For many of us it is a much loathed thing, being the inspiration to many sick-notes and Monday-morning suicide attempts. However long it is put off we all must face it at some point in our lives, whether it be to pay for that sparkling, new Porsche or to pull our eyes away from the daytime antics of the Happy Days crew. Work, being the basis of our future will probably be at a constant rate until we finally receive the golden watch of retirement. Myself being of an age where I need not be fully self-sufficient, as of yet I have not fully immersed myself within the world of the laborious, I bide my time until I deem it necessary to work.
In this article I will attempt to somewhat analyse my week of work experience and try to answer some of the questions based around the workplace and environment. For my week of work experience I had decided to venture into the world of commerce and sales by working in a shop. The shop I had chosen was ‘Just Add Water’, which was in the centre of Bath. ‘Just Add Water’ is a private limited company, dealing in clothes and accessories for outdoor sports and leisure activities. The business is in the tertiary sector of industry and employs around ten to fifteen people, males making up most of the workforce.
The company is a relatively new one having been established for just less than two years now but they still manage to practically monopolise the leisure gear market in bath. My main duty during the week was to keep a watch over the children’s section of the shop, dealing with customer requests and questions as well as arranging new stock and putting security tags on the clothes. With the help of the computer I was usually able to find the correct size that a customer had wanted from the stock room and guide them to the changing rooms.
I found that one of the most important skills in this area of work is that of being able to talk to complete strangers as if they were lifelong friends, at first I struggled with the prospect of having to talk in a positive way to people I had never met before but I soon began to feel at ease when helping out around the shop. Many of the employees there had been working since the shop opened and there were also some newcomers who were still learning the ropes.
From talking to the workers I learned that the work environment is very friendly and relaxed but under the surface every person is a vital link in the chain, working hard to meet target takings for the day and budgets for the month. The induction that I received was rather brief but covered all of the main issues; a tour of all floors, instructions for a fire emergency and a quick tutorial of how to look up stock on the computer. In this line of work I do not expect there to be ‘off the job’ training because the task being performed is quite straightforward and easy to pick up from fellow colleagues.
Training is an important part of introducing new employees to the work environment; firms train new staff so that the tasks that are covered can be done successfully and as efficiently as possible, this means that new employees should make no more mistakes than the employees who have had a lot of time to get used to the firm. A crucial part of running a business such as this would be the communication within the organisation and with branches that are spread around the country.
Individuals in a firm need to communicate between themselves so that the running of the shop is smooth but brisk, so that customers are not left waiting on the shop floor. In the event of an emergency, employees need to give clear instructions to everyone around them so that no tragedies will occur. Communicating between individuals in a firm is called internal communication, this is used mainly to exchange information person to person but there are also staff meetings and memos, which are used to inform all personnel of changes in the business on a personal level.
With a business that has branches throughout Britain, much communication is needed between the stores. Communication between sections within a company is called external communication, used over large distances to regulate prices and stocks with any other branch. This communication can be done using a variety of means that are fairly recent in their arrival; telephone calls, letters and e-mails can be used to share information. A company Ethernet can provide instant access to stock data or prices instantly, a resource that is valued highly in commerce.
From my week at ‘Just Add Water’ I have learned just how chaotic things can get behind closed doors in a shop. I have enjoyed many of the tasks that were set for me but mainly I enjoyed feeling like I was part of team where everyone’s goal was equal. I felt that in the company customers were treated very well, all of the employees were efficient and very helpful to each other. An improvement they could make to the business would be to have some way of getting the employees’ feedback about their work environment and what changes could benefit the store.
This will improve the staff morale by making them fell as if they’re being listened to and also improve any areas of the store that aren’t just right. As a conclusion I would say that my experience was a good one due to the fact that it opened my mind to what goes on beneath the fai?? ade of a retail outlet, as a customer everything seems to run so smoothly but now I have an insight into what has to happen for that to work. Even though I did enjoy myself I have found that a career as a shop assistant is not the one for me, I now know that I’m much more suited to a job behind a desk.