Between the founding owners, Carol Teinchek and Bruce Marshall the operation of Sundown Bakery was basic and simple: the baking and the selling transpired between their two sets of hands, mind and heart. A little bit further into time, there were clear signs of increased product demands. Carol hired two clerical assistants (a South American and a Korean) and Bruce hired one baker to assist him (a French Canadian). It is very interesting that at the onset cross-cultural teamwork was established in Sundown Bakery.
The communication between the five basic operatives seemingly was direct and informal. Within that singular, 4-corner shop / bakery operation, Carol, Bruce, Marina, Kim and Maurice can easily talk to each other and access each other without any delay, without any extra step forward. They were just within elbow’s reach. Thereby, it is understandable that between the five of them, familial and friendly considerations were warmly established. The atmosphere during the early stage of the operations of Sundown Bakery reflected a benign, simple and convivial surrounding.
The bakery conducted a straightforward activity: the bread is baked in the kitchen and then it is sold over the counter within the same vicinity. There was no issue of longer time lapse or wider change of physical movement. The Growth and Expansion Seemingly, customer patronage grew and the products of Sundown Bakery became popular. Establishing two more additional stand alone bakery shops in maybe not so distant locations and two kiosks in a mall – definitely require transportation facilities and organizing delivery.
Paramount to the activity of the bakery business is maintaining freshness of the product. That is why Sundown Bakery could have considered such angle. The hiring of Hans Mikelson as Operations Manager to the ensuing expanded operation of a total of 5 shops and manpower team of presumably totaling to at least 12 (with 5 at the start and 7 more by the growth period) – was a logical transition. Considering the acknowledged qualification of Mikelson, Sundown Bakery can benefit from his expertise. Therefore, Mikelson had to set up management policies and procedures in the best organizational method.
He designs; executes; disseminate and implements them through mostly formal communication. However, informal interaction can transpire in Sundown Bakery. Due to the ensuing growth of the business, Mikelson and Carol and Bruce, together with the rest of the employees communicate through technological gadgets and in writing. The presence of the cross-cultural characteristic of the employees revealed the intricacies of inherent norms and perceptions. At the same time, the long-serving employees felt that Carol and Bruce are now distant.
Exacerbated by the presence of Mikelson “in between”, it created a diminished feeling of “not being wanted”. The Management Dynamics Hans, qualified and experienced as he is in the scale of regional and national operations could be not be too far away from “mending” the brewing displaced sentiments in the growing organizational set up of Sundown Bakery. Apart from issuing the formal documents on any and all policies and procedures, Hans with the full knowledge and assent of Carol and Bruce as owners, has disseminate the objective basis of any policy and procedure.
The whole team must be enjoined into the purpose of the company’s vision and mission. Meeting them as a whole company must be followed up with meeting them in units. The production staff, the counter sales staff, the transport delivery staff, the administrative staff – can be by division or unit be met to reinforce the vision and mission of Sundown Bakery. The application of both formal and informal communication will create a balance. The manuals and the memorandums and the meetings can spaced and handled on a personalized basis.
Interaction can be established even in formal communications, for example, through an employee suggestion box. Then, informal communication can evolve as employees take the initiative in their hands to openly and ask clarification on any issue they are anxious about. And Hans extending the time to listen to them will erase the perceived barriers and employees will feel being appreciated. Acknowledged by Carol and Bruce, the change that must be implemented along the way of growth and expansion must be made known to everyone as imminent and necessary.
Hans can spearhead change through participative and informal leadership method. He must open the way for consultative and participative management. The process is definitely two-way and not just one-way or directive. Delegation and skills development programs are tools that will make employees motivated and cooperative. He must espouse that decentralization establishes smooth functions; employees must be treated as assets and prime resources; that the focus of all the teamwork is towards customer satisfaction and loyal and that everyone must operate and manage and work by objectives.
Prolonging the need to establish clear cut vision and mission and business and work objectives will endanger the customer patronage that Sundown Bakery has earned in time. The leadership and management ability to solidify working relationships and conditions will ensure that the well-earned market position of the business and the products will continue.
Marshall, Don R. “The Four Elements of Successful Management: Select, Direct, Evaluate, Reward”. 1999 AMACOM Division of American Management Association