Literature Essay

The company I chose to do my research study on Is Spa. I was employed with Spa for about four years, spending two years at their corporate headquarters located in a busy neighborhood in lower Manhattan, and two years at one of their busiest spas located in midtown Manhattan. During my time with the company I did notice a difference between the corporate and spa atmosphere . Ironically, the corporate office seemed more relaxed than the spa. Most of the employees dressed casually, sometimes even wearing Jeans and sneakers.

Everyone was very easy to get along with. During the holidays there would be festive activities, Like secret Santa during Christmas, potluck lunch the day before Thanksgiving, and pumpkin carving and costume contests for Halloween. I was surprised how lenient they were with the extent of the costume contest, I happened to win dressed up in my homemade Oomph Loam costume with my face painted orange white eyebrows, and I forgot my socks at home so I painted my legs too! Even the president of the company donned a Jester outfit.

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Every employee’s birthday was celebrated on the actual day with cake for everyone to share. In contrast, the spa seemed tense and stressful as lady’s approached because that meant some astronomical sales quota had to be reached. It was always difficult to determine who actually got along with whom. Birthdays were celebrated during a staff meeting that took place on the second Wednesday of every month. A cupcake was given to anyone whose birthday fell in that month. Any left over cupcake was given to a manager to either eat or give to someone of their choosing.

Employees wore uniforms, with the exception of the management team. The employee’s would set up occasional festivities for the holidays and select birthdays. The costumes during Halloween were either inappropriate (short, low-cut, revealing), or people just chose not to partake in the holiday. These differences in work environments ultimately led to my decision to leave the company. It also compelled me to look Into the issues at the spa, and try to make a connection to some of the readings In this class, as well as the experiences of fellow classmates and guest speakers.

I wanted to look into the correlation between types of authority and Job satisfaction, as well as a possible link between the latter and education. Maybe one day I can share the information with the management am at the spa in the hopes that it would encourage them to implement some changes that would improve the mental and emotional well- being of the employees, which In turn will Improve their Job satisfaction and productivity . Spa When I first joined the spa team in April of 2009, I was an administrative assistant to the management team at the time and a guest associate was training me.

I seemed odd to everyone because I was new and I had come from the corporate office. I think they were expecting me to be naive about the spa environment, as many of them knew what the corporate office environment was like. I was subjected to their distant as if they didn’t think it would be very long until I’d quit. In a melting pot like New York City, there are a number of cultures that often times clash but must coexist. The same can be said about organizations with a great deal of departments. Spa, the company I am studying, has different levels of management and lower level staff.

There are 4 different departments: 1) The Front Desk / Guest Associates; 2) Housekeeping/ Spa Attendants; 3) Service Technicians; and 4) The Management team. Each department serves a different purpose, and individuals within each apartment share the same responsibilities and perform similar tasks, but all departments contribute to fulfilling the organization’s goal(s) in some way. The integration perspective at Spa creates a very competitive environment. Managers analyze the performance of commission-based employees and utilize positive and negative consequences contingent upon their productivity.

The massage therapists, esthetics’s, nail technicians, and waxing specialists are given daily, weekly, and monthly goals ranging from customer retention – the number of customer requests there are for a specific technician, to the amount of products and service upgrades old. They are compared to one another and the top performer in each specialty is rewarded in several ways. Management enables the top technicians to make their ideal schedule, or Just assigns them to work the shifts that would allow them to continue and even improve their level of productivity.

They would also receive recognition at staff meetings, during which they would be given certificate awards and gift checks valued anywhere from $25-$300. The technicians on the other end of the productivity spectrum would suffer the loss of one or more shifts. Consistent low performance turnouts have even led to temporary layoffs. The fragmentation perspective views cultural systems as more ambiguous, lacking clarity at either the collective or subgroup levels. This may explain why the spa attendants have actually been unionized. I feel that they mightier felt unheard or misrepresented when they spoke out about issues relating to them.

I do know from some of the department meetings Eve conducted with them, that they often voiced their concerns and suggestions , but by the next departmental meeting they felt those concerns weren’t adequately addressed and their suggestions ignored. Their requests ranged from feasible to unreasonable. They often requested new cleaning supplies and kitchen utensils, which went missing several days after use. They complained of the cleaning solutions they were equipped with for performing their duties, and said that it made them dizzy, this complaint came up only after being unionized.

We needed to get authorization from our corporate office in order to fulfill this request, as this is something the purchasing department actually needed to look into. When they found something that wasn’t harmful or as harsh to breathe in, the spa attendants complained that the products weren’t strong enough and required them to use more elbow grease. The attendants also demanded schedule changes, changes that were impossible to make, as it would’ve meant being short-staffed during busy hours. We obviously could not please everyone, especially those with less seniority, as they were the ones that were unhappy about their work schedule.

The management team grew tired of the complaints and stopped working so hard to try and satisfy the attendants. It was always difficult finding a happy medium that would satisfy both some of the spa attendants, I did find out that the majority of their department felt mistreated by their former supervisor, Est., who is now their equal upon unionization. She was not officially a supervisor, but she handled supervisory duties for their department, which later became my duties once they became unionized. They sought to become a part of the union because she received favorable treatment because she babysat the General Manager’s son on weekends.

She also went out of her way and made coffee for them every morning, or ginger tea when they were ill. She, understandingly, did not want the department to be unionized. She knew that it meant losing her privileges of creating their schedule, and reprimanding any of them. She also lost her seniority. Once they became a union, seniority was based on who worked in the hotel first, not the spa, as another spa existed there before the hotel company acquired Spa. Est. feels a lot of resentment toward her coworkers and still does her best to keep the favor of those with legitimate power .

The employees would mimic a family atmosphere by celebrating birthdays, as well as sharing potluck-style meals and exchanging gifts during the holidays. The Joy and sentiments don’t last as their mindset switches back to work-mode, and everyone is back to feeling different from one another and defined by their position or status. Observing employees during my visits to the spa, I watched customers interact with employees within different departments, as well as the way employees interacted with one another.

It was interesting to see the difference in tone that people use when speaking to someone from each department. Each category of personnel is distinguishable by their uniform. Service technicians and spa attendants wear polo shirts and scrub pants, while the front desk guest associates wear scrub pants and t- shirts with designs that vary depending on holidays or product launches. Members f the management team are non-uniformed and wear business casual attire. Managers and customers often talked down to lower level employees, in a condescending tone .

Customers would assert that the service technician did not do a good Job and they did not deserve gratuity, or blatantly lie about being picked up late and service time being shortened, and demand a discount and free products. Managers would adhere to the customer and side with them in front of the employee being complained about, and sometimes reprimand the employee in front of others. The only time employees seemed to be nice to one another is when they needed a favor, such as schedule coverage and when they wanted to leave early.

The guest associates have the autonomy to handle most issues on their own, but most customers preferred to escalate situations to the point where a manager was needed. Often times, the managers did whatever it took to get those customers out of there even if it meant letting them get their way despite how the employees were treated. Even when the customer was wrong, the customer was as the saying goes “always right . ” Working with the Human Resources department and the management team allowed me to observe the type of candidate they hired.

They generally hired good- looking candidates because the spa environment is comparable to high school and what we looked for in a significant other or a friend, whom we wanted to be seen with or associated with. It is superficial, but it’s whom the spa wants representing their feel good . I chose to leave because I no longer felt good, and wanted more for myself. I didn’t feel comfortable working with a traditional authority figure, which favored subordinates that mirrored her image, and treated others poorly for not being more like her despite their merit and efforts .

For instance, she is a cat-person, if someone’s dog died, she did not offer sincere condolences and would talk about the situation saying “it’s Just a dog”, whereas if someone’s cat died, she would tell them to take the rest of the day or the next day off, and she would go on and on about how sad it was that their cat died. She also preferred the management team to be into high fashion and to possess fancy accessories, and she treated you like less of a person if you didn’t appear wealthy.

I felt a sense of degradation subjecting myself to inconsistent managerial support and lack of appreciation. I was denied the opportunity of a promotion because my general manager felt I wasn’t ready, even though I was already performing the duties of the person I was hoping to officially replace. For me, education does play a role in Job satisfaction. Since I left Eve gotten married, had a child, have another on the way, while attending college so that I may be in a better position when I decide to return to work.

Everything that has transpired since resigning, I am very happy about and wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that if I had stayed, I would have remained unhappy on my plateau of a session. During what would be my last annual review with her, she claimed there was a raise freeze. I later found out that one of the other supervisors received a handsome raise . The other supervisor was known for being tardy, but I suppose she made up for it by walking in with Cataracts coffee for the general manager.

The majority of the management team often went out together after work. I Joined them on rare occasion, but I didn’t feel comfortable because they were all drinking together and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself and usually chose to skip out earlier than he rest of them. Based on their reaction as I said goodbye, I knew they were disappointed that I wasn’t more like them: trendy parameters . She favored people she can go out with, party with, go shopping with, share her interests, or basically mirrored her.

We’re all friends on Backbone and I see that they all still go out together, and I noticed that the other supervisor was eventually promoted. Since my departure from the company, their vision and mission statement has changed, and so have the company values. I don’t recall what it used to be word for word, but I do member they all used to be more company focused, and geared toward the best interests of serving the company in a way that would maximize profits. The new vision, mission statement and values serve the same purpose but there seems to be more of an emphasis on employee sincerity and teamwork.

They urge employees to perform to the best of their ability while finding Joy in what they do, with the assumption that their coworkers and customers will respect and reciprocate their perspective. If the employees appear to be happy then it will resonate with the customers. After reviewing the below, my opinion is that the old vision, mission, and values were more feasible and reasonable, as they pertained mostly to the satisfaction of the customers. The employees used to project themselves in a positive manner, which led to positive customer experience.

If the customer was happy, the employees were happy because there were no complaints to listen to, and no coworkers should be automatic, making it a rule seemed to have adverse effects on most of the staff. Maybe it’s all Just psychological. I feel more accomplished thinking Eve gone the extra mile to do something that was not expected of me. Being polite to coworkers, even when we don’t want to, is something most of us already do, but feeling like it’s something we must do because the company asks this of us, Just seems like a burden, extra responsibility or obligation.

Vision: Empower and support each other and our guests around the world to achieve a higher state of happy . Mission: Exceed company goals in an enthusiastic, positive and passionate way and embody the company values by giving our best to our guests making them feel special each and every day so they look and feel beautiful, healthy and happy . Company Values 1. Be results driven. Strive to exceed our goals by working to the best of your abilities to make it happen. Do what is needed to grow smart to grow right. 2. Be the brand. Be proud.

Show passion for and focus on each of our amazing brands. 3. Be resourceful. Spend your time and money on what’s most important and urgent. Then find a way to get ‘it’ done. 4. Embrace change. Changing world, evolving company. Join hands and embrace what’s next . 5. Be customer focused. Treat and serve every guest and co-worker with respect, concern, attention and positivist. Always go one step further than expected for the guest so they are made to eel special and are surprised and delighted at every turn. 6. Be a team player. Work together to coach and collaborate to win.

Support and empower each other to achieve a higher state of happy with respect and understanding to make a better you and a better company. Discuss, challenge and communicate in an open and transparent manner. Then align as one unified front . 8. Show integrity Work in an honest, straightforward way. Take full accountability and always strive for continual improvement. 9. Be positive Show positivist, excitement and enthusiasm for the brand, company and each there. 10. Be an expert Show and share your knowledge with our guests and co-workers .

What I found was that while education is an important key to mobility within organizations, it does not play a role in Job satisfaction, at least not in this case, in this work environment. Job satisfaction seems to be linked to the way each of the employees feel about themselves, the way others treat them and make them feel, or the way they feel about their work. Education may affect the way certain employees are perceived and treated, but who really walks around the workplace with a resume ousted on their back. Employees would have to assume they know someone’s educational background to make that kind of Judgment about each other.

There are some positive effects of traditional and charismatic authority in organizations. If a manager has established a relationship with a Job applicant prior to hiring them, the potential employee is probably more likely to try and please the manager, and the manager is probably more likely to have a halo effect bias toward them. This can also be said of existing employees that have a tendency to manipulate the manager by wet-talking them or befriending them and engaging in social activities after work hours.

Managers may also take advantage of this relationship by asking for favors such as sweet-talking the employee to come in on their off day to cover for someone who has called out sick or when the manager is in a bind when trying to configure the schedule. The above-mentioned positive effects are of course great to have and take advantage of, but what happens when an employee doesn’t have the same rapport with the manager? When employees see others being favored by managers, it can be discouraging and denominating. From my own experience, I felt as though I could not measure up to the expectations of my boss.

She wanted me to be like her, and the other managers. She wanted me to be more assertive with the subordinates, which I took as she wanted me to be more abrasive, but I felt I was already stern with them when necessary. I never wanted to project any negative vibes toward anyone, because it would be demeaning and they would end up taking less pride in their work, which goes against the current company values. I think the fact that the management team has a “do as I do, not as I say’ attitude forces a lot of the staff to eve resentment toward them and the values of the company.

Eve conducted a brief survey of current employees to try and get an idea of how they view their role in the emailed former employees to get a sense of how they felt, and why they are no longer with the company, but after reviewing the data, I have decided to exclude their input, because it did not seem as useful in this study as I originally thought it would. I thanked them for their participation in my study and wished them more years of happiness, as Eve always believed that a happy workplace is a productive one.


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