Some of the best HR practices that were implemented at FedEx, made it one of the best places to work. The company has a reputation for being the most employee-friendly workplace in the world.
Complimenting FedEx’s HR innovation, Work Force Magazine has commented -
“FedEx is an example of an organization that has created an effective HR strategy that supports productivity and profitability. The corporation’s philosophy is that employees should be doing the kind of work they want to do.”
The History of Employee Commitment at FedEx
It all started back in 1971, when Frederick W. Smith felt the need to create an airfreight system that can deliver documents overnight. So, Smith founded his own company, which could serve this specific need. Since FedEx was basically included in the service industry, Smith always believed that organization’s success was highly dependent on its employees.
The company was incorporated at Little Rock, Arkansas, in June 1971 as ‘Federal Express Corporation’. Since its beginning in 1971, the company was striving on providing a great work environment and implementing the best HR practices to motivate its employees. FedEx employees were so committed to the company that, when the company was going through some financial crisis (during its initial years), they were ready to sell their personal belongings. They were also prepared to use their own money to buy fuel so that the packages are delivered to the customers on time. They continued working there even when they didn’t receive their paycheck on the pay day.
FedEx’s ‘People-Service-Profit’ philosophy
After two years of incorporating the company, founder and CEO of FedEx, Smith implemented FedEx’s ‘People-Service-Profit’ philosophy. This philosophy was based on the fact that taking proper care of employees will lead to better service to the customers, which in turn would benefit the company in the long run by generating more profits.
Survey-Feedback-Action Program at FedEx
The Survey-Feedback-Action (SFA) Program is at the core of FedEx, which has helped the company in taking major decisions including promotions. In the initial years, SFA was controlled manually, but starting from 1992, it was replaced by online surveys that were filled by all the employees. After the results were derived from the feedback, managers would discuss the results of the survey with employees to identify the problems and come up with a solution.
LEAP – Leadership Evaluation and Awareness Process
In 1988, the company introduced a program named ‘Leadership Evaluation and Awareness Process’ (LEAP) to provide an opportunity to non-managerial cadre employees to move to the managerial positions within the organization.
FedEx’s HR innovation and its objective to implement some of the best HR practices have made it a great example of HR success stories. It has served as a benchmark for a lot of companies.