Case Study

Kenny and Norton, owners of TEAM FUN!, a sporting goods manufacturer and retailer, are meeting with Tony, director of human resources, and Edna, compensation and benefits manager, in the DEN, a casual area with a big-screen TV and sodas and munchies on a side table. Kenny flips on the light. “We can meet here for an hour. No one shows up for break before 9 a.m. Did you see the headlines this morning? I finally figured out what ‘postal’ means. Wonder why those guys go nuts and shoot each other?” Norton laughs. “Don’t you remember me, before we started TEAM FUN!? I was angry almost all the time. All the stupid politics. Those ridiculous schedules. Everyone stabbing each other in the back to get ahead.” Kenny frowns. “I almost forgot about you. Say, you don’t think we need to do anything here for violence, do you? We’ve got all those bows and arrows, golf clubs. Even baseball bats could be a weapon.” Tony says, “Violence is the last problem I’d expect to find here. You two have made this place very mellow for employees. You let them take play breaks during the day. Schedules and goals are posted publicly. Teams get rewarded for being teams. Customers write in and thank employees by name. Fun is a requirement of every job. You are nearly as friendly as Southwest Airlines.” Edna comments, “I think the wellness program was a natural. Hiring that nutritionist to work at the sports bar fits right in with the gear and the machines. Fit employees are less likely to overreact or burnout.” Norton nods and adds, “Nobody but Bobby ever got stressed or burned out here.” Tony says, “I think Bobby did his own burnout. But the employee assistance program deserves another evaluation.” Kenny stands up. “Okay. Work something up for tomorrow. I want to try out that new paddle boat contraption in the LAGOON. See it down there? Come on, Norton. Grab a couple of sodas and let our HR folks take care of our people.”

Questions: 1. Do you agree with Tony’s statement about workplace violence? Should TEAM FUN! take further action to prevent workplace violence? Identify the preventive measures already in place.

2. Is Tony too complacent about stress and burnout? Outline for Kenny and Norton any symptoms of stress and burnout that merit notice.

3. What benefits would wellness programs and an employee assistance plan provide TEAM FUN!?


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