Date: Jun 25, 2019
Category: Analysis Essay
Developing a Differentiated Workforce

Executive Summary

A differentiated workforce is one in which talented people have been identified and supported effectively for better organizational performance. Clarin Stores Inc is a company that operates within the retail industry, and thus they have to compete vigorously in the consumer goods category. This means that they still have a lot to learn in the industry. In order to create a differentiated workforce here, the first step is to identify what the company really needs in terms of workers and skill sets that really create and add value for the company’s consumers and investors. Here, it is clear that most of the value creation takes place in the product development and marketing departments. However, the company seems to value the accountants and managers more than the product developers and marketers. Thus, the company needs to pay more attention to its marketing and product development departments if they intend to succeed in the retail market. The plan here is to strengthen these departments and ensure that the company is able to make the best out of the existing human capital, with room for expansion through recruitment and selection as well as training and development. Implementing this plan will require the support of the management and the company’s staff, thus incorporating participative and motivational leadership styles that will enable the employees to understand the proposal and its expected outcomes. It can also be appreciated that the proposed strategy will have to be evaluated. In this case, the best way to monitor and evaluate the strategy is to consider the company’s performance in terms of sales volumes and customer loyalty before the implementation and afterward as well. An improvement in sales volumes will imply success for the differentiated workforce.

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Creating a differentiated workforce involves making value by ensuring that the company’s human capital potential is optimized and utilized effectively for the benefit of the organization. This implies that in order to improve organizational performance and maximize returns for the company in question, there is often a need to look within the existing human capital resource rather than seeking solutions outside the organization. One way of achieving better organizational performance is to leverage the company’s human capital and create value by developing a differentiated workforce. At this point, it means that differentiated workforce involves allocating firm’s resources in such a way that competitive advantage will be created and value will be added. Differentiating your workforce implies knowing who does what and how this contributes to the organization in general. Those in a position to alter the company’s competitive advantage favorably are then given more resources and encouraged to work harder in the organization. Therefore, workforce differentiation is mainly the understanding of the various job descriptions in the organization and ensuring that each individual within the company is assigned to a position where he/she will serve the company best. The current paper uses a fictitious company, Clarin Stores Inc., to suggest recommendations that must be implemented in order to attain a differentiated workforce and leverage the available human capital.

The Strategy

Creating customer and investor value in Clarin Stores Inc only requires looking at the product development and the marketing divisions. The individual in product development is responsible for coming up with the company’s products in order to fulfill market demand. These products are often a solution to an existing problem, and the employee in this department is able to find these solutions solely due to their ingenuity and impeccable skill sets. This is why the company is able to stay ahead of their competition. They come up with breakthrough inventions that are set to make lives better for their consumers. On the other hand, the marketing team is responsible for the company’s extensive market presence both online and offline. The company’s marketers have been able to create a great market space for the company, with a high number of customers who follow the company online and are constantly interacting and providing feedback.

In order to succeed, Clarin Stores Inc. should really focus on the individuals that they are recruiting in these two departments. Within this company, the important steps towards creating a differentiated workforce would be to analyze these two departments and ensure that they have the right amount of needed workers (Huselid & Becker, 2010). The current talent pool may seem sufficient but since there is a need for improvement, the company will have to consider an addition or reinforcement. However, when hiring a new gifted employee, the company has to be sure that they have an accurate job description and list of requirements for important job positions as dictated by their differentiation strategy. The major processes when creating a differentiated workforce include planning, implementing, and evaluating the strategy. In this case, the company will need to reconsider a number of its current strategies from recruitment and selection as well as compensation. Ordinarily, the company dwells on academic qualifications when seeking new recruits. However, with a new definition of needs and expectations for better organizational performance, it is highly unlikely that this criterion will hold. They need a more specific talent pool to add to the current one and to make a significant improvement; therefore, they will have to focus on skills and abilities.

Understanding the Organization

The aim of creating a differentiated workforce is to ensure that the right energy goes towards capturing and nurturing the needed employees within the organization. This means that in order to create the desired kind of workforce, the organization must first engage in thorough planning. Having understood that product development and marketing are the most important departments in the organization, it is important to examine these departments and define whether there is a need for recruitment or training for better performance. In this company’s case, there is a need for both recruitment and training since the company is also looking to expand its operations globally. The planning phase includes not only identifying the needs of the organization in light of the critical job positions or departments but also finding a way to meet these needs as best and effective as possible. This company simply needs more employees both in marketing and in product development. In order to create a differentiated workforce, it is needed to define the available vacancies.

The product development team consists of a rare group of scientists as well as other individuals who understand the consumer goods market and are able to understand market research and anticipate the needs of the company’s consumers. As such, in order to work in this company’s product development department, the potential employee must have a background in consumer goods. However, this is a very wide criterion that would include practically everyone who has ever needed or used any consumer goods. This is seemingly correct because the main portion of product development here involves being a consumer and facing the common challenges in order to come up with solutions. Most companies depend on scientists to come up with new products but this company seeks the opinions and suggestions of real people, drawn from their day-to-day experiences.

The marketing team is created of energetic and enthusiastic individuals who dedicate their time to a number of activities that connect the company to its consumers. This team mainly focuses on interacting with the company’s customer base both in the stores, on the streets, and online. They do not simply communicate the company’s marketing messages but rather focus on listening to what the customers say about the products and services offered by the company. This means that some of the main talents here include communicating effectively and living up to the customers’ expectations in terms of good quality service. In order to be in this company’s marketing team, one has to be effective in communicating, friendly, and approachable. The company must get such people in order to keep up a good performance. Generally, this organization needs hardworking individuals who are committed to their work. The company not just involves academic qualifications but really talented staff.

The Plan

In order to develop a differentiated workforce, the company will have to plan new recruitment and training. This means that a number of meetings with the relevant parties, which in this case include the managers and the employees as well as the shareholders if possible, should be conducted. These meetings are aimed at seeking the approval and support of the company’s stakeholders. The strategy will require a lot of funding as well, and without the approval of the shareholders, the management may not be able to fund the project. Once the approval is obtained, the company will have to define their operational needs in terms of creating value and strengthening their competitive advantage, and highlight the critical departments which in this case have been identified as product development and marketing. The two departments must then be evaluated for any loopholes and needs based on the company’s current and future goals and objectives. As soon as all these have been considered an established, the company must consider defining job descriptions for their two critical departments and a list of qualifications that are relevant.

Compensation is also a significant part of developing a differentiated workforce. In most companies, the employees feel valued based on the compensation that they receive. Like in many other organizations, the administrative positions tend to earn a higher income compared to the other positions. For example, this company pays the accounting department more than the customer service unit. This implies that the team members of the customer service feel less important compared to the accountants. This should be also changed if the company implements the differentiation successfully. This implies that a part of the implementation will entail revising the compensation strategies employed in the company. The company may not be able to cut down the compensation packages for the employees since they are mostly industry standards, and reducing them may reduce their competitive advantage within the labor market. Therefore, it is more practical for the company to offer different perks and incentives for the employees in order to assure them that they are of great value to the company as well.

Implementation

The first step in implementing a differentiated workforce strategy is identifying the company’s priorities. Expanding or shuffling the two critical departments would require a lot of energy and money, emphasizing the need for absolute cooperation within the organization. Currently, this company has the resources to differentiate the workforce and therefore, they can afford to carry out the whole process. However, the management will need to seek the support of the employees within the organization. This implies initiating a change of leadership mechanism. Any significant amount of change requires the active participation of the leaders and their subordinates. As such, the implementation must start with open communication from the leadership. The employees need to understand the purpose of the anticipated changes that they should participate in. This is the only way they can fully engage their leaders, hence enabling the organization to really grow in terms of the differentiated workforce. This is the basic aspect of the plan and without the support of the workforce itself, it may be impossible for the organization to implement this strategy.

With the support in place, the management can then start seeking new gifted workers to complement the existing workforce. It must be noted that the organization is not restricted in terms of searching for new employees. They can look for new people for their important departments from outside or from the organization. The company will have to strategize recruitment and selection for their existing talent pool. It must be noted that the aim is to increase the company’s talented staff within the critical departments. The company will have to seek for young product developers as well as marketers who have the stated skills and talents and can function well in a team setting. The organizational culture is mainly based on team spirit and in order to fit in, any new recruits must be able to adapt to the system. Basically, this strategy calls for an expansion and shuffling of the organization’s human capital and everything except evaluating the company’s needs in terms of talent will take place in the recruitment and selection process.

Evaluation

In order to evaluate this strategy, the objectives set during the planning phase must be laid out clearly. In this case, the main goal was to improve the organizational performance while the guiding objectives included improving the talent pool in marketing and product development. The implementation entails placing more organization’s resources into the marketing and product development departments. It can be stated that the expected outcomes include better marketing as well as more effective product development. The company is mainly looking to advance their competitive advantage and as such their efforts can be evaluated by simply considering the relevant aspects of their performance.

First, the sales volumes are expected to increase once the implementation is complete. With a better product development team, the company is expected to create a lot of new and relevant products that will enable them to capture the market. This means that the organization will be able to satisfy the customers’ needs more effectively and thereby register higher sales volumes. One way to evaluate the strategy is to compare the sales volumes before and after the implementation. Higher volumes will imply success in that a better talent pool in the product development department is responsible for the company’s impressive performance. The marketing department was also highlighted as a critical unit within this organization and the strategy considered upgrading the talent pool here as well.

Consequently, an expected outcome is better marketing processes and in the end a larger customer base for the company. This can be measured through a survey to establish the company’s market awareness level. Another option would be to simply consider the sales volume as discussed above. Marketing involves getting the products to the consumers and in most cases, the marketing department is responsible for not only for communicating with consumers but also for delivering the products to the end users. This means that higher sales volumes have resulted from better marketing techniques employed by the organization in question. Therefore, it is important for the company to evaluate its strategy by looking at the sales volumes. More specifically, the departments can be evaluated individually for the attitudes of the employees. A wider talent pool implies a more challenging and interesting work environment, lower turnover, higher levels of job satisfaction, and employee motivation. If the company is able to register lower turnover, higher levels of job satisfaction and employee motivation, then it will be safe to conclude that the strategy is successful.

Conclusion

Developing a differentiated workforce implies getting to understand what the company has and what they need in order to improve their performance. It is a long process that in some cases may be very expensive for the organization. In this case, the company in question is rather strong but it has to make some changes in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the consumer goods industry. As such, the critical departments include marketing and product development and the company has to focus their resources on improving them. To do this, the company’s leadership will have to engage the employees and gain their support. They will also have to reconsider the value system and stop placing accountants above the customer service team. However, they may not be able to simply revise their compensation practices as there are other factors to consider in doing this. In order to implement this strategy, the company will also need the support of the employees.