Case 67

Human Resource Management (Available Titles Coursemate)

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Case 67: Evaluating Nontraditional Incentive Systems: Howe 2 Ski Stories: Howe 2 Ski Stores is a chain of three ski and snowboarding shops located in the suburbs of a large eastern city. Maria Howe, a ski enthusiast and business school major, started the company ten years ago after her college graduation with financial backing from her family and several friends. From its inception, Howe 2 Ski Stories was intended to provide state – of – the – art equipment and clothing for skiers at all skill levels, from beginner to champion. It was to be staffed by employees who were themselves advanced skiers and could provide expert advice on the choice of clothing and equipment, and it was intended to have a quick response time that would permit the last minute purchase of equipment and clothing prior to a ski trip. Howe originally drew from a pool of skilling friends and fellow students to staff the stores and still prefers to hire part – time employees with skiing expertise who might leave in a year over more stable, full time employees with less expertise and interest in the sport. Whether administrative staff, cashiers, clerks, or molders (employees who fit bindings to skis), employees were encourage to keep up with the latest skiing equipment and trends, attend ski vendor shows, try out demo equipment, and give feedback on the store’s inventory in order to help provide the highest quality, state of the art equipment and advice for the customer. Suggestion boxes were placed in the store and Howe herself regularly collected, read, and acted upon the suggestions made by the clerks and customers. She developed special advertising campaigns to build an image for the nearby slopes in order to increase the market. As the business grew, Howe even added a line of rental equipment in order to lower the costs and encourage people to try the sport. Although profits grew irregularly due to weather effects and the faddish nature of the sport, Howe’s efforts paid off in the long term, and within four years business had grown sufficiently to permit the opening of a second Howe 2 Ski store in another suburb about ten miles from the first. In order to
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Case 67 - Case 67: Evaluating Nontraditional Incentive...

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