Countdowns methods of communication and organisation


The work was done to get the knowledge about the importance of communication in development of organisation. Countdown chooses as the organisation to collect the information and role of communication in development of the organisation. Countdown has effective way of communication within and outside of the organisation.

The management and team of the organisation, knows their wider goals and they have a clear understanding of whom and what they are and how they plan to operate.

The management of countdown have meetings every week so they are kept up to date and they can discuss any problems that have occurred. Organisation uses all forms of written communication on a day to day basis such as emails and memo form and weekly and fortnightly letters that are sent to the staff.

Countdown offers a lot of support to their employees. The communication is used to control the environments. There are no communication barriers when it comes to gender, culture, race, greed or disabilities so there is no tolerance to any difference between the staff.


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Business communication is a process whereby information is encoded and imparted by the sender to a receiver via channel /medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender feedback.

The communication process requires just four elements:

1. A message

2. A source of this message

3. A communication channel

4. A receiver

In the real world of trade and commerce, additional elements apply though. The information that you want to share needs to been coded into transmittable form, transmitted, and then decoded by the receiver.

A further element which comes into play is noise, which is any thing that tends to distort the message at any stage in the system. The final element in the process is feedback, which tells the sender whether the message was received and how it was perceived by the target. The feedback is also the basis for planning.

The sender learns how the communication maybe improved by determining how well the message was received.


Message channel

Destination receiver




Information source

A generalised communication system

(overton, 2002)

The Countdown chooses as the organisation for investigating to get the complete information of affect of communication and how communication influences the organization's performance.

Purpose of the study:

The purpose of the study was to know about the affects and role of communication in organization's performance and development.


Business demographics:

Businesses require effective business analysis in order to maintain competitiveness in a highly competitive business world. Effective business analysis involves taking information gathered from a variety of sources and analyzing for the purpose of forecasting future trends, finding ways to make improvements in business strategies, improving businesses operations, and making smart business decisions to improve the company's bottom line. Understanding key marketing areas is essential to helping a business generate revenue and cut down on excess waste.

Several factors in today's retail marketplace are driving the need for differentiation and customer focus. Retailers that are customer focused embody these characteristics:

Deep understanding of the needs, shopping preferences and expectations of their best customers across all channels, touch points, products and services

High priority placed on using customer insights to drive decisions in merchandising, pricing and promotions, customer service, and marketing and communications.

Consideration given to both the emotive aspect of the shopping experience or how their customers feel about shopping with them and how they want to interact with them, and the tactile performance or how their customers use their products or services.

Prioritization of investments based on criteria that define a successful shopping experience for their best customers. Progressive proudly owns and operates 150 Countdown, Woolworths and Food town supermarkets, employing over 18,000 kiwis right throughout New Zealand. The organisation delivers a product range and prices that equate to exceptional value for over 2.5 million New Zealanders who visit in the stores each week.

In addition to improving the stores, management and team are committed to doing the very best that can they do for the communities and the environment.

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The countdown supermarkets have proudly been providing food to New Zealanders for 80 years and it is the team of the organisation that really make the difference.  Through great teamwork this business goes from strength to strength.

"For us, retailing is all about people. Within New Zealand we are the largest retail employer with over 18,000 employees. We plan to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years to better serve our customers - opening 3-5 new Countdowns and refurbishing 18-20 stores every year. Our people make us Progressive.". Peter Smith - Managing Director

Progressive recently announced a $150-$200 million capital expenditure programme which will fund the development of 3-5 new supermarket and 18-20 refurbishments across the existing store network every year for the next five years.

Goal of the organisation:

"We're working harder than ever to make our stores greener," says Managing Director Peter Smith. "In fact, Progressive is committed to helping to achieve an overall 40% reduction in our company's carbon footprint by 2015 (on projected growth levels), bringing our emissions back to 2006 levels."

With this goal in mind, Progressive is introducing tried and true sustainable principles to reduce the environmental footprint of all stores. New generation Countdown supermarkets will include improvements such as:

increased use of natural light

freezer night-blinds which hold the cold air in when the store is closed

building management systems which reduce excessive electricity consumption

recycling heat from refrigeration coils

New more environmentally friendly refrigerant gases used to run the entire refrigeration and freezer requirements of the store.

In addition to these innovations, across all Countdown, Food town and Woolworths supermarkets are apply a pack-7 rule to reduce the number if plastic bags customers take out of our stores, offer a range of re-usable bags including a series of exclusively designed by Trelise Cooper and produce eco-friendly weekly catalogues.

Culture and ethics:

Communication is not used to control employees, but the managers use communication to control the environment and let the culture emerge from the workers. They suggest "Culture is communication and communication is culture" and that culture is a specialised lifestyle of a group of people. In Barnett & O'Rourke (2006)

Social activities are organised in the organisation on regular basis. Countdown is dedicated to providing a work environment that makes sure everyone is treated with dignity, courtesy and respect whether in the workplace or at a company function. All employees are aware about the anti-discrimination principles. Employees have equal accesses to the benefits of employment, training, and promotions.

Countdown offers a lot of employee support and through this develop a high level of trust, companion ship, loyalty and respect. As employees are entering the organisation the, rules, regulations and future direction of countdown are made clear. As these are implemented management also makes aware the employees to have fun while following the rules and regulations. This sets the organisations overall culture. Communication is used to control the environment so staffs are aware of organisation's expectations.

Countdown not only has an overall structure but the culture in addition is implemented into the individual departments. As each department has their own work environment a sub culture is created.

If any employee they have been or are experiencing discrimination, harassment or bullying, they are encouraged to make a complaint to their line manager or human resources manager.

Management of knowledge resources:

Knowledge Management efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with organizational learning, and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the sharing of knowledge. KM efforts can help individuals and groups to share valuable organizational insights, to reduce redundant work, to avoid reinventing the wheel per se, to reduce training time for new employees, to retain intellectual capital as employees turnover in an organization, and to adapt to changing environments and markets (McAdam & McCreedy 2000) (Thompson & Walsham 2004).

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The supervisor and managers shared their experience and knowledge with the employee in the training sections and on the regular basis as they need it. Countdown management team vary well know about the importance of knowledge of resources.

Countdown staff has right to have face to face communication with each other from top to bottom of the management. The management team shares their knowledge and experience by face to face communication and staff also likes to share their knowledge with each other. It provides the motivation to the countdown team.

Group dynamics:

In organizational development (OD), or group dynamics, the phrase "group process" refers to the understanding of the behaviour of people in groups, such as task groups, that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. An individual with expertise in 'group process, such as a trained facilitator, can assist a group in accomplishing its objective by diagnosing how well the group is functioning as a problem-solving or decision-making entity and intervening to alter the group's operating behaviour.

Countdown management team knows about the importance of Group dynamic as it is influence the development of team as this process motivate employee to be more honest, loyal and hardworking towards workplace. Countdown has many ways for group dynamics. All employees can declare any interest they might have that could adversely affect the company.

If employees are concerned about their own situation than they recommended talking to their manager so the issue can be clarified and resolved.

Countdown management team really supportive to the staff and staff easily discuss their situation with the management. The countdown team have face to face communication. They have the group meetings to discuss the progress and conflicts of staff every week with in each department. The countdown has two meetings in a week as on within each department with their manager and one with the management of the countdown.

Communication in Meetings:

The countdown management team has meetings every week where they reflect over what has occurred since the last meeting and discuss any problems they have encountered.

"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas"(Barnett & O'Rourke, 2006, p.312). This shows the purpose of having the meeting and it is clear countdown follow this theory. The minutes and agendas are recorded for each meeting and if any managers are absent, they are kept up to date by the Store Manager, who also distributes summaries of the meetings to everyone via email.

To encourage the wider goals to be achieved, it is essential that all staff that is currently working in countdown is focused in the same direction. This is embedded when new employees are told about the vision and mission statement at the induction stage so they know what organisation stands for and the direction that are heading in.


Person, group, or organization that has direct or indirect stake in an organization because it can affect or be affected by the organization's actions, objectives, and policies. Key stakeholders in a business organization include creditors, customers, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources. Although stake-holding is usually self-legitimizing (those who judge themselves to be stakeholders are de facto so), all stakeholders are not equal and different stakeholders are entitled to different considerations. For example, a firm's customers are entitled to fair trading practices but they are not entitled to the same consideration as the firm's employees.

External stakeholders

Internal stakeholders











Countdown provides the company environment reporting on online site for the stakeholders. They update their online site on regular basis as stakeholders interested in the company. They provide all information about the organisation that can help to the stakeholders. Countdown has online helping service that supply every information that stakeholder interested in.

The organisation has e-mail system that helping customers to get knowledge about the special running on the stores and much more information about the company and its development.

Countdown organised meeting with the stakeholders such as government official, suppliers ect. the meeting is the best way to communicate with the stakeholders and together the information about expectations of stakeholders towards company.

Communication Technologies within the organization (networks):


The organisation management teams are all allocated computers. This gives them access to all files that are necessary and that are specific to their role. Emailing is the main source of communication used. Because of this, it is efficient so staff is able to go about their day to day routine and pass information on quickly. Due to new software changing constantly it is important that the staff are up to date with the technology, but as this can be time consuming and costly, organisation have not yet changed to the new version of Microsoft 2007.


Telephones play a major role in communication. The management team at countdown has allocated store phones in each department. This is to ensure staff, whether they are part or full time are able to communicate with the managers during their shift if something occurred and they needed assistance.

Forms of written communication:

Countdown use's all forms of written communication on a day to day basis.

An example of written communication is their uses of memo for inter staff information. These memos provide progress information on the weekly basis. The organisation also uses email to communicate with staff. This is seen in countdown especially with all of the managers having their own email. Another example is some schedules for inventory are written and are then transformed to electronic storage. It is critical the transfer of the written information is accurate. Another main form of written communication is the weekly and fortnightly newsletters that are sent out to individual departments, praising staff and letting staff know of the updates and introducing and welcoming new arrivals in the store.


The communication plays important role in development of organisation. Communication influences the employees of the organisation. Communication is the best way to clarify conflict and resolve them. All types of communication are important in an organisation. Countdown management knows about the meaning of communication as they have all types of communication in the organisation. Countdown have face to face communication, written communication, electronic communication ect. The organisation has anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity. The organisation clears their goal and values in the training section to the new employees. The management team is supportive to the employees in all ways. Countdown has very effective ways of communication in the organisation. The management and their team have clear vision of the organisation. The organisation takes step by step for the development and whole team participate in achieving the goal.


Countdown has effective way of communication but organisation needs to encourage downward to upward communication. Because lower level of employees communicates only with their manager if they have any situation and manager can discuss with the management. They should have direct communication with the management.

The organisation has social activities on regular basis but organisation should have cultural day once in a year. It helps in understanding different cultures and improves communication between staff from different culture.