Friday, January 25, 2013

Workers Rights and Comfortability Key to Productivity at Macy's Hearald Square

Hello visitors and Welcome to an Organizational Communication Blog by Imbar C. Lawrence. This Project Blog is an attempt to utilize Organizational Communication Skills to increase productivity at Macy*s Herald Square, increase workers comfortability, and ultimately solve a merchandise back-up problem to increase customers shopping experience. Having Imbars' personal experience having worked at Macy*s during the dayshift and night shift, has enabled Imbar to utilize their knowledge grasped through the text Organizational Communication for Survival: Making Work, Work, by Richmond and McCroskey, and through enlightenment of Prof. Gilbert who introduced technologies, Cellphones, Smart Mobs, and Blogs which can bring organizations together yielding many benefits. Though we ultimately propose a new model, which is feasible, the underlying sublimation is that soon one will be shopping online via. Virtual Stores due to increased retail company’s on-line presence. Click away and take a break to do some shopping if you please.

After Imbar worked at Macy's Herald Square she began to wonder what separated Macy's Herald Square from Bloomingdales other than location, customers demographics, and high-end clothing lines such as Giorgio Armani, and Hugo Boss Collection. Why was Bloomingdales so inviting with such a clean wonderful stress-free shopping experience? And why is it that Macy's is so uncomfortable to maneuver through and has a decreased level of customer service, it can't just be the overwhelming mass of customers. To understand some of the differences between Macy's and Bloomingdales we considered some of the differences. First, through taking a look at Barriers of Communication, as discussed in Chapter five, possible sources are revealed that could have lead to the rod problem/ and backed up merchandise at Macy*s Herald Square.

Of course one can jump to the conclusion of racial stereotypes, which was described in Ch.11 Organizational Culture. Macy's for years has been known to have a high ratio of African American workers, offering one of the most elevated levels of Affirmative Action, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Though the majority of the workers are African American, of course no Caucasian, Japanese, or Middle Eastern applicant would be denied the wonderful opportunity to work in the biggest retail store in the world. Here is a wonderful documentation of Macy's diversity. There are many beneficial impacts of hiring African American workers that are in the lower-middle class. One result is an increased level of loyalty which is a huge part of running a successful corporation. Having a high level of minorities deepens the level of Ethnocentrism when dealing with the comprehension of "equality" which raises the level of cooperation. Another aspect of Ethnocentrism is increased "sensitivity" levels when dealing with customers and amongst employees due to an earthier grasp of struggle leading to stronger relationships on the work floor as well as understanding of differences. As appose to Bloomingdales where workers are hired based on closeness in social-demographics of the customers. This strategy makes for a nice mix, pleasant understanding, and easier relations in style due to ability to communication in the same "elaborate" codes. Above summarizes many points introduced in Ch. 5 that deals with Barriers to Effective Communication. This inevitably decreases the need for language filters and cuts down on noise. A shopping experience at Macy*s Herald Square just has a different, near-downtown, in the mix feel as customers pushing gold buttons on the elevators, or easefully climbing the escalators. Macy*s ultimately makes 34th Street.

We can see by this comparison that both stores have attempted to accommodate their customers shopping experience. Now what is the root of the problem at Macy's Herald Square? A store that ultimately makes 34th Street .

Imbar discovered that Macy's main problem was with the rods? Not the ones in your eyes, so let’s define rods for those that aren’t fitting room savvy. Rods are the structures that your clothes are put on when you finish trying on clothes in the fitting room. A rod backup problem means there are hundreds of Fitting Room Rods backed up in the stock rooms. You know those white doors with security passwords, and silver numbered push buttons, that you might mistake for the fitting room. Well behind those doors there are Rods.

Fitting Room Humor: You know you're not going to buy anything that's why you didn't go to Bloomindales, so just stop. You know the jeans don't fit you, you're a size 4, and their size 1, so just go to A.P.O Jeans and have your jeans customer made.

O.k., so you go into the fitting room and there is no fitting room attendant, so you work your way in there with your hand-full of items. Let's not get into Shopping Mall Etiquette that's an entirely different project. But there is no attendant because he/she is too busy ringing at the register, for the conscientious customers that already know their size, taste, or just came from the fitting room. You try on 4-5 items then leave them in the fitting room, and some hang them on the Rods. If an attendant were available his/her job would be to take the clothes from the customer, hang them back on the hangers, which is called Processing.

After the clothes are processed they are suppose to be run back out on the floor. Meaning the same individual, who is ringing has to attempt to assist customers in the fitting room that might request a different sizes be brought to them, go back to ringing, then to have to find time to run clothes back out on the floor, that have to be put in the right place, and hung on the right hanger. If merchandise is suppose to be on a labeled hanger, such as Ralph Lauren , or Tommy Hilfiger, or needs to be folded it makes the job twice as difficult. And, all this hard labor is done for a measly 7 bucks an hour.

So what happens is BACKUP. Rods don't get processed; clothes don't go back out on the floor. Customers are thinking “Where are all the size 6's and 8's?, Why are their only sizes 1, 2, then a huge skip to 10's, and 14's?” Well all that wanted merchandise was tried on by the general size of the public, wasn't processed back out onto the floor and is now hidden away in the back stock room, as their price depreciates, collecting dust, and tried on by rats and rodents- Gross. So how can this problem be solved?

First the problems have to be outlined-
1. How are the rods going to be eliminated?
2. How are clothes going to be processed thereafter starting of project?
3. How is hierarchy going to be reestablished to increase workers cooperation, effective listening and respect of authority figures.
4. How is Macy's Herald Square going to take account for comfortability of workers, workers rights, compensation, and overall environment?

First-how are the rods going to be eliminated? First we'll touch upon one cause; Omission.

One of the most common ways of handling an overload is called omission. This is when a manger or an employee simply omits handling incoming information, omits doing a certain task, or omits communicating with certain people (such as not returning phone calls). However, this is understandable in this organization due to the high demands on the workers to increase profit, it's called capitalism/hierarchy for increased profits. The workers are smart right in this case- the register coverage is definitely the priority. This concept goes hand in hand with the sales as priority. Instead of workers complaining to their department supervisors, floor supervisors, and higher chains of command about how they can increase productivity, they accept the situation.

So now we will attempt to sort through the mess in attempts to solve the rod back-up problem decreasing omission and dealing with the situation rather than accepting the problem.

As mentioned in Chapter 5 of the text, a successful method for coping with communication overload is to realign resources so that you are not doing "too much". Having one individual working in a small cubicle for 8 hours alone, ringing up customers, helping customers in the fitting room, processing the returned items in the fitting room, running the items in the fitting room back out on the floor to increase most-wanted merchandise sales = Ridiculous. At least two is comprehensible for such a task. It is definitely understandable on slow days when it's raining and no one wants to spend his or her money, that only one worker will be needed at the register. What needs to be done to solve the problem is introduce fitting room attendants, whom ringers will assist during down time. This new job title will mirror Gap, Inc.'s fitting rooms attendants. Though their stores are much smaller: the Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic’s resolution will also work for Macy’s as their different brands and vendors are look at as individual shops.

At the Gap Inc., when you walk into the store one will notice all the attendants have walkie-talkies. This enables them to communicate effectively with security and essentially with the Runner and Processors in the fitting room. A great look at what it's like to work in a fitting room can be seen through Princess For a Day, another Blog Post which describes an individuals experience. (Scroll to Second to the last paragraph). So, you walk into the fitting room and you are greeted by a fitting room attendant/processor. The next step is that you are restricted to try on 4-5 items at a time, which is reasonable. If you want to try on more the fitting room attendant will bring you the items when you are ready. There is no reason to have half the store in your fitting room. The Runner/processor will assist the customer if they need a different size. The reason for having an attendant/runner is for increased sales and decreased defensiveness amongst the staff in each shop. There will be no more excuses as to why work wasn't completed. However, currently it must be noted that any excuse made to authorities in regards to "work overload" are excusable and done with or without the knowledge that the task at hand are not humanly possible to complete with two hands and 8 hours.

The Guidelines for Fitting Room Attendants mirroring Gap Inc;

Fitting Room Attendant- (remains stationary)Greets customers in sections, assign numbers to the door, holds extra items, and asks customer if different sizes are needed, while reminding customers about sales.

Runner (Gofer)-is the attendants' helper, they will access stock rooms to grab different sizes, or call to stock room workers via walkie-talkies to grab different sizes in a hurry. A runner's secondary job will be working together with the fitting room attendant to properly process. Their other task will be the Go-Backs, meaning processing.

Processor- (Collaboratively if time permits) puts the merchandise back, on the correct hangers, depending on brand, and folds the merchandise properly. This includes turning clothes back to the right side, clipping both edges of the jeans on the hanger, buttoning down the shirts, damaging out -damaged merchandise that shouldn't be put back out on the floor, such as items with deodorant marks, stretched out, or have makeup on them.

However, if there is no need for a Runner on a particular day, the cashier can assist the attendant in processing as they collaboratively work together during down time; Running and Processing merchandise back out to the floor. At the end of the day where are the Rods? There are NONE. Here is the easiest visual metaphoric picture of an assortment of clothes fitting room attendants have to deal with on a daily basis times twenty.

So we touched upon how the rods are going to be eliminated after the start of Elimination Rods Project during the day shift. Remember there are hundreds of these rods per floor. We will particularly focus on the floor that Imbar worked on floors 2, and 3 during the summer with the Overnight Crew.

Floor 2 features:
Estèe Lauder
Green Tea Nail Salon
Men's Collection Including:
Polo Sport/Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein,
DKNY, Kenneth Cole, Nautica,
Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Lacoste
Men's European and American Designers
Misses' Active wear, Nike, Northface
Misses' Better Sportswear including:
I-N-C, Polo Jeans, DKNY Jeans,
DKNY City, Impulse, Kenneth Cole
Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein

And Floor 3 features
Bridge Sportswear including:
DKNY, Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman
Maternity- A Pea in the Pod
Men's Clothing including:
Suits, Sport coats, Topcoats, Shoes, Raincoats
Misses Better Sportswear including:
Alfani, Lauren, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein II & Starbucks Coffee

This is a list directly from the directory which might be referenced to for some examples and is also a great chance for brand publicity.

The day shift has the messy shoppers as it is, the messy fitting rooms, the messy rods, then the night shift inescapably has an ENDLESS NIGHTMARE as RODS upon unsorted RODS build up. Macy's and Vendors loose money as their merchandise gets mixed up. As new units are coming in for the different seasons the unsorted merchandise becomes heaps of wasted fabric.

After mulling rods out of stock rooms on floor 2 and 3 Imbar realized this problem not only existed but needed to be fixed. For example there were clothes from floor 4 on 6, and from floor 5 on 3, and everything was mixed up. Clearly this is the result customers traveling on the elevator/escalator, some sneaking things into their bags, other because they weren't ready to try on their items or because a fitting room attendant wasn't available, and many more that just weren't ready to check out. So we’ll utilize the freight elevators during the night as an effectively approach to return merchandise back to the right floor. In order to implement The Elimination Rods project first the fitting room attendants must all have access to a directory, which they will familiarize themselves with. It would be horrible to prohibit customers from traveling to different floors or shops- so Macy*s allows it while relying on their state of the art security system. If fitting room attendants are familiar with where brands are located merchandise organize can begin right there in the fitting room. Next, the fitting room attendants will have to devise a neat way to separate according to brand while stationary in the fitting room. This can be done through BRAND Separators/Tags that are already utilized but are scarce. Brand separator tags are placed on the top of the rod structure and are labeled with the different Brand Names. Every fitting room attendant should have duplicates and large quantities of tags readily available, so when processing, items go in their designated spot on the rod, and when excess from opposing floors begin overloading the rods will consolidated and stored in an empty fitting room, or stock room temporarily. ( There is always Down Time) When the night shift arrives the first task will be to access the freight elevators to bring rods/merchandise back to proper floor/location. A call will be made to that department to send their runners down to pick up their floors merchandise. This might not look so attractive if done during the day and Macy*s clearly isn’t going to be building a back route anytime soon. Now one can see how crucial and important the night crew is to Macy*s Survival.

It is evident if the fitting room attendants and runners properly process the merchandise then the Night Crew will be able to efficiently and effortlessly grab their merchandise that wandered to different floors in a systematic organized manner. This is in contrast to sorting through hundreds of rods looking/picking out the brands, which is a timely, tiresome, frustrating process, which is done, in very low light conditions, with a resulting slow pace.

Overall processing will not only be a day shift priority due to the fact that hundreds of rods backed-up in the stock rooms. But if done in the right fashion will enable a smooth transition for the night shift to do their job without a headache, and eliminated unsorted rods after start of project. If the workers during the day shift don't have the proper resources to process merchandise, not only are rods backed up, but there is lots of mess.

So day shift incorporates fitting room attendants and/or runners alongside the cashier. The most efficient way to work the runners/ fitting room attendant is by floor. This will enable them to get more familiar with their floor as appose to just reading brands on the directory. The Fitting Room Attendant will stay put; the runners will walk the 8. And when we say walk the 8, it simply means walking in the shape of an eight on the floor, instead of a square, or straight line. The 8 Weave will enable runners to tune into the different fitting room attendants while grabbing already processed merchandise from different shops, assisting with go-backs, and keep the chain flow in motion. If you have gone to MACY*s East you will notice the floors are very long. So perhaps 3 different 8 blocks will be "outlined" and walked per floor by at least four different runners. Runners will not be stationary. Perhaps on some days they will stay in a particular shop, but enabling them to walk the 8 will increase their knowledge of the floor while giving them perk, due to their increase flexibility. The night crew then will be able to focus on their designated areas and will be monitored heavily by their supervisors. No longer should omission or digression be results of overload as both day and night shift make a clear transition.

Example: Say Sean is working in DKNY during the night shift (10pm-6am) his first task will be to report to his manager/supervisor to devise which floors he must go to, to obtain his rods. Once the rods are obtained in the first few hours, the next hours will be spent simply putting the merchandise in their proper place on the floor. They won't have to worry about fixing merchandise on the hanger, sorting through the mess, maybe just some folding of items that are on hangers that are suppose to be on tables or mannequin displays. But his processing will be smooth. Remember Sean is at a disadvantage because he is working in the dark. The small dim light that is shinning through is barely enough to make out the brand names.

At 7 dollars an hour the average worker makes $245 dollars a week. After taxes are subtracted he or she is left with approximately $225. Now let's deduct for the cost of transportation. The subway to and from work 5 days a week at 4 dollars a day is another 20 dollars subtracted. So the employee is now left with $205, which is spent on food.=( With a store as big as Macy's you'd think employees would get meal passes with all the restaurants nearby, and within the Shopping Center. Even with a %15 discount for employees, one has to keep in mind; it's 2am when the Night Shift gets their lunch break, and only the Day shift can take advantage of this discount for food. Imbar remarks “I was so frustrated that I started not caring about my job and going to work late. It just seemed as if nobody cared.” But many of these employees work overnighters for a living and Macy*s should look towards making it worthwhile under their already strenuous conditions.

Can Macy's work towards making workers comfortability their priority key to productivity?
Possible Changes that can be incorporated.
-Increased Light; and chance for a communications light/productivity research project.
-Increased pay-especially for hauling heavy rods to at least $8/per hour.
-Changes in Communication Hierarchy via. technology. Staff meetings, and introduction of Blogs.

-Monthly terminator for rodents

The next focus will be on the ironing out some communications glitches that will lead to enhanced communication.

Chapter 12 outlines Communication and Change. Chapter 14 complimented Ch.12 as it explored Disagreement, Conflict and Group Thinking. Both chapters were excellent aids in bring to light the communications problem at Macy’s. "To agree or not to agree, That is the question." To work in a retail environment is much like a Command and Control model. Workers unity is a must. Chapters 12 & 14 touched upon the fact that many managers spend more time helping employees deal with problems between themselves, and other employees, or supervisors, than on any other task. Also pointed out was that an effective supervisor knows that problems left unsolved or disagreements that get out of control will inevitably lead to further interpersonal conflict. Conflict being defined as "disagreement plus negative affect" or a "difference of opinion between persons accompanied by feelings of dislike for the other person." Conflict is often times and inescapable outcome of communication. Therefore it must be addressed and cannot be avoided due to the fact that conflict has no positive outcomes. Also with the help of managers and supervisors, conflicts cannot only be managed and supervised but be watched under a careful eye eventually eliminating those that disrupt the system. This termination can range from habitual problems that an employees harbors entertains, or conceals but within due time will be revealed and should be nipped in the bud. Some habitual characteristics that can disrupt the system can be lying, lateness, absentness, gossiping, consistency with not following through and completing designated tasks when capable. Taking a deeper look at Interpersonal Relations will aide better communication skills between workers, managers, and supervisor.

Tolerance for disagreement needs to be reduced. Tolerance for disagreement as defined by Richmond and McCroskey in Organizational Communication for Survival: Making Work, Work defines tolerance for disagreement as the amount of disagreement an individual can tolerate before he or she perceives the existence of conflict in a relationship. However tolerance for disagreement is not limited to an individual but can be a term used to describe levels of tolerance of an organization.

Macy's Herald Square Manager and Supervisor specifically on the 2/3 floor need to restructure hierarchy in order to Make Work, Work. "Too often were managers caught between a rock and a hard place", said Imbar. Of course employees aren't going to always like the orders, especially when there is a rod problem that nobody knows what to do with, or they simply want to be lazy due to low wages but high rigorous job demands but things must be done properly in order to run an efficient and profitable company.

So the managers tell Bill working in DKNY, and Tom working in NIKE to get rods from the stock room and start processing them back out onto the floor and they find a way to pull one rod, work on it the entire night avoiding the mess. This is understandable because it is hard to even look at. So seeing that we have worked out a nice plan- the rods no longer have to be avoided. It is understandable that employees who have worked at Macy*s for 4 years and have seen the rod problem accumulate will leave the mess to new hires. When the new hires arrive on the scene and are told they are going to be working on Rod eliminations they are stuck, unfamiliar with the floor, to then resort to clinging to Night Crew workers who are working at a slow pace, not being overly productive, because they know what their check looks like at the end of the week. New Hires don't want to raise the bar, look as if they are outdoing anyone, or trying to get a promotion. New hires that are there to eliminate rods then want to become permanent. They don't want to be told their position is temporary; they want to be like the senior employees that have shop/sections/department to work in. New hires would rather assist, department/section senior employees with their tasks, follow, and take it easy while waiting for the quitters to give up, freeing up a shop in a permanent department, rather than focusing on getting rid of the rods; their primary focus is how to stay in the system. This = Noise. Wouldn't it be more rational to have the Senior Employers as Team Leaders?

Instead managers and supervisors weren’t dealing with this problem. And if they came across the right worker that is productive attempted to negotiate a deal- while asking for possible solutions to the rod problem. For one, You don't want to tell your supervisor/ manager what to do; you want them to be in full control, which strengthens you following orders, and their level of authority. For two, Employees aren't going to follow orders to a supervisor that has an existing problem, hasn't devised a solution, and is sending workers on a rat race that needs to be tackled by the entire staff both day and night. The system needed to be revised starting from the top, which is highlighted in the Macy*s New Communication Chart Model titled “The Check”. (Located at Bottom of Page)

In summation, you can't have the day shift short on staff lacking assistance of fitting room attendants/ processors and expect increased sales of productivity. This only results in the Night Crew being overwhelmed with years of backed up rods, worker frustration, and customers pulling hair looking for sizes. It is acceptable for workers to be defensive because they are in the middle of the situation, waiting for higher chains of commands to find a resolution. So in this matter it is easy to see why Macys's Herald Square management has such a high tolerance level for insubordination. Once this proper fix/solution is put to work there will be a high need for increased authority and workers cooperation. This will in turn lead decreased level of tolerance. So no more defense mechanism will need to be accessed in regard to talking with authority figures, enabling group thinking amongst employees in same hierarchical level. There is no need for those on the Managerial and Supervision level to "group think" with stock or night crew workers/ runners/processors. Workers should be given reasonable task, where supervisor enable them some flexibility in their approach in accomplishing those tasks- rather than workers dictating procedures.

We already mentioned that Macy's was an Equal Opportunity Employer however due to this ROD problem particular characteristic, racial stereotypes have been exploited in attempts to "try to get the job done". For example Jamaicans are stereotyped as hard workers, not to say they aren't in the least bit, and Caucasians are known to be mentally "quicker than the average". When Imbar first got on board she was aiding a Caucasian female that had arthritis, and soon she became her manger when she was only "one of us" however due to her condition Imbar was understanding which inevitably resulted in problems. Imbar took on roles not required of a subordinate; she had excess work due to another's incompetence. The mangers and supervisor were aware of this however, continued to let it happen. A personal example of this was when she was working in Ralph Lauren and was unexpectedly switched to Alfani upstairs. So she did what she was told although she thought it was strange. Upstairs she was bombarded with Rods, while her manager coasted though the night working in an area that was already organized, and processed by Imbar. She would relax while Imbar would start another laborious task. This was unfair but work conditions so she did it.

She was moved around like a rat on a cheese chase, every time searching for a different brand of cheese, and she got Bologna. All she wanted was a piece of cheese; she didn't want a different brand every night to re-familiarize herself with. And she couldn't afford glasses and was working in the dark. Once she worked in a department and had to sort through a brand that had over 20 sub-brands, which of course first a Caucasian female was working on, and then she got a call to come upstairs, and the same Caucasian female with arthritis sneakily went down stairs to work in her already finished section.

This is called Subliminal Racial Profiling and Discrimination and no matter how you look at it is a catalyses for Institutional Racism. "There Should Be No Favorites". There is a ROD problem at hand and whoever doesn't want to work-get them out. It someone has arthritis, moves them to a low-need area, have them work on folding, or tidying rods, not finishing up the organized mess that another employee started. This just leads to irritation, and frustration on the side of the fit worker. This sort of compassion just leads to other employees in those same designated areas to be lazy. So what do you do, simply move this individual to a low-need, low-demand clean up area. There are many elderly employees that aren't pulling rods they are down on 1½ replenishing areas a floor that isn't heavily hit by customers specifically the Men's department. Men shop differently from woman. They know if they are 32x34, or large or medium top. So they just go grab their size. Small shops on floor 1½ include, Ecko, Calvin Klein Jeans, DKNY denim, Guess Jeans, Kangol, Nautica Jeans, Polo Jeans, Rocawear, Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, and Young Men's Levi's to name a few. How messy are these sections going to be at the end of the shopping day. Macy's East has already discovered this, so employees with higher seniority, who are in the late 30's or 40's work in these area. If there is an employee with a disability that isn't under the Human with Disabilities Act Law guidelines it would be reasonable and more efficient to let them work amongst the seniors. This will honor Ch. 6 Communication and Individual Differences but not in dealing with Personality Types but Disabilities which the chapter didn't outline.

. This plan will increase productivity and stronger communication amongst staff.

1. Move around Management and Supervisors to re-illicit Authority Levels.
2. Make floor Supervisor take off their suits for a week and see what the problem is.
Working amongst the employees will enable him/her to see the problem under better "light".
3. Hire a “Long-term yet Temporary "Flash Crowd" that will come in during the Night to help clean up the mess at the start of the project with higher pay-incentives (that aren't disclosed). Also Macy's is ahead of the game via. Cellphones, “Smart Mobs” have been established for the night crew, which is noteworthy and impressive. Cellphones are currently used to directly communicate with managers, and supervisors, who will soon have increased presence on floor.
4. Once the Rods are sorted mark down teams will be utilized to re-price items leading to a "Celebration" and Sales at Thanksgiving.

This will lead to a cleaner store environment, workers cohesion, and respectability of authority and hierarchy.

It is important to note from Chapter 9 the position of a Manager and Supervisor.

A manager is in charge however if they set the proper parameter/guidelines this will enable the subordinate’s room to use their decision-making skills based on their different personality types, and mental processing. The manager in this sense will be able to stray away from the "Do it My Way or Else, I want to Be Nice to Everyone, and the Slave Driver" types of managers, as defined by Richmond and McCroskey, as they lean towards a medium "I Want to Make it Work for Us" manager. Hence, the supervisor position will be monitoring the productivity of the subordinates while offering new ways to tackle tasks if an employee struggles with productivity, through careful observing other employees.

The Managers gets orders from the Floor Supervisor. However, as noted by Imbar “the Floor Supervisor weren't knowledgeable of the enormity of the problem and were tired of tackling it from the managers grocery store processing system: where the brands within a grocery store clearly are organized by brands but by Bread, Cereal, Pasta, Milk, & Meat which comes first, then the brands Wonder Bread, Italian Bread, Poland Springs or Deer Park, which are easier to locate. Retail is a different business. Clothes are just a bunch of fabric with little tags inside the label saying I-N-C, DKNY active, or DKNY City.” Number 2, of the plan enables the supervisors to get more personable with the night-crew. If the Floor Supervisor gains knowledge of workers frustrations this will enable a deeper understanding, and effective plan arrangements before the new system can be optimistically incorporated.

*Note*-Adding to the cohesiveness of the unit if the proper sorting is done by the day shift fitting room attendants and night sorters everything will run smoothly throughout the day & night. Through use of tags/labels both day and night workers will begin to sort through and separate the different brands. This concept has been reiterated but is crucial to the success of the project.

Other minor incentives to increase productivity and decrease theft will be honoring the employees for a job well done: meal tickets, discounts to neighboring deli's to ensure the employees don't have to rely on walking to McDonald located in Penn Station, or even worse spending money feeding vending machines, owned by Macy’s, which offers junk food with little to no nutritional value. Metro card distribution, travel reimbursement, and transit checks are also reasonable, if not a pay raise.

Explanation of the OLD MODEL versus NEW MODEL, which launches a Supervisor Check System to ensure worker productivity.

Macy*s Old Model has several problems, which we ultimately try to eliminate through the new Check Model. In the old model communication was not used to eliminate problems; it was only circulating them through the floor supervisor and the manager. For example, the old floor supervisor implemented a model mirroring that of a grocery store where items such as milk, cookies, and bread are put in obvious sections. The managers, knowing the floor supervisors’ method is inappropriate for fashion (seeing that we are dealing with fabric and labels, which are usually hidden), devises his own system. The manager understands the bigger problem, an overwhelming amount of rods backed up behind those white doors. The managers system fails though because the manager regresses back to just fulfilling his daily managerial duties; the supervisors make sure the employees get their sections done for the day and everything goes on as before. The rods have not multiplied however, nor have any of them been eliminated. We see that the main problem is communication; the floor supervisor does not have a real understanding of the problem therefore, he cannot properly supervise the situation. The manager ignores the direct orders of the floor supervisor breaking the chain of command and the supervisors having close contact with the manager follows their method. The new model eliminates this problem by starting with the source of the problem, communication.

How will the rods be eliminated through implementing the new check system? First of all, the floor supervisor must have a clear understanding of the problem, which means he must take off his suit and start getting real. The Check system kicks off with the floor supervisor spending time on the floor. He or she will spend time working with each level of management, going back to the basics in preparation of the new system. This will do two things: First, the floor manager will be able to see the root of the problem. Second, the lower level management will see that their voice is being taken seriously increasing their motivation. Now that a base level of communication has been established the Check System has solid ground to run smoothly. The Floor supervisors understands that in order to unload the backed up rods a team must be hired specifically to sort out the rods, separating the clothes according to there designated floors. Six teams of three’s are hired to work on each floor; they will be assigned floors to work on while filling rods/sorting rods for their floor and other merchandise that they come across from other floors will also be separated. The supervisor will check in on each team one hour before lunch. The team must have completed six rods, two per person. The supervisor will then contact the designated floor and have the team on that floor come and pick up the rods. The same system will apply after lunch; the team will have completed six more rods, which will be put away one hour before the shift ends. The supervisor must complete and submit a weekly productivity report to the manager; the report should detail at least twelve rods per night by each group. Once the rods have been eliminated and the store is back in proper running condition the Check system will be a key to ensure continued progress and harmony.

The floor supervisors will have weekly meetings with one another in the beginning to see that things continue running as planned. Once the project has been in good standing for at least two months a Blog will be set up so that floor supervisors and mangers can keep in contact. Many floor supervisors work the day shift. The Blog will allow for managers to have a voice in the check system by commenting on information that they obtain from supervisors about progress, as well as giving feedback to Floor Supervisors Blog posts. Just like this Blog a Links list will be set up, (scroll up and look to the left for an i.e), through use of Bloglines, or Blogrolling. As you can see the through the Charts below, a new check system was incorporated and each floor is being checked by the floor supervisor above them. The supervisor on floor 6 will check on floor 1½, which is the first floor in the chain. This type of circular linear communication will enable supervisors to notify managers about complications experienced by subordinates. In parallel, the floor supervisors and managers will hold monthly meetings where opinions will be voiced about productivity and possible new ways to eliminate back-up rods more efficiently in the future based primarily on Blog commentary.

The Check System will enable supervisors to apply a reward system for outstanding employees. Managers will be notified about productivity and will go up the chain of command to the floor supervisors who have the power and authority to reward employees of the month. In the end the employees’ work ethic will be increased because they have something to strive for.