Wegmans Case Study Analysis
Wegmans Food Market Incorporation, which is a family-owned firm, has been one of most successful retail outlets in the United States and the world as a whole. The company has excelled in so many areas since its establishment in 1916 by the late Walter and John Wegman. However, despite the company’s success, it has equally failed in some areas as an organization. Key among these areas is the organizational communication, especially with regards to internal organizational communication.
The internal communication challenges at Wegmans are being attributed to different factors such as the employee disengagement. The employees of Wegmans Company are somehow being disengaged, a factor that has resulted in the communication problem in this organization. The internal communication challenge is considered to be one of the greatest problems of Wegmans since it affects productivity and success of the organization.
Applicable Course Concepts
The internal communication problems at Wegmans Food Market Company relate to some of the course concepts learned in the chapters of organizational communication and motivation in the organization. Some of the applicable course concepts include the following.
* Theories of Motivation
Motivation refers to the urge within an individual that drives him or her to satisfy basic wants or needs (Greenberg). The following is a discussion on some of the motivational theories.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The hierarchy of needs theory was devised by Abraham Maslow in 1954. It involves five classes of motives that must be satisfied according to their order. The most important needs are satisfied first before the least important ones. The needs are demonstrated in the following order.
Physiological needs: Food, shelter and sex.
Safety needs, which include protection against a threat, danger, and deprivation. They include behaviors which instigates uncertainty with regards to continued employment or that reflects discrimination or favoritism and unpredictable policy administration.
Social needs: Friendship, receiving and giving of love, belonging, affection, and acceptance.
Ego Needs: They include the need for strength, adequacy, and freedom. It is the need for independence or autonomy.
Self-actualization needs: They include the need to realize a person’s potentialities for continued personal development and the ambition to become more of what one has a potential to become.
The degree to which an organization incorporates the elements that satisfy some higher order individual needs dictates its potential for motivating employees. An individual’s level of desire firmly relates to the needs hierarchy and attitudes will dictate the personal route that an individual takes for the satisfaction of his or her needs (Greenberg and Robert, 2008).
Motivation-Hygiene Theory of Herzberg
The motivation hygiene theory of Herzberg usually referred to as a two-factor theory and concentrates on motivation sources that are important to the completion of work (Greenberg, 2011). Herzberg found out that job dissatisfaction and satisfaction were as a result of two different factors: Satisfiers (motivating factors) and dissatisfiers (hygiene factors). He applied the term “hygiene” in the medical perspective since it functions to eliminate hazards from the work surrounding.
According to Herzberg, the motivating factors in an organization include achievement, work itself, recognition, responsibility, growth, and advancement. On the other hand, hygiene factors include the organization’s policy, working conditions, salary, job security, status, interpersonal relations and personal life. As per Herzberg, hygiene factor cannot motivate, and when applied to attain a goal, it can result in negative impacts in the long run.
Herzberg implies that the factors that result in job satisfaction are intrinsic, while those resulting in job satisfaction are extrinsic. He found the group of intrinsic factors to include the motivational factors (satisfiers) and the group of extrinsic factors to include hygiene factors (dissatisfiers). He also found out that intrinsic factors will not result in job satisfaction if the extrinsic factors available in the work environment are not adequate.
The Need for Achievement Theory of McClelland
McClelland suggested a motivational theory that nearly related with the learning concepts. The theory suggests that when a need is robust in an individual, its impact is to motivate the individual to apply behavior that results in the need satisfaction. The main concept of the theory is that needs learned by a person getting used to his or her environment. Therefore, behavior rewarded appears to be repeated several times since the needs are learned (Hiriyappa, 2009).
* Communication in Organization
Effective communication in an organization entails a commitment the managers to employees to communicate effectively. An organization that communicates effectively anticipates proper communication from the managers to employees, provide coaching and training to employees to help develop their communication skills and measure the effectiveness of their communication efforts (Greenberg, 2011).
Techniques for Improving Organizational Communication
Organizational communication can be improved in the following ways.
Handling Communication Issues
One of the effective techniques for improving organizational communication is through tackling communication issues in the organization. The management must be effective in managing the communication issues in the organization that is likely to come up during the interaction of members. Some of the issues include misunderstandings, conflicts, difficulty in solving issues, dealing with difficult individual and handling cultural differences (Greenberg and Robert, 2008).
Speaking openly and honestly
For an organizational communication to improve, the managers and other employees need to speak openly and honestly. They should also be as straightforward as possible when they speak. The managers should speak inclusively and apply terms that will be respected and understood by a diverse group of people.
Using numerous channels for organizational communication
Applying different suitable methods for organizational communication ensures effective flow of communication in the organization. Some of the suitable channels in ensuring effective organizational communication include meetings, telephone conversations, face-to-face talks, memos, e-mails, bulletins, and e-mails. Managers should ensure that they apply different techniques to disseminate the message across the organization and never depend on one channel.
Analysis of Applicable Course Concepts
The internal communication issues faced by Wegmans Company can also relate to the different course concepts learned in the chapter on organizational communication. Different methods of improving organizational communication are not being applied to Wegmans Company to ensure that the communication in this company is improved. Through the application of various suitable channels of communication, effective handling of communication issues and speaking honestly and openly about the organization, the internal communication problems at Wegmans Company can greatly reduced.
The internal organizational communication at Wegmans Company has resulted from many negative occurrences at the organization. One of them is the low employee motivation that is very evident among the employees. The leaders of the organization have not effectively motivated their employees and thus the employees are much being disengaged. The low motivation of employees has greatly contributed to the internal communication challenges experienced in the organization.
Another key factor that has contributed to the internal organizational communication challenge at Wegmans Company is the unfavorable environment for communicating effectively. The leaders of the organization are not providing the employees with the favorable environment to communicate freely among themselves. The employees are, therefore, not able to communicate the feedback freely as they receive them from the clients and pass them to the leaders.
Wegmans Company can adopt the following recommendations to encourage organizational motivation and thus by extension effectively handle communication issues at this company.
Applying relevant theories of motivation
Effectively tackling Communication Problems
Wegmans Company can also eliminate or reduce the internal communication problems that it faces by properly tackling the communication issues that are affecting the company. Some of the issues that the company needs to tackle the conflicts and misunderstandings among the members of the organization.
Providing favorable environment
The leaders of Wegmans Company should provide a favorable environment that will allow for open communication among the members of the organization. The leaders of Wegmans Company can provide a favorable environment for open communication in the organization through various means. For instance, they should encourage the feedback that their employees receive from the clients.
Greenberg, J., & Baron, R. (2008). Behavior in organizations (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Greenberg, J. (2011). Behavior in Organizations (10th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.
Hiriyappa, B. (2009). Organizational behavior. New Delhi: New Age International.