Nikora Corp (formerly LTD) was established in 1998 with private Georgian capital. The company is the leader in food production on the local market. Currently, it produces meat and dairy products, semi-finished food products, fish products, bread, non-alcoholic soft drinks and wine. Besides, Nikora has founded a separate company importing high quality food products from several European countries. The company's mission is to produce high quality food products by means of introducing novel technologies.
Nikora is paying great attention to customers and is willing to obtain and maintain the customers' trust by using natural ingredients in production, offering high quality products and service, satisfying the customer wishes and demands. Nikora plans to expend and improve its operations in: Fishery and Farming, Distribution Net and Customer Service, Innovative Production. They started from 7 types of products and reached 130. Seven huge brands: Nikora (meat), Mzareuli (convenience food), Shxepi (lemonades), Enki (fish), InTrade (importer), Tevani (wine) and Paloma (ice-cream) are distinguished and each of them has its own trade mark.
Each brand name is selected according to the product that it carries. Distinctive names are easy to remember and easy to pronounce. They are manufacturers` brands, because resellers do not have right to name 'Nikora`s' product on their own and they do not have co-branding with another companies. Organizational Chart As almost every company in Georgia which has an organizational chart suggests to keep It confidential. and also for Nikora this is an information that they consider not to spread. But yet, we were pleased to be given a framework of Nikora's sturture.
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As the company has changed its legal form from LTD to Corp its structure was also slightly changed. The shareholders elect the members of Board of Members which assign the General Director of the company. The board and the director direct and control the managers of the departments who themselves control the departments and all the performance of their subordinates. s The company has a centralized structure, decisions are made at the top of the organization and than spread down to the levels. Empirical Findings To identity managerial problem, we interview one of the brand managers David Gelashvili.
Specifically we covered almost all chapters from our sourcebook. We asked relevant questions to identify a problem and discuses according to studied theories. Managing Personal Stress After actual research we found that generally employee are too overloaded with daily activities. Marketing, sales and production departments have to respond quickly on any small problem in each store outlet. For example during interview Mr. David received several urgent phone calls asking for attention from administration in several Nikora shops and retail stores. Solving Problems
Lili Bibilashvil, Head of Administration and HR Department, noted that employee in Nikora branches reveal bias against thinking. After close investigations we found that employee tend to have so called Stereotype. For example when administrators demanded employee to keep dairies and file surveys, they became defensive and refused to do so, because they perceived it like a tool for further layoffs. This is probably from old Soviet times. Mostly branches are located near villages and remote areas so this tendency was supposed as well. As David noted: "any difficult issues are solved directly by department managers".
Couching, Counseling and supportive communication However, Nikora corp. has troubles in couching and counseling. Employee noted that they directly receive "orders" from top managers and all they had is to do it as soon as possible. So company uses no supportive, two-way communication, when guiding employee performance. Workers noted that they felt free asking managers any questions and response was adequate, but company doesn't use any negative or positive feedback to organize staff performance. David told us that he received several critical warnings and verbal massages on his inappropriate behavior.
He also told us that for continuation misbehavior, company decreased salary for several employees and even gave penalties. Let us first consider information gathering dimension. Any company uses structure that is used for information sharing among employee and staff members. As David, Nikora product manager responded, company uses Mail, IM, Boards and informal talks in office based cafi?? for communication and info sharing. Generally speaking employees are guided by their own departmental interests and are less interested in others job.
For example financial department newer asks producing techniques in production process. On the other hand, any employee is regarded as a family member and free to get information on other departments. Gaining Power and Influence Nikora recognizes employee through several ways. HR department identifies staff performance and reveilles top 3 employee of month, by publishing on special reword board. As we studied verbal recognition tends to be much more powerful than for example financial, but yet the company uses strong bonus grogram for employee performance and motivation.
Company recognition system works through personal efforts and expertise. Motivation Nikora uses several motivators to induce employee performance. During interview Mr. David said that "Nikora uses both financial and nonfinancial reword system". For example on 30% increase performance, company provides special financial bonuses that are really good as employees noted. Company also provides certificates, games, for example last year Nikora held internal football mach between departments, also organized excursion to Georgian regions and provides any kind of material and nonmaterial support for attaining predefined goals.
For example as David noted, he has no car, but if his job demands transportation, company provides it. So if job requests - the company provides any relevant material, both financial and nonfinancial, for instance when David first came in Nikora, he was initiated to create a quality website for the organization; managers liked David's idea and provided support to make work done. Managing Conflict As any organizational and team, Nikora also had several conflicts. All problems and conflicts are solved by direct manager of department.
Nikora also uses conference and team meeting to discuss issue and identify any alternative if possible. If conflict remains unresolved, company uses compromise. During our interview we identified Forcing, Compromise and Collaborative strategies working to solve problems. But yet Nikora seems to have fewer internal conflicts. Empowerment and Delegation During research, David noted that empowerment and delegation word is best used in his organization. For example during our talk, David asked his coworkers to do his job while interviewing.
After our remark, he noted that any employee felt free to ask help and support, "we are like a big family heir" noted he. Organization has a strong responsive culture. Employees are requested for certain actions and jobs done. They are committed directly from the top management and expected to act fairly. So managers directly give orders. Book states information gathering dimension, which distinguishes concrete experience from abstract conceptualization. CE includes Theoretical Framework Couching, Counseling and supportive communication
As we found that Nikora had a problem of supportive communication, we now discuss the theories of the relevant topic. Coaching and counselling are the issues of the supportive communication that should be used by managers for generating effective interpersonal communication. In coaching managers help subordinates improve their work skills by giving them advice or information or set standards. While in counselling, managers help subordinates recognize and address problems involving their state of mind, emotions, or personalities.
In other words, coaching focuses on abilities, and counselling - on attitudes. The skills of coaching and counselling are also used for different other activities, such as motivating others, handling costumers complaints, passing critical information upward, handling conflicts between other parties, and etc. The principles we describe next in the project not only facilitate accurate message delivery in sensitive situations, but their effective use can produce higher levels of motivation, increased productivity, and better interpersonal relationships.
Coaching and counselling skills are also required when negative feedback is not involved, such as when subordinate asks for advice, need someone to listen to his problem, or want to register complaints. Sometimes just listening is the most effective form of coaching and counselling. Although the risk of damaged relationships, defensiveness, or hurt feelings is no as likely as when negative feedback is given, these situations still require competent communication skills. However, when coaching and counselling subordinates managers should avoid generating two major obstacles that lead to a number of negative outcomes.
These two obstacles are defensiveness - an emotional and physical state in which one is agitated, estranged, confused and inclined to strike out (for that person self-protection becomes more important than listening) and disconfirmation - a situation when one of the communicating parties feels put down, ineffectual ,or insignificant because of the communication (recipients of the communication feel that their self-worth is being questioned, so they focus on building themselves up rather than listening). Another important issue of supportive communication is "not one-way message delivery".
The issue includes four major types of responses that addresses this problems. These are advising, deflecting, probing, and reflecting Advising response - provides direction, evaluation, personal opinion, or instructions. Such a response imposes on the communicator the point of view of the listener and it creates listener control over topic of conversation. Deflecting response - switches the focus from the communicator's problem to one selected by the listener. They deflect attention away from the original problem or the original statement.
The listener essentially changes the subject. Probing response - asks a question about what the communicator just said or about a topic selected by listener. The intent of a probe is to acquire additional information, or to help the listener foster more appropriate response. Reflecting response - is used to mirror back to the communicator the message that was heard and to communicate understanding and acceptance of the person. Reflecting the message in different words allows the speaker to feel listened to, understood, and free to explore the topic in more depth.
Discussion Comparing the reality to the theories we concluded that Nikora does not use supportive communication tools - such as coaching and counselling, and thus it does not use effective ways to realize these tools - such as advising, probing, deflecting and reflecting. Not using supportive communication may be seen as a problem as it leads to misunderstanding among employees, frustration, dissatisfaction and etc, that itself leads to the poor performance, decreased profit, increased employee turnover and etc.
The issue is also to avoid defensiveness and disconfirmation. Defensiveness is an emotional and physical state in which one is agitated, estranged, confused and inclined to strike out. For that person self-protection becomes more important than listening. Disconfirmation creates a situation when one of the communicating parties feels put down, ineffectual, or insignificant because of the communication. Recipients of the communication feel that their self-worth is being questioned, so they focus on building themselves up rather than listening.
However, Nikora corp. has troubles in couching and counseling. Employee noted that they directly give "orders" from top managers and all they had to is to do it as soon as possible. So company uses no supportive, two-way communication, when guiding employee performance. Workers noted that they felt free asking managers any questions and response was adequately, but company doesn't use any negative or positive feedback to organize staff performance. David told us that he received several critical warnings and verbal massages on his inappropriate behavior.
He also told us that for continuation misbehavior, company decreased salary for several employees and even gave penalties. All the above mentioned facts drives to the fact the Nikora is only not using such an effective managerial tool as supportive communication, but it even implements something that is quite contrary, we can name it as "obstructive communication". Next we would like to provide Nikora some recommendations concerning this situation, which we suggest will improve the present condition and prevent from the future problems.
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