Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Genesis, Inc. Case: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Genesis, Inc. Case: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Article excerpt


The original company began in 1955 and was established as Genesis USA. Thirty years later in 1985, an acquisition of Gemini Industrial Products was made. In 1995, more expansion took place with the acquisition of manufacturing plants in South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. During 2005, another merger of plants in Melbourne, Australia and Prague, and the Czech Republic was completed. The most recent acquisition occurred in 2006 with a merger of plants in Turkey, China, and Indonesia. Today, the company is a global leader with 10 operations spread over five continents, in nine countries with a workforce of approximately 5,000 employees.

In 2007, the company's net sales reached $925 million.

At the Georgia production facility, Genesis supervisors realized even though employees seemed to appreciate their jobs, productivity, innovation, and employee retention could be improved. Genesis was a top company to work for because of the great benefits offered its employees, but the perception seemed to be eroding. There was a sense that motivation and morale had declined following the latest merger. Out of necessity, changes were being made. Work shifts were reduced from 12 hours to 8 hours and overtime was eliminated. Employees who came from Global International were accustomed to working fourteen days with seven days off and working 12 hour shifts. This was changed to working five eight hour weekdays with weekends off. This seemed to be one of the biggest employee complaints. In addition, fewer benefits were provided to all employees in a cost-saving measure.

Two-thirds of the employees had been with either Genesis or Allied prior to the mergers. These employees had similar jobs and were from the same type of manufacturing background. The remaining employees (approximately one third) were new hires and had little knowledge of the previous culture or benefits except for things they'd been told through the company "grapevine." During the last merger yet a new mix of employees changed the cultures. These employees were immigrant workers from Central America and Mexico.

Generally, employees enjoyed working in the manufacturing environment with other employees but the original employees' discontent with what they perceived to be an erosion of pay and benefits seemed to be affecting the newly acquired and newly hired employees. Turnover reached a company high of 25 percent in 2008. Since the changes were recent, the executive team wanted to quickly address the issues.

Workplace injuries had increased and managers wondered if the increase in injuries was due to lack of training or supervision or due to the new hires and the merger. Reinstatement of the plant's "superior" safety record was an important goal.

Management engaged a human resources consultant for help in identifying the source of problems and for guidance on reshaping the culture. The HR consultant met with the top three directors at Genesis in Dalton, Georgia. The group included the general manager, the quality assurance manager, and the production manager. The general manager began by discussing the current corporate culture.

"We are a blend of three different employee groups. The first group hired worked for Global International, which originally manufactured an automobile tire backing material before we began making carpet backing at this plant. A second core group of employees were hired to work at this plant and had only known yarn and carpet backing production. A third group of employees had been hired following the recent merger with one of our former competitors" the general manager explained. As the discussion continued, it became clear that at least three different cultures were evident and the changes had taken place in less than three years. Not only were there differing cultures but work practices and task completion steps also varied. The groups remained disparate thinking their past ideas and processes were superior to the others. …

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