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Todd Sullivan
Todd Sullivan

Home Depot's Job Cuts: What Took so Long?

April 10, 2008 | About:

When I first read this yesterday I thought, "good idea". After a minute or so I then thought, "what?".

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) announced yesterday that there will no longer be a Human Resource manager and Human Resource Supervisor in every one of the 1,970 U.S. stores it owns.

The change will affect about 2,200 employees and will result in about 1,000 job cuts.

They really had both a HR manager and supervisor at each location? Really? I can't find anyone to help me in the paint department but it would seem there is a HR person there for employees at all hours to answer the two or three questions a month that may come up.

The problem here is that this may be indicative of the fat and waste that is still there despite the downward spiral in results for the past year and a half. I have worked in the past for companies that had multiple locations and not a one had HR managers at each of the locations.

Now HD will have 230 District Teams that will shoulder the HR duties. This is the set up I would be willing to bet 90% of corporate America has (still may be a bit too heavy). It also speaks to additional issues. If HD has gone to this length to communicate with employees at the store level and have someone there for immediate response to questions the fact that employee moral is so low is really shocking.

It means that either these people were not trained properly or that the policies enacted are so poor, efforts to right the ship are going to have to be extraordinary to fix it now that the immediate contact will be gone.

Now, HD has cut corporate HQ staff level in order to concentrate on customer service. But, aren't most of our customer service complaints due to dealing with unhappy, poorly trained employees? If they can't fix that issue with HR in the building, one has to question their ability to do it when they are removed...

Disclosure ("none" means no position): None


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About the author:

Todd Sullivan
Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

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