The banking and financial services industry requires dealing with customers on a daily basis. The organization focuses on effective customer service through identifying their needs and designing products and services that suit them. This requires the staff to work in shifts to ensure customer service is continuous. However, it is notable that the lunch break taken by all the people in the organization takes more time than required. This is due to transport issues and the strategic location of the organization. The organization is located approximately twenty kilometers from the nearest town center. This is because the location is serene and is next to diplomatic and other major offices. Hence, it is meant to serve corporate and business people. Bowen (2005) asserts that customer service has to be continuous and consistent. The issue of time taken daily for lunch by each individual worker is challenging the quality of customer service provided because it is a daily routine and workers cannot be made to forfeit lunch. This is further beginning to affect productivity due to longer working hours spent outside the organization. The distance is also affecting workers by making them feel tired and this affects the turnover (Gupta, Lehmann & Stuart, 2004). The flow chart designed is a representation of the suggested process to curb this problem. This paper discusses the bottlenecks in the process and gives a pictorial representation in the form of a flow chart.
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Bottlenecks in the Process
Additional resources required
The suggested process gives the option of having lunch prepared for staff by a department created by the organization or an outside catering firm. On the other hand, employees can carry their own lunch. These options require resources mainly in terms of time, money and labor. Bowen (2005) asserts that any suggested project has to be cost-effective to the organization. The creation of a department to deal with lunch would require materials, personnel, space and all catering requirements. The option of the outside catering firm would also require additional costs since the food offered would be charged at a higher price due to the advantage of having it offered on the premises.
Resistance from employees
Bowen (2005) asserts that it is normal for employees to resist change they are not used to. In this case, the change in the process of taking lunch would not be an exception. Gupta et al. (2004) point out that employees need to be valued before extending any changes to them. This process would be seen as a lack of respect because their suggestions in this matter were not taken into consideration and therefore did not seem feasible in the organization. Further, as Davies (2008) points out, any change should not lower the bonuses and incentives for employees and since this would minimize the benefits in terms of allowances given to the employees, it would foster more resistance.
Requirements of the headquarters
This organization is a subsidiary branch of the main office. It is required that the decisions that affect the operations of the subsidiary through incurring extra costs or affecting the mode of operation that is different from the headquarters be reviewed and discussed with the head office management. This process as Gupta et al. (2004) assert takes time in terms of communication and bureaucracy hence the duration taken to accomplish the change would be much longer than anticipated. Further, as Bowen (2005) argues, this would require a change in branch operations that would likely face resistance from the headquarters management due to the new expected change being called for at the branch level.
Limited options and privacy
Gupta et al. (2004) suggest that in dealing with employees to ensure satisfaction, their personal preferences have to be provided for. In this process, it is likely that limitations would be evident. This is due to the fact that preparing food to cater to the special needs of all the employees would be uneconomical thus forcing them to choose from the available options. As Bowen (2005) argues, public relations require ethical dealings with the customers and employees. However, this would be affected by the fact that customers may prefer to have lunch at the same place. In addition, Davies (2008) asserts that employees require personal space from the work environment to enable them to relax and re-energize themselves. This comfort and privacy would be affected because the employees would be forced to remain on the premises all day long and this may have an effect on productivity (Gupta et al., 2004).
Back up data on time differences based on the three options
|Gong to town||2 hrs||2 hrs, 15 min||2 hrs, 10 min||2 hrs, 5 min||2 hrs, 30 min|
|Department||1 hr||1 hr, 15 min||1 hr, 10 min||1 hr, 5 min||1 hr, 30 min|
|Outside caterer||45 min||35 min||35 min||30 min||35 min|
The organization is a financial institution that is customer-focused with emphasis placed on customer service. The process discussed is the process of minimizing the time taken out for lunch by employees for consistently inefficient customer service. This has been a challenge due to the location of the organization in reference to the nearest town center. The challenge has been affecting the employees’ productivity and eventual turnover. However, the change has been identified to have bottlenecks. The bottlenecks discussed are the resistance from employees, additional resources necessary, the requirements of the headquarters and the limited options and privacy of employees. The flow chart representing the designed process is illustrated below.
- Bowen, S. (2005). A Practical Model for Ethical Decision Making in issues management and Public Relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 17(3), 191-216.
- Davies, G. (2008). Customers and their needs. Canterbury: IFS School of Finance.
- Gupta, S., Lehmann, R., & Stuart, J. (2004). Valuing customers. Journal of Marketing, 1, 7-18.