1. What factors have led to Janice Bowman’s current frustrations? Answer: Janice Bowman joined The Garden Depot in 2005, after working as a general manager for one of the competitors. Although, Janice did not complain working seven days a week, she was concerned about the way the landscaping division was functioning. Some of the major causes of her frustration could be listed as: 1. Derek Sinclair: was the manager of the landscaping department & was unqualified for the job. He lacked the experience & skills needed to handle the responsibilities assigned to him.
Thus, he demonstrated poor customer skills by not answering the customers calls efficiently & tried to avoid them whenever possible. As Derek did not have any experience in the landscaping industry, he could not handle customer queries or understand their requirements which led to the customer’s dissatisfaction. In addition to that, Sinclair was unsure which material would have to be used for a particular job & was hence not quoting the right price.
Also, Sinclair did not send out the invoices on time which meant the customers were not billed for days after the work was done.
When Bowman tried to help, Sinclair took her for granted & ended up delegating every single bill. When, Bowman realized that Sinclair had assumed the role of a free rider, she made arrangements for him to reclaim his duty to reduce the burden off her shoulders. Soon, it was noticed that Sinclair began delegating the work of computer entering the new invoices to John Campbell, a part time landscaper with no invoicing experience. Overall, Sinclair’s lack of interest towards his responsibility, casual approach & low level of cooperation bothered Bowman. 2.
Job Slips: Bowman was responsible for inventory management. The job slip was a list of all the materials that would be used for a particular job. It helped to keep track of the inventory & to charge the customer correctly. Bowman had a tough time tracking her inventory as these job slips were incorrectly prepared. A job that would ideally require 6 sprinklers had only 3 listed on the job slip along with hardly any plumbing supplies. Hence, to track the right details she had to get hold of every landscaper to determine the exact inventory used. She knew that these inconsistencies would result in losses.
Additionally, Sinclair did not seem sincere to review the job slips he prepared with his limited industry knowledge. 3. Customer Dissatisfaction & Effect on Employees: Due to the poor leadership & interpersonal skills of Derek Sinclair, the customer’s complaints, queries & issues were not solved efficiently. Their requirements were not met accurately which led to the customer’s frustration. The customer’s would vent this frustration at Bowman & the on field workers. The customers were even more frustrated as they did not receive regular status reports & follow up calls from Derek.
To add to the problem, Sinclair would avoid customer calls. Bowman feared customer dissatisfaction would motivate customers to go elsewhere which will affect the well-being of the Depot. 4. Staff Problems: Jayme Strong, a landscaper with the depot since 2007, was charging longer than regular hours on his timecard. On having a conversation with a long time customer, Bowman learnt that Jayme Strong had done work for them which was not billed by the depot. This realization led her to doubt that Jayme could be doing additional work for the customer & pocketing the money earned from the job while he charged those hours to other clients.
Her doubts were confirmed when a sprinkler system went missing & the book-keeper narrated the story of how her friend purchased a state of the art sprinkler & got it installed at a cheaper rate, from a man named “Jayme”. On expressing her concerns to Sinclair, he did not care to probe the matter ahead. 2. Consider the workplace culture at the Garden Depot. Is it contributing to the present problems Bowman is experiencing? Answers: On assessing the work culture at Garden Depot, it is clear that there is lack of synchronization in the organization & there is inappropriate positioning of employees.
This situation has led to a number of circumstances which have contributed to Bowman’s worries. We can analyze them as: 1. Improper Recruitment & Lack of Training: Improper recruiting seems to be the major cause of mishap. The Depot recruits seasonal students who intend to leave in a short period. This causes quality & delivery inconsistency as they do not perform as well as a permanent employee. Unlike, an experienced senior employee, they constantly need to be supervised. In addition to that, there is no proper guidance given to help these employees perform well.
Since, there is a constant turnover of employees, it becomes difficult to train them. Also, training is not provided to the staff hired for management. In my opinion, it is extremely crucial to train the management as they are responsible for the smooth functioning of the business & motivating the staff. For instance, Derek Sinclair, was hired because he was related to the owner & not because of his skills & experience, this decision hampered the business development plan as his lack of capabilities caused a hindrance in handling business complexities. Additionally, he lacked leadership skills.
He shrugged away his responsibilities which could result in motivating the employees to follow suit. 2. Lack of Job Description & Performance Appraisal: Job responsibilities are not clearly defined which creates confusion amongst employees while carrying out daily operations. 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. It becomes easy to assess the performance of the employees if job roles are defined.
Employees tend to perform well when they know that their appraisal affects their growth & pay. 3. Conflicts: It is obvious that there is a dysfunctional conflict among two key members of the organization, Janice Bowman & Derek Sinclair. Sinclair demonstrates of absence of trust. He tries to conceal his weakness & does not take the feedback offered by Bowman constructively. For instance, when Bowman suggested that he should be careful with the invoicing & job slips, he did not take her seriously & left work early without reviewing the job slips.
He also delegated the invoicing bit to an untrained employee. Sinclair also ignored the fact, that there could be a possibility that one of the his division member may be following unethical practices. 4. Lack of company vision: The Garden Depot lacks a mission statement which directs employees to conduct themselves in a certain way. Employees usually refrain from performing unethical practices when a mission statement is guiding them. For instance, Jayme Strong provided false timecards & stole from the company inventory as the culture of doing business ethically wasn’t imbibed in him. . Why do you think Derek Sinclair is underperforming in his job? Can he be held accountable for his actions? Answers: Derek Sinclair, the manager of the landscaping division, was hired because he was the son-in-law of the owner. He did not possess the right qualification, background knowledge & skill sets required for this job. He failed to understand the client requirements as he had no knowledge about the landscaping industry. As a result, he would allocate wrong materials in the job list & would hesitate to take client calls or make follow up calls.
Also, I think that Sinclair lacked openness & extraversion, as he was not curious to learn his job & was always withdrawn. Also, I think he was not conscientious. For instance, he would leave the invoices scattered on the desk, took irresponsible decisions like delegating the task of entering the invoices onto the computer to a person with no experience in that department. Also, he couldn’t seem to care more when he found out that an employee from his division was stealing inventory, deceiving the company & was charging incorrect hours.
Additionally, Sinclair was well aware that there is no formal appraisal process to judge his performance & plus he was the son-in-law of the owner. Hence, he did not take any efforts to improve his actions. On the other hand, even the Depot did not bother to provide him with training sessions to improve his knowledge & skills. All these factors, led seem to be the reason for his underperformance. In my opinion, yes, he can & should be held accountable. The reason for this belief is the fact that his duties seem to be well defined.
His job was to organize & deploy landscapers to job site, deal with customers & respond to customer concerns, invoice completed jobs & quote prices. Even though he lacked the background & knowledge initially, he should have taken the necessary steps to develop the same over a period of time. Additionally, he did not even think it was crucial to investigate Bowman’s concern about Jayme Strong. He also tried shrugging away from his invoicing responsibilities. Moreover, when Bowman asked him to review the job lists more efficiently, he left even before the landscapers returned with the job lists.
Thus, his lack of commitment towards his goal & his attitude of keeping his own needs ahead of the Depot indicate avoidance of accountability for results. 4. Show Bowman attempt to fix the invoicing concerns on her own? What about her concerns with Jayme Strong? Should Bowman attempt to fix the customer complaints on her own? Answers: The scattered bills on Sinclair’s desk made Bowman believe that Sinclair was struggling to learn his job & hence offered help with the responsibility. By the end of 1 month, she had taken over majority of the responsibility & ended up working on the invoices even on weekends while Sinclair did not work on any.
On this realization, Bowman returned the duties to Sinclair. However, the inconsistencies still continued. The invoices were prepared on the basis of the job lists. The job list listed items which were either too less or too inconsistent with the requirements of the job. Hence, she prepared detailed binders with pictures & product codes for all materials & handed them over to the 12 landscapers. However, when the inconsistencies still continued, she had to track down the landscapers to clarify the materials used for a job.
Later, when she found out that Sinclair had delegated the work to Campbell who did not have any invoicing experience, she was displeased with the arrangement but still, continued to fix the invoices instead of reporting to senior management. Bowman’s concern about the landscaping department were augmented when Jayme Strong started turning in timecards which indicated that he was taking longer hours than hours taken by others on comparable jobs. On talking to a long-time customer, Bowman was shocked to realize that Jayme has been working out-of-scope & may have been pocketing the money for that job.
This meant that, he extended the time on his job lists of other customers to accommodate the extra jobs. Moreover, what worried Bowman was that a missing sprinkler was sold to a friend of the store’s book-keeper by a man named “Jayme”. Although, Bowman was sure that Jayme Strong was working on personal jobs on company time & stealing the supplies to do them, she did not have sufficient proof to confront him. When she tried to ask for Sinclair’s help to investigate the matter, he shrugged it away stating that this wouldn’t affect the company’s pocket.
Bowman did not receive help from Sinclair over her concerns about Jayme Strong and she could not stop worrying about the effects on the company’s reputation & financial position. The final straw to her worries was the series of calls made by the customers complaining that Sinclair did not return their calls or did not bother to keep them informed about the status of their work. In my opinion, Bowman should intervene & try to set things right as ignoring the customers would motivate them to go elsewhere putting the existence of the company in jeopardy.
The disorganization in the landscaping division had to be controlled and she could start with one of the most crucial aspects of it – customer satisfaction. 5. As Bowman, develop a detailed plan of action for the short term and long term, addressing all of her concerns. Answer: The short term plan for The Garden Depot should be efficient enough to frame a guideline to smooth the functioning of the landscaping division. It could be outlined as: 1. Set up Performance Appraisals: Appraisals help employees understand what is expected out of them. It helps the management review an employee’s strengths, weaknesses & achievements.
This ensures that employees continue their work properly. The performance appraisals benefits both the employees & the company as they can be used as 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. 2. Define Job Responsibilities: Job description gives a clear definition of the job duties & responsibilities which will help makes the screening process focused & to the point.
This would help employees understand what is expected out of them & avoid confusion. Defining job responsibilities will mean smooth function of the organization as every employee will have their own task to perform & justify. 3. Periodical Meetings: It would be beneficial if the organization conducts periodic meetings with the CEO’s, General Managers & other positions of authority as they will be helpful to make the employees feel that they have the right & freedom to approach the management with their ideas & concerns. 4. Management Information System (MIS):
The company should consider introducing the MIS to the organization. It will be beneficial to predict job demands, track inventory & employee performance. 5. Human Resources Division: The organization should set an HR department & hire staff. Along with the short term girl, the company needs to concentrate on long term goals, which could be: 1. Management Information System (MIS): In the long run, the organization should start using MIS to predict demands, track inventory & employee performance. 2. Human Resource Division:
The HR department should began its function & regulate the hiring process, screening process, appraisal process & arrange trainings. It should also carry out functions to boost employee morals & address their grievances. Also, they should work towards building company culture by establishing values & goals. 3. Customer Service Department: A customer service department should be set up to address customers needs, wants & grievances. 4. New Departments: The company should set up new departments like the marketing department & inventory control department.
The inventory department will be helpful to maintain acceptable & accurate inventory levels while the marketing department would be helpful to attract customers towards the organization with the help of media & advertisements. 5. Expansion: In the long run, the company should look towards setting up new divisions & expanding into nearby major cities. The company could look to set up new divisions like Winter Maintenance & Interior Gardening Division. Also, it should plan to open new stores in Toronto.
Cite this Janice Bowman Joined The Garden Depot
Janice Bowman Joined The Garden Depot. (2016, Oct 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/garden-depot/