Wal-MartStores, Inc., headquartered in Bentonville, AR, was founded on July2, 1962, by Samuel Moore Walton and James Lawrence Walton. It is amultinational organization that engages in wholesale and retail,offering employment to 2.3 million people globally (Cox,2012).The company conducts its business through three business segmentsnamely Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam`s Club (Schuetz,2015).Dealing with digital retail and retail store operations in the UnitedStates, Walmart U.S is run by 1.4 million employees in roughly 50states in the country. It also provides financial services andrelated products including prepaid cards, money orders, bill payment,check cashing and wire transfers (Kampf,2007).The Walmart International segment is divided into wholesale, retailand other business dealings outside the United States. Located inover 27 countries, the segment`s main operations includesupermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, cash and carry, andwarehouse clubs, among others (Schuetz,2015).The Sam’s Club, which comprises of samsclubs.com andmembership-only warehouse clubs, provides specialty services,business support services, auto buying, tire and battery centers,optical, pharmacy and hearing aid centers (Kampf,2007).
TheWalmart management views its employees as business associates and,therefore, has since its establishment, operated on a uniquecommunication philosophy. The management ensures that employeesobtain first-hand information before it is released and published inmedia and the internet (Schuetz,2015).It, therefore, emphasizes on direct communication with its employees,making them feel valued and heard by the senior management (Kampf,2007).In Walmart, the management encourages the idea of employees beingopen and providing first-hand information to the executives, makingit easier for the leaders to address the issues of their associateswith realistic solutions. Employees are also allowed to voice theirconcerns and ideas that could assist the managers to improve storeoperations.
Likemost business organizations, Walmart communication plan has goals forboth internal and external audiences which are meant to conveyinformation and prompt the recipient to react. By establishing clearand efficient internal communication plan, the management aims atrealizing a more productive workforce by providing employees withconsistent, accurate, and regular information about Walmart’sbusiness goals and objectives (Schuetz,2015).The plan also ensures that duties are assigned, their deadlinesagreed to and issues brought to light and handled accordingly. Inaddition, it is meant to create and maintain a sense of trust betweenthe senior management and the employees as well as reduce turnover(Kampf,2007).On the other hand, the company’s plan for external communicationaims at creating a positive relationship between Walmart and itscustomers, increasing customer satisfaction, and staying ahead oftheir trends and demands. For example, Walmart’s Web Site has beenupdated to include the latest problems and controversial topics inorder to enable the top management to obtain the facts from thepublic and respond to critics (Huang,2013).
Communicationto Target audience
Beingan organization that targets male and female customers of various agecategories, Walmart’s communication plan has established differentvalues, benefits, and features communicated to specific audiencesegments through specific routes. As a multinational company thatdeals with customers and employees from different ethnic groups, thecompany’s communication plan puts into consideration the culturaldiversity and the assortment of communication languages in differentcountries and regions (Kampf,2007).As a way of upholding effective communication, Walmart providestraining in the various cultures where it runs its business. Thetraining not only involves employees but also includes the managerswho are the company’s success pillar (Cox,2012).In addition, despite its targeting customers of different agesthrough its marketing communication messages, Walmart’scommunication plan pays particular attention to young clients,categorized as Generation X (Huang,2013).This is because of the strategic significance of obtaining theloyalty of young clients for long-term perspectives (Cox,2012).Besides the promise of low prices, the company attracts young peoplethrough the effectual integration of social media such as Facebook,Twitter, and YouTube into its communication plan, a strategy that hasproved to be fruitful so far.
CommunicationTools and Channels
Walmartincorporates a broad range of communication tools which includee-mails, newsletters, brochures, conferences, reports, e-blasts, andemployee meetings, among others. Other than the regular emailcommunication among the executives as well as employees in thedifferent departments and locations, the company has included anemail address on its website to enable effective communication withconsumers from different parts of the world[ CITATION Cra14 l 1033 ].Having a management that values oral communication, the company holdsemployee meetings where organizational goals and activities arecommunicated, different issues raised and discussed and the staffvoice their decisions regarding the company’s operations. Inaddition, Walmart launches various conferences globally that aremeant to deepen the connection with consumers, strengthenrelationships with stakeholders and vendors, and solidifyprofessional and educationallinks (Walmart, 2017). Through various reports, the company keeps itsinternal and external audiences updated on its activities andachievements.
Walmart’scommunication channels include public relations venues, internal andexternal websites and speeches from management. While Walmart’sexternal website gives a channel through which consumers cancommunicate various issues to the organization, the company’sinternal website provides a forum through which the employeesexchange ideas among themselves and well with the top management [ CITATION Cra14 l 1033 ].Besides, the top management can privately hold important discussionsthrough the company’s internal private Web site (Barbaro, 2016).The company has also secured various public relations venuesincluding the Fox News, through which the management passesinformation to the public (Harrington, 2014).
Itis important for the organization to hold meetings with its employeesin order to discuss the plan. During the meeting, the managementshould anticipate various emotions and be ready to handle thesituation to realize a successful meeting. Therefore, it is importantfor the team to have skills in the ways of reading and responding tovarious emotions as well as be in a position to resolve any conflictsin the course of the meeting. In addition, the management should beable to seek approval and ensure that everyone involved feelscomfortable with the plan.
Thispresentation provides information on reading the emotions of theemployees, dealing with any negative responses towards the plan andfinding approval for the plan. The three are key to ensuring thatboth the management and the employees work as a team in realizing thesuccess of any plan being introduced. A strategy for handling each ofthe issues above is described.
Readingthe emotions of management
Asa way of ensuring that employees are equipped with the ability andskills to read and interpret the emotions of the management andvice-versa, organizations should incorporate training sessions thataim at providing information on emotional intelligent in its trainingprograms. Walmart should recognize the importance of emotionalintelligence among its employees as a way of improving productivity(Goleman,2013).
Accordingto Goleman(2013), trainingemployees on emotional intelligence enables them to:
Read other people’s emotions through their body language such as facial expressions and tone.
Reason validly about messages being communicated through various emotions
Perceive, evaluate and manage their emotions
Stay composed when reacting to emotional situations
Through the training, employees acquire skills on self-awareness, relationship management, self-management and social competence.
Dealingwith any negative responses
Itis common to experience conflicts during organizational meetings.This can be due to the members’ diverse opinions or interests onthe topic of discussion. As a result, the organization requires astrategy that incorporates the different ways to resolve possibleconflicts during the meeting (Carpenter,2013).The strategy should be geared towards dealing with negative responsesor emotions to the plan.
Depersonalization – Focusing on what one party disagrees with rather than the member who is proposing the revolting plan
Questioning – Encourage members to provide information instead of simply stating that they are uncomfortable or disagree with the plan.
Reducing the perceived threat by supplying the correct information and clearing up the unknowns.
-Faultyand incomplete information regarding the plan is likely to lead to asituation whereby it is viewed as a threat (Carpenter,2013).
Findingapproval for the plan
Inorder to obtain approval for the plan, the management requires astrategy that ensures that any negative emotions are overcometherefore resulting in a win-win situation for everyone involved. Theapproach aims at making certain that the people involved do not feelforced to accept the proposer’s point of view but are comfortablewith the final decision and therefore work as a team (Behfar,2008).
Communicate the benefits of the plan- Enables employees see the importance of the plan
Welcome criticisms on the plan- allow others to voice suggestions on the areas that they feel require modification
Encourage members to clarify on what needs to be altered to make the plan more agreeable.
Wal-MartStores, Inc. headquartered in Bentonville, AR, offers employment to2.3 million people globally. Conducting business through its threesegments, the multinational firm provides numerous services andproducts. The company has a unique communication philosophy thatemphasizes on direct communication with its employees, making themfeel valued and heard by the senior management. The goals of theorganization’s communication plan include creating and maintaininga sense of trust between the senior management and creating apositive relationship between Walmart and its customers, increasingcustomer satisfaction, and staying ahead of their trends and demands.As a multinational company that deals with customers and employeesfrom different ethnic groups, the company’s communication plan putsinto consideration the cultural diversity and the assortment ofcommunication languages in different countries and regions. Walmart’scombination of communication tools and channels are effective inrealizing the company’s goals.
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