Workplace Observation

The workplace is a subject of many studies because it is characterized by rich diversity, communication practices, conflict management, organizational policies, technology, and so on. The three areas of organizational culture including communication, organizational diversity, and conflict management are challenging aspects in the restaurant business.I own an Italian restaurant named Gabbiano which offers pizza, salads, pasta, and sandwich to our customers. It is located near the ocean; thus, summer is the busiest time for the restaurant. The restaurant also employs 30 people, 10 of which are the dine-in workers, five delivery persons, three cashiers, and two cooks. As the restaurant is near the ocean, I require my staff to wear something for the summer such as comfortable shirts, black pants, closed-toe shoes and hats. The hats and shirts should be blue and must bear the logo of the store, which consists of a seagull and ocean. The word Gabbiano means ‘seagul.’CommunicationCommunication is one of the most important aspects of every business. It is an essential component towards the organizational success at different levels (Northeastern University, n.d.). Communication is essential for organizing, coordinating, and controlling activities (Rouse, 2002, p.4).The success of the business is also largely dependent on the communication. Internal communication must be facilitated between the management and the employees and external communication between the company, clients, and suppliers. Having an effective communication in the workplace will result to job satisfaction among the employees and will reduce cases of underperformance. In addition, effective communication can spare the business from conflicts (Kondrat, 2009).In my restaurant, communication is an area that the employees and I strive to enhance. Even from the start of my staff’s employment, I make sure that they understand the importance of communication especially between the management and the customers. Customers keep the restaurant in business, thus employees should learn to listen to what they have to say about the food and service. I have also taught my employees to communicate effectively with each customer because it definitely keeps them coming back to the restaurant. Most of the customers in the restaurant are only there for the summer. But there was this time when a customer told one of the waiters that he had been at the restaurant before and planned to return for his next vacation. Although we serve good food, I believe that establishing a business-customer relationship will attract and retain more customers.Communication is also important between the management and the employees and between employees themselves. During one time, a misunderstanding happened between one of the delivery persons and one of the cooks. The root of the problem was so solvable but it took days before the problem was finally settled due to lack of communication between the concerned parties. The delivery guy did not want to listen to the cook because he thought that he had been working at my restaurant longer than the cook. The cook, on the other hand, took the opportunity to talk away and gather the empathy of the other employees as back-up against the delivery guy. The problem could have been the cause of a rift between the employees had it not been for a one-hour man-to-man talk that required them to listen to each other.Organizational DiversityOrganizations are becoming more heterogeneous when it comes to gender, race-ethnicity, age, and national origin. There were studies which showed that diversity “have negative effects on social integration, communication, and conflict” (Pugh, Dietz, Brief, and Wiley, n.d., p.4). This can be explained by the fact that people coming from different cultures have different values, expectations, and communication styles. Despite these differences, an organization can be successful when these are understood by each employee and incorporated into the organizational culture (Workforce Diversity Network, 2008).My restaurant is home to cultural diversity. I have Vietnamese, Mexican, and American workers. During the hiring of my staff, one of my visions was hiring people from different cultural backgrounds. I have good friendships with people coming from race different from mine, and I believe that it can extend to my business. Although the start of the business with workers from mixed races was shaky, my staff finally came to befriend each other. However, it was not very easy. In fact, having employees of different races and ethnic backgrounds was a lot challenging than I thought it would be. Everyone had a hard time getting used to each other. However, effective communication was one of the key solutions in bridging the gap between the employees.Conflict ManagementConflict management is another aspect which can be very challenging. Conflict can arise from poor communications, differences in values, and leadership problems. If managed properly, conflict can lead to positive results such as participation of people, recognition and benefiting from their differences, and raising and addressing of problems (McNamara, 2008).In the restaurant, conflict has happened more than once. The likely causes were the differences between the employees and poor or lack of communication. For instance, the two cooks had a verbal fight about how things should be in the kitchen. Each wanted to have his or her way in the activities inside the kitchen. The conflict worsened because no one was willing to give in and did not want to settle the problem. Both avoided the problem by ignoring each other. Although after the verbal fight the cooks continued to work in silence, it affected the whole organization. The problem was only solved when I required them to talk it out like two grown up men and come up with alternative solutions.ReferencesKondrat, A. (2009). Effective communication in the workplace. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from http://human-resources-management.suite101.com/article.cfm/effective_communication_at_workplaceMcNamara, C. (2008). Basics of conflict management. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.managementhelp.org/intrpsnl/basics.htmNortheastern University. (n.d.). The importance of effective communication. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from http://web.cba.neu.edu/~ewertheim/interper/commun.htmPugh, S.D., Dietz, J., Brief, A.P., and Wiley, J.W. (n.d). Looking inside and out: The impact of employee and community demographic composition. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/faculty/Dietz_JAP_Diversity_08inpress.pdfRouse, S. (2002). Business communications: A cultural and strategic approach. United States: Cengage Learning EMEA.Workforce Diversity Network. (2008). The importance of diversity in 2008 and beyond. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.workforcediversitynetwork.com/news_0806_impt.aspx