The TGIF case that will be analyzed is about a thriving organization named Quantum Software. Quantum Software makes software designed for independent oil companies. The founders Stan Albright and Erin Barber have successfully been in business for three years. The company has grown to over 200 employees and 95 million dollars in sales. However the company has a tough work schedule. Employees are working sixteen hours days and six days a week. To help with the hectic schedules and stress, Quantum has a beer fest on Fridays where employees can drop in to unwind and relax.
Employees from all sectors of the company come together to drink and have a great time. Everyone is on a first name basis, no ties or suits and very informal. Bill Carter is the cooperate attorney and he is concerned about liability issues. He witnessed one of the employees who fell on to a table and everyone applauding his fall. Bill took his concerns to Stan and Erin to explain the liability issues they would face if anyone were to be injured or injure another party do to a company sponsored beer fest. Stan and Erin did not see eye to eye on this subject.
To analyze this case it will be broken down in to six subjects; macro, micro, causes, systems affected, alternatives, recommendations. Macro 1. The organization Quantum Software hosting beer fests for company employees, is making it self an open target for liability issues. Bill Carter, cooperate attorney sees the value of the beer fests however as the company is growing so is the liability issues. It is foreseeable that if an employee leaves the party intoxicated and causes harm to him or her self or to another party the liable party would be Quantum Software.
2. Stan and Erin believe that the success of their company is because of the family feel they get from having the beer fest. The culture of Quantum Software seems to be one of a hectic and overwhelming work schedule as well as a fun and relaxed environment. 3. The culture of an organization according to Brown (2011) “refers to a system of shared meanings, including the language, dress, patterns of behavior, value system, feelings and attitudes, interactions, and group norms of the members” (p. 10). The culture at Quantum has been successfully effective for three years.
To shift the culture will be difficult. Micro 1. Quantum seems to be understaffed, because employees are required to work a very stressful schedule, employees work sixteen hour days, six days a week. At the beer fest everyone is very informal to one another that could lead to boundaries being crossed between the management staff and employees. 2. Stan and Erin, see this as a way to build the culture of their organization. They feel the need to establish personal relationships with there employees to keep the company successful.
3. The morale of the employees could soon start to decrease, as well as the respect factor for one another. The issue with the type of relationships being built as “friends” with intoxicated management and staff is that they are forming an environment where professional integrity could be compromised. Causes 1. Quantum is requiring employees to work a demanding schedule and in order to keep up with the demand, employees are rewarded with beer fest Fridays. 2. The founders of Quantum strongly feel this is a great way of showing appreciation and a way to relax and unwind implemented the reward.
However, employees are now starting to get a little out of hand. Bill saw one employee fall on to a table and no one seemed alarmed by it, in fact they clapped for him. This maybe the start of liability issues. 3. Another cause is to keep the morale of the employees up while intoxicated will be an issue as well. Systems Affected 1. Bill is seeing this in a new light; he is concerned of the liability issues that will arise from intoxicated employees especially as the firm grows. 2. The informality of beer bust can affect the relationships between management staff as well as co-workers.
Some may feel that they can get away with things they could not have before, management can push their employees even harder, or no one will take each other seriously. 3. Erin is the one that has convinced everyone that beer fest is the way to reward the employees and does not see the how vulnerable her company is to being sued if something does happen. Alternatives 1. Since this has been very successful for the past three years they may need to move the “party” to a local bar or restaurant or initiate a sobriety test to all employees and having them sign a waiver before the beer fest that will relive Quantum from any liability. . They need to hire more staff to handle the demands of this growing company. Qualified staffing and an even distribution of work will probably increase the quality of production. If you keep your staff over worked the beer fest can only go so far, you will have unhappy employees and a decrease in quality production. 3. If it’s feasible instead of the beer fest, maybe they can implement catered luncheons or barbeques on Fridays and serve no alcohol. They still will able to have their social gatherings and still relax and unwind or give them the day or afternoon off. Recommendations
We understand Quantum has been very successful in a short amount of time with 95 million in sales and over 200 hundred employees Quantum is doing something right. The problem is if they keep on the same track they are on now; sixteen hours a day, six days a week, and understaffed they will go off track and crash. The beer fest on Fridays may have seemed to be a great idea at that time however when the company is growing at such a fast pace it is hard to keep track of what really is going on. The beer fest may soon cause the company to close its doors or loose a large sum of money in a lawsuit.
Stan and Erin do not see the negative outcome of the beer fest; they believe the beer fest is one of the reasons that Quantum is so successful. Stan and Erin need to change a few things about the company in order to keep the momentum going. They need to make effective change before something happens, they need to be future focused not just focused on the present time. Organizational change is needed in within in Quantum they need to make a transition from how they work the employees and how they reward. Bill brings upon the driving force toward change because of his concern that the company will be liable for any damage that may occur.
This will be difficult, because the organizational culture, which is formed out of the working relationships, the interactions, value systems and behaviors, has been set for three years (Brown 2011). This also includes what the company expects out of the employees and what the employees expect out of the company. The term according to Brown (2011) is psychological contract “maybe defined as unwritten agreement between individuals and the organization of which they are members. It describes certain expectations that the organization has of the individual and the individuals expectation of the organization” (p. 4). So, how would they start to implement change? For starters, Bill, Erin and Stan need to anticipate a need for change, they need to see that the beer fest is a danger to their company and needs to improve the working environment or change to a non-alcohol social gathering. They should go about this in a collaborative approach, which would include employees to participate in helping change beer fest Fridays or help coming up with ideas to innate change (Brown 2011). Quantum Software needs to hire more staff to help with the growth of the company.
This will shorten help decrease the work hours and workdays, in turn reduce the amount of stress the employers are under. A way to help with the staffing issue is to use the humanistic orientation which would help Quantum “relies on a set of humanistic values about people and organizations that aims at making organizations more effective by opening up new opportunities for increased use of human potential” (Brown, 2011, p. 5). Quantum will also benefit from performance orientation this “includes an emphasis on ways to improve and enhance performance and quality” (Brown, 2011, p. ). Quantum Software will be able to successfully change beer fest by using the tools mentioned while implementing change. However, to be effective Quantum must have effective communication skills as well, they must be able to clearly communicate in a positive way about why, where, when and how change is taking place. Their urgency for change needs to be clear and concise, they need to make sure they are open for feedback from the employees and the employees need to know what their individual purpose is and what ultimate goal they are all working to reach together.
Conclusion I would like to close by what I thought to be very profound for Quantum Software Brown (2011) states, “There is a need for a systematic approach and for the ability to discriminate between features that are healthy and effective and those that are not. Erratic, short-term, unplanned, or haphazard changes may introduce problems that did not exist before or result in side effects that may be worse that the original problem” (p. 5) Brown, R. D. (2011). An experiential approach to organization development (8th ed. ). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.