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Memo Human resources: The Lidl case (2008)

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Presentation of Lidl.
  3. Corporate organization.
  4. Human resources organization.
  5. Human resources management.
  6. Human resources strategy and values.
  7. Human resources practices.
  8. Corporate social responsibilities.
  9. Comparison of human resources practices with other countries.
  10. Recommendations.
  11. Social news.
  12. Possible impacts in the future.
  13. Conclusion.
  14. Sources.

The Concept of purchasing power has been highly debated in France for the last few months. Because of a recent and substantial increase in prices, grocery retailers have been under suspicion of being the main engine of this inflation. Why have prices been increasing so quickly in the last few weeks? The French government is currently trying to increase competition and is considering raising regulations in the sector. Moreover very recently some secret agreements between firms in the supply sector were revealed. That is why in such a context, discount grocery retailers seem to be very attractive for numerous customers. However, Lidl one of Europe's leading grocery retailers, has been sued by many of its former employees for unacceptable working conditions and abusive layoffs. To what extent do Lidl's cheap prices benefit the customer? Has Lidl's social policy had an impact on the employment market? Because of the current debate on those questions, I wanted to study the human resources policy of Lidl while reminding all the constraints of such a competitive market. We will try to determine whether discounted prices are always tightly linked to discounted human resources practices.

[...] Due to Lidl philosophy, it is not surprising that even in the human resources department; managers from Lidl confess work with a minimum staff level, on a productivity base?. Actually human resources managers are paid to create value and as a consequence, are regularly assessed. Their main objective is to find and recruit people with high bargaining and communication skills. HR managers should also help employees being more competitive. IV. Human resources management According to the administration, Lidl can offer a diverse range of career paths and development opportunities for motivated and skilled individuals, who would like to work within a challenging and thriving environment. [...]

[...] Sooner or later Lidl will have to change its human resources practices, at least in the developed countries, in which law could not tolerate such practices. That is why Lidl top management should implement new strategies (as seen in the part about our recommendations), before the brand may undergo boycott or justice decisions. XII. Conclusion Lidl is on a very competitive market engaged in a price competition. Maintaining the greatest operational effectiveness possible requires to drastically lower the costs. Lidl business model is thus very simple. [...]

[...] Human resources strategy and values The main strategy of Lidl is to lower by any means its cost structure. The management is therefore often brutal with its hand employees. In general, Lidl employees mistrust and fear their board. Pressure, humiliation and even intimidation have become very common. Style of management is mainly authoritarian and directed towards intimidation of employees to force them to higher performance. A Polish shop assistant of a Lidl store described the tone of supervisors against staff as ?offending and vulgar?. [...]

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