Power and Team Effectiveness in relation to the manager and employee behaviors at Canadian Tire, Titillation Ontario. The General Manager, Paul Ritchie was interviewed in order to determine managerial perspectives, while Timmy Arnold and Mary-Anne Pickle were interviewed to determine employee perspectives of organizational behaviors. It was determined that the concept of Organizational Commitment identified two elements in need of improvement; justice/support and trust. The success and use of Canadian Tire’s Communication Channels were also analyzed where it was determined that although the use of verbal communication was
Strong, the use Of non-verbal communication between management and employees lacked consistency. The report also found that while management had a clear level of visibility and centrality, the employee level of power remained in low levels of substitutability. Last, the report explored the concept of the Team Effectiveness Model where it determined that although each departmental team was effective, team members were denied valuable recognition by management, which resulted in lower employee motivation and a decrease and team cohesiveness.
The report suggests seven recommendations in order to add Reese the issues rounding adverse behaviors. These seven recommendations including discipline, employee feedback to managers, a lack of centralized system, cultural training, maltreatment training, increase in Departmental Managers’ discretion and employee appreciation. The recommendations are followed by a 16 month implementation plan. 2 Introduction Canadian Tire has been around for more than 90 years, providing Canadians with a variety Of products and services. Across the country, costumers visit Canadian Tire for home and automotive needs, as well as for sporting and gardening goods. Canadian Tire is known for the introduction of Canadian Tire paper money and a high level of community involvement. 3 This report will analyze the organizational behaviors within Canadian Tire, Titillation, ON. Four major concepts of theoretical organizational behaviors were identified; Organizational Commitment, Communication Channels, Contingencies of Power, and the Team Effectiveness Model.
Research methods used include interviewing the General Manager, Paul Ritchie (see Appendix 1 for interview questions), employee Timmy Arnold associated with the Seasonal and Sports Departments (see Appendix 2 for interview questions), and employee Mary-Anne Pilled associated with the Hardware Department (see Appendix 3 for interview question). This report will discuss the recommendations based on these theories and present an implementation plan that Canadian Tire can utilize to reform adverse organizational behaviors. Analysis: Part One: Organizational Commitment The first concept analyses is the level of Organizational Commitment.
Organizational Commitment is the emotional attachment, involvement, and identification an employee develops towards an organization. 4 More specifically, an organization aims to build an affective commitment with its employees, where the employees begin to feel loyal to the organization. 5 Timmy Arnold and Mary-Anne Pilled, provided a good understanding regarding their level of commitment toward Canadian Tire. They displayed a high level of affective 3 commitment based on three of the five elements of building affective commitment. All three interviewees explained the importance of a work-life and home-life balance.
Being family oriented, the company values the creation of a work schedule that accommodates the employees’ personal lives. These shared values increase employee commitment to Canadian Tire. The company also communicates the mission and vision to employees and offers opportunities to learn about company history and future goals, which ensures organizational comprehension-7 Mr.. Ritchie and the employees also stated that there are many opportunities for employees to be involved, whether through company socials like BBS and Christmas parties, or throughout the community which allow employees to identify with the organization. That being said, there are t-van. Or elements of commitment in which the organization can improve upon. While completing the interviews, there was a screaming between the General Manager’s and employees’ views on the Department Managers’ disciplinary approach toward employees. The General Manager was confident in stating that there Were procedures in place for Department Managers to follow towards employee discipline, including coaching and counseling the employee before following through with verbal and written warnings. Timmy and Mary-Anne on the other hand, had observed that each manager displayed their own style of discipline.
For instance, Timmy noted that some managers became too personal and were not able to accept employee constructive feedback, which led to a decreased oiling of support. She also observed a situation where a co-workers discussion with a Department Manager turned into a yelling match followed by the employee receiving the “silent treatment” by the manager. The different styles of 4 manager and employee interaction may lower an employee’s commitment due to the possible lack of support received and the undervaluing of fairness, courtesy, and forgiveness. Therefore, if employees feel they are treated unfairly and differently, Canadian Tire could suffer from a lower level of commitment from its employees. 10 Another element that is inconsistent between Mr.. Ritchie and the employees is in the area of trust. Both Timmy and Mary-Anne have been employed with Canadian Tire for many years and explained that it can often take time to develop a sense Of trust toward a Department Manager. Mr.. Ritchie identified that two key components to building trust: communicating and effort.
Timmy however explained of a situation where a particular Department Manager often showed favoritism toward a small number of employees, which created a problem within the team and resulted in lack of trust. In some cases, MaryAnne also felt that employees who provide managers with feedback regarding company issues often do not see action. In these situations, employees may begin to develop negative expectations towards management. Therefore, without demonstrating trust toward employees, a Department Manager cannot earn trust in return. 1 If the employees do not feel trusted or do not have a level of trust with their manager, the level of organizational commitment may continue to weaken . 12 By improving upon these two elements of organizational communication, Canadian Tire can continue to work towards building a high level of effective communication. Analysis: Part Two: Communication Channels The second concept analyzed within the organization is the concept of Communication Channels and their effectiveness. Organizations cannot exist without communication between different departments, levels of management or even clients and 5 customers.
Communication is transmitted via a variety of communication channels, or mediums. The two main types of channels are verbal and nonverbal. 13 Verbal channels are known as either spoken or written communication, whereas nonverbal channels are where individuals use their actions and facial expressions to convey a message. 4 When speaking with Mr.. Ritchie, it was evident that there were numerous forms of the communication channels at play. First, meetings take place twice a day between management and employees. The morning “huddle” allowed for managers to discuss daily targets, tasks, sales results from the previous day.
The second “huddle” is for the evening shift to be made aware of the previously mentioned details. Both employees found that the morning meetings were the most effective as managers allow for employees to take the floor and are open to feedback. This allowed for the open door policy that all three discussed during the interview where all employees are welcome to discuss issues with Mr.. Ritchie. Managers are always on the floor which can present an issue regarding employee privacy that can deal with sensitive issues. An example of this is the scenario where Timmy described the disciplinary meeting between the employee and a manager.
The argument between them made it very awkward for the other employees. When speaking with Mr.. Ritchie, it was found that there is often information overload during the weekly managers’ meetings. Managers only meet once a week but Mr.. Ritchie explained that it can often be difficult getting all ten managers in the same room, on the same day. Due to this, a lot of information is given at once, as it is unknown when all ten managers may be next together. This in turn can result in some of the information being missed by the Department Managers. Email is another form of verbal communication used throughout the store in order to convey messages such as deals, discontinued merchandise and recalls. Emails are forwarded to the Department Managers three to four times a week. Mr.. Ritchie found that email was a good way to convey this information, as it was simple to read and did not have long or drawn out instructions. Timmy advised that she will often read the emails while Mary- Anne stated that she relies on her manager to read them. Timmy advised that the emails were sometimes unclear and that further clarification was needed by management.
It was interesting to learn that grapevine communication is believed to be the most effective form Of communication by Mr.. Ritchie. It is, however evident that grapevine communication also has its limitations. Anxiety and stress can be caused by messages being distorted through the grapevine. 1 5 Bulletin boards are utilized for company/social events, or any non-business elated news such as congratulations, BBS, etc. Finally, Letters convey any business related messages, employee awareness to issues in the store and corporate events by being placed in employee mailboxes.
Currently, employees have an online learning program that includes store policies. The majority of the policies, however, are posted in binders around the store. It was found through the interviews that although there are several areas around the store and several forms of communication, there is no centralized system where information can be accessed. Another issue that as been found is the communication barrier between employees and offshore customers from Jamaica and Mexico. Timmy and Mary-Anne advised that it is often hard to understand them due to their accents and/or their lack of English speaking 7 ability.
This can pose a serious issue when trying to assist customers and therefore in building revenue for the company. Furthermore, Canadian Tire also uses forms of non-verbal communication. As employees receive a lot of written communication on bulletin boards and/or letters, these can be a form of nonverbal communication. This is based on the physical appearance of the letters. While letters about Bib’s may seem more fun because of graphics, serious letters may have no graphics and may appear to be severe in nature.
Another form of nonverbal communication was demonstrated above when the Department Manager gave silent treatment to the employee after disciplinary feedback was given. This is a form of nonverbal communication because it makes the employee aware of the manager’s displeasure with the situation and the employee herself without the manager actually speaking. There are clear issues with Canadian Tire’s Communication Channels and recommendations will be discussed low. Analysis Part Three: Contingencies of Power Power is simply the ability that a single person, team, or organization has in order to influence others. 6 Power has four important contingencies: these are substitutability, centrality, discretion, and visibility. 17 These contingencies are critical because they can either contribute or deter from the organization’s goals and objectives. Based on the three interviews, it was found that some employees have a monopoly in terms of substitutability and unconstitutionality. Timmy has a monopoly because she is trained in specific apartments such as Cash and the Sports, where she has learned how to sharpen skates, which is a task specific to that department.
Mary-Anne however is only able to perform customer service in the Hardware Department as she has not had the 8 training or experience in other off-shoot departments, such as Cash, Automotive or the Warehouse. She can however mix paint, which is a specific task to the Hardware Department, and she therefore holds the monopoly in that department in terms of substitutability as not all employees will be able to substitute her if they are not trained in mixing paints. Machines and Steen state that “power is the strongest when someone has a monopoly over a valued resource. 1 8 This theory applies to Mr.. Ritchie as he is the essential decision maker for all things and has the final say, especially in terms of money. Through the interviews it was found that there is no one currently at the store that is able to effectively replace him. As such, Mr.. Ritchie also demonstrates high centrality under the Contingencies of Power theory because of the dependence that other employees have on him. For instance, and as already discussed, Mr.. Ritchie has a low level of absorbability and his centrality increases as the number of individuals who depend on him increases. 9 Furthermore, both Timmy and Mary-Anne stated that they felt they had a level of discretion when making decisions. Mr.. Ritchie pointed out however, that employee discretion stops when their decisions may cost the company money. For example, although Mr.. Ritchie stated that each department is fairly autonomous, as the General Manager, he is consulted on all decisions that come down to money. Employees cannot decide to give a customer a discount on merchandise that may be damaged.
That level of discretion remains with Mr.. Ritchie. In addition, employees and managers of the store have a high level of visibility. The store as a whole has a low level of absenteeism and most employees are visible throughout the store. Mr.. Ritchie mentioned that when the owner/dealer of the store, Mr.. 9 Brett Levier, comes in, he makes a point to talk to employees and managers in order to ensure that his employees know who he is. Timmy and Mary- Anne also advised that they felt as though Mr..
Levier is often present and that all the employees know him and feel that they are able to communicate with him if they wish to. Both Mr.. Levier and Mr.. Ritchie hold a very high level of visibility in the store. Analysis Part Four: Team Effectiveness Model A large aspect of Canadian Tire’s business sustainability practice is the aim to “provide innovative products and services that meet customers’ needs”. 20 The philosophy at Canadian Tire is that departmental teams are the avenue that allow for successful customer service and overall productivity.
Teams are groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common goals associated with organizational objectives, and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organization. 21 According to Machines and Steen, there are five elements to a team: all teams exist to fulfill a purpose; team members are held together by their interdependence and need for collaboration; they require some form of communication; team members influence each other; a team will exist when its members perceive themselves as one. 2 By the same token, a team is effective when it benefits the organization, its members and its own survival-23 Based on the interviews with the General Manager and the two employees, it is mutually believed that departmental teams are integral to the arrival of the company. In order to comprehensively measure Canadian Tire’s team effectiveness however, a look at the Team Effectiveness Model is needed. According to the model, there are three elements which lead to Team Effectiveness; organizational and team environment, design and team process . 4 Organizational and team environment represent conditions beyond the team’s boundaries that influence its effectiveness, which include things such as rewards, communication, organizational structure, leadership and the layout of the physical workspace of the organization. 25 There appears to be mom divergence in relation to the use of rewards as recognition to team success. According to Mr.. Ritchie, there is not a definite program when it comes to rewarding employees and teams other than a pat on the back or general constructive feedback.
Mary-Anne and Timmy emphasized this point when they stated that the store provided bonuses, feedback and verbal recognition of good work through Employee of the Month (which was not always announced or enforced). Mr.. Ritchie stated that recognition is a hard thing to provide as he felt that as a rule employees do not recognize other employees, which can result in a lack of team cohesion. The second element of Team Effectiveness is team design. Team design is particularly important because it dictates such things as task characteristics, team size, composition and roles. 6 Due to the organizational nature of Canadian Tire, on the floor, departmental teams are divided as follows: Automotive, Living, Sports, Hardware and Seasonal. 27 The organization as a whole, and the individual teams themselves, demonstrate a concept called “reciprocal interdependence” which occurs when work output is exchanged back and Roth among individuals resulting in a high level of interdependence. 28 Mr.. Ritchie elaborated on this point when he explained that the people who work on the retail floor in the main departments accomplish the same tasks, such as customer service, filling shelves and processing “deal”.
He explained that although the merchandise may be different, the tasks are generally the same. He further stated that the tasks of “off-shoot” departments such as Cash, Warehouse, Customer Care and Logistics are different, simply 11 because the departments are different from the main retail floor. Due to the tauter of the organization and in particular, the main goal of providing customer service, a higher level of interdependence is required, and consequently so is the need for teams. This level of interdependence increases the level of team members’ motivation.
Another element of team design is team composition, or the characteristics or behaviors of effective team members. 29 According to Machines and Steen, the most frequently mentioned characteristics or behaviors of effective team members are depicted in the “Five Co’s” Model: cooperating, coordinating, communicating, comforting and conflict resolution. 0 When asked what characteristics management looks for when trying to form a team, and when asked what type of characteristics employees enjoyed working with, comparable answers were given.
Both management and employees stated that they liked individuals with the following: flexibility, motivation, good communication skills, an upbeat nature, positivist, a sense Of caring and self-awareness, level headiness and a willingness to work. These characteristics or competencies fall within the Five CSS Model and clearly help enable team members to become effective within the team. The final element, team process, is a very important aspect of the Team Effectiveness Model as it comprises stages of team development, norms, cohesion and trust.
The Stages of Development Model captures this process successfully as it shows teams moving systematically from one stage to the next. 31 These stages are known as forming, storming, morning and performing. 32 Upon analysis of Canadian Tire’s practice of team process, the organization seems to be very successful at building effective teams. For instance, during the forming stage, management looks for applicants who fit the norms and competencies of effective team development, as already discussed above. Once this team has been formed, the storming stage, or the stage in which roles and norms are established, is in a way predetermined or preprogrammed to be successful: the norms, goals and roles are already determined due to the nature of the organization. There is no need for employees to compete for the role of leader, as each department has been assigned a manager. Mr.. Ritchie further stated that if a team member does not display a norm of the group, such as arriving on time, completing tasks, or displaying bad customer service, it is usually caught very quickly and that person is often removed from the team.
If however, team members have successfully completed the storming stage, they move to the morning stage where team objectives, mental models and cohesiveness are established. Both the employees and Mr.. Ritchie repeatedly stated that departmental teams work together to complete tasks and generally co-exist harmoniously within themselves. Management provides weekly audits of the departments in order to create friendly competition amongst the different departments, resulting in team member and motivation of the team as a whole.
This motivation has been described by employees to be helpful in establishing cohesiveness, as each am member successfully works together to complete tasks. This leads to the performing stage where tasks are oriented and coordinated. Members display cooperation and trust and conflicts are resolved quickly. As already discussed in an earlier section of this report, Management and employees alike stated that conflict does not usually arise within teams, but if it does, it is handled quickly and most of the time, appropriately to maintain cohesiveness.
The above analysis pointed to a number of discrepancies between management and employees of Canadian Tire in terms of discipline, employee feedback to managers, a lack 13 f a centralized system, cultural training multi-department training, increase in Department Managers’ discretion, and employee appreciation. This section of the report will therefore focus on recommendations in order to rectify the current and potential problems. As previously discussed in Analysis part One: Organizational Commitment, there was a discrepancy between management and employees when it came to discipline.
Due to the number of managers at Canadian Tire, there was evidence of different disciplinary styles. It is therefore recommended that Canadian Tire review with the Departmental Managers the policies and reoccurred retaining to the proper handling of potential difficult interactions between employees, including discipline. It is also recommended that the General Manager create office hours where employees could make an appointment to privately discuss disciplinary issues.
Furthermore, due to the situation in which an employee and manager started shouting at each other on the retail floor, the implementation of a feedback and suggestion program would greatly benefit the company. It is important for employees to feel valued in the organization and to have communication channels open both ways and not feel threatened of reprisal because employees may be giving feedback about a person in authority. Meetings with the parties in conflict provide this, but it is also important to see this issue in more ways than one.