Over the years, FedEx had established its reputation as being one of the most employee-friendly companies in the world and is also credited for introducing many innovative HR practices. The people-service-profit (PSP) philosophy which FedEx introduced since its inception in 1973 was one-of-its-kind at the time. The formal HR policy linked employees directly to profitability and long-term growth. This HRM case study highlights the Innovative HR practices and programs launched by FedEx since its early years.


Case Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background Note
  3. Rewards and recognition programs – Motivating Employees
  4. FedEx “purple promise,” – a simple corporate philosophy – people, service, profit
  5. Promotion from Within – Employee engagement
  6. ‘Purple Pipeline’
  7. Excel program for FedEx officers
  8. Survey, Feedback, Action
  9. Survey – Annual associate survey every spring
  10. Feedback – Feedback to joint employee-management discussion
  11. Action – Future work unit and manager activities
  12. The FedEx “purple” pipeline – Leadership Development Program
  13. Components of the “Purple Pipeline” program – Strengths assessment, Coaching, Job rotation and Capstone Exercise
  14. Additional Reading and References
  15. Exhibit 1 – FedEx – Now and Then
  16. Exhibit 2 – List of Innovative HR Practices and Programmes launched by FedEx since its early years
  17. Exhibit 3 – Elements of FedEx’s HR Programmes
  18. Exhibit 4 – Five Attributes of the FedEx Brand
  19. Exhibit 5 – FedEx reputation as being one of the Best Places to Work around the World
  20. Exhibit 6 – Four Basic Employee Requirements at FedEx
  21. Exhibit 7 – The FedEx Definition of Management
  22. Exhibit 8 – Guaranteed Fair Treatment Procedure
  23. Exhibit 9 – A sample leadership evaluation question
  24. Exhibit 10 – FedEx Leadership Traits
  25. Exhibit 11 – FedEx’s Secrets of Success
  26. Exhibit 12 – FedEx’s Management by PSP Objectives program
  27. Exhibit 13 – People-Service-Profit (PSP)
  28. Figure 1 – FedEx BravoZulu
  29. Figure 2 – SFA – Survey Feedback Action
  30. Figure 3 – FedEx’s simple HR friendly philosophy “P–S–P” – People, Service and Profit

Sample Page/Content

Federal Express, from its inception, has put its people first both because it is right to do so and because it is good for business as well.“- Frederick W Smith Founder, Chairman & CEO, FedEx Corporation

At FedEx, our people are our greatest asset. We truly believe that. Our founder and CEO rooted the company in this philosophy and we continue to stand by it… HR today has the capabilities to be that strategic partner to business whether it’s in recruiting, talent development, performance management, employee relations or compensation, all of those functional areas have the opportunity to really help the business achieve strategic objectives” – Judith Edge, Corporate VP of Human Resources of FedEx

1. Introduction
In 2008, when FORTUNE magazine and the Great Places to Work Institute released the 100 “Best Companies to Work For” list, FedEx (NYSE: FDX), a leading global logistics solutions provider, was one among them. It was the largest employer in the 2008 list and the only shipping company included. The Memphis, Tennessee-based company ranked 97th overall and had now figured in this list in 10 of the past 11 years. In 2005, the package-delivery company was named to the “Best Companies to Work For” Hall of Fame.

FedEx like its main rival United Parcel Service (UPS) is considered a bellwether of U.S. economic health…

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Case Updates/Snippets

Federal Express: The word ‘Federal’ in the company’s original name came from founder Fred Smith’s proposal to carry checks of the Federal Reserve overnight to approximately 36 locations. ‘Express’ indicated speed in doing so.

FedEx began operations in the year 1973 and became not only the first company to deliver overnight packages but also went on to become the first company to grow to a billion dollars in 10 years of its existence.