Supermarket plays a vital role in the economy of any country. Any food distribution business is most acceptable by any consumers because food is one of the basic needs of human being. The supermarket is a complex operation depending for its efficiency on the smooth workings of a host of interrelated parts. But of all the factors that work together to achieve efficient, low cost, high turnover operation, undoubtedly the single and most important factor is the people who manage and work in the markets. The most ingenious mechanical equipment, the most attractive appetite- appealing package, the most interesting store design and layout would have little importance in the food distribution pattern, were it not for the legions of store managers, assistant managers, department managers and other employees responsible for the daily operation. General and operations managers are responsible for the efficient and profitable operation of grocery stores. Often called store managers or department managers, set store policy, hire and train employees, develop merchandising plans, maintain good customer and community relations, address customer complaints, and monitor the store's profits or losses. In large chain of supermarket there are over 200 job classifications involving most types of managerial and technical skills. It is the operations manager's part of duties and responsibilities through the help of the human resource manager to make it appoint that all the employees especially in the front line are motivated to give efficient and reliable service to its valued customers.
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In retail jobs, customer service employees remain standing for long periods of time while performing a given series of tasks. Inadequate design of workplaces will inhibit the ability of the worker to perform the tasks and may result in injuries, strain or fatigue, or a reduction in quality or output. Views about how work and job have changed considerably during this century. The enlargement of work content through the addition of one or more related tasks, and job enrichment, involving the increase in the motivational content of jobs through, for example, the addition of different types of tasks or the provision of increased worker involvement and participation - the provision of job rotation like workers moving between jobs in either a self-organised or a scheduled manner. Customer services are defined as everything a supermarket does, consciously or unconsciously, which imparts value, comfort, pleasure or satisfaction to customers. This definition is intended to be general in nature and to emphasise the many interrelated customer services offered in the modern supermarket. The main competitive tools of the early supermarkets were lower prices and larger variety. Today, with increased competition between supermarkets, prices have tended to reach a leveling point. Other factors are becoming more important as a means of inducing customers to choose one store over another. Many companies have found that improved customer services are a vital aspect of this new competition.
Customer services include innovations such as the installation of air curtain doors; simple courtesies such as thanking customers as they leave the store; and more complex accommodations such as operating a self-checkout service. Customer services may be appreciated and acknowledged by customers, or may be something which a customer feels a store must do in order to stay in business, such as providing shopping carts or baskets. A large number of customer services are offered in supermarkets today, but no single supermarket includes in its operation all the customer services being offered by the entire industry. Each supermarket provides the types of customer services which its management feels are justified and are necessary to attract customer traffic. There are three aspects of customer service, specification, cost and timing. The primary condition is to satisfy customers in respect of specifications (to provide what customers want or expect or will accept). The two secondary considerations are to satisfy customers in respect of costs (to minimize the cost to the customer), and lastly to satisfy customers in respect of timing (to provide goods or services when required or expected). All of the conditions mentioned are the principal dimensions of the customer service objective for operation managers.
The objective of operations management strategy is to manage labor and design jobs so people can effectively and efficiently be utilised. When management has a genuine respect for its employees and its contribution to the firm, establishing a reasonable quality of work life and mutual trust is not particularly difficult. The three distinct decision areas of operations manager through human resource strategy constraints are labor planning, job design, and labor standards. As an operations manager, if the strategy is to achieve a competitive advantage by responding rapidly to the customer, a flexible workforce may be a prerequisite. OM should also be open in creating new job designs for its employees. The five components for job design are job specialisation, expansion, psychological components, self-directed teams, and motivation and incentive systems. Job design's objective is to develop job structures that meet the requirements of the organisation and its technology and that satisfy the jobholder's personal and individual requirements. Good job design is required to ensure employees have the capabilities to produce positive and efficient outcomes which are beneficial to the organisation. The core job characteristics that could lead to a positive outcome are skill variety, task identity, task significance, feedback and autonomy. The success of an organisation is very much dependent on the of its quality employees.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
It is the responsibility of the OM to make sure that the customer is satisfied and the work scope is completed in a quality manner and on time. The OM has primary responsibility for providing leadership in planning, organising, and controlling the work effort to accomplish the store's objective. The primary skills which will be further discussed in the succeeding sections that any OM should have are leadership ability, ability to develop people, communication skills, interpersonal skills, ability to handle stress, problem-solving skills and time management skills. The OM needs to create for the team a vision of the result and benefits of the project. For example, the OM may describe a new policy to handle customer complaints. When the staff can envision the results, it will result to increase in team work motivation. Effective operations management requires a participative and consultive leadership style, in which the OM provides guidance and coaching to the customer service employees. OM may empower individuals to make decisions affecting its work, the OM should establish clear guidelines and, if appropriate, any limits. For example, team members may be authorized to implement their own remedy for solving a problem as long as the decision does not result in overrunning the store's basic policy.
OM must be good communicators. OM needs to communicate regularly with its staff and the upper management. Effective and frequent communication is crucial for keeping the objectives moving, identifying potential problems, soliciting suggestions to improve performance, keeping abreast of customer satisfaction, and avoiding surprises. A high level of communication is especially important early in the project to build a good working relationship with the team and to establish clear expectations with the customer. Effective OM communicates and share information in variety of ways, such as meetings and informal conversations. Effective communication establishes credibility and builds trust. For the team to be effective, members need to have up-to-date information especially customer feedback that may necessitate changes to the supermarket's structure and policy. The OM should try to learn about the personal interests of each individual without being intrusive. Good interpersonal skills enable an OM to empathise with its staff when special circumstances arise. An OM needs good interpersonal skills to try to influence the thinking and actions of others. These skills will also help in dealing with disagreement or divisiveness among team members. OM needs to be a good problem solver. Early identification of a problem will allow more time to develop a well-thought-out solution. The OM should encourage team members to identify problems early and solve them on their own. The team needs to be self-directed in solving problems and not wait or depend on the OM to get them started. Any meetings, projects, problem-solving require a lot of energy because it involve many concurrent activities and unexpected events. To make optimal use of the time available, OM need to have self-discipline, be able to prioritise, and show a willingness to delegate.
MOTIVATION/WORK LIFE BALANCE
EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING
The principal purpose of job evaluation is to rank jobs as a basis for a pay structure. It is essentially concerned with establishing relationships. Job ranking, classification, points evaluation and factor comparison are the four basic methods of job evaluation. Job ranking is the simplest method and very straightforward. It is relatively cheap to do and is also flexible, however, it does suffer the disadvantage of relying heavily on judgment and having a relatively minor objective or quantitative content. Job classification's procedure is much the same as in job ranking, except that jobs are allocated against an existing or required job structure. Points evaluation is one of the most popular job evaluation schemes. Unlike the others, it relies on the identification and comparison of job factors rather than the whole job. Lastly, factor comparison method is more complex and difficult to describe and implement because it uses, in one process, job evaluation and the allocation of monetary values.
As the diversity in the workforce continues to change, traditional programs for training, monitoring, and compensation may have to be modified. The OM must promote and foster a respectful and supportive work environment that removes barriers to valuing diversity, values differences, and encourages participation by all team members. OM must establish and clearly communicate expectations and exemplify that expected behavior. The OM should discuss the importance of respecting and valuing diversity at a project team meeting from the beginning and periodically throughout the operation, as well as discuss the expectations with new members as part of the orientation when joining a team. Through this, individual team members can make a personal commitment to understand and value diversity and respect the differences of other team members. Diversity is about acknowledging, understanding and valuing differences, and creating a work environment that recognizes, respects, and harnesses differences for the benefits of accomplishing a shared goal.
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