Best Buy Culture

Question – 1 Describe the culture of Best Buy Answer – 1 Best Buy culture has changed tremendously. The company’s culture was once to embrace long hours and sacrifice, now the culture is more relaxed. The employees are now really able to run their own schedule as well as their own work progress. Before the ROWE program was introduces to the Best Buy employees would have to work until they found a solution. That means staying at work all night and day if the job or situation requires it. For example the book talks about one employee that was given a plaque for staying up and at work for three days to right a report that was due.

He made a sacrifice for his job that made him end up in the hospital. The ROWE program which stands for Results-Only Work Environment program is a way that employees can still work whether in the office, at home, or coffee shop as long as they finish the job. This program has changed the culture of Best Buy as well as the performance. Question – 2 discuss the approach to Organizational change that the ROWE program illustrate Answer – 2 Instead of launching a work-life balance program, Best Buy rethought the very concept of work.

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Under the Results-Only Work Environment program or ROWE, employees can work when and where they like, as long as they get the job done. The ROWE program is based on 13 principles and rules. The key ones include: * There are no work schedules in the traditional sense. * Every meeting is optional with a few key exceptions. * There is no focus on “how many hours did you work” * Work is not a place you go, it’s something you do. * As long as work is done, employees do whatever they want whenever they want. In brief ROWE is all about results. No results, no job. The public relations team has papers to make sure someone is always available in an emergency. Many teams realized that they need only one regular weekly meeting, so they eliminated the unproductive ones. By ROWE culture the employees feel happier about their work. They feel more ownership of their work. They feel clearer about what they are doing for the company. Question – 3 discuss the resistance, both organization and individual that the ROWE program had to overcome.

Answer – 3 the corporate team led by CEO Brad Anderson, was initially skeptical about the ROWE program and whether it should be expanded. The managers at the Best Buy put up the most resistance. The Best Buy’s legal department has resisted the new way of working, partly because the in-house attorneys are worried that it will reduce their pay. When Thompson proposed extending flexibility to hourly workers, the managers resisted, arguing that “there are certain people that need to be managed differently than other people.

Because we believe that administrative assistants need to be at their desks to serve their bosses. One of the corporate strategists has struggled to figure out how to prove him in new environment. Without children, she had an advantage. She could be the first one in and the last one out. She said she had all this panic and everything she knew about the success was suddenly changing. One of the legal attorney felt that she checks the emails on her day off. She was afraid that the ROWE will push more work into her downtime.

Question – 4 discuss the sources of stress that are apparent in the case Answer – 4 Best Buy introduced the ROWE program to reduce stress and overwork in their employees at their headquarters. The program basically allows you to work from anywhere, any hours you choose, as long as the job gets done. The employees at Best Buy’s headquarters generally worked long hours until the ROWE program was introduced. Employee burnout and turnover was high. After the ROWE program’s implementation, productivity has increased and voluntary turnover has decreased.

The Culture of Best Buy Prior to the implementation of ROWE at Best Buy, employee morale was low; the turnover rate was high, employees worked very long hours. “The company’s culture used to embrace long hours and sacrifice”. Employees spent a lot of time in impromptu meetings called by management. Employees were called upon to complete reports with little or no notice. Some employees stated they spent little time with their families and worked even when they were not physically in the office.

The system at Best Buy before ROWE was work, work, and more work. Employees seemed to be working 24hrs a day. Now, with more control of their time, employees are more productive. They are able to decide when and where they want to work. The change has also helped them to confront some biases in the workplace. Deciding whether or not to extend the same benefit to hourly employees exposed how some managers felt. They resisted because of their belief that it was not for everyone, some people needed to be held to the old system.

Question – 5 discuss whether or not the organizational culture has helped with the change Answer- 5 the ROWE experiment started quietly. While the sample size was fewer than 300 employees, the early results were promising. Turnover in the first three month of employment fell from 14 percent to zero. Job satisfaction rose 10 percent and team –performance scores rose 13 percent. The results from and reactions to ROWE has been encouraging. Productivity increased an average of 35 percent within six to nine months in the units that implemented ROWE.

The voluntary turnover has dropped between 52 percent and 90 percent in three Best Buy divisions that have implemented ROWE. As Thompson stated “the employees feel happier about the work. ”They see Rowe as a benefit that’s almost more important than any other. They talk about it as if to say, someone else could offer me more money but I wouldn’t go because I now have control over my time. Ultimately for Best Buy, the new approach to work is about staying competitive, not just helping its employees. Reference- Integrating cases from the Organizational Behavior book [page no – 553]

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