EB Games formerly known as Electronics Boutique is an international computer and video games, retailer. The company was established in the United States in the year 1977. Presently the company owns international chain stores in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This report covers the interview conducted with Mr. Kevin Chen the manager of one of the chain stores of EB Games (Wikipedia). The store has about 72 employees with sales, purchase, finance and accounts, and administrative departments. Individual managers are looking after the functions of these departments and reporting to Mr. Chen. The interview was about the communication methods followed in the store and the effectiveness of the systems in improving the working of the store. The questions and answers are discussed in the next section. The questions are typed in bold font and the answers in normal font. A conclusion/summary is presented at the end of the paper.
Questions and Answers
What types of written messages, including email, are used for communication in your department/company/organization? What types of written messages are most commonly used?
The store mainly uses written communication in the form of email for communicating among the employees as well as with outsiders. Letters and other forms of written communication supplement email. However, the majority of the written communication is done by email only. For oral communication, the company uses conference calls.
What types of communication technologies are used for communication in your department/company/organization? What types of technology are most commonly used for communication?
The store uses computers as the main source of technology. Internet connectivity enables all the employees to communicate using email. For voice communication, the store uses telephones both on the landline mode and on mobile telephones. With the high storage and retrieval capacity computers offer a good source for managing information and aid in communication. Using computers, the performance of the employees is facilitated largely. The computers are also useful in maintaining the inventory details and prices of different stock keeping units (SKU) in the store.
Please share any communication errors/problems you have encountered or observed in your department/company/organization in the past few weeks. What do you perceive to be the cause for these errors or problems?
Mostly errors or problems arise from the messages the store receives from overseas manufacturers due to some false information contained in the messages. The information will be communicated via E-mails to all the international locations. Such information contains the changes in the price structures or changes in other company policies regarding quantity and price discounts. Other errors or problems arise in respect of the marketing of the materials, where the information is shared between the store and the customers regarding price or other product information. Sometimes when the manufacturer sends the information to the Store, and the information is posted info into e-mails, newsletters or posters, flyers, and other marketing communication. If there is a sudden change announced by the manufacturer and informed to the Store, the Store may not be in a position to immediately correct all the marketing communication materials. This necessitates the Store to send another email with the updated information to all concerned. When there is an omission in sending the email to some of the customers there is a communication error. Moreover, changing the updated information in all the marketing communication materials, which are already printed is an expensive affair.
What communication skills do you feel are most important for new employees in your department/company/organization?
Since the interaction of the new employees mostly will be with the customers visiting the Store, skills in oral communication will be the most important element for performing this job. In case something goes wrong with the work or any other process the employee should be able to explain the problems in detail to the superiors and other colleagues in the team. If the employees are unable to provide the complete details or explain the problem fully it may lead to unnecessary complications in customer relations. Moreover, the employees should be trained in the face to face communication, which is also important to enhance productivity. The employees should also resort to open communication.
The Channels of communication you just listed, which ones do you prefer the most?
Out of the communication methods listed, Mr. Chen feels that E-mail is the most preferred one because it is fast and reliable.
Based on the Third question, what are the improvements do you think your depart/company/organization should do?
In the direction of improving the communication, it is better if the Store can access the information from the manufacturer directly it would help the employees to perform better. Since the store operates only the retailer, most of the information comes from the manufacturer via E-mail or the representative from the manufacturer comes to the store to talk to the staff and convey the information needed.
Does your depart/company/organization often use direct or indirect communication? Which one do you prefer or think is suitable for your job?
Direct communication is always effective and has been used by the Store for quite some time. Mr. Chen is of the view that employees should be trained to enter into open communication to let the other team members know what is going on.
When there is a time you want to communicate with the upper level of management, what channel should you use, how does it work, and how long does it usually take to get a reply?
Mr. Chen described that having an effective communication conference call is made mandatory once a week in the organization. In case if more information is needed, the staff are instructed to contact the district manager about it. To get more information from the head office, the staff can talk to the respective department manager by talking to them on a direct phone line made available for direct access to the staff. Talking to them directly on a direct telephone line usually fetches the response quickly. In case if some more information is needed to answer the query the departmental managers would ask for more time to come back with exact information.
This interview provided an insight into the communication methods followed by the retail store. The manager outlined the methods of communication and the way to train the new employees to make the communication effective. The interview also brings out the need for effective communication in the workplace to improve employee performance and customer relations. Effective marketing communication is another area that needs the attention of the managers for improving the sales of the organization. Proficiency in oral and written communication is very important for the success of any organization. Generally, communication is so difficult as it is not possible to avoid errors at each step (CBA). Therefore, it is important to improve the effectiveness of communication to avoid errors.
CBA. (n.d.). The Importance of Effective Communication. 2009. Web.
Wikipedia. (n.d.). EB Games. 2009. Web.