Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Cargill Way

Cargil Way

Date: June4, 2007 Student name: Pham Thi Thuy Ha (2A5026)

I have worked 2 years for Cargill Inc, an American company which was established in 1865. Cargill has 153,000 employees in 66 countries and engages in trading (grains, oil, gas), manufacturing foods, agriculture, animal nutrition and financial services. I list some Cargill’ HR practice equivalent to HP Way as below:

Equivalent to HP Way items

Formulation, rationale, factors, structure


- Division objectives or division Balance Scorecard (BS) are set by the management team of each ‘country division’ that belongs to a specific corporate business unit. These objectives are set based on market situation, growth potential, capacity and capability of this division in its local country.

- These corporate objectives are transferred to department objectives or department BS.

- Employees’ personal objectives (employees BS) must be SMART and are agreed between department heads and employees. The department heads are responsible for transferring department objectives to their subordinates. If an employee is unable to achieve an objective, the department head can negotiate with other employees inside the department. As employees are multi skilled, there has been no problem in transferring objectives to employees.

- Once employees’ objectives are set, employees have to achieve these objectives without failure. Employees have freedom to ask for a full support for achieving their objectives such as budgets, training, time. There are 2 ‘objective review sections’ per year to make sure that those employees are on the right direction.

- MBO is strong motivation tool because the far employees achieve objectives, the better compensation they will receive. But MBO is a tool to kick employees out if they fail to meet their objectives


- Based pay salary which is a bit higher than market base-pay

- Medical, dental, life insurance for all employees

- Stock options, tuition reimbursement, retirement plan, employee assistance plan, relocation services

- Monthly incentives of 10% base salary for non-marketing staff if the division achieves BS. Marketing staff is compensated by commission

- Overseas and/or continuous professional training and career development programs. Cargill offers intensive training for employees to help them acquire new skills and knowledge and prepare them for job relocation. This helps Cargill to prepare personnel for business expansion and allocate easily its HR among divisions and inside divisions.

- Cargill accepts voluntary job relocations (i.e. family relocation, employees’ preference to work in different countries) as long as employees continue to contribute to the development of Cargill

Hiring policy

Career maze

- Recruit excellent people who are entrepreneur, multi-skilled, trustworthy

- College student program aims at recruiting top talented people who commit to grow within Cargill for certain positions in labs, mills, kitchens, trading floors. Internships are offered to see the fit with corporate culture and career paths.

- Recruit senior level managers to bring in new strategic visions. This will assure that the corporate have good strategy for future growth.

- MBA program to recruit MBA students and train them to become front managers after 2 years. This will allow Cargill to develop leaders for tomorrow’ business development.


- Cargill has a flat structure and it grants maximum autonomy to employees. All employees are encouraged to be independent in making decisions concerning their jobs. This practice is very suitable for Cargill’ trading practice which requires flexibility and fast decision making.

- Autonomy enables employees to complete tasks faster and is a powerful motivation tool as employees feel to be treated as a part of the company. Cargill needs few managers to supervise employees.

- There is no rigid daily check-in check-out time (i.e 8.00 am to 17.00pm). Employees are free to choose their best working time to complete their tasks in accordance with others’ tasks.


- Direct supervisors evaluate their subordinates. The purpose of evaluation is not to judge employees’ performance but to know their accomplishment of their objectives, resources, skills, training they need to achieve their objectives

- Country division is evaluated by division BS.

Not layoff

- No guarantee for lifetime employment

- Offer job security

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