Communication as it applies to the Jeanne Lewis at Staples Case


Q1&2: Several communication barriers exist at Staples. Ideally these barriers are as a result of diverse perception between Jeanne Lewis and other employees. Through selective perception, the employees choose to take the details which seem important to them. One way communication is a barrier which Jeanne Lewis faced initially. When addressing a meeting, response was not forthcoming from the people in attendance. This non-responsive attitude among the employees poses as a barrier during normal meetings. Initially, employees did not hold staff meetings thus when Jeanne Lewis opted to use staff meetings, consultations with the employees would have put them at ease.

If employees had sufficient information regarding their expectations in the workplace, then they would have been in a better position to give their insights during meetings (Baldoni, 2003). Prior knowledge and information regarding the new operations would dispel resistance to change by melting the perceived negative-attitudes as well as differing ideas among employees in a bid to establish common ground during communication. Physical barriers are also evident in the organization due to the nature of the working environment. The staff are located in different floors hence the reason why Lewis has to technically move from one floor to the other when passing on information. The system design available in the organization does not permit proper communication to take place. Due to changing roles which are continually happening in the institution, it becomes considerably unclear as to which communication channel is viable to for use. Lack of clarity in these roles as well as responsibilities to be carried out contributes to communication failure (Miller, 2008). As a result, as evidenced from the case the employees are thus not aware of the person to receive orders and instruction from.


Q.3: Since communication is such a large and nebulous field, Jeanne needs to develop a communication strategy which will steer the organization into achieving the intended mission. An effective communication strategy will encompass such disciplines as integration, objective clarifications, multimedia usage and driving communication under result-oriented basis (Papa et al, 2007). There are different audiences available in the organization thus the communication strategy need be geared towards conveying the intended message to all the employees and the management fraternity. This communication strategy is important due to a number of reasons. First, it allows efficient usage of the organizations resources with little or even minimal wastage. Priority is given to the conflicting demands during communication as well as the most effective methods for dealing with the challenges identified. For instance, through dialogue, consultations and delegation advances, Jeanne Lewis was able to find solutions to the problems affecting the company. Drivers of change in the organization are identified. This communication strategy provides an avenue to review the organizational activity while putting in place parameters which will ultimately determine staple's future. Jeanne Lewis need to institute objectives, analyze audience differences, decide on messages, or even on tools and activities as well as the resources required to steer the achievement of the communication strategy. The objectives which are key determinant of the perceived communication success needs to be organizational driven so as to support the need for necessary resources during information implementation procedures proper resourcing of the need for communication in the organization (Miller, 2008).

The targeted audience is vital when developing a communication strategy. The employees in this case form a central point since Jeanne Lewis depends on the participation of the employees in attaining organizational goals. Through the use of multi-communication approach, Jeanne Lewis will no doubt make the employees interested in the communication process. The tools and activities to be used in the communication process ought to be considered appropriately prior to relay the message. An email would be deemed appropriate for internal communication while during corporate communications annual reports are appropriate.

Organizational resources and timescales are geared towards achieving what is promised. The resources and timescales ought to be set in an attempt to reflect a defined legitimate level of expectations as well as dedicating a number of resources which will be at the reach of all employees. An evaluation and amendment strategy should be put in place encompassing appropriate prompts and benchmarks which will determine whether successful implementation of the strategy will be availed. This communication strategy largely requires the involvement of the team and all employees at both initiations as well as implementation procedures. The communication strategy needs to be incorporated into the organizational strategy so as to achieve maximum alignment as well as efficiency (Papa et al, 2007).


Q.4: In order to improve sales in the company, Jeanne need to develop an effective and strong marketing-communication strategy. The message strategy which Jeanne Lewis should use need have positioning statements as well as at least three support points. The support points should have a benefit attached to them thus the designed message can be used in all the media such websites and specialty designed brochures. It should also be easy to make presentations to the investors as well as industry analysts. The positioning statement need be short and declarative thus repeating it over-and-over is normally easy.


Q.5: Jeanne Lewis is seen to utilize horizontal communication Channel. Here coordination of events and activities between the various departments within Staples stores were done at the same level. Through horizontal communication, linking between the departments is effected thereby helping in passing-on expertise from one department to another. In a bid to pass on information effectively, Jeanne Lewis has incorporated verbal communication between the different departments which she heads. For example, this is attained where Lewis deliberately uses verbal communication among the members of the merchandising as well as operations dockets which she leads.


Q.6: The channel is appropriate because clarification over matters which are not clear can be sought. Through involving other members of the department in the decision making, worries of adopting a micromanager outlook towards developing strategies to transform the department were discarded (Baldoni, 2003). Thus many employees are able to contribute effectively during one-on-one interaction with Jeanne Lewis unlike when group meetings are technically held. Through incorporating all stakeholders in the communication strategy, she enabled the merchandising department to maximize the DPP of Staples. Expertise between various departments is shared thereby contributing to successful implementation of the defined policies as per the organization's strategies. The formal communication networks are strengthened owing to this effective communication strategy adopted. Through networking, the flow of communication in the organization is monitored thus destructive conflicts or unintended communications are totally averted.


Q.7: Leadership style adopted by Lewis is vital in shaping the perceived innovative culture among the stakeholders. For instance, by a well designed vision as well as focused leadership, the organization shaped-up and entrenched creativity as well as innovativeness amid competition. When Jeanne Lewis came into top leadership, her leadership skills helped in changing the organizational culture which was in existence. Changing the organization culture is an undertaking which takes a considerable amount of time to fully implement. Jeanne's ability to create a strategic vision in regard to the culture of the organization effectively changed the organization's outlook resulting into witnessed effective-relations among employees.


Q.8&9: The modified communication strategy adopted while relating with the subordinates was primarily by use of dialogue and discussions. This approach is appropriate owing to various factors. First, communication in Staples could not just happen and therefore deliberate measures ought to be put in place in order to ensure effective communication is achieved. In Jeanne Lewis case, the goals as well as objectives to be achieved were stipulated. For instance, she took efforts to deliberately provide corporate leadership to all departments thus making controls as well necessary communication bit possible. Through strategic thinking, she was able to devise methods to build on consumer loyalty and possibly attract new clienteles.

By holding bimonthly staff meetings and direct reports, more feedback was availed thereby devising mechanisms which would create glitch free strategies to continually bring clients to the Staples stores. Gathering information from the already experienced players in the field played a vital role in undertaking marketing integration activities. In addition, this was attained by identifying the constraints and imperatives which would come between effective achievements of the established goals of the organization and the successful implementation of the communication strategy (Miller, 2008). The pertinent conditions present in the environment which could limit the achievement of the communication goals of Jeanne Lewis included the ideas and perception advanced by the employees of the organization. By seeking participation of all employees, Lewis is able to fully drive Staples stores to greater heights in a bid to remain competitive. For example, Lewis is seen to share information on regular basis in order to seek innovative ideologies from the employee fraternity thus driving Staple Store performance levels ahead. Finally, a change in communication channel helped Lewis in attain above-average contributions from the staff, thereby making it possible to coordinate departmental performance levels for the sake of the entire organization. In this case the changed witnessed on the stores is premised on the multi-communication approach adopted under the democratic leadership of Lewis which came later in time.


References

Baldoni, J. (2003). Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders. New York, U.S.A: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Miller, K. (2008). Organizational communication: approaches and processes. Florence, KY: Cengange learning.

Papa, M, Daniels, T & Spiker, B. (2007). Organizational Communication: Perspectives and Trends. New York, U.S.A: Sage publications.

Source: ChinaStones - http://china-stones.info/free-essays/business/jeanne-lewis-at-staples-case.php



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