To-A-Tee Screen-Printing is a local t-shirt manufacturing company located here, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This organization provides t-shirt, sweatshirt, and sports hat solutions primarily to retail businesses. The Auto Grill Corporation recently sold the To-A-Tee print shop to a local sole proprietor. Previously, the print shops’ directives were handed down from the corporate office such as how much profit they had to budget for, the types of designs and styles offered by To-A-Tee, and the company policies and procedures that were written for their main locations, retail shops. In addition, the corporate office utilized the print shop for production for its own retail shops rather than endeavoring to clients outside the company.

With the purchase of To-A-Tee, the new owner has the responsibility of improving the business by pursuing ideas, technologies, and procedures that were missed while belonging to the larger retail chain. This print shop was a very small entity of a very large corporation and its profitability did not warrant the requisition of expensive equipment for the new technologies in screen-printing. To-A-Tee has a diverse workforce who offers a wealth of experience that they bring from other shops, vendor trade shows, and seminars that they have either worked for or attended. Unfortunately, these employees have not been allowed to implement the knowledge and skills they bring because of the strict nature of the corporation’s directives. Generally, these employees are unhappy because the shop never got the attention it deserved from the large corporation.

With this in mind, the new owner and manager must implement a motivational plan to build the employee morale to improve the business of the shop. The first step in this plan is to be a leader to these people rather than having them report to a manager. Providing leadership to the company plays an important role in motivating the employees to provide higher levels of production. Although this is one of the most important impacting factors, it will be the hardest to implement.

The new managers role is to show optimism and determination. Implementing these traits in the managers everyday business will show that the manager herself is willing to work hard to achieve the final goals. The manager must “walk and talk” these traits so that she is believable to the employees.

Next, the manager must exhibit responsiveness. Talk to the employees and get their views on how to make the workplace better, the production more efficient, and the profit rise. This is key with all departments. Each department has experienced personnel and it is important to include all departments in the gathering of ideas. For example, talk to the artists about their ideas for better designs as well as the production floor to gather their thoughts on improving processes. Discuss money saving ideas with members of the accounting department as well as with your senior staff for their same ideas. Discuss with each department as one group on ideas on where to obtain additional business, where the needs exist.

Once these ideas have been gathered, the manager’s role is to quickly create a plan to implement the viable ideas gathered through group discussions. Once the plan is created, the manager will have to present what will be happening to the group. This will exhibit command. If a manager takes these ideas and implements as many as possible in a quick manner, the manager is showing that she is listening and values the employee’s ideas. Part of this plan will include a measurable short-term goal of increasing production by 10% within 90 days and continue this pattern every 90 days for the first year. The incentive for meeting this goal should be group related, such as a company celebration or barbeque for the employees and their families. While striving to achieve the production goals, management should continually communicate where they are at towards the goals by providing a visual aide, for example a barometer measuring the number of units representing the 10% increase. Proper communication of the goals, the plans to reach these goals, and where the company is at in meeting these goals at all times is an essential part of this motivation.

High absenteeism has always been a reason for low production while the print shop was under the control of the Auto Grill Corporation. The low job satisfaction levels and paid sick time has provided an environment in which absenteeism is acceptable. In a production environment, continually running short of personnel can make the difference of missing or exceeding the production goals. To resolve this issue, create an incentive where the employee is given an extra day of pay for each 90-day consecutive period of not missing a scheduled shift.

An additional incentive to increase production can be as follows. If, at the end of the first year, To-A-Tee is profitable and has met the production goals, offer a profit sharing program. Distribute a set percentage of the profits equally among all employees. This will reinforce the concept that each member of the organization is crucial to its success. All departments are necessary to make the business a success: you must have a sales force to sell the product, a production force to create the product, the warehouse staff to receive and ship out the products, and the administrative staff to provide support to each of these departments.

This short-term motivational plan has now created a momentum among the employees to continually suggest new ideas to make their jobs more efficient, take ownership of the production levels, and strive to reach beyond their current capacities. It also has created a confidence in the new manager’s ideas and abilities. In addition, the company is realizing higher profits. This will lead into long-term motivational planning.

Take advantage of this momentum by providing training on effective teams. First, teams will need to be established to guide the technology advances in which the company will endeavor. With higher profits, the company is ready for capital investments and spending on upgrading the equipment and processes currently in use. This will involve training on team concepts and empowerment as well as training to advance the current skills and knowledge of the employees. Budgets and guidelines must be set for the teams and the teams should involve all areas of the business. Each department has a lot to offer in order to reduce costs and increase productivity. Moreover, establish groups to increase efficiencies even further. A measurement of the success of the business is the number of shirts that are printed in an hour. For a start, the obvious goal here is to not have to change out jobs as often. Each job requires new screens to be set-up and new ink prepared for the colors of the new design. This can lead to the sales force creating a strategy to go after the large accounts; for example, Casinos that sell or use a high volume of shirts in their gift shops.

The key to creating and keeping momentum from the employees is good leadership. If the new manager consistently exhibits the characteristics essential to a great leader, the employees will begin to trust the leadership and will strive to provide support to this leadership. The new manager must not demonstrate fear or hesitation in decisions to avoid failure or to keep from making mistakes. It is important that once the plan is completely established and implemented, that the leader stay focused on providing the energy, ideas and idea generation, responsiveness, control, and success.

Word Count: 1247

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