Compile a summary of learning from the The Tanglewood Casebook (cases 2,3,6, and 7)
Must be at least 2.5 – 3 page double spaced pages of comments.
for use with
To accompany Staffing Organizations, seventh edition, 2012.
Prepared by John Kammeyer-Mueller
Warrington College of Business
University of Florida
E-mail: [email protected]
Mendota House, Inc.
Herbert G. Heneman III
E-mail: [email protected]
INTRODUCTION TO THE CASE CONCEPT
Rationale for the Tanglewood Case
Many of the most important lessons in business education involve learning how to place academic concepts in a work setting. For applied topics, like staffing, learning how concepts are applied in the world of work also allow us see how the course is relevant to our own lives. The use of these cases will serve as a bridge between the major themes in the textbook Staffing Organizations and the problems faced by managers on a daily basis.
The Tanglewood case is closely intertwined with textbook concepts. Most assignments in the case require reference to specific tables and examples in the book. After completing these cases, you will be much more able to understand and apply the material in the textbook.
With this in mind, it should be noted that the cases are designed to correspond with the types of information found in work environments. This means that for many important decisions, the right answers will not always be easy to detect, there will be more than one correct solution, and often the very information that would make decisions easy is missing. Remember that ambiguity in any case corresponds to reality; although it may be frustrating at first, you should remember that business problems are themselves often confusing and require important judgment calls that don’t have any single “right” answer.
Successful Case Performance
Successful case performance involves several key concepts. Each case should be prepared in the form of a report to be given to the top management team at Tanglewood department stores. The following guidelines for successful case performance are useful for checking your work:
1. Is the report easy to read?
a. Correct grammatical errors and eliminate confusing sentences.
b. Break the text into subheadings so it is easy for the reader to find relevant information.
c. Explain your statistics in a way that an intelligent reader who is not familiar with them could understand what is being reported.
d. Present tables cleanly with relevant data highlighted for the reader and with minimal extraneous information.
e. Explain why you chose to use information and data in the way that you did.
2. Are your final recommendations and answers sensible?
a. The final recommendations should be presented in a clear, succinct manner.
b. The recommendations should be feasible and directly related to the information provided to the information provided in the case.
c. Recommendation should take potential problems into account.
CASE ONE: TANGLEWOOD STORES AND STAFFING STRATEGY
Case one principles:
1. You will first assess the current operating environment for Tanglewood in terms of it competitors, structure, employees, culture, values, and human resources function.
2. Then you will then develop recommendations for how the organization should staff its operations, focusing on strategic decisions pertaining to staffing levels and quality.
The goal of this section is to help you learn more about the basic environmental concerns the Tanglewood Department Store chain is facing. This information will help you to understand how competition, strategy, and culture jointly inform the effective development of a selection plan.
Organization Overview and Mission
Tanglewood is a chain of general retail stores featuring items such as clothing, appliances, electronics, and home decor. The company operates in the moderate price niche, targeting middle- and upper-income customers. Tanglewood’s strategic distinction is an “outdoors” theme, with a large camping and outdoor living section in every store. The store also distinguishes itself by its simple, elegant, and uncluttered design concepts for the store and their in-house products. The company’s mission statement is:
Tanglewood will be the best department store for customers seeking quality, durability, and value for all aspects of their active lives. We are committed as a company to providing maximum value to our customers, shareholders, and employees. We will accomplish this goal by adhering to the core values of responsible financial management, clear and honest communication, and always keeping performance and customer service in the forefront.
Tanglewood was originally founded in 1975 by best friends Tanner Emerson and Thurston Wood. The initial concept was a single store in Spokane Washington, named TannerWood, which sold a combination of outdoor clothing and equipment that the pair had designed themselves. The employee handbook notes that, “Tanner and Thurston financed their early store plans with credit cards and personal loans from friends and family. They had so little money that they slept in sleeping bags in the back room and put every penny they made back into the stores.” The first store’s unique merchandise offering and personable sales staff made them successful quite rapidly, allowing Emerson and Wood to move out of the back room and add several more stores during the late 1970’s. The merchandise offerings expanded over time to incorporate more conventional retail items, while still retaining the elegant, yet outdoors look for the stores overall.
Emerson and Wood eventually decided to rename their store chain Tanglewood in 1984. Much more rapid growth began around this time. As Emerson put it, “we worried for a long time that expanding would compromise our vision of a small, personable shopping experience. We had always wanted to run the type of store that we would love to work and shop at. Around 1984, after we had 10 stores, we realized we had developed a fairly successful blueprint for running stores with a strong base of employee participation, customer satisfaction, and profitability. So we decided to spread out to cover the northwest.”
During the 1990’s the expansion strategy really took root. Most of the expansion occurred by purchasing other existing stores rather than building new stores. Emerson and Wood had been heavily involved in the management of the stores, but found that increasingly the corporate administration was a more pressing concern. The company arrived at a regional structure for its operations. Emerson and Wood took on the positions of CEO and President of the company, respectively, while a team of regional managers more directly oversee day to day operations. The company currently has a total of 243 stores open in the states of Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Prior to any further expansion, however, the company needs to consolidate its current management strategy. The process of growth has been very quick in the last 5 years, and has involved buyouts of several smaller chains of department stores. While all the stores under the Tanglewood name have the same basic look, the management styles and human resource (HR) practices still reflect the historical differences between stores. Wood noted in a recent interview with Business Monthly, “Tanglewood really needs to slow down and take a hard look at our corporate culture. Right now, we need to consolidate and make sure we’re as close to the company’s original mission as we can be. Our success is due entirely to our strong culture—this is something we need to hold on to.” These concerns have lead Tanglewood to bring in external human resources consultants like you to help centralize the organization’s practices.
Another major concern for Tanglewood has been the westward expansion of companies like Kohl’s and Target. The possibility of more direct competition has lead Tanglewood to critically examine their HR policies and practices. For staffing, in particular, the organization feels there absolutely must be a workforce of committed, qualified individuals who will help carry the Tanglewood philosophy into the future.
Competition and Industry
The Tanglewood Department Store chain operates in the nondurable general retail industry, which fits into industry 45211 as classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This industry engages in the sale of consumer goods including clothing, small appliances, electronics, and other housewares. The retail industry accounts for over $4 trillion in annual sales. Recent estimates indicate that the retail industry employs approximately 15 million people.
A comparison of several top retail stores is presented below. The operating revenues indicate total sales for these organizations, and the compound growth rate tracks changes in the sales for each retail chain. The financials show that Tanglewood is a moderately sized organization with strong growth potential.
Operating Revenues (in millions) Revenue Growth
(1 yr) Employment (in 1,000s) Employment Growth
(1 yr) Number of Stores
Dillard’s 6,250 0.4% 41 -5.81% 310
J.C. Penny 17,759 1.2% 154 4.80% 1,100
Kohl’s 9,120 4.8% 133 2.26% 1,050
Macy’s 25,003 6.4% 161 -3.59% 850
REI 1,460 2.1% 10 0.00% 110
Sears Holding Corp. 43,426 -1.6% 312 -3.11% 3,900
Tanglewood 7,200 4.2% 53 3.75% 243
Target 67,390 3.10% 351 1.14% 1,750
WalMart 421,849 3.30% 2,100 0.00% 8,400
PM (%) ROA (%) ROE (%)
Dillard’s 2.87% 4.72% 8.18%
J.C. Penny 2.19% 4.06% 7.38%
Kohl’s 6.06% 8.95% 13.96%
Macy’s 3.39% 5.72% 16.56%
REI 1.82% 2.85% 5.66%
Sears Holding Corp. 0.31% 1.43% 1.66%
Tanglewood 3.54% 5.36% 14.97%
Target 4.33% 7.44% 18.94%
WalMart 3.89% 9.09% 22.03%
All three profit ratio figures indicate corporate profitability.
PM is profit margin = (net income for the past year)/(revenue)
ROA is return on assets = (net income for the past year) / (average assets)
ROE is return on equity = (net income for the past year) / (shareholder equity)
Competitive Response and Strategy
The company’s specific niche is similar to that occupied by Kohl’s or Target, appealing to middle- and upper-income consumers looking for convenience and reasonable prices. This means that Tanglewood uses a layout and provides the same products offered of general merchandise retailers. Tanglewood also focuses on stocking quality products, providing customer service, and a more designer appearance than discount stores. This strategy is further supplemented by the company’s trademark “look” which involves an outdoors theme, complete with real wood décor and use of natural colors.
Like its competitors, Tanglewood has developed several proprietary brands of merchandise which are designed to complement its look. While the actual products are made by subcontractors, Emerson and Wood have personal responsibility for all products that are produced. Their own brands include Burford Kitchen, which includes wood-accented, rustic, sturdy kitchen utensils, and Wilderness Outfitter clothing and camping goods lines. The stores also have emphasized small home electronics, housewares, and bedding accessories.
Despite the company’s effort to emphasize its western appearance and theme, there is no shortage of high-technology innovations in the way that Tanglewood operates. They have worked hard to ensure that their web portals provide a clear guide to merchandise available in the stores. Through their “County Store” concept they have also made their stores a pick-up location for items ordered online. This allows them to utilize their low-cost shipping arrangements to the benefit of customers. Emerson notes, “We have a lot of consumers in places like rural Idaho, who don’t want to drive an hour to one of our stores and then find out what they wanted isn’t available. The online County Store makes sure that if they want something, we will have it in stock.” In addition, online shoppers who visit bricks-and-mortar locations also often buy other merchandise in the stores.
The structure of most retail stores is relatively similar, and Tanglewood has essentially evolved to have a structure that looks something like the familiar organizational hierarchy. This appearance is deceptive, because employees at all levels of the corporation are encouraged to make suggestions regarding operations. More than one major operational change has come from an employee suggestion.
Each store is managed by a single individual who has three assistant store managers working beneath him or her. The Assistant Manager for Softlines is in charge of all areas related to clothing and jewelry. The Assistant Manager for Hardlines is in charge of all non-clothing merchandise, including sporting goods, bath, bedding, and home decor. Another way to think of the distinction is that Softlines consists only of things that are worn, while Hardlines consists of nothing that is worn. The Assistant Manager for Operations and Human Resources is primarily responsible for activities, including security, clerical work, merchandise loading and warehousing, cashiers, and human resources management. Although the Assistant Manager for Operations is technically in charge of the smallest number of employees, this tends to be a more powerful position because it includes more managerial responsibilities, including staffing the store and training new hires. Department managers are in charge of specific product groups such as electronics, women’s clothing, or shoes. For each shift there is also a designated shift leader who completes most of the same tasks as store associates, but also has some administrative responsibility.
Overall, with 1 store manager, 3 assistant managers, 17 department managers, approximately 24 shift leaders, and approximately 170 associates, there are around 215 employees per store. All employees, full or part time, are members of the core work force. Tanglewood does not extensively use a flexible workforce, such as temporary employees. A core workforce is viewed as essential for the organizational values and culture, described below, that Tanglewood seeks to develop and maintain.
Stores are organized into 12 geographical regions, with approximately 20 stores per region. Each region has a regional manager who oversees operations of the stores. The store managers report directly to the regional managers. There is considerable variation between regional managers in how they run their HR practices. The tendency for some regional managers to encourage human resources practices which are counter to the Tanglewood philosophy is a major reason that an external consulting firm was brought in to centralize human resources.
The breakdown of stores and employment by division is as follows:
Division Area Covered Stores PCs PCs/S Employees
1 Eastern Washington 25 3,120,000 124,800 5,400
2 Western Washington 25 3,011,000 120,440 5,400
3 Northern Oregon 18 1,850,000 102,778 3,900
4 Southern Oregon 16 1,710,000 106,875 3,400
5 Northern California 23 3,000,000 130,435 4,900
6 Idaho 17 1,366,000 80,353 3,700
7 Montana and Wyoming 18 1,418,000 78,778 3,900
8 Colorado 23 4,550,000 197,826 4,900
9 Utah 19 2,351,000 123,737 4,100
10 Nevada 19 2,241,000 117,947 4,100
11 New Mexico 18 1,875,000 104,167 3,900
12 Arizona 22 5,580,000 253,636 4,700
Total 243 52,300
Note: PCs is the population of the area covered; the abbreviation PC for Tanglewood means “potential customers.” The PCs/S is the number of potential customers per store. Employee figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
Organizational Culture and Values
Whereas many elements of the Tanglewood operational plan have been based on other firms within the retail industry, the company’s culture and values are distinct from most of its major competitors. From its inception, this company has emphasized employee participation and teams. At orientation, every employee hears the philosophy that Wood and Emerson proclaimed as their vision for employee relations, “If you tell someone exactly what to do, you’re only getting half an employee. If you give someone the space to make their own decisions, you’re getting a whole person.”
Most retail stores have a strict hierarchy with assistant store managers providing directives to their subordinates, and most associates’ primarily follow orders. Tanglewood, on the other hand, has allowed each department manager to formulate distinct methods for running their departments in coordination with the employees they supervise. There is still a well-defined ordering of job responsibilities, but efforts are made to involve employees in the decision process when possible.
One of the most important cultural elements of the organization is an emphasis on “straight talk” in all areas of the business. The company provides employees with information on the company’s share price and overall profitability for each quarter, along with other details about company activities. Profit-sharing for all employees is part of the company’s push to encourage employees to think like managers. In addition, mandatory weekly store meetings (one meeting for each shift) give employees a specific time to voice their suggestions for in-store improvements. Associates who make suggestions that are implemented by management receive financial bonuses. Department managers are also given financial incentives for successfully developing and implementing new policies and procedures, further reinforcing the participatory management style of the company.
Every shift is run based on a team concept. While the most senior associate is designated as a shift leader, the other members of the team are encouraged to provide ongoing suggestions. All employees share all tasks, so there are no designated “customer contact” or “display” employees. It is also expected that associates will make themselves available to help the other members of the team. Quarterly performance evaluations include several items specifically reflecting the associates’ interactions with other team members and initiative to improve the department.
Because of the heavy emphasis on employee suggestions, Tanglewood’s upper managers have ample opportunity to observe the leadership and decision making qualities of their associates. This is one of the main portals through which promotion and advancement are achieved. All new employees without retail experience, even those with college degrees who are targeted as having management potential, spend a period of time working in the store as an associate. This is seen as a way of preserving the company’s unique culture and values over time.
Human Resources at Tanglewood
The basic structure for human resources at Tanglewood involves both corporate and store-level components. The corporate Staffing Services function, shown above, is a division of the Human Resources Department. The Staffing Services Director supervises three managers (for the areas of retention, recruiting, and selection), plus an Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator. The corporate Staffing Services function performs data analysis and design of staffing policies and programs. Data regarding recruiting practices, methods for interviewing, testing and selecting employees, and employee turnover are sent from the individual store to the corporate headquarters. At headquarters, the data are collected and statistically analyzed. Based on these analyses, specific recommendations are provided to the stores. For example, after data suggested that newspaper advertising for new recruits was becoming less and less cost effective, all stores were given a strong recommendation to switch to an internet-based strategy. As another example, the employee selection specialists in the corporate staffing function developed a format for interviews that is now used as a part of the hiring process for nearly all stores.
Each store is responsible for implementing recommendations provided by corporate. The store operations and human resources manager is responsible for overseeing each store’s staffing, training, performance management, and equal employment opportunity practices. As pertains to staffing, the manager of operations and human resources is responsible for planning, recruitment, and initial screening. Department managers interview finalists, then hiring decisions are made in conjunction with the assistant store managers. Promotion decisions up to the department manager level are made within the stores. Regional managers conduct the hiring for store managers, and work with each store’s managers to determine promotions to the assistant store manager.
Historically, the corporate staffing function has not been strong. Because of the participatory philosophy of the stores, the role of corporate HR was primarily to act as an advisor to each regional manager. The company’s plans for expansion have led to a change in this philosophy of late. Emerson’s directive to HR for this year is, “help us to develop a plan, a way of using all our human assets in the service of our philosophy, our customers, and our employees.” As the company expands, the need for a central planning body in staffing is seen as an important way to maintain the distinctive “flavor” of the Tanglewood experience. In addition, the sheer number of stores means that local leadership is becoming inefficient. Centralization will also serve to create staffing operations efficiencies.
Your role within Tanglewood is as an external consultant for staffing services. You will report directly to Daryl Perrone, who is the Staffing Services Director, with final oversight for your work coming from Marilyn Gonzalez, who is the Vice President for Human Resources. Both of these individuals were recently hired personally by Emerson and Wood as part of their plan to centralize and improve the human resources function. Perrone has extensive experience in managing staffing for department stores in New Jersey and New York, while Gonzalez has worked in a variety of corporate positions in the Pacific Northwest.
The reports that you produce will be given to Perrone and Gonzalez, who will disseminate them throughout the organization. As such, although Perrone, Gonzalez, and other members of the human resources team are generally well versed in the terminology of staffing, the other individuals who read you reports will not be so familiar with the specific staffing terminology. This means that your reports should not contain excessive staffing terminology, and that when you do use specific staffing terms you should provide a brief explanation.
Specific Assignment Details
In this assignment you will be concentrating on staffing quantity and staffing quality strategies for Tanglewood. To begin the assignment, refer to Exhibit 1.7 in the textbook. You will see that the Exhibit indicates a series of strategic staffing decisions: nine pertaining to staffing levels and four pertaining to staffing quality. Daryl Perrone, the Director of Staffing Services, is interested in your opinions about each of these decisions as each pertains to Tanglewood.
Review the textbook material that discusses these thirteen decisions, and the material you have read about Tanglewood. Then consider each of the decisions and briefly indicate which way you think Tanglewood should position itself along the continuum and why. For example, the first decision is to develop or acquire talent. Indicate whether you think it is best for Tanglewood to focus more on acquiring talent internally or externally, and why? Repeat this process for each of the staffing level and staffing quality dimensions.
1. Conduct an analysis of Tanglewood’s staffing data and determine if their current staffing practices are sufficient to meet their ongoing needs, or if there will be problems in adequately staffing the organization in the near future.
2. Recommend how Tanglewood should design its overall staffing mission and strategy based on their upcoming needs.
3. Calculate representation statistics for various jobs within a single Tanglewood department store to determine where the most critical problems exist.
4. Recommend what you would do in light of the information you obtain in the calculation of various demographic statistics both for this specific store and for the chain as a whole.
The planning process in staffing involves making forecasts of an organization’s future hiring needs and developing methods the organization can use to meet these needs. The process of planning involves a combination of forecasting labor needs, comparing these needs to the labor availabilities, and determining where gaps exist. After these gaps are identified, general plans for filling these gaps are enacted.
Beyond the process of developing objectives for the number of individuals to be hired, planning activities often take the demographic composition of the workforce into consideration. Attending to the demographic breakdown of the workforce is important for a number of reasons. One is to ensure that the company has employees who can understand the perspective of the populations the company serves. The second reason is to minimize concerns about Equal Employment Opportunity violations . For both purposes, the current workforce can be compared to the demographic characteristics of other individuals who work in similar jobs.
Planning for the State of Washington: Forecasting Requirements and Availabilities
The Staffing Services Director, Daryl Perrone, has requested your assistance in the completion of an HR planning analysis for the 50 stores in two regional divisions in the state of Washington. After these overall goals are developed for the state, the policy will be disseminated across all 50 individual stores. Data from the individual stores will then be sent to the corporate offices for analysis and re-evaluation.
The basic model for planning includes (1) forecasting labor requirements, (2) forecasting labor availabilities, (3) conducting environmental scans, (4) determining gaps, and (5) developing action plans. These steps are described in your textbook. Conducting an adequate human resources selection plan will require you to take all of these steps.
Historical data from these two divisions have been presented in the transition probability matrix. Information on how to read transition matrices is provided in your textbook. The transition probability matrix was developed based on the historical staffing pattern for Washington over the past five years. A first stage of investigating staffing is to use the previous years’ staffing patterns as a preliminary forecast of labor requirements, the internal availability based on retention, internal promotions, transfers and demotions, and a determination of gaps by subtracting forecasted availabilities from future requirements.
Table 1.1 Markov Analysis Information
Transition probability matrix Current year
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Exit
Previous year (1) Store associate 0.53 0.06 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.41
(2) Shift leader 0.00 0.50 0.16 0.00 0.00 0.34
(3) Department manager 0.00 0.00 0.58 0.12 0.00 0.30
(4) Assistant store manager 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.46 0.08 0.40
(5) Store manager 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.66 0.34
Forecast of availabilities Next year (projected)
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Exit
Previous year (1) Store associate 8,500 4505 510 0 0 0 3485
(2) Shift leader 1,200 0
(3) Department manager 850 0
(4) Assistant store manager 150 0
(5) Store manager 50 0
Gap analysis Next year (projected)
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Year end total
(column sum) 4505
External hires needed
(current workforce-total) 3995
Forecasting Labor Requirements
The Washington market is very stable for Tanglewood. Most stores have been in existence for 10 or more years, and were indirectly managed by either Emerson or Wood when they were first established. Because of this stability, the estimate for the coming year’s labor requirements is identical to the current year. So, for example, they currently have 1,200 individuals working as shift leader, and expect to need 1,200 individuals to work as shift leaders for the coming year as well.
Forecasting Labor Availabilities
One primary source of information for immediate labor availability at Tanglewood is their internal labor market. Table 1.1 shows that Tanglewood has used internal promotions to fill many openings for the department manager, assistant store manager, and store manager positions. For example, it is projected that 16% of shift leaders will be promoted to the rank of department manager, 12% of department managers will be promoted to be assistant store managers, and 8% of assistant store managers will be promoted to be store managers. However, it also appears that there will need to be considerable external hiring as well, since only 46%-66% of employees stay in the same position over a one year period.
To estimate a labor forecast, the proportion (percentage) of individuals for the next year is multiplied by the current workforce number. For the shift leader, there are 1,200 individuals in the position, of which, 50% will remain for the next year. This means that the projected availability is 1,200 × 50% = 600. Similarly, 16% of the shift leaders will be promoted to be department managers, so 1,200 × 16% = 192.
Conducting Environmental Scans
The environment for staffing managerial employees at Tanglewood in the state of Washington is fairly complex. Externally, there is a consistent supply of qualified individuals in the urban markets of Seattle and Spokane. Individuals from these urban areas often are transferred to small towns as they move up the promotion chain. However, retail is often seen as an undesirable market for recent college graduates. Many know of retail work experience, and see it (partially correctly) as requiring long hours, low pay, and frequent conflict with lower-level employees. While these factors lessen as individuals move up the hierarchy, many individuals are reluctant to put in several years in the shift leader and department manager positions to be promoted.
The labor market in the Pacific Northwest has been relatively “soft” in recent years, meaning that unemployment rates are high and it is usually difficult for individuals to find new jobs. This weakness in the labor market has made it somewhat easier for Tanglewood to find new candidates for the managerial positions, but recent forecasts suggest that expansion in the professional and managerial sectors of the labor market may reduce the number of individuals available for these jobs.
Internally, Tanglewood has relied on its experienced employees as a major source of talent. As noted earlier, the company promotes extensively from within. As a result, managerial employees often have significant experience with the company’s social environment and culture. This internal staffing strategy is seen as a real strength for the company, because the possibility of being promoted is believed to increase retention of lower level employees.
The current focus of staffing is to fill the vacant positions, although the organization would like to take steps to reduce the turnover rate for many of these jobs as well. During the planning phase targets are set for the number of individuals who need to be hired. The process of turning these estimates into actual employees will be covered in the recruiting phase. There are 1,200 shift leaders currently, so if 600 individuals stay, Tanglewood will need to hire 600 more. The calculation of gaps is demonstrated in Exhibit 3.9 in the textbook; refer to this when you are determining gaps for Tanglewood.
Developing Action Plans
Having developed a picture of the number of individuals Tanglewood will need to fill their positions in the coming year, there are several important decisions to be made regarding how to fill these gaps. The company’s philosophy for filling vacancies is a combination of tactics. Tanglewood has one managerial track that promotes sales associates to be shift leaders, then promotes shift leaders to be department managers, and so on up the managerial hierarchy. An alternative managerial track is bringing in either recent college graduates or individuals who have extensive experience in another store chain directly into the assistant store managerial position.
Regardless of where employees come from, the corporate staffing function endorses a strong commitment to developing long-range relationships with its workers. Many employees initially have difficulty adapting to the unique culture of Tanglewood, so the company is not happy to see experienced employees who have been socialized leave. There are also concerns that having too many employees come and go will dilute the company’s st
There are reasons why the company may consider alternative perspectives on the employment relationship in the near future. First, fluctuations in the economy have meant that the company carries excess employees during some periods of the year, and has a deficit of employees during other periods. There is some seasonal hiring for store associates (e.g., hiring temporary employees for the holiday season in December), but the managerial workforce numbers are typically fixed. Second, to preserve the company’s culture, some have suggested having all new managerial employees spend at least a little time in the Washington stores to get a sense of how the stores originally worked. These assignments would be short term in nature and would probably require a more contingent outlook for the employees they supervise.
Representation Concerns for the Flagship Store in Spokane
The problem of selection planning is made considerably more complex because of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements that fall on organizations that do business with the federal government. Because several Tanglewood locations are near military bases or government offices which have expense accounts for general merchandise items at Tanglewood, all staffing must be done consistent with the OFCCP affirmative action requirements. In the current case, Tanglewood needs to use information from their staffing records to examine whether the company has a disparity in outcomes for different groups of employees. When the proportion of protected classes being hired or currently employed falls below the proportion in the labor market, this may indicate intentional or unintentional discrimination in hiring and promotions that will need to be addressed through affirmative action planning. There are also growing concerns within the organization that a combination of rapid growth and high turnover threaten to create real problems in terms of the demographic breakdown of employees at the organization.
Acting as part of a team of staffing professionals, you have been asked to analyze the hiring and promotion activities of Tanglewood as they relate to the issue of disparate impact. The first level of disparate impact analyses for the purposes of OFCCP reporting and affirmative action planning are always done at the establishment level. An establishment, for Tanglewood, is a single store.
This analysis will concern the corporate flagship store in Spokane, Washington. This is the largest location within the Tanglewood chain and serves as an example for all other locations. The store has approximately 75% more employees than an average location, making for a total of 30 department managers, 42 shift leaders, and 300 store associates. There are five assistant store managers and one store manager. The primary concern for representation data is in the groups of department managers, shift leaders, and store associates.
To assess the problem of discrimination, data from the previous year’s employees stocks in Spokane were assembled. The data on the next page are broken into two tables. The first shows the company’s current employee availability data, and the second provides a template for comparing incumbency to availability.
Analyzing utilization of protected classes from the labor market requires comparing the availability of protected classes (i.e., the proportion of the available work force who are members of protected classes) to the utilization of protected classes (i.e., the proportion of those hired or employed who are members of protected classes) for each job. You can find additional information on this topic in your textbook.
In a stock analysis, data from the Census are used to determine how many people in a certain region are available to do the job (including those currently employed in similar jobs). The census data for the current analysis comes from the Bureau of the Census EEO data tool (http://www.census.gov/eeo2000/index.html), which was specifically designed by the government for the purpose of conducting EEO analyses.
The appropriate data can be found through the following steps:
1) Go to the website above
2) Indicate that you want data from census occupation codes and click “next”
3) Indicate that you want data for metropolitan areas and click “next”
4) Indicate that you want data for Spokane, WA and click “next”
5) Find the appropriate occupation codes as described below, and “Show Detailed Race/Ethnicity Categories”
6) The appropriate table should be displayed.
Store associates and shift leaders are considered for the present analysis, as retail salespersons, while department managers are direct supervisors of retail salespersons.
The Procedure for Developing an Affirmative Action Plan
Tanglewood’s internal staffing policy as recently articulated from central management is to retain as close a correspondence between their current representation and the available workforce. The primary goal for this year is to focus attention on achieving better numbers for gender representation, but they would like to examine other demographic groups in the future.
The source for the external data in all cases is from the Census data described earlier. The source for internal data is the current workforce of the flagship store. To determine the availability for each job category, the raw statistics for percentage of female and minority employees are multiplied by the value weight, and then these weighted statistics are added together within each job category.
Table 1.2 Determining Availability
Raw Statistics Value
weight Weighted Statistics
Female Minority Female Minority
Store associates External 53.1% 7.9% 100% 53.1% 7.9%
Shift Internal 44.3% 6.7% 92.4% 41.0% 6.2%
Leaders External 53.1% 7.9% 7.6% 4.0% 0.6%
Total 45.0% 6.8%
Department Internal 31.0% 4.8% 65.7% 20.4% 3.2%
Manager External 39.4% 6.7% 34.3% 13.5% 2.3%
Total 33.9% 5.5%