Small and medium size companies are often perceived as the heart of the local economies, as they create employment opportunities and deliver the products and services which are necessary for the community. Still, in this age of dynamic business activities, the small size companies face countless challenges in their path to success. For Advertise Master Inc. The challenges are represented by the need to attract more customers, the financial constraints of the firm and the need for sustained operations. But in this setting, the employees argue that the company is implementing an inadequate HRM policy, which could lead to generalized problems for the company.
The current project as such assesses the need for change at Advertise Master and uses the 8 step approach of Harvard professor John Kotter to design and implement the necessary change. Before this however, it is necessary to introduce the firm and diagnose the situation encountered there.
2. Company overview
Advertise Master Inc. is a small size company, providing marketing services to other small size companies. The principle on which the company operates is that the small size economic agents in the local community do afford to hire their own marketing specialists, yet they often need marketing services. Advertise Master Inc. As such operates as an outsourced marketing department, serving customers as needed.
The customers are represented by the small and medium size enterprises in the local community, to whom Advertise Master Inc. provides specialized consultancy tailored to their specific requirements. Particularly, the marketing company employs the principles of adaptability and customization to the particular needs of the customers (Murphy and Willmott, 2010).
The business model as such revolves around the provision of tailored marketing services. The main challenge for Advertise Master Inc. is represented by the fact that the demand for its services is volatile, in some months registering orders it cannot deliver, and in other months, registering virtually no orders. In such a setting, the company focuses its attention on the attraction of as many customers as possible. In other words, the company's main focus falls on customer management. In this particular approach, however, the company tends to neglect the development and implementation of a solid human resource policy, and this could raise major problems in the future, especially since the firm does not create internal strengths, but focuses on attracting customers.
At the level of its staff members, the company employs a total of 10 individuals, out of which:
Two are management staffs
Two are office assistants
One is a graphic designer
One is an IT specialist
Two are marketing specialists, and Two are sales staffs.
The problem currently encountered by Advertise Master Inc. is represented by the fact that the staff members reveal a low morale and motivation for the jobs they perform. Such a situation could generate tremendous negative impacts for the firm, including low productivity rates or low levels of service quality. These in turn negatively impact customer satisfaction, and could ultimately materialize in financial losses as a result of customer dissatisfaction (Cole, 2002).
The root of the problem is represented by the limited incentives with which the employees are being presented. The staff members reveal a low level of job satisfaction, and they often argue that they are being overworked and underpaid. The company's reaction to these complaints is that the firm is a small one, with limited resources, and that it requires the undivided attention and support of its employees in order to grow and develop. The approach of the management is that the company is like a family, where all members have to make sacrifices and work together to attain the greater objectives.
Still, such a response does not ease the frustrations of the staff members. And these tensions are based on a wide array of situations and attitudes, which reveal an overall poor human resource management agenda. Some of these situations include the following:
The employees are asked to work extra hours, during nights and weekends, and the extra time is not compensated in any way. The company does not have the financial resources to sustain increases in personnel costs, and it is neither willing to grant employees free time, as it needs the workforce constantly.
The managers do not allow the employees time off from work, regardless of reason. They keep saying that the company is in a critical moment and they have instated a "no holiday" mode. If critical situations arise in the personal lives of the employees, they are asked to recuperate the time spent on resolving their problems. Still, in this "no holiday" mode, one of the managers just took a two-week vacation to go skiing. Such a situation added to the dissatisfactions of the employees.
Since the firm is a small one, with little resources, it does not afford to reward its staff members in a highly competitive manner. In this order of ideas, the Advertise Master Inc. employees are offered limited medical coverage, no bonuses and none other incentives.
The opinions of the employees regarding this situation are fairly similar, in that they accept the lower pay -- those who did not accept it, searched for different jobs. Those who remained however, accepted this in exchange for other benefits, such as proximity to the home or the ability to make a difference in a small firm. Still, these employees are highly dissatisfied by the lack of flexibility and the inability to benefit from their holydays.
The company's approach of the staff members reveals a decreased tendency to focus on the current, and an increased tendency to focus on the future prospects. In other words, Advertise Master Inc. does not recognize the problems in front of their eyes and does not focus on solving them, but becomes absorbed in pursuing more customers. Such an approach is useful as it is the customers who generate the income, but it is also dangerous in regard to the relationship between the firm and the customers.
Specifically, the behavior of Advertise Master Inc. could be extrapolated in the future at the level of the customer. Such a situation would virtually translate into a behavior through which the company focuses less attention on its current customers, but strives to continually attract new clients.
Such a scenario would generate significant negative impacts upon the firm, which would virtually revolve around the inability to create loyal customers. In other words, while the company would continually pursue new customers, it would come to ignore the customers it already has. These customers would then become dissatisfied with the quality of the services received, and would not return to the company. The impact would be one of continually increasing budgets to attracting new customers. The alternative would be that of focusing on the already existent customers, who require less investments to be attracted and who generate more reliable revenues (Gitomer, 1998).
All in all, the problem encountered at Advertise Master Inc. refers to the company's inadequate human resource management policy. The importance of the issue is given by the multitude of negative ramifications to continuing down on such a path, as well as the possibility of the problems expending to the company's business model, in relationship to its customers. In such a setting then, it becomes imperative for the economic agent to address the issue. This would be completed with the aid of the 8 step approach of Phillip Kotter.
4. Kotter's 8 step approach
In light of the situation identified before, the change that needs to be implemented at Advertise Master Inc. is represented by the reshaping of the human resource management policy in order for it to create more satisfaction for the staff members. In this order of ideas, the principles of the change include the following:
The maintenance of the same monthly wages, as the company's financial resources are decreased and the employees accept their incomes.
The offering of bonuses and other types of financial and non-financial rewards upon the success of particular projects. This measure would ensure that the employees are motivated to complete a project.
The introduction of more flexibility ion the schedules, combined with the ability to telecommute, when applicable. Such a measure would allow the employees to better combine work and personal responsibilities and would increase their satisfaction.
The ability of the employees to benefit from their paid vacations as they need this. Still, in order for this to not impact the activities of the firm, vacations should be well planned.
At a general level, the change process that is hereby being proposed is less functional, but more so perceptual. It would have the ultimate effect of increasing employee satisfaction and motivation, and ultimately employee performances and customer satisfaction.
The change proposed is expected to be accepted and welcomed by the staff members, yet a certain degree of resistance is expected (Palmer, 2004). In order to ensure a smooth implementation of the change process, the 8 step approach of John Kotter would be used.…