Roles and Responsibilities- River Island case study Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 August 2017

Roles and Responsibilities- River Island case study

Roles and Responsibilities

In a business every employee has a position or role within their workplace. A manager is expected to lead his or her employees, a supervisor is assumed to be good at teaching others as they are usually training additional employees. In this section I will explain the different roles and responsibilities a manager, supervisor and an employee may have including their decision making and problem solving techniques involved in their role.

Roles and responsibilities of a Manager:

A River Island manager has many responsibilities; they are responsible for the hiring and training of new staff members. The manager has to read through applications and decide whom to interview. The manager has to decide whether the candidate is right for the job in other words fits in with the shops working environment. The shop manager is also reliable for training all hires in the business’s procedures and policies.

I spoke to River Island shop managers and she informed me that one of her roles as a manager is to manage her staff. A shop manager has to inform all staff members of their working hours and duties within the shop she also has to think about awarding hard-working staff with promotions or bonuses. On the other hand those who fail to accomplish a duty, the manager will warn them under the disciplinary procedures of the company.

In addition a shop manager’s duty is to record and manage all the money that goes into the store. The shop manager must record the amount of money that goes in and out of the store each day, they have to keep track of the store’s spending, and including staffing hours and often distributes pay checks to employees.

Roles and responsibilities of a Supervisor:

A supervisor’s role is to organise the store, a river Island supervisor has to co-ordinate activities of the assigned department, and they usually have to determine how important the activities are on a daily basis. For example an employee who works in the men clothing section in River Island may be assigned the role of organising and cleaning up that department, it is the supervisor’s job to make sure the employee knows this. The supervisor is in charge of making sure that the Sales assistant reports that those jobs are completed for the week. Supervisors have to check the store for cleanliness and ensure that the store display is neat and organized before the store opens. And if the store manager is not available the supervisor steps in to manage the store activities. Supervisors hold staff meetings to discuss issues staff member may have in performing their job within this meeting they discuss changes in routines, clothing offers or discounts.

Roles and responsibilities of an Employee (Sales Assistant):

I contacted a River Island employee and asked on the main responsibilities of being a River Island sales assistant. The Sales Assistant expressed to me the different responsibilities she had. It is an employee’s job to look after customers when they are shopping meaning they must be ready to answer questions and find items for customers. An employee also must be able to give good advice to their customers ‘As River Island representatives we are expected to ‘step up’ when necessary’.

She also declared her role in making sure customers visit to the store is enjoyable and pleasant. Moreover she makes sure her approach to customers is polite and respectable she does this by greeting customers as they enter and leave the store, dealing with customer’s complaints professionally and making sure the customer is satisfied with the conclusion. As well as the above, a sales assistant has to make sure that all shelves are stocked up. Replenishing stock is one of a sales assistant’s most important jobs alongside being able to work at tills and balance the cash registers with receipts received.

Qualities and Skills

Qualities and Skills of a Manager:

A manager must have many skills and qualities. An ideal manager for a retail store must be able to bring out the best in others as well as themselves. A manager should be able to discipline his/her staff, working as a role model towards their staff. A good manager should also be able to commit to a task or activity.

On the River Island website I found out information on special skills a manager should have to conduct his/her job successfully. An ideal manager should have good communication skills as they have to communicate with their employees, good leadership skills, are focused, able to persuade his/her employees and organised, a manager should be able to divide large tasks and activities into manageable ones.

A manager with good communication skills can help to build an organised and effective team of employees. It also helps to build and manage performance of their team members, having good communication skills can benefit the maintenance of relationships between employees. It is also crucial for a manager because it allows them to deal with customer complaints limiting any negative feedback about your business. A manager should be able to be persuasive and have good organisational, leadership skills. This allows employees to feel as if they can trust their manager; they feel as if they want to be led by them not have to be. This not only helps an employee grow fond of their job but also motivates them to give 100% effort. Helping to give the business an outstanding reputation and influences more customers to buy from their store.

Qualities and Skills of a Supervisor:

Sometimes the manager may not be available so this is when a supervisor steps in. A supervisor has to have similar skills to a manager but supervisors are more in contact with their fellow employees. A supervisor should have good flexibility and time management as well as basic communication skills. A supervisor should be able to motivate his/her employees to perform as well as they can to help the business succeed. Good flexibility can ensure that a supervisor is responsive to changes in the work place and is not blown off by any difficult situations.

For example a customer complaint, a good supervisor especially for River Island should be able to stay calm under pressure and respond quickly to difficult circumstances. This also helps to keep the reputation of the business at its highest as customers are more likely to buy from somewhere that is knowledgeable in all situations. A supervisor should be able to manage their time, by doing this it keeps the employees confident that they are being led by someone who knows what they are doing, with this employees work harder increasing productivity, customer service and revenue.

Qualities and Skills of an Employee:

For a sales assistant especially at a clothing store they must be able to work as part of a team, enjoy working with the public as well as be confident when dealing with difficult situations for example difficult customers. Moreover an employee must have these key skills:

• Have a polite and helpful manner

• Have basic mathematical skills, for dealing with payments and stock checks and are comfortable with using computerised equipment such as tills. This enhances customer services where customers will tell their friends and family to visit the store due to their good services meaning more customers further more increasing the revenue for the store.

• be flexible, adaptable, reliable and trustworthy. These skills helps to prevent reduced employees loyalty due to this more employees refrain from their jobs. This means more money is spent on recruiting more staff, increasing a company cost which is not good for a business’s finances.

Training and Development Opportunities

According to the River Island website River Island invests in staff and encourages career development. River Island offer many different methods of training for example for sales advisors and store managers they perform a 3-4 week induction programme at a training store.

They also provide skill development workshops relevant to the role you have in the river island job for example if you are a manager there are workshops to help you improve on your time management skills, organisation, delegation and other key skills a manager should have. Most River Island stores have regular progress reviews to monitor performance and development needs of individual employees. Even skilled managers have management training modules (relevant to their role) where they train managers off the job basic but in depth skill of being a manager.

These training days help to enhance employee’s performance on the job. Benefiting River Island as a business because their employees are always well trained and know what they are doing. Customers would rather go to a store that is well known for employees who are helpful and organised rather than ones that lack these simple skills.

‘We want to help you make the most of your career with River Island and hope you enjoy working with us. ’

Methods of motivation

The River Island company use methods of motivation to encourage their employees to do a better job than they otherwise would. Some of the ways River Island motivate their staff is by offering staff discounts of 30% off on items of clothing or accessories within the store for employees a further discount of 50% off if you are a manager. Also River Island offers a monthly salary to their staffs which ensures to pay staff no matter how much hours they work.

On top of this River Island also allow their staff to work together in teams to complete certain tasks, this can make the job seem more enjoyable to the staff with a much more comfortable relaxing environment. This helps to retain staff because employees prefer a job were offers and discounts are issued especially with a popular clothing store like River Island rather than working in an environment that does not offer any type of fringe benefits .This relates to the Maslow Hierarchy of needs theory, as staff at River Island feels a sense of belonging working in groups and are meeting their everyday survival needs.

Motivating your staff can help to keep a business successful. A River Island staff member said ‘The more motivated I am the harder I work to help the business reach its goals to earn more money’. Motivating your staff can help to increase output, improve quality of your business as well as save money for your business. If employees are keen to stay with the company then money is not loss on hiring and training of new staff.

Based on Hertzberg two-factor theory of motivation, I believe River Island could offer more methods of motivation in a way to retain staff, for example empowerment. Empowering an employee makes them feel as if they are being noticed for the hard work they are putting in. This can make a staff member put in extra work and take pride in the extra work they are doing increasing output and quality of the business.

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PEST Factors

Organisations can face problems from external factors which can affect a business’s products, policies, people and profits. It is a useful strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations. A PEST analysis is usually carried out by business planners this allows them to improve their strategies.

Political Factors

Political factors usually affect the ways in which changes in the government policy can influence businesses. River Island has to abide by the employment laws developed by the government. This may include the equal pay act of 1970 that women and men should receive equal pay for doing the same type of work or even the race relations act of 1976 which states that making discriminations against an employee on grounds of their race is illegal. Other factors may include the sex discrimination act, 1925 which protects employees against discrimination due to the gender for example if river island was promoting manager recruitment they cannot state the employee has to be of a specific gender. Though this does not apply in all situations if there was recruitment for a female attendant for the female changing rooms this would not apply.

Similar to the race relations act of 1976 also states discrimination on grounds of race is illegal though there are GOQ’s genuine occupation qualifications that are legitimate in some cases. One of the most recent acts produced lately is the national minimum wage act, 1998. This ensures than employees are not exploited and are paid enough for them to survive. Minimum wage is increased every year in line with the rise in cost of living. Currently the adult rate for workers over 21 is £6.19.River Island has key principles against these, and states that employment is freely chosen, living wages are paid, working hours are not excessive, discrimination is not practised and regular employment is provided.

Economic Factors

Economic factors are those that may limit the customer from buying optional luxuries. Economic factors include taxation, inflation, interest rates and economic growth. During a recession, consumers spend less on optional items such as cars and appliances. As a result, the business environment suffers. Alternatively, if the economic environment is one of affluence, consumers are more likely to spend money, not just on necessities, but larger items as well. Last year recession meant that some employee’s wages were cut down, not much employees were made redundant because of this but wages were slashed to pay for other company costs.

In case of an unemployment decrease, turnover will rise and recruiting more employees will become harder though the opposite effect if unemployment increases. Another economic factor is Inflation usually affects someone’s buying power –rising prices means you pay more for the same goods. If there is a rise there is a high probability that there will be a fall in the amount of merchandise bought from River Island. These means business costs increase and sometimes have to stop producing lots of merchandise and focus on spending money on important cost leaving some workers unemployed.

Social Factors

Social trends are one of the key factors affecting a business; this can include the demographics, age distribution and lifestyle. Social trends are important as they focus on the society and at the end of the day, if the public are buying then the demand at River Island will increase, which means more production. The demands for some popular clothes are determined by fashion. Fashion trends are constantly changing every season meaning more customers are willing to buy from a popular up to date clothing store due to its good reputation.

People are now more career focused than previous years, people seem to be more determined to achieve a good status in their dream job to make money and buy all their wants and needs. The most significant sign of this is working mothers- back in the 50’s women were forced to stay at home to cook and clean for their families. Now women have the opportunity to work especially to provide for their families. Though working mothers mainly work part time to cater to when they need to pick up their children from school, though it is now modern for women not to have children.

They are much more career focused. More and more employees are trying to make as much money as possible, though River Island is not a store that pay their employees high wages, not much of a ‘career focusing job’. River Island, works enthusiastically with its suppliers and official agencies around the world to provide a standard health and safety regulation to its employees. The company always ensures that their suppliers sign a contract which commit to World Wide Ethical standards and those who violate them will be prosecuted.

Technological Factors

Technology has both a negative and positive effect on business recruitment. The positives are that technology like online selling and shopping can benefit an employee because it allows them to sell River Island clothing and accessories online to a wider variety of people on websites like EBay or Amazon. It also can provide more jobs in creating websites, maintaining and updating the website which a River Island representative could do. Though technology can be a disadvantage having a website means fewer employees to recruit as people can easily just buy products online. Employers also can now employ people who have good IT skills; this can help to keep River Island as a business up to date.

Online selling/websites can affect the workforce of River Island, this because consumers find it easier and more effective for them to purchase items online. This affects employees of River Island; they may lose their job because River Island can now reduce cost, and spend it effectively. Employers can also use social networking sites as ways of keeping an eye on their employees, investigating on what they are really like. This is happening more often now, though these social networking sites can act as way of motivating staff by building a relationship with them outside the working environment.

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