Squirrels Strike at Squirrely Co in Squirrelville

Posted on September 29, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

A nutty case study


Letter-O-60pt-Castellarnce upon a time, there was a little village known as Squirrelville, USA. The inhabitants were real squirrels and they were quite efficient as hunters, but mostly gatherers in their community.

For years, the squirrels worked in harmony with each other because they were very well-organized and everyone had a role to play. Each role was described in great detail so that there would be no mistake as to what each squirrel had to do. Life was good.

There was a company called Squirrely Co, which was quite popular and only the brightest and smartest of the squirrel community could work there. At Squirrely Co, the squirrels produced nut jam, nut butter, nut soup, and nut meg. These were specialty items that only the hoidiest of toidiest of squirrels could afford. Squirrel Co operated efficiently and as a result, was very prosperous.

Squirrely Co was successful because the work environment was well-structured. There was a CEO, managers, administrators, and various departments of workers. The CEO told the administrators what to do, the administrators told the managers what to do, and the managers told the workers what to do.

Squirrel Co had great benefits too, which included medical, dental and accidental road kill. Not all squirrel companies could afford accidental road kill as they considered it too risky of a health hazard. The company also allowed their associates to buy stock in nuts. The only risk here would be a rise and fall in market value on a daily basis and it was also a seasonal risk.

Everyone at Squirrel Co was very happy… or so it seemed.

In the midst of all this happiness, something dreadful occurred one day. The morning started out very pleasant; everyone greeted each other with a friendly, “good morning.” Then an emergency meeting was summoned which involved several administrative squirrels, the CEO and all the managers. They all scurried into a conference room.

The CEO asked, “Why are we meeting? We hardly ever meet since everything at Squirrely Co runs so efficiently. I only recall meeting in order to organize our annual picnic invasion on humans.”

A manager of the nut jam department spoke up, “Sir, we have a strike this morning.”

The CEO looked puzzled. “What’s a strike?” he asked.

The nut jam manager replied, “Well, sir, the entire line of workers in my department has decided not to work.”

The CEO was in shock. “What? Not work? What’s the problem? Are all the machines in order? Do we have enough nuts gathered for that department?” he quizzed.

“Well, they are holding signs saying they are sick and tired of working for peanuts,” said the nut jam manager.

The CEO mused, “Well, that’s what we pay them, nuts. Don’t tell me now they want cash!”

“No, that’s not what I meant,” said the nut jam manager, “They feel they deserve MORE nuts for all the work they are doing. They don’t understand why managers make so much more over them, when they are the ones actually making the products.”

“I see,” said the CEO. “I thought we compared pay scales with the surrounding squirrel communities, especially with the city squirrels. I don’t know why they deserve more nuts than us country folks.”

The nut butter manager spoke up and announced that his department had just gone on strike too. In fact, the nut soup and nut meg managers reported the same in their departments. All the workers except the managers, administrators and the CEO were on strike. They finally had enough and went off their nut!

The nut butter manager explained, “My department is holding up signs that say they are not being recognized for the work they do.”

The nut meg manager added, “My department is holding up signs saying that they are not treated with dignity and respect.”

The nut soup manager chimed in, “My department is holding signs saying that the company does not care about their safety.”

“Whatever shall we do?” exclaimed the CEO. He was frantic now and wondered why they would do such a thing since he thought everyone was treated fairly and the company offered the best benefits in  Squirrelville.

The nut meg manager raised his hand, slightly trembling as if he were afraid to offer his opinion, but knew it had to be said. The CEO invited him to speak freely.

“Why don’t we ask the workers why they feel this way?” asked the nut meg manager nervously.

The CEO, thought and thought, then said, “Why? We have always treated our squirrels fairly here, and we have always run an efficient company. I cannot imagine why this happened.”

After sitting back listening for a long time, one of the administrators said, “Well, perhaps times have changed and we need to have a closer look at what the workers’ needs are these days.”

The CEO laughed and sarcastically quipped, “What should we do? Play patty-cake with them and ask each of them what their gripe is? But after a moment of thought, he continued on a more serious note, “Gosh, what if we were to actually do that? What if they are not honest with us? What if they are afraid to speak out in front of us?”

“No,” interrupted the administrator, “We conduct an employee engagement survey! Everyone takes a survey independently by filling out a form in private. We should be able to gather the results and then make action plans to solve problems.”

“Marvelous!” shouted the CEO – let’s get to work and plan a survey!

And so, they did. The administrative squirrels went to work with a third party company to ensure there would be no bias involved and secure the confidence of the survey participants. The surveys were distributed and the squirrels were delighted to get them and fill them out. They were very pleased to be able to write their own comments as well.

When all the survey results were tallied, the administrators brought them to the CEO for his review. Overall, most of the results did point to a lack of dignity and respect by some of the managers. There were safety issues that were reported over and over but ignored many times. Most of these items were fixed with behavioral modification, management training and a wrench. Oh, and it was discovered that the workers were grossly underpaid by at least 5 nuts each per pay period compared to similar jobs in their field. They are now paid 10 more nuts on pay day!

And so, Squirrely Co was back in action after the squirrel workers’ voices were finally heard, in an organized, judicial, and a democratic way.  The company, now well known for caring about its administrators, managers, workers, and even its CEO, became the number one best place to work in Squirrelville.

Without a doubt, everyone at Squirrel Co lived happily ever after.





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TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

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