In all the programs the company chose to vary the amount of information shared with the workers of different stores considered.
In the program I and IV the independent variables are sick leave and absence.
In program III and IV, inventory and sales are partly dependent variable. It is expectable that increasing sick leave and absences result in declining sales. However, the sales made by the store will also depend on the demand for the products sold and customers’ purchasing power (income).
The monthly staff time costs and weekly profits made are dependent variable i.e. their size depends on the performance management system implemented.
There are other outcomes that can be measured. They include demographics of employees per store, employees satisfaction (qualitative data this outcome can be ranked), the average age of employees being terminated or quitting.
The most effective programs per the data provided are IV and V. these programs have the lowest employee turnover and have the highest profit. There is a tradeoff between the two programs. This is because program V appears to have better profitability and higher turnover. It seems that there is a correlation between brainstorming with employees and lower employee turnover. The brainstorming sessions make employees feel appreciated as they are considered in making decisions about the store. It appears that program III is the least effective due to high staff turnover. However, its implementation leads to small increase in profitability. The sharing of the crucial data i.e. the trend of sales and inventory makes employees quite insecure, and many of them opt to resign while other just give up, top performing and are dismissed.
This is good data. However, there might be a bias in the evaluation of the programs because the number of stores per program is different. For example, there were 87 stores that chose to implement program V, but only 27 stores chose program II. Moreover, data on employee turnover does not provide figures on the number of employees who quite voluntarily and those who were dismissed.
The conclusion is not influenced by getting a comparison of a number of stores using each program. This is because the aim of the data analysis is to compare the profitability of the stores as well average percentage turnover. Despite this, the reliability of the results could improve if all samples were equal.
It is likely that managers’ influence and are biased towards a given way of carrying out the various management functions. Thus, they are likely to choose the program they prefer. The manager’s choice is likely to deliver his best results. The organization has not embraced openness because the managers chose not share any information on program choice.
Randomly assigning different programs to different stores will help eliminate managers’ preference and biases towards any program.
Points on Managing Retail Stores
It is important to give employees the opportunity to learn about the development of the industry and improve their skills.
Failing to have open and clear communication in a store or organization builds tension and insecurity within the workers. The tension and insecurity will be the basis of negative behavior and mistrust.
The participation of experienced workers may work against the positive results realizable by the programs. This is because they are less likely to change the way they carry out their duties and may be slow in learning new and diverse ways of carrying out activities.
In a better economy than the one in the case study, the threat of layoff (dismissal) is relatively low, and workers have some sense of job security. Thus, they will find it less interesting and important to brainstorm with managers or be involved in reviewing the progress of the stores. However, in recession employees are keen on performance metrics so as to improve the company fortunes and avoid layoff.
Despite the manager not doing adequate research this program is well designed. It is quite proactive in handling the poor performance of the organization in periods of economic downturn. According to goal setting theory, goal implementers should be allowed to make an independent decision. The fact that store managers were allowed to select the program they wish to implement allows them to make an independent decision.
The employees may be more motivated than before by setting defined and realistic goals.
It is likely that there will be resistance to the changes introduced by the programs. The group of workers who have worked for the organization for quite a long time will find it difficult to adapt to any new system. Moreover, there are other workers who will feel the programs are unfair because the fall in company’s fortunes is not attributable to their poor performance but to the general negative changes in the economy. Some of them will feel that the programs are introduced to justify management decision of firing them.