1. Overview the Content of the Case.
The national industrial products company, having experienced a number of changes, was faced with the challenge of employee motivation and realization of productivity. The two aspects conflicted due to the culture that the organization had developed earlier under the leadership of Jim Carpenter, who was the CEO. Carpenter’s leadership style gave the employees more freedom to operate as they wished even though they remained loyal to the company. Productivity was not stressed on so much but when Lawrence assumed the position of CEO, things changed dramatically as more emphasis was made on productivity. It resulted in an increase of employee turnover that alarmed the company’s president. There was also low employee morale meaning they were not highly motivated.
2. Identify Problems/Successes.
The main problem at National was the drastic change in the organizational culture brought about by Lawrence. The employees were used to a culture that gave them more freedom to work at their pace and did not emphasize on productivity. They also had the opportunity to attend other social events sponsored by the company that Lawrence abruptly cut short. The successes associated with the two eras were the loyalty and high employee morale during carpenter’s reign and the high productivity and low cost during Lawrence’s era.
3. Analyze The Causes Of Problems/Successes.
The problem was majorly caused by the changing organizational culture. The management style of the two leaders was a total contrast of each other’s with Lawrence’s leadership style emphasizing more of cost cutting, rewarding performances and increasing productivity. Carpenter’s leadership emphasized more on rewarding seniority, motivating employees and making them feel they were highly important. It did not emphasize on productivity. The two conflicting cultures caused the problem of low morale and high employee turnover but also made it realize the success of low cost and improved productivity.
4. Identify Solutions That The Case Has Found.
The main solution to the problem of low productivity and high cost which the case found out is the change in organizational culture. The leadership drastically cut expenditure on activities that did not add value to the organizational performance like impromptu birthdays, and the many paid up activities for the employees. It also created an atmosphere of internal competition among employees by rewarding performances and punished non-performances.
5. Suggest Your Own Solutions.
1. How Does The Culture Seem To Influence Employee Behavior In Each Store?
The culture at Saks Fifth Avenue appears to be one that is stricter when one observes the manner in which the employees carry themselves. They tend to be more cautious which reveals that they are under strict rules that they must adhere to. Either, their personality and the manner in which they operate within the business organization reveals that there are strict punishments that are meted on them in the event that one does a mistake. Little can be seen in terms of employee morale after a clear examination of the employees at Saks Fifth Avenue. The strict culture at Saks makes the employees fail to perform in terms of individual growth, creativity and development.
They are not as enthusiastic as would be expected and not that much aggressive when it comes to sales. The culture at Saks Fifth Avenue emphasizes more on productivity with no reward on performances. It is a contrast with the Kmart store whose employees are livelier and aggressive compared to those at Saks Fifth Avenue store. They tend to be aggressive when it comes to sales a sign that the company culture is geared towards rewarding performances in terms of commissions on sales making the employees more aggressive and lively. The Kmart employees are more likely to achieve personal growth as opposed to their Saks counterparts.
2. What Effect Does Employees' Behavior Have On Customers?
Employee behavior has a significant influence on the customers as it goes a long way in determining whether the customer would be loyal to the organization or not. When employee’ behavior portray a dissatisfied individual with low morale, the general atmosphere will be tense, and the customers would most likely, not like the environment they are in. The communication between the customers and the employees would not be friendly to the customers. The customers, in most cases, would be hesitant to do a repeat shopping at such stores. They would want to feel appreciated by the store’s employees making them feel important and wanted. Such feelings make customers end up being loyal to the stores since they would be more comfortable shopping at the store.
3. Which Store Was More Pleasant To Be In? How Does That Relate To The Mission Of The Store?
It was more pleasant and comfortable being at Kmart stores as the atmosphere was friendlier as compared to the environment at Saks Fifth Avenue that had dull employees attending to customers. The employees at Kmart seem to have blended well with the company’s mission statement which states that they are committed to improving their customer’s lives by way of providing quality services, solutions and products that will enable them maintain good relations. Looking at the employees, the culture seems to have blended well with them as they can make their employees happier.