is looking for people with a cause—people who like to serve. By succeeding with its human resource strategy, Hard Rock obtains a competitive advantage.

Discussion Questions *

1. What has Hard Rock done to lower employee turnover to half the industry average?

2. How does Hard Rock’s human resource department support the company’s overall strategy?

3. How would Hard Rock’s value system work for automobile assembly line workers? (Hint: Consider Hackman and Oldham’s core job characteristics.)

4. How might you adjust a traditional assembly line to address more “core job characteristics”?

Jul 30 2020 View more View Less

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