HC1021 Interpersonal and E-communication Assignment

HC1021 Interpersonal and E-communication Assignment

HC1021 Interpersonal and E-communication Assignment

Executive Summary

The report will highlight the different aspects of the communication in an organisation. To understand the communication more deeply the organisation that has been considered in this report is Tesco which is one the largest supermarket chain in the world. The report is categorised into different parts to determine the aspects of the communication in the form of electronic and non-electronic. The background of the report will give the essence of the communication and its role in the organisation. Apart from that, the background of Tesco will be discussed. Section 1 of the report will highlight the methods and practices used by the Tesco with respect to the non-electronic form. Section 2 of the report will address the electronic form of the communication of Tesco in order to communicate. Section 3 will give the areas of strength, weakness, opportunity and threats in respect of the communication methods used by Tesco. Section 4 will give emphasis on the competitor’s strategy in respect of the communication methods and practices. Section 5 is the part of the report that will show the areas which will be helpful for Tesco to consider.

HC1021 Interpersonal and E-communication Assignment

Brief Introduction and Background

The report is focused on the Communication and E-communication strategies adopted by the organisation like Tesco in their business process. Communication is the flow of information from one end to another. Sharing the information is one of the important activities in an organisation to accomplish a task. Communication is one of the important functions for the management of an organisation which act as a foundation for the planning. Gathering information from the clients and formulating the new strategy required communication. Communication can be of two types verbal and non-verbal. Verbal communication includes the oral communication or written communication and non-verbal communication includes the body language, gesture, posture etc. (Suter, Arndt, Arthur, Parboosingh, Taylor and Deutschlander, 2010). Next is the e-communication which implies the flow of information via the electronic medium like sending e-mail to the client, feedback support system in the websites of the organisation where the clients or customers can send their feedback directly to the company. E-communication saves time and cost for the organisation. (Beasley, 2010)

The organisation that is been selected for the purpose of research based on the communication and e-communication is one of the famous retail supermarket i.e. Tesco. It is a multinational organisation having it's headquartered in Hertfordshire, UK. In the terms of revenue, Tesco is placed in the second position in the world. Around 4, 76,000 employees are working in Tesco for serving the customers effectively. So from the figure, we can understand the importance of communication in Tesco. Tesco gives emphasis towards the communication due to its importance. The importance they recognise is to make the employees and the investors updated and also to address information from the customers visiting the stores daily. The three objectives of the communication that has been identified by the Tesco are to understand the job in a better way, serving the customers in an effective way, remain updated and informed. Apart from that e-communication is also focused in Tesco where the use of social networking sites, internet forums, blogging are mainly done due to the demand and increased use of the internet across the world.

Section 1

The success of an organisation is dependable on effective communication. If we considered non-electronic communication then the methods like letter, oral communication, memos, notice, drafts, presentations, press releases are generally used in the organisation to aware the employees, investors, the general public, suppliers etc. Communication supports the clarification in the business process of organisations. Most significantly Tesco uses several methods and practices to create a positive and supportive environment for all the stakeholders in the business. The objective of communication in Tesco is categorised in three ways:

1. For knowing the details of the job responsibility communication serves effectively.
2. Serving the customers in a better way is also due to the communication
3. Remaining informed and updated with the variety of information is necessary

Based on these objectives of communication, Tesco applies several methods to communicate with each other. “The One” is a publication of Tesco which conveys the message of the top management and also the colleagues who used to share their experiences, success stories in this magazine which are issued each and every month. The issues have covered the areas like the level of competition, interesting business news, happenings etc. It can be collected from the offices or distribution centres. “Notice boards” are used in the organisation for displaying up to date information in the areas for informing the employees about the training sessions, statutory information, notices regarding the Health and Safety, current news of the company, club activities, and updates for the Union etc. “Face to face communication” with the employees, suppliers and the customers are followed in Tesco to address the issues or collecting opinions from them. Discussions are mainly followed in the face to face communication where the managers used to seat with the issues. “Questionnaire” is the series of questions which are asked of the employees twice in a year to give the feedback or opinions about the current situation. So these are the methods currently used in Tesco for the purpose of communication in the form of non-electronic form. It will enhance the level of motivation to the employees, customers and the suppliers due to the direct interaction with the manager. Necessary information or updates are shared directly with the employees from the management of Tesco. The opinions that are collected in the form of feedback can act as an input in forming the strategy for the management. So overall it will help the organisation to maintain a healthy working environment (Fielding, 2011). Apart from this practices, the strategy used by Tesco in maintaining a balancing relationship with the stakeholders is done by following the “Steer wheel” concept. Steer wheel assist Tesco to evaluate the performances and effectively management the business. The colleagues in the business of Tesco are informed about the strategy by following the steer wheel concept. The steer wheel developed by the management of Tesco consists of five pillars that are as follows: (Our Tesco, 2016)

Customers: The extent to which Tesco is providing superior value to them as promised.
People: Employees are the people whose performances are measured to determine the productivity level
Finance: Cost related activities and the revenue generation are considered to meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
Operations: productivity level as well as maintaining the standard are considered in operation of Tesco
Community: As a responsible employer like Tesco, the contributions towards the society are related in this level.

Section 2

In this section I would like to highlight the electronic mode of communication where the organisation like Tesco employs several methods to keep the flow of communication. Electronic communication in Tesco is also very significant where they like to use several methods. “E-mails” are used to communicate with the stakeholders by using the internet with the devices like computers, smart phones or hand held devices. “Extranet” is used as a Tesco Information Exchange. “Intranet” is used to inform the employees internally by sharing important information. If the employees of Tesco used the internet for inappropriate use then the disciplinary action is being taken. Dismissal, penalties are there in the provision of Tesco. Other than that “social networking” is also given priority by Tesco by using the mediums like Face book, Twitter and You Tube by sharing important updates for the customers who used to access the social networking sites. The colleagues or the employees of Tesco are responsible to maintain a positive communication flow via internet or social media. The objective of Tesco regarding the electronic communication is to aware the people about their updates which can be product information or pricing or information about the new stores or promotional message etc. Respecting the people, restriction in speaking negatively is checked by the manager of Tesco. Offensive message or content sharing by any employee on behalf of Tesco is strictly restricted. Dismissal on this ground can be happen if the allegations are true. Website” of Tesco is one of the important forms of the electronic section. The website of Tesco is useful for every group of people (Our Tesco, 2016). For students, the career section or annual reports for research is readily available. For the customers they need to subscribe their email for receiving the news letter periodically. Apart from that the customers can also send their grievances or customer related services from the website. So we can observe several means of communication supporting the electronic way are used by Tesco. The electronic mode of communication serves the Tesco to pass or receive the information quickly and will save the operation cost as well. The printing cost can be minimised by using the electronic mode. The other objective can be to address more groups of people who are using the internet as well as smart phones. The reach can be maximised in this way and also the company can manage all the stakeholders effectively.

Section 3

SWOT analysis will help to assess the Tesco’s communication methods or practices in an effective way. It will help the management of the company to minimise the weakness and to give more emphasis on the opportunity. The SWOT analysis for Tesco can be done in the following way:

Strength

  1. Tesco follows both the electronic and non electronic form of communication
  2. Face to face to communication in the form of discussion conducted by the manager is the effective form where the direct communication can takes place
  3. Electronic mode like email, social media, websites will help the customers or other investors can share their concern without visiting the office of Tesco
  4. Employees of Tesco are remain motivated due to the updated information and preference given to them by the management due to the effective forms of communication

Weakness

  1. The structure of the communication team is not established in Tesco
  2. Blogs which are written by the internet users contains some negative feedbacks about Tesco but the responses from the concerned authority is not there which affect the purchase consideration of the customers
  3. Integrating the communication function with the marketing team is not there. In this case a gap is established in gathering the responses and responding the responses

Opportunity

  1. Electronic mode of communication will save the operational cost of Tesco. For instance printing cost can be reduced.
  2. Effective communication in an organisation like Tesco will explore several opportunities in the terms of productivity. The informed and updated employee will give their best performances and efforts. The customers will consider the purchase from Tesco due to the effective service and the investors will  continue their investment due to the transparency maintained by the Tesco in the communication process
  3. Tesco can maximise their reach to the target audience by the effective communication methods. (Fiske, 2010)
  4. Rumours can be stopped with the help of the communication. (Keyton, 2010)
  5. Feedback addressing system of Tesco will help to gather important data or information which can be the input of the strategy formulation for the management. Accordingly the management can redesign the service or product based on the input they gathered.  

Threats

  1. Leaking the important information to outside can bring a loss to the company.
  2. Excessive participation of the employees in the decision making can create a complex situation for the management to consider.
  3. In the social media accounts of Tesco can bring many rumours. For instance if some users post inappropriate review in the timeline and there is a possibility for the other users to get influenced

By conducting SWOT analysis of the communication methods used by Tesco we can able to address the several areas of the weakness and threats. The weakness and threats that are mentioned in the chart is needed to be studied for mitigating the risk and to overcome the weakness by implementing the positive steps like creating a corporate communication team, well designed website for protecting the system from the hacking, addressing the feedbacks frequently to understand the current situation etc. Effective communication will bring smooth functioning of the business definitely.

Section 4

The organisations who are the competitors of Tesco are needed to compare the practices of communication. To address the communication strategy used by Walmart and Lidl it is needed to address the several practices used by the organisation for the sake of communication. For instance Walmart uses the electronic form more frequently than the non electronic form while communicating with the employees. Walmart One is developed to speak with the employees working in Walmart. All the associates are connected with the management of Walmart through this Walmart One. Passing the important information by the management or employee is done effectively with this practice. Internal communication is strengthened in this way which ensures the privacy and transparency in the system. (Kass, 2012). Annual General meeting for the share holders is there and webcasting of the meetings are also posted in the website of the Walmart. Feedback system is very much effective in Walmart where the website is being designed to collect the feedback from the customers in the form of a several topics shred in the website (Walmart, 2016). The customer’s has to select the topic and have to write on it. The corporate communication team is there who will analyse and send the feedbacks to the respective department. For instance in Lidl, electronic communication is mainly focused where the application for the mobile based on both Android and IOS is there. Electronic newsletter is being sent to the customers after subscribing it to their website. Contact form for the suppliers or for the customers is being shared in the website. One needs to fill up the form and share it in their website (Lidl, 2016). For the sake of comparison we can observed several differences like the competitors of Tesco is mainly focused on the electronic communication to address the employees, customers and the investors. The privacy in sending the information or maintaining a healthy working environment online customised communication system is being introduced by Walmart and Lidl to communicate with the prospective participants. Electronic communication will save the cost and also speed up the information flow from one end to another. But if we look into the non electronic communication of Tesco then we can observed the level of effectiveness where the employees or the management can directly communicate with each other which will ensure the transparency as well as minimisation of the misunderstandings. So a balance is required between the two modes of communication to maintain a smooth functioning in the organisation.

Section 5

In this section suggestions or recommendations are needed to highlight for improving the effectiveness of the communication in Tesco. The management of Tesco have to consider the following aspects while designing the effective communication strategies.

a. All the strategies, information, input from the market, customers are required to be communicated with the concerned team or the department which is responsible. It will reduce the information overload of the other department or teams.

b. Customer relationship management tools like the software can be used to gather several data from all the systems and transferred it into the central database. After that sorting the data and then passing the information to the respective department is done by the software. It will help the departments to focus on the issues pertaining to their department only.

c. Online communication team must be there to focus on the customer’s responses, feedbacks, blogs posted in the name of Tesco and accordingly responses should be posted quickly to stop the rumours or false information.

d. Periodic meetings must be conducted by the management to all the major stakeholders like employees, suppliers and investors. Addressing their opinions is needed to formulate the strategy or to brief the participants about the misunderstandings. In this way the involvement of all the participants can be possible. (Rahim, 2010)

e. Escalation process is needed to be designed for the sake of internal communication where the employees can discuss some issues with the top management which will help the management to address several situations in the company.

So these are the ways which the organisation like Tesco can adopt for the sake of effective communication. The strategies are integrated with all the participants of the business like employees, customers, suppliers, investors. Motivation and encouragement will be there for all the participants that can bring success in the terms of profitability and productivity.

Conclusion

In this report we can address several areas in the communication pertinent to the organisation Tesco. Communication is the flow of information from one end to another. Sharing the information is one of the important activities in an organisation to accomplish a task. Communication is one of the important functions for the management of an organisation which act as a foundation for the planning. Communication supports the clarification in the business process of organisations. The communication objectives associated with the forms of communication like electronic and non-electronic mode are addressed in this report. The importance of the communication for overall development in the organisation is also discussed. The communication strategies used by the competitors of Tesco like Lidl, Walmart are also identified and compared with Tesco by drawing the significant differences. Lastly suggestions are developed to improve the communication system in the organisation based on the certain justification that has been discussed in the report.

References

Beasley, J.S., (2010). Modern electronic communication.

Fielding., M. (2011). Effective Communication in Organisations. Juta and Company.

Fiske, J., (2010). Introduction to communication studies. Routledge.

Kass., K. (2012). How do you communicate to 1,000,000+ associates? – Walmart shares its recipe for social success. [Online] Available: https://www.simply-communicate.com/case-studies/company-profile/how-do-you-communicate-1000000-associates-%E2%80%93-walmart-shares-its-recipe-s , Accessed as on 31.5.16

Keyton, J., (2010). Communication and Organizational Culture: A Key to Understanding Work Experiences: A Key to Understanding Work Experiences. Sage Publications.

Lidl. (2016). Contact Form. [Online] Available: https://ssl.lidl.co.uk/en/customer-service-contact-form-uk.htm, Accessed as on 31.5.16

Our Tesco. (2016). How We Communicate Together. [Online] Available: https://www.ourtesco.com/how-we-communicate-together/ , Accessed as on 31.5.16

Rahim, M.A., (2010). Managing conflict in organizations. Transaction Publishers.

Suter, E., Arndt, J., Arthur, N., Parboosingh, J., Taylor, E. and Deutschlander, S., (2010). Role understanding and effective communication as core competencies for collaborative practice. Journal of interprofessional care.

Walmart. (2016). Store and Corporate Feedback. [Online] Available: https://corporate.walmart.com/contact-us/store-corporate-feedback, Accessed as on 31.5.16