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The key elements of Mattels Strategy

Mattel is the worldwide leader in the design, produce and marketing of toys and games and family products in 150 countries. The company's main products include Barbie, Fisher-Price playthings, Hot Rims and Matchbox autos, American Lady dolls and catalogs and items licensed by Sesame Block, Barney & Friends and Ferrari. In 2000, Robert Eckert replaced Jill Barad as CEO of the company. Immediately after, he came to realize the importance of creating a basic labor force management plan for the company. That could motivate the workforce and generate a far more skilled and competitive workforce. He made a decision to create a organized succession strategy that could help the company to preserve its original ability.

Key elements of Mattel's HRM strategy

Mattel's HRM strategy constitutes the next:

Leadership development

Succession planning

Performance tracking

Motivating the workforce

Employee training


Leadership development

"Control Development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or firm". Robbins et al. , (1996)

In Mattel, ambitious initiatives were proposed to make the labor force more disciplined. The idea was to create tangible development programmes to generate a far more skilled and competitive workforce.

Succession planning

"By succession planning we mean the introduction of 'high potentials' to effectively dominate the current command when their time involves leave their positions". Morgan Witzel (1999)

Eckert wished to setup a organized succession strategy at Mattel that would enable the company to maintain its home-grown talent. The brand new succession planning process prompted executives in tactical positions to exchange the info with one another and among employees at different levels. There was a 360-level responses system that let employees know how well these were doing.

Motivating the workforce

"Drive is thought as a driving power that initiates and directs behavior. In other words, motivation is some sort of interior energy which drives a person to take action in order to attain something. " Richard Romando, (2007)

Getting the business on healthy footing is an essential step for just about any organization therefore does indeed for Mattel. Eckert realised the value of motivating his workforce to get best possible results from them. For the he decided to carry out following actions.

Internal promotion

In Mattel, Eckert focussed on inside promotion. That's the reason 75% of open positions are packed internally to improve the internal promotion level.

Employee judgment survey

Many of ability development workshops are carried out at Mattel that serve as a program for employees worldwide to switch their ideas and advice and also cause them to become touch base.

Employee training

"Training involves a specialist dealing with learners to copy to them certain areas of knowledge or skills to improve in their current careers. " John et al. , (2008)

Eckert wished to decrease the "throw spaghetti against the wall and find out what sticks" powerful that was in place at MATTEL. His solution was to teach and develop the business's people to make them competitive and properly skilled.

Below is the examination of Mattel's HRM strategy in relationship with current external environment:

Economic Factors

Today people look for budget friendly toys that provide themselves to long-lasting play. Also changes in the progress of work are also impacting demand. Therefore Mattel must keep a check up on their price levels.

Social Factors

The goals of consumers about the grade of toys and games are increasing day by day which requires ongoing quality assurance by Mattel. Also there's a rising pattern of computer games which helps Mattel to get market talk about. Furthermore, Toys and games at Mattel also help children to learn sociable norms by teaching them certain sorts of play.

Technological Factors

The lack of quality of gadgets in market can be an opportunity for Mattel to step into to gain more market talk about. Also, development of interactive software packages may help the company a whole lot as there's a high demand of variety of software programs. It has been pointed out that the tiny magnets used in the developing of toys may fall off the toys which are deadly if swallowed which really is a kind of risk to Mattel.

Cultural Factors

Customer looks for product quality, security, affordability and uniqueness of the product. However Mattel must create some typically common aspirations and fantasies for children to entice them towards gadgets market.


There are various competitors of Mattel including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Hasbro, Louis Marx and Milton Bradley. The ability to retain talent is particularly critical in the fiercely competitive toy industry.

Market Forces

Mattel is facing a higher risk of both new entrants and its competitors. Changes in consumer sentiment also have a significant influence on demand. Competition in this industry is high and increasing. A changing market, molded by the introduction of new opponents and the increased bargaining ability of stores like Wal-Mart, has made the industry specifically complicated.


After a thorough reading and research of the research study, I am aware how important it is perfect for a company to keep a balance between its organizational HRM strategy and divisional personalization. For that each company must look for a strategic balance between the company itself and its individual business units and so performed Mattel. This helps the company to keep up a degree of personalisation among its models and at the same time helping them to carry out performance management, succession planning and traffic monitoring using certain suggestions.

Following are the potential conditions that the company face in controlling the organisational HRM Strategy with divisional 'personalization'.

Rigid Silo Mentality

Lack of close-knit areas and strong group dynamics

Disconnected subcultures

Absence of 'One Eyesight/Goal'

Inefficient level of dedication to workforce development

Lack of proper flow of information among employees at different level

Lack of Creativeness and innovation of talent

Poor Communication

Weak Team Spirit

Lack of employee training

Lack of Inspiration in Employees


The overall examination of Mattel's HRM strategy shows that all the top professionals at Mattel attempted to run the business in the perfect way in their respective time period. But somehow there had been some critical conditions that were not handled accurately which led to the company's drop at some stage. However, Eckert's strategy to lead the company towards its unified goal by understanding the importance of workforce management along with other financial concerns was

successful to some extent. However it's important for a corporation to concentrate on following key issues for long-term success.

Employee Motivation should be considered as a major function of Management.

Multi-tasking and worker shuffling within the organization is essential for broad perspective and proper understanding of the company's objective.

Knowledge Management should be considered a key strategic resource as it pertains to the competitiveness of any company.

Management should be able to find means of making development more cost-effective.

Self-discipline and willingness to take risks must get scheduled importance.


Stephen Robbins, Bruce Millet & Terry Waters-Marsh (1996) "The Control Development Handbook", 4th ed, shared by Prentice Hall

Morgan Witzel, (1999), UEBN Dictionary of Business and Management

Richard Romando (2007) "Define Motivation"

John Van Liew Morris (2008) "A Study of Education and Training Departments in various corporations"

Amabile, T. (1996): Creativeness in Framework: Revise to the Sociable Psychology of Creativity, Boulder, CO.

Richard M. Steers, Lyman W, Porter (1975) "Motivation and Work Behavior"

Thad B. Green (1992): Performance and Motivation Approaches for today's Workforce.

S. Cromwell & J. Kolb (2004) "An examination of work-environment support factors influencing copy of supervisory skills training to the task place", Human Tool Development Quarterly.




Performance Management is a key to success for a business. It should be strategic and included. It should link various areas of the business, people management, and individuals and teams. It can help to determine a culture where individuals and communities take responsibility for the ongoing improvement of business techniques and of their own skills, behavior and efforts. Cunneen, P. (2006). Each individual at Mattel possessed its own distinct culture, language and way to do business. Instead of close-knit areas and strong group dynamics, there have been 'disjointed' subcultures. Therefore Eckert made sure changes to performance management to motivate employees and redirect them towards a merged goal.


"Performance Management is an activity which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams to be able to achieve high degrees of organisational performance" Armstrong et al. , (2004)


D & S Gadgets CO LTD- HONG KONG used following approaches to increase its organizational performance.

Benchmarking: It used standard measurements for comparability to other organizations in order to get standpoint on organizational performance.

Business Process Reengineering: It helped these to increase performance by re-designing the organization's set ups and functions.

Continuous Improvement: They focussed on bettering client satisfaction through continuous improvements to processes by detatching unneeded activities.


Here I will assess the changes made to performance management by Eckert, by using performance management platform submit by David Otley in 1987 which includes five units of following issues:

Key objectives of the organization

Strategies and programs adopted by the organization

Setting appropriate performance targets

Rewards gained by obtaining these performance targets

Feedback that helps the organization to study from its experience


Eckert's main objectives to bring a change in performance management were "One Mattel" methodology along with developing a leaner plus more agile company.

Strategies and Plans

Eckert's strategy was to create a basic labor force management and management development plan. Different training courses were presented to develop interpersonal skills, emotional Intelligence and negotiation. For proper performance traffic monitoring, Eckert set up pay & rewards system in blend with the 360-degree feedback system. He also made serious training investment funds for team development, exchanging ideas and determining rising personalities within the company.


Making changes to performance management by Eckert, was fundamentally targeted to make a more skilled and competitive labor force combined with the institutionalization of individuals development. The primary purpose was removing disjointed subcultures by giving surge to workforce development and offering the employees an individual approach to accomplish Mattel's vision. Overall, I analyse that Eckert's basic goals were to:

Plan where the business is going and manage improvement against plan.

Respond faster to changing market.

Reduce costs and improve productivity across business units.

Analyze business information to understand what is traveling trends.


After making these changes to performance management, some of the essential rewards that Eckert gained were:

Motivated Workforce

Increased worker morale and overall productivity

More disciplined workforce

Reduced arrears by $ 759 million

The company made $ 3. 56 billion of cash between 2001 and 2005

More discerning employees who could actually make smarter predictions

Disappearance of rigid silo mentality


Regular monitoring and performance appraisals helped Eckert to make its workforce more motivated. Furthermore following up planned activities made certain the improvement in company's progress. Individual performance and development strategies resulted in trained workers which were observed to be more disciplined and competitive.


It is easy to establish a system than to sustain it. Therefore Eckert must develop a continuous approach the following to help retain its performance management level

Continuous skill development to train the employees in order to achieve company's goal.

Maintaining True pay-for-performance culture so that each employee is rewarded for what they are entitled to.

Recognizing spaces will enable the company's management to properly map out succession ideas while employees develop achievable career paths.

Making Professional development programs that are better aligned directly to obtaining business level goals.

Improve Performance by figuring out the metrics that contain the greatest effect on goal attainment so you can make the most informed proper decisions.

High assurance in bonus payment process

Coaching classes for ongoing employee retaining

Continuous Improvement in interpersonal and communication skills

Keeping the system alive is the foremost concern for Mattel. This can be done by keeping the performance management system practical for future by analyzing PM system, aligning the system, providing refresher training and through proper communication among different levels within Mattel.

By promoting behaviours that are aligned using its ideals and culture.


Performance Management is recognized as a crucial business tool that performs an important role in translating business strategy into results. Success with performance management does not happen automatically, it needs work. Those individuals accountable for implementing and maintaining the performance management system must ensure that their management team comprehends the potential of effective performance management which is committed to success. Fischer, R. J. (1994). Overall analysis implies that Mattel's workforce strategy is successful and workforce is becoming more disciplined. They may have the skills and the know-how to make better predictions. Employees are benefiting from the new dynamic as they have opened up a better job opportunities beyond their section. Eventually the business needs to support its development by continuous follow up and improvement in its systematic procedure with the changing times. Summarizing all above I must say that management at Mattel must highly give attention to encouraging and enabling effective and on-going performance conversations and coaching between managers and employees as this is actually the basis to any performance management initiative.

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