Socialization of a Discovery Clothing Co. Employee
SOCIALIZATION OF A DISCOVERY CLOTHING CO. EMPLOYEE 7
Socializationof a Discovery Clothing Co. Employee
WorkGroup as a Reference Group
DiscoveryClothing is a clothing retailer in Chicago. The store is morecommonly referred to as Discovery, as displayed by the monikeroutside of the store. The discovery provides a huge selection offashionable merchandise – from clothing and shoes to jewelry andpurses – for the typically junior-sized woman. There are over 25locations of Discovery Clothing Company mainly in the Chicago. I workat the location in Berwyn, along with 27 other employees. On the dayof orientation, all new employees are introduced to Discovery’sstandards of behavior, as listed in the official employee handbook.
Thestructure of employees at the company forms a simple organizationalframework. The organization is led by a manager in charge of all theemployees. Under his is the Store Cashier who handles financing andpayments from the customers. Cashiers must be knowledgeable in theprices of the different products as well as the price and works withthe Assistant Store Manager. The last level is the level of salesAssociate who provide outstanding customer service for the companyalong with teams of merchandisers.
Identificationof my work group as the reference group is what I have learnt fromthe workgroup at the company. When I started working at the company,I identified with a work group composed of very hard working people,who are famously referred to as “the masters.” The term does notreflect our group’s educational levels but our general culture andway of doing things at the firm. The excellence and unity of our teammembers define us and sets us as a unique clique at the company.
Thediscussion and description of my work group in this paper willdemonstrate the importance of standards of behavior and relativity tosocialization that makes a work group a reference group of employeesat the workplace. Identification with the standards of a work groupin a workplace is an important social aspect of an employee in thegroup. It is also a significant step towards social identification ofan employee and it forms the basis of influencing the behavior andperformance of an employee.
Standard1: Dress Code
Thefirst standard of behavior enforced at Discovery is adherence to thedress code. An employee must comply with the rules of the dress codeexplicitly outlined in the employee handbook before even clocking into begin work. Employees must always look presentable, and neversloppy. Every hair must be in place, and make-up is suggested. Attiremust be fashionable and consistent with current trends, andaccessorized properly. If an employee wants to wear shorts or askirt, the overall length is required to be longer than the tip ofthat employee’s fingertips. If the shorts or skirt does not meetthe requirement, then the item must be paired with either tights orpantyhose. No street wear is allowed, this includes graphic T-shirtswith offensive pictures or sayings, gym shoes, or anything else ofthat nature. Every Friday and Saturday dressy casual attire isrequired, while every other day of the week casual attire is allowed.
Eventhough many of the dress code rules may be explicitly outlined in theemployee handbook, there are components that are not included. Forexample how does one know what dressing fashionable means? It meansto dress consistent with the trends that are learned through socialmeans. These social means are the culture that is already establishedin the U.S by the media through television and magazines.
Standard2: Customer Service and Sales Service
Asemployees of the company in the sales department, we are guided byquality customer service that translates into sales. As a group, thisstandard is led by a commitment by all members that the customer isthe most important person in the company. In fact, our group has aconstant additional member the customer as the number one member ofour group. This explains why many customers like to be served by anyof the members of the team. To achieve this, it is a group rule thateverybody should have updated knowledge of the products of thecompany.
Wetherefore endeavor to keep the sales floor clean in order to presentan impressive company environment for the customers. In addition, weensure that merchandise is replenished in good time. Martin and Fine(2003) argue that time management as well as work monitoring is animportant element of keeping an excellent group social standard.
Ilearnt about these standards during the orientation program by boththe manager and the group leader. Our group leader is the one who hasbeen in the employment for the longest time doing the work. As arguedby Sandstrom (2013), this stage is important because it forms theplay stage in the preparation levels of group identification. Hetaught me how to maintain the standards as well as work excellentlyas per the requirements of the group.
Standard3: Team Work
Workingtogether is one of the most consistent standards in the group “themasters.” It is also the standard that is mostly used toincorporate new team members and eliminate some of the members. Thosewho do not cooperate with the group are expelled and they startexecuting their work targets alone. According to Mead (2013),identification and learning of the skills of others enable theformation of the game stage of the process of merging with the teammembers. We work to assist customers as a team and not asindividuals. In some cases, we explain products to one customer as agroup so that we include all ideas and information. This helps new orconfused team members to understand the job better through theexperience of the older and skilled members (Becker, 2008).
Ilearned the culture of teamwork through the orientation and guidanceduring the first two weeks of my job at the company. This was alsodirectly communicated by the group members as well as the manager. Inaddition, the skill of teamwork is an implied aspect of humanrelations and social skills (Patricia & Adler, 2010). I am asocial person, which made me easily identify with the group.Moreover, the learning of working as a team is in the group rules andis a matter of transition from the older members of the group to thenew ones.
Standard4: Getting Along with Co-workers
Ourteam work qualities are founded by the ability of each group memberto get along with each other at personal social levels. Therelationships in the group are further cemented by the strictobservation of the group standards and regulations that keep ustogether. To achieve this, it is a group standard that we should nothave confrontations among ourselves (Becker, 2013). Instead, allissues must be reported to the group leader. As the oldest member inthe group, he handles minor disagreements and presents those beyondhis authority to the manager, In addition, the group standard is thatwe should have no confrontations, at all cost. However, minorcontroversies and confrontations help the group become stronger whenthey are amicably resolved (Becker, 2013).
Ilearned this standard through the guidance of the group membersduring my first month of working with the group. They advised me onthe way through which they avoid confrontations and how they handledisagreements. This happened when I reported a disagreement with oneof the members of the group in my first week on the job at the salesfloor. In addition, the group ensures that everybody learns thebehavior of others, by organizing team building exercises andpicnics, at least thrice a year. Moreover, this is a transitionbehavior that is commonly learnt by all members of the group as partof social cohesion.
Thedescription and discussion of my experience at the group demonstratesthe importance of standards of behavior and relativity tosocialization in a work group. This is what makes a work group areference group to employees at the workplace. The first standard atthe group is the dress code that identified the group as a uniqueclique at the company. The second standard is the promotion ofquality customer service and sales attendance to sales, attendance tosales of the company happy and loyal. The third standard is workingtogether as a team and maintaining an organized working environmentat the sales floor thereby helping all the members. The fourthstandard cements the other standards by enabling workers in the groupto get along with others well. Through these standards, I havelearned to merge my skills and expectations with those of otherworkers. This helped us to create synergy and promote social ties andcohesion in my working group.
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Becker,H. (2008). Outsiders.(pp. 4-7). New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
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Martin,D., & Fine, G. A. (2003). Symbols,selves, and social reality.(pp. 77-108).LosAngeles,CA:Roxbury Publishers
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