Arrow Furniture is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of high-end furniture located in North Carolina. The furniture industry has suffered from foreign competition over recent years. Nationwide, there have been massive layoffs and several large companies have closed. Arrow’s workers are feeling these pressures and have begun displaying counterproductive behaviors. The HR manager recently told Mary Baker, the family member serving as CEO, that employees are threatening to unionize if they don’t get higher pay and more job security. Mary is upset by this comment because the family has supported employees with decent salaries and health benefits. Higher wages are the last thing the company needs if they are to remain competitive.
The Baker family wants to turn things around. They know they will have to be more competitive price-wise. This might be achieved by finding cheaper suppliers, lowering employee labor costs, or increasing productivity. That said, the Baker’s strongly believe that it is important to “take care of their people,” many of whom are lifelong employees.
A global car manufacturer is going to open a new facility in the community. It is likely the company will offer higher salaries and better benefits than offered by Arrow Furniture. The firm is known to offer such benefits in an attempt to reduce the need for a union. Jobs at this plant will be more technically advanced than those at Arrow and the company is offering job training to those who are interested.
The Bakers are aware that the nature of work at Arrow results in moderate levels of hygiene factors and low motivators.
Using the 3-Step Problem-Solving Approach and the Organizing Framework, what should the Bakers do to motivate their employees and get support for the company’s future plans?
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