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Career Development And Employee Motivation Assignment

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Question: Analyze a case study - Career Development and Employee Motivation Initiatives at Chipotle

Solution:

Introduction & Company background
Chipotle had been founded in the year 1993 by Steve who had initially started working a sous chef where he had grown an interest towards Mexican cuisine like tacos and burritos. His primary aim was to reinvent and reciprocate Mexican food in an all new form in the US by offering high quality food items with more flavors and varieties to choose from (McMackin et al,. 2012). Steve wanted to be an odd-one-out and provide exceptional customer service. By the year 1998, Chipotle was successful in launching 16 outlets across Colorado and also started to receive fund from McDonald's with a final investment of about 36 million USD and also became the biggest investor in Chipotle. The striking feature of Chipotle was that it housed open kitchen concept where the customers could watch food being prepared in the kitchen (Tuttle, 2016). The company also owned and ran its own restaurants without operating via franchises.

Employee management
The general practice of employee management in Chipotle had been drastically inclined towards transformational leadership wherein employees got fired immediately who lacked passion or had been average performers in the platform. The company insight stated that they wanted employees who were top performers rather than just being a traditional fast food worker since the company is associated with onsite food preparation. The company employees have had this notion that if they represented laborious work and tenacity in the floor, there is a high chance of getting promoted. Chipotle chartered a 6-step career path for its employees wherein salaries and benefits got increased after each promotion (Searcy et al,. 2016). The promotion strategy got incremented every time an employee got promoted from a crew member to general manager to restaurateur. The company employee hierarchy is such that the 4 stages of restaurateur would continue to leas their own restaurant while providing guidance to other restaurants at the same time.

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Problem
Statements and reports suggest that all the employees of Chipotle are not happy with the policies of the company. Some of the employees had even complained that the restaurant chain was not at all employee-friendly and that they had been kept underpaid for a long time for the amount of work load they were expected to do. Some employees also charged that the work life balance of the inherent employees of Chipotle was way too bad and harsh and they were forced to work for long working hours without the provision of overtime too. The employees also criticized that the working environment of Chipotle is too much fast paced and this working environment demands for the employees to work for at least 10-12 hours a day without even providing lunch breaks. A crew member in Brunswick, Ohio had complained that the company ensued employees for full-time effort on part time payment (Simpson, 2015). Some employees had also improvised in the complaint report that the advancement pattern at Chipotle was not at all fast or easy as the company actually claimed it was. The complaint raised also ensued the fact that until and unless any employee requested or took the initiative of learning something new on his/her own wish, they had to remain stuck with the same old benchmark practices. A former general manager of Chipotle who had been instigated in Havertown, Pennsylvania had reported that the company irrespective of offering extravagant career which might be intriguing to some extent but it takes a lot of time and great effort and hard work to achieve it. The employees usually remained under tremendous stress and at the end of the day; the work life balance got entirely distorted ruining the social livelihood of the employees. Furthermore, in September 2014, some of the Chipotle employees even filed a legal compliant in Colorado and Minnesota stating that they were not being paid for their overtime shifts at all. The workers also complained that the company's time management system automatically resulted them in logging off at 12.30 AM every day even if they were meant to stay back and finish the final cleaning on the floor. The employees had this notion that they were not at all paid enough with par to the amount of work that they were compelled to do within their work shift and often over time as well. They had also stated in the lawsuit that Chipotle had been rampant in violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and the company had also allegedly threatened them that if any such complaints got raised against the company violating the human rights regulation, the company would cut their hours or fire them once and for all. On the contrary, the company spokesperson Chris Arnold revoked that the filing of a lawsuit is nothing more than a false allegation against the reputation of the company that too without any proper evidence. He further stated that the company has reputation of treating its employees with utmost integrity and also offered a fast paced work environment wherein the employees had been allowed to take on new and different tasks to foster their growth inside the work environment (Searcy et al,. 2016). The lawsuit in Colorado and Minnesota was immediately followed by another drastic incident which took place in Chipotle restaurant in State College, Pennsylvania State University wherein the outlet had been temporarily closed right after the resignation of four managers within two days interval who had complained about borderline sweatshop conditions. The employees complained about terrific work environment within the company floors and charged up a protest movement. They had also posted a note on the main entrance stating to inquire the company's corporate officers and interrogating against the workers' mandate to work under borderline sweatshop conditions which led to the resignation of almost the entire management and crew members. Employees had also complained that the restaurant was heavily understaffed which forced the existing employees to work for over shift without any breaks. The company's former manager Brian Healy had stated that the employees had felt neglected with heinous work environment. Market analysts had suggested that closure incident of Chipotle was shocking for the customers and the company authorities since the organization were proud of its work culture. Interrogation had also been raised regarding the employee-friendly nature of the firm and this had been an indication of a more persistent discomfort prevailing within the company.

Decision
In a nut-shell it can be stated from the problem statements stated above that the company employees had been facing tremendous violation of the labor act and human resource rights. The decision from the perspectives of alleviation of the problem statements is to empower human rights and labor enforcements in the company background for the retention of employees so that the organization strives further in near future without any legal complications. Moreover, the plausible decision to be understated in this case is to aggravate the scenario furthermore by the company authorities and then implement employee motivation criteria with the help of which the employees shall be able to work with comfort (Dobre, 2013). In order to do so, the first and foremost thing to be accomplished is to prepare a report that shall state the issues being suffered by the employees followed by an action plan to ascertain the issues individually.

Hypothesis
It is to be assured that enforcing of employee motivation strategies shall be eligible enough to retain the employees of Chipotle with comfort and dedication in the work environment.

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Evaluation & Strategic Implication
Every organization, irrespective of its size and scope, is equipped with a leader who is responsible for creating such a work environment where people automatically feel engaged and motivated. According to the problem statements stated above with respect to Chipotle, it is quite clear that such leadership is vague in the company's background. In order to make the employees feel motivated and dedicated towards their work besides following all the rules and regulations of the employee act, there are six strategies that the company may implicate;

Setting up of goals to create meaning: Goal setting automatically provides meaningful work culture for the employees and those who are allowed to participate in such stance are 3.6 times more likely to remain involved in their work with benevolence (Lazaroiu, 2015). The leader(s) need to motivate the employees by establishing their expectation and to assist them in visualizing the importance of their roles in the company.

Celebrating milestones: It is very much important to set goals or milestones regarding the achievement acquired by the employees not only on quarterly or yearly basis but also on weekly or monthly basis (Sandhya and Kumar, 2011). Many organizations declare "Employee of the Month" which is a reward that is appreciated by all.

Providing meaningful feedback: Providing constructive feedback rather than just an appraising statement is always appreciated by employees since it makes them aware about the significant accomplishment achieved by them that has helped the organization to serve their customers better. The feedbacks provided by the team leader should always be personalized and actionable. In this case, the golden ratio of 5:1 should be improvised wherein delivery of five positive feedbacks against one negative criticism is appreciated and well accepted (Skudiene and Auruskeviciene, 2012).

Empowering problem-solving and learning: It is very much important to provide employees freedom to take some decisions on their own which shall empower them to foster further in their upcoming careerist goals. Encouragement of self-directed learning and allowing them to take the lead of any task is something that should be taken care of (Martin Cruz et al,. 2009).

Following up through promises: It is the responsibility of the team leader to create a work environment that is full of trust and consistency which gets sustained from a top-down approach. One should always abide by the promises made to the employees such as increasing the pay-scale or giving extra week-offs against tedious workloads which actually motivate the employees to remain engaged with the company for its overall betterment (Graves et al,. 2013).

Conclusion
On a concluding note, it can be stated that the strategies stated above need to be dealt with and improvised at once by the Chipotle authorities in order to alleviate the employee anarchy prevailing within the company floor. Motivating the employees and retaining them for the betterment of the organization with complete comfort and dedication towards the mission and vision of the business is something that should be taken care of by the company itself.

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