Emotions, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction – The Case of Trader Joe’s

Assignment Instructions

Emotional Intelligence (EI) focuses on understanding the emotions and attitudes of others. To manage relationships effectively, we need to not only understand ourselves, but also increase what we know about others. EI emphasizes four key competencies for leadership success:

  • Self-awareness–the ability to understand our own emotions and how they impact others
  • Social awareness–the ability to understand the emotions of others
  • Self-management–the ability to think before acting
  • Relationship management–the ability to build rapport with others

Grasping the realities of organizational behavior begins with an understanding of personality and behavioral tendencies. Case Study 1 is designed to address issues pertaining to the emotions, attitudes, and job satisfaction of others. Read the “Trader Joe’s” case study on page W-99 in the back of your textbook to examine how emotions, attitudes, and job satisfaction influence decision-making.

Write a three to five (3-5) page paper in which you:

  1. Examine the approach Trader Joe’s uses to promote a positive work environment for its employees. Determine at least three (3) ways in which Trader Joe’s is able to increase job satisfaction and performance.
  2. Determine how Trader Joe’s uses the management process (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) to develop its employees.
  3. Suggest two (2) ways that leaders can effectively manage relationships in general by using the four (4) EI competencies.
  4. Recommend at least three (3) leadership practices that Trader Joe’s could implement in order to increase the competitive edge of the organization. Provide a rationale for your response.
  5. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Analyze the relationship between the basic organizational behavior models of individual, group, and organizational processes and the productivity of an organization.
  • Explore how individual differences, personality traits, and perspectives impact the productivity of an organization.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in organizational behavior.
  • Write clearly and concisely about organizational behavior using proper writing mechanics.

Sample Answer – Emotions, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction – Trader Joe’s Case Study

Positive work environment

Salimath and Jones (2011) and Laufer (2012) aptly noted that organizations that create conducive environment for their employees build confidence of the employees and the employees’ confidence in the organization. They are proud to identify with the organization they serve and this is likely to be transferred to the customers of the organization. The positive attitudes of the employees about the company impact the customers and the people they interact with out of job. Trader Joe’s has ensured that the employees are free with each other and removed the structural hierarchical attitudes of the boss-master relationship. The company has put in place structures that promote teamwork. It is also noted that although the employees have specific deliverables, they are flexible to undertake multiple tasks within the same portfolio. Such environment ensures that the store manager may directly be involved in cleaning or commodity shelving. This also explains that the company has managed to strike the job classification attitude at work place. The right attitudes and effective implementation of multitasking within the organizational portfolio creates a friendly environment. The bully attitude and the feeling of employees being better that others has been effectively managed (Salimath & Jones, 2011; Laufer, 2012; Trader Joe’s. (2012).

Three ways to increase job satisfaction and performance

Trader Joe’s ensures that the employees have high performance and are satisfied at work by employing three strategies. First, the company ensures that the employees are well paid, just slightly above what their peers in the same industry receive. Also, Trader Joe’s compensates its store managers by 5% above the average household income of the US. The second strategy is that the company has ensured that the employees exhibit high levels of creativity at individual, unit, and departmental level. This kind of autonomy enables the employees to make independent decisions, come up with creative displays within the stores and on shelves.  The aspect of autonomy and creativity improves on job performance. The third strategy is that the company has an attractive retirement plan.

Read also Things Employers Could Do To Increase Job Satisfaction Of Their Staff

Fairholm (2009), McLean (2005) and Laufer (2012) demonstrate how a multidimensional approach must be employed in meeting the expectations of the employees and achieving the organizational objectives. The specific needs of the employees must be part of the wider scheme of the organization to develop its operational structures, add value to products and services, and make the employees feel that they are part of the fixed and variable parameters of the organization. This will enable the employees not only find meaning in the retirement benefits, but a lifelong identity with the company (Fairholm, 2009; McLean, 2005).

Read also Job Satisfaction in Motivating Employees Compared to Organizational Commitment in Starbucks 

Management process in employee development

Organizations must hire employees and develop them in their respective competencies while at the same time building an organizational culture in them. Trader Joe’s has distinctive features that give it a competitive advantage. For instance, the company is non-union oriented yet employee have high satisfaction. This kind of organizational arrangement challenges the popular opinion that employees must agitate for their rights at work. Strategic contribution is critical building employee competencies. It is also noted that personal credibility, competence, technology compliance, and business knowledge foster organizational management and employee development (Salimath & Jones, 2011; Laufer, 2012).

How leaders can manage relationships using EI competencies

Bernstein and Nash (2008), and Feldman (2011) defined emotional intelligence (EI) as the capacity to manage, perceive, utilize, and have a mental control of emotions. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand one’s self. Naturalistic intelligence is the ability to conceive and express the abstract and natural concepts. Intrapersonal intelligence is critical in Trader Joe’s because it enables the employees understand their inner abilities and competencies. The employees are able to appreciate their limitations and the performance of their extremes. Intrapersonal intelligence is also vital in developing the intrinsic motivation of the employees. The employees must develop the culture of self motivation, driven to deliver on their job without monitoring and punishment. Interpersonal intelligence enables the employee interact with one another in teamwork and during the transactions with employees. Traders Joe’s has a reputation of good customer relations an additional brand and identity of sale for the customers. For instance the company believes the happiness of the employees is transferable to the customers. Strategic integration of the interpersonal intelligence and the extrinsic motivations creates a conducive working environment and improves on performance. In essence, although organizations take care of the extrinsic motivations such as salaries and fellow friendly employees, organizations ought to invest in a culture that makes employees identify with the organization and sustain internal motivation. Naturalistic intelligence manifests in the manner in which the employees carry out their duty, how they interact with the customers, and the novel ideas suggested to the management on how to improve on service delivery (Bernstein & Nash, 2008; Feldman, 2011; Salimath & Jones, 2011).

Leadership practices

Creation of organizational culture as a business brand is a function of leadership best practices. This begins with the quality of leaders, leadership structures, leadership philosophies, and organizational leadership paradigm. Respect and inclusion, ethics as a business strategy, authenticity, self – awareness, empowerment, and collaboration are the intermediary practices that link leadership to specific organizational objectives. For instance, leadership must empower the employees to deliver quality products and services. Leadership competences may be determined by their mode of implementation of organizational plans, evaluation of products and processes, adoption of ideas from employees, and the intervention.

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