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  ASDA : A case study Introduction ASDA is the UK’s second largest supermarket. It was founded in 1949 under the name of Associated Dairies and Farm Group but shortened this to ASDA in 1965. It is a retailer focused on selling food, clothin

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مُساهمةموضوع: ASDA : A case study Introduction ASDA is the UK’s second largest supermarket. It was founded in 1949 under the name of Associated Dairies and Farm Group but shortened this to ASDA in 1965. It is a retailer focused on selling food, clothin   الأربعاء نوفمبر 11, 2015 2:17 am

ASDA : A case study


ASDA is the UK’s second largest supermarket. It was founded in 1949 under the name of Associated Dairies and Farm Group but shortened this to ASDA in 1965. It is a retailer focused on selling food, clothing, electronics, toys, home furnishings and general merchandise. ASDA also offers a range of additional services such as ‘ASDA Money’ financial services. ASDA is recognised nationally for its low prices and warm and friendly service. The business has over 500 stores across the UK and Northern Ireland, including large Supercentres and Superstores as well as smaller supermarkets found in towns and suburbs. ASDA has seen significant expansion over the last few years. As well as offering food and general merchandise, ASDA has diversified into optical and pharmaceutical services, as well as mobile phone and financial services, with more categories launched each year.
In 1999 ASDA became a subsidiary of Walmart, the largest supermarket chain in the world. This enabled Walmart to enter the UK market but also gave ASDA access to the full range of expertise of the Walmart Company. Walmart currently employs over 2 million colleagues worldwide in 27 countries. In the UK, ASDA is one of the largest employers with over 175,000 colleagues working across its many formats. These include a variety of roles in its Superstores, Supermarkets, Home Office, Distribution, George and ASDA Living. ASDA continues to expand its operations in the UK and recently acquired a number of stores from Netto to increase the number of local ASDA Supermarkets. ASDA wants to be a trusted employer. Its success as a leading retailer is dependent on its trained and engaged colleagues providing excellent customer service.
ASDA’s philosophy and organisational culture

ASDA’s philosophy is that if your people enjoy working with you, your customers will enjoy shopping with you. Consequently, it aims for all colleagues to be passionately engaged in supporting each other in a safe family environment of trust and respect. ASDA has won numerous awards that recognise its commitment to its colleagues including The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2012

At the heart of ASDA’s success is its organisational culture that has been built over time. This defines how colleagues behave at ASDA. It ranges from how colleagues treat customers and other external stakeholders to how they treat each other. ASDA’s culture of trust pervades all that happens within all elements of ASDA’s operations. ASDA is a company with a conscience, dedicated to doing the right thing for its customers, colleagues and communities. Andy Clarke, President and CEO states: ‘Building trust with each other is the most important step to winning the absolute trust of our customers.’

ASDA’s beliefs are behind every decision that every colleague within the company makes and help influence the organisation’s culture. These are:

• To provide excellent service to customers
• To show respect for the individual
• To strive for excellence
• To act with integrity

In 2009 ASDA ran a survey to discover what its customers thought about the company. From the results of this survey, ASDA created its ‘customer pledges’ outlining what customers should expect to experience from ASDA. The success of these pledges led ASDA to replicate this with ‘colleague pledges’. These were covered in the annual colleague survey in 2013, ‘Your Voice’, which surveyed every colleague across the business in stores, Home Offices and Distribution. The four colleague pledges demonstrate what ASDA is committed to providing for its workforce. These are:

• Fairness at work
• Opportunity for all
• Respect for each other
• Pride in ASDA

Leadership and management in ASDA

ASDA has a simple belief: 'Take care of your customers and employees first and profits will follow.' This belief forms the foundation of ASDA’s four key business objectives of:

• Customer satisfaction
• Business growth
• Employee development
• Profitability

These four business objectives link together. This leads to growth of the business and greater use for a range of management and leadership styles by ASDA to support attainment of these objectives.

Management involves control and organization to get something done. At ASDA and in the course of business, they use many different skills. They:

• Plan and organize people and resources
• Set and monitor budgets
• Control operations or services in order to meet customers' needs. The ability to manage is essential at all levels in the organization

ASDA has leaders at all levels of its business, not just senior management. They adopt many different management styles that influence communication with employees. For example, ASDA operates an 'open door' policy. This enables everybody within the organization to have direct contact with managers. This might be through meetings or having lunch in the same dining area. This shows an informal style and a lack of hierarchy. ASDA leaders put a high value on teamwork and open communication between employees at all levels.

Managers at ASDA choose their own preferred management style to fit the circumstances. Some prefer an autocratic style while others prefer a democratic style to help their team to discover solutions to problems for themselves. When recruiting, ASDA looks for leadership qualities in candidates. It considers leadership to be a core competence. It recognizes that the skills and capabilities to lead others are essential for business growth. Recruits learn how to run parts of the business. Since the focus is on making decisions that improve customer service, managers are empowered to make decisions covering a region. ASDA store branch managers have the authority to deliver good customer service locally. Each local branch operates like a small business. ASDA branch managers make decisions that support the needs of their customers. Front-line management trainees are encouraged to use the best management style to suit different customers.

Autocratic style

In order to deliver good customer service, managers instruct all staff to follow ASDA guidelines for dealing with customers. However, ASDA needs its employees to use their skills to deliver high levels of customer service. This means an autocratic management style is inappropriate in daily routines. A branch manager sets the standards for the team but encourages team members to be flexible and responsive to each customer. This ensures that customers get the service they expect.

Democratic style

In contrast to the autocratic style, ASDA uses democratic decision taking in many parts of the business. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute ideas to the decision. There are two types of democratic decision making at ASDA:
• Persuasive democratic management - here the leader managers makes the decision first and then persuades employees that he or she has made the right decision
• Consultative democratic management - this involves the group contributing to the decision making process, with the leader making the final decision

Since the team is central to delivering good customer service. The consultative approach helps to achieve business objective. ASDA branch managers and their staff need to make decisions to meet the changing needs of customers in a fiercely competitive market. Each store operates with a large degree of autonomy. This means that, in many areas of operation, they have the power to govern themselves and make changes without referring to senior management. They use different management styles with customers on different occasions. This independent approach enables ASDA employees to have ownership of many of their activities. This acts as a motivator for staff.

ASDA management is aware of the fact that when employees are empowered to make decisions, it improves their sense of worth and self-esteem. It also helps them to use creative skills within their role and motivates them to perform better. Furthermore, making decisions at a local level helps to meet customers' needs and enables individuals to take a pride in their job. It also rewards hard work. To increase motivation, employees who achieve high levels of customer satisfaction have the opportunity of promotion. In addition, staffs who perform well or who make the biggest improvement are recognized through the ASDA newsletter. This reinforces self-esteem.


Employees in ASDA branches have a sense of ownership for many of their activities. At the same time, they have the support and career structure of ASDA. ASDA employees are allowed to carry out activities freely within broad limits. It differs from the democratic style in that individuals are able to behave independently and make their own decisions, rather than coming together on an agreed course of action. This shows a type of laissez-faire structure. However, this management style has drawbacks. Some employees might not be able to motivate themselves or make the right decisions alone. Therefore ,individuals within ASDA work to corporate guidelines for dealing with customers. Staff also receives regular training and feedback.

ASDA leaders are committed to bring ‘customer pledges’ and ‘colleague pledges’ to life, recognising that it is the Tiny Noticeable Things (TNT) leaders do that make the biggest impression and engage colleagues. For example, leaders should always be polite and approachable, lend a hand on the shop floor and lead social and community events with colleagues. These are live examples of the pledges. These TNTs make colleagues feel more valued, more fulfilled, more supported and more motivated to deliver the customer pledges. An audit of management at ASDA indicated the following positive behaviours:

• Fairness brought to life by leaders who are empathetic and recognise their colleagues.
• Opportunity for all promoted by leadership that encourages colleagues and is communicative
• Respect for each other shown by leadership which is collaborative and listens to colleagues
• Pride in ASDA by inspirational and motivational leadership

In ASDA awareness of these behaviours positively affects recruitment and selection by attracting the best candidates and developing the leaders of the future. These pledges strengthen the employer brand whilst creating an internal environment that promotes trust and supports career progression. ASDA is committed to employing the best candidate for all its vacancies. This means looking for applicants from the largest possible pool of talent, both internally and externally. Lead by the Executive Board, ASDA’s diversity and inclusion policy ensure there is no discrimination in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. Working with external partners such as Remploy and Stonewall, ASDA positively encourages people from different backgrounds and cultures to apply. This commitment to inclusion wholeheartedly supports ASDA’s colleague pledges of fairness at work and opportunity for all. In addition, ASDA actively promotes inclusion within communities through sponsoring Pride events across the UK such as Leeds Pride.

Human Resource Management (HRM) at ASDA

Human Resource Management at ASDA is a continuous process of valuing and developing people at work. It covers all aspects of developing employees, including three important steps:
1. Recruitment and selection - attracting suitable new employees
2. Performance - enabling employees to perform their roles to the best of their ability by keeping them informed and providing relevant training opportunities
3. Development - developing all employees to build their careers with ASDA through identifying career progression opportunities

HRM is one of the key functions of ASDA. HRM involves consideration of:
• Workforce planning
• Recruitment and selection
• Training
• Appraisal
• Motivation and employee recognition
At the heart of HRM is the need for effective workforce planning. This involves conducting audits to establish the organisation’s workforce requirements both now and in the future. This information allows the HR department to plan to ensure they recruit appropriate numbers of workers with the required skills. The diagram illustrates an overview of the main stages involved in recruitment and selection.

ASDA is a growing company operating in highly competitive markets. The main reason for recruitment at ASDA is due to expansion of the business and colleague turnover. Colleague turnover occurs for a variety of reasons, for example, retirement of existing colleagues and internal promotion that create gaps. As part of ASDA’s HRM it seeks to retain as many colleagues as possible and aims to fill 70% of its leadership team vacancies through internal promotion. One year it exceeded this target with over 80% of its vacancies being filled internally. A benefit of promoting from within is that existing colleagues already share ASDA’s beliefs. ASDA’s comprehensive HR strategies engage colleagues and support the organisational culture. This includes ASDA’s ‘Best Welcome’ induction programme, ‘Star programme’ to recognise excellent customer service, as well as ASDA Academy’s framework for training and development and its ‘Colleague Steps’ for career progression. ASDA offers its colleagues a wide range of opportunities for career development. This includes supporting and investing in its colleagues to gain qualifications that will enable them to become the next generation of leaders at ASDA. For example, ASDA offers:

• The industry’s first 3-year BA Honours degree in retail and distribution
• George retail foundation degree
• An accredited apprenticeship scheme (3000 apprenticeships in 2012)
ASDA’s family environment and focus on colleague engagement means that the company has high levels of colleague loyalty and retention. The Big ASDA Anniversary event recognises colleagues with long services from 25–45 years. The last event saw 1749 colleagues celebrating milestone anniversaries with the company. ASDA’s commitment to its colleagues has resulted in the company’s labour turnover decreasing in recent years.
ASDA promotes career opportunities on its dedicated careers website. When recruiting, it aims to attract and retain talented colleagues with the best fit for the job. Part of the attraction comes from offering competitive salaries and benefits such as its Share save scheme and colleague discounts. In 2013, ASDA’s Share save scheme had record payouts where 19,040 colleagues shared £61.7 million. ASDA’s online recruitment process has improved the speed and efficiency of recruitment, making applications easier for candidates and selection faster for management. In 2103, ASDA advertised 27,000 jobs and its dedicated careers site handled over 1.5 million applications. ASDA also uses social media channels such as LinkedIn, as well as recruitment firms such as Remploy, to access the widest range of potential recruits when advertising job vacancies.
Roles and responsibilities

As one of the UK’s largest employers ASDA offers a wide scope of opportunities. From students seeking work experience to apprenticeship and graduate training in a variety of areas. Living ASDA’s colleague pledges means that everyone is treated fairly and given the opportunity to progress their career. Regardless of what point of entry a candidate chooses, ASDA has the same goal for recruitment, to recruit colleagues who share the same beliefs and outlook as the company. What makes ASDA stand out is its ability to offer a wide variety of roles due to its many business formats. These range from roles in ASDA’s Superstores and Supermarkets, such as Shift Leaders and Department Managers to logistics roles within Distribution. In addition, ASDA offers roles within its ASDA Living, George and Home Office including key functions such as supply chain, marketing and HR. The Walmart family provides ASDA colleagues with global careers possibilities. General store manager Ellen Rogan states: ‘For me, moving around very different roles – service, people and trading – has really helped in what I’m doing now because I’ve seen the business from so many angles”


Applications are registered through ASDA’s online recruitment system, ASDA’s HR team then shortlist appropriate candidates for interview or an assessment centre. Two documents are vital here: a job description and a personal specification. A job description indicates what the job entails, specifying what tasks will be undertaken by the appointed colleague. The personal specification outlines the essential and desirable personal qualities and skills required for the role. These inform applicants and help managers select the candidates that best match the requirements for the position. The assessment centre known as either ‘ASDA Reality’ or ‘ASDA Magic’ provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their strengths that align to ASDA’s culture, beliefs and way of working. When recruiting internally, an appraisal is used to help inform the selection process. An appraisal is where a colleague discusses their performance, skills and development opportunities with their manager.
Once selected, the final part of the recruitment process involves providing appropriate training. At ASDA, each new colleague is put into a specific training plan designed for their role. This is based around the company’s ‘Colleague Steps’ process which has three key stages – ‘Step In, Step On, Step Up’. This training varies from attending training workshops to taking formal qualifications relevant to their role.

Meeting business needs through training and development

Equal opportunities
ASDA is an equal opportunities employer. It supports young people with careers in retail, for example, its ‘Flying the Flag’ programme offers work experience at ASDA for young people for one or two weeks each year. Each store ‘adopts’ two local secondary schools to encourage young people to consider a career in retail. Each store has a Community Colleague that works in the local community. He or she regularly visits schools to talk about the retail sector and their own experiences of working at ASDA, as well as the varied and numerous career options available. The company provides development opportunities to enable ASDA colleagues to reach their potential, whether as a manager in store or taking a place in the boardroom, regardless of their starting point.
Identifying training and development needs

Identifying skills and development opportunities for senior roles is essential to maintain leadership succession. ASDA’s aim is ‘to ensure we identify and create a robust internal succession plan to develop our internal talent’. It therefore provides a visible and structured career path for its GSMs, backed up by technical and behavioural training.
ASDA runs Development Days with its senior managers to identify where their development opportunities are. These consist of many different activities such as business simulations, presentations and in depth interviews. ASDA also uses psychometric tests, 360-degree Leadership Surveys and 1-1 diagnosis with line managers and annual appraisals to help identify development needs. It is essential that each person's development plan is 'fit for purpose' and tailored to individual requirements. These tools help ensure that the investment ASDA makes in training and development helps the business achieve its objectives. All training and development should contribute to improving ASDA's overall business performance. The GSM-ROM programme is designed to provide a structured yet flexible approach to developing a career path. The programme fits around a GSM's own personal experiences and current technical and behavioural skills. This aligns his or her career development path to meet and overcome the challenges of their store.
A GSM’s performance is measured equally on both outcomes (the ‘what’) and behaviours (the ‘how’). One of the ways these are assessed is through feedback from other colleagues. This process focuses on Likes, Concerns and Suggestions (LCS) and ensures that feedback is always constructive. Once training needs are identified these are managed through various programmes, such as store visits, Line Manager coaching, off-the-job modules, coaching calls and mentoring.

Progression routes

There are many different roles within ASDA, from shop floor colleagues and specialist roles like bakery, to fashion buyers and lawyers. The career path shown is for a GSM who wants to develop to a ROM. Working in several different stores provides GSMs with the experience and background to operate effectively in a ROM role.
Prior to becoming a GSM, all managers will usually work as an Ambient Trading Manager or Fresh Trading Manager. These roles are responsible for the whole range of food trading, home shopping and warehousing within a store. This on-the-job experience gives colleagues a better insight into the complexities of the business.They become aware of all aspects of the store, not just the management issues. For example, the warehousing experience is very important in order to learn first-hand the practicalities of effective stock control. This enables prospective GSMs to understand the implications of efficiently managing costs and minimising wastage.
ASDA offers a personalised approach to developing skills and leadership behaviours. Colleagues have the chance to experience different business environments, perhaps in a Supercentre, Distribution Centre or in a role in Home Office (Head Office). At all levels, including moving from a GSM to a ROM role, development must be driven by the colleague and relies on individual activity and personal motivation. ASDA colleagues must take responsibility for their personal development.
Training and development
ASDA is always at the heart of the community, often with many generations of a family working at the same store. This is shown through its employment and career opportunities in communities. Training involves acquiring new skills and knowledge in relation to a current role. Development relates to a person’s potential to acquire wider capabilities. ASDA uses both to support its mission and to benefit the business and colleagues.
‘Step In’ is a four week induction programme that all new colleagues undertake. This culminates in the award of an accreditation certificate and a performance review to allow colleagues to move into the ‘Step On’ stage after six months of service. This stage includes coaching, a City and Guilds retail apprenticeship and further responsibilities such as first aid training, moving to a new department and becoming a training buddy. Next in career development at ASDA is ‘Step Up’. Again, following a positive performance review, colleagues can seek career progression. Experienced colleagues, through progression, are able to build upon their knowledge to deliver excellent customer service within a variety of roles. Gareth Woods is currently the Supermarket Store Manager at Pwllhell in Wales. He progressed quickly, starting as a graduate trainee in 2004 before becoming a Department Manager in 2005 and then a Night Store Manager in 2006. He states: ‘One of the first things I learned at ASDA is that you’re in control of your own development and should never be afraid to take on a role that you feel could be too big for you.’
Helen Milford has seen great progression since joining ASDA as a part-time General Store Manager in Lincoln. Working her way up to Director of Customer Services at the Leeds Home Office, she has subsequently been promoted to Regional Director for the whole of the North of England. The experience of a range of roles helped prepare Helen for this senior position. She states: ‘My role in customer service was probably the most significant in my development. It really helped me focus on what customers want, on longer-term planning and on working with innovative ideas. I also had the opportunity to work with the Walmart global business to share best practice.’
ASDA offers a long-term career path by developing colleagues with the potential to be GSMs, ASDA has put in place a robust long-term succession plan to develop the ROMs of the future.
GSMs are like managing directors – many have responsibility for 500+ colleagues and sales turnover of over £1 million a week. They need to be able to demonstrate a wide range of behaviours and technical skills. They are responsible for :
• Leadership – leading their store teams
• Celebrating achievement and managing under-performance, supporting improvement where needed
• Coaching and developing colleagues and managers
• Setting goals and agreeing priorities by responding to change and spotting opportunities
• Being a role model for the ASDA Way of Working - an approach whereby all colleagues are engaged and involved in improving the business – through inspiring and coaching others.
ASDA uses both on-the-job and off-the-job training to develop colleagues at all levels. As a GSM begins their transition to a ROM role, they need to complete several different types of activities.
On-the-job training
On-the-job, GSMs begin to experience the ROM role in order to put their skills into practice. On-the-job activities account for 80% of their development and it is up to the individual to drive their own development opportunities. Examples include:
• Covering their ROM’s duties when they are on holiday
• Receiving guidance from a mentor on the Retail Board (a senior manager)
• Attending meetings on behalf of the ROM
• Owning regional projects
Off-the-job training
Off-the-job , GSMs develop the skills needed to be a ROM through modules and a series of external coaching. These account for around 20% of the overall development:
• ‘Being at my Best’ – this programme focuses on emotional intelligence and supports GSMs to understand their strengths and areas for development.
• ‘Multi-site coaching’ – improves an individual’s capability to coach across the range of GSMs using different coaching conversations and styles.
• ‘Influencing across the business’ – provides an opportunity to learn how to communicate in a compelling way.
• ‘Thought Leadership’ – develops the capability to lead a team through innovation, creative thinking and leading with courage.
• GSMs also receive telephone coaching to support them and address development needs.

Costs and benefits of training and development
Even in tough economic times, ASDA takes the long-term view that investment in training and development is the right thing to do both for the business and for its people. ASDA has dedicated Stores of Learning (SOLs) across the company. These stores serve as centres of excellence for technical and behavioural training. Appropriate investment in training and development increases retention of colleagues and leads to higher performing and productive teams, which in turn support ASDA's growth and expansion plans. The key benefits of ASDA’s training are seen in:
• Increased colleague productivity - where customers are served and satisfied more quickly. This improves colleague efficiency, reduces costs and leads to higher profitability.
• The quality of ASDA’s well trained colleagues. A pleasurable shopping experience means customers are more likely to return to the store to shop. This gives ASDA a competitive advantage.
• High morale which leads to a more motivated team. If colleagues are motivated to develop there are many opportunities open to them. The resulting sense of achievement that colleagues convey in their work contributes to a positive corporate image.
• ASDA aims to fill 80% of appointments through internal promotion.

Motivation at ASDA

To deliver great service ASDA needs well-trained and motivated staff. ASDA managers are aware to the fact that it is important to find out what factors drive each person and motivates its staff. Some employees may be motivated by working in a team whereas others could be driven by a desire to make a difference. ASDA uses a simple customer satisfaction survey to find out how satisfied its customers are. ASDA knows that to perform well it needs to have motivated employees. The company prides itself on providing superb customer service. Only highly motivated staff will provide this quality of service. Employees deal with customers face-to-face and by phone, email and online.

The culture at ASDA supports customer service which excels and differentiates the business from that of its competitors. Each employee has an important role to play. The culture is based on having motivated people working every day to deliver the best service for customers. ASDA has identified a number of factors which are non-financial and which provide high levels of motivation for its employees in reference to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. ASDA managers adopt also John Stacey Adams, motivation Equity. As part of its motivation program, ASDA managers expect to ensure that employees are engaged and motivated by:

• Developing good relationships with their staff
• Providing the right materials, equipment and information
• Encouraging employees to identify personal development targets
• Recognizing and rewarding good performance.

ASDA also recognizes that motivated employees benefit the company by:

• Working with passion
• Coming up with new innovative ideas
• Moving the company forward

In ASDA, the emphasis is on creating a positive work environment. Managers and team leaders provide a culture through:

• Good relationships - managers take care of their employees. They find out about the expectations of their employees. They give clear directions and the team has fun together.
• Clear communications - clear goals and expectations are set and plans are shared
• Reasons for doing things are clearly explained so employees can see how they fit into the big picture.
• Adequate resources - managers make sure that materials, equipment and information are provided and fit for purpose
• Encouragement employees are praised for getting things right. Frustrations and problems are acknowledged. The focus is on working towards goals.
• Recognition effort and good performance are rewarded. By establishing best practice, it is possible for ASDA to measure branch culture against the benchmarks or standards it has set.

ASDA managers and team leaders are given in-depth training. This allows them to develop a strategic, long-term approach to building a culture of customer care through motivated people. Everyone at ASDA takes part in Motivation Training. This gives employees an understanding of motivation principles and techniques, so everyone buys into business goals. This helps to raise standards of performance across the business. ASDA understands the needs of the people they manage to ensure they apply the right motivating factors for individuals. ASDA employees are aware of the benefits of high levels of performance, such as recognition and promotion, but also the consequences of poor performance.

Motivating people in the workplace

Frederick Herzberg showed that real motivation comes from within. His 'hygiene factors' stop employees from being dissatisfied. Within ASDA, a number of de-motivating factors have been identified. These include:

• A lack of organization or structure
• A lack of feedback
• A lack of understanding why a task is important
• A lack of consequences for poor performance

ASDA managers are trained to identify and work to reduce these within their branches (may be by effective communication, training or clear guidance on job standards). ASDA aims to support and encourage the development of customer service. It works on the basis of co-workers providing assessment on themselves and each other. All employees in branches rank everyone in their team, including themselves, in terms of their customer service efforts. The training that ASDA managers receive also enables them to consider how they can motivate employees in non-management roles. It provides a checklist of actions that managers may take with employees. Managers in ASDA motivate their employees through informal competitions, giving opportunities to take the lead on projects or providing training to learn new skills.

According to ASDA a motivated workforce does not just happen. This requires skillful management and managers trained in motivation. Systems also need to be created which encourage employees to be more engaged with their jobs.

The above table shows how ASDA highlights the differences between engaged employees and those who are not motivated. ASDA managers look for employees showing signs of disengagement so they can take immediate action. ASDA encourages managers to motivate their teams throughout the working day. This involves:

• Making sure the team understands the objectives and targets for the day (taking into account any constraints such as short staffing)
• Monitoring progress at mid-day and giving constructive feedback on how to make the rest of the day run smoothly
• Thanking and acknowledging each person’s achievement for that day and creating enthusiasm for the next day's work.

Communication at ASDA strategies to engage variety of stakeholders

ASDA use a number of communication strategies to ensure its messages are received by a variety of stakeholders. These are both internal and external to the business. The process of communication involves a sender transmitting information in an appropriate form to ensure the receiver understands the message. The sender must also consider potential ‘noise’ or barriers to the communication being received. ASDA’s communications vary depending on the message and the target audience. For example, when creating awareness of the career opportunities available at ASDA it considers:
• The message it wants to send (ASDA is a great place to work)
• The intended receivers (school leavers, graduates, people looking for a new opportunity)
• The best channels to use
• Methods to reduce potential barriers to communication
• Evaluating the effectiveness of communications (number and quality of applicants)

In ASDA communication channels are formal and informal. The company recognizes the importance of informal communication channels. They deliver formal communications to encourage and prompt informal discussions. This helps build strong relationships between employees and customers to better understand customers’ needs. Communications at ASDA can be split into two main forms: verbal and non-verbal communication (Both types of communication can be formal or informal). Verbal communication involves conveying information using words (written or oral). Non-verbal communication involves transferring information through signals such as facial expressions, body-language and tone of voice. It also includes how ASDA employees dress and position themselves within groups. Key messages that ASDA seeks to communicate relate to the values and culture of the organization. For ASDA these include high levels of customer service, looking after its employees and behaving ethically and responsibly. ASDA uses a variety of internal communication methods to secure an efficient and effective:

• Giving of information
• Gathering of information
• Transferring of information
• Clarifying issues and points
• Influencing action

ASDA uses oral communication form (for example, in a group or one-to-one meeting), electronic communication, written communication, such as an e-mail, text or tweet, or oral communication via video conferencing. For example, employees at ASDA are introduced to the company’s values and systems through induction events, company meetings, posters (visual reminders of values), the company website and its intranet. This multi-channel approach enables ASDA to communicate its core values to its employees. Another internal communications strategy at ASDA is it’s ‘on boarding’ program for new employees. As well as a company induction, new recruits receive a personal congratulatory welcome letter from the managing director. Letters are also sent to their parents and partners to congratulate them on their child or spouse’s success. This re-enforces the family-orientated culture at ASDA. Importantly, this also begins to build a foundation of cultural understanding. This continues to be reinforced through further internal communications as employees develop their careers.


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ASDA : A case study Introduction ASDA is the UK’s second largest supermarket. It was founded in 1949 under the name of Associated Dairies and Farm Group but shortened this to ASDA in 1965. It is a retailer focused on selling food, clothin
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