Why ASDA cutting 4000 managers is a good thing

ASDA recently revealed that they are planning on rolling out a new business structure, which would ultimately lose 4000 manager roles. There’s always a massive fuss when a large organisation decides to ‘lose’ a bunch of employees and this time has been no exception. The only difference is that this time it’s managers that are getting the sack, so an even larger uproar was expected. There’s two ways to look at a business restructure that eliminates job roles.. The first is to realise that jobs will be lost and conclude that the organisation (in this case ASDA) is making a bad move. The second is to look into the reasons why they are making the changes and realise that the new customer-facing responsibilities that are being created are much more beneficial to a range of their stakeholders.

Whilst studying PR at university I have had the importance of corporate engagement drilled into every aspect of my studies, so when looking at this ASDA restructure I must say that it would seem ASDA has made a smart move. Yes, 4000 managerial roles have become obsolete, however new responsibilities have been given to shift leaders that will enhance the engagement and interaction with consumers on the shop floor. This minimises office roles and maximises stakeholder engagement.

ASDA restructureSo, what are the actual changes that ASDA are making? In short, 4100 department manager roles will be discarded, whilst 1500 new managerial roles will be created. This leaves 2600 managers with no job role left in the new structure who will be offered the role of section leader; a role that is typically a pay grade down from their current department role. As part of the plans an additional 3,500 new section leader jobs will be created, which Asda said would result in an additional 900 staff on the shop floor.

Chief executive Andy Clarke said: “These 20 [hotspot trial] stores are performing ahead of expectations. With these changes we’re putting more colleagues in front of customers.”

The whole aim of this new restructure is to generate more of a focus on the ‘click & collect’ service, which the section leaders will be responsible for. This is an attempt from ASDA to channel a better online shopping experience and expand further into online retailing.

From a PR perspective, this move could potentially lose faith from their employees but will benefit the rest of their stakeholders. Expanding into a digital approach is a great way to keep up with the consumers preferences as ‘IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is predicting that this year total online sales will rise by 17%’

References
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-news/4-000-managers-at-risk-in-huge-shake-up-at-asda-1-6619916

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/15/shopping-smartphone-tablet-uk-increases-18-percent

 

Entering the PR world one baby-intern step at a time

Now that second year is done and dusted I have started my first of two work placements. I started as a Public Relations and Digital Marketing Intern at Atelier Studios, a digital marketing agency in Southampton, on Friday 9th May ’14.

The first day I was thrown right in at the deep end byWhiteboard ideas being given a client brief to work on. I had to generate a 6 month social media strategy plan for Varissa, a car sourcing website. I spent the day working with a fellow intern coming up with ideas. Atelier is a very chilled environment and they have a whiteboard wall where we could note down all of our tactics. It was a fun day getting to know everyone and putting together our ideas. We had to put everything we had come up with into a presentation to pitch to the client on the following Monday.

Day 2 was the client pitch which went really well. I wasn’t too nervous as I have previously pitched for a live client for an assignment on my course, so I was able to relax and pitch confidently. We received positive feedback and praise for our ideas.

For the next 3 days I worked on a number of different projects for clients, which I found very interesting. I started by doing some social media critique for a 3D printing company local to the agency in Southampton called isodo3D. This was fun as I could look into what they could do to enhance their social media presence. I also did some Copy Writing editing for a flooring company, which gave me the chance to show my writing skills. I then moved on to writing content briefs for a number of different websites, such as SPS International; a headhunting company that wanted a content brief about headhunting within the fashion industry. I am not massively knowledgeable about the fashion industry so this gave me the opportunity to research and challenge myself with a new topic. I also wrote briefs for iac acoustics, which is a sound proofing construction company, giving me a chance to research into the building development industry. So far I am enjoying being able to work on many different projects within a range of industry’s as it allows me to see what I am really interested in.

On day 4 I worked on SEO development of a website called Mr Nutcase and it’s adjoining blog called The Real Mr Nutcase. I created meta title tags, meta descriptions, and blog content updates. Meta titles and descriptions is a skill I have learnt from the placement and it was very useful to be able to use what I had learnt with a real project. Atelier is a digital marketing agency, which is giving me the opportunity to stem away from just PR projects and learn more about website development and SEO. The next day I used SproutSocial to schedule content updates to a range of social media platforms for a company called Associated Pallets. Associated Pallets sell wooden and plastic pallets, so I found industry-specific content that could be published. I also did this with the flooring company previously mentioned and researched for content within the flooring industry to be posted. I had never used SproutSocial before so again this is a new skill I have learnt. During the day I also wrote some more content briefs for Associated Pallets.

And that brings us to today… I began the day by learning the basics of running a website health-check audit. This is completely new to me so it is a chance to learn new skills. This afternoon I will go over the health-check in more detail and learn more about SEO development.

I’m half way through my placement now and so far I am really enjoying my time with Atelier Studios and I look forward to working on more projects. Stay tuned for a follow up post about the second half of my placement.

It’s the end of 2nd year, already

The end of term deadline panic is over and along with that the second year of my degree. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about that. I’ve got only one year left and no doubt that will fly by just as quickly due to the non-stop dissertation work I’ll be doing.

It is certainly a relief to have handed in all my assignments so I can now focus on my summer work placements and my part time job. I have already received an assignment grade back and I was very happy to have achieved a 1st for my Solent Creatives freelancing portfolio. I put a lot of hard work and effort into this project so it’s great to have gained another 1st under my belt. Although second year has officially ended, summer has not yet begun (and that’s not due to English weather, for once). I have now started the first of two summer internships within the PR industry. Working longs days on placement mixed with part time shifts in retail is extremely tiring, but the fact I still have the motivation to get up at 7am each morning to gain important experience proves to me that I have chosen the right career choice.

Keep an eye out for my next post to follow, which will be about the experiences I’m gaining and the fun I’m having on placement.