The Pet Supply Company is a 30-year-old organization based in Manchester, New Hampshire that produces and sells pet supplies. The company has 200 employees in Manchester; 100 employees in a satellite office in Denver, Colorado; and a remaining 300 employees who work remotely throughout the country. The organization has had to rapidly expand due to a substantial increase in consumer demand over the past two years.
The Pet Supply Company’s mission is to provide high-quality pet food, treats, and toys to dogs and cats.
Note: If you would instead like to use the mission statement you created with your group in the Module Four discussion, you may do so.
The Pet Supply Company is staffed by a diverse group of more than 500 employees who love pets and appreciate the joy and friendship they bring to our homes and communities. We are a passionate, friendly group of people who strive to provide high-quality products and customer-first services across the nation to our customers and their pets.
- Make quality pet products easier for customers to obtain through decreasing production costs by 3%
- Increase workplace efficiencies to deliver products more quickly and effectively
- Increase employee satisfaction ratings by 4%
The organization is divided into three divisions: food, toys, and supplies. Each division has its own product development, merchandising, marketing, sales, supply chain, and retail operations department. Although some of these departments collaborate on major projects, such as nationwide marketing campaigns, they usually work independently. The company also has other departments that cover all three divisions, such as Human Resources (HR) and Informational Technology (IT).
The Manchester and Denver offices are headed by the vice presidents (VPs) of each location. Most of the remote workers report to the VP at Manchester, although a handful are associated with the Denver office as well. Each office has its own divisional and departmental managers, and although these managers are given some independence on how to manage their teams, most decisions must be approved by their VPs or the executive leadership in Manchester.
A text-only version of the image above is available in the Supporting Materials section of the Project One Guidelines and Rubric in your course.
The company primarily relies on formal communication methods such as email and in-person meetings; however, each colocated division also has its own preferred communication tools. Communication tools vary from comments in live documents (through Google’s G Suite applications or Microsoft Office 365) to instant messaging tools (through Skype, Teams, or Slack) to in-office whiteboards.
Employees and managers often note in feedback surveys that they do not receive information in a timely, consistent fashion, and that more often than not, they hear about major changes and initiatives through the grapevine or through informal conversations with coworkers. Employees on shared-services teams (HR and IT) also note that the different team cultures and communication preferences across divisions and locations make it difficult for them to collaborate and communicate with their coworkers.
As the company grew rapidly to meet consumer demands, it experienced rapid turnover. Leaders promoted veteran employees to management roles based on years of experience. These new managers were assigned direct reports at random, including direct reports from colocated divisions and fully remote employees working on colocated teams.
Many of the new managers had little management experience. As a result, the company provided a two- day intensive management training and provided all managers with a handbook that outlined the standard company-management practices. Managers were expected to follow the standard practices in the handbook. These practices included using an authoritative, results-based management style; resolving performance issues quickly based on standard processes; and fulfilling tasks related to project management, meeting facilitation, and decision making for their teams.
In feedback surveys, employees frequently noted that their managers were often insensitive and inflexible, leaving little room for others to have a say in decision-making processes. They also reported feeling micromanaged. Managers who responded to the feedback surveys noted that they often felt uncomfortable using the strict, standardized management styles and approaches the company required. While management styles and approaches were standardized across teams, things like productivity tools and collaborative practices were not. As the company grew in size, managers saw a continual decline in productivity. Many managers, especially those new to their roles, often stated they felt overwhelmed and underprepared for their role.
To address these concerns, leadership created a new organizational goal focused on improving employee satisfaction and giving managers more autonomy over managing their teams. The changes have been in place for almost a year, and the organization has seen an increase in employee satisfaction. However, your team’s previous manager decided to continue using the old management style, stating that it better suited their personal management style and that it would be most appropriate for their team.
Your team has been together for a little over two years. Your teammates describe one another as creative and capable, but they feel their skills are underused, and they have one of the lowest employee satisfaction ratings in the organization. In surveys, their feedback centers around a few specific areas: a lack of autonomy, not feeling heard or valued, and abundant miscommunication.
Because the team’s previous manager had maintained the organization’s strict, results-based management style, team members were often pushed to meet short deadlines and focus on quantitative achievements. They felt as though they had no opportunities to get creative, take initiative, or grow. When they asked questions, expressed concerns, or made suggestions for improvements, their previous manager often shot them down in ways that were insensitive. This caused the team to give up trying.
The previous manager also tried to keep team members from going “outside the team” to get support or to collaborate. The manager would grow frustrated when teammates would communicate with others and come back with new ideas or knowledge of how other teams were operating, claiming this was “wasted time and energy.” The manager’s mentality also frustrated the team around the time of the organizational change. The team felt left out of the loop regarding organizational initiatives, major announcements, and general updates due to the lack of cross-team and cross-departmental communication. Lastly, the previous manager worked from the Manchester, New Hampshire office and would schedule all team meetings based on Eastern Standard Time, which created scheduling complexities for geographically distributed team members.
While your team members have been feeling undervalued and frustrated for some time, their feedback does note that they do like one another, collaborate well among themselves, and each seem to have a unique skill set that could be used in addition to their typical job responsibilities.
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