This report attempts to look at the importance of communication in the world of one of the biggest franchise restaurant that is located in global scale, KFC. KFC is a fast food restaurant chain based in the United States. KFC has been a brand and operating segment, termed a concept of Yum! Brands , Inc since 1997.
The main aspects of business covered in this report are: business demographics, organizational goals, organizational culture and ethics, management of knowledge resources, group dynamics, meeting management, stakeholders, and networks.
Communication is required both within and outside the corporate in order for the employers and the employees to get involved in as efficient and productive interaction and operation. Good communication enables accompany to locate and target its stakeholders and relate to them.
I believe for a corporate to grow successfully, it must appreciate the vitality of communication training. There may be special procedures to prevent arguments, reasons to or not to employ people with diverse background, and such.
Business demography is one of the key factors affecting business success. This is because businesses necessitate the differentiation of their products, depending on different characteristics of the population.
KFC needs to find its own business demographics to attract customers in many ways. One example of their ‘business demographics usage’ is the location of its shops. KFC used the demographics of local population and families to locate their stores in the optimal place possible. In a region, the whole building is being run as KFC restaurant (E.g. Quay St, Auckland Central), while some KFC shops are located within the Westfield, or other bigger markets. (E.g. Edmonton Rd, Te Atatu, Auckland) It is likely that the prosperity of each shop has varied the population of the potential customers, and considering those demographics, the company would have resulted the number to decide its shop sizes.
Meanwhile, as people request more of nutrition information and processing methods about the products, KFC followed the customers’ needs to communicate with these potential customers. They’ve used methods of:
Website – http://www.kfc.co.nz/index.cfm?contentNodeID=423
Leaflet within the newspapers
Since demographics are the statistical analysis used to identify markets for their goods and services, such communication method was an attempt to adapt into the market regarding to the business demographics (increased number of people requiring more information about the product). Such communication process promotes KFC to attract more customers, as they’ve made their products more reliable, and this can ultimately result into the business growth.
NZ based KFCÂ©’s main goal is to ‘create the tastiest and best-loved chicken in New Zealand’ (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC). To share the business objectives with all the staffs and the managers of the chain restaurants within New Zealand, KFCÂ© uses several kinds of methods to communicate with their employees.
Training programme: Every single KFC staff, even a part-time worker, needs to go through the training programme for the first few weeks of their work. However, the company continues the training throughout the entire career with KFC, providing life skills, technical skills, management skills and leadership coaching. One main reason for such intense training programme of KFC is to strengthen their sense of ownership, which includes holding firm on their business goals (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC). Employees who went through these training programme will therefore concentrate on creating the tastiest and best-loved chicken (e.g. managers instruct staffs to use better-quality oil, part-time workers pay extra attention in food hygiene).
Organizational culture and ethics
Nowadays, the world is very much globalized that organizations inevitably encompass people from different culture and ethnic groups. It is the organization’s role to have no barriers against individuals with different backgrounds.
KFC New ZealandÂ© requires all members of the organization to use ‘English’ as their official language. To testify this, they have job interviews before they employ the workers. Such process is to allow fluent communication to occur not just amongst the organization members, but also between customers. Therefore official verbal communication is not a problem for KFCÂ©.
‘Informal’ communication allows members of the organization to strengthen their social bond. Through private conversation, staffs can share common interests and sympathy other than their business conversation. Such behavior virtually improves the relationship amongst workers and increase productivity and efficiency in their production process. Cultural bonding (same culture) allows the members to take coordinated actions. However, there exists undesirable informal communication with members of different ethnic and cultural groups. Existing discrimination or isolation against minor ethic group is officially hard to identify. So members need to gain the ability to communicate with all members without discrimination. This can be done through training programme or national education.
Management of knowledge resources
Effective Knowledge management directly leads to the development of organizations. It deals with the real world execution including organizational adaptation, survival and competence against environmental changes. It focuses on doing the right things instead of doing things right.
Ongoing training programme of KFCÂ© mentioned above is a good example of the organization’s effort to manage knowledge resources. Apart from the training programme, KFCÂ© introduces its members regular performance reports to seek developmental potentials. Through this process, workers can be aware of their company’s position in the market and will be motivated or instructed to find a solution for development. Senior members of the KFCÂ© also take part in seminars and conferences for technical and strategic breakthrough. These activities allow them to manage their sub-groups more efficiently.
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In an organization where teams of human resources are needed to achieve goals and provide innovative products and services, effective team communication is crucial; this is called group dynamics. It is also the ways each person functions to create in total a corporative atmosphere and achieve common goal. The KFCÂ© has appreciated the concept of the importance of individual’s thinking and meaning to produce collective team thinking and has quoted: “For us, diversity is not a target – it’s a way of life and a way of doing business. Everyone can and does make a difference in our organization” (Yum! Brands, Inc.) The organization believes in the importance of “actively seeking diversity” (Yum! Brands, Inc.) in everyone, meaning that everyone has the potential to participate in solving problems, servicing customers and creating richer culture for the work environment.
In a diverse group, of both culture and character, it is easy to have disagreements and conflicts that may need to be managed rather than ignored. In reaction to such problem, the concept called norms can be put to action; norms are the expectations for behavior of all members working within the team (Renz and Greg, 2000) – in other words ground rules for teams. Explicit norms will make it easier for members to commit to appropriate behavior and avoid unnecessary conflict. (ChaseP, 2003, íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 169)
Table 1, below, shows some possible norms that could be considered by a team that values consensus decision making and wants its members to feel secure enough to express feelings and reveal thought. In other words, norms of high trust and openness to others’ ideas are vital for team learning, and ensure that the team’s energy and intelligence are not wasted (ChaseP, 2003, íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 169).
Table 1: Possible norms to encourage openness.
Start and finish on time.
Attend all meetings.
Maintain confidentiality. Note anything you regard as confidential to ensure that it is not discussed outside the meeting.
Make sure we understand what we will each do and bring to the next meeting.
See one another as equal, i.e. set seniority aside.
See differences as an asset.
Avoid blaming one person.
Learn from mistakes.
(ChaseP, 2003, íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 388)
“A meeting is the only place a group really exists and takes action as a group, not just as separate individuals” (Schemerhorn, 1989) (ChaseP, 2003)
There are number of advantages that meetings provide:
An opportunity to share ideas and information and contribute one’s thought before a decision is made.
A ‘human face’ for the organization.
Interaction between members and solutions to problems can be offered productively.
Opportunities to co-ordinate and co-operate.
Increase individuals’ acceptance, build morale, commitment, and create a sense of belonging.
For something that produces vast outcomes, board meetings are held only less than ten times annually; therefore, it is important to balance the structure of the meetings and manage interaction effectively and efficiently.
The importance of correct orientation within the board meetings is appreciated by the KFCÂ© and conducts responsibility:
In preparation for meetings, Directors are advised to review the materials that are sent to Directors in advance of those meetings. The Board believes it is critical for members to have materials on topics to be discussed sufficiently in advance of the meeting date and for Board members to be kept abreast of developments between Board meetings (Yum! Brandsinc., íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 6). This makes sure everyone understands the meeting’s purpose and ensures the meeting is both productive and satisfying.
To make the meeting more productive, the committee may request any officer or employee of the Company or the Company’s outside counsel or independent auditors to attend a meeting of the committee (íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 2). This encourages diversity among the meeting participants and sharing of free and useful ideas.
The full Board should engage in discussions on strategic issues and ensure that there is sufficient time devoted to Director interchange on these subjects (íŽ˜ì´ì§€: 7).
Stakeholders for a corporate would include employees, employers, suppliers, customers, society, shareholders, etc. who can affect or be affected by the actions of the business. The interests for each stakeholder are different, and it is for the corporate to appropriately reach them.
Like almost every other corporate in the world, KFCÂ© uses internet website http://www.kfc.com/ to reach all its stakeholders at least for the initial phase, such as contact.
For the customers, the comprehensive interests, such as the “value, quality, customer care and ethical products” (Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia), are guided in the KFCÂ© homepage within the Nutrition link. Legible guides to nutrition, chicken food allergies and exchange list (a meal planning system developed by dietitians primarily for people with diabetes (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC)) are targeted for customers.
For suppliers, the Supplier Code of Conduct is on display in the Social Responsibility link. Compliance with Laws and Regulations, Employment Practices, Audit and Inspections, and Application (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC) are explained in detail.
For the benefit of the society, Packaging and the Environment, and Animal Welfare Program are explained as well. In the details are shown: KFCÂ©’s “commitment to the environment as [they] are to [their] food and customers” (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC), and “the humane treatment of animals” (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC) that involves “a farm level audit program leading in the areas of poultry care and handling” (Â©Copy Right 2010 KFC).
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For the network between the corporate and the people outside the business, communication is open to be reached through the contact revealed in the Contact Us link. KFCÂ© promotes its openness in inviting new employees for numerous positions, such as assistant managers, general manager, shift supervisor and team members, to join their family. Videos filmed by current employees that reflect on their life at KFCÂ© are available for everyone to watch on their site, allowing second-hand experience prior to applying.
In a popular, global scale corporate like KFCÂ©, a community is formed with every individual who take part in the business, from customers to CEO. In such vast community, communication performs a very important role in allowing a fluent and efficient production of goods and services.
A good communication is also required in order to exchange information between people with same interest and different culture. Because KFCÂ© appreciates the need for cultural diversity in its corporate, their attention to communication among employees is underscored.
Punctual meetings are needless to say and are met every time, as compulsory, with bold pre-notification. To make the meetings as productive as possible, many means are incorporated.
The means to avoid conflict within the company required a special form of communication called ‘norms’. This allowed a civilized compromise to take place between people with different ideas, leading to even better result.
Good means of communication within a corporate brings satisfaction to the customers’ needs and the business.
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