Arrow Furniture is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of high-end furniture located in North Carolina. The furniture industry has suffered from foreign competition over recent years. Nationwide, there have been massive layoffs and several large companies have closed. Arrow’s workers are feeling these pressures and have begun displaying counterproductive behaviors. The HR manager recently told Mary Baker, the family member serving as CEO, that employees are threatening to unionize if they don’t get higher pay and more job security. Mary is upset by this comment because the family has supported employees with decent salaries and health benefits. Higher wages are the last thing the company needs if they are to remain competitive.
The Baker family wants to turn things around. They know they will have to be more competitive price-wise. This might be achieved by finding cheaper suppliers, lowering employee labor costs, or increasing productivity. That said, the Baker’s strongly believe that it is important to “take care of their people,” many of whom are lifelong employees.
A global car manufacturer is going to open a new facility in the community. It is likely the company will offer higher salaries and better benefits than offered by Arrow Furniture. The firm is known to offer such benefits in an attempt to reduce the need for a union. Jobs at this plant will be more technically advanced than those at Arrow and the company is offering job training to those who are interested.
The Bakers are aware that the nature of work at Arrow results in moderate levels of hygiene factors and low motivators.
Using the 3-Step Problem-Solving Approach and the Organizing Framework, what should the Bakers do to motivate their employees and get support for the company’s future plans?
Review the following conversation:
Marcy: Dana, can I talk to you for a couple of minutes? We’ve been roommates for two years and I think I have a time management problem. I just don’t get enough done in a day. What do you think?
Dana: Tell me more. How did you decide that you have a problem?
Marcy: I never get everything done on my to-do list. The more I get done, the more I end up adding to the list.
Dana: What would solving the problem look like to you?
Marcy: Well, I’d get everything done on my list.
Dana: Is that realistic?
Marcy: It’s not, but what else am I going to do?
Dana: What else can you do that will help? Can you work with an advisor? Use a scheduling program?
This is an example of coaching. Describe the process of coaching and explain why is it important for managers to be effective coaches.
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