The Mens Warehouse Case Study Example
Retail industry in the United States is faced with several challenges including very low wages, little training and lack of adequate skills, extremely high percentage of part-time workers, and minimal healthcare coverage. Despite these challenges, Men’s Warehouse has greatly succeeded in this industry and treats its employees comparatively better than some professional service firms (O’Reilly and Pfeffer 81). The company has built a workforce and a culture that gives it competitive advantage. Described herein is the company’s training and performance management system which has resulted into the competitive advantage, and how these reflect its values and philosophy.
The company learns through experience and believes in trial and error. This has made the management gain experience in operationalizing the company’s philosophy and values (O’Reilly and Pfeffer 87). The company’s promotions are made from within and most of the senior executives have worked their ways up. The company believes in training and development as a critical success tool. As compared to most retail companies with only one layer of multiunit managers, Men’s Warehouse has two (O’Reilly and Pfeffer 91). There are sales trainers for the wardrobe consultants and management trainers. Training and coaching is provided by the extra multiunit managers. Most management development occurs through training and coaching by more senior managers and by observing and learning from more experienced managers.
The company’s training is done internally. There is neither outside training nor the use of outsiders to do the training. The company has very little specialized training staff as most of the training is done by senior executives and line managers. The training model cascades down the hierarchy and every level is responsible for developing the level below it.
Men’s Warehouse spends heavily in training. The company “spends whatever senior leaders think is necessary to keep the culture vital and people organized” (O’Reilly and Pfeffer 93) and doesn’t have a training budget. Besides imparting marketing knowledge and skills, the training meetings make the employees obliged to the company. As a result, their self-esteem is raised; they work hard, and remain loyal. In addition, the trainings nurture the vast capabilities and potentials of the employees and bring forth the beliefs and higher expectations of greater productivity.
The trainings and meetings, according to the company’s values and philosophy, help people to understand each other, promote teamwork and help teammates reach their full potential not only in the company, but also at home. This has helped them become better spouses, better parents, and therefore more self-fulfilled.
Provision of constructive feedback helps the company build individual’s self esteem. It uses praises when things are done right, and constructive criticism when otherwise. The company emphasizes on sensible feedbacks that are focused and behaviorally specific, thus actionable (O’Reilly and Pfeffer 94). The company’s performance management system and performance appraisal is based on specific behaviors and actions. It develops a list of specific actions that are necessary for success. In addition, the company implements and continually refines the performance management process as dictated by the specific behaviors.
In order to build customer loyalty, the company believes that employees must be loyal first. This is the reason why the company’s employees come first. The company tries, by all means; to create quality relationship with its employees, who, on the other hand, create quality relationship with the customers. Realization of this calls for teamwork and interdependence, which is an important part of the company’s philosophy. The company believes that its success is defined by the success of its employees in achieving both the company’s goals and their personal goals.
O’Reilly, C. A and Pfeffer, J., “The Men’s Warehouse.” Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People. 1st edition. Harvard Business Review Press, 2000.