You are on page 1of 9

Organization Background: Tanglewood is a chain of retail stores that feature items such as appliances, clothing, electronics and home

dcor. It has carved out a niche in the retail market providing outdoor clothing and equipment to a middle and upper income clientele base. In 1975, two entrepreneurs, Tanner Emerson and Thurston Wood established Tanglewood. Today, the retail chain has 243 stores across the Western part of the United States, accounts for over $3 trillion in annual sales and employs approximately 23 million people. Tanglewoods chief competitors are Target and Kohls department stores. The financials show that Tanglewood is a moderately sized organization with strong growth potential. Its mission is to stay true to their vision of offering the customer a small personable shopping experience while adhering to their core values and commitment to their customers, shareholders, and employees. The organizational structure of Tanglewood has essentially evolved to have a structure that looks something like the familiar organizational hierarchy. Tanner Emerson is the CEO of Tanglewood while Thurston Wood is the companys President. In addition, the organization maintains 12 regional managers that each oversees 20 store managers. The individual store structure includes the store manager, three assistant managers, and 12 department managers. The normal store averages 215 associates. Tanglewood views a core workforce as being essential to the organizations values and corporate culture, which they seek to develop and maintain. Because the regional managers have, a tendency to encourage Human Resource practices that are in direct opposition to Tanglewoods

philosophy, the organization is considering a Human Resource management plan that will centralize the Human Resources throughout the company. The companys culture and values are distinct from most of its major competitors. Since forming its organization, Tanglewood has put emphasis on employee participation and teamwork. Their vision for employee relations is to give the employee the space to make decisions and have input into the daily operations of the store. Tanglewood sets the tone with the direct Straight Talk in all elements of the business. They encourage each employee to think like a manager and provide the necessary tools to accomplish this with company share prices and the companys profitability are openly discussed. Department managers are also given financial incentives for successfully developing and implementing new policies and procedures, further reinforcing the participatory management style of the company. Tanglewood believes a team structure is so important that actively functioning as a team is evaluated on the employees performance evaluations. Tanglewood prides itself on the fact they believe every associate has management potential. The basic structure of Human Resources at Tanglewood involves both corporate and store-level components. The corporate level has a Vice-president of Human Resources that oversees the Staffing Services, Compensation and Benefits, Training and Development, and Employee Relations. On the store level, there is an Assistant Manager who oversees Operations and Human Resources, responsible for the implementation of the corporate recommendations, staffing, training, performance management and Equal Employment Opportunity polices. The local stores Human Resource Department directly oversee the planning, recruitment, and the initial screening of the human assets of Tanglewood.

The assistant managers along with the department managers have input in the hiring selections but any upper management selections are conducted by the store or regional manager. The function of the corporate Human Resources Department is to act as an advisor for the local store. With so many associates involved in the Human Resources of Tanglewood, it is prudent that a central planning body is created to preserve the philosophy and mission. Recommendations Staffing strategies require making the best decisions regarding the acquisition, deployment, and retention of the organizations workforce. Tanglewood is looking towards the future, and the management team recognizes the need to revamp their central planning body. Staffing Levels: Acquire or Develop Talent Developing talents through training and planning would be a better strategy for the Tanglewood stores. To preserve the companys culture and instill its philosophy, it would benefit Tanglewood to spend the time and effort to develop the current talent pool. Promoting from within an established talent pool will build a solid foundation of associates that know and appreciate the companys mission, vision, and philosophy. When an employee believes that there are opportunities for growth and advancement they are usually more motivated and driven to achieve the organizational goals set forth and beyond. Hire Yourself or Outsource Most hiring should be done by internal recruiters who know the culture and hiring managers. External recruiters can get to know their clients well, but recruiters that work in-house live the culture and know the organization much better. Tanglewood should hire employees themselves since they have strong values and would be able to control the process entirely. Tanglewood is a company that knows the individuals they are

seeking and hiring themselves will assure that they find the suitable match for their organization. It is best for Tanglewood to screen and identify the appropriate candidates for their organization. External or Internal Hiring Both staffing strategies of hiring externally and internally could benefit Tanglewood. It would be ideal for Tanglewood to implement a succession management strategy. Part of the succession management strategy is uncovering, identifying and developing internal candidates as well as identifying when openings should be filled by an external talent. This would help to ensure continuity of business operations and a realistic picture of capacity and bench strength. In addition, this would help employee retention. More subtle, but just as important, a full picture of succession management means avoiding the promotion that should never happen that places him or her in a position too early, one the organization should be looking externally to fill. Core or Flexible Workforce Since Tanglewood views a core workforce as being essential for the organizations values and culture, it feels there must absolutely be a workforce of committed, qualified individuals who will help carry the Tanglewood philosophy into the future. I believe it will be difficult for Tanglewood to continue on with its current philosophy if it uses a flexible workforce. To maintain and develop corporate values and culture, Tanglewood should continue to use a core workforce. As Kammeyer-Mueller states, Tanglewood does not extensively use a flexible workforce, such as temporary employees. Tanglewood is a team company (2012, p. 7). It will be very difficult to have a team based environment with temporary or contract workers as these workers are only employed for a short period of time. Hire or Retain Tanglewood should focus on retaining its current workforce. It is difficult and not to mention, costly for any company to have a high turnover rate of employees.

This recommendation is based on the strategy of developing internal talent, hiring internally, and using a core workforce. All these components are interrelated and work together to bring about a team based environment with everyone working towards the same goal, understanding the companys culture and philosophy. National or Global Tanglewood should maintain a national strategy. Considering that their entire organization is based in the U.S., a global strategy may be costly and a bit difficult at this time. It is essential for Tanglewood to deal with the issues they are currently facing regarding its competition. Once Tanglewood has strategized and implemented a plan to deal with its competitors such as Kohls and Target then, they can think through the idea of going global. It seems more feasible for Tanglewood to concentrate their efforts throughout the U.S. and still be conscious of the demographic areas and territories they are considering to expand. Attract or Relocate According to Henneman III, et al, typically staffing strategy is based on the premise that the organization can induce sufficient numbers of qualified people to come to it for employment. Another version of this premise is that it is better (and cheaper) to bring labor to the organization than to bring the organization to labor (2012, p.28). Attracting valued candidates for a position is difficult in todays job market, but hiring valuable employees is important to increasing the quality of human capital. In order for Tanglewood to become successful, it would be beneficial if it brings the labor to a company rather than taking the company to the labor. Overstaff or Understaff The individual stores should rely heavily on overstaffing, as lower level retail positions are projected to result in high turnover. Overstaffing will create room for error and also give stores a chance of finding employees to promote through succession

planning. Time and focused planning will make feasible goal to narrow the representation gaps while reaching organizational goals Short- or Long-Term Focus Importantly, long term and short term focus is a major factor in an organization. Tanglewood needs to look at the budget carefully and see if it is worth investing when it comes to recruitment. The short term focal point is to centralize the organization. They can eliminate some upper management positions that are not necessary in some of the stores. Also, they can train employees by having seminars, workshops and/or virtual classes so they can become more skilled in the retail industry. On the other hand, long term goals are a period of three to five years. To go global, Tanglewood has to do an extensive research of the culture and country they want to expand their business. They can hire a consultant that knows the country well enough to give them feedback of the people and the laws that the country requires for each organization to do business there. A staffing agency could also provide them with feedback and it will be less time consuming for them to acquire information of future employees. The agency will help them get information regarding the government and they can become more familiar with culture.
Staffing Quality:

Person/Job or Person/Organization Match Tanglewood has a specific mission and set of values it wants all of its employees to share, from sales associate to vice president. This is one of the reasons the company encourages all employees to spend some time working as an associate. Typically, the average store associate is very fluid with very general job descriptions and this seems to be focused even more at Tanglewood. While some of the upper level positions may have to focus a little more on the person/job relationship, over all Tanglewood should have a person/organization focal point.

Specific or General KSAOs As mentioned, the typical store associate has a very general job description. It would be difficult for the company to focus on specific KSAOs (knowledge, skill, ability, and other characteristics) for the store associates. A store associate has many responsibilities and it would be an inaccurate tactic to focus specifically on any KSAOs. The only exception should be for the store associates to make sure their characteristics match the companys mission. Specific KSAOs would be more applicable for any promotions/upper level positions. Exceptional or Acceptable Workforce Quality It may not always be possible to hire the exceptional workforce. However, it would be the best choice when matched with Tanglewoods values and mission. Tanglewood is not establishing itself as a low cost leader but a company that has premium customer service and employee skills. Promoting training programs or incentive programs would help compensate when exceptional workforce quality is not available. Active or Passive Diversity Having a diverse workforce would be ideal for Tanglewood. If Tanglewood does not already have a diverse workforce, then actively seeking to diversify might go against the companys culture. If this is the case, then it would be in Tanglewoods best interest to be passive about diversity. By allowing the company to slowly become diverse, they can monitor if the culture changes, and how the current employees accept diversity. Tanglewood should be able to gradually integrate its diversification strategy. Conclusion: Tanglewood has a good potential to grow because it has built a strong workforce through developing talents, internal promotions, and believing on a core workforce. Tanglewoods current philosophy has allowed them to stay competitive and be a leader in the industry. One of

their visions is to expand their store nationally and globally. Its important to incorporate the benefits of top down and bottom up approach to carry out their HR plans. Creating a pool of workforce that embrace the vision of Tanglewood is important to their continued survival to facilitate and foster continuity and seamless transition so the need to develop and preserve the culture of the organization. This would be well served with strong centralization mixed with decentralization as necessary. It will ultimately manifest in customer satisfaction, employee productivity, performance and motivation. In light of global expansion, the same structure along with the corporate value and culture has to be replicated to maximize success.

References: Heneman III, G. H., Judge, A. T. & Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D. (2012). Staffing Organizations. (7th ed.). Middleton, WI: Mendota House, Inc. Kammeyer-Mueller, J. (2012). Tanglewood Casebook. (7th ed.). Middleton, WI: Mendota House, Inc.