Personal Reflection of My Research on United Sweets

It is through in depth research that problems facing organisation and institutions worldwide that can actually be tackled. Therefore, the case study of United Sweets focused on providing amicable solutions to the persisting under production of employee through examination of its employee motivation scheme. United Sweets is a New Zealand based companyoperating in various continents, dealing in importation and stocking of sweets, chocolates, local drinks and candies. Being operational in the competitive New Zealand food and confectionary industry, employee retention should be one of the company’s primary focus. Additionally, considering the franchising style of this company, its employees are subjected to different working conditions thereby necessitating enactment of standard employee motivation channels thus the aim of my research study. This report will present my reflection of the entire research process, giving an account the different aspects of my experiences coupled with important information or knowledge gained through out

Role of researcher

The research study was expected to follow standard research protocols that were provide by the lecturer. With limited experience in first-hand research, I experienced an initial rough ride organising and engaging different entities in the research process. Being the main researcher in this project, my duties included identification of research area, development of suitable proposal regarding the problem of study, conducting of actual research, analysing the findings and drawing suitable efficient recommendations for adoption by the company.

Evaluation of Research methods used

 I was able to gain first-hand experience in designing and administering the research instrument. I particularly learnt the importance of sticking to the stipulated research ethics in the actual data collection process like the use of informed consent. Further, the questionnaires were administered online as a means of primary data collection because this method ensures convenience without disrupting daily operations, reduces costs associated with paper and interview questionnaires, allows participant anonymity, increases efficiency and objectivity and most important, ensures accurate information is collected . Interviews were also conducted to collect in depth information and access critical views form the respondents.

I also learnt the importance of careful and effective sourcing of information from secondary sources like the internet, books and journals. Information relating to the industry under United Sweets operations proved very useful in understanding the probable challenges the industry and the company are experiencing and possible threats if employee motivation schemes were not upgraded. Through this information, I was able to devise specific and workable recommendations for the young and rapidly expanding company regarding the best and efficient methods improving employee satisfaction.

Problems and recommendations

From the research, I discovered that the company has only included flexible working times and well defined employee roles allocating in its reward systems. The company only offers rewards during festive seasons and public holidays, durations considered as peak seasons. Rewards can be offered in different ways as explained by Podmoroff (2005), therefore economic and realistic additional reward methods like performance tracking and acknowledging top performers and providing incredible prices of limited monetary values like T-shirts. Further, status recognitions were advised for United Sweets because they serve as long-term motivational tools with an end result of higher production. Also recommended was the use of drop boxes and anonymous employee online surveys to assess employee satisfaction with the processes in play.

Another problem that received serious consideration was on employee remuneration. From the research, I noted that quiet a good percentage of the employees showed dissatisfaction with their current pay packages and compensation incentives. I therefore recommended United Sweets improve its employee pay roll system to avoid future job shifting and deliberate or undeliberate employee absenteeism. The questionnaires presented gathered that employees were not satisfied with their working environments.  To address this issue, I recommended an improvement of employee working environment to more enthusiastic and interactive achievable by training of store managers on importance of accommodating and understanding of employee personalities

The management aspect of the organisation was scrutinised to assess its liabilities and strengths. Different management theories have been established for organisations(Petri & Govern, 2012). For United Sweets however, McGregor’s theory X and Y seemed to be the idealised method. According to this theory X, McGregor considered human beings as not wanting to affiliate with work. This theory further explains that human beings can do absolutely anything just to avoid working. This is evident by the ways in which tasks and roles have been distributed within the organisational structure and the use of reward systems as motivational factors. On the other hand, McGregor’s theory Y deems human beings as work conscious and explains that they can do just anything to protect their jobs(Petri & Govern, 2012).Providing employees with flexible time schedules portrays this aspect of McGregor’s theory, which obviously worked for the organisation

Management concepts

Different aspects of management were elaborated, especially in the manner in which United Sweets has done their applications. From the study, I gathered that for the sake of an organisation’s success in meeting its short-term and long-term goals, strategic planning is an object of necessity(Wheelen, Thomas and David Hunger, 2006). United Sweets analyses internal and external factors of the environment to certify the feasibility of a new or an existing venture. Through conducting of a proper analysis of New Zealand’s food and confectionary industry, the company understands consumer market trends, draws its position against competitors and devises proper measures and procedures to limit competition while satisfying its consumer base.

Furthermore, its strategy of franchising its retail stores enables the company to easily penetrate existing markets, reduce costs associated with new staff recreation and building of new stores, ease management and penetrate faster into the New Zealand’s food and confectionary market. This strategy has evidently worked for the company since in just four years after it inception, the company’s retail stores  have increased to more than ten across its chief operational areas in New Zealand.

The second management aspect considered was United Sweets leadership structure. Good leadership within an organisation, as I learnt in the course of the study, provides employees with amicable environments in which their full potential can be tapped. According toSchedlizki and  Edwards (2014), several leadership styles are at disposal for use by organisations. United Sweets however uses democratic leadership style where employee ideas and perceptions are accepted and widely considered relevant. I gathered that the company has decentralized its leadership system by developing systematic departments for effective monitoring of employees and efficient distribution of roles and responsibilities. For example, managers at its stores are delegated with the duties of auditing and in-store problem solving which may otherwise drug operations.

From the research, I learnt that United Sweets has exquisitely well-articulated functional areas which conversely regulate and monitor different organisational activities. These areas include the finance, marketing, human resource and procurement functions. It finance function checks the business’ activities, recording its transactions which enables evaluation of company’s financial performance. From these records, the department is able to control its activities to maintain solvency and determine the best investment procedures viable for the company. The marketing department conducts market researches, planning, evaluating and, participates in sales and promotional activities, and ensures the company’s customers are fully satisfied.

The company’s human resources department is responsible for staff recruitment, staff selection though rigorous practices, new employee trainings and providence of proper employee working environments. Its procurement department links and maintains good relationships with company’s suppliers to ensure quality product delivery. This department, through the help of store managers’, monitors product stocks at its respective stores across New Zealand.

Challenges and future recommendations

 Unlike one-on-one questionnaire administration, one of the major problems experienced in this process was vague responses acquired in the data collection process. Owing to the fact that the questionnaires were filled online, further clarification could not be sought leading to scrapping off responses. Furthermore, participants cooperation were a bit sluggish which increased time allocated for data collection to prevent leaving out respondents. Despite these challenges, I recorded a high questionnaire response.

Challenges were also experienced when seeking permission from the company’s management. Several trips had to be made in a bid to organize appropriate days for employee participation.In addition, data analysis proved a challenge and different analysts were sought to complete the process. This saw additional costs that were not planned for, being incurred. Therefore, if this study were to be redone, questionnaire administration would be done one on one to reduce vague answers and ensure efficient data is collected. Similarly, proven and reliable data analysis expert professionals would be sought to limit the problems associated with bogus analysts.

People have weaknesses, and gathering from the preceding processes and activities throughout this research study, I can comfortably mark out my weaknesses.One of my weaknesseslaid on work organisation.Secondly, proper information sourcing at the beginning of the project influenced the process, and redoing the process backtracked my entire study. For future avoidance of these occurrences, timely and proper consultation with relevant bodies and expert professional will be sought to reduce time wastage and improve research quality.Every aspect of the project life was however enjoyable, from consultations to data collection and analysis of findings..

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