You are a HR practitioner in a medium-sized company that operates several restaurants. Each restaurant hires approximately 25 new serving staff each year. Recently, a local newspaper ran an excoriating feature on local “breastaurants.” Breastaurants are restaurants that sexual objectify their servers.
This sexualization occurs in the selection process (e.g., picking stereotypically attractive women), mandating uniform requirements (e.g., tight-fitting or revealing clothing), and regulating server behaviour towards customers (e.g., expecting flirtatious behaviour). Interviews with servers indicates they experience a high level of unwanted sexual advances. The servers report that their concerns about patron behaviour are dismissed by managers as “part of the job”. Some servers report depression arising from feelings of powerlessness, ambivalence and self-blame.
One of your company’s restaurants (the After Dark Lounge and Restaurant) was identified as in the newspaper article an example of a breastaurant. The HR manager (Kelly Smith) manager was concerned about this coverage and asked you to look into the hiring practices of the After Dark Lounge and Restaurant.
The After Dark Lounge and Restaurant uses standardized and company approved advertisements, job specifications, and job descriptions. A review of hiring records suggests that 95% of the servers hired by the manager (Brad Doolan) over the past five years have been female. A brief visit one evening confirms newspaper reports that the servers are young, female, attractive, and wear revealing clothing.
The other restaurants your company operates appear to hire approximately an equal number of male and female servers. The managers of these restaurants require serving staff to wear standardized uniforms. These uniforms vary between restaurants, but are much less revealing than the clothing worn by staff at the After Dark Lounge and Restaurant.
The HR manager is concerned that the After Dark Lounge and Restaurant is being operated in a way that poses organizational risk. The HR manager has directed you to compose memo to her that she can use to advocate with the CEO for change.
Your memo needs to address the following topics:
What are the three main organizational risks associated with management practices at the After Dark Lounge and Restaurant?
What organizational practices give rise to these risks?
What changes do you recommend in HR planning, job design, recruitment, and selection practices to mitigate these risks?
What criteria will you use to know if you have successfully mitigated the three main organizational risks?
compose memo to the HR manager in response to this request by the end of the week. Ensure that you use appropriate course concepts, theories, and terminology in your memo.
Reflect on and analyze memo, and address the following questions.
Which of the organizational risks that you identified were you most concerned by? And why were you most concerned by this risk?
What risks for the organization…your proposed changes in HR planning, job design, recruitment, and selection themselves pose?
Why did you choose the criteria that you did to know if you have successfully mitigated the three main organizational risks?
Justify the recommendation you have made about Brad Doolan (the restaurant manager)?