There are limits to formality in a service environment, thus making informal methods particularly favorable for such industries that are frequently busy. Informal methods are less time consuming, more immediate for dealing with day-to-day issues and more practical where matters arise that are only relevant to certain individuals and provides less disruption to the business.
Informal EIP achieves prominence in the hotel and restaurant sector where an informal and almost familial element exists in the employment relationship due to the small size of most establishments (Wilkinson, Dundon & Grugulis 2007).
Even though informal and formal EIP supports and complements each other, informal EIP usually takes prominence in environments whereby managers’ work alongside their staff, allowing plenty of interaction between them; such environments are also more conducive to informal discussions.
Groupon Singapore features a flat organizational structure. Employees have direct contact with CEO Karl Chong, who says he would rather sit amongst his colleagues than have his own office. He takes a hands-on approach to management and even participates in role-playing sessions with new customer service staff to hone their skills. Chong also makes an announcement at 5pm every Friday to address issues such as housekeeping matters, financial matters, customer feedback and what deals they should be focusing on. “That gets everyone on the same page. They need to know that they are here because of a bigger strategy,” Chong says.
In Omnicom Media Group (OMG), workers are encouraged to have open conversations with their managers on KPIs and other relevant business issues, with the feedback passed on to senior management, explains Torie Henderson, President, Global Account Management, Omnicom Media Group, Asia Pacific.
At L’Oreal Singapore, “employee engagement is a big part of what we do...