Human Resource Management Activities in Grameen Phone.

Executive Summary

This report is prepared to fulfill the partial requirement of the course Human Resource Management. This report is supposed to be prepared through the analysis of various or focused HR activities in local successful organizations. The different aspects of Human Resource Management, which we learn in theory, should be compared with the real life scenario on the basis of practical implications.

This report looks at various aspects of HRM of Grameen Phone organization. The organization chosen, “Grameen Phone limited” is market leader in its own respective fields. The company backgrounds are later provided to enhance the application of different HR functions.

Objectives of the Report

  • To realize the concept of Human resource Management in real life context.
  • To associate practical work scenario with theories and book definitions.
  • To achieve the true & practical picture of human resource managerial functions in organizations.
  • Understanding the human resource management problems and prospects in the surveyed organization.
  • To know how the HR departments manage their activities.
  • To get an in depth idea of the core HR functions of recruitment and selection, motivation, performance appraisal and rewards & compensation.


The focus of the report is mainly on specified human resource management functions undertaken by the organizations.

The main focus of the report has been the core Human Resource functions of recruitment and selection, motivation, performance appraisal and rewards & compensation. However, other issues, for example, Health & Safety and Environment etc. were also highlighted.

The report is entirely highlighted by the linkage between book definition of human resource management and its practical implications. Different aspects of HR functions have enriched the knowledge of the surveyors as well as put up the present and practical human resource management scenario.


A detailed questionnaire was designed, which had a series of questions to determine the variations and density of the HRM processes undertaken by GP.

We used both primary and secondary data in this study. As a primary source we used a questionnaire. For this purpose we adopted Interview method to collect data.

Primary Data Collection

The primary data was collected through the interviews which included organization and the functional process,

Secondary data collection

Secondary data were collected from different books. Different managerial concepts, theories and views were taken under consideration. The views expressed in our text by Mathis & Jacson was specifically given importance. Much significant information were also collected from the internet.

Data Analysis

Prior to analysis, data collected from various sources were processed further for making them suitable to the needs of the present study.

Collected reports, books, interviews are analyzed in the light of the standard managerial practices. The policy issues are linked with human resource management.


This report on “The HRM of Grameen Phone Limited” is mainly based on primary and secondary data collected from various sources. Therefore, since our objective was to achieve the true & practical picture of human resource managerial functions in organizations, we might not have been able to achieve our goal.

Some of the data collected through interview may have the problems like errors of leniency, central tendency and information concealment.

Grameen Phone: Background

Bangladesh Scenario

Bangladesh has one of the lowest telephone penetration rates in the world.

CityCell Mobile Phone Service introduced the concept of mobile telephone in Bangladesh in the early 90s. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Bangladesh granted the nationwide digital cellular license to Grameen Phone on 28th November 1996 and it thus came into the picture.

Launching of Grameen Phone

Grameen Phone (GP) launched its services in Bangladesh on 26th March 1997. The basic strategy of GP is the coverage of both urban and rural areas. GP believes in service that leads to good business and good development. Its purpose is to receive an economic return on its investments and to contribute to the economic development of Bangladesh.

Financial Structure

Telenor, a state-owned telecommunication company in Norway, is the largest shareholder and owns 51% of GP. The Grameen Bank is the second major shareholder and owns 35%. Marubeni Corporation of Japan holds 9.5% and Gonofone Development Corporation in New York holds 4.5% of GP.

Infrastructure Development & Network Expansion

GP made several important steps in its infrastructure development and network expansion. It took lease of 1800-kilometer fiber optic backbone network from Bangladesh Railway for 20 years in September 1997. The GP network now has coverage in some 39 districts including all six divisional headquarters. Some major transmission networks were completed in 2000 including Dhaka-Rajbari, Sylhet-Mymensingh and Narayanganj-Laksam links.

Market share of GP in the mobile industry of Bangladesh

Grameen Phone is the largest private sector investment in the country with over USD 130 million already invested. It is the leading mobile phone operator in the country in terms of both coverage and number of subscribers, commanding more than 70% of the market share. The fast expansion and coverage area of the GP network and the aggressive marketing of existing and new products greatly contributed to increase the number of subscribers.


Leading the industry and exceed customer expectations by providing the best wireless services, making life and business easier


Company exists to help all customers get the full benefit of communications services in their daily lives and want to make it easy for customers to get what they want, when they want it. We’re here to help


  • Make It Easy
  • Keep Promises
  • Be Inspiring
  • Be Respectful

GP HRM Department: Background

GP as any other successful organization has an established HRM department. The function of this department is to provide as much support as possible to the other departments of GP. They have realized the fact that in order to be successful the organization needs a department that will deal with all the matters involving human resources of the organization.

The HR department was established in 1997. The total number of employees working in the HR department at the moment is 2200. Most of the employee worked at call center (1300)

The HR department of GP consists of four separate sections. These are:

n  Recruitment and selection

n  HR management

n  Training and development division

n  HSE (Health Safety Environment) division

The recruitment and selection department of GP deals with all the recruiting and selecting matters of the organization. This division carries out all the functions in meeting the demand for employees when the organization needs to recruit them.

The HR management division of the Human Resource Department is responsible for supporting the process of HRM. This division is maintaining all the functions that need to support the proper functioning of the HR department so that they can support the organization in carrying out the function.

The training and development division of the HR department is responsible for assessing the training needs of the employees of the organization. According to the need, they suggest the appropriate training method and thus suggest to the HR director. As a result the development needs of the employees are ensured.

The Health Safety Environment division better known as the HSE division is responsible for providing safety and better working condition for the employees. This division is responsible for ensuring that the health and safety standards set about by the government is enforced by the organization.

The organogram of GP is as follows:

There is a director of HR department who undertakes all the functions of this department. There are deputy managers in every division of the department. These managers are aptly supported by an officer.

To give an idea as to the need for the existence as well as the importance of the HRM department in GP we can but look at some interesting statistics. In the 2000-2001 fiscal yearn they had a phenomenal growth of around 200%. This growth had to be supported by a growing workforce. Thus the HRM department has carried out their activities in full force. In the year 2001 they recruited around 200 employees. In the year 2002 they recruited around 170 employees. In the coming year of 2012 they plan to hire or employ around 1000 more employees to meet the demand of the growing organization.

The Hierarchy of HRM in the Grameen Phone:


1. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment.People and Organization

1.1 Center of Excellence. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

1.2 Center of Excellence. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

1.3 Planning and Recruitment. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

1.4 Center of Excellence. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

1.5 Learning and Development. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

1.6 Employee Engagement. Organizational Excellence and Recruitment

2. Security and Risk Management. People and Organization

2.1 Security and Risk Management. People and Organization

2.2 Risk Management and Network Security. Security and Risk Management

2.3 Process Assurance. Security and Risk Management

2.4 Liaison and Stakeholder Management. Security and Risk Management

2.5 Project and Initiatives. Security and Risk Management

2.6 Premises Security Crisis Mgt and Support. Security and Risk Management

3. Transport. Property and Facility Services

3.1 System Administration and Data Management. Transport

3.2 Food Beverage and Event Support. Property and Facility Services

3.3 Legal and Contract. Property

3.4 External Affairs and Vehicle Administration. Transport

3.5 Reporting and Control. Transport

3.6 Regions. Property and Facility Services

3.7 External Affairs and Vehicle Administration. Transport

3.8 External Affairs and Vehicle Administration. Transport

3.9 TPT Maintenance. Transport

3.10 Property and Facility Services. People and Organization

3.11 External Affairs and Vehicle Administration. Transport

3.12 FleetOperationCenter. Transport

3.13 Estate and Asset Management. Property

3.14 Facility Services. Property and Facility Services

3.15 Estate and Asset Management. Property

3.16 Help Desk. Property

3.17 O and M. Property and Facility Services

3.18 External Affairs and Vehicle Administration. Transport

3.19 TPT Service Management. Transport

4. Compliance. People and Organization

4.1 Compliance. People and Organization

4.2 Compliance. People and Organization

4.2 Compliance. People and Organization

5. People Excellence and Rewards. People and Organization

5.1 Rewards. People Excellence and Rewards

5.2 Payroll and Pension. People Excellence and Rewards

5.3 Service Operations. People Excellence and Rewards

5.4 People Information Management. People Excellence and Rewards

5.5 Rewards. People Excellence and Rewards

6. HSSE and BA. People and Organization

6.1 Health. HSSE and BA

6.2 HSSE and BA Planning and Reporting. HSSE and BA

6.3 OHS and S Assurance. HSSE and BA

6.4 HSSE and BA Excellence. HSSE and BA

6.4 HSSE and BA Excellence. HSSE and BA

6.5 Safety and Value Chain Business Assurance. HSSE and BA


Recruitment Method

Grameen phone uses on- line application system for its recruitment purposes. Grameen phone prefers its internal employees to assume newer responsibilities, and the information of any new job opening is communicated though local area network (LAN). Once Grameen is certain that internal employees are not fitting in the new jobs, on-line advertisement is used to recruit employees from outside the organization. This on-line advertising system not only increased the accessibility of the applicants throughout the world to apply for Grameen phone, but also resulted in an increase in speed and reduction in cost of advertising. It should be stated that Grameen Phone succeeded in reducing its cost by 75% by using on-line advertising. Currently they have 18000 CVs in their database.

Goals of Recruiting of GP

Because of a well organized HR department GP has been able to create an effective communication network between the different departments. As a result any need for recruitment is communicated by the respective department through the HR to the top-level management which then proceeds to meet the demand of the particular department.

The job information is then communicated HR department to the potential job applicants. The ultimate goal of GP is to recruit the best possible candidates by creating an efficient line of network among the departments.

Factors/constraints Affecting Recruiting Efforts of GP

The major constraints of Grameen Phone’s recruiting process have been identified as

Recruiting Cost

Since its inception the recruiting cost of GP had been high due to costly advertising campaigns in the printed media. Recently they have started online application system as mentioned earlier and as a result they have substantially reduced this cost by 75 percent. .

Internal Organization Policy

 Being a growing company recruitment rate of Grameen Phone is very high; in year 2002 GP recruited about 170 employees and in the year of 2009/10 GP recruited about 700 employees (total departments) In spite of that GP places more emphasis on internal recruiting than the external ones. This has become one of their core internal organizational policies.

Attractiveness of the Job

When GP first started its operation in October, 1996 Grameen Phone had to compete in the job market with the multinational & renowned companies. But being successful in the telecommunication sector and capturing a lion share of the market Grameen phone has now earned a reputation of providing attractive jobs which are at par with the corporations. What had been their constraint few years back has now become a positive factor in their recruiting efforts.

 Recruiting Sources

Internal Search

As stated earlier Grameen Phone goes for internal sources of recruitment. In this process they go for

  • Job Postings on bulletin boards.
  • E-Mailing to all the employees informing them about the job opening including the job description.
  • Job vacancies are published in the “Career Opportunity” section of Grameen phone’s website which can only be accessed by GP employees.
  • Most of the jobs are open for both external as well as internal applicants. However there are some specific jobs which are only accessible to the internal employees only.

Grameen phone prefers internal search because of the following advantages:

  1. Higher degree of communication among the employees.
  2. GP tries to promote individuals within the organization because they fit within the organizational setup more easily.
  3. It ensures proper selection, since information on the individual’s performance and ability is known to the employers.
  4. Grameen phone saves cost recruiting internally.
  5. Grameen carefully plans promoting from within which act as a training device for developing middle & top-level managers.


  1. Management is forced to select candidates from a limited pool
  2. It discourages entry for talent people from outside.

External Search

In this process they go for recruiting using:

  • Online application process
  • University placements
  • Job fairs
  • Walk-ins
  • Consultants- for senior level recruiting

Unlike the first few years, where Grameen Phone opted for advertising its recruiting needs using the printed media, now it has shifted its advertising campaign by using the internt.

They now recruit using the online application form, were they have had numerous responses. They currently have 18,000 CVs in their database.

Grameen phone goes for university placement by sending letters and other forms to notable institutes such as IBA, NSU and also in other vocational and technical institutes. In these letters they specifically mention the job requirements, specifications as well as the description. After receiving the responses they start processing the recruitment process.

Job fairs have achieved popular status since they started few years back. Grameen Phone has been using these job fairs as their recruiting sources. Last year they employed over 40 personals from these job fairs.

For senior management level recruitment, Grameen Phone goes for using the services of management consultancies or “head hunters” organizations. In addition to all these recruitment sources, they also go for unsolicited applicants or walk-ins as they are better known.


It takes time to advertise, screen and to select suitable employees.

It also a expensive way and there is no guarantee that the organization ultimately will be able to hire suitable candidates.

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process starts from the matching of the demand for employees of the separate departments of GP. As it is growing industry in its own sector, GP has demands for numerous employees. To match this demand they require an efficient recruiting process whereby they can meet this demand. This is where the HRM department comes to play.

The process starts when the concerned departments send a proposal about the required number of employees to the HRM departments. The hr department then consults with the Finance department to find out the maximum number of employees that can be employed under the allocated budget for recruiting. After the determination of the maximum number of allotments that can be recruited after the consultation with the finance department and top level management, the prescribed number is then sent to the concerned department informally. If there is an oral agreement between them, then the HR department processes the prerequisite requisition form and sends to the departments, top level management and the finance department.

After the requisition form is filled out and it is transmitted to the concerned departments, it is then up to the concerned department to determine whether they accept this number or not. Once the requisition form is accepted by the concerned department, they then supply the HR department with the job specification and requirement and thus the Hr department starts with the recruiting process.


Selection Process

The selection process of GP is a more or less traditional approach. The selection process of Grameen Phone typically consists of the following steps.

  • Summary sheet
  • Short listing(by the human resource department
  • Comments to the concerned departments about the applicants
  • Written test(up to deputy manager level

The selection process starts with an initial screening using a summary sheet. This summary sheet summarizes the characteristics of the applicants in light of their educational background and experience. By reviewing the summary sheet, a short listing of the applicants is done to reduce the number of applicants to a short list of potential jobholders. The results of this short listing are then communicated to the concerned departments. A written test is then conducted as final evaluation of the applicants. Only a negligible percentage of recruitment is done for higher level managers, and it is only for them that an interview session is conducted instead of the written test. Interviews are also carried out for entry level employees and especially for those who are selected by the company to be posted outside Dhaka. Applicant assessments are not performed yet being only a new company in the market, but the HR department of GP is planning to introduce an assessment center for the applicants. According to the HR department of GP, some loopholes are formed in their more or less traditional approach towards selection, and the establishment of an assessment center is very important for successful selection of personnel in their organization.

Performance Appraisal

Hiring is the most important decision made by the managers of professional activities, firing and disciplining are the most painful, but performance evaluation may be the most difficult. Performance evaluation exemplifies one of the persistent characteristics of the management of the professionals; it has to be done, and there is no neat, objective way to go about it.

Appraisal Process

GP uses its own appraisal system in evaluating the performance of their employees. They use a prescribed format for each of their eight management competencies. These eight competencies are identified by the GP management to be essential for successful evaluation of their employees. Usually they set the objectives for each department at the beginning of each year and communicate it to the department heads, who in turn communicate these to their subordinates.

In GP, performance appraisal of an employee is done by the supervisor of the concerned department. Other appraisal systems such as peer evaluation, 360 degree evaluation, etc. are not done in GP. According to GP, evaluation by supervisor is much preferred than peer evaluation and subordinate evaluation as the latter results in peer pressure and influences of supervisors while appraising.


The performance appraisal system of GP consists of a written scale of job-related parameters. Each of the eight competencies of the employees is graded on a scale of 0-5, and the particular employee is rated on a total scale of 40. It must be noted that the routine functions of GP are not included in the appraisal process; a somewhat critical incident method is used to appraise employees. So we can understand that the management of GP is highly concerned with the unbelievably good or undesirably bad results of an employee in appraising the particular employee.

Barriers of Appraisal Method

Performance evaluation is one of the most difficult processes in the organization, and so a number of difficulties are associated with its application. In GP, they face a number of problems regarding performance appraisal such as

  • Difficulty in meeting deadline – a major difficulty in appraising employees is the inability of the appraiser to meet the deadline set by the company to appraise the employees. Performance appraisal is a very time consuming effort, and, still in their early days, GP has not yet produced a faster way to appraise employees.
  • No particularly appropriate method – there are several methods by which appraisal can be conducted, bur they were unable to use standard appraisal systems such as BARS, paired comparison, etc. because they were not consistent with the appraisal needs of the organization. So they had to set up their own performance appraisal system which is consistent with their company.


Sometimes motivation is considered as a yardstick to measure performance of an employee. It is often taken for granted that the more motivated an employee is, the more successful he is in his daily activities. However, it should be understood that motivation is only an important part in determining the employee’s success in performing, not the only factor behind successful performance.

Motivation Process

In GP, the management carries out surveys regarding employee satisfaction to get an idea about employee motivation towards the job. Each year, the company delegates to the employees the expectations they keep to the employees in terms of their performance. The HR department also has conducted surveys as well to find out whether they have supported the business or not. This is done to see whether they are participating in the growth of GP.

This way they can ensure effective motivation to be associated with the success of the company.

Motivational Methods

An important motivation method that they have employed is to create an image as a renowned employer in the job market. This image helps GP in creating a congenial environment for the employees as well as creating an indoctrinating effect for the company. This guaranties maximum effort on the part of the employee followed by high job satisfaction.

As an important motivation technique, GP tries to first create and then incorporate positive values within the organization. These values, they believe, will guide the behavior of their employees, and thus enabling them to evaluate the performance of the employees successfully. While creating these core values, GP consults with every employee to determine the values that will be instrumental in making GP successful. As a result, the employees of GP feel to be part of the organization which acts as a very effective motivation tool.

GP does not have any specific uniform motivational tool. Rather they try to motivate employees on the following bases

  1. Right values – GP tends to motivate employees who follow the core values of the organization by both financial and non-financial rewards.
  2. Long service rewards – This differs in every department, but the main theme is that the employees are rewarded as well as awarded for their long services.
  3. Permanency – For entry-level employees, a successful motivational tool has been awarding them a permanent position after six months.
  4. Employee competition – Employees are handed down with challenging goals which provides them with intrinsic rewards.
  5. Flexible Benefits – Flexible benefits are dependant on a particular situation and the appropriateness of the reward.

Reducing Tension and Stress

For a manager, an important motivational purpose is to reduce tension and stress of the employees. In GP, they do it in the following ways (these techniques are also used to motivate employees in general).

    • Flex timing
    • Tailoring the work day absences according to their own convenience
    • Creating a family friendly organization by holding family picnics etc.
    • Conducting curricular activities such as sports tournaments.
    • Swap

In order to ensure efficient performance of the employees, GP specifies the efforts required by the employees to meet the organizational goals. If the efforts are not given by any employee, instead of taking action against him, the HR department undertakes consultancy services to help him meet the required efforts or performance.

The employees of GP are motivated by creating an open environment within the organization, where both the employers and the employees can share the successes and failures of the organization.

GP has a separate department named HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) which ensures healthy and safe environment for the employees. GP offers medication counseling to the employees to motivate them work better. Each work location of GP has a health and safety coordinator who looks after the workplace environment of GP. In addition to these coordinators, external experts are also invited to share their experience with the employees. The HSE department is also responsible for the safety of the employees on transports.

Training and Development

GP has found out that training is an important motivational tool, and so thy have decided to provide training and development of employees. The types of training they provide are

  • Situational leadership training o find out the potential future managers of the organization
  • Customer service to deal with the customers
  • Leadership training only for senior level personnel


Also they provide workshops for developing

  • Non-technical managers
  • Post confirmation business orientation where they share the employees’ feelings about the organization after joining it

Job Rotation

A surprising thing that was discovered in GP is that they do not go for job rotation in their work place. This may seem surprising since most companies go for such type of techniques as their motivational methods.

Rewards and Compensation

It is very important for an organization to pay its employees. In order to motivate its employees, an organization has to pay for the performances of the employees. In order to be successful this function of the organization has to be linked with the motivational as well as the appraisal system.

Organizational Incentives

From Gp’s point of view they prefer to pay extrinsic rewards. These rewards are in the form of uniform benefits. They do not go for flexible compensation. These extrinsic rewards are in the form of basic salary and when the performance of the employee is satisfactory then bonuses are given.

Intrinsic rewards are given in the form of involving the employees in forming the core values in the organization as stated earlier. Also goal setting of the job is done with the participation of the employees which creates an atmosphere of cooperation and belongingness. Furthermore the top level management sets challenging goals for the departments and as result they provide the employees with an opportunity to prove themselves.

GP does not go for non financial rewards in the form of choosing ones own office furnishings, preferred lunch hours and so on. Rather the organization prefers to pay financial rewards in the form of normal payment of salary and so on.

Job Evaluation

The jobs are evaluated based on the objectivity of their functions. Then the employee’s performance is evaluated in the appraisal function of the HR department. Job evaluation is done using

  • Ranking method
  • Point method

After the evaluation is done, then the HR department goes for reviewing the performance of the employees.

Pay Structure

GP has to determine the pay structure for the employees. This is done in congruence with inflation and other economic factors. In determining the pay structure GP used a survey three years back. This does not mean that GP will not use such methods in the future.

Special Cases of Compensation

GP does not provide individual incentives such as merit pay, piecework etc. Rather they go for general incentives in the form of normal pay and other bonuses. It should be mentioned that the departments of GP give non financial rewards such as “best sales officer award” and so on. These awards are a means of motivating the employee.

Competency based awards are given in GP. These awards are very minimal in comparison to other types of compensation. These rewards constitute only 5% of the total reward system. As a result the HR department does not consider this as a formal compensation method. They further do not recognize them as part of a competency based award.


  • GP network does not cover whole over the country. Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban and some rural areas network is very worse because these areas network technology system is backdated.
  • There are so many GP customers but customer care center is not available every where. Most of the rural people can’t get customer care facilities.
  • Call center employees are not efficient for these huge amounts of customer.
  • Flexi load facility is not available in most of the rural area.
  • Call rate of GP is high, in the perspective of most of the Bangladeshi people’s economic condition.
  • Most of the time GP think offer for corporate people


To solve this above problem GP should take some action. This action as follows…

  • GP network should expand all over the country and use latest technology
  • Customer care centre should spread all over the country
  • The problem of Flexi load facility should be eliminated for better customer satisfaction
  • When launch the new offer GP should think about our young people


Grameen Phone is the first leading cell phone companies in Bangladesh. Their HRM is very strong. Before introducing Grameen Phone the mobile phone service was not available. The price and call rate was very high. In a country, telecommunications play a significant role in economic and social development. This is why Grameen Phone, in collaboration with Grameen Bank, is aiming to place one phone in each village to contribute significantly to the economic uplift of those villages. Grameen Phone’s basic strategy is coverage of both urban and rural areas. Grameen Phone is the revolution for mobile service in Bangladesh. Now, more people of Bangladesh are affordable to utilize the mobile.

Grameen Phone believes in service, a service that leads to good business and good development. Telephony helps people work together, raising their productivity.