Tanglewood is the name of a retail or department store chain uniquely distinguished by its outdoors theme, which advocates for healthy living. The company deals in a large variety of items ranging from clothing to electronics, appliances, and even home décor. As a business, Tanglewood has a moderate pricing policy, targeting the middle to upper level income band of consumers who have an eye for both reasonable prices and convenience. Since the stores first opened in 1975, the company has experienced growth at a rapid pace. This rapid growth is mainly attributable to the organization’s ability to formulate a blueprint that enables acquisition and expansion. At present, the organization operates 243 stores spread over a large geographical region. From studying the Tanglewood case, one may learn several lessons about organizations. This essay provides a summary of all learning experiences derived from the Tanglewood case.
Staffing is one of the most important Human Resource functions of any organization. An organization’s workforce is critical to the success of the firm and hence, it is imperative that during hiring, the company follows all the right steps. Tanglewood provides a perfect illustration of how the right staff can contribute to organizational success. Tanglewood was originally a single store dealing in outdoor clothing and equipment. The organization’s founders, Emerson and Wood, managed to bring success to the firm by employing very personable salespeople. With the excellent service provided by these salespersons, more and more customers were attracted to the firm and hence it managed to grow to its present size.
Even after attracting the right caliber of employees, retaining them and keeping them motivated is arguably even more important. One key aspect of employee retention is the nature of the working environment. When employees feel comfortable in the workplace, they are more likely to be productive and to remain with the organization. In ensuring employee retention, Tanglewood employs promotion from within as one of its recruitment methods. All the employees begin their employment as store associates. From there, they can rise to higher positions. Employing this method helps in employee retention because workers feel that the organization is providing them with a chance for personal growth. Hence, they are motivated to work even harder since it provides them a chance at promotion.
For employees to feel comfortable in a workplace, they must feel appreciated and valued. Hence, the organizational culture in place in the organization must build its core values around the workforce, which will occasion a positive working environment. Tanglewood offers an excellent illustration of how to do this. At Tanglewood, a positive working environment exists because of the culture of transparency that permeates the entire organization. Employees at any level can make suggestions on improvement to the management. Hence, it is evident that the organization treats its employees as assets, which in turn makes them feel appreciated.
Another lesson one may learn from the organization relates to business strategy. Tanglewood needs to consolidate the management strategies in use at present. Due to the acquisition of new employees, the company has been unable to employ one management style across all its stores. The company currently has 20 managers who all oversee different regions. All the managers employ different HR practices. Without a centralized style of management, the organization’s human capital may not be employed in the optimum way in line with the company’s philosophy. Hence, Tanglewood’s experience provides a lesson on the importance of a strategic goal in business operations.
Another lesson one may draw from the Tanglewood case relates to the importance of ensuring diversity in the issues of recruitment. It is imperative that an organization’s staffing strategy appears to be inclusive and non-discriminatory in nature. Whereas the strategy in place may generally be successful in terms of getting the right people for the job, if it does not guarantee diversity it may lead to problems for the organization. For instance, Tanglewood has a highly successful recruitment and promotion strategy. However, due to a failure to consider matters of diversity, the company finds itself facing a class action lawsuit from its African-American employees in Northern California.
In the modern-day era, globalization means that an organization is likely to have a workforce drawn from various places. As a result, any organization, especially one as large as Tanglewood must ensure that its workforce reflects diversity. Failure to do so leads to bad press for the organization and may damage its reputation irreparably.
In conclusion, it is evident that the Tanglewood case study provides several lessons in matters of Human Resources. These lessons relate mainly to the selection and recruitment areas. Tanglewood demonstrates that for any organization, the workforce is the cornerstone for growth. Through having a strong and reliable workforce, Tanglewood managed to grow from a single outlet into a giant organization. However, with this growth, problems arise such as that of consolidating the management practices. Tanglewood’s experiences teach us that uniformity in policymaking is critical to eliminating confusion and ensuring proper utilization of the workforce.
Kammeyer-Mueller, John . Tanglewood Casebook for use with Staffing Organizations. 7th. Gainesville, Florida: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012. Print.