Buzz Essay

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Omega is a successful company and one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, employing a large number of staff in stores across the country. Although the industry has seen very little growth in recent years, Omega has successfully increased its market share through a policy of lowering prices (the company claims to have reduced prices by 7.5 per cent between 2004-2009) and improving customer service. It currently holds a dominant share of the UK market in its core business and is growing rapidly in related areas. The company plans to continue expanding in the UK, opening up new stores on brownfield sites in regeneration areas.
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A more recent change within Omega has been the drive for consistency across stores, and all policies, procedures and processes are centrally determined and their implementation closely monitored. Each store is governed by the company routines handbook which provides detailed information on how every task is to be performed- this is down to the minutest detail even including details on office layout, such as where pictures should go on the wall. On the HR side all policies and procedures are highly centralised and controlled – the wage budget for example is fixed for each store and there is no local flexibility on pay - something which was obviously a cause for great frustration in some of the stores where recruitment, retention and staff quality are on-going major problems. Although the stores cannot function without these routines it is the way in which the rules and routines are implemented that is considered a key ingredient for success. It is management, in particular, store managers, who are responsible for how policies are implemented and their behaviour is therefore critical to a store’s performance.
Section managers occupy first line manager position within the store. Spans of control (The number of subordinates who report directly to a given manager or superior), are normally 12 general assistants to each section manager and in a large store there may be about 20 section

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