Table of Contents
The Service Adhesive company is a medium –size firm that was formed 20 years ago. The company faces several challenges with its strategies. For a long time, the organization has not been succeeding in improving its initiatives, which has affected the enterprise’s business operations. Concerned with the failure of their new strategies, the director of the company James Broadstone decided to conduct visits to the firms with similar profiles and customers. As a result, ‘Happy Products Company provided James with the idea of a team-based work structure.
Adhesive services Ltd. faces the problem of not improving in their business activities. The product quality declines. Thus, the director searches for a solution to a problem. Having visited one of its leading customers, Happy Products Services, James hopes that a team-based work structure will be effective in improving the company’s initiatives. In the past years, Service Adhesives Ltd has unsuccessfully tried to implement some innovations and modern business philosophies like the TQM and Lean. The team-based work structure has been effective to the Happy Products. The strategy was introduced because other initiatives did not bring substantial change to the company. The managers did not understand why different approaches to modern working ways were not fruitful. They attributed the issues to insufficient skills of the employees. Therefore, they believed that having skilled workers would create the desired change. The company began to employ short-term contract labor to control fluctuating orders. Typically, the part-time employees come from the eastern European member states that adhere to quality procedures. Therefore, James has confirmed the effectiveness of team-based work structure, and he is ready to introduce the changes in the company.
According to many managers of the company, the problem of Adhesive Services results from the employment of the unskilled workers. The management tried to solve the issue by employing workers on a short-term contract, and the recruited employees arrive from the eastern European Union member states. The short-term contract staff needed to adhere to quality procedures as well. The team from Poland and Czech Republic took 20% of the total shop-floor staff. The management of the company viewed the use of migrant labor as an effective strategy, since the employees were hard-working and provided a cost-saving opportunity. Data analysis revealed a slight improvement in the overall production quality and cost savings, but the changes are not satisfactory.
Implementing team-based work structure would be very effective in improving the company’s initiatives. However, another alternative method is to empower the permanent employees and involve them in the decision-making. When workers are a part of the decision-making, they are able to make the best decisions for their working environment (Ou, Davison, Zhong, & Liang, 2010). They are the central part of all implementation processes in the company; thus, they understand where improvements need to be made in the case of failures.
Key Decision Criteria
The company’s management should make decisions that would improve the company’s efficiency. The decisions should be able to solve the long-term problem of securing an improvement initiative. The company’s decisions need to define the effective strategies that have been tested and proved effective (Townsend, DeMarie & Hendrickson, 2008). The management should not retry the strategies they have failed in implementing before. Hiring workers on a short-term contract was not an effective business approach; thus, another business strategy should appear. Adhesive Services should also consider hiring experts that would provide quality advice during the strategic decision-making.
The company should employ a team-based work structure, where the department heads are responsible for their department’s performance. The leaders ought to explain the failures of the company’s strategies in their departments (Robbins, Judge, Millett & Boyle, 2013). The empowerment will ensure that every department performs successfully; thus, it will lead to an overall improvement in the company’s performance.
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The management should set specific goals for every team. The teams’ performance will be regularly monitored and examined against the established goals. Therefore, the teams perform as required due to timely feedback. Further, the teams should be allowed to set the goals in agreement with the company’s strategies to create the teamwork effect. Apart from dividing the staff into teams, they should all be bound by the company’s strategies and mission.
Action and Implementation Plan
For the company to observe remarkable improvements, it should deploy the strategic change recommendations. The management should be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the ideas. They should offer any incentive and motivations that would encourage the employees to adhere to the laid down recommendations.
Case Study Questions
1. Employing 20% of the workforce on the short-term contracts will imply disintegrating the teams formed regularly. The teams would not work effectively because new members join after the contract. A productive teamwork requires long periods of training and practicing; the teams formed should also be given time to learn each other’s efforts and know how to work as a team. Therefore, the teams would be unproductive if members keep rotating, and they will have to spend more time learning to work with new employees.
2. During the transition from the traditional work structure to a team-based structure, the organization shall face the following barriers:
- The first one is communication, as convincing every member to cooperate in a teamwork is not easy. The new members need to inform about the organization’s projects and be aware of the team goals.
- The second challenge is training, as untrained members slow down the team building process. The team will not be able to perform at its optimal level when a member does not fully understand the philosophy of activities. Moreover, some employees are not ready for the project, and they should be added to the team. The untrained individual should first be trained before being added to the group.
- The third challenge is the need for strong project managers. A team that controls the project should be identified. The team should enlighten every member in the necessity of the teamwork structure. The managers should be conversant with the coordination of resource allocation. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses.
- The team strengthening activities may become a barrier. The lack of team-building activities will lead to a slow project on the team work. Project managers need to come up with development activities such as training that will strengthen and motivate the staff and employees so as to create a productive teamwork environment.
3. Ineffective improvement strategies were caused by the absence of cohesion in the human resource department. The team-based work management can solve the problem. The human resource department is a very critical sector that requires cooperation among the members involved. The team ensures effective implementation of initiatives. When one of the members proposes an idea that is supported by other members of the department, then mutual cooperation will occur to ensure effective implementation of the initiative. If the department works as a team, they collaborate for timely goal achievement. Therefore, having a team-based work structure can resolve the problem of ineffective improvement strategies in the Service Adhesive Limited.
The previous team strategies had failed because they were being implemented on an individual basis. The human resource department did not work as a team. Thus, in most cases, a group of the team may propose a strategy that is not supported by the organization. The unsupportive departments will not contribute, causing conflicting situations and hidenring the operations. On the contrary, if the department would agree on one strategy and be motivated on its implementation, no strategy would fail.
4. Difficulties in implementing employee empowerment
Employee empowerment implies allowing employees to participate in the decision-making processes. Empowerment results in creating a team of employees that are truly committed to their work and employer. However, worker empowerment in organizations faces the following challenges:
- A disconnection of views poses a threat to effective work environment. Allowing employees to be part of decision making may bring up conflicting views and opinions, since the personal approaches to business conduct can hinder the objectivity. The bias poses challenges, especially in the customer service. Therefore, uniformity of policies and procedures should be introduced.
- Lack of training also challenges the business success. When managers are not the central part of the decision-making process, employees need to be efficiently trained to perform the duties assigned. Inefficient training of the empowered employees creates ineffective solutions and individual conflicts. Finally, it poses a problem, as the customers may be provided with incompatible solutions or information for their queries.