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The Garden Depot originated from a family owned floral company in Barrie, Ontario expanded to a larger variety floral, gardening and lawn care products. Eventually, it ventured into landscaping business too. The current practice of the organization has made the business deteriorate. Experienced and reliable workforces were not attained in the organization as result of fluctuations in seasonal demands. The organization also faced in synchronization among departments. Family member employment in the organization also gives difficulty between employees to handle any matters with that individual. Finally is the inappropriate positioning of employee in the management position.
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As a recommendation, the best option to be implemented is by focusing on execution of specific departments such as management, marketing, customer service and inventory control. Individual departments will concentrate on their part of duties to develop the company. This development is attached with the employment of experienced and reliable workforce people rather than part time employees. This would create a stable business as there would not be any fluctuation in the work force. With the clear description of divisions and stable work force, Garden Depot is expected to progress in their business ventures.
2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Garden Depot’s improper implementation of standardized staffing criterion has caused the main reason for its unsuccessfulness. The organization did not have permanent skillful employees but only seasonal ones. Another cause of this problem is pursuing an employee to perform multi- tasking without prior knowledge in the designated areas. The departments in the depot also do not have synchronization between them. Decision made in one department never known to the other departments. Another criterion is family member employment in the organization itself which causes complexity in handling matter with this individual. The organization is also facing inappropriate positioning of employee in the management position i.e. leadership problem.
3. ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSES OF THE PROBLEM
The cause of the problem is the improper recruitment that was conducted in the organization. This was the primary cause of the organization mishap causing the organization to have a fluctuation in the employee of the Garden Depot. Recruitment of seasonal student employees for these tasks has caused inconsistency in the work progress. Since these inexperience employees only join for a very short period, they do not really perform in their duties as a permanent employee. Besides that, these young needs someone superior to them guide them all the time which actually causes waste of valuable time compared to an experienced employee where can perform his or her tasks without any supervision.
The second problem faced by the organization is the fact that most of the employees in organization were not recruited and the existing employees were taken off during off peak season this was the problem that has cause the inconsistency of the employees. As the business is mainly based in the summer season the off peak season are a mishap for the organization where most of the employees are discarded to cut cost and replaced with students and part-time workers, this causes lack of proficiency, making the organization quality and delivery inconsistent. With part time inexperience working handing during off and mid seasons making the routing employment cycle unstructured. With statistics, indicating 80% of the employees during the offseason are student who leave at the end of the summer to return to the school. Only the remaining 20% are the full time employees of the company which this cycle changing vice versa during peak season the quality and work process is certainly a question mark in terms of the garden depot. As stated in the case there are not defined job responsibility for the staff its sort of like a open office process where the work is assigned as it comes to the organization and upon the employee availability.
The third problem analysis was the recruitment of the family member which proved to be totally unhelpful for the business development as there was no proper qualification or business handling capabilities for the family member making the existing business more complex to handle and the fact the students were used in the real-time operation was proved to be a mishap in the organization. i.e. (Sinclair recruitment). Derek Sinclair, son-in-law of the owner, was appointed although he was not qualified for that particular position. His job scope was to organize and deploy landscapers to job sites, dealing with customers and responding to customer concern, invoicing completed landscaping and travelling to client’s homes to quote jobs. This entire job was never his specialty or expertise as he was from a customer’s orientated background. Low knowledge on this tasks caused Sinclair facing difficulty to communicate with customers when they called, which led him to avoid answering calls. Besides that, Sinclair also faced problem quoting for a job as he was uncertain with the materials to be used. He was also not billing the finished landscaping jobs.
The fourth factor is that there is no job description and a requirement criterion that was taken before the employees was recruited. Job responsibilities are not being defined at all in this organization. This causes the employees to be confused as to who is to do what and when to execute this task. Overall this confusion in the daily operation will lead to the downfall of the organization’s performance. The main objective of a job description is to have a clear outline of duties and responsibilities to make the screening process as direct and focused as possible, which was certainly a lagging factor as there were no proper fixed employees to assign the job. student being the most control during the off season it certainly possess a great challenge in terms of curtaining a job description and specification that can match the organization all the year around. With job description being assigned the following could be achieved by garden depots, which are the factors it is missing currently. There is no cooperation of students and employees in the organization insight in existing responsibilities/roles. There is no enabling career moves within the organization, and the most critical is that there is no determination of amount of pay per function. The combination of all these creates a proper job description that is lagging in the organization currently.
All these factor of the unstructured organization caused the fact that there was lack of customer satisfaction in the product base and the service provided to the consumers regarding the focus.
4. DECISION CRITERIA AND ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
The first solution would be to reevaluate all the staff and create a proper job description for the organization. Job description is to have a clear outline of duties and responsibilities to make the screening process direct and focused as possible. This will provide room for improvement in the cooperation vise by giving all members of the organization responsibilities which could increase of results by specification of responsibilities as each employee in the organizations has their own task to perform and justify.
Secondly, creating departments to handle each and every division and recruit personals to partment. Each departments deployed will have their own responsibilities such as marketing department where they are to market out their services to the public. Human resource department would have the task of managing the organization where they will be involved in the employee payroll system, employee recruitment, providing trainings for employees in the organization and etc. By developing departments, job tasks can be divided evenly rather than only one departments slogging. Each department would have their superior and employees to manage themselves.
Thirdly, using of experience and new staff’s together to create a strong team in handling a task. In this way, they would exchange their views among each other which project a positive outcome. Older employees would exchange their views based on years of experience they have gone through. As for the new comers, they would be more advanced in the latest technologies designated fields. With the combination of experience and knowledge, the organization will tend to approach a positive progress.
Since Garden depot is a service based organization, the management should deploy a customer service department. With this customer service department, they are able to analyze the customers need and requirement. Through client feedback and interaction, you can learn about what clients liked about the services provided and which areas you may need improvement in. Using customer service as a tool for continuous improvement often leads to customer satisfaction. It is the key performance indicator when measuring their success.
Lastly, Garden Depot can also begin conducting formal appraisal system to monitor the employees’ job performance. Workplace appraisals actively involve employees understanding what is expected of them. By setting agreed objectives with your employer or line manager and then reviewing the results some weeks or months later, each employee is made responsible for their own performance. They are an opportunity to review strengths and weaknesses, to take an overall assessment of work content, loads and volume and to look back on what has been achieved already and to set goals and objectives for the following period. The element of an appraisal being used to ensure that the worker continues to do the job properly, there are many benefits to workplace appraisals as they are often the means by which employers review potential, and identify training and career planning to forward the career progression of the worker. Furthermore, they can also help employers to determine financial reward incentives for a worker’s performance. Benefit from this appraisal is that some employees talk about work with their managers and these employers often and may not see the need for a formal appraisal system. Although regular dialogue between managers and workers should be encouraged, much will depend on the attitudes of individual managers and, if there is no formal appraisal system in place, some may neglect to keep on top of how their workers are doing. An appraisal system, therefore, can bring benefits in that it can develop a greater degree of consistency by ensuring that employers and employees meet regularly to discuss performance and potential. Experience has shown that this can encourage better performance from employees.
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5. RECOMMENDED SOLUTION, IMPLEMENTATION AND JUSTIFICATION
The whole organization lacks infrastructure and the complete revamp of the organization must be carried out in perspective of the employees to create the Garden Depot. The first step is creating specific departments for specific job only. This can be divided into management department, marketing department, customer service and inventory control department.
The main role of the management will both address and handle the multifaceted needs of its employees through the provision of the other services, both in literal and social terms. In other words, it is responsible to ensure employees are provided for in terms of finances, health care and other related issues. Another key role of management is to listen to the concerns of employees. All issues dealt with by management at the organizational level have an effect on employees and thus must be made with their best interest in mind. It is important to let employees know via regular meetings that their needs and opinions are valued. Employees should feel as though they have the ability and right to approach management with any of the issues listed above and these statements should always be taken into account when management makes further decisions. In sun, management is the backbone of the organization as well as its eyes and ears and employees must have this stable presence to address in case of problems.
As for marketing department, their main task is focusing on customers. Here they develop ways how to attract customers towards the organization. This can be done by putting up advertisements through Medias such as the internet, television and news paper about the services they are offering. They are also to find reasonable priced suppliers and vendors to reduce the expenditure faced by buying from one particular vendor. Another main role is to come out of new ideas on the landscaping concept. This innovative concept will be the key role of attracting customers to towards the organization.
Customer service department is responsible to consult with customers about their service needs or their wants. They also analyze what the customer says they want and need and the last part of their task is troubleshooting services to best fit their needs and expectations. Without this department, it is complicated for the organization to know the customer’s need. Since this department is more focused in customer caring matter, this will help the depot to solve the Sinclair’s problem where he does not answer customer calls.
The third department is inventory control department. Here the inventory control employee is responsible for maintaining acceptable and accurate inventory levels. They must report shortages, overages and all inventory levels monthly for replenishment. This process ensures continued operations and avoids product or inventory shortages. The inventory control employee is responsible for classifying, labeling and warehousing all inventories for future use. They must keep accurate records of inventory levels and location for easy retrieval. This is critical in keeping the department organized and efficient. The inventory control person is responsible for communicating with all department managers and purchasing on inventory levels and locations. They must maintain a record of all transfers and disposal. The inventory section must implement and follow a control system to reduce damage, breakage and inventory obsolescence. This helps the Garden Depot issues on the stock missing prevented.
Having all this departments in the organization is a must to help the business flow smoothly. In order for this departments to function, adequate amount of work force are needed which includes experienced and reliable people in the organization. No more seasonal work force should be employed which creates fluctuation in the business. With this strategic planning of deploying individual departments comprising of experienced and reliable forces, the Garden Depot should be heading towards a new business era with a strong strategies, vision and mission. This will help the organization including the bottom line have a clear mind on what they are wanting to achieve but this time with a clear pathway.
eHow (2010), “Inventory Control, Job Description and Duties”, online, URL: (http://www.ehow.com/about_5494754_inventory-control-job-description-duties.html)
Brandxpress (2007), “9 Responsibilities of a Marketing Department”, online, URL: (http://www.brandxpress.net/2007/03/9-responsibilities-of-a-marketing-department/#more-286)
Article Myriad (2010), “The Responsibilities and Role of Management in an Organization”, online, URL: (http://www.articlemyriad.com/157.htm)
Burke, W. Warner, and Bill Trahant,Traveling Through Transitions, Training & Development, 1996, 50, 37 – 41.
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