HR Strategies to Retain Efficient Leaders: Australian Firm Bunnings Case Study

Strategies to Retain Efficient Leaders: Australian Firm Bunnings Case Study



The study is based on different strategies undertaken by an organisation operating in the practical scenario. Bunnigs is an Australian firm with large organisational structure and employs a huge workforce. The study is conducted to critically analyse the overall operating activities of the firm based on the approaches of strategic management practise. Therefore, the study identifies the current operating procedure considering the various environmental challenges influencing the regular functions of an organisation.  In doing so, the study evaluates the leadership aspect of the organisation and its formulation to provide strategies for mitigating the current operational challenges. Accordingly, the study analyses the role of organisation in streamlining the leadership activities and ensuring positive performance through effective and efficient leadership roles. In this regard, the study has identified the strategies that the firm has initiated to retain efficient leaders within the organisation, which is introduction of performance shares and remuneration schemes for further developing the role and practise of efficient leadership within the organisation. It is noted that the programmes for the same is effective in ensuring productivity for the organisation and establishing strategies that can regulate the operating activities amid the environmental challenges currently evident at the global level affecting various organisations.

In addition to this, the role of the firm in displaying its accountability and responsibility towards its workforce in the event of employment crisis due to the pandemic situation is highlighted in the given study. In this context, it has been noted that the firm Bunnings takes employees’ interest at its highest concern. Therefore, the organisation has proactively scrutinised its human resource issues and challenges by developing policies to address the identified issues and eliminated the challenges that is not in alignment with the positive and developmental interest of its employees. Thus, the role of the organisation in indentifying the underpayment issues and issues relating to payment during covid crisis can be stated as a significant approach towards the employees and delivering highest level of accountability towards its human resources or workforce.  Moreover, it is also noted that despite loss faced during the covid crisis the firm decided to pay the employees and focused on developing polices and framework that can help to fight unemployment in such conditions.

Moreover, the crucial and significant strategy to maintain its business in the event of the environmental issue is the strategies implemented, which is evident in its marketing strategies. As noted from the overall discussion, the firm considering the environmental crisis and the safety of the stakeholders has opted to implement technology for optimum utilisation for organisational sustainability. Providing online platform for consumers and reaching out to diverse consumer group through online platform is more feasible and safe considering the pandemic situation and at the same time, it can be easy for the firm to comprehend the diverse needs and wants of the consumers based on such technology for enhancing its sales and services. Thus, the overall discussion provides and insight on the strategic approaches for the firm, which can be considered relevant and effective based on the current situation and for future sustainability of the firm in the larger consumer market.


Key strategies of the organisation

The management at Bunning has formulated various strategies to sustain itself in the event of the current pandemic situation, which enables the firm to operate in a much safer manner. The board of management of the firm is experienced and the management team is highly adaptable as it is equipped with all the relevant skills and expertise to sustain the current organisational change.

Current board members and other important executives

The current board members of the firm comprise Rob Scott, the managing director; Rob is an experienced investment banker and is holds a degree in applied finance. Anthony Gianotti is the CFO or the chief financial officer, with a bachelor degree in commerce, Anthony is a qualified chartered accountant. Maya Vanden Driesen is the group general counsel, Maya holds a degree in jurisprudence and a degree in law, Maya is within the advisory committee of the firm. Sarah Hunter is the managing director of office works, Ed Bostock is the managing director of business development and Vicki Robinson is the executive general manager and company secretariat.

Michael Schneider managing director of the Bunnings group, Michael leads strategic programmes for the firm and Ian Bailey managing director of Kmart group leads national and international retail and professional services for the firm. Tim Bult is the managing director of Wesfarmers industrial and safety with the role of business development and further commercial expansion. Naomi Flutter is the executive general manager of corporate affairs; Naomi has a degree in economics and law. Jenny Bryant is the chief human resource officer, with previous experience in firms such as Vodafone and EMI music. Ian Hansen chief executive officer, leading the chemical and fertiliser division of the firm holds a degree in science and leads the operational activities of the firm Bunnings.

Executive remuneration

Based on the board members of the firm, it can be stated that the workforce is experienced and relevant for the firms overall operations and administration allowing the firm to carry out its leadership roles in a much efficient manner. In doing so, the firm has made certain strategic actions to ensure that the firm or organisational leaders are able to perform at their best, thus the firm offers executive remuneration to its executive members. As per the firm’s annual report, the firm made a commitment to formulate a framework for executive remuneration to ensure that leaders of the firm deliver high performance and the same is reflected in the overall business portfolio. Hence, the firm created KEEPP in the year 2016 further to ensure that the positive performance of the firm is established for a long-term basis. The KEEPP programme is based on focusing shareholders interest and the same has been formulated with a proper review of the programme by the respective shareholders of the firm. Thus, the firm released more than 50% payout as performance share to the firm leaders by estimating the performance conditions under the framework of KEEPP, which is intended to evaluate four years performance conditions of the firm’s board members. Based on the framework, it can be added that the action taken by the firm is effective as it can help in retaining the efficient human resources and utilise the same for more productivity by providing them adequate remuneration.

 Identification of HR issues at Bunnings

The Human resource management of the firm is well organised is committed to the development and welfare of the employees that work in the firm. As per the recent annual report of the firm for the financial year 2020, it has been noted that the human resource management team has made strategies to support the employees in the event of the current environmental disaster. For instance, the severe shutdowns in various regions had a serious impact on the operations of the firms’ stores and warehouses. However, the firm made resolutions to pay its employee in full despite the loss it had to face.

Human resource issues

In the case of underpayment, it has been noted from the firms’ annual report that certain divisions of the firm had the issue of underpayment. As per the report, it has been stated that due to the complex nature of the business certain errors in this aspect has been noted, however, the firm has made plans to fulfil the shortcomings and live up to its reputation. Therefore, the firm made a plan to identify the areas of mistake and accordingly made rectification by compensating team members by adding interest to payments or superannuation shortfalls. Moreover, the human resource team of the firm plans to establish fixed plans to mitigate such challenges in future and not to repeat such instances.

Moreover, in this regard, the human resource team of the firm plan to support the stakeholders by devising plans to fight unemployment in the event of such an environmental crisis leading to severe causes of trouble for the overall community.

Marketing strategy

Currently, the firm is focused on online presence as it has developed its Catch strategy, which is a vision of the firm to be the most trusted online platform for the Australian consumer in their journey of online shopping. Thus, while processing its marketing strategy, it ensures that in order to penetrate the Australian consumer market it has to maintain its unique Australian identity to engage and reward its customers by focusing on the range, value and shopping experience. Hence, based on the current strategy for marketing activities of the firm, it can be stated that Bunnings is focused on technological investment to ensure that the marketing practice is effective and is able to reach out to the target audience in an efficient manner. The future prospect of the marketing practice of the firm includes continuous expansion of product offering to the consumers, enhancing the Kmart group store network infrastructure and improvising the data capabilities of Catch to provide better consumer insight.

Hence, by considering the current marketing strategy of the firm, it can be said that the plan is effective as it can be further feasible to sustain in the future prospect based on the various environmental condition at the global level.

Corporate social responsibility of the firm

Bunnings considers the safety of the Bunnings’ team to be a priority; therefore, the firm has indulged in key safety initiates to ensure the reduction of injury while operating in the workplace. programmes and models for reviewing critical task and implementing a safe work process have been delivered by the firm so that the mental health and well begin of the employees of the firm are always in a positive state. Moreover, in terms of community development, the firm has engaged in raising funds to uplift the communities that faced challenges due to the bushfire and continuous droughts. As per the firm’s report, it has been noted that a contribution of $49 million has been made towards community development and uplifting the local community in an economic manner.

Identification of sustainability issue

In the case of sustainable development, the firm has developed certain goals and objectives to achieve by 2050, which is zero-emission under scope 1 and 2 benchmarks as per the industrial and safety norms. High emission is a major challenge for the firm, thus the firm puts effort to develop long-term management practices to ensure sustainability and its practice in its operating activities. Therefore, in this aspect, the firm implements an energy efficiency model through which the firm intends to reduce 10% of emission by 2025 by focusing on the baseline factors developed in the year 2018. Hence, in doing so, Bunnings enhanced the generation of renewable sources of energy as it has invested in PV, which is solar photovoltaic installation across the network.  As per the 2020 annual report, it has been mentioned that the firms has installed PV in more than 35 sites and aims to install more by the end of June 2020. The objective is to expand the use of solar power and increase the use of renewable energy across the store network in order to achieve its prime sustainable goals.

Moreover, the firm in the practice of sustainable development has ensured that timber sourcing is being processed through the well-managed forest. This approach is to ensure support sustainable initiatives of the global forest trade network.

Environmental issues

As per the group’s consolidated report, it aims to reduce the environmental impact by further management of source materials and the use of natural resources. In this regard, the Group intends to conduct waste management across its various stores, manage the consumption of electricity, which as per the report as decreased in a positive manner, invest more in the development of sustainable development by complying with packaging principles and standards.

Employment issue

Given the current pandemic situation, it is has been noted that communities have to face challenges in terms of employment and proper sustenance. Thus, based on the situation the firm Bunnings plans to support the community and develop a strategy to fight unemployment. The directors’ report clearly states the causes of rising unemployment given the factors of trading restrictions and environmental impact. However, the firm tries to make a plan to eliminate lengthy unemployment and seek ways to identify the prospects to support team members towards continued income. In this regard, the management states that the role of the regulatory authorities in this context is to put aside politics and provide assistance to both employer and employees to build an effective model of integrated support amid such an environmental crisis.


Political: The political environment of the region is stable and the government is said to be highly transparent in comparison to many other neighbouring states. The firm can operate in a stable environment allowing it to implement policies that can be sustainable for long-term utilisations. Moreover, the aspect of transparency of the political operations allows the firm to trust the political framework and invest in larger projects. Furthermore, Australia being a member of international trade organisations makes it easier for the firm to operate across borders and maintain friendly relations with neighbouring firms internationally.

Economic: The region is a favourable economic ground for business development as its economic policies consider ease of doing business and welcome investors for economic growth. As per a report on fertile regions of ease of doing business Australia hold the 13th position allowing the opportunity to Bunnings to foster economic growth and expand cross border business. Moreover, the exchange rates of the country are positive as its favours outside the country further providing an opportunity for business to easily invest in the Australian soil, which further enables the firm to bring in investors beyond its borders.

Social: Australia is a developed nation and the lifestyle of the region is comparably high than the developing nations. The societies therein are more likely to spend on quality products and the spending power is high as the rate of employment is positive within the nation. Apart from that, another positive aspect of the social factor of the regions is the society there is multicultural, which enables the firm to offer a range of products and services that is relevant to the diverse population of the region (David, 2018). Moreover, the diversity of the population can help the firm in reaching out to more consumers and comprehend their needs and demands enabling the firm to offer tailored products and services.

Technology: Innovation in technology is highly appreciates in the country, the regulatory bodies tend to invest around 50% of the technological research and development programmes. However, the control of the regulatory is based on data privacy and users integrity, which the firm needs to ensure while providing technical assistance to the consumers therein.

Legal: Australia ensures that business and consumer rights are well protected, thus, in the process of conducting business in the region the firm has to abide by the consumer laws and fair trading laws. The firm Bunnings also operate under the prescribed guidelines under the Fair Trading Act 2009.

Environmental: the policies of environmental laws are based on the protection of the environment, which is the natural surrounding the communities. The Australian government has laws protecting its natural surrounding and the local communities, thus, the firm has to operate by considering practices that value the cultural norms of the population and avoiding negative exploitation of the available resources in order to create a sustainable environment for all.