Pret A Manger is a London based chain of cafés and sandwich shops known for their extremely friendly workers who take “service with a smile” to a new level. Employees are screened and selected for the positive-oriented personalities and trained to provide their customers with highly positive and friendly service. Management even sends “mystery shoppers” which are members of the corporate office go under cover as normal customers and enter one of the cafés. These mystery shoppers rate and evaluate the performance of the workers without the workers knowing it.
Pret A Manger’s approach has brought them success as they are now rapidly expanded from London into New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago. However, their emphasis on their workings presenting a positive and friendly attitude at all times which is enforced by visits from “mystery shoppers” has been criticized as an extreme form of emotional labor
Review the concepts of emotional labor and emotional intelligence, and then do some research on Pret A Manger’s management of emotional labor. Here are a few articles to get you started:
Noah, T. (2013). Labor of love.New Republic,244(1), 18. [Academic Source Complete – EBSCOHOST]
Clifford, S. (Aug. 7, 2011). Would you like a smile with that?New York Times.[ProQuest]
Goodman, M. (Mar. 6, 2011). Smile, it will pay for everyone.Sunday Times.[ProQuest]
When you have finished reviewing the background materials and finished your research on Pret A Manger, write a 3- to 4-page paper addressing the following issues:
- What do you think the positive benefits will be to Pret A Manger’s employees from the emotional labor they have to engage in? Will this emphasis on presenting a positive and happy image at all times lead to positive attitudes such as greater job satisfaction and organizational commitment?
- What negative consequences might Pret A Manger’s employee face from the heavy emotional labor they have to perform? Will it lead to burnout or problems.
- Which of the four aspects of emotional intelligence do you think would be most helpful for a Pret A Manger employee? Should Pret A Manger use emotional intelligence tests to recruit employees?
EMOTIONS AND MOODS
For the Module 2 SLP, you will continue to apply the background materials to your own workplace experiences. Review the concepts of emotional intelligence and emotional labor from the background materials, and then write a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following issues:
- Continue with your discuss of the two coworkers that you wrote about for your Module 1 SLP. Discuss your evaluation of their emotional intelligence. How would you rate them on aspects of emotional intelligence such as self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills? Be specific and explain your reasoning.
- Discuss one or two times during your career when you felt you were being put under extreme emotional labor by your manager. How did you cope with your emotional labor?
SLP Assignment Expectations
- Answer the assignment questions directly. Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to general background materials.
- Make use of both the required Case Assignment articles as well as the required general background materials in your paper. Apply concepts that you learned in the background materials in your answers to the assignment questions.
- Review our “Writing Style Guide” for more detail on referencing and writing expectations. This guide is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.