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Mechanical Failures in Toyota Automobiles

The Human Resource Department is vital in every company. It is responsible for hiring competent employees and firing those who fail to perform their duties well. It is also responsible for determining wages, salaries, and performance appraisal where each and every employee is reviewed on a regular basis via proper performance appraisals (Noon, 2001). Therefore, a firm with a poorly performing Human Resource Department experiences a lot of problems.

In the motor industry, one company the Human Resource Department of which has contributed to its downfall is Toyota. This is one of the leading manufacturers of cars in the world, famous for making high quality vehicles. This famous automaker had to recall approximately 9 million vehicles all over the globe. Additionally, dealing with this issue poorly has damaged the reputation of the automaker’s brand to an extent where sales have declined to their lowest in over a decade.

This paper will help you understand why weak execution of duties and poorly designed practices of the Human Resources Department are responsible for Toyota’s predicament. In order to identify the root cause of Toyota’s issues, you must go beyond gas pedals. In a situation where workers fail to execute their duties as expected, investigating body must determine whether the mistake was a result of factors beyond the control of employees. Such factors could be senior management actions, lack of proper job training and information, or faulty input to the procedure. It is therefore clear that human error, which leads to corporate disasters, could be the result of wrong decisions by HR processes (Gilles, 2012).

The root causes of Toyota’s failure were employee errors. Toyota leaders were aware of the mechanical failures even before corrections actions were taken. Most of those who knew about it indicated that the firm decided to hide the reality and distorted the extent of the problem. Failing to respond to this crucial information in a way that was consistent with the brand of Toyota made the situation worse. When the firm inappropriately rewarded its managers for sustaining product quality and cost containment, it created a reason for all involved persons to ignore the issues and deny the fact that problems existed.

Current HR Policies and Procedures

If the major causes of Toyota’s problems are failure by workers to make wise decisions, make a compelling case for urgent action, and face up to negative news, then all HR procedures that may have contributed to those ideas should be investigated. These HR processes are discussed below:

Training and Hiring

Training of employees is important to ensure that they acquire the required skills and ability to detect and deal with any situations they may encounter. All employees at Toyota go through a four-step cycle to ensure that they gain enough skills and experience. They are Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Hiring and recruiting of new employees are important to any firm since it helps bring on board fresh talent that is top-performing. By so doing, people with high skills and capabilities are employed to deal with the most complicated problems. Poorly designed assessment and recruitment team can lead to the hiring of persons who ignore problems and are not able to stand up to poor managers.

Recognition, Rewards and The Performance Management Procedure

The aim of corporate rewards is to motivate and input the right conduct and discourage the negative one. Any firm that exercises this has a well-behaved team of employees who strive to meet the goals of the firm. The aim of any performance management procedure is to regularly appraise or monitor progress in a firm, so as to detect problem behaviors before they become unsolvable. These measures can be used to measure responsiveness to any misleading information in a firm.

Corporate Culture and Development of Leadership and Succession

The role of this process is to informally push employee actions, so that they closely match the core values of a firm. This helps create a good reputation of the firm in the public’s eyes (McKinney & Metz, 2002). At the Toyota firm, these mistakes were depicted in difficult driving conditions. It is therefore hard to blame its production group because it is famous for manufacturing high quality cars. This process is important to ensure that a good number of skilled leaders with the right decision making capability are given key leadership roles.

Risk Assessment and Retention

A risk assessment team identifies and calculates risks caused by weak worker’s procedures. It also helps to tell where a firm is likely to be if it takes a particular line of production or if certain changes are made. Retention programs are used to identify and retain top individuals and performers with skills that are mission-critical.

Programs to Correct the above Issues

Training Employees

Toyota uses its famous four-step cycle of plan, do, check, and act. Looking at the problems, which resulted in this firm’s downfall, training among management teams needs to lay its focus on the last two steps of the cycle. Additionally, in a firm where safety is important, everybody should have undergone training to help avoid excess discounting and ignorance of external safety information that is negative.

Hiring Better Workers and Rewarding Them

In case Toyota has a poor hiring policy, it should step up on this in order to hire more skilled workers who are able to handle complex problems. Clearly, the employees at the firm were not able to stand up to their management, hence its downfall occurred. Just like any other firm that wants to motivate its employees to perform better, it should reward its employees by either promoting them or offering gifts. Recognizing and appreciating the work of such workers will further motivate then to do better.

Making Use of Performance Management Processes and Improving Corporate Culture

If this process at Toyota involved performance features to determine responsiveness to pessimistic information, the firm would not be where it is now. The culture in the corporate offices needs to be closely monitored instead of assuming that it is in order. The culture in this firm produced leaders who were not able to face the problem immediately as it arose.

Development of Leadership and Make Use of Retention Programs

It is possible that this process has failed to build and promote managers who are able to confront issues and make difficult decisions. If this had been done, Toyota would not have failed. Toyota should use this system to retain its highly performing employees for better results. By so doing, the mistakes made by pervious employees will not be repeated.

Hire a Risk Assessment Team

Clearly, HR should work together with risk management team at Toyota to ensure that workers are able to calculate risks and long-term real costs resulting from week employee actions and ignorance to product failure information.

Role Played by HR as a Business Partner

As discussed earlier, HR is a very important department in any organization. The following are the roles it plays to help in the growth of a firm:

Recruitment of Employees

This is one of its major roles. HR department selects the most competent and skilled individuals from a group of applicants. The process involves evaluating the competence and capability of potential workers in accordance with the needs of the company in question. If HR performs this role well, the firm will increase output, meaning it will be on the right path to achieving its goals and objectives.

Improving Compensation Packages

These are geared towards motivating employees. This is whereby those who do well in their duties are rewarded. To identify those who have performed well, HR evaluates their performance. Recent research shows that rewarding employees who perform well is the leading incentive to retaining this trend.

Planning in a Firm and Determining Wages and Salaries

HR is responsible for planning adequately for every future engagement of the firm, which will involve people. One of the leading aspects in this function is planning for employees. It ensures that there are enough employees to increase value of an organization. HR conducts a market survey to determine the salaries and wages for various positions in a firm. The decision can be arrived at with the help of finance department and top management.


The problems at Toyota did not arise as a result of single person making mistakes alone, but rather as a result of the entire company’s sequence of mistakes that were interrelated. A lot of corporate functions took part in this, including government relations, customer service, and vendor management.

The main lesson that other firms should learn from the mistakes of Toyota is that HR must regularly audit or test each of the procedures that may lead to this type of loss to occur.

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