Assignment #5 Greg Kauffman Prof. Craig Cleveland BUS 520, Leadership and Organizational Behavior March 13, 2011 1. Best Buy current culture is a clan culture. Their culture focuses on the person and life work balance. This is a very good thing, with both parents working these days, having a culture that values family and time to spend with them, allows the family to strengthen. Additionally, the attitude or a philosophy ROWE, results only work environment, made best buy more worker friendly. Trusting employees will work to get the job done and allowing them to do it when they want to is an awesome way to prove your loyalty to them.
Most of the 4000 employees feel that they have ownership in the jobs they do, they no longer are going to work, it is something they enjoy doing. I have never worked for anyone willing to give employees this much freedom and liberty. It takes a special someone to feel free enough to allow people to work when they want to and to make their own hours. The idea of self-management, is on overdrive in Best Buy, No one feels that they are working in exchange for a paycheck, they love their jobs and remember the way it was before ROWE, and never want to go back. . Best Buy definitely was utilizing organizational development approach and the planned organizational change. This system could not have been made without approval from above, wanting something to change. Additionally, it was a planned shift, starting slowly to see if it would work, then moving out of national headquarters, and into its retail stores, across the nation. Once the changes were in place, employees started to take ownership of the shift. An example of the employees’ owning ROWE, was sludge meetings.
Employees had to develop of sense of trust in themselves and in others, to make this new idea work. The great thing is watching how employees worked through this change and continue to work through these changes. The attitude about leaving work early or arriving late is totally gone from the equation. 3. The management did not really buy into this idea of results only work environment. The idea of leaving people to their own devices had to be scary and most people would think it would be disastrous. Most people if asked would prefer employees work a set schedule and have set responsibilities.
Turning the work environment on its head and allowing employees to make their own schedule is a crazy idea. However, the numbers and the outcome in this story would indicate that although scary, this idea worked. Employee’s performance increased and their happiness did as well. Individuals, too looked at this new way of doing business and were scared, would they be able to show their work and what about promotions. Having spent years in office environments, first in and last out, on a daily basis means something; however, at Best Buy this mantra was now dead.
Under ROWE, employees had no real clear way to compare themselves to each other. Additionally, would everyone work as hard if they were left to their schedules, and how would they overcome bad feelings about those that left early or came to work late? Imagine yourself in this situation, you now can come in when you want to and leave when you need to or when you feel like it, no one has given you this freedom before, and why? This new sense of freedom would scare anyone who was used to doing business the old-fashioned way.
However, after several weeks and months of trying it out, everyone seemed to enjoy their newfound freedom and responsibilities. 4. First off, people have a hard time with change in general, especially older people. The stress related to people who have worked for Best Buy for years. Those people are going to look at this new way with some skepticism and angst. As stated by some, that they gave up years with their families and now that is going to change. Some might have anger for this new way, others might have sorrow, that it did not come sooner, but overall that equates to stresses.
Secondly, new employees that have just started working will feel like they are being watched by the older more senior employees, to make sure they are doing their part. Additionally, new members to ROWE, will feel the same sludge(ish) feelings that preceded the other members before them. Old habits die hard, it is said, and for those of us that have worked for years, leaving early and coming in late are not in our vocabulary. Just like the story of the finance woman, she did not feel very comfortable with leaving, even though it was perfectly okay to do so. All of these old habits will create stress.
Lastly, management’s involvement creates stress with scheduling, meetings, and managing. Managers will have to look at the big picture and make decisions based on this new scheme. The old days of just walking down the hall and giving someone, a task to complete is over. This new scheme requires more organization and better communication skills too. 5. Overall, this change has helped and continued to drive Best Buy to be competitive in a global market. The idea that their employees can make their own hours, as long as the job is done, is a great way to keep everyone happy and working efficiently.
You cannot argue with the results detailed in this story. Every good number increased and every bad number decreased. People seem to be happier and want to work and more importantly do work. Everyone seems to be buying into this idea of self-management and autonomy. The fact that Best Buy wants to roll this out to all its stores, is a huge statement to their commitment to ROWE’s success. In conclusion, I hope other companies take this idea and run with it, the corporate world would be much better off. I have always said I happy employee is a good employee.