CarMax certainly does take care of its associates by offering a comfortable work environment and offering “flexibility to balance work/home commitments to foster the well-being of their associates and their families” (socialresponsibility.carmax.com). However, having been a full time student while working, last minute publishing of the schedule gave me little notice about upcoming shifts. Most of my team, similarly, thought this was an unfair way to schedule employees as it really lead to more problems for the manager due to more missed shifts, more last minute shift change requests or more tardiness. Trying to juggle both school and work, I had notified my employer in advance of each semester about the times and days I had classes. Although, the management was very adjusting, there were still times they forgot and scheduled me for shifts, which I had to later switch with my co-workers.
CarMax’s current vision for making a positive impact on society by making a great place to work for its employee’s is requiring a change in its schedule policy. “Managing Organizational Change brings together all the different roles and functions within an organization that a leader has to manage effectively to ensure successful and sustainable organizational change” (Campbell, 2014). Organizational change occurs when a company makes a transition from its current state to some desired future state. Managing organizational change is the process of planning and implementing change in organizations in such a way as to minimize employee resistance and cost to the organization while simultaneously maximizing the effectiveness of the change effort.
Organizations change for many reasons, from external reasons to internal changes. Effective change leaders have already been through several change processes, mostly as employees, some even as junior leaders of managers. Unsurprisingly, organizations require additional change at some point to remain competitive in an ever-changing and global environment. The market and the economy are constantly changing, so it is very important for companies like CarMax to adapt to these changes by making some internal shifts for long-term benefits and desired increase in productivity.
A change agent does not necessarily have to be the person in authority, but as an agent, it is very important I have a clear vision and be able to communicate my recommended scheduling policy clearly to CarMax’s management team in Pleasanton, CA as well as my co-workers. The change vision will give the HR team a picture of what the future will look like after the change is implemented. It will show the organization why they should let go of the past, sacrifice and work hard in the present, and follow leadership into the future.
“According to Kofidomos (1993) work-life conflict results in stress in the employees which ultimately reduces their effectiveness at work” (Lopamudra, 2017). Work hour schedules at CarMax are not uncommonly posted no more than a week in advance for employees, sometimes even less, for work the following week. A common consequence is that such practices limit employees’ opportunity to balance work, family, and social responsibilities. Employees’ dissatisfaction with their work hours, not too surprisingly, is intensified by the interaction of want to schedule control and the variability of their hours. Little advance notice of posting of work schedules, daily scheduling changes, and overtime work leads to increased work-family time conflict, but also to work stress, child care difficulties, and variable earning. Employees who work and attend school at the same time have increased anxiety due to not being able to balance both with irregular work schedules. Many employees are not able to plan events, trips or even doctors appointments due to this difficulty.
Now as far as my change initiative for schedule policy is concerned, I know I have to focus on what the company needs to do to ensure that it is done positively. My original decision was to change the schedule policy for better enhancement, however after the Force Field Analysis, I discovered I could also expand this a little bit more and add more emphasis for management to get more training and resources to be able to make schedules for employees and be consistent with their policy.
According to the Cawsey’s Readiness for Change Questionnaire, my score for CarMax’s readiness for change was 35. The purpose of this tool was to raise awareness concerning readiness for change and the higher the score, the more ready the organization is for change. If the organization scores below 10, it is not likely ready for change and change will be very difficult. However, since my organization score was very high, there is a clear vision that there are areas that require attention and need strengthening in order to improve. Based on the score, it is quite clear that my organization had a credible leadership and was change champion. The company, team, and its employees were very open to change and had the ability to focus on root causes and recognize where things were going wrong.
“Before any change management plans are initiated, it is well advised to check for the organization’s readiness. People should be made to feel that the need for change is real and important so as to avoid piece-meal, disparate and confusing assessments of the situation” (Mahato, 2015). Individuals or change leaders may recognize a change needed in their departments or at the workplace but may be resistant in recognizing the need for change, as it gets closer to home. But I think that change is not the problem but in fact resistance to change is the real problem. “Most organizations rise or fall based on how well they manage the introduction of change and the control of uninvited changes in their environment. Leaders must fully understand the change process to move their organizations successfully through the turmoil of today’s economic environment” (Bruckman, 2008). Employees mainly tend to resist change because they have fears. They may think that there is not any real need for the change or that the change is going to make it harder for them to meet their needs at work. The risks sometimes seem to outweigh the benefits or employees think the change will fail due to its inability to successfully make the change.