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Sysco Case Study

Read the following case study:

HR Contributes at SYSCO


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Sysco Case Study

Read the following case study:

HR Contributes at SYSCO

Many people in the United States are not familiar with SYSCO, but they see its results because SYSCO is the largest food services and distribution company with almost $24 billion in annual sales. SYSCO supplies food products to customers in restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, and other companies. In a firm the size of SYSCO with more than 40,000 employees, HR management is making significant contributions to organizational success. As an indication of this success, SYSCO received the Optimas award for general HR Excellence from Workforce Magazine.

Beginning several years ago, the need to revitalize HR activities was recognized by both executives and senior HR staff members. At the time, the SYSCO operating regions had administered many of their own HR practices. To bring change to HR corporate-wide, while preserving the entrepreneurial independence of the regions, a "market-driven" HR approach was developed. In this approach, corporate HR identified ways it could assist regional operations, and then developed programs and services that met regional needs.

However, unlike in many other corporations where corporate HR programs would be "mandated" to operating units, SYSCO took a different approach. Key to market-driven HR is that managers in the regional operations must be convinced to "buy" the corporate HR services. For example, if a supervisory training program is developed by corporate HR, regional managers decide if they want to use the program for supervisory training in their regions.

Another part of creating HR as market driven was the establishment by corporate HR of a Virtual Resource Center (VRC) to provide services to managers and employees. A key aspect of the VRC is use of HR technology to gather extensive data on HR activities and provide that data to operating managers. One source of data is workplace climate surveys of employees. Using the survey data, HR developed initiatives to increase safety, which reduced workers' compensation claims by 30%, resulting in savings of $10 million per year.

Another problem that SYSCO had was high turnover rates of night shift warehouse workers. Recruiting these workers has been a constant challenge for SYSCO and other distribution firms. By implementing a variety of programs and services, based on employee and managerial input from surveys, the retention rate for these warehouse employees has been increased by 20%, resulting in savings of $15 million per year. These savings are due to reduced time and money spent recruiting, selecting, and training new employees. Also, employees with more experience are more productive and more knowledgeable about SYSCO operations and products.

Another area where HR has contributed is with truck and delivery drivers. Data gathered through the VRC has been used to revise base pay and incentive programs, increase driver retention rates, and improve driver safety records. Additionally, customer satisfaction rates increased and delivery expenses declined.

All of these changes illustrate that HR efforts at SYSCO have been paying off for the company, managers, and employees. But as the value of HR efforts is recognized by more managers, HR's role at SYSCO is likely to continue growing and changing.

Write a paper to answer the following questions:

  1. How does the market-driven approach illustrate that HR has strategic, operational, and administrative roles at SYSCO?
  2. What types of HR changes could have affected reductions in workers' compensation expenses, employee turnover, and increases in customer satisfaction?

The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:

  • Write between 750 - 1,250 words (approximately 3 - 5 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.
  • Use font size 12 and 1" margins.
  • Include cover page and reference page.
  • At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.
  • No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.
  • Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.
  • Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.

References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.

Running head: ONLINE EDUCATION 1 Online Education


Jane Doe


Option 3: Traditional Paper


Grantham University ONLINE EDUCATION 2


Abstract Online education has made vast improvements since the Internet was created. Before the


Internet, schools were using various forms of technology to teach classes from a distance.


Distance learning ranged from using the United States Post Office to mail assignments to using


radio, television, and telephone. In this paper I will discuss how online education is advancing


and becoming more competitive with traditional ?brick and mortar? schools. ONLINE EDUCATION 3 Distance education has evolved tremendously over the past 100 years. Correspondence


schools were developed in the late 1800s to allow students to go to school from far distances.


The 1900s were full of improvements that allowed schools to offer classes through radio,


television, and telephone. One of the most monumental advances in online education was the


creation of the Internet. Schools started to use the Internet to their advantage in 1981 (Miller,


2014). From this time period, schools have quickly adopted this form of education to teach their


students. Online education has given some students the opportunity to earn an education who


may not have previously been able to do so.


There are many universities that offer full online degree programs. Students are able to


continue their daily lives and still earn a degree at any age. Online classes offer flexibility which


is a huge benefit to students with full-time jobs, children, or those who are in the military. Often


times, online universities have more affordable tuition compared to traditional schools. In a


society where education is vital and yearly tuition increases, affordability can be a deciding


factor for students when choosing their educational future.


Many online programs offer ?hybrid? or ?blended? courses. These are courses that have


a mixture of students in-class and online (Hiltz and Turoff, 2005). These blended courses allow


instructors to use effective teaching methods to provide the same educational experience for both


types of students. The use of technology has allowed instructors to interact with online students


in very helpful ways. Many management systems, such as BlackBoard, allow instructors to post


videos, announcements, discussions, and detailed feedback to educate their students. In an


article by Hiltz and Turoff (2005) discussing the evolution of online learning, they state: ONLINE EDUCATION 4 There is no need for the instructor or student in a blended course to be concerned with


which students attend the face-to-face class and which students participate online. All


learning experiences are also available in a digital form that is at least equally effective.


This quote illustrates that online courses have just as much quality as face-to-face courses


offered at a traditional school.


Online education has been a growing trend which has caused an increase in the


competition for higher education. In 2014, University of Florida became the first public school


to offer fully online degree programs (Miller, 2014). Many schools are expected to follow.


These changes may be a strategy implemented by the university to ensure their long-term


survival in the changing education industry. In an article by Sara Burnett (2001) titled, ?Going


the Distance?, Sara discusses how online education will soon expand. The generation of students


coming out of high school has been raised with Internet and may expect to have the option of


online classes at the university they attend. Some may even enroll in a strictly online school. It is


important that schools realize online classes are becoming more popular in our society. If they


do not change, they could miss out on a large population of student enrollments.


The National Center for Education Statistics released a study in 2012 that stated one in


four students took an online course during the fall that year (Haynie, 2014). The total number of


students in that study amounted to 5.4 million. Although this number was 1.7 million lower than


they had originally predicted, it is still a large number of students attending online courses. An


additional key factor that was found was graduate students were more likely to obtain their


degree online rather than in-class. For only having been around since the 1980s, online


education has made a tremendous impact on the way we look at education. ONLINE EDUCATION 5 Online education has come a long way in our society. We are continuously improving as


a society which puts more importance on obtaining a higher education. From the beginning, it


has enabled more and more students to learn at the secondary level. Online education will


continue to grow and expand as we become more advanced. Universities that embrace online


learning and educational changes are setting themselves up for success in the future. As Charles


Darwin stated, ?It?s not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the


one most responsive to change? (Darwin, 1859). ONLINE EDUCATION 6


References Burnett, S. (2001). GOING THE DISTANCE. Community College Week, 13(21), 6


Haynie, D. (2014, June 12). New government data sheds light on online learners. Retrieved


December 14, 2014.


Hiltz, S. R., & Turoff, M. (2005). EDUCATION GOES DIGITAL: The Evolution of Online


Learning and the Revolution in Higher Education. Communications Of The ACM, 48(10),




Miller, G. (n.d.). History of Distance Learning. Retrieved November 10, 2014.


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Oct 14, 2020





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