XYZ Widget: Returning to Leading Positions in the Market

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XYZ Widget has been losing money over the past two years and losing market share relative to its competitors. According to the activity research method and this scenario, the first two steps – entry and contracting – have already been agreed upon with the company’s CEO. The CEO does not want to lower the price of his quality product, and as a result, several company employees have already been laid off, and sales bonuses have been abolished.

Reasons

The main goals of this work are to search for the causes of losses and, as a result, to stop the fall in profits and return to leading positions in the market. Possible reasons for the fall are employees’ incompetence, too high a price concerning the market, and a lack of information that hinders sales. For an integrated approach and the transition to the next steps of the action plan – collecting information and feedback – it is necessary to adhere to two main methods: a questionnaire based on the Mayer-Briggs typology and 360-degree feedback. The first strategy allows employees to assess career orientation, leadership skills, and the ability to respond to decisions.

This questionnaire is completed by employees self-assessing their own skills (King & Mason, 2020). The second strategy focuses on collecting employee feedback from peers, managers, and customers (Fleenor et al., 2020). As a result, it is possible to get a complete picture of the work collective and identify the necessary qualities for the employees of the sales department of a given company.

According to the Mayer-Briggs typology scale and the company’s problems, the solution lies in logical reasoning, taking precedence over emotion. At the moment, the company is in an economic downturn; therefore, more balanced employees will be a priority. At the same time, material information is rather stingy and requires professional intuitive solutions, so employees who can find a solution intuitively should stand out for this job. As a result of the analysis of this questionnaire, information will be obtained that will be discussed with each of the employees separately before being presented to the CEO, which is in line with professional ethics (Haneberg, 2005). The second strategy will allow evaluating the direct work of each employee and show its impact on the atmosphere in the work team.

Strategies

The estimates obtained will allow them to be statistically processed to find correlations between successful sales indicators, feedback from customers and other employees and managers within the company, and correlate them with psychological indicators of their self-esteem. The result will be a complete picture of the skills and headcount required to match the sales. The main mistake of the CEO was premature dismissal and adjustment of bonus payments before conducting the appropriate analysis as a critical step in this work. Feedback, accordingly, is a logical continuation of the step of diagnosing the problem and was also skipped before such radical actions.

It is necessary to analyze the market for such services in the years of successful company activity before the recession to test the remaining hypotheses of losses. That is, 2015-2016, and compare it with the current situation on the market: perhaps the absence of competitors in those years was the determining factor of success. Finally, the search for alternative solutions lies in market segmentation or entering the international level in those countries where widgets are in demand but are not yet abundantly represented on the market (Chernev, 2020). As a result of these studies, planning of further activities will be carried out, which meets the fundamental rule of the action plan in the iterative alternation of research and action.

An important issue is raising and maintaining the morale of the work collective in the company’s decline. Organizational culture also requires taking into account the values ​​of each employee, which must be aligned with the purpose of the company (McLean, 2005). Again, the CEO’s mistake affects this stage of the assessment as well, since employees will be less motivated in already falling sales in the absence of bonus payments.

The global downsizing by the director can also negatively affect the workflow and cause fear of error among the remaining employees. Consequently, the primary strategy, which will partly require additional financial injections, will be the return of cash incentives with good sales figures. Any positive dynamics should increase the involvement of employees in the process, who should feel their need for the company. In addition, the CEO will need to define a core purpose and mission statement that aligns with the workforce’s values.

Action

Based on the feedback received and the analysis that will take place over the next month, there are several ways for XYZ Widget to return to the market. First, if the problem lies within the work team, then a conversation with each of the employees should be conducted, pointing out to him certain identified deficiencies that impede sales. The team adjustments will relate to applying and calculating correlations of methods such as the Mayer-Briggs indicator and 360-degree feedback. Employees must logically weigh alternatives, nevertheless relying on their professional intuition, which can help find new solutions both in the market and within the company. Second, the CEO needs to return the sales bonuses to maintain engagement, employee satisfaction, and morale. The atmosphere is threatened by the current actions taken by the director to lay off a third of the workforce.

Finally, the analysis of the market for previous years will be a roadmap in choosing the following strategy. If a lack of competition were previously the determining factor of success, the company would need to change its expansion policy. Among the possible strategies, it is possible to identify an increase in sales line, more favorable conditions for regular customers. An analysis of market segmentation will be required to find new customers, possibly in the international market.

Customer needs can also be identified through 360-degree feedback, which can also help adjust proposals. If the threats are not in the competition, then the company should conduct a PESTLE and SWOT analysis to identify the causes of the decline. Perhaps independent political or economic factors affect the market and consumers, forcing them to buy lower quality but the cheaper product.

Evaluation

Within the next two months, this study should be evaluated in the three areas indicated. Within a month, the term of the contract, the leading indicators of employees will be identified, and recommendations on the necessary qualities of the working team will be formed. It will take a longer time to test the other two hypotheses. Based on the results of two months, it will be possible to assess the main factors of the decline in sales.

If sales do not start to increase over this period, a return to planning an action plan is necessary, an essential condition of the methodology itself (Lurey & Griffin, 2013). Stricter and more comprehensive control over employees will prevent such a problem if the main reason lay precisely in the work collective. In order to preserve staff atmosphere and morale, it is recommended that employee satisfaction be assessed using the Minnesota satisfaction questionnaire every two months so that bonuses and working conditions can be adjusted promptly (Al Khajeh, 2018). Finally, the CEO will need to accompany each of his radical actions with preliminary research, the tools described above.

References

Al Khajeh, E. H. (2018). Impact of leadership styles on job satisfaction. Journal of Human Resources Management Research. Web.

Chernev, A. (2020). The marketing plan handbook. Cerebellum Press.

Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., & Chappelow, C. (2020). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Haneberg, L. (2005). Chapter 3: The action research approach to change. In Organization Development Basics. American Society for Training & Development.

King, S. P., & Mason, B. A. (2020). Myers‐Briggs Type Indicator. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Measurement and Assessment, 315-319.

Lurey, J. & Griffin, M. (2013). Section 2: Chapter 4: Action research: The anchor of OD practice. In Vogelsang, J. (ed). Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network. AMACOM Books.

McLean, G. (2005). Organization development: Principles, processes, performance. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "XYZ Widget: Returning to Leading Positions in the Market." December 4, 2022. https://business-essay.com/xyz-widget-returning-to-leading-positions-in-the-market/.

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BusinessEssay. "XYZ Widget: Returning to Leading Positions in the Market." December 4, 2022. https://business-essay.com/xyz-widget-returning-to-leading-positions-in-the-market/.