Tanglewood Case 1
In reference to Exhibit 1.7 in the textbook, we feel that of the staffing quantity and staffing quality strategies listed, developing talent, internal hiring, and exceptional workforce quality are the most important strategies to implement or to continue to implement at Tanglewood. These three strategies were chosen over the others because Tanglewood uses a differentiation strategy and the company believes it is important to maintain a strong culture. Tanglewood is concerned that companies like Target and Kohl’s are going to create more direct competition for the company. Therefore, Tanglewood must ensure they differentiate themselves by having the best possible staff that will deliver positive experiences to their customers and make their stores stand out among the competitors.
As stated on page six of the Tanglewood Casebook, “the organization feels there absolutely must be a workforce of committed, qualified individuals who will help carry the Tanglewood philosophy into the future.” We believe they can do this by continuing to use strategies of developing talent and internal hiring as well as employing exceptional workforce quality. We believe these strategies are the most important to use because they will allow Tanglewood to differentiate itself from the competition, build a strong culture, save money by hiring internally and developing their talent, hiring people who are new to retail and developing them as Tanglewood associates, and it will support Tanglewood’s team focus and maintain the family atmosphere in employees that the company was built on.
Developing talent is a better strategy for Tanglewood than acquiring talent because acquiring talent from other companies costs more money. Additionally, if Tanglewood starts employees off as associates who are new to working in retail, everyone will start fresh and learn everything the Tanglewood way. This may also result in there being less opposition among workers about how things should be done in retail because they will not have experienced any other method. At the same time, Tanglewood welcomes suggestions from all workers and has made a few major operational changes as a result of employee suggestions.
Internal hiring is a better strategy for Tanglewood than external hiring because it allows everyone to start at the bottom as an associate and to work their way up in the company if they work hard and have the desire to move up. This strategy also allows company culture to thrive. Each employee is able to understand the culture of the company by starting out fresh as an associate and being taught how the company operates and to learn about its culture.
Exceptional workforce quality is a better strategy for Tanglewood than acceptable workforce quality for many reasons. First, Tanglewood’s target market is middle to upper class society. The company employs moderate pricing and a strategy of differentiation. They also differentiate themselves from the competition by having a large camping and outdoor living section in each store, having an outdoor theme, and by having a personable sales staff. Having exceptional workforce quality means hiring associates that will be passionate about Tanglewood and in providing excellent customer service. This strong customer service focus will encourage repeat visits to the store and allow the company to stand out among the competition by being a customer favorite.