The Corporate Culture Of The Trader Joe’s Homework Essay Sample

Introduction

Corporate culture entails the behavior, ethical, and social standards of any business or organization. The standards are founded on the organization’s precedence, ideas, and most importantly the attitude of the members (Singh, 2004). For a business like Trader Joe’s, it would be difficult to change the existing culture since it is already working and it is not just working, it’s working well. In the future, the company might look for other ways of improving its corporate culture based on factors that might be influential in the future.

Analysis

An analysis in the study will focus on how the organization has used its culture to adapt to changes and the different types of motivation techniques it uses. For an organization to remain relevant, it should take advantage of the ever-transforming business environment. Trader Joe’s should focus on responding to emerging competitor trends by incorporating Information Technology as a way of new management and responding to emerging customer needs (Graves, 1986). This will help Trader Joe’s to adapt to the new marketplace condition and the entire economy at large.

However, Trader Joe’s culture continues to work well despite the changing times. This is largely attributed to the customer service at Trader Joe’s. Employees at the store go the extra mile to ensure customers are satisfied and they engage customers in conversations in a polite manner, unlike many stores. Many large supermarkets that have been operating for many years exhibit poor customer service with their employees always whining about their jobs (Lewis, 2005).

The culture of Trader Joe’s gradually changed as it continued to adapt to the growing company. This happened as the company continued to bring more unique and quality products and create a pleasant shopping environment for the customers. The company also kept a good relationship over the years with the suppliers and it persistently searched for quality products even in times when the products proved to be scarce. This made the company to be the most unique and triumphant private business in the industry (Lewis, 2005).

There have been numerous researches conducted aimed at finding the best way to motivate employees but this matter has never been well understood and at most times it is poorly practiced. To recognize motivation, one has to be familiars with human nature. Understanding human nature can be an uphill task and at the same time can be the easiest task. If this prerequisite is well understood, employee motivation can be very efficient (Wubbolding, 1996). The culture at trader Joe‘s has implemented various motivational strategies which have proved to be effective. The study will consider some of the techniques that were used to motivate employees to the extent of their effectiveness.

Encouraging Multitasking

A culture like encouraging multi-tasking at the workplace has gone a long way to motivate the employees. Trader Joe’s encourages employees to multitask regardless of their job descriptions. This forms a collaborative work setting where even the store manager can at times help out in simple tasks like stocking the shelves when the other employees are busy working on other things (Lewis, 2005). This makes the employees feel as if they are part of a team and they are not just mere subordinates. To the outsiders, it might look perilous, but this is part of Trader Joe’s extended training where every employee is trained to fit into any role in the store when the need arises. This type of strategy has proved to be effective because it gives freedom to the employees which results in creating a platform for the employees to do their best.

Compensate Workers Well

The best way to create loyalty and ensure your employees remain motivated even in difficult times is to have a good wage and benefit package. High wages have proved to attract the high quality of staff but this does not guarantee loyalty. Loyalty in Trader Joe’s employees can be highly attributed to the culture of success (Lewis, 2005). Currently, a lot of companies try to cut back costs and end up laying off employees and causing labor unrest. Trader Joe’s has kept on the belief that happy employees will always make the customers be happy, and the happy customers will be more willing to come and splurge in the store. This technique is so effective to the extent that it has created a paradigm shift in the industry. More employers are now focusing on making the needs of the employee to be a priority just like the customer needs.

Making the Work Environment to Be Pleasant

Every employee likes to do work that he or she enjoys. In Trade Joe’s, every employee from the store manager to the sweeper seems to be happy with their delegated duties. The workers are constantly in a jovial mood in all branches across the country. The employees are happy because they are well compensated, they are given the freedom to go to work in clothes they feel comfortable in, and they are also served great food (Lewis, 2005). The strategy of making employees have fun while they are working appears to bear fruit as it makes the employees be happy and results in better customer service.

An alternative idea that can be recommended for Trader Joe’s is conducting staff surveys. This technique is useful in determining if the employees working in the store are truly motivated and whether they have any grievances. It will also be more effective if the employees are more involved, and if they are involved in making important decisions as this is an indirect method of motivating employees (Wubbolding, 1996). This technique will make Trader Joe continue to be in the pole position when it comes to corporate culture and motivational techniques.

Conclusion

According to the study, Trader Joe’s will continue to be a successful company for a lot of reasons. For instance, the company’s culture of creating a pleasant environment for the employees results in better output as employees feel motivated. When employees are happy they also develop a sense of loyalty and end up feeling obligated to do their best. Another issue that can be attributed to their success is the way they treat customers. When customers are happy and satisfied with the service, they will always be willing to return and spend more. This sort of culture would be ideal for any company that is trying to expand and improve its performance.

References

Graves, D. (1986). Corporate Culture: Diagnosis And Change: Auditing And Changing The Culture Of Organizations. New York.

Lewis, L. (2005). Fostering a Loyal Workforce at Trader Joe’s. Web.

Singh, S. (2004). Market Orientation, Corporate Culture And Business Performance. Chicago: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Wubbolding, R. (1996). Employee Motivation: What To Do When What You Say Isn’t Working! Indiana: Indiana University.

Social Media Tools In E-Commerce

Different social media are used as tools for effectively implementing e-commerce activities. The social media tools that are commonly used by or could be used by the e-commerce people include Blogger, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, GoogleGroups, GoogleDocs, Anyvite, Flickr, and Skype. All these tools are free (10 free social media tools E-commerce retailers should use, 2009). Though these tools can be used for the better implementation of e-commerce, there are certain ethical issues involved. The ethical issues include issues related to the security of the data and information, credibility, honesty in sales promotion activities, privacy, and private information sharing…etc.

Identity theft is a serious threat to e-commerce. Identity theft may be defined as “the act of impersonating another, using the person’s information, such as birth date, Social Security number, address, name, and bank account information.” (Das, 2009, para.4). The e-commerce company must protect the confidential data of the customers. The company needs to take the necessary steps for ensuring that the customers are safe from identity theft. In earlier days the only security threat to e-commerce was stealing credit card information, but today, there are so many security threats like hacking the e-commerce system. Different methods and techniques can be used for ensuring the security of the confidential information of the customers and business. One of them is data encryption.

Data encryption is a technique used to ensure the confidentiality of secret information. Data encryption is the process of converting data from the ordinary form called ciphertext. If the data is converted into ciphertext form, it cannot be read or is difficult to understand the text. The same text can be read-only if it is converted back again into the normal text. This reverse process is called decryption (Search security.com definitions, 2009). The encryption can prevent identity theft or unauthorized access to the confidential information of customers and businesses.

The credibility of a media tool lies in the ability to relate to a different audience. Credibility is receiver-based and is determined by the acceptance of the speaker by the audience. Communication and social psychology treat credibility as a perceptual variable. As a media tool, the audience wants the reliability of the data posted by them. Credibility is closely related to trust, reliability, accuracy, quality, authority, and competence. Much web-based information rely on some form of distinction of source, message, and medium. Many professionals take information from websites that are helpful to improve knowledge and information.

The internet and websites help in communication and promotional tools, such as advertising and marketing. Winning customers’ trust and retaining them is quite needed for E-commerce. Internets and websites are growing at a higher rate in this fast life. Customers’ trust levels are mainly influenced by the quality of the site, technical trustworthiness, and users’ experience. While these media tools have to follow ethics in marketing and the internet, it must be made sure that the data and information published for advertising are authentic and true (Warholic, 2009).

E-commerce sites allow the customers to rate or review products that have been purchased. Reviews help to reinforce marketing strategy, catalog design, layout based on products or the targeted customers. But today, the problem is in finding out real user reviews and just regular spam. There are many frauds reported in online stores. To reduce these frauds proper manual checks should be made. Many credit card processing services have integrated anti-fraud screening tools to help businesses (User generated content: product rating & reviews, 2008).

Businesses are competing to attract customers. E-commerce media tools play an important role in advertising and marketing. As it has become one of the media to make aware of available products and services, the comments given on the websites should be true and honest.

The privacy of confidential information is one of the topics of extensive discussion in the e-commerce branch of the business. The customers are more concerned about the secrecy of their personal confidential information. If anyone is using others’ personal information without consent, they will not tolerate it. In an e-commerce business, it may require to use of the personal information of the customers. However, when using personal information, the company has to obtain consent or permission from the concerned customer. And also the company is not supposed to use this information for any other purposes that are not mentioned in the agreement between the customer and the company.

Reputation is very important in e-commerce. Today the business is developing at a very high speed. Just like traditional methods of business, reputation is very important in the e-commerce mode of business also. The e-commerce system, more specifically the website, should be user-friendly. That is, when the customer wants some information from the e-commerce website of the company, he should get that in easy search; otherwise, the customer may rate the website with negative marks. The success of an e-commerce website lies in prompting the customer to decide to buy the product of the company. If the customer does not receive the required information, the customer may be forced to approach other companies which will affect the reputation and profitability of the company. Frequent monitoring and analysis of the e-commerce website should be done. Further, feedback from the customers has to be obtained and analyzed. The content of the website should be designed attractively and there should be simplicity in it. Moreover, the website should be always up-to-date (Mehta, 2009).

Reference List

Das, R. (2009). Identify theft in E-commerce. Technology Executive Club.

Mehta, A. (2009). Mitch, SEO, e-commerce, shopping cart, web design & development blog: Online reputation management (ORM)- a proactive, not reactive process. Mitash.

Search security.com definitions: Encryption. (2009). Search Security.com: The Web’s Best Security Specific Information Resource for Enterprise IT Professional.

User generated content: product rating & reviews. (2008). Ecommerce Optimization: Tips & Tricks to help merchants sell more online.

Warholic, J A. (2009). Internet marketing ethics web issues. www.PWEBS.NET: Internet Ethics for Marketing, Advertising, and Seo.

10 free social media tools E- commerce retailers should use. (2009). Ecommerce Optimization: Practical How- To’s for Increasing Ecommerce Sales.

Ethical Practices In Wal-Mart

Outline

Ethics practices by employers towards people who work for them is an extremely important issue. This paper reviews ethical practices in Wal-Mart with regard to safety in the workplace. It is seen that the company does not have any jobs that can be considered very dangerous. But certain jobs like operating machinery and using cutting instruments have inherent dangers. Even though the company does not have a reputation of exposing workers to unknown dangers, they have been accused of using teenage labor to perform the above mentioned jobs. The workers have statutes that give them rights which they can use to reduce or minimize workplace hazards.

Introduction

The concept of business ethics has been an issue in today’s world and many corporations have been accused to being unethical towards their customers and their employees. Employees are one of the biggest assets of any organization and corporations are morally and legally bound to treat them in an ethical manner. Ethics can be with regard to many factors like discrimination and workplace hazards. This paper discusses this ethical issue with regard to dangers in the workplace. The study will focus on the US multinational giant and one of the world’s largest employers, Wal-mart.

Danger in the workplace

“Workplace safety refers to the working environment at a company and encompasses all factors that impact the safety, health, and well-being of employees. This can include environmental hazards, unsafe working conditions or processes, drug and alcohol abuse, and workplace violence.” (Additional Definitions: Workplace Safety, 2009). Any company in the US (and the word) should ensure that employees are protected from dangers or if the work itself is dangerous, provide adequate security measures. It is well known that certain jobs have inherent risks in their day to day performance. This could include mining jobs, high rise construction jobs, operation of machinery and using sharp instruments (knife, shears etc). Wal-Mart as most people are aware is a supermarket chain and most of its jobs do not come in the category of high risk jobs. But in view with the above explanation, there are certain jobs in the company which requires operation of machinery like forklifts, power saws, lifting heavy weights, and cutting shears. These are commonly used machinery and adult workers are expected to be aware of the dangers involved. But even so, the company is expected to inform employees as per legal statutes, and hence form a part of the legal right of the employee. This will be discussed in the last section of this paper.

With regard to Wal-Mart, the company has been accused of using teenage labor in these areas. “Wal-Mart was recently fined by the U.S. Department of Labor for having illegally used teenage workers to do dangerous jobs.” (Secret sweetheart deal between Wal Mart and the Bush administration, 2005). It is not clear whether the company had informed adult workers engaged in such jobs. But the company had erred in employing teenagers by making them perform jobs that included working with paper balers, fork lifts, and power saws. The teenagers, even if informed, may not take the dangers seriously due to their excitement in operating machinery. An adult on the other hand, due to enhanced wisdom and experience may not take such hazard warnings lightly. The company has caused a breach of ethics with regard to dangers in the workplace. In case of adult workers, it is assumed that the risks involved are reasonable and acceptable, assuming that they have been clearly informed of the inherent dangers.

Legal rights

In the United States, the primary statute that pertains to hazards in the workplace is called the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). In the process of implementation “The Act gave employees many new rights and responsibilities.” (Chao & Henshaw, 2005). A few of them are discussed here to illustrate the responsibility shown by the government to reduce workplace injuries and problems. Employees have the right to review all standards, rules and regulations maintained by the employer with regard to their jobs. They also have the right to ask employers about hazard details of the jobs they have to perform. This will include the precautions to be taken and the steps to be followed in case of an emergency. They also have the right to request an OSHA compliance officer to inspect the workplace if they feel that any hazard violations exist. Employees can also accompany the officer during the inspection. The company is expected to keep a log of past work-related injuries and illnesses and employees have the right to inspect them. If employees have any doubts regarding the toxicity of any material they have to handle, or is present in the workplace, they can request in writing to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for details about any health hazards. This listing is not exhaustive and is only given to illustrate that employees have a lot of rights in ensuring their safety when performing tasks.

Conclusion

Ethics related to workplace safety is a matter of serious concern in any organization. Wal-Mart due to the nature of its business does not have any tasks that are considered to be very dangerous. The main dangers pertain to hazards from operating machinery and cutting instruments. The company has been found violating ethics in a few instances by employing teenage labor to do these jobs. Employees have many rights to ensure or minimize occupational hazards and they should make use of it for their own benefit and safety.

References

Additional definitions: Workplace safety. (2009). US Legal: Legal Definitions. Web.

Chao, Elaine. L., & Henshaw, John. L. (2005). Osha: Employee workplace rights. United States Department of Labor. Web.

Secret sweetheart deal between Wal Mart and the Bush administration. (2005). UN. Web.

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