Internal Communication in [pic] Improving the internal communication within the Eurest division in Holland Casino Utrecht Student:Saskia Roose Studentnr. : 20022355 Supervisor: Mr. B. Van der Sluijs Date:June 2009 The Hague School of European Studies Executive Summary A recent employees satisfaction audit, showed that the employees of Eurest in Holland Casino Utrecht were very dissatisfied about ‘communication’. Though, when I asked them they could not describe the exact problem and if I would ask what needed to change for them in order to improve the communication they did not know.
The goal of this thesis is to improve and optimize the internal communication for Compass in Holland Casino Utrecht by finding out what the needs of the employees are in regard to the internal communication. The central question is: ‘How can the internal communication of Compass Group in Holland Casino Utrecht be improved in order to fulfill the needs and expectations of its employees? ’ Research methods that are used are desk research, a group discussion with employees, interviews with floor managers and supervisors and an internal ommunication survey. The research starts with evaluating the current internal communication situation. Views on the situation from both employees as management are taken into consideration. The communication survey is used to provide insight on the needs and expectations from the employees concerning the internal communication. At the end recommendations on improving the current communication means is given and a new communication structure is composed. Conclusions from the research are: The currently used communication means are not sufficient for providing information to all employees - More attention needs to be paid to the bottom-up communication (meetings and performance reviews) - Communication between the management team needs to be improved - Employees need more types of information Table of contents Introduction 1 Motive to do the research 1 Research goal 1 Central question 2 Sub questions 2 Justification of research methods 2 Organization of thesis 3 1. Theory 4 1. 1 Internal communication 4 1. 2 Functions 4 1. 3 Types of information 5 1. 4 Communication flows 5 1. 5 Communication means 6 . Company profile 8 2. 1 Compass Group 8 2. 2 Eurest in Holland Casino Utrecht 8 2. 3 Organizational Structure 9 2. 4 Employees 9 2. 5 Leadership Style10 2. 6 Organizational culture10 2. 7 Problem11 3. Internal Communication Situation Analyses13 3. 1 Internal Communication13 3. 2 Interviews Floor Managers and Supervisors16 3. 2. 1 Floor managers16 3. 2. 2 Supervisors17 3. 3 Audit results18 3. 3. 1 Overall satisfaction18 3. 3. 2 Information need18 3. 3. 3 Communication means19 3. 3. 4 Meetings21 3. 3. 5 Performance reviews22 3. 3. 6 Contact with manager22 4. Conclusions23 5. Recommendations27 List of References32 Appendices33
Introduction "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. " George Bernard Shaw Motive to do the research Next to my study at HEBO, I have been working as a waitress for Compass Group in Holland Casino Utrecht for more than 4 years. After the latest employee satisfaction survey (appendix X) concluded that one of the things my colleagues were most dissatisfied about was ‘communication’, I was curious to find out what was wrong. I often had heard complaints about not getting information, but when I asked specifically what they thought the problem was, nobody really had an answer.
I decided that this was a good subject to do my thesis about. Why were the employees so dissatisfied with the internal communication and what could be done about it? I asked the location manager if they had an internal communication plan, which they had not. I explained to him that I had to write a communication plan to finish my studies at HEBO. As I referred to the bad score communication made on the last employee satisfaction research and the signals that I had picked up from my co-workers, he agreed that it would be a good idea to make an analyses of the communication structure.
Research goal The goal of this thesis is to find out what the bottlenecks in the communications flows are in order to improve and optimize the internal communication for Eurest in Holland Casino Utrecht, to provide a clear view on the effectiveness of the communication means that are being used and to find out what the needs of the employees are in regard to the internal communication. With my recommendations I hope to contribute to a positive change in the internal communication, so that the employees feel better informed and will be more involved in the organization.
Central question ‘How can the internal communication of Compass Group in Holland Casino Utrecht be improved in order to fulfill the needs and expectations of its employees? ’ Sub questions • What is the current internal communication situation? • Which communication means are being used and how effective are they? • What are the bottlenecks in the current internal communication? • What is the information need of the employees? • How would the employees like to receive information? • How can the current communication means be made more effective? What can be done to improve the internal communication structure within the Eurest department in Holland Casino Utrecht? Justification of research methods To find an answer to the central question, I used several research methods: a literature study, desk research, a group discussion, interviews and a survey. Next to that working in the casino myself already gave me a good view on the situation. Informal talks with my colleagues were also a great source of information, they gave me insight in the perspective of the employees as well as the management team.
The literature study is based upon several books and articles that provided information about the importance of internal communication in organizations. As there was no internal communication plan present, I wanted to stress the importance of internal communication, its functions and goals. The theory illustrates what kind of information employees need in an organization and which means can be used to distribute this information and apply this to the situation in the Compass department in Holland Casino Utrecht.
Subsequently desk research uncovered the current internal communication structure and the communication and deliberation means which are being used. A group discussion helped me to get a better insight on how the employees viewed the problem. With a small group of employees I discussed their information need and effectiveness of the current communication with the management. I asked the where they thought lied the problem and what should change to improve the effectiveness of the communication? The interviews with the floor managers and supervisors had the same purpose: providing insight on how the management looked at the problem.
Did they even think there was a problem and what was going wrong if there was? I asked the same questions to both groups, employees and managers, so I could easily find similarities and differences. The results of the discussion group and interviews with floor managers and supervisors were the basis of questionnaire which all employees could fill in. Transcripts of the discussion group and interviews can be found in appendices I - VII. To conduct the survey I made a questionnaire. It contains mainly closed questions with the opportunity to give comments. It consisted of five different parts: General information - Information need - Communication means (written communication means) - Deliberation forms (verbal communication means) - Personal information As employees do not use a computer at work, it was more effective to let them fill in the questionnaire by hand. The questionnaire can be found in appendix VIII. 36 of the 55 employees returned the survey. This brings the response of the questionnaire to over 65%. Unfortunately, a great number of employees did not want to fill in yet another questionnaire or were just too busy with their work.
The results of the survey can be found in appendix IX. Organization of thesis The first chapter provides a theoretical framework for finding an answer to the central question. In the second chapter the company is introduced and a more in-depth description of the problem is given. The third chapter gives an overview of the current internal communication situation, based on desk research and interviews with the floor managers and supervisors followed by the results of the communication survey. The fourth chapter contains the conclusions, followed by recommendations in chapter 5. 1.
Theory To obtain an answer to the central question of this thesis it is important to understand what internal communication is. In this chapter the importance of internal communication and its functions are explained. Subsequently a description is given of the types of information employees need to be able to function in an organization. After that an overview of the components (communication flows and means) that are necessary to ensure effective communication are described at the end of the chapter. 1. 1 Internal communication Koeleman (2008) describes internal communication as: the intentional production of messages that can be received and interpreted. This process takes place within an organization in an informational and relational context that shapes the significance of messages? Internal communication is vital if an organization is to function properly: cooperation assumes exchange of information; motivation is an important factor to achieve quality and can be improved by communication; processes of change cannot do without communicative support. (Vos & Schoemacher, 2001, p. 81) To ensure effective internal communications it is important to have a clear, concise and consistent communication structure.
The internal communication structure is the whole of deliberation forms, channels (flows) and (digital) means that are available within an organization along which information exchange and dialogue can take place. (Koeleman,2008, p. 5) 1. 2 Functions Internal communication has 4 main functions. Koeleman (2008) describes them as: 1. ) to facilitate work processes (task information): information about what to do and how to do it; 2. ) to motivate and create commitment amongst employees; 3. ) to aim the organization and to intensify the identification (policy information): information about the joint goals and course of the organization. 4. to optimize the use of knowledge available in the organization (knowledge management): the creation of a work environment where everyone is stimulated to handle and share knowledge; (p. 19) 1. 3 Types of information To be able to function within an organization, employees need certain types of information. It is important to make the distinction between different types of information. Task information is all the information that supports the primary process in the organization. Employees need to cooperate in order to perform their work properly. For example work instructions, working procedures, problems with machines or materials etc. Policy information is information about policies and organization, in which direction is the company going and why? For example a new mission of the organization, reorganization, new projects etc. ; Management information is information about the progress the company is making. For example results, figures and customer satisfaction etc. ; Social information is Information about the social policy and personnel information. For example house rules, new and leaving employees, information about pensions etc. (Reijnders, 2006, p. 126) 1. 4 Communication flows All the information that is send out in an organization flows in different directions.
Figure 1. gives o good overview (Koeleman, 2008, p. 26) Vertical communication is communication between superiors and employees from different hierarchical levels. This can be top-down, from superior to employee, as well as bottom-up, from employee to superior. Horizontal communication is communication between people that work on the same level in the organization, like meetings or discussions. Diagonal communication takes place between employees who work on a different level and on a different department. Line communication is the communication along the hierarchical lines in the organization.
The upper management provides the middle management information that they need to pass on to the operational staff. With parallel communication information can directly be send to all employees from a central point in the organization, so that everyone receives the same information. Meetings or internal magazines are means that can be used with parallel communication. Formal communication is communication through the formal communication network, This could be a meeting or a memo, but it always contains official information. Informal communication is the social contact that employees have outside the formal network.
Informal communication cannot be controlled, but is an important part of the total communication. 1. 5 Communication means Organizations can use various communication means to send information to members of the organization. Choosing the right instrument to transport messages is important to achieve the objectives that have been set. Usually, organizations use a combination of communication instruments, so that a communication mix exits. We can distinguish three categories of internal communication instruments: 1. ) Verbal ( group discussion, conversation, performance review, staff meeting, kick-off meeting, brainstorm session) 2. Written ( newsletter, memo, internal magazine, notice board, poster, year report) 3. ) Digital & audiovisual ( intranet, e-mail, weblogs, podcasts) Personal (verbal) communication is the most effective form of communication. (Koeleman,2008, p. 26) It gives the people involved the opportunity to give direct feedback to what the other person is saying. Employees frequently prefer personal over non personal information. Even though as effective personal communication might be, organizations often choose written and digital communication means (non personal communication) to get information to their personnel.
The advantages are that a larger group of people can be reached in the same time and that the information can be read again. It is cheaper and it takes less time than personal information, but there is no space to give feedback and the sender can never be certain if everyone really received and read the information. 2. Company profile In this chapter, a brief description of the parent company is given. Subsequently the Eurest division is presented and more in-depth description of the communication problem is given. 2. 1 Compass Group
Compass Group is a world(wide) market leader that provides food and a range of support services for over 5 million customers every day. In the Netherlands Compass Group is known by the brand names Eurest and Medirest. Both are specialized in foodservices. Eurest provides food and catering services to a wide range of companies from schools to prisons and from theme parks to big events. Medirest offers her services to companies in the social service sector (http://www. compass-group. nl/over-ons/). 2. 2 Eurest in Holland Casino Utrecht Eurest provides their service to three of the fourteen establishments of Holland Casino.
They focus on all the food and beverage activities within these casino’s. One of the establishments is Holland Casino Utrecht where Eurest set up their own vision and values. Eurest Horeca / Holland Casino Utrecht’s vision: ‘To exceed the expectations of the guests of the casino with our products and services, every day again. ’ This mission is propagated by the values the location manager has set up: • Teamwork • Observing procedures • Fun • Eye for detail • Transparency • Integrity The management team added: • Keep your promise • Mention the positive, not only the negative • Openness • Understanding • Acceptance Commerciality 2. 3 Organizational Structure [pic] Fig. 2. Organizational chart 2. 4 Employees The Eurest division in Holland Casino Utrecht currently employs over 80 employees. This includes the kitchen and waiting staff and the employees from the company restaurant. The chef (kitchen manager) is the manager of the kitchen, the dishwashing and the company restaurant. Furthermore, five floor managers have their own unit which they are responsible for. These units are the bars inside the casino. All together there are seven bars in the casino. Every unit has a supervisor, who is responsible for the functioning of the unit.
This thesis will further only discuss the internal communication between the waiting staff and the management team because this group indicates to have the most problems concerning communication. 2. 5 Leadership Style The management style is best described as a persuading style, which is characterized by a lot of support and control (Vos & Schoemacher, 2001, p. 93). Floor managers focus on the performance of tasks, but are also very human orientated. Every floor manager, as well as the location manager, uses the leadership style ‘management by walking around ’ (Vos & Schoemacher, 2001, p. 94).
By walking around on the work floor they keep in contact with the employees. It gives them a clear view on what is happening inside the casino and it gives the employees the opportunity to give feedback or ask questions. 2. 6 Organizational culture Erik Rijnders (2008) describes organizational culture as follows: ‘Organizational culture is comprised of the norms and values of an organization, the way that the members of the organization interact with each other, with assignments and tasks, with their superiors and subordinates, with external developments and with developments in time’ (p. 7). Eurest employees are bound to strict rules and regulations in respect of working procedures, handling money and interaction with casino guests. The casino expects great service for its guests. Therefore observing procedures, eye for detail and commerciality are some of the most important values of Eurest. An interesting part of the culture is that though the employees work for Eurest, they seem to have more affinity with Holland Casino. If you would ask employees where they work, almost everyone will say ‘at Holland Casino’ instead of ‘at Compass Group’.
Even though working procedures are very formal, the interaction between co-workers and floor managers is very informal. Eurest observes an open communication culture where everyone can speak their mind. As seen in the values of the organization, openness is encouraged and employees will address a colleague or floor manager when a problem occurs. 2. 7 Problem In the last employee satisfaction survey ‘communication’ scored below average. It was one of the points that the employees were the most discontented about. Some remarks that were made by employees: - ‘Communication for part timers needs to be improved.
When you cannot attend the briefing, because you start at a different time, you miss out on important information’ - ‘Employees do not feel taken serious’ - ‘I feel badly informed’ - ‘I don’t get feedback to my questions’ The employee satisfaction survey can be found in appendix X. In personal conversations with employees I asked them they thought what was wrong with the communication. Some of the answers were: - ‘Managers do not listen. ’ - ‘If I ask a question, I never get an answer. ’ - ‘If I cannot attend the briefing, I do not get the information’ - ‘They never tell me anything around here’
These statements show that there are problems in the internal communication. One of the difficulties in the casino is that because the casino is open from 12 in the afternoon until 3 in the morning, employees and managers work in shifts that start on different times during the day. Because of the different shifts, it frequently happens that employees and/or floor managers do not see each other for a few days, which obstructs the communication. An often heard complaint is that floor managers forget to give feedback on questions and that employees do not feel taken serious.
They feel unmotivated and uncommitted, which this results in a high turnover. Another problem is that information does not reach every employee. When employees are not present at the briefing they miss out on the information that is provided and memo’s are often not read. Employees declare that they frequently do not know about new information. The management team also seems to have a problem in their communication. One of the conclusions from the satisfaction survey is that the management team itself is not well informed. Managers send out different and confusing messages as not every manager is up to date.
What is making it difficult for the management team is that there is no communication plan and there are no objectives. Furthermore there has never been any research done after the effectiveness of the communication means that are currently in use or to the information need of the employees. So far four main communication bottlenecks can be identified: - There is no internal communication policy - Shift work makes communication difficult - Information does not get through to all employees - Management team itself has trouble with communication 3. Internal Communication Situation Analyses
This chapter will discuss the current internal communication in the Eurest department in Holland Casino Utrecht. First the communication system and the means that are used will be illustrated. After that the floor managers and supervisors perspectives will be discussed in reference to the interviews. Subsequently, the results from the internal communication audit will be given. 3. 1 Internal Communication Because Eurest is only a small division of Compass Group it does not have its own communication department. The management team arranges all communication to the employees itself.
There is no communication policy, but a mix of tools is used to send information. If you want the internal communication to function well, you need to have a clear basic structure. Employees and managers have to be familiar with the channels and methods of this basic structure. The basic package is used to send out different types of information that employees need. It has to be suitable for top-down-, bottom-up-, horizontal and diagonal communication (Koeleman, 2008, p. 95). To analyze the basic internal communication structure I used a media/content matrix (fig. ) (Koeleman, 2008, p 97). This matrix gives a clear overview of the communication means that are used, the type of information that is send, the sender of the message and the frequency. The data in the matrix are based on desk research, interviews with floor managers and the answers of the discussion meeting. The briefing and memo’s are the most important communication instruments. In the briefing floor managers provide mainly task information for the night or day ahead, but policy and social information is also given during these briefings.
Briefings are moments when there is personal contact with the floor manager (top-down) and for employees there is the opportunity to ask questions or make comments (bottom-up). The problem with the briefing is that during the day employees start at different shifts, but only the employees that start at 12:00h and 19:00h can attend the briefings. Briefing reports were used before to give employees that start at other times the possibility to read the briefing information. Though the management has stopped handing out these reports because they thought the employees were not interested.
In addition there were problems with the distribution of the reports to the units as employees frequently forgot to take them with them to their unit. Unfortunately now a large part of the employees misses important information. Memo’s are used to send out policy and social information. Sometimes they are used to provide task information as well. There are several places that are used by the management to place a memo. In most cases a memo is put on the folder in every unit. Supervisors also use the folder to place memo’s about specific information about the unit that is ot relevant to members of other units. Other places are the pigeon holes of the employees and the notice board in the kitchen. A problem with memo’s is that employees are often not aware that there is a new memo. Holland Casino Utrecht and Compass both publish internal magazines every two and three months. Though in personal conversations with employees and even floor managers, I found that the Compass magazine (‘Dienblad’) is thrown away without reading it because the information is not relevant to the Eurest employees in the casino. Om de Tafel’ (Internal magazine HC Utrecht) is being read, but as it is primarily made for casino employees, it contains more information about the casino than about Eurest. Meetings should be held four times a year. They create involvement and are important to motivate employees. Meetings are the only moments that the unit teams are complete and problems can be discussed with the whole team. Unfortunately, not every unit meets four times a year. It is remarkable that in these times Eurest uses only one digital communication means, e-mail, and that it is only used to send work schedules to the employees.
Furthermore I noticed that there are no parallel communication means. This means that there is no way of directly sending information to all employees. Management is dependent on spreading information by memo’s and briefings, which do not reach all employees. 3. 2 Interviews Floor Managers and Supervisors To get a complete view and to hear about the managements point of view on the situation I conducted interviews with the floor managers and two of the deputy managers. Not only the communication between management and employees was discussed, but also the communication between the management team itself. . 2. 1 Floor managers Floor managers admit they are not aware of the information need of the employees. They feel they provide information, but notice that a lot of information does not get through to all employees. They claim that different work schedules and shifts work against effective communication, but also think that employees are sometimes just not interested in new information. Another point that comes back in almost every interview are the briefings. The floor managers are aware that the information that is given in the briefing, is only available for the employees that start on that time.
They point out that the briefings do not have a fixed format. Most of the briefing information is task information about the day before and the night or day ahead. But the briefings are also used to provide information about casino activities for guests, policy and social information and important information about changes in working procedures. This information is frequently not repeated in following briefings during the week and briefing reports are not handed out because of the lack of interest from employees. The result is that important information is missed by a large group of the employees.
The contact between the employees and floor managers is perceived as good by all floor managers. They all frequently walk around on the work floor, which gives them the opportunity talk with employees and to discuss problems or ask questions and vice versa. In spite of the good contact between management and employees, the floor managers acknowledge that questions from employees frequently remain unanswered. Another problem that comes up in every interview are the communication problems between the management team.
Because of the different shifts the floor managers team is seldom complete. The management team meets once a month, but these meetings are not structured and are often used as an outlet, which makes it difficult to come to agreements and make decisions. Most of the communication takes place by e-mail and daily reports. Due to the lack of joint deliberation, floor managers take actions without informing their other colleagues, which causes frequent miscommunication. Two floor managers point out that there is a lack of control.
Control from the floor managers and supervisors on employees and work procedures, but also the lack of control and coaching from the location manager on the management team. Results are that without control or evaluation moments new rules or procedures lose vigor and the situation turns back to how it was before. ‘Maintenance’ and ‘making it important’ are often heard terms, but are rarely observed. The floor managers indicate that they have a very work load. Not only do they have to make new policy, they also have to implement, carry out, control and evaluate it.
Without well structured communication it is difficult to inform the whole team about changes and as there is always someone who cannot attend the discussion it is difficult to get support from the whole team. Because of this every floor manager seems to have his or her own objectives that are important to them, which causes confusion amongst the employees. They all agree that they miss someone at the back office that makes and supervises the policy, so they can focus on operational tasks. 3. 2. 2 Supervisors
Both supervisors indicate that the employees do not get enough information. Supervisors receive information by e-mail, but as normal employees do not have a casino e-mail account they do not get this information. The communication means that are currently being used are working sufficiently, but especially in case of the briefings there should be done more to distribute the information to every unit. One of the supervisors points out that there is no communication means that reaches all employees in the same time.
They claim that the contact between the management and employees is going well. Though both floor managers and supervisors should be pay more attention to answering questions. It now frequently happens that someone forgets to get back on a question. In this way needed information gets stuck somewhere along the hierarchical line. To the question of what should change to improve communication they point out that the management should show more discipline in communication towards the employees. Furthermore communication between the supervisors has to be improved.
At the moment there is no team spirit or mutual support. As there are several new supervisors the team has to be rebuilt. In this process they need more coaching from the floor managers. 3. 3 Audit results As the survey was divided in different parts, I will separately discuss the outcome of each subject. 3. 3. 1 Overall satisfaction I started the survey with questions about the overall satisfaction with the communication. A previous employee satisfaction survey from Sjors Vreeswijk showed that communication was one of the points employees were most dissatisfied about.
Based on the answers given in the discussion group, I asked questions about the information provision. It drew my attention that 58,3% of the employees is satisfied with the information they get about their daily tasks and 50% knows where to find the information they need, but over 40% of the employees indicated that they do not always receive the information they need to perform their tasks. Over 36% of the employees are not always up to date about new information and only 22,2% claims they are. Furthermore the figures show a lack of information about Holland Casino and Compass. 8,9% of the respondents did not think they receive enough information about the two organizations, while both companies distribute internal magazines every three months. Positive is that the majority of the respondents feels that there is an open communication culture and that their opinion is being heard. 3. 3. 2 Information need In the interviews with the floor managers, I found that it was not clear to them what the information need of the employees was. The type of information that is send most is task information.
I made a list providing topics of all types of information that could or could not be relevant to the employees and asked how important it was for the employees to receive information about these topics. The information that is considered very important to the employees are customer satisfaction results (63,9%) and professional knowledge about food beverages (55,6%). This is not surprising as these topics are dealt with every day and customer satisfaction are the results of the employees’ work. Information about training or education possibilities (47,2%) and new colleagues are also considered very important.
It is remarkable that 25% of the employees finds information about Compass Group important and an equal 25% finds it unimportant. 33% does not have an opinion about it. Also in their opinion about the importance of information about results from Compass group the employees are divided: 30,6% finds it important information, 30,6% does not find it important or unimportant and 25% finds it unimportant information. Information about the vision and goals (44,4%) and about the results of Eurest in Holland Casino Utrecht (47,2%) are considered as important information that employees would like to receive. 3. 3. 3 Communication means
To establish the effectiveness of the current written communication means, I asked the employees whether it was important to them to attend the briefings. 36,1% agreed very much with this statement and 44,4% also agreed that the briefings were important. 41,7% thinks that the briefings provide sufficient information for them. Over 40% (11,1 + 36,1%) agrees that the information given in the briefing is important to carry out their daily tasks. It caught my attention that almost 40% does not read the briefing report when they cannot attend the briefing, but over 50% indicates that they read it when it is present.
I asked some employees how these numbers were possible. The answer was that the briefing reports often were not handed out by the floor managers or that colleagues who did attend the briefing did not bring it with them to their units. The numbers show that employees think that the internal magazines do not provide relevant information for them. Only 5,6% agrees that the Compass magazine has relevant information against 19,4% for the Holland Casino magazine. 36,1% even totally disagrees with the presence of relevant information in the Compass magazine.
Even though 61% of the employees agrees that memo’s provide sufficient information, 36,1% does not. The motivation that employees give to their negative answer shows that employees often do not get to read new memo’s. Some do not know where to find them and some give as a reason that they just do not know that there is a new memo. Another important question is how employees would like to receive information. I asked them what would be the most effective communication means for receiving information about certain subjects. Because the ommunication means that are currently used are limited, I added communication means that could be good alternatives. In the next figure you can see the most chosen communication means per information topic. I highlighted the briefing and memo in red, the internal magazine and newsletter green, e-mail is blue and presentation is orange. | | |3. Welk communicatiemiddel zou voor jou het meest effectief werken m. b. t. het verkrijgen van informatie over de volgende | |onderwerpen? |Informatie over… Communicatiemiddel % | |Dagelijkse werkzaamheden |Briefing |86. 1% | | |Memo |30. 6% | |Nieuw beleid, procedures en regels |Memo |66. 7% | | |Briefing |63. % | | |E-mail |33. 3% | |Compass Group |Personeelsblad |38. 1% | | |Nieuwsbrief |36. 1% | |Resultaten van het bedrijf (Compass) |Personeelsblad |38. 9% | | |Nieuwsbrief |36. % | |Resultaten van ons bedrijfsonderdeel (Compass in HC Utrecht) |Nieuwsbrief |44. 4% | | |Presentatie |38. 9% | |Visie en doelstellingen Compass |Presentatie |52. 8% | | |Nieuwsbrief |27. 8% | |Vakkennis m. b. t. dranken en gerechten | | | |Workshop/Cursus |86. 1% | |Klanttevredenheid (Mysterie visits) |Memo |66. 7% | | |Briefing |47. 2% | |HACCP Checks |Memo |61. % | | |Briefing |36. 1% | |Acties en activiteiten in het casino |Briefing |50. 0% | | |Memo |50. 0% | | |E-mail |41. 7% | | |Nieuwsbrief |36. % | |Holland Casino Utrecht |Personeelsblad |47. 2% | | |Nieuwsbrief |33. 3% | |Resultaten van het Holland Casino |Personeelsblad |47. 2% | | |Nieuwsbrief |30. 6% | | |Presentatie |27. % | |Opleidingsmogelijkheden |E-mail |47. 2% | | |Memo |38. 9% | | |Nieuwsbrief |36. 1% | |Nieuwe collega’s |Briefing |86. 1% | |Persoonlijke info zoals verjaardagen, geboortes etc. |Personeelsblad |47. % | | |Nieuwsbrief |36. 1% | | |E-mail |50. 0% | | |Memo |44. 4% | |Vacatures |Nieuwsbrief |38. 9% | In figure 4 you can see that employees prefer to receive information that is of direct influence on their day to day activities, in briefings or in a memo.
Also information about customer satisfaction and cleaning checks is preferred to be received in a memo or in the briefing. The largest part of the employees would like to obtain information about Compass Group and Holland Casino (results and other information) in a newsletter or an internal magazine. Though they would like to see the results of the Eurest department and the vision and goals in a presentation. It was surprising to me that the employees did not seem to be very interested in using new communication means.
E-mail is mentioned as a communication means in four of the given topics, concerning new policies, procedures and rules, activities in the casino, training possibilities and vacancies. The newsletter is also a communication means that is not currently used, but would be the means of choice on several topics. 3. 3. 4 Meetings Meetings are an important part of internal communication. It gives employees the possibility to discuss problems they encountered during their work and it increases cooperation and involvement in the organization.
Especially in the Eurest teams, it is one of the few moments a year that the teams are fully complete and are able to have discussions with the whole team present. It is not surprising that 77,7% of the employees thinks that regular meetings are important. In the Eurest department in HC Utrecht, four meetings a year are the standard, though the frequency tends to differ from this standard. Only 13,9% of the employees indicates that their team has four meetings a year. Over 60% of the employees meets less than four times a year. 63,9% of the employees feels that their unit does not meet enough (fig. 5). [pic] 3. 3. 5 Performance reviews
Employees from Eurest get a performance review once year. 44% of the questioned employees replied that this was true. Though the many replies on whether the employees were satisfied with their performance reviews, shows that there are some points for improvement. Most of the respondents that replied they never had a performance review are part-time employees that work for Eurest for over a year and full-timers who work for the organization for less than a year. The 25 percent of the employees that claim they do not get a performance review every year are mainly full-timers who have been working for Eurest for over a year.
This tells me management has to better hold track who has to have a performance review. These personal contact moments with the manager that gives an employee motivation to improve their work and the opportunity to ask questions about their personal development. Temporary employees do not get their performance reviews from Eurest, but from the employment agency they work for. 3. 3. 6 Contact with manager 52,8% of the respondents claims to be satisfied with the support their manager gives them. Though frequent heard complaints are that the manager is often not present on the work floor or just not available.
In addition to this, questions frequently remain unanswered, which causes discontent amongst the employees. 4. Conclusions In this chapter I will draw conclusions from the desk research, interviews with the floor managers and audit results in combination with the theory described in chapter 1. Subsequently I will give recommendations which will be realistic and feasible, so that they can be integrated in the organization. 1. Information provision Do the different media provide sufficient information?
When we look at the media/content matrix on page 15 we can conclude that most of the communication means are used to send task information. The internal magazines also provide other types of information, but the employees indicate that the specific information about Compass Group and Holland Casino does not apply to them. The briefings and memo’s also provide policy and social information. The problem with the briefings is that not every employee can attend the briefings and the information cannot be found somewhere else. Briefing reports are a solution to informing the employees who cannot attend the briefing.
Employees indicate they read the briefing reports when they are present, but because the reports are often not distributed employees do not get the opportunity to read them. Memo’s are read, but still a large group of employees indicates that they are often not aware of any new memo’s. The bottom line is that too many employees do not get the information they need because of failing communication means. Furthermore, the information that is offered is not enough. In the survey employees indicate that they receive enough task information, but they find it important to receive policy and management information as well.
These types of information are often not provided or in many cases, not received. 2. Communication flows Are there enough communication means to assure communication flows in different directions (top-down, bottom-up, horizontal and diagonal)? Within the Eurest department communication flows mostly along the hierarchical lines. The management team and deputy managers provide information to the staff using several communication means. For top-down communication briefings and memo’s are used. Problems with these means is discussed above. Furthermore two internal magazines also provide information.
Nevertheless employees indicate that the information given is these magazines is not relevant to them and that they would like to receive information that is tailored to their situation. The means for bottom-up communication are meetings and performance reviews. Every unit should have meetings four times a year. Unfortunately the survey revealed that most units meet less than determined. By being able to discuss and solve problems with the whole team increases motivation and involvement in the team. Furthermore it gives the team the opportunity to address the floor manager and deputy managers on issues that are playing within the team.
Performance reviews are another more personal means of bottom-up communication which gives an employee the opportunity to discuss their progress with their floor manager. Again employees indicate that they do not have a performance review every year. Floor managers should be better aware of this. Another positive way of enabling bottom-up communication is management by walking around. The floor manager on duty, as well as the operational manager when he’s present, regularly walks around the casino to assess the situation on the work floor and talk with employees.
This gives employees the opportunity to directly address the floor manager when they have any questions or problems. A point of improvement is that frequently questions remain unanswered. Due to the different work shifts it frequently happens that the floor managers in question does not see the employee for several days, especially with part time workers, and forgets to give an answer. Horizontal and diagonal communication mainly takes place through e-mail (management team) and in personal conversations and phone calls on the work floor. Furthermore, it is remarkable that almost no parallel communication means are being used.
Parallel communication increases commitment to the organization and strengthens the organizational culture. These means are especially handful to reach the full staff when sending out important information. Eurest currently does not have a means to reach everyone in the organization in the same time and no central point where employees can look up information. The only digital communication means that is used is e-mail. This is used only for top-down communication to send work schedules to the employees. There are no staff meetings or kick offs where additional information is given to the entire staff. . Management communications The management team currently meets once a month. This is not enough. Because of the different work shifts, the whole team is seldom complete. Horizontal communication between the team flows mainly by e-mail and daily reports. Meetings are not structured and used as an outlet rather as an opportunity to discuss important issues in the organization. Because there are not enough opportunities to meet with the whole team, there is too much miscommunication between the management team, which causes confusion amongst the employees.
From the interviews with the floor managers and supervisors I can further conclude that there is no unity in the team. Again, more frequent and structured management meetings could be the solution to solve this. As currently floor managers take action without consulting the entire team small groups of one to three managers start a project, but as there is no support or control from their colleagues, these projects often are not realized in the end. Important terms are ? maintenance? and ? making it important?. To maintain a certain policy or to make something important, you need the support of the whole management team.
For an organization that is running almost 24/7 it is important to keep communicating if you want everyone to be informed. As one of the supervisors said in his interview: ‘It is important to keep communicating at all times, even when you think it is not important enough. ’ The same counts for the supervisors team. They also say that there is no unity in the team and they as well have meetings only once a month. The supervisors would like to see more coaching from the floor managers as new supervisors are often left to fend for themselves. . Needs and expectations employees Results of the communication survey show that though employees know where to find information, they do not always receive the information that is necessary to perform their work. More than one third of the employees claims not to be up to date about new information. This number is too high! The employees are most interested in receiving information about customer satisfaction, professional knowledge about food and beverages, training and educational possibilities and actions and activities in the casino.
What is remarkable is that they receive information about Compass Group and Holland Casino, but they claim to not receive enough information. When I asked some of the employees about it, they claimed that the information that these magazines provide is not tailored to their situation. The management team mainly provides task information, but from the survey results I can conclude that there is a high need for policy, management and social information as well. In regard to choosing communication means to provide the information, memo’s and briefings are still popular especially for providing task information.
Though for company results about Compass Group, their own Eurest department and Holland Casino employees prefer to receive the information in an internal magazine or news letter. E-mail is also mentioned to be effective for receiving certain types of information. As these are communication means that are currently not being used, it is sensible to look at the possibility of introducing these media to the communication structure. Meetings are considered very important, but should take place more often. In the matter of performance reviews, management has to be better aware of which employees did not had a review yet.
Especially part-time employees claim not to have a performance review each year. 5. Recommendations The following recommendations give an answer to the central question: ‘How can the internal communication of Compass Group in Holland Casino Utrecht be improved in order to fulfill the needs and expectations of its employees? ’ In making these recommendations I looked at the results of the communication audit, theory and findings throughout my research. I will start by discussing how to make the current communication means more effective. Subsequently I will introduce two new communication means.
To give an overview of the new, recommended communication structure I made a new media/content matrix which includes the people who have to take responsibility for the communication means. 1. Briefings The problem with the briefings is that not all employees are able to attend the briefing and miss out on the information that is given. Briefing reports are a good way of providing this information to the employees that could not be there. Employees indicate that they read the reports when they are present, but currently they are often not distributed to every unit.
The management should reinforce the use of the briefing reports and make sure they are distributed to every unit at the end of the briefing. Like this, employees have the opportunity to read the reports and keep up to date with new information. 2. Memo’s As memo’s are the only written means that the management team uses to send other types of information besides task information, it is critical that the memo’s reach all employees. Currently employees often are not aware of new memo’s and miss out on the information that is given.
Memo’s can be found on the folder of every unit or in the pigeon holes of the employees, these places are easily looked over or forgotten as new memo’s are not in clear sight. I would recommend to put the memo’s in a central and more visible place. As employees spend most of their work hours on the units, it would recommendable to hang up notice boards at every unit on a clear and visible place. The notice boards can be used to put up memo’s, briefing reports and other information that is relevant to the unit. The supervisor of the bar should be made responsible to keep the notice board up to date. . Meetings Every unit should have four meetings a year. Though from the survey results I can conclude that this is not the case. Employees feel that the meetings are very important, but they do not meet enough. Well structured and frequent meetings increases involvement of the employees. Four meetings a year is the rule. The floor manager and supervisor of the units are responsible for organizing the meetings and should maintain this number of meetings a year. 4. Performance reviews Performance reviews are held once a year.
The reviews are a point of motivation for the employees as they give feedback to how they work. Some employees indicate that they do not receive a performance review every year. These employees are mainly full-timers who work for Eurest less than a year and part-timers. Floor managers should me better aware of who already had an performance review and who still has to get one. 5. News letter A news letter is currently a communication means that is not being used. Though in the communication survey comes forward that employees would like to receive certain information in an internal magazine or news letter.
Two internal magazines already exist, but Eurest employees claim that they do not provide relevant information. They would like to receive information about Compass, Holland Casino and their own Eurest department in a format that is tailored to their situation and information need. As internal magazines take a lot of time and money, two things that the managers at Eurest do not have, a news letter would be the better option. The news letter should contain: - information about Compass Group that is relevant to the employees - results of the Eurest department in HC Utrecht information about upcoming actions and activities in the Casino - information about upcoming workshops and trainings - social information, such as new and leaving colleagues, vacancies and birthdays I also suggest to send the newsletter by e-mail. In this way employees can read the information at home. All the recommendations made above are based on providing information. If you want employees to have a better understanding of why things happen and why certain decisions have to be made a presentation or kick off are two ways of providing this information. 6. Kick off and presentations
A kick off can be a way of communicating when changes in the organization occur. Presentations can be used to present the annual returns and information about the mission and goals of the coming year. Both communication means are currently not used by the management team. Employees indicate that they would like to receive information about these topics. If the management team wants to create better understanding, I recommend to use a kick off or presentation more often. Like this, the employees receive management and policy information in a personal way that also gives the opportunity to give feedback and ask questions.
The location manager should be responsible for kick offs and presentations. 7. Training and workshops Workshops and trainings are motivating for employees to learn new things, on top of that management shows support by offering employees this extra training. Professional knowledge about food and beverages and customer satisfaction are considered as very important topics by the employees. It increases their knowledge and supports employees in carrying out their work. Currently there are a few trainings and workshops each year.
Some can be followed by all employees and some are specifically for the employees of the restaurant, who need more in-depth knowledge to be able to advise their guests. As employees indicate that these are very important topics to them, I would advise to plan a several workshops each year. 8. Contact management The contact between management and employees is perceived as good on both sides. Because of the management by walking around, managers have frequent personal contact with employees. A point of improvement is giving feedback to questions.
It is too often forgotten to get back to an employee, which causes the feeling of not being taken serious. Questions should be answered the same day. When this is not possible the question can be answered by e-mail as well. 9. Management communication Better communication within the management team can only be reached when there is an opportunity to actually communicate. For an organization that operates almost 24/7 a day it is crucial for the management to have frequent communication moments with the whole team. The management team currently meets once a month.
When meeting only once a month there is too much to discuss and meetings are often closed without making decisions on anything. As a result the meetings are not structured and used as an outlet. It is recommendable to have weekly meetings to improve communication between the management team. It is necessary to keep each other up to date about new developments, improve cooperation between the managers and to have better control and insight on what the members of the team are working on. The meetings have to have a clear structure with fixed items on the agenda that are discussed every week.
In this way it should be possible to discuss problems and come to agreements that are supported by the entire team. Weekly meetings will also provide the opportunity to discuss progress on new projects and schedule controls on certain procedures. The overall communication between the management team can benefit from meeting weekly instead of once a month. 10. New communication structure Currently the briefings and memo’s are used to send out task, policy and social information that is important to all employees. As stated before, these communication means do not reach the whole group and important information is missed.
In the recommendations above, I made suggestions about how to improve the current communication means and how to make the internal communication more effective as whole. To give a clear overview of the newly recommended communication structure I made a new media /content matrix (fig. 6). This matrix gives a clear view on which communication means will be used to send out which type of information, who will be the sender/responsible for the use of the means and how frequent the means will be offered to the employees.
It contains a basic structure with communication means that will provide the largest part of the internal communication. The additional structure contains the media that provide extra information. List of References Compass Group Web site: http://www. compass-group. nl/over-ons/ Eschauzier, L. , (2007) HET ligt aan DE (interne) communicatie. Retrieved Januari 13, 2009, from the Reply to All Web site: http://www. replytoall. nl/corporate-communicatie/het-ligt-aan-de-interne-communicatie/ Hopkins, L. , (2006) What is internal Communication?
Retrieved January 13, 2009, from the Better Communication Results Web site: http://leehopkins. net/2006/07/06/what-is-internal-communication/ Koeleman, H. , (2008) Interne communicatie als managementinstrumen. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer McNamara, C. , (n. d) Basics in Internal Organizational Communications. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from the Free Management Library Web site: http://www. managementhelp. org/mrktng/org_cmm. htm Olsthoorn, A. C. J. M, & Velden, J. H, van der, (2007) Elementaire Communicatie, Strategie - Beleid – Uitvoering. Utrecht/Zutphen: ThiemeMeulenhoff Reijnders, E. (2006) Basisboek Interne Communicatie, Aanpak en achtergronden. Assen: Van Gorcum Vos, M. , & Schoemaker, H. , (2001) Integrated Communication, Concern, Internal and Marketing Communication. Utrecht: Lemma Publishers Vos, M. & Otte, J. & Lindes, P. , (2003) Setting up a Strategic Communication Plan. Utrecht: Lemma Publishers Vreeswijk, S. (2008) Verslag Medewerkerstevredenheidsonderzoek 2008. Utrecht List of Appendices Appendix IInterview J. Polman Appendix IIInterview A. Zinser Appendix IIIInterview J. Rietsnijder Appendix IVInterview H. Kleeftstra Appendix VInterview M. van der Kaaij