Assignment "Nordstrom’s Performance Goals"
case focuses on the issue of performance. As discussed in the text, clear and
effective goals help improve employee performance, reduce role stress conflict
and ambiguity, and improve the evaluation of employees’ performance. The text
also discusses the various elements that are involved in managing performance.
These include defining performance, measuring it, providing feedback, rewarding
poor performance, and correcting poor performance.
Nordstrom, employee performance is directed towards a single goal – extraordinary
service that produces extraordinary sales volumes. Every measure by which an
employee is evaluated and rewarded is based on this goal. This is evident in
Nordstrom’s training programs and its reward and incentive structure. A central
way in which Nordstrom tries to improve employees’ performance is by fostering
an open, competitive environment in which employees are a part of teams, but
also pursue individual achievements. The company encourages creative tension
among associates by making the performance information of every employee
available to every other employee.
Case Study: Nordstrom: Performance Goals
sales staff at Nordstrom is motivated to give extraordinary service, because
extraordinary service produces extraordinary sales volumes and extraordinary
profits. Like competitive athletes, these employees are highly focused,
eye-on-the-prize individuals who pay full and careful attention to the
regularly distributes videotaped interviews with top salespeople who share
advice to fellow employees. Staff meetings become workshops in which associates
compare, examine, and discuss sales techniques. Nordstrom also employs STEP
(Sales Training Education Program), developed by the Washington region’s
personnel department which enables associates to share information with other
salespeople and department managers.
competitive athletes, Nordstrom associates are a part of teams, but also pursue
individual achievements. The company insists that all associates beam team
players who work together while at the same time encouraging everyone to become
a star performer.
performers among team players? Herein lies the creative paradox that energizes
the Nordstrom culture. The company encourages creative tension among associates
by making available information about the performance of all other associates.
Any associate can know where they stand and how their performance compares with
anyone else in the company. Twice a month, every associate’s sales-per-hour
numbers are posted for all to see. In this open environment, rewards follow
performance. There are cash prizes, trips, and awards given for outstanding
sales-per-hour and sales-per-month performances. Associates earn rewards the
old-fashioned way; they earn them.
this kind of atmosphere, Nordstrom must manage inter-group competition well so
that associates do not destroy each other in the competitive process. From its
earliest days, Nordstrom has aimed to create creative, rather than destructive,
tension. The competitive environment is also disciplined by goal-setting.
Nordstrom is organized as an inverted pyramid, with sales associates at the
top, the buyers in the middle and the managers at the bottom. What binds the
three tiers together is goal-setting. Each member of each tier strives to meet
personal, departmental, store, and regional goals. This leads to a disciplined,
well ordered, and competitive structure within which performance expectations
are clear, feedback lucent, and results understandable.
Write 2-3 page paper. In your
paper answer the following:
Nordstrom creates an open atmosphere, in which every associate’s
sales figures are made available to everyone else. Explain the positive
Twice a month, Nordstrom releases sales figures and rewards top-performing
employees. In your opinion, is this the best type of reinforcement schedule for
everyone, or would you take a different approach?
Give an example of a reinforcement schedule you have experienced
or seen. Explain the effort, the reinforcement schedule, and the motivation to
succeed. Was the outcome positive motivation or were their negative impacts?
a title page and 3-5 references. Only one reference may be from the
internet (not Wikipedia). The other references must be from the Grantham
University online library. Please adhere to the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (APA), (6th ed., 2nd printing) when writing
and submitting assignments and papers.