Case: Fashion and Safety at Bloomingdale’s
Bloomingdale’s is a chain of luxury department stores owned by Macy’s with more than 10,000 employees in 12 states. Founded in 1872, Bloomingdale’s has been considered a destination store to find the latest fashion design. Although retail is a safe job compared to manufacturing, there are still numerous ways that employees can get hurt on the job. For example, employees can be injured by falling off ladders while changing displays, incorrectly using boxcutters to open packages, or not following correct procedures cleaning up broken glass on the retail floor when customers drop merchandise or knock it off display shelves.
Bloomingdale’s wants to reduce safety claims to lower costs by improving employee knowledge of safe practices, providing consistent safety training across departments and stores, and encouraging employees to call out their peers’ safe and unsafe work behaviors and practices.
Bloomingdale’s currently uses a combination of approaches for increasing employees’ safety awareness, including posting safety messages in break areas, providing classroom training, and holding pre-shift meetings. But Bloomingdale’s doesn’t believe employees are getting a consistent safety message and it doesn’t know whether they understand safety practices and how to apply them while they are working.
Bloomingdale’s is looking for a training approach that (1) can be completed by employees during their work hours without taking them off of the retail floor, (2) appeals to a diverse, multigenerational workforce, (3) is flexible enough so that it can be customized to address the unique safety challenges that stores and departments have, and (4) provides a way to measure employee learning and link their learning back to business goals.
Questions (Note: be sure to reference your textbook when completing these questions).
When a needs assessment is completed, one of the key things to figure out is if training is the best solution. Do you believe reducing employee injuries at Bloomingdale’s can be solved through training? Explain your answer.
Your Employee Training & Development Links to an external site. describes 7 techniques that can be used to conduct a needs assessment. However, in practice, the 5 most common techniques include:
Describe the technique(s) you would use to conduct a needs assessment for Bloomingdales’. Explain why you would use the technique(s).
3. Would you involve employees in the needs assessment? If so, why would you include them?
4. Would you involve managers in the needs assessment? If so, why would you include them?
5. What do you believe is the most difficult part of conducting a needs assessment? Explain your answer.