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Furthermore, it creates barriers for Apple to expand its market in emerging countries (GIMP, 2013). On the other hand, Apple limits the quantity supply of its new products to maintain its high-price ND high-demand identity. Customers have to line up for a whole day or wait for 2 months to purchase newly released products (GIMP, 2013). This strategy could lead to customer dissatisfaction and cause customer switching to alternative products. Opportunities Following with the rising income level in many emerging markets, Apple has the opportunity to promote international sales targeting to emerging countries such as China (GIMP, 2013).

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Because the shipment of smartened is expected to be 1. 2 billion by the end of 2014, the robust outlook of tablet and smartened markets in development countries like China will definitely cost Apple’s sale (Kill, 2014). Furthermore, Apple is the leader in providing smartened applications and services to customers on its App Store with more than 800,000 APS (Brian & Adam, 2013). To maintain its leading position in this area, Apple could improve shopping experience and transaction processes like Appleby and retain the compatibility of those applications.

According to recent news, Apple acquired Beats Electronics with $3 billion and owned all patents that were belonged to Beats once, which is another way for Apple to increase its business competitive advantages by obtaining patents through acquisitions (Amity, 2014). Threats Apple’s competitors, such as Samsung, Google, and Leno, continue to learn and develop cheaper and better products on top of Apple’s ideas and products (GIMP, 2013). In the spring of 2011, Apple sued Samsung for the damages from infringing Apple’s design of the user interface.

Although Apple won a ruling in the United States, it failed to ban Samsung from the sales of certain smartness and tablets, which follow with the dawn of Apple’s domination in the smartened market (Yakima & Ian, 2011). Currently, it is reported that there are 350,000 Android smartness activated daily, and only 1 50,000 phones activated daily. Without an efficient way to protect its ideas and creations, Apple will not be able to keep its competitive advantages for its future products.

Furthermore, along with the downturn of the global economy, consumers became more sensitive to price and less desirable to Apple’s Usurious products. Meanwhile, it is an age with rapid technology changes, but Apple keeps improving current products such as phone and pod and rarely unveils any new products except the twitch and TV. At last, Apple is dependent on specific suppliers and component providers such as Samsung, who are the main competitors for Apple, so Apple should look for ewe providers and partnerships.

TRAININGS AND DEVELOPMENTS Apple Retail Employee Trainings To manage over 40,000 retail employees in a cost efficient strategy, Apple focuses on providing on-the-job trainings to it employees by cultivating a learning culture in the workplaces. Rather than providing its sales teams specific trainings on how to sell products, Apple assigns retail employees in teams to encourage team cohesion and mutual learning (Sullivan, 201 1 Apple also developed Fearless Feedback policy, which Apple’s employees are asked to be the mentor of each other, to give praises to outstanding co- rockers, and to offer suggestions to underperformed colleagues.

In this policy, managers are also responsible to ask questions to employees after each transaction about the course of transaction and how they handle the relationship between customers, as a way to foster learning, reflection and trust in workplace (Gallo, 2012). Further than on-the-job trainings, Apple provides its new recruited retail employees off-the-job training programs called “Apple Genius Training”. Apple Genius Training is a classroom-training that covers the topics of empathy, effective communication skills, and skills of providing customer support services.

This training aims to improve retail employee’s customer serving skills and interpersonal skills. The purpose of this training is to ensure the service quality of its retail employees, as the way to maintain it exceptional in-store shopping experience to its customers (Fiddle, 2012). However, the training strategies adopted by Apple are exclusively focused on educating employees about customer serving skills. The highly specified training programs could lead to the lack of diversified trainings based on employees’ needs and interests.

Furthermore, employees are not given the information of career opportunities and promotions. The lack of personal developments, advancements and opportunities for Apple’s retail employees could lead to increased turnover rate and employee dissatisfaction (Raman & NASA 2012). Apple is suggested to also provide its employees a wide range of trainings, information of company’s expectations and promotion criteria, as the methods to help employees identifying opportunities and increase employee retention.

Applecart Technician Training Besides on-the-job training and off-the-job training for retail employees, Apple provides an E-learning program called Applecart Technician Training (ACT) to its technicians. It is designed to support Apes technicians including help desk supports, technical supports, system administrators, troubleshooting assistants and professional users (Apple, 2014). Specifically, this in-depth training program covers the knowledge and information that are necessary to prepare for the Apple Service Certification exams in order to become an Apple-certified technician.

Because this training program is in audio-visual tech unique, Apple can minimize training costs and the potential distractions. In addition, because the learning process is self-paced and time flexible, the training can be more interactive. Most importantly, this easy-to- use programmer includes all training materials and extensive information from Apple’s own technical library. The training schedule was also managed by the employees who are expertise in Apple’s products; so that trainees can be referred to help efficiently.

As a reason, Apple can achieve effective managing and assisting costs (Apple, 2014). By developing the ACT program, technicians get trained from the Apple experts, and then become one certified expert themselves with self-recognition and self-achievement, which also renews the organization’s blood. It also increases the employee morale and work efficiency. As a consequence, ACT creates the beneficial cycle throughout all hierarchies and improves the Apple’s brand image and organizational value. It is really a wise way for Apple to develop a training program like ACT.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESP.): ESP. is an employer-sponsored plan, which allows employees to expense their after-tax income to purchase company stock. In a typical ESP. plan, employees contribute a part of their income to ESP. during an offering period. After the offering period and at the purchasing period, contributions are used to purchase the company’s share at a discounted rate of the market rice, which is the price at the beginning or at the end of the offering period, whichever is lower (Engendered & Mandarin, 2004).

In Apple, all employees can purchase Apple’s stock through payroll at a 15 per cent discount of the market price. Stock purchases under the ESP. are limited to 10 per cent of employee’s payroll, up to a maximum of $25,000 and 3 million shares per year (Wackiness, 2010). The offering period takes place twice a year from February to July; and from August to January (Apple, 2009). According to the studies of Troy Onion (2012), who has over 12 years of experience in roving financing software services for financial advisors, Apple’s ESP. continuously benefits its employees by its constant growth of stock price (Troy, 2012).

Although in consideration that the growth of Apple’s stock price shows a falling trend in 2014, Apple continues to make its ESP. beneficial for its employees with its appealing discount. Most employees could be benefited from this plan by selling the shares immediately after purchase to gain the price difference between discounted price and market price, or deferring to sell the shares in a possibly higher market price (Troy, 2012). Although the ESP. could significantly benefit Apple’s employees, Apples has a relatively low ratio of employee participation in ESP..

In 2011, Google, with 39 per cent fewer employees than Apple, reported a 66 per cent higher costs than Apple in stock-based compensation (Jackson, 2011). The low participation rate Of ESP. can be the result of employee’s constrained liquidity, the lack of understanding of the plan, or the avoidance of cumbersome transaction processes (Engendered & Mandarin, 2004). To further promote ESP. in Apple, Apple is recommended to proactively communicate with employees about he benefits and transaction processes of ESP..

Furthermore, Apple could financially support employees who are not able to participate in ESP. because of the lack of financial liquidity, as a way to align company’s benefits with employee’s benefits, build employee loyalty, and retain talents. Apple Inc kick The Apple kick Plan is a retirement plan sponsored by Apple and held at Charles Schwab. This plan is rated as the top 16 per cent in the Computer & Peripheral Equipment industry (Futurologists, 2010). Apple Inc 401 k plan has over 1. 6 billion in asset and 43,000 participants, which is the top 10 per cent rarest 401 k plans in the world (Futurologists, 2010).

Apple Inc. 401 k Plan allows employees to save and invest their partial payroll before tax deductions into their individual 401 k account. On top of employee’s own contribution, Apple also matches up and contributes up to 6 per cent of an employee’s eligible pay into individual employee’s 401 k account to enlarge their investment (Glissando, 2014). Apple’s 401 k plan offers employees a spread of investment options including stocks, bonds and money market investments, which investments are managed by individual employees, but investment options are managed by Apple (The Wall Street Journal, 2008).

Upon employee retirement in the age of 59. 5, employees are able to withdraw from their accounts. However, amount that is withdrawn prior to retirement will incur a ID per cent penalty tax. kick plan could benefit Apple employees in a few ways. First, as the tax rate at retirement is lower than during employment, 401 k allows employees to defer paying income tax during employment and benefit from lower income tax after retirement. Furthermore, the investment options offered by the 401 k plan are managed by Apple’s own finance team who are expertise in investment.

As a reason, under the 401 k plan, employees are able to make pretty good investments and manage their risks easily (Practical Money Skills, n. D. ). As a reason, 401 k helps Apple to retain its employees by providing them long-term benefits after retirement and wealth management services. Employee Insurance In Apple, most employees, ranging from engineers to managers, praised the compensations and benefits that Apple provides. On the other hand, in the last few years, the part-time employees, such as employees who work in Apple’s retail stores, used to complain about their benefits. However, from

January 201 0, Apple had improved the full health and life insurance to those who work as little as 15 hours per week and have at least one year contract with the company. This improvement costs over $80 million per year for Apple to provide the insurance benefits to its full time employees, over 26,000 part time workers, and their families (Slash, 2009). For example if a co-worker or his family member gets injured, Apple will cover all costs with the insurance in most cases. The reasons of the improved medical benefits taken by Apple are to ease the significant job dissatisfaction among retail employees in Apple.

Furthermore, Microsoft and Samsung have made infinite attempts to recruit Apple employees for its own fledgling retail operation. They offer Apple retail store managers pay raises in order to lure them away, and ask those ex-managers to bring their most seasoned Apple employees with them (Sacks, 2010). To retain employees, Apple improved the employees insurance, and most retail workers and part time employees praised for the improvement. After the improvement, the retail revenue in the 4th quarter at 201 0 was $3. 6 billion, which increased 75 per cent from the year-ago quarter.

The improvement also led to an increase of sales. In 201 0, Apple retail stores sold over 874,000 Macs in the quarter, which was increased by 30 per cent from 670,000 in the year-ago quarter (Sacks, 2010). Parental Leave Policy, Sabbatical and Educational Reimbursement There are also some additional benefits for employees in different situations. After Steve Jobs, Tim Cook has paid more attentions on employees’ job satisfaction, and apparently became more aggressive in making counteroffers to employees thinking of leaving the company.

Apple now has been more open to allowing employees to take extended time off when needed. For example, Apple extended the parental leave policy following the birth of a child. With the new policy, expectant mothers who work at Apple can take up to four weeks before a delivery and up to 14 weeks after a birth, while fathers and other non-birth parents are eligible for up to six weeks of parental leave with paid (Philanderer, 2014). Apple also enlarged the ability of employees to take sabbaticals and the freedom to work on personal projects.

In particular, employees who have been at Apple for 10 years can leave the company, and then return after two years without losing their seniority. Essentially, they can quit, but if they come back in years, it’s like nothing ever happened. They don’t get credit for two more years of work, but they don’t lose their spot at the company (Jay, 2013). Meanwhile, like many other big companies, the tech giant Apple also provides the educational reimbursement program up to 55,000 per year in school costs for their employees regardless of the position in the company.

Basically, Apple believes that incentive can motivate employees to work better towards the goals. Employee Discount Program Apple improved the existing employee discount program on Apple products o allow cash off on Macs and pads in 2012. The program is particularly relevant for retail store employees, whose hourly wages frequently do not allow them to purchase the products they are assigned to sell, repair or train with.

Under the current Apple discount program, at the first day Of employment, staffers are eligible for a 25 per cent discount on one of the following products: Imax, Mac mini, Mac Pro, Macomb Air or Macomb Pro, and a 50 per cent discount on most Apple software, and 10 per cent on third- party accessories, both in reasonable quantities. Applecart is also available or a 25 per cent discount (info Apple Store, 2012). After an employee has been on the job for 90 days, an PEP+ program will become effective. Ender the program, the company is offering a straight $250 off the price of an pad or $500 off the price of Mac computers, usable once every three years. Every employee can chose only one of these two discounts. The cash discount augments a personal and friends-family percentage-based discount program on most Apple gear that has been available for many years (Piper, 2012). CONCLUSION Apple is the one of the largest information technology company with over 0,300 employees. It is distinct that the retail outlets and engineering technicians are both playing significant roles in Apple’s market presence.

To manage such a large amount of retail employees, Apple focuses on providing on-the-job trainings to its retail employees to foster employee self-reliant. Apple also provides off-the-job trainings focusing on customer service skills, as a Way to ensure the service quality and premium in-store experience for its customers. In addition Apple provides the E-learning to its technician called ACT, which includes all training materials and extensive information to achieve the Apple Service Certification program. As the giant of tech oenology industry, Apple needs an infusion of new blood.

By establishing several considerable training programs, Apple successfully improves employees’ quality and working efficiency, which enables Apple to increase its brand image and organizational value. Gay, Anita and Nina (2013) state that the strategic importance of employee benefits is increasing in the post-job- security era. When employee benefit programs are aligned with business strategy, they can help companies to attract and retain the right people to achieve business objectives. Company should view employees as valuable assets rather than just labor and human capital (Gary, Anita & Nina, 2013).

Apple created and improved several tremendous benefit programs for employees in an effort to attract new talented employees, reduce the job dissatisfaction, avoid employee burnout, improve employee morale with motivation, retain the top-notch employees within the organization and lower one of the biggest threats for Apple – brain drain. Apple’s benefit programs enable Apple to continue creating organizational values and maintain the business competitive advantages among other intense competitors in the industry.


CASE REPORT ON HUMAN RESOURCE FUNCTION OF APPLE. (2018, Apr 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/case-report-on-human-resource-function-of-apple/

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