Mushroom Model Analysis
· Speech is casual amongst coworkers as well as customers (preferably friendly)
· Still professional tone because in a work setting
· Use technical terms such as “Pony”, “STAR”, “TPP”, “BORE”, etc.
· Interactions with customers are laidback, where many will help customers whenever they ask
· Taking initiative as employees to go above and beyond
· Because of its casual nature, some employees find it an opportunity to ‘slack off’
· All employees are dressed in whatever style they prefer
· Still uphold a dress code where we cannot wear open-toed shoes, thin-strap tank tops, no excess exposure
· All employees are required to wear a H&M lanyard and their name tags
|· Because it’s a retail job, the company emphasizes that we make the customers comfortable, therefore being casual is the best method especially since it is applicable to different types of customers
· As much as being casual and friendly, we still must uphold a level of professionalism because after all we are representing H&M as a company; professional tone should reflect H&M’s values and need to satisfy customer needs
· Many of H&M’s technical terms are derived from Swedish, thus translating into English which may be too long to say every time; alternative is to have acronyms which also helps fasten processes = efficiency
|· Our managers have emphasized that we as employees shouldn’t overwhelm customers when they come in, but rather be like ‘ninjas’ and appear/disappear whenever customers need us. This gives customer the opportunity to browse on their own.
· One of H&M’s values is to have ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ where we make decisions on our own and take initiative to better our store
· Our store has a low-retention rate because of certain employees that do not fully follow the values of the company, making their experience difficult to catch up with therefore leading to slacking off and committing ‘time fraud’ where they are dishonest about time (time they clock in, duration of breaks, etc)
|· Laws reinforce that employers must hire employees without any sort of bias or discrimination. But the company already believes in individuality, hence why there are diverse styles among my coworkers.
· Although all styles are appreciated at H&M, we must uphold a certain amount of professionalism while working which is why a dress code is also implemented; not only does it enforce appropriate clothing but also work-safe attire (ex. Shoes)
· We are all identified by lanyards and name tags, so we can maintain our individual styles even during work
2) Written Analysis
My discourse analysis is based on my employment at H&M, where there is an obvious company culture implemented in our workplace. I’ve been with the company for almost two years, so I feel that I have solid observations and input regarding how our store functions. I have organized my observations in the mushroom model above, breaking down into three different categories: dress-code, vocabulary, and behavior. The discourse of my workplace is quite unique, compared to most retail jobs.
Behavior and interactions are the most crucial applications when working in a retail job. To begin, the main idea that H&M emphasizes for employees and potential hires is the company’s individuality. At the beginning of my training process, we were told that we have the ability to appeal to a wide range of demographics. I have observed that our employees, and even managers are quite laidback. I would see managers crack jokes with other customers and behaving like a friend for the customer. That kind of interaction help customers relax in a big and busy store, as well as helping with what they need before leaving the store. Although our employees act very casual with customers, we also strive for “entrepreneurial spirit”. At H&M we have values that we follow as employees, and many strive to reach goals and take initiative to improve the store. Many employees have also go above and beyond to train new members of the team.
As simple as a retail job may seem, H&M has many technical vocabulary that we use while working on the sales floor. For example, we would have terms such as “pony” which is a rolling, metal rack you would see filled with clothes. However, the word is derived from the company’s Swedish terminology. Acronyms are also used while on the job such as “TPP” (total per piece), or “BORE” (buy on reduced everything), and other less common terminologies. These terms are unique to the company, especially since our system is very different compared to department stores such as Macy’s or Nordstrom.
The dress-code is the basic way of expressing oneself while working at H&M. Our employees are given bright, red lanyards and a nametag to differentiate ourselves from regular customers since we wear regular clothes. This kind of dress-code also represents the amount of ‘freedom’ that H&M gives to employees to express their individuality as well as other customers that may share the same style or characteristics. Because of our individuality, it also reels in different demographics to shop at our store; those more likely to approach an employee that “looks like them”. But we can dress freely to a certain extent, where we must also comply with dress code. After all, we are a company and work in a professional setting. Thus, certain rules such as “no revealing clothes” or “shirts with offensive graphics or words” are not allowed at the workplace. There are also rules specifically for shoes, where we are required t wear safe shoes for working, therefore leaving open-toed shoes to not be allowed during working hours.