Within the field of customer service it is just about impossible to deliver satisfactory customer service without first delivering a certain level of job satisfaction to your employees. Wall-Mart is known for having everything known to man on its shelves, but it’s also known as being one of the country leading employers. In recent years, the company has received media attention and backlash in areas of employee job satisfaction & the way stores are being ran.
This paper seeks to identify the ways in which the organizational behavior of the company can be revamped, by answering & implementing the following questions–does managerial control and approach have a positive or negative effect on Wall-Mart employee satisfaction? How does the company manage workforce diversity & are those employees treated fairly in position levels and pay rates? How does the company’s organizational practices influence employee job satisfaction and what changes can be made to improve employee job satisfaction?
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With reliable academic sources, I seek to answer these questions and also provide insight into changes that can be made with the company’s organizational structure. Introduction “To attract the brightest and best employees, the workplace must be aware of and receptive to the overcharging desires of the ‘knowledge worker”… Jameson & Jameson, 2008). ” Regardless of the field of expertise an organization is a part of, the time & attention given to its employees is of the utmost importance.
Many times, companies fail and or are known for bad service when the happiness of its employees is suffering greatly. Robbins & Judge defines organizational behavior as “a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations… (Robbins & Judge, 2014, p. 1 1). ” In other words, the behavior of the individuals within an organization, greatly impacts the success of that organization. This includes management styles, communication & diversity amongst employees just to name a few.
All companies and organizations have some form of organizational behavior and that behavior is reflected through its employees. So what exactly does organizational behavior have to do with a place like Wall- Mart? As stated in my definition above, B is made up of three different components that all fall under the umbrella of the organization. There’s the employee/individual, groups within the workplace, and the structure of the organization. When studying B, it is important to recognize that all three of hose components are necessary for fully understanding organizational behavior.
In fact Griffin & Morphed (201 2), point out in regards to B, that we can study the individual and his or her actions without considering the organization, but because of the fact the organization influences and most times is influenced by the individual, we can’t fully understand the individual’s behavior without learning something about the organization! In other words, the behaviors of the individuals within an organization usually Stem from the structure and norms of an organization. B is a field of study that ancestress specifically with situations such as jobs, employment turnover, absenteeism, productivity, and performance to name a few. So in actuality, every organization that is an organization, deals with B on some level. Wall-Mart is a billion dollar company that employs more than a million people across America. With more than 4,700 facilities across the country, it’s not surprising to learn of someone you know working for the retail giant (Walter. Com).
Although the company has made good effort in turning things around, in recent years Wall-Mart has been in the media numerous times for heir business practices. Being criticized for everything from discrimination, poor employee benefits, and lack of quality pay for employees. All of the criticisms & allegations of huge employee disc-satisfaction points to the organizational structure of the company and its leadership. In order to successfully turn all of these negatives into positives, the company must reevaluate the way they interact with & treat their employees!
In most cases within a group SETI Eng, especially within the workplace, all things start with “the head. ” For example if management implements a certain style or way of owing things, that same style will trickle down to the company’s subordinates and they will follow suit. By re-evaluating the leadership & managerial styles of the company, and implementing a greater representation of diversity within different positions Of the stores, Wall-Mart will be able to turn employee satisfaction around greatly & reduce the likelihood of employees feeling unappreciated, unmotivated, & most importantly underpaid.
Employee and Labor Relation Issues Judging from the media coverage of Walter and its employees over the last few years, many of the workers, aren’t happy with their employer. In recent years the company has been in the media for things such as gender & racial discrimination, poor employee wages, and overall poor employee satisfaction. One of the big issues that hit newsstands concerning the company was the Dukes vs.. Walter Stores, Inc. Class action lawsuit.
This was a case of one female employee, Betty Dukes, taking a stand on what she felt was unfair treatment and discrimination in regards to pay rates, promotional policies and practices within Walter stores (Wisped, 2014). Although the case was thrown out, the case opened the eyes of many across America concerning the Houghton and feelings of female workers within Walter stores across America. The case triggered a big enough reaction to cause almost 2,000 female employees of Walter to take legal action concerning their pay and lack of promotion within the company because of their gender.
Another big media issue that the company had surrounding discrimination was the case of Daryl Nelson, who was denied employment with the company as a truck driver because of his race. Although these two cases were of different sectors of discrimination (race & gender), they both fall under the umbrella of coordination, and painted a picture of a corporation who has an issue with respecting the diversity and differences of its employees.
Another major concern of Walter employees that has also made its way into media outlets is poor pay wages. Many of the company’s employees feel that they are greatly underpaid for their work and dedication to their jobs and this affects their job satisfaction all across the board. According to an article on Malabar. Org written by Scott Hotchpotch, the average hourly wage of Walter employees is under $10 an hour, putting the average Walter worker in the étagère of living under the poverty level.
In the past few years employees have openly shown their dissatisfaction for their wage levels by going on strike & some even simply walking off of the job during high peak shopping times, to take a stand against being paid so low. All of these examples, the cases of discrimination & dissatisfaction of pay rates, paint a picture of what employee engagement is really like within Walter stores. Employee engagement is defined as, “an individual’s involvement with, satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for the work he or she does (Robbins & Judge, 2013). Even if pop leadership within Walter felt as though they were successfully engaging their employees, the level of job dissatisfaction would show that the type and level of engagement, isn’t effective at all. As Hotchpotch states, ‘ ‘The first key factor that shapes the working culture at Wall-Mart is the store manager (Hitcher, 2013). ” The store manager of any retail chain is the liaison between the “big wigs” at corporate headquarters and the front-line staff that are everyday employees.
In order for Walter to address the issues that the everyday employees have grievances with, the store managers must take on n approach of communication that allows them to actively seek out employee opinions and suggestions for change. The thing to recognize with employee engagement is that the satisfaction level of the employee can and will affect the involvement level for the employee as well. For example if a woman working for Walter feels that no matter what she does she’ll never be promoted or given a raise, the amount of effort and involvement she puts into her job will more than likely suffer.
So, with that in mind, Walter leadership & its store managers must make an effort to not only involve their female workers more but also create n atmosphere that welcomes female workers for the future and one that shows respect and appreciation for the current female employees. I think that doing this will allow Walter’s job satisfaction level to go up for female employees, and higher job satisfaction always means higher customer satisfaction.
Infamous, Homoeopath, Mortality, and Seed (2014) argued that satisfied employees feel more commitment to their organization and its customers, thus put forth more effort to be successful as an employee, and improve the quality of the organization’s customer service. This concept of improving employee engagement wouldn’t only work for the female workers that feel discriminated against, but also any employee that feel like the company doesn’t take their needs and desires as employees into consideration.
Management Styles throughout Stores As Robbins and Judges (2014) states, “organizations need strong leadership and strong management for optimal effectiveness (Robbins and Judger 2014, p. 368). ” Walter is no different within this concept. In order for the company to be successful in business and business relationships with employees, they must exercise strong leadership and management. In an article written by Nelson Liechtenstein (2011 Walter is showcased as an organization that has an authoritarian culture of management & leadership, and this is what has led to the many causes of employee dissatisfaction over the years.
Liechtenstein states, “The underlying issue, which the Supreme Court has now ratified, is Wall-Mares authoritarian style, by which executives pressure store- level management to squeeze more and more from millions of clerks, stockers and lower-tier managers (Liechtenstein, 2011 In other words, the style of management throughout Walter stores promotes employees at all bevels working as much and as hard as they possibly can at no matter the cost or risks!
What this means to me is that, Walter has a certain set of rules and policies and those are the laws of the land-?the company leaves no room for employee input on ways to implement change and or problem solving. This is a problem because regardless of your line of work or profession-?times always change! The sort of products that Sam Walton originally sold in his stores, aren’t necessarily the same now today, thus the customer pool isn’t the same! That also means, that the sorts of people working behind the counter aren’t the same either.
In order to have continued success, the leadership of the organization must change and adjust with the times. But it is important to note that leadership and management are not one in the same. Robbins and Judge (2013) defines a manager as “an individual who achieves goals through other people (Robbins and Judge, 201 3, p. 5)” But they define a leader as someone with, “the ability to influence a group toward the achievement Of a vision or set Of goals (Robbins and Judge, 201 3, p. 368). In other words, a manager or management is just an administrative title, whereas leadership is the administration. The goal of the leader/leadership is what the goal of the manger/management becomes. Although these two aren’t the same thing within Walter they mirror each other rather well. As Liechtenstein points out in his article, the management and leadership within Walter is based on a culture that the company created from the begin inning and has just sort of always been the foundation of who they are.
The article points out how when the company started in the sass and ass that it was the culture of the company to hire men as the managers and leaders and have their wives as the clerks and store workers; sort of like a community thing (Liechtenstein, 201 1). From then until now, that’s sort of the way the company has evolved, but it’s also what has brought them to a point of female workers feeling discriminated against.
Liechtenstein argues that there are thousands of current female Walter employees who would love to take promotional roles within management at Walter, but even if those opportunities were presented, “… Walter makes it impossible for many of them to take that post, because its ruthless management style trustees the job itself as one that most women, and especially those with young children or a relative to care for, would find difficult to accept (Liechtenstein, 2011 Changing the Organizational Structure am a firm believer that any change that needs to be implemented, starts with the head (leader).
For example if parents want their children to embrace a healthier diet, then they themselves have to first lead by example and eat fruit as a snack instead of sugary sweet fruit snacks! Whatever the leader does should trickle down and cause change with and for those below them in rank. One thing hat Walter could do to change the management style throughout stores is recognize and embrace the need for change! Since their management style is based on remnants of the past, they must recognize that what once was, no longer exists!
This means that the culture of the company needs to change! Feel that the best way to do that is for leadership to effectively communicate the vision of the company to its management so that the company can move forward as a whole on the same fresh page! As Mattock states, when leaders effectively common iGATE their vision, they gain the trust of their followers and heir followers in turn experience greater satisfaction (Mattock, 2007, p. 67). It is clear that Walter needs to improve their employee satisfaction & this is one way to do it.
Another thing that should be done is implementing training for leaders and managers within the stores. This can be done by offering leadership programs within the company but also by supporting employees going back to school to learn of leadership and or gaining management credentials. By training the leaders for improvement and advancement, Walter would open a door for employees of all races and genders to be exposed to the possibilities of advancing and being successful within the company.
That leads me to my next suggestion for the company-?once that door is opened, it also increases the possibility of diversity throughout management within the company. Implementing diversity is probably one of the most important steps the company needs to take in increasing job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Our Walter, a group created by a group of current and former Walter employees, to ensure that every Associate, regardless of his or her age, race or sex, is respected at Walter (Aubrey 201 3, p. ). That’s what the employees seek-?to be respected at whatever level they work for the company! So making diversity a top priority will ensure that this is done! So how can diversity be implemented throughout the company? Teamwork! Store managers should make a sound effort in implementing teams to get certain job tasks done, but the key is to make sure those teams are made up of people from different genders, backgrounds and age groups-?the diversity factor!
Doing this will allow employees to see the importance of their own contribution to the company goal, but also the importance their co-workers introductions. We all have different skill levels and levels of knowledge, but as Grant and Klein(1 997) states, that when working together with people from different backgrounds and ethnicities, it is “imperative to keep in mind that every person comes to the table with a different set of values, ideas and motivations (Grant and Klein, 1997). ” All of these differences are what make up the endless possibilities for success!
And then finally, what I feel could be done to improve employee satisfaction as well as business practices throughout the company is-?instead of having n authoritarian culture/leadership style, the company should adopt an employee-oriented leadership style. An employee-oriented leader is one who emphasizes interpersonal relationships with their employees and take a personal interest in those employee’s needs (Robins and Judge, 201 3, p. 371 feel that this would be the best leadership style to utilize because it also accepts individual differences of employees, which once again, leaves room for diversity within the company.
As stated earlier, leadership is about being able to influence a group toward a common goal, so with this sort of adhering style, the task at hand for management would be to know and understand their team so that they would be able to effectively utilize the knowledge and skill of their workers to accomplish the goal of the company. In Other words, in order to carry out the overall goal Of Walter as a business, the management must know and understand its employees, and that can be done with an employee-oriented leadership style.
Also, having this sort of leadership style could have an impact on motivating employees to work harder as well as overall job satisfaction! Effects of Implementing Change In April of 2005, the united Food and Commercial Workers Union founded “Wake of Walter,” a campaign founded to make the world aware of the business practices of the retail giant. The organization claimed that Walter was “offering its employees substandard wages and health care benefits, and has called on the retailer to improve both (wisped. Rug, retrieved May 24, 2014). ” The group name was later changed to Making Change at Walter & since then, slowly but surely, change is exactly what’s been happening. I thought that this name change was interesting in a self-fulfilling prophecy sense. What I mean by that is, if Walter were to “wake up” and realize the importance of communicating company goals with the employees, and implement better diversity throughout frontline and management level positions within the stores, then they would see positive change at Walter!
This is just an example of how important it is for the company to not only implement change, but listen to the front line employees while doing so. If Walter were to change their culture and leadership style, their employee satisfaction would be greatly increased and that would in turn increase their customer satisfaction. This is what it all boils down to-? job satisfaction. Robbins and Judge (2013) defines job satisfaction as “a positive feeling about a job, resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics (p. 74). When an employee has a high level of job satisfaction with their employer, they have a more positive outlook on the company as a whole. This means that the employee’s level of involvement within their position is greatly influenced by how satisfied they are with their job. When this is the case, employees are more likely to be more productive and proactive in getting the task at hand done every time. According to Robbins ND Judge (2013), several studies have proven that when employees are happy, they are more likely to be productive within their roles (p. 4). So in Walter’s case, a female employee who is highly satisfied with working at Walter and knows that there is a sure chance for advancement in her role based on her knowledge and skill and not on her gender, is more likely to go that extra mile to ensure that the customer’s every need is met. That’s a win- win situation for Walter-?why? Because not only are they satisfying a customer, but they are also satisfying an employee, creating a level of loyalty from both! Conclusion
Regardless of the type Of service being Offered by an organ action, it is always important for that organization to first consider its employees before it can successfully consider its customers. Over the years Walter has grown into an entity that is known for having everything a customer could possibly need or want, but it seems as though they have failed in that aspect for their own employees. This failure on their behalf has caused many employee and labor relation issues, buying them plenty of slots in media outlets across the globe.
With such a large roster of employees across the world, Walter easily found homeless having to answer questions of discrimination of both race and gender, and have had to step up to the plate in owning up to its wrong in those situations costing the company millions of dollars. So for the future, the company needs to go back to the drawing board to construct a different culture of leadership. By implementing a leadership style that focuses on its employees, Walter will be able to not only improve their employee satisfaction, but they will also increase overall customer satisfaction.
Implementing an employee-oriented leadership style ill also help the organization foster an atmosphere of diversity by allowing management to build business relationships with employees of different ages, sex, and race groups. Once the door of diversity gets opened, the organization and the public should start to see more individuals of color and females in roles of management and within higher paying positions. At the present time, the current managerial approach that Walter has seems to have a negative effect on the company’s overall employee satisfaction!
Although the company employees millions of people across the world, that amen diversity isn’t present within their management & leadership roles again causing job satisfaction to suffer. But, as stated above, by reevaluating the leadership and managerial styles of the company, and implementing a greater representation of diversity within different positions of its stores, Walter will be able to turn employee satisfaction around greatly, and reduce the likelihood of employees feeling unappreciated, unmotivated, and most importantly underpaid.