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A Life supermarket is one of Ghanas leading retailers of clothes and food. A Life supermarket has a record of success and profitability since its establishment with well known reputation for its innovative, quality products and reasonable price which offers customers value for their money. The purpose of this report to identify the key drivers that made A Life supermarket fall in its performance.
The external environment scanning is concerned with the forces and factors that impact on A Life supermarket . However, analysing those forces and factors will assist A Life supermarket in identifying the change in its macro environment, planning in how to cope with such a change, and being ahead of its competitors in the adaptation to the new environment and the response to the market demands.
PESTEL analysis is also used as a technique to identify and analyse the problems that A Life supermarket is experiencing. An internal analysis (micro environment) is carried on the organisation's resources and competences. Resource audit, value chain and SWOT analysis are the techniques used to examine the activity of A Life supermarket in order to reveal the basis of its competitive advantage.
1.0 SWOT ANALYSIS
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By definition, Strengths (S) and Weaknesses (W) are considered to be internal factors over which you have some measure of control. Also, by definition, Opportunities (O) and Threats (T) are considered to be external factors over which you have essentially no control. It is a strategic planning tool to evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project, in a business venture or in any other situation requiring a decision.
The purpose of SWOT analysis is to provide a realistic appraisal of the firm and the environment in which it operates. SWOT provides a basis for the formulation of realistic goals and objectives and strategies for their implementation. Without a SWOT analysis the firm's planning process is fatally flawed.
1.1 SWOT ANALYSIS FOR 'A'Â LIFE SUPERMARKET
1.1.1 Strengths (Internal)
A Life supermarket is a powerful retail brand
A Life supermarket's products are value for money due to quality, convenience and wide range of products.
A Life supermarket is always located in a busy high street due to many shoppers
A Life supermarket have their own brand
A Life supermarket foods are aimed towards those aged 25+ with those living a busy life
Made success in high class areas
1.1.2 Weaknesses (Internal)
As A Life supermarket sells products in areas as clothing and food, it may not have the flexibility of its more focused competitors.
Lack of expertise in different departments may result in their business not doing so well.
Price is too much for several customers, such as working class.
A Life supermarket's sales have been small compared to other selected products.
A Life supermarket were unable to update fashion trend in the past.
1.1.3 Opportunities (External)
A Life supermarket can develop their website
They can introduce new market segments that offer more profit
There are future opportunities in expanding their brand into some developing countries.
A Life supermarket has the opportunity of introducing clothing for younger people
1.1.4 Threats (External)
Opamo, Awo & Sampa and Tesco are a threat due to their discounted prices
A Life supermarket being a global retailer means they are exposed to different political facts in the African countries they work in.
Being number one seller means you are the target.
1.2 The Micro Environment
Clothing and food are the two major industries A Life supermarket is involved in. These two industries have the common feature of swift change. The pace of technological improvement and the speed of global communications mean more and faster change now than ever before. This trend, therefore, requires managers to react swiftly to adjust strategies which fit the changing business environment. Unfortunately, A Life supermarket seemed to have done this poorly. A Life supermarket ignored the changes in the marketplace while its competitors quickly reacted to changes.
1.3 PESTEL Analysis
To successfully operate, an organisation needs awareness of the environmental influences and trends that encircle it. PESTEL analysis can achieve this objective and provide an overall picture of the variety of forces at work around the organisation. It also measures a business's market and potential according to external factors; Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal
1.3.1 Political Factors
The political arena has a huge influence on the regulation of businesses, and the spending power of consumers. It is imperative that A Life supermarket considers the political issues that are likely to affect it before beginning the marketing process as the entire marketing strategy of the organization is dependent on the prevailing political environment in the country. These issues may include the stability of the political environment, whether or not government policies will influence laws that regulate or tax that industry. The other issues may include government's policy on economy and address the issue if there are any form of threats to the existing government.
1.3.2 Economic Factors
A Life supermarket needs to conduct a thorough economic analysis. It is vital to consider the state of economy in the short- and long-terms. Issues such as interest rates, inflation, GDP, employment levels, etc. need to be encompassed in the marketing plan so that the strategies adopted encompasses all such issues and ensure sustainability of competitive position. The Ghanaian economy is currently in a stable condition with a relatively low interest rates and a single digit inflation which signal a healthy economy. A healthy economy is a sign of increasing disposable income which, in turn, is good for the business. A Life supermarket needs to concentrate more in the fashion arena as the younger generation spends most of their money on clothing.
1.3.3 Social Factors
Social and cultural influences on business vary from country to country. A Life supermarket has operations not only in Ghana but across t Africa which places it in a diverse socio-cultural setting. A Life supermarket management needs to address social factors such as consumer's tastes and preferences, attitudes to foreign products and services, the amount of time that consumers can dedicate for leisure, mortality rates, and aging of population1. Taking these factors into consideration will equip the organization to accordingly cater to the needs of the consumers.
1.3.4 Technological Factors
Technology is vital for competitive advantage and is a major driver of globalization. In considering technological factors A Life supermarket will have to consider some issues such as the following;
Does technology allow cost-effective production of goods and services?
Does the technology bring innovation in products and services?
Has technology brought any change in the distribution of products and services?
A Life supermarket's competitors are more advanced in the use of technology. This can be substantiated by the fact that A Life supermarket did not have a loyalty card or internet shopping option when other retailers had. This lag in technology can affect an organisation's competitive position; therefore, A Life supermarket started using technology to increase its potential.
1.3.5 Legal Factors
Legislations can easily be changed depending on the issue at hand. A Life supermarket should carry out re-training and update every year in order to stay abreast with new laws or legislations that may directly and indirectly affect its business.
A Life supermarket for example must be in contact with the Foods and Drugs Authority to satisfy itself with the current requirements concerning its products in order to avoid having issues with the Authority.
1.3.6 Environmental Factors
With the current environmental climate as it stands, issues are being promoted daily on the television, in magazines and newspapers and on the radio. All companies, industries and organisations are being pressured to change their ways when it comes to the materials they use and how they manufacture. A Life supermarket will by this come out with a policy that will look at dealing in products that would not have adverse effect on the environment. A Life supermarket will be environmentally conscious in its activities.
2.0 ASSESSMENT OF CURRENT STRUCTURE
A Life supermarket currently runs a bureaucratic structure. The bureaucratic system of management by Max Weber made a distinction between authority and power. Weber believed that power bring out obedience through force or the threat of force which induces individuals to adhere to regulations. According to Max Weber, there are three types of power in an organisation;
Bureaucratic Power or Legal Power
Barry Bozeman (1996) defines a formalized bureaucracy as "a system of rules covering rights and duties of incumbents and a system of procedures for dealing with work situations." Bureaucracy includes the parameters around which a job is defined and the extent to which rules, procedures, instructions, and communications are written. A bureaucratic organisation is typified by formal processes, standardisation, hierarchic procedures, and written communication. When operated sensibly, bureaucracy is efficient because it benefits from economies of scale and avoids duplication of effort, whilst maintaining standards of quality (Ballé, 1999).
The progressive period of bureaucratization emphasized such values as efficiency, professionalization, merit appointment, discretion, and hierarchical accountability (Yarwood, 1996)
Features of Bureaucracy:
1) Division of Labour
â- Tasks are divided and delegated to specialists so that responsibility and authority were clearly defined
â- positions organised in a hierarchy of authority from top to bottom, with authority centralised at the top
â- employees recruited on the basis of technical qualifications rather than favouritism
4) Career orientation
â- managers were viewed as professionals pursuing careers rather than having ownership in the organisation
â- organisations was subject to formal rules and procedures in relation to performance
â-rules and procedures were applied uniformly to all employees
2.1 ADVANTAGES OF THE BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEM
Division of labour increased efficiency and expertise due to continued repetition of the task.
Allowed chain of command to develop
Formal selection meant employees hired on merit and expertise and no other criteria would be used
Career orientation ensured career professionals would give the organisation a degree of continuity in operations
Rules and procedures controlled employee performance, increasing efficiency
Impersonality ensured rules were applied across the board without bias
2.2 DISADVANTAGES OF THE BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEM
Extensive rules and procedures can sometimes become ends in themselves
Promotes stability but can become very rigid over time
Rules and procedures are blindly applied to all situations even though they may not be the most appropriate
Delegation of authority can lead to situations where the goals of the work group become more important than organisational goals, adversely affecting organisation in the long run.
Strict division of labour can lead to routine and boring jobs where workers feel apathetic and demotivated.
The extensive rules can lead to the establishment among workers of a minimum acceptable standard as laid down by the rules, above which workers will not go
2.3 STRUCTURAL CHANGE
A Life supermarket from the case study is currently running a bureaucratic structure and this is adversely impacting on its performance. The bureaucratic structure attributes found at A Life supermarket for example include the rigid, top-down; "head office knows best" culture built 'A' Life Supermarket's proud record of success and which is being headed by an autocratic manager. Again A Life supermarket is operating on rules decreed years ago at the Michael House, its head office in Accra Baker Street. The rules were meant for staff to spend too much time on rituals such as checking stock or counting cash in the tills and such tasks were essential to 'A' Life Supermarket.
One other attribute of a bureaucratic structure is the system where personnel are made to rise through the ranks (hierarchy) and where necessary other appointments are made from outside the organisation. At 'A' Life Supermarket people tended to join straight from college and work their way slowly up the ranks. Few senior appointments were made from outside the company.
The bureaucratic structure over a period of time favoured and lifted the image of 'A' Life Supermarket as a national icon. To the management of 'A' Life Supermarket, everything is good so long as customers kept coming and the competition lagged behind and this made it difficult to question the 'A' Life Supermarket way of doing things. The current structure ,however, has affected 'A' Life Supermarket negatively; reducing its profits and share price declining from Â¢6.65 to less than Â¢2.
2.4 PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE FUTURE
The very first step towards improvement in the future is seen in the changes made in the leadership where Peter Salse, a lifelong 'A' Life Supermarket man replaces Sir Richard Gbevelo. Again Peter Salse is seen to have laid out bold plans to overhaul the company's supply chain, buying more stuff abroad, and spruced up the tattiest stores.
As one of the improvements, Management of 'A' Life Supermarket is hoping to by the end of the year have 26 re-fit stores which will have a modernist chrome and creamy marble floors to brighten its interior instead of the usual drab look it has always had. This will give a visible sign 'A' Life Supermarket is making serious efforts to pull out of the nose-dive it has found itself in for two years.
The next proposed improvement for 'A' Life Supermarket will be to change the organisational structure which currently is bureaucratic. The new structure being proposed will have a decentralised system where every member of the organisation will feel part and parcel of it. This structure will be organised so that groups are divided according to each product and depending on geographical area as well. Members are at liberty to communicate their views which may go a long way to positively influence the growth of the organisation. Decentralization according Sablynskis (2003) is the term for pushing decision authority downward to lower level employees.
HEAD OFFICEFig 1. Decentralised Structure (New Structure)
The current bureaucratic structure is centralised whereby every decision taken and directive given are from the head office and this type of structure does not take into consideration the peculiar state of affairs at each branch of the supermarket.
C.E.OFig 2. Bureaucratic Structure (Old Structure)
Walton, (1986) identifies structure as the basis for organizing, to include hierarchical levels and spans of responsibility, roles and positions, and mechanisms for integration and problem solving.
Underdown, (2003) says organizational structure "is the formal system of task and reporting relationships that controls, coordinates, and motivates employees so that they cooperate to achieve an organization's goals.
Organizational structure for Andrews (1995) "consists of job positions, their relationships to each other (e.g., independent, part of a work-group or team, and reporting relationships) and accountabilities for process and sub-process deliverables"
Sablynski (2003) succinctly defined organizational structure as "How job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated"
An organisational structure can be defined as the typically hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, communications, rights and duties of an organisation. Organisational structure determines how the roles, power and responsibilities are assigned, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between the different levels of management.
A structure depends on the organisation's objectives and strategy. In a centralized structure, the top layer of management has most of the decision making power and has tight control over departments and divisions. In a decentralised structure, the decision making power is distributed and the departments and divisions may have different degrees of independence.
2.5 REASON FOR RECOMMENDING CENTRALISED STRUCTURE
Sablynski (2003) says organisational structure decreases employee ambiguity and helps explain and predict behavior Brown (1995) believes the basis for organizational structure is alignment of the organization purpose with necessary resources.
Wolf (2002) says structure has a direct effect on the success of an organization operational strategy. "Good organization structure influences the execution behaviors of a company. Structure not only shapes the competence of the organization, but also the processes that shape performance"
Walton (1986) ties structure to effectiveness asserting "Management restructuring is designed to increase not only the efficiency but also the effectiveness of the management organization"
Andrews (1995) says, "Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities, any organization structure becomes dysfunctional"
Organisational structure is described by Cohen (2000) as: the formal elements of organisation, the rules and procedures that are designed to guide or restrict the behaviour of people.
3.0 POSSIBLE PROGRAMME FOR PERFORMANCE AND MOTIVATION
The Office of Personnel Management defines performance management as the systematic process of:
planning work and setting expectations
continually monitoring performance
developing the capacity toperform
periodically rating performance in a summary fashion; and
rewarding good performance
Work at A Life will be planned out in advance. The planning will be in the form of setting performance expectations and goals for groups and individuals to channel their efforts toward achieving organisational objectives. Getting the employees involved in the planning process will help them understand the goals of the organisation, what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how well it should be done.
The regulatory requirements for planning employees' performance will include establishing the elements and standards of their performance appraisal plans. The performance elements and standards will be measurable, understandable, verifiable, equitable, and achievable. Through critical elements, employees will be held accountable as individuals for work assignments or responsibilities. Again the employee performance plans will be flexible so that they can be adjusted for changing program objectives and work requirements. When used effectively, these plans can be a beneficial working document of A Life for future references and other valuable purposes.
Tasks and projects given to employees at A Life supermarket will be monitored continually with the sole aim of measuring performance and providing ongoing feedback to employees and work groups on their progress toward reaching their goals.
The regulatory requirements for monitoring performance will include conducting progress reviews with employees where their performance is compared against their elements and standards. The ongoing monitoring will provide the opportunity to check how well employees are meeting predetermined standards and to make changes to unrealistic or problematic standards. Unacceptable performance can be identified through the vigorous monitoring at any time during the appraisal period and assistance provided to address such performance rather than wait until the end of the period when summary rating levels are assigned.
3.3 TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Employee training and developmental needs will be evaluated and addressed. Developing in this instance will mean to increase the capacity to perform through training, giving tasks that will introduce new skills or higher levels of responsibility, improving work processes, or other methods. Providing employees with training and developmental opportunities will encourage good performance, strengthen job-related skills and competencies, and help employees keep up with any change made at A Life supermarket, such as the introduction of new technology.
Carrying out the processes of performance management will also provide an excellent opportunity to identify developmental needs. During planning and monitoring of tasks, deficiencies in performance become evident and can be addressed. Areas for improving good performance also stand out, and action can be taken to help successful employees improve even further.
From time to time, organisations such as A Life supermarket find it useful to summarise employee performance. This can be helpful for looking at and comparing performance over time or among various employees. A Life supermarket for example will need to know who its best performers are.
Within the context of formal performance appraisal requirements, the rating will evaluate employee or group performance against the elements and standards in an employee's performance plan and assign a summary rating of record. The rating of record will be assigned only to an individual according to procedures included in A Life supermarket's appraisal program. It will be based on work performed during an entire appraisal period. The rating of record will have a bearing on various other personnel actions, such as granting within-grade pay increases and determining additional retention service credit in a reduction in force.
Rewarding employees will be well utilized at A Life supermarket and this will be done by recognizing employees, individually and as members of groups, for their performance and acknowledging their contributions to the goals and objectives of A Life supermarket . A basic principle of effective management is that all behaviour is controlled by its consequences. Those consequences can and should be both formal and informal and both positive and negative.
Good performance will be recognized without waiting for nominations for formal awards to be solicited. Recognition will be an ongoing, natural part of the day-to-day experience.
The awards regulations will be provided with a broad range of forms that more formal rewards can take, such as cash, time off, and many nonmonetary items. The regulations will also cover a variety of contributions that can be rewarded, from suggestions to group accomplishments.
4.1 CHANGE MANAGEMENT AT A LIFE SUPERMARKET
Change at A Life supermarket begun with the replacement of Sir Richard Gbevelo an autocratic leader, with Peter Salse who laid out bold plans to overhaul the company's supply chain, buying more stuff abroad, and spruced up the tattiest stores. This is at least a shift from the normal ways of doing things at A Life supermarket.
The other change that has to be managed is seen where the two basic faults to the decline at A Life supermarket are attributed to the rigid, top-down; "head office knows best" culture built which makes enhancing participation difficult (Dunphy, 2000) and that of people joining 'A' Life Supermarket straight from college and work their way slowly up the ranks. A cultural change; "religious ways of doing things" simply has to take place for positive results to be yielded at 'A' Life Supermarket.
4.2 CULTURAL CHANGE
The culture of the 'A' Life Supermarket plays in important role if the company's performance wants to be understood. Only when the culture of an organisation is analyzed, it is actually possible to understand its strategy, as Watson (2002) points out.
Organisational culture speaks of a general set of meanings that is shared by all members and that defines the way people have to think and behave. The roots of these shared beliefs trace back to the early chief executives of 'A' Life Supermarket
Organisational culture, according to Cummings & Worley (2001), refers to the pattern of basic assumptions, values, norms, and artefacts shared by organisation members.
Culture provides guidelines for employee behaviour, interaction patterns, measurement of work, and expectations. There are at least three layers or levels of corporate culture (Johnson & Scholes, 1999; Cummings & Worley, 2001).
Wruck (2000) suggests that the issues that determine a change approach are those factors that motivate people to change. Moreover, compensation systems determine change, so they have to be used to facilitate the success of a change strategy. Wruck (2000) went on further to say that, successful and productive change is therefore change that creates value for the organisation, its owners and society. Value is created when an organisation produces more than is consumed. She believes that effective compensation systems help overcome organisational inertia and opposition to change
4.3 CHANGE MODEL PROCESS
4.3.1 JOHN KOTTER CHANGE MODEL PROCESS
John Kotter, a change management expert talks about change model which outlines eight steps to change;
Increase urgency - inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant.
Build the guiding team - get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
Get the vision right - get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy, focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency.
Communicate for buy-in - Involve as many people as possible, communicate the essentials, simply, and to appeal and respond to people's needs. De-clutter communications - make technology work for you rather than against.
Empower action - Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders - reward and recognise progress and achievements.
Create short-term wins - Set aims that are easy to achieve - in bite-size chunks. Manageable numbers of initiatives. Finish current stages before starting new ones.
Don't let up - Foster and encourage determination and persistence - ongoing change - encourage ongoing progress reporting - highlight achieved and future milestones.
Make change stick - Reinforce the value of successful change via recruitment, promotion, new change leaders. Weave change into culture.
4.3.2 KURT LEWIN'S CLASSICAL MODEL
There are basically three steps in change management process according to Kurt Lewin's classical model: unfreezing, moving and refreezing.
The model uses the unfreezing and refreezing metaphor to emphasize that people can only be encouraged to change once the established ways of thinking and doing things have 'melted' and become fluid. The change agent's role is to act initially like a source of heat, turning the solid state of thinking into a fluid (thereby gaining acceptance for the change programme), and then like a source of refrigeration transforming the fluid thinking back into a newly formed solid state (refreezing).
Unfreezing involves detaching by communication existing problems. Moving refers to the recognition of a need to change, specifically, cultural change and structural change to establish new values and processes. Refreezing refers to the reinforcement of changes in order to achieve renewed equilibrium (Burnes, 1996).
Using Kurt Lewin's classical model to bring about successful change will require unfreezing of the culture established at A Life supermarket, recognising the need for that change and finally reinforcing that change to achieve objective
188.8.131.52 Unfreezing AT A Life Supermarket
The unfreezing stage is concerned with using techniques to show the need for change and freeing up the fixed views held by people within the organisation. This first stage of change involves preparing the organisation to accept that change is necessary, which involves breaking down the existing status quo before you can build up a new way of operating. Key to this is developing a compelling message showing why the existing way of doing things cannot continue.
Peter Salse, the new head at A Life supermarket should first and foremost communicate to the core the problems staring the organisation to his employees. The fact that profit and share prices are declining at an alarming rate and this is attributed to the very old and rigid ways of doing things the same way. Whiles some competitors have adopted the modernists ways of managing their business, A Life supermarket notwithstanding has remained adamant which has been detrimental to the growth and stability of the organisation.
One of the rigid ways of operation at A Life supermarket has to do with adhering religiously to the rules set from its head office not taking into consideration the peculiar challenges facing individual branch store.
The head and management at A Life supermarket must be seen to be participative in order to repose confidence in their employees and the change they are introducing. According to Johnson & Scholes, (1999) participation implies involvement in strategic decision-making through workgroups and teams as well as in the setting of the organisational strategic agenda. Organisations that follow participative change strategies have high levels of involvement, collaboration and dialogue from all levels regarding the change process (Beer & Nohria, 2000).
Moving refers to the recognition of a need to change, specifically, cultural change and structural change to establish new values and processes or it is the stage where people are encouraged to accept new ideas and new ways of working.
Management of A Life supermarket recognises the need for change in that organisation for which decision is taken to replace the head who also recognises a complete overhaul in the organisation's supply chain process, have a re-fit in at least 26 stores to indicate that the organisation is making a serious effort to pull out of the nose-dive it has been in for the past two years.
Simply put, A Life supermarket recognises its current state is very bad and, therefore, needs that kind of change to turn the fortunes of the organisation around in order to compete favourably with its competitors and possibly outwit them.
That recognition for change makes it possible to look at having a different organisational structure that is more modernist or flexible in character than the current one which is more rigid and outmoded. The recognition of change in the structure will eventually yield positive results because the new structure will give employees the sense of belongingness which will translated into efficiency and effectiveness.
There is also the recognition of change at A Life supermarket in its clothing line which faces problems that cannot be solved simply by improving its fashion judgments.
Refreezing refers to the reinforcement of changes in order to achieve renewed equilibrium (Burnes, 1996). It is the process of fixing these new ideas into the minds of the employees and managers so that they form the new set of beliefs, values, and norms of the organisation.
After going through the first two stages of change Peter Salse, the new chief executive must ensure that all the consensus arrived by both management and staff in relation to the changes are strictly adhered to. The employees do not have any responsibility to manage the change, the employee's responsibility is no other than to do their best, which is different for every person and depends on a wide variety of factors (health, maturity, stability, experience, personality, motivation, etc). Responsibility for managing change is with Peter Sallse and management of the organisation; they must manage the change in a way that employees can cope with it. The management has a responsibility to facilitate and enable change, and all that is implied within that statement, especially to understand the situation from an objective standpoint (to 'step back', and be non-judgemental), and then to help people understand reasons, aims, and ways of responding positively according to employees' own situations and capabilities. Increasingly the Peter Salse's role is to interpret, communicate and enable - not to instruct and impose, which nobody really responds to well.
5.0 SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF SKILL SHORTAGE
This problem can be solved based on assessing the needs of the employees. The growth and stability of A Life supermarket is definitely dependent on the stability of its employees. Conducting a needs assessment will he elicit much problems or challenges which can be addressed to the satisfaction of both management and employees.
5.1 NEEDS ASSESSMENT DIAGNOSIS
Needs assessment diagnosis present problems and future challenges to be met through training and development. Organisations normally spend huge sums of money on training and development A Life has the opportunity to avoid committing such huge resources by conducting a needs assessment.Â Needs assessment occurs at two levels- group and individual. An individual obviously needs training when his or her performance falls short of standards, that is, when there is performance deficiency. Inadequacy in performance may be due to lack of skill or knowledge or any other problem. The problem of performance deficiency caused by absence of skills or knowledge can be remedied by training.
In assessing the training needs, management of A Life supermarket must also focus on anticipated skills of an employee. Technology changes fast and new technology demands new skills. It is necessary that the employees be trained to acquire new skills. This will help the employees to progress in his or her career path. Training and development is essential to prepare the employee to handle more challenging tasks
Need assessment will help trainers to be informed about the broader needs of the training group and their sponsoring organisations as well as pitch their course inputs course inputs closer to the specific needs of the participants.
The organisation by this action will reduce the perception gapÂ between the participant and his or her boss about their needs and expectations from the training programmes.
6.0 ENHANCING COMMUNICATION AT A LIFE SUPERMARKET
Communication allows people to exchange their thoughts and ideas through speech, signals, writing, or behaviour. It is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; it involves a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver (U.S. Army, 1983)
"Communication is said to have taken place when one individual, a sender, displays, transmits or otherwise directs a set of symbols to another individual, a receiver, with the aim of changing something, either something the receiver is doing (or not doing) or changing his or her world view. This set of symbols is typically described as a message." William Rice-Johnson (2008)
Pranav Mistry (2008) said "Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit. Many of the problems that occur in an organization are the either the direct result of people failing to communicate and/or processes, which leads to confusion and can cause good plans to fail."
6.1 COMMUNICATION PLAN
6.1.1 Communication Need
A Life Supermarket must decide what kinds of communication need to be improved first. Verbal, non-verbal and writing communication are the three to consider in the workplace. Each is important to a company's overall well-being, but one usually takes precedence in the productivity of the organisation.
6.1.2 Encourage Meetings
A Life Supermarket should consider implementing meetings that encourage different employee levels to share thoughts. Managers and subordinates alike must feel safe stating their ideas and issues. For instance, are company emails so poorly constructed they leave readers confused? This could be improved with guidance and training.
6.1.3 Get Message Across
A Life Supermarket should be direct regarding the organisation's correspondence. Too many words may confuse the intent of the message. Use action words and be concise. An expert support should be sought after from a consultant or academic resource to fill weaknesses in the communication process.
6.1.4Â Improving Communication
Peter Salse and Management should practice role playing activities within the organisation for verbal and non-verbal communication improvements. This will enlighten employees at all levels how to better interact. The human resources department should be used when possible to direct the exercise. Each department's expertise should be well utilized in developing communication skills.
6.1.5Â Communication Problems
Peter Salse and Management should be more effective at managing the communication problems that will inevitably arise during human interaction.Â Such problems include conflict, difficulty in resolving problems, misunderstandings, dealing with difficult people and managing cultural differences.Â