Observation technique is a very beneficial method used to obtain first hand information, processes and behaviors under study. Observation provides researchers with an opportunity to obtain data on a wide range of behaviors, and captures a variety of interactions used to explore the topic under evaluation. Through direct observation, a researcher can draw a holistic perspective, through understanding the context within which the study topic operates. In addition, observation technique also allows the researcher to learn about things that participants under study may be unaware of, or may not be willing to discuss openly in an interview. I found observation extremely beneficial because it provided direct information about the restaurant workers under study. In addition, observation enabled me to understand the situational context. Furthermore, through this research technique of data collection, I was able to identify anticipated outcomes of the study. Observation technique exists in a natural, flexible, as well as, unstructured setting. Therefore, I was able to collect data and facts that allowed me to understand the problem under investigation, and make analysis of its components and in reaching the study assumptions.
The main aim of observing workplace behavior of Dunkin’ Donuts workers is to gain a deeper understanding of how the restaurant workers relate to one another. In addition, the observation project was to determine how restaurant workers understand workplace safety standards, such as, occupational health and safety hazards that the restaurant worker population currently facing. The study began successfully at 9:30 am. I observed various activities, particularly the behavior of workers, through which I was able to gather health and safety information from the targeted worker population at Dunkin’ Donuts in Arizona. Through my observation, I was able to identify different behavior patterns of restaurant workers ranging from how they observe occupational health and safety standards, social life, work life balance, and how they spend their free time. In addition, I was also able to identify and observe the physical behaviors and gestures. In the course of the observation project, I observed that most employees tried to avoid overcrowding most of the range tops. Most of the employees using burners were setting pot handles away from burners, and never allowed to stick the handles out over the edge of the range. At Some point, the workers were adjusting burner flames. Most of the workers had their sleeves buttoned as a safety precaution. The workers are highly social with one another and would ask for help from their colleagues when carrying a heavy object or moving a hot liquid. Furthermore, as a safety precaution, some workers wear protective devices, such as, potholders, gloves, and mints. I also noticed some workers shaking off excess ice crystals before inserting fryer basket in hot oil. In addition to the workers behavior, I observed the kitchen supervisor giving examples to workers on instruction and safety manuals. The kitchen supervisor powered of the blade of slicers and wiped it from the centre hub to edge. This was done to avoid accidents from the slashing edge. The observation project ended successfully at 1:30 pm.
The notes that I recorded from my observation included the physical environment that the observation project occurred. The project occurred on Monday 23rd January 2011 at Dunkin’ Donuts; Bell Rd. Phoenix in Arizona. In addition, I also recorded the social environment, including the restaurant workers, the staff, such as, the kitchen supervisor, and how they interact with one another. I also recorded down the projects implementation activities that included various activities that took place during the life of the project, and what other participants or other staffs do. The activities recorded down after observation included how the workers handle their duty in the work place. It was also necessary to consider the native language used in the program. Therefore, I recorded the native language used. English was the native language used by most workers observed. The native language is very valuable because it describes what the workers encounter during their work time. I also recorded how the workers use the non-verbal communication. For instance, in the manner in which they dress, express themselves non-verbally through the use of gestures, and how they space themselves physically during group discussions.