Kudler??™s Plan for Success
Kudler Fine Foods was started by Kathy Kudler, a woman who had a passion for gourmet food, in 1998. Kathy was unsuccessful in locating gourmet food stores in her surrounding area, so this led her to create her own business. Kudler currently has three stores operating in the metropolitan area of San Diego, California: La Jolla, Del Mar, and Encinitas, with a fourth to open in Carlsbad. Kudler places personal value in all of her employees, and intends to create a restructured multi-functional team that is aligned with the organizations goals. The new team will consist of a general manager, an assistant manager, and three sales representatives.
To begin the process, job analysis will be performed. This will in turn determine job descriptions and qualifications. Once the evaluation is completed, training will be initiated to enhance the skills and performance of the employee and the team. Methods for evaluating employee and team performance will be developed and will include a progressive discipline process. Incentive and benefit packages will be prepared and presented to the new team. This includes career development strategies for employees. Finally, each position will have a complete compensation package established. The three sales representatives and the assistant manager will all have a specialty in which they will be knowledgeable: bakery, meats, produce, or cheese and wine.
Job Descriptions and Qualifications
The first step in creating the sales team is the use of job analysis, which is the process an organization undergoes to obtain information about specific jobs (Cascio, 2005). It is important for employees to understand that the information obtained will be used for staffing, training, performance management, and many other human resource management activities (Aguinis, Mazurkiewicz, & Heggestad, 2009). The process that has been chosen is the structured questionnaire. Questionnaires are cheaper and quicker than most other methods, and will be used because of the short time before the new store opens.
Kudler??™s sales representatives must possess tact and patience, an interest in their work, a neat appearance, and effective communication skills (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009). The sales representative must also possess culinary knowledge, the ability to make recommendations, knowledge of products offered, and specialty in the section of the store in which they work.
Assistant managers will require the same skill set of sales representatives, which includes a culinary specialty. The assistant manager will also need some college courses, the ability to lead others and effective communication, organizational skills, and logistical skills (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009).
The general manager will have the same requirements as both the assistant manager and sales representative. The manager will also require at least three years of sales experience and at least an associate??™s degree. The manager will also be responsible for the overall facility, purchasing products, coordination with other stores and departments, and interview and hire employees (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009).
Training and Development Program
The first purpose of the training program is to orient new employees and refresh previous employees. This is done by familiarizing employees with company values and culture, policies, products, and our competition. New employees will also be sponsored by an experienced employee for sixty days, during which they will learn in a hands-on format. During their sponsored time, new employees will be taught the right way to act based on organizational culture. This sponsored time period will also allow new employees time to adjust.
It is also expected that those who are in leadership positions or have previous experience help new employees improve their performance. It is expected of culinary specialists to share their expertise with other sales representatives. By sharing their experience, each individual will be a mentor for others in the team (Groen & Kawalilak, 2006).
Sales representatives will receive training through multiple delivery methods on sales techniques, economics, communication, current products, diversity training, culinary classes, and specialty department training.
Assistant managers and general managers will undergo all the courses that sales representatives attended. They will also have a more intense communication class. In addition, classes required will be leadership training, operational procedures, organization, employee evaluation techniques, and conflict resolution techniques.
Evaluation of Employee and Team Performance
A 360-degree evaluation system will be used for the evaluation of the individual on the team. This is done with the intent of collecting information from a wider range of sources, and to help limit the influences of the manager subordinate power relationship on feedback and the performance evaluation itself (Prowse & Prowse, 2009). Those included in the evaluation will be supervisors, peers, and self. Performance evaluations will occur every quarter. This is done to maximize performance improvements and to help prevent recent errors.
At Kudler, the team as well as the employee will be evaluated, which will be performed by using a goal oriented method based off sales and defined by the team. Performance systems used to evaluate the individual are often difficult to implement on the level of the team. Evaluations of the individual are complex enough and increased significantly when evaluating teams. It is also a time consuming endeavor that takes time to produce results (Wholey & Harry, 1991). Since the goals are defined by the member??™s expectation, it results in the team being required to meet the self defined goals. By defining their own goals this is also a motivating factor. Furthermore, the team can hold other members accountable, again increasing motivation.
Individuals have the responsibility of working together effectively, overcoming each other??™s deficiencies, and aligning individual goals with team goals (Anonymous, n.d.). Equity can become a problem to team responsibilities in which the team does not work together effectively. Individual equity can affect the performance of a team. This occurs when a worker cannot see his or her individual contributions, and results in lower motivation to meet the team??™s goals (Cascio, 2005). This can lead to social loafing and needs to be discouraged. Social loafing can be reduced by setting clear projects for each member with project due dates and having group performance discussions (Poddar, 1990).
Progressive Discipline System
Kudler has emplaced a progressive disciplinary system which Cascio (2005) describes as proceeding ???from an oral warning to a written warning to a suspension to dismissal???. This system is effective because employees are informed on misbehaviors and appropriate behaviors to correct it. The employee will be given an allotted time to fix the problem and be informed of the consequences if inaction is chosen (Cascio, 2005)
To determine the appropriate salaries of the three positions available on the team (manager, assistant ant manager, and sales representative), salaries for comparable retail positions will be researched. This will provide minimum and maximum pay ranges for salaries to be comparatively established. Research will be conducted yearly in order to keep salaries market competitive to increase employee retention.
Sales representatives will also be compensated with a bonus. To be eligible for the bonus, individual sales must exceed projected sales by ten percent quarterly. This will also motivate employees to increase sales so that a bonus can be acquired. The bonus for ten percent sales above projection will result in a bonus of seven percent of the employee??™s base pay. The bonus will be divided and distributed quarterly. For every ten percent above projected sales another three percent bonus will be added as well.
General managers and assistant managers are eligible for bonuses based on the success of sales of their stores. If store profits exceed a projected goal by ten percent, they are entitled to end of year bonus. For ten percent sales above projection will result in a bonus of seven percent of the employee??™s base pay. For every ten percent above projected sales another three percent bonus will be added to the end of year bonus.
Incentives and Benefits
For employees, benefits have become an increasingly greater portion of total compensation plans (Weathington, 2000). Kudler will provide excellent benefits to employees to keep productivity high. Benefits include workers compensation, paid leave, sick leave, 401k plan, life and health insurance.
Life insurance policy: life insurance policies where employees will be covered under a group policy. Employees will be terminated upon reaching a certain age or upon termination from the company.
Health insurance: Core coverage will be available for all Kudler employees. Increased coverage is available for those who want more, by deductible from salary.
Workers??™ Compensation: compensation for workers who are injured on the job or contract work-related illness. Workers??™ compensation covers lost wages, medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, and retraining to perform a different type of work (Cascio, 2005).
Leave: Both sick leave and paid leave are available to employees. Sick leave provides pay for short-term illnesses. Paid leave is acquired at two and a half days a month.
Retirement Plan: A 401 K plan is available to Kudler employees to prepare for retirement. Kudler will match up to five percent of an employee??™s pay check.
Quality of work life improvement has the possibility of being a low cost option for InterClean to increase productivity and competitiveness (Cascio, 2005). By using these incentives we are allowing our employees to work smarter, not harder, to improve performance (Bloom & Reneen, 2006). This includes promotions, in-house child care, references for elderly care, tuition reimbursement, and employee of the month.
In-house child care and references: InterClean will also be offering in-house child care at reduced rates for its employees. References for elderly care, with discounts provided, will also be available to those who need them. Both of these policies will reduce absenteeism and help individuals focus on their work
Tuition reimbursement: For employees who wish to develop skills and their careers beyond the training available at InterClean, a tuition reimbursement program will be available. The requirements are acceptable evaluations and grades of B or higher for eligibility.
Employee of the month: Employees who receive outstanding evaluations will be eligible for employee of the month. Once eligible, the other employees at InterClean will vote anonymously to decide the winner. The winner will receive a fifty dollar certificate to the store of their choice.
The new sales team is formed of members of varying cultures, backgrounds, experiences, professions, talents, and skills. To adapt to this, each individual must be handled differently based on their unique characteristics. To accommodate to this diversity, a plan will be created which encompasses effective management and communication. Both obtainable short and long term goals will be set for each individual to develop their needs and careers.
Both quality work life improvement and diversity accommodation are two methods of developing our employee??™s careers. Quality of work life advances the employee skills and title, while diversity accommodation focuses on the needs of the employee to do so.
Here at Kudler we aim to expand our business to increase our success as a gourmet food store. While developing our business we also intend to develop our employees, which in turn increases our competitive edge. This will be done by beneficial training programs and career developing benefits. This is justification for the strategy outlined for the creation and logistics of the new five person team created for the new store in Carlsbad.
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