On Site Dining for the Sony Family


The HRM process includes (1) human resource planning; (2) recruitment; (3) selection; (4) socialization; (5) training and development; (6) performance appraisal; (7) promotions, transfers, demotions and separations. Human resources planning include planning for the future personnel needs of the organization, planning what the future balance of the organization’s personnel will be, planning a recruitment selection or layoff program, and planning a development program. Human resource plans are based on forecasting and on the human resource audit, in which the skills and performance of organization members are appraised. To be meaningful, human resource plans must consider both the strategic plan and the external environment of the organization.

General and specialized recruitment are designed to supply the organization with a sufficiently large pool of job candidates. Before recruitment can take place, a job analysis, consisting of the position description and job specification, must be made. Job recruits can be drawn from within or outside the organization.

Successive and state legislation, executive orders, and legal decisions since the early 1960s have mandated equal employment opportunity (EEO) regardless of race, sex, age, color, religion, or ethnic group membership. EEO legislation also covers Vietnam era and disabled veterans and the physically and mentally handicapped. Nondiscriminatory procedures must provide equal access to jobs, training, and promotion and equal treatment in the workplace. Firms doing business with the federal government are subject to affirmative action (AA) programs to add and develop women and minority group members.

The selection process follows a seven step procedure: completed job application, initial screening interview, testing, back ground investigation, in depth selection interview, physical examination, and job offer. For managerial positions, the in-depth interview is probably the most important step. Ideally, it should be realistic and factually based. Socialization helps the new employees and the organization adapt to each other. Giving new employees challenging assignments correlates with future success.

Training programs seek to maintain and improve current job performance, while development programs are designed skills needed in future jobs. The need for training may be determined through performance appraisal, job requirements, organizational analysis, and human resource surveys. Both training and development methods can be classified as on-the-job or off-the-job. Coaching is the most important formal on-the-job development method. Other development methods include job rotation and classroom teaching. Both training and development should be reinforced in the work situation.

Performance appraisal may be informal. To improve performance, appraisal should be based on goals jointly set by managers and subordinates. To be useful as employee incentives, promotions must be fair. Discrimination in promotion, though illegal, has not disappeared. Transfers are used to broaden a manager’s experience to fill vacant positions, and to relocate employees whom the organization does not want to demote, promote, or fire. Demotion is an infrequently used option in dealing with ineffective managers. Separation, though painful are more widely used and frequently prove beneficial to the individual as well as to the organization.

New trends call for linking HRM more closely with an organization’s strategy. The four C’s – competence, commitment, Congruence, and Cost effectiveness provide a useful model for evaluating how effectively an organization’s human resources policy is supporting its business strategy.

Sometimes human resources management can involve something as seemingly unrelated as providing an on-site corporate dining facility. As more and more companies consolidate their urban into single low-rent, sub urban developments, the benefits of on-site dining are becoming increasingly apparent.

At Sony, on-site dining is perceived as more than merely a pleasant eating experience. When employees eat in, they tend to exchange work ideas, explained Sony’s Gordon Casanova, director of facilities management, corporate services. They continue the workday on a different level. On-site dining has allowed Sony to confine lunch breaks to 45 minutes, since it eliminates the need for commuting to lunch. Moreover added Casanova, on-site dining sharply curtails lunch hour abuses.

In addition on site dining employees sit together in a more relaxed setting outside the work environment so that they can have the opportunity to bond socially. This, in turn, can ease work relationships and enhance productivity. Also, the on-site dining encourages intra-company networking by bringing together people of different positions from different departments. Such networking can ultimately facilitate internal communication by giving people faces to attach to the names with whom they work.

At Sony, on-site dining also helps to break done barriers between management and staff. Sony has always made it a point to know our employees to visit every facility of our company, and try to meet and know every single employee, said Morita the Chief. This became more and more difficult as we grew, and it is impossible to really know the more than forty thousand people who work for us today, but I try. The Chief Morita encourages all of managers to know everybody and not to sit behind a desk in the office all day. The dining facility thus helps to strengthen work related relationships. According to Morita, a company is a sort of family. As a CEO, he considered socializing with employees an integral part of his day.

By providing in house dining, Sony was able to increase employee productivity and morale and promote its familial culture. We have a policy that wherever we are in the world we deal with our employees as members of the Sony family, as valued colleagues, explained Morita. They brought management people including engineers, to Tokyo and let them work with us and trained them and treated them just like members of Sony’s family, all of whom wear the same jackets and eat in our one-class cafeteria. This way they got to understand that people should not be treated differently. For Morita, it is human resource management; its his respect for one’s family.