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Job Satisfaction Within Hasbro

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Hasbro, a toy company that many of us have known since childhood has grown into more than just a toy company. Founded in 1923 by Henry and Merrill Hassenfield the company that we have grown to know and love did not start off as a toy manufacture, but was actually a company that produced textile remnants and ran under the name Hassenfield Brothers. Over the next two decades the company expanded production to include pencil cases and various school supplies; it was not until the 1940’s that the company took on the name Hasbro and produced its first toy, Mr. Potato Head (Arnerson, n.d.). Mr. Potato Head was an instant success and the company only grew from there.

Throughout the next few decades Hasbro had rapid expansion and acquired numerous toy companies. The first major company that Hasbro acquired was Milton Bradley in 1984. Milton Bradley had many well-known products within its firm, such as Playskool, Candy Land, Twister, and Battleship (Arnerson, n.d.). From there on Hasbro acquired more and more toy companies. The next large-scale acquisition took place in 1991 when Hasbro attained Tonka. Tonka at the time similarly to Milton Bradley had many well recognized toy products. This major take over gave Hasbro some of the biggest names to this day, including Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, and Risk (Arnerson, n.d.). Financially the company has maintained a positive direction of growth. The positive trend of growth has a lot to do with its president and CEO Brian D. Goldner who has been with the company for over twelve years (“Corporate information,” n.d.). Goldner has been awarded several different titles such as being named the CEO of the year by marketwatch.com (“Corporate information,” n.d.).

Glassdoor, a website that allows employees to give feedback to the companies they work for provided Goldner with a 90% approval rating (“Hasbro reviews,” n.d.). With his affirmative leadership Hasbro managed to snag the 59th spot out of the top 100 companies to work for in Fortune Magazine (“Corporate information,” n.d.). For this project we selected the topic of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction “is a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (Colquitt, 2011). This pertains to how an employee feels about their job. There are three concepts that help to define whether an employee is pleased with their job. The first theory is the Value-Percept Theory; this “argues that job satisfaction depends on whether you perceive that your job supplies the things you value” (Colquitt, 2011). The second is the 3 Critical Psychological States, “these psychological states are what make the work satisfying” (Colquitt, 2011). The third, and final, theory is the Job Characteristics Theory (VISAF) which “argues that five core job characteristics result in high levels of the three psychological states, making work tasks more satisfying.” (Colquitt, 2011)

The Value-Percept Theory includes five aspects that employees use to evaluate their job satisfaction. The first aspect is pay satisfaction which describes the employee’s positive or negative feelings about the pay they receive (Colquitt, 2011). This facet compares whether or not the employees believe that the pay they receive is equal or comparable to what they think their pay should be. At Hasbro the employees are fulfilled with the way in which the company compensates them. The salaries range from $23,920 to $93,454 with the average salary being $73,302 (“Hasbro salary,” 2011). The median salary people earn in the Pawtucket area is $39,614 (“Pawtucket, RI,” 2012). Not only are the wages generous given the average income in the area, but the company is also closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s with the time off still being paid (“Hasbro salary,” 2011). Thinking about the future of their employees the corporation also sets in place a generous 401 (k) match in addition to annual company contributions towards their 401 (k) (“Our rewards philosophy,” n.d.). Furthermore, Hasbro offers reward programs to give employees many health and medical benefits, income protection benefits, bonus opportunities and much more (“Our rewards philosophy,” n.d.)

Promotion satisfaction is the second piece which refers to “employees’ feelings about the company’s promotion policies and their execution” (Colquitt, 2011). The majority of employees feel that promotions provide more opportunities for personal growth, which is what many strive for in their careers. Hasbro developed a program called “Hasbro University”, using staffed professionals the program helps to provide many options for job training (“Teaching through Hasbro University,” 2012). Some options include “classroom and online courses, coaching opportunities, cross-functional training, executive MBA scholarships, tuition reimbursement, management and leadership development, and assessment tools to help develop employees, managers and teams” (“Teaching through Hasbro University,” 2012). The third phase is supervision satisfaction. Supervision satisfaction discusses employees’ feelings about their boss and whether or not he or she is approachable and likable (Colquitt, 2011). This can also include whether the boss makes an effort to help the employee reach their own personal goals. The supervisors at Hasbro understand that their employees are a huge part of what makes their company successful. They make sure to look after their employees during times when the company’s structure must be altered.

For example, in 2011, a Gaming Center of Excellence was created in which employees from the Games division of the Massachusetts building were required to be relocated to the headquarters in Rhode Island (“Assisting employees leaving hasbro,” n.d.). “Welcomed at a special event by the CEO and members of the Senior Management team, relocated employees met with local vendors to learn about resources including daycares, gyms, cultural centers, chambers of commerce, restaurants, hospitals and banks,”. On top of this orientation the company also assigned welcoming mentors to the employees and their families, their objective being to help them integrate into their new hometowns and work locations. (“Assisting employees leaving Hasbro,” n.d.). Hasbro understands that family is important to their employees and works to make their corporation family friendly. They do this by offering several annual family programs at their headquarters throughout the year. Some examples of these programs include Kids Carnival, Santa Breakfast, and Bring Your Child to Work day (“Rewarding our employees,” n.d.).

Co-worker satisfaction is the fourth phase which describes how employees feel about their fellow co-workers sets an extremely important tone in regards to the productivity within the office (Colquitt, 2011). Working with other employees to accomplish tasks and projects is a major component within this thriving toy company. For a project to be successful that requires getting along and working together seamlessly without tension. Having this comfortable atmosphere between co-workers within the workplace allows the environment to be enjoyable for everyone; looking into reviews that current and past employees’ left on the website Glassdoor, there were nothing but positive reviews about the dynamic between all employees within the Hasbro headquarters. A former supervisor was quoted saying that Hasbro was an “energetic, creative place to work with great people and an interesting environment. A great big company with a small culture of caring, and talented people.” (“Hasbro, inc. employer reviews,” n.d.). Along with a former employees review we also found a current Packaging Designers review.

In the evaluation he expressed that the people within the company were fun and talented, he also went on share that he “worked on a great team, and the marketers, QA, engineers, and product designers” and that on a daily basis they were “excellent, friendly, and respectful.” (“Hasbro reviews in Pawtucket, RI,” n.d.). The fifth, and final, aspect is satisfaction with the work itself. Satisfaction with the work itself reflects employee’s feelings about the work they do. This would include whether the employee finds the tasks challenging, interesting, respected, and relevant to their specific skill set (Colquitt, 2011). Suzanne C. a tech process improvement analyst for Hasbro was quoted saying “Every day I’m working on something different, juggling new projects and bouncing ideas off others who love thinking outside the box and aren’t afraid to try innovative ways to get our work done- all while also remembering to have fun while doing it!” (“Wizards of the coast,” n.d.). Since employees are never confined to the same repetitive task this allows the Hasbro staff to have a strong sense of fulfillment with the work itself. Now we will discuss the 3 Critical Psychological States.

When an employee experiences all three states, they are said to be generally satisfied with their job. The first psychological state is meaningfulness of work, this reflects the degree to which the work the employee is assigned to complete interconnects with their own personal beliefs (Colquitt, 2011). This aspect is the most important to an employee when deciding whether they are satisfied with their job. Hasbro has created an employee volunteer program which “allows employees to take four hours of paid time off each month to volunteer with child-focused organizations.” More than 30% of Hasbro’s employees volunteer their time and efforts to these organizations (“Employee volunteering,” 2012). In the world to date there are over 1.6 million needy children who currently benefit from Hasbro’s toys and games donations. This shows the employees’ that their efforts in making and designing the toys not only go toward making a profit for the company, but also positively affect the lives of children who could not otherwise afford their toys (“Corporate giving report,” 2010). Hasbro partnered with another corporation to set up an organization called Operation Smile.

Upon completing this non-profit group Hasbro employees were instructed to develop a specially designed plushy Mr. Potato Head which would be given to every needy child who received an operation for their severe cleft palate condition. Knowing that this stuffed toy would be a source of comfort to each child just reinforces the idea to employees that the toys in which they design make a difference (“Corporate giving report,” 2010). Responsibility for outcomes is the second psychological state. This is the degree to which an employee feels like their involvement within the co mpany is significant, and that to some degree they have control over the results (Colquitt, 2011). Knowing that their efforts matter is a big part in contributing to their job satisfaction. Having the employee’s feel that they’re valued is further impressed in Hasbro’s monthly “Lunches with Leadership”. This lunch allows employees to join the senior most executives for a comfortable lunch in which they are free to discuss all aspects of the business including questions around strategy, challenges, or thoughts around their own personal career growth.

These lunches help the employees to feel like they have a say in the company and the decisions that will affect their job (“Engaging our employees,” 2012). Hasbro has also established focus groups to help predict how employees will react to changes within the company. These groups are initiated before the company makes any major changes to the working conditions or benefits. When Hasbro was preparing to make major changes to the U.S. benefits programs they held nine separate focus groups with nearly 100 employee participants. “The information they collected provided significant data to make educated decisions about changes to Hasbro’s U.S. retirement and medical benefits in 2010, as well as offering valuable insight into employee morale.” Creating focus groups such as this give employees a rightful sense that their opinions genuinely affect the outcomes within the corporation (“Satisfaction survey,” 2012). The third psychological state is knowledge of results. Knowledge of results represents whether the employee can easily track how well or poorly they are doing within the company (Colquitt, 2011).

By giving employees some type of acknowledgement for the things they do well it creates an incentive to keep up the good work. Conversely, even gently acknowledging their mistakes will help the employee to learn and improve. In order to create a fun and playful way to acknowledge results Hasbro created what they call the “Inny Awards” which is short for innovation. “All year round our employees dedicate their energy to creating the best toys, games and entertainment products. They also devise innovative ideas to improve our teams, work processes and customer relationships.” This event allows the employees to celebrate their effort and success, as well as knowing that their fellow co-workers and senior’s appreciate their hard work (Rewarding our employees,” n.d.). The company has also put in place a couple of recognition programs. They understand that in order for their employees to succeed and help the company they need to know what they are doing right and wrong. Some of the recognition programs they created include service awards, spot awards, and project and special recognition cash awards (Rewarding our employees,” n.d.).

A simple way of knowing how well they did on their work is to see how much of it is bought in the stores. If they worked hard on a product and it was received well by the market then it will show in the sales numbers of that product. Finally, there is the Job Characteristics Theory (V.I.S.A.F). This describes the five central characteristics of innately satisfying jobs using variety, identity, significance, autonomy, and feedback (Colquitt, 2011). The first job characteristic is variety. Variety is the degree to which an employee has a job that requires a number of different activities that involve many different skills and talents (Colquitt, 2011). A high variety is not only ideal but means that the work an employee does every day is different in some way and has little repetition. Offering over 50 unique positions it becomes apparent that Hasbro has a wide selection of jobs ranging from financial analysts to toy design directors (“Hasbro jobs & careers,” n.d.). Sam, a manager for the U.S. Marketing team says that the culture within Hasbro is fast paced and that no two days are ever the same (“Total brand management,” n.d.).

Identity is the second facet and this is when an employee is able to witness their piece of work being created from start to finish with a successful visible outcome which is whole and identifiable (Colquitt, 2011). A high identity is when employees can be proud to say they were involved in making that product. At Hasbro, the end products are the completed toys and games. Employees identify with the product when they see the final product on the shelves at the store. They can see them and feel a sense of pride knowing that they helped to develop that product. “It’s a nice feeling when you start seeing products you worked on store shelves,” a former mechanical engineer said (“Hasbro reviews,” n.d.). The third aspect is significance which refers to whether the jobs in which Hasbro employees complete have an important impact on the lives of other people, particularly people in the world at large (Colquitt, 2011). Knowing that the work they finish extends to help people outside of their own home country helps to satisfy the employee in believing that their job really matters. In 2010 when the earthquake struck Haiti, Hasbro provided free toys and games for all the “child-friendly spaces” they created within the relief areas. This helped to provide a much needed comfort and distraction for children affected by the devastating natural disaster (“Hasbro philanthropy,” 2010).

Partnering with Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to troops overseas, Hasbro employees in all of its U.S. offices came together to write hundreds of special thank you notes to the troops. Additionally 20,000 Hasbro card games were labeled and shipped out to be included in the care packages (“Hasbro philanthropy,” 2010). Generous and thoughtful acts such this allows the employees to feel like making toys really does have a strong positive impact on the world. Autonomy is the fourth trait within the Job Characteristics theory. Autonomy is essentially the amount of freedom an employee is given with their job (Colquitt, 2011). Having this independence and discretion permits the work environment to be much more open and comfortable. Additionally, employees will be more proud of their work when the job provides autonomy. Letting them have more control in deciding how to go about their own work tasks increases productivity and creates successful completion of projects that the employees can be proud of. Making good use of autonomy Hasbro has a business casual dress code.

This allows employees to be comfortable in what they are wearing so they can focus more on their work and less on worrying about having an impractical professional appearance (“Making you smile: benefits at Hasbro,” 2012). They also established half-day Fridays; this gives the workers more freedom and flexibility in their own personal schedule, and by Hasbro allowing them to leave just a few hours early every week strengthens the fact that the comfort of their employees is extremely important (“Making you smile: benefits at Hasbro,” 2012). Adding a bit of fun around these toy headquarters it’s been leaked that random Nerf blaster battles are broken out occasionally to help create a more enjoyable, and lighthearted environment (“Hasbro reviews,” n.d.). Having these random breaks of fun give employees the chance to take a break from their desk and just have fun- an objective that Hasbro is dedicated to incorporating not only into their toys but also into their work force. The last job characteristic is feedback which is important when an employee wants to track and determine their progress and success (Colquitt, 2011). Providing them with clear information about their past and current performance is essential to keeping an employee content with their job.

In September 2010 Hasbro’s Human Resources team developed and launched an online tool that allows the employees to easily log in and view a history of their time spent at Hasbro. Including a record of the compensations, bonuses, benefits, and current retirement benefit projections they have earned (“Maintaining good labor relations,” n.d.). This rewards program not only helps to provide feedback to the employee but could also be used as a positive tool to indirectly boost the morale of the employee. Moving onto the analysis, Hasbro has done many strong positive aspects when it comes to job satisfaction, but also has a few negative aspects it could improve on. The first positive feature Hasbro offers to its employees is more than adequate pay satisfaction. Given that the average pay in the Pawtucket area is $39,614 (“Pawtucket, RI,” 2012). Hasbro manages on average to pay its employees around $73,302 (“Hasbro salary,” 2011). This being said Hasbro most definitely helps the local economy and provides jobs for many people who live in that region. Another aspect Hasbro is generous with its employees on are job benefits offered within pay satisfaction.

Hasbro has various reward programs which push employees to go above and beyond just working a tedious day job. These ideal compensations include medical benefits, income protection benefits, and various bonus opportunities (“Our rewards philosophy,” n.d.). As a Hasbro employee making a very good salary for the area and being provided with numerous benefits and opportunities gives them a positive outlook when it comes to job satisfaction. Next, Hasbro does a very good job on providing employees with the need to want to stay with the company. Hasbro realizes it’s important to not only provide work that is interesting but also work that is rewarding and makes a difference in the world. This can be seen in many ways throughout the company. For example, relating back to the 2010 Haiti earthquake the company took on the responsibly of providing needy children with the comfort of games and toys (“Hasbro philanthropy,” 2010). By providing toys and games to children in need of security it gives the employees at Hasbro a chance to feel rewarded knowing that their job actually makes a difference in people’s lives, giving these children a much needed escape from the devastation they witnessed.

Having strong supervision satisfaction is just another example of how Hasbro shows its employees that they’re not just a number and are all unique. When Hasbro required 75 employees from its Games divisions in Massachusetts to be relocated to the Hasbro headquarters in Rhode Island (“Assisting employees leaving hasbro,” n.d.). The company knew that this required a lot on the part of the employee and their families and in order to let them know they appreciated their sacrifice they set up a special event to welcome them with which CEO even attended. Hasbro also set each family up with a friendly mentor who helped them tour venders including daycares, gyms, cultural centers, chamber of commerce, restaurants, hospitals and banks to help employees transition into their new community (“Assisting employees leaving hasbro,” n.d.). While many aspects of Hasbro’s job satisfaction are respectable and accommodating they also have room for improvement.

The first real negative aspect that Hasbro has is to allow more room for promotion within the company. Since Hasbro offers many free training and learning activities to its employees it makes the pool for promotion large and very competitive (“Teaching through Hasbro University,” 2012). Many employees take advantage of the free skill-building programs Hasbro offers, which in turn saturates the company in terms of talent and qualification, making it more difficult to choose an employee for a promotion. Although Hasbro employees have the opportunity to volunteer and get paid for four hours of volunteer work a month (“Employee volunteering,” 2012), the feedback of the work is hardly acknowledged. The company does not have a way for employees to keep track of the organizations they volunteer at or to monitor the results of the work they do overall. Employees should be able to check and observe in a user-friendly way how their work makes a difference and the rewards they gain with the effort they put in to completing charity work every year. This would allow employees to really appreciate the work they are doing and get an overall fulfillment of the time spent volunteering.

Another aspect we found Hasbro could improve on was the overall autonomy of the company. The earlier example of Hasbro requiring its employees to move from the Massachusetts office to the headquarters in Rhode Island shows how this toy company could broaden its horizons and become an even more self-sufficient corporation. Having such a large amount of employees transfer to a completely different state wanes the amount of autonomy a single employee has by weakening the amount of freedom, discretion, and independence they are given. Throughout the assignment Hasbro has exhibited more positive aspects versus negatives. The negatives can be addressed in various ways but the following are what we recommended after our in-depth analysis of the company.

A good way to improve on the promotion aspect of the company would be to create a program in which the grades of the employees who choose to take the career-building classes are filed away into the system. By developing software that can break down what the employees’ strengths and weaknesses are it can then be organized into what potential promotions would be a good fit for them. This would allow Hasbro to accurately promote the employee who shows the proper aptitude that the pending promotion would require. The next thing Hasbro can improve on is the way that employees volunteer within the company. The company currently allows for four hours of paid volunteering a month with a 30% volunteer rate (“Total brand management,” n.d.). If the company restructured this concept they could increase the total volunteer rate and improve the overall community. The following is an example of how Hasbro should restructure their volunteer work:

Using the outline from above, we believe that on top of already having the first four hours paid Hasbro could offers incentives after that which would continue to boost their influence within the community. After the first four paid hours the next three hours would allow you to earn a free board game or toy of your choice, within reason. Once you hit the ten point mark you would receive a fit certificate to a restaurant, and so on. By giving employees benefits such as the ones above they may want to volunteer more than the standard paid 4 hours, knowing that the company has incentives to give.

Finally, by improving the older software in which employees have complained is too outdated, it could allow more autonomy within the work place (“Hasbro,” n.d.). Depending on the type of work, Hasbro could allow its employees the freedom to work at home or at a location of their choice. Giving employees this option to go beyond the confines of their dedicated work space would dissolve the blockades of creative restraint and ultimately help them create more unique products and artistically enrich ideas, in turn increasing Hasbro’s revenue. Having various departments in a company can no doubt bring about communication barriers which hinders overall production. However, having this new updated technology installed within Hasbro would easily fix all the current problems regarding this issue.

Starting as a remnant textile company that sold leftover cloth, Hasbro evolved into one of the most globally successful toy manufactures, which never would have been possible without positive job satisfaction. Low job satisfaction not only hurts the employees experiencing it, but also the company as a whole. Through our research, Hasbro has done a superb job on providing employees with satisfaction in the workplace. This allowed us to easily connect our class content to Hasbro as well as being able to provide them with suggestions for improvement. Hasbro does an excellent job in making the employees feel positively about the company. This includes being content with their pay, promotion policies, supervisors, co-workers, and most importantly, the work itself. Not only does Hasbro make the employees feel like their work is important, but they also make sure that the employees get a chance to have their opinions heard. Although this toy company provided admirable efforts in making sure employees were content, we were able to provide suggestions for improvement. All in all, Hasbro is an excellent, deep-rooted company with dedicated employees because of the fact that they go above and beyond to provide the necessary tools to keep employees satisfied within their job.

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