Organizational Characteristics

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Common Characteristics of an Organization Paper

Abstract
This paper will describe the culture and the organizational characteristics of a chosen organization, Publix Supermarkets. Detailed throughout will be the common characteristics of the organization as it operates on a day to day basis. Specifically the system based on individual units, rules and norms expected of the associates and supervisors as well as the hierarchy will be established for the reader to garner a better understanding. Furthermore, the communication networks, organizational orientation, approaches to and by leadership members, as well as the decision making and communication procedures put forth by members of management will be analyzed. This paper will describe which 4 of these listed characteristics are most influenced by communication between members and levels of Publix Supermarkets. The author has been employed with this supermarket chain for more than 7 years and has ample knowledge and understanding on the organization as a whole.

Common Characteristics of an Organization
Publix Supermarkets is a grocery chain unlike many others for a variety of reasons. Founded in 1930 in Winter haven, Florida by George W. Jenkins, Publix is known for its customer first atmosphere and pleasurable shopping experience. The grocery chain whose motto states they will never knowingly disappoint their customers operates in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee and currently has more than 1000 stores in operation (Publix.com).

Jenkins’ supermarket chain has continued to grow on their customer friendly business sense. Publix has since become a Fortune 500 company and is privately held and owned by its employees. For as well as they treat their customers, the chain treats its associates and management staff just as well if not better. Publix workers who have been with the company a base number of years receive shares of stock for every 1000 hours worked, and can purchase more shares of stock at almost any time during a given year. The grocery chain is also well known for its high ranking employee benefits and treatment in the employment world. Rules/Norms (Written and Unwritten)

Outside of the big green P logo, the Publix atmosphere is what customers relate to with the chain more than anything else. Communication with customers is a major asset in following proper Publix protocol. The smiling helpful associates, clean stores, and consumer friendly set up of product is where Publix truly prides itself as an organization. Each experience ends with a friendly cashier and bagger, and the bagger will always bring the customer to their vehicle and help load product into the car for them. Believe it or not this all relates to performance evaluations that are done quarterly, where associates are evaluated on their behavior amongst the customers. Customer intimacy is something Publix takes very seriously.

The Publix image extends onto its associates as well. All employees are expected to show up to work on time and be clean shaven in full clean uniform attire. Each department and job class has their own specific uniform; however all include proper hygiene, reasonable hairstyling, and proper equipment to perform their tasks to better serve the shoppers. Publix is an organization that understands how to promote their brand by utilizing all available options to do so. Clean stores and clean happy associates promote the “Publix Way.” This plays a major role in nonverbal communication between Publix associates and their customers.

Aside from dress code and customer relations, two major elements, there are many other standards Publix employees are held to. A good example of one unwritten Publix rule would be: communication between associates when out on the sales floor during business hours must be respectful, and if at all possible must include the customer. Also, outside from positive communication both verbal and nonverbal with customers and fellow...
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