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You’re a college student working at your fast food job trying to make some money to keep your parents off your back, every day it’s the same thing and every burger is built the same way. Bun, burger, pickle, onions, lettuce, ketchup, and bun. Your first day at work and your boss has specifically told you “this is the way to make these burgers, this is the best and the fastest way to do it and that’s how you’re going to do it.” Yeah, it’s a really specific script.

Frederick Taylor, the creator of Scientific Management

Since the turn of the 20th century businesses have been structured around efficiency and it is all down to the vision of one man Frederick Winslow Taylor who was the catalyst behind a management tactic that is known as Scientific Management. This tactic of management has continued to live on in businesses to this day and while it is not as glorified as it once was, scientific management still looms in the background of each company.

Let’s look closer at Scientific Management and why it’s still a cornerstone in pretty much every business out there:

  • Each job has its own specific guidelines for the most effective output
  • Your job description is best suited for you as an employee
  • You are rewarded and recgonized for what you do

 Effective output

As I mentioned in the example within the introduction to this post, some jobs have a set list of actions necessary to complete a task in the most effective way. Businesses like McDonalds have a set routine to make their burgers, some companies have a specific chain of actions necessary to pitch their ideas. It all comes down to the principles included scientific management.

Frederick Taylor realised that in order to get the most out of employees there should be a structure in place that has been thought out and proven to be the fastest and most efficient course of action for that particular task. Sounding familiar? It should, every business still aims for efficiency from it’s workers in order to make sure they are getting the most out of them for the customers they cater too.

Fitting the role

Next on the list is how Taylor’s principle of having the right man (or woman, of course) for the job is still important in each business. There is a lot of emphasis in the modern business world placed on having the right employees filling the right roles and this article from Forbes titled Successful Companies put the Right People in the Right Jobs highlights the importance of having the right people and what that can do for a company.

Once you have the right people in the role Taylor’s principle also includes that these employees continue to be trained in that role to further develop their understanding and maintain a steady output of quality work. A lot of companies still put their employees through training programmes that can not only improve their work but also refresh them on techniques and strategies that are relevant to their job.

Rewards and Recognition

Employee of the Month, Christmas Bonus, Promotion. These are all examples of Taylor’s principle that includes management being supportive and recognising achievement of their employees. Now while this article titled 5 tips for Effective Employee Recognition highlights employee of the month as an ineffective form of recognition the rest of the article still reinforces Taylor’s ideas towards the importance of awarding employees that deserve it.

Taylor understood that in order to get good work from employees, it was important to provide incentives that they could strive for. This strategy is the epitome of what Taylor’s Scientific Management tactic is all about, mutually beneficial behaviour for both employer and employees. The employers will get better work for employees and employees will get rewards for doing good work.

Mind your Business

To conclude, Scientific Management is still alive and kicking in the business world, although it isn’t the overbearing power that it once was it still lurks in the deep realms of each business. These management tactics have been modified and revamped but Taylor’s inital management ideas are still the basis of each organization from fast food restaurants to PR firms around the world.

Remember that when you go in to your job that there’s always going to be the best way to do something a set of specific guidelines for your tasks, you were hired in you your role for a reason so go with it and improve in each aspect of that job and who knows, you could get that reward of the promotion you were seeking or that bonus you wanted.

Daena Bodie.

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3 ways to settle in at your new job

Have you ever gone in to a new job and felt lost or uncomfortable? Felt out of the loop with all of your co-workers? There is always a period of time when starting a new job, that we have feelings of being uncomfortable or alienated and it happens to us all.

Having to assimilate and familiarise within a new work place is a necessary evil for every new employee but there are ways to help an employee achieve a sense of assimilation. Karen Myers and John Oetzel did a study in 2003 that proposed a model, that discusses the processes involved in socialisation.

To elaborate, Katherine Miller went on to clearly outline these processes in her book Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes and I have chosen to discuss what I view as the most effective three that are involved when learning to assimilate in a new workplace, these include:

  • Developing familiarity with others
  • Acculturating – Learning the culture of the organisation
  • Becoming involved in the organisation

Developing familiarity with others

Russell Korte developed a study of how relationship building is a primary component of socialization processes in organisations. Korte discusses how studies on socialisation highlight “a need for newcomers to learn to interact successfully with others in the organisation”. As most of us probably know, in the working

Creating familiarity in the office is a great tool for assimilation in a new workplace

world it is more likely than not that you are going to be surrounded by other employees that you have to interact with on a daily basis, which makes social interaction crucial as we begin to familiarise with our co-workers.

If you’re a new employee and don’t develop a strong familiarity with your co-workers it can harm any chances to gain experience or reduce any help you get from your colleagues. For example, if you don’t know how to use a specific set of software or the photocopier and you need to ask for help from a co-worker that you’ve never introduced yourself to or even acknowledged, then are they going to be a lot less likely to help you figure it out compared to a situation where you had familiarised yourself and gotten to know them.

Acculturating – learning the culture of the organisation

Each organisation has a different ‘culture’ a different way of dressing, a different manner of interacting, or even a different ethic towards work completion. For example, one office may be very laid-back in terms of dress but their interactions around the office may be kept to a minimum. Now compare that to an office with a strict dress policy, think full suit everyday, but office interactions may be encouraged to allow workers to bounce ideas back and forth or even to sit and create ideas and strategies.

The culture of a work place is a big influence on an employee and it is important to learn the culture of an organisation quickly. Learning the culture of a company relates to being able to develop a familiarity with others because being seen as someone who knows the culture and fits in will change the perceptions of others looking upon the new employee as just that, the new guy (or girl). The extreme differences in office cultures means that employees have to adapt to a lot of different things and quickly. The need to adapt to cultures relies heavily on adaptability and this is key in learning the culture of an organisation. This article from America’s Job Exchange discusses the importance of flexibility in the workplace and it’s benefits.

 Become involved in the organisation

Being involved in an organisation can show co-workers and upper-management that there is a willingness to engage in the company and a desire to excel and improve. Showing involvement is not only important as a new employee that’s trying to assimilate but it continues throughout working life to develop better performance from employees. Involvement in a company helps in the assimilation process through socialisation because it means the employee is willing to go out of their way to make themselves comfortable in the organisation and learn more about the company.

For example, if you are an employee that does not look to be involved in the company or be engaged, it can send a negative message about the employee to the rest of the company and having co-workers thinking negatively about you can be detrimental and links back to familiarising with others and in turn relates to acculturating.

Let’s sum it all up

Assimilation in to a new organization takes place through a variety of different socialization processes. There are many ways for a new employee to make the most out of their time in a new job and the three ways listed above are all a part of the bigger picture, which is the socialization process.

After what I have researched and discussed in this blog I know and hopefully you can take away a little insight in to the ways that can help you settle in to your new workplace. It is all about familiarising yourself to your surroundings to make yourself comfortable in them, adapting and understanding the culture of the organisation in order to do the right things and finally, once you’re comfortable, going and being involved in your organisation and showing an interest for your place of work.

Daena Bodie.

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An Introduction to Me

My Men’s Soccer Headshot

As written above in bold you’ll see that I’m Daena Bodie. I’m a Junior here at Longwood and I am studying Communication Studies, Public Relations and Organizational Communication. I am also a member of the Longwood University Men’s Soccer team and I aspire to play professional soccer one day.

I have an extremely diverse background that begins with my childhood and where I was born. The Bahamas is where I lived until I was nine before my family decided to relocate to the United Kingdom. After that, I found myself trying to pursue my dream of playing professional soccer, which has subsequently lead me here amongst the Longwood COMMunity.

Throughout my time here at Longwood, especially within the Communications Studies major and the Men’s Soccer team, I have developed a lot of skills that vary from being able to use design software, to report and interview people, to lead, to listen, and to work well in a group.

By taking a Media Design class last Spring I pushed my limits and developed a strong eye for what is used in design and what is effective in design, which would then enable me to use the necessary software to create appealing pieces.

While at Longwood, this design class isn’t the only class in which I have picked up important skills and knowledge. I have taken a multitude of communication classes that have all helped give me a deeper understanding of the communications process.

I took an Interpersonal Communications class over the summer that gave me a deeper look at how people communicate and what kind of verbal & nonverbal signs can be portrayed and understood. Last semester I also took and Applied Organizational Communications class that involved a lot of interaction with a local organization in order to help them meet and improve select goals. That class taught me a lot about Public Relations and how to work within an organization and the surrounding audiences.

I haven’t come across too many vital roles in my personal, academic, or professional life. Through soccer I have always been a solid team player and a great fit in group situations. Having been in a variety of different teams and around a lot of different cultures I have learnt to not only communicate well with others but also with other cultures.

After graduation I have no plans as far as academics go. I have always played soccer and always loved it so my main goal after graduation would be to pursue that dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

I have never really planned for anything but pursuing that dream. So, while I value the opportunity I have to get a degree my main goal is soccer. If that fails then I would love to stay involved in sports in some way, which is why I think this Organizational Communication class is going to be extremely helpful because it will open up options and views on what my other possibilities can be when trying to stay involved in soccer organizations or other sporting organizations.