INTRODUCTIONThe German Brothers, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler started off their shoe business inHerzogenaurach, Germany in 1924. However, after 24 years of maintaining their business,they separated over an argument. Rudolf Dassler were the one who continued his businessunder the name of PUMA Schuchfabrik Rudolf Dassler with the kickstart of PUMA ATOM,his first ever football shoes. In 1977, PUMA introduced their logo to the world which is “ACat in Court”. Now, PUMA became a big sport brand that opened their branches all over theworld (PUMA, 2018).

1.0 KEY CHALLENGES1.1 Problem in Supply Chains1.1.1Sportswear brands, in this case is PUMA, topped the Fashion Transparency Index by scoring56 percent by revealing their supplier lists but they don’t really include their number ofworkers (Handley, 2018). It has been known that Cambodian women workers are sufferingfrom mass fainting. Approximately, 500 factory workers that are supplying for PUMA werehospitalised. The supplier company sets no limit to the working hours so workers have to dealwith such high temperature in the factory itself (McVeigh, 2017).

Some factories have to beclosed down temporarily because of it. Employees are not motivated since they are tied withshort-term contracts which makes them insecure with their job and some of the workers saidthat if they don’t work overtime, they can’t get their contract renewed. This issue is broughtup to the surface in 2017, where a lot of people accused PUMA for work exploitation whichin the case, PUMA did none of that since the brand company and supplier company are twodifferent things.

1.1.2According to McVeigh (2017), PUMA recommended a few things so their workers can stayproductive in the working hours.

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They suggested the supplier company to provide energybars and medical check for their workers. They are replacing their workers’ short-termcontracts so the workers don’t have to stress about it. PUMA also suggested that theventilation system inside the factory should be well-maintained so it can prevent the workersfrom suffocating because of the closed windows and ventilation (McVeigh, 2017).1.2 PUMA’s Expectation Towards Their Working Environment1.2.1In PUMA Annual Report 2017 (2017), they stated that they are committed in improving theirwork environment and their employees’ well-being whether they are in the company oroutside their working hours. This is a huge problem for PUMA since they can’t really controltheir employees’ behaviour outside the company. They might not know what their employeesare doing after working hours. People in Glassdoor (2017) actually posted some of the consworking in PUMA such as no cohesion in their office since departments work individually.Employees are treated poorly by the company which in contrary to their speeches about talentmanagement.1.2.2As a response, PUMA replied to the comment by receiving the criticism they received. Theyalso developed strong HR programmes to develop their employees’ potential each and everyday. In order to control their employees’ behaviour inside and outside the company, theyprovided their employees with e-learning training regarding the Code of Ethics which isfocused on how to fight against corruption and bribery inside the company, how to behave inthe workplace and protection towards the environment. IN 2017, PUMA held an e-learningabout corruption and bribery which were all mandatory for their employees. As a result, 99%of PUMA’s employees’ own email accounts participated in the Code of Ethics e-learning,which was slightly higher comparing to last year’s number, 97%. Additionally, PUMA held aface-to-face training session that discussed about in-depth topics such as anti-corruptioncampaign and antitrust law which is to raise awareness of legal framework.

1.3 Misunderstanding Between Employees1.3.1PUMA always hires interns every 3 months and there are a few issues every time new internscome and work in the company. People who wrote down comments about PUMA on Indeed(2018) are mostly interns. Majority of them said PUMA is a great place to work if you’re afull-time employee. Interns usually get tons of works from their seniors and the uppermanagement doesn’t really appreciate what they’re doing for the company. Most of theinterns think that this isn’t fair, especially when they don’t get enough pay since they’re thereonly for apprenticeship. This issue might lead to misunderstanding between employees andalso superiors. This happened because there is a lack of communication from supervisors.Interns and full-time employees won’t collide and the work environment doesn’t have anyunity feeling.1.3.2PUMA (2017) believes that all of the key players should contribute everything to thecompany for them to achieve their goals, whether they’re an internal or external employee.Therefore, PUMA held numerous seminars about maintaining and developing employees andmanagers for longer terms. This also helps them in understanding that every employeematter, even if they’re interns. They aim to manage their employees to have an effectivemanner in working and delegating task for their subordinates. They prioritise teamwork intheir workplace since it is very crucial for every team to work together. Teamwork can leadto producing creative ideas that can be used by companies to produce new innovativeproducts. Putting seniors and interns in one group might be a good idea for PUMA to do.Supervisors are included in any team so they can watch the employees and job distributionwill be fair. Teaching interns can be done through pairing each intern with a mentor so theywill be on track all the time (Serres, 2018).

2.0 STRATEGIC APPROACHES2.1 RecruitmentPUMA (2017) is focused on recruiting fresh graduates which is the majority of Gen Z. Theyclaim to equip their employees with sets of skills they need in order to work well in PUMA.A lot of fresh graduates are searching for job through online platforms, such as LinkedIn,Facebook and other social medias. They often post about job vacancies online usingpromotional tools such as STP (segmentation, promotion and promoting). As a result, 86% of their employees that are working in the headquarter and all over the worldare recruited from online platforms. According to Fromm (2018), 75% of Gen Z are attractedto companies which can assign them multiple roles to do. This will help PUMA in finishingtheir tasks faster and more efficient. Since Gen Z grew up with developing technology, it willbe ideal for the company to create a fluid workplace as in promoting rotational programs soGen Z employees can have more development opportunities.2.2 TrainingPUMA focuses themselves in making a professional working environment with trainingpotential candidates which are mostly fresh graduates or people who are just started theircareers. PUMA (2017) had 63 students in total in PUMA’s headquarter, Herzogenaurach, andthey held a specialist vocational training which is a training that specialised in educatingemployees about skills and career development. They aim to raise awareness of the public ofPUMA as a top employer and make sure that they recruit the most potential candidates.According to Mortaki (2012), specialist vocational training can motivate their employees inunderstanding the changing needs of the market better. Well-trained employees can improvePUMA in representing their company by showing their ability (Whealon, 2016). As said byan intern of PUMA, Marco Presissinger, he is satisfied with what PUMA provided him as intraining and knowledge. Members welcomed him like a full-team member.2.3 Flexible Work ArrangementsPUMA (2017) stated that they are focused on creating pleasant working environment for theiremployees to feel the positive impact from it and make them more committed to thecompany. PUMA (2017) asserted that they promote flexible working modules. The flexibleenvironment contributes to open spaces in the workplace and improve employees’interaction.

As a result, 87% of their employees had permanent contracts. In 2017, the total turnover rateis 22% which was 3% lower comparing to the previous year. This happened becauseemployees feel this flexible working modules suit their individual needs. In result, they got23% of their interns to be employed to their company at the end of 2017. This leads toincreasing productivity of employees in the workplace.2.4 Performance ManagementPUMA always ensures their employees are developing in terms of talent and performance(PUMA, 2017). They have performance assessment every certain period. This programme isto make employees to be aware of their performance, ups and downs in work progression andwhat things they should do in order to be on the right track and keep on improving.Employees also learn about mindful communication, so there won’t be any hiccups in thecommunication flow.So far, employees are satisfied with the programme. They learned about new things like howto speed up their work and focusing on particular task. Stay conscious about the changingmarket is also one of the topics they learned in the programme.2.5 Succession PlanningPUMA (2017) always reviews their talent by setting their criteria which includes individualperformance and employees’ progression. This allows employees who are working at PUMAto analyse their individual talent. PUMA can also identify candidates for crucial roles in theircompany by matching employees’ talent with their job requirements.PUMA provided their employees with their recent development programme which is called“SPEED UP” which focuses on targeted training and mentoring, job rotations andinterdisciplinary projects. A lot of PUMA’s employees are from Gen Z which prefer doingmultiple jobs at one time, so in order for the employees to work effectively in the workplace,they are trained with job rotations training. Employees are much more committed to thecompany since they already built strong relationships with other employees.2.6 BenefitsBased on PUMA 2017 annual report, they offer various rewards and benefits to theiremployees since they believe that they should reward their employees based on their strongperformance. They provide benefit plans such as compensation plans for their employees.One of the reasons of PUMA gives benefits to their employees is to keep their employees to

be committed to the company and maintain the productivity of employees so PUMA can staycompetitive in the changing market.This is proven to motivate employees as Goldstein (2018) believed that valuable benefits canreally motivate them in working as they are keeping the workplace alive and it can motivateother employees to complete their tasks and increase interactions between colleagues. 2.7 Equality ManagementPUMA (2017) said that equality and diversity can lead to success and competitiveness sincePUMA believes that embracing diversity is one way to discover talents among employeesfrom various backgrounds. They aim to bring people together of different ethnicbackgrounds. In terms of gender distribution of employees, PUMA is quite balanced. Out of100%, they have 52% of male employees and 48% of female employees in the headquarter.PUMA offers their employees with specific training of women empowerment. In 2017,PUMA was committed to raise the number of female employees by 20%.Women empowerment training can help them in connecting them with great womenexecutives and encourage their female employees to take major roles within their company.This training makes female employees feel respected by everyone in the company and theyare more committed to the company. They succeed in increasing the number of femaleemployees from all level of management in the end of June 2017. In terms of diversity, theymanaged to implement Diversity Charter in order to make sure there is a nice workingenvironment for people who came from different ethnicity backgrounds.3.0 CONCLUSIONTo conclude, there are three key challenges that PUMA faced which are problem with thesupply chains, PUMA’s expectation towards their working environment andmisunderstanding between employees. There are seven strategic approaches that PUMA usedto retain employees which are recruitment, training, flexible working hours, benefits,performance management, succession plan and lastly, diversity and equality management.Each one of these strategic approaches are taken from PUMA’s annual report in the year of2017.

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