Wednesday, August 7, 2019

When looking at a company or organisation and the way their staff work within it Essay Example for Free

When looking at a company or organisation and the way their staff work within it Essay When looking at a company or organisation and the way their staff work within it, we must take into account the effects and theories of motivation. Without motivation most of us find it difficult to undertake any task and the same can be said in the business world. Without the right motivation productivity will be affected in, more likely, a negative way. So what is the correct way to motivate; is there only one way or are there many different theories as to how to motivate? Surely pay alone is enough of a motivating factor? In order to better understand the effects of motivation we can look at various theorists who have given us globally recognised theories on motivation. I will be concentrating primarily on four of the most well known. Amongst the many theorists on motivation, four stand out more than any others. Partly because they were among the earliest to consider the differing factors and partly because their theories were so succinct and concise that they have stood the test of time and are relevant today. Their names, in chronological order, are Taylor, Mayo, Maslow and Herzberg, all of whom formed their theories between 1890 and 1960. Their theories are different but do have certain overlapping qualities as will be shown. To begin I shall look at FW Taylor who believed that the only thing that motivated people was money. In the early 1900s he conducted experiments in time and motion by looking at different work forces and figuring out how to make them work more efficiently. He worked out a simple, set procedure for the worker to follow maximising output and efficiency. By introducing a piecework rate (where you are paid per item made) he introduced a financial incentive which he believed was all that a worker required to be motivated. Interestingly, it was largely thanks to Taylor that the modern car is affordable to most people. Employed by Henry Ford in the early 1900s, Taylor improved efficiency in his factory by putting the cars onto a specially built assembly line that moved the car past the workers. This sped up production dramatically and reduced the time it took to build a car from around fourteen hours to under two. Next is Elton Mayo who in the 1930s conducted what is known as the Hawthorne experiments (amongst others), the name being taken from the electrical company he was studying. The basis for his experiment was to see whether the level of light in the factory played a part in production and efficiency, Mayo believing that it did. He split twelve women workers into two groups and adjusted the levels of light available to each group accordingly. He found that production was improved in both groups regardless of light levels. His conclusion was that the attention being paid to the women and the better communication and teamwork were what altered the output. Both Taylor and Mayo had theories that looked more at the environment and the effect it had on workers than what actually made the workforce tick. Our next theorist, Maslow, on the other hand looked at the needs of the individual and how meeting those needs altered or motivated them. He identified five levels of need, each one needing to be satisfied before the next level became a motivating factor. Normally drawn as a triangle or pyramid, it shows what Maslow believed people wanted from their jobs. He believed that everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. Self actualisation === Esteem needs === ===== Social needs ===== ====== Safety needs ====== ======= Physical needs ======= h The definition of the five levels is; * Physical needs- Thirst, hunger * Safety needs- Safety and shelter * Social needs- The need to belong, group acceptance * Esteem needs- Respect and recognition from others * Self actualisation- Self esteem. The main problem with this theory is that not every one will have the same needs and different people may not fit into this pattern. The last theorist is Herzberg, who conducted surveys to find out what people liked and disliked about their jobs. He put the results into two categories: Motivators and Hygiene factors. Motivators are things like challenging and meaningful work, praise, responsibility and involvement in decision making. Hygiene factors are more basic, such as good pay, holidays, job security and congenial people around you. His belief was that you had to satisfy at least one thing from each of the two main categories to achieve happiness or fulfilment at work. Achieving more than one thing in one group and nothing in the other would not make you happy. Below is a table of Herzbergs factors. To this day, however, no-one is sure why he called them hygiene factors! Motivators Hygiene factors Achievement Company policy Recognition of achievement Supervision Meaningful and interesting work Pay Responsibility Interpersonal relations Advancement Working conditions h Each of the theorists looked at has stand alone theories; we can fit all of them into Maslows pyramid of needs however to see where they overlap. Self actualisation === Esteem needs === ===== Social needs ===== ====== Safety needs ====== ======= Physical needs ======= So, now that we have looked at four of the theories of motivation and how they work on paper, can we now fit all or any of them to a real company? To try this I chose the supermarket leader, Asda. With annual sales of over à ¯Ã‚ ¿Ã‚ ½135.4bn and a position never outside the top ten in the Times Online 100 best companies, Asda are clearly doing something right. But how significant is the way they treat their workforce in relation to their high turnover figures? To discover this we need to look at just what is on offer to the Asda employees, or as they are all called within the organisation colleagues. As an organisation, Asda has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Founded in 1965, Asda very nearly went bankrupt in the 1980s until a new management team was brought in, adopting many of Wal-Marts (at the time an American contemporary of Asda: now, after a à ¯Ã‚ ¿Ã‚ ½6.7bn takeover four years ago, Asdas owners) principles. The Asda chain is recognised for its caring approach, not only to customers but to staff as well. All employees are called colleagues and are given equal status, which fits with Herzbergs motivators or Mayos theories on teamwork and recognition. This instils self esteem in the workforce and proves to be a good move with 89% of staff saying they can have a laugh with their colleagues and 85% believing their managers are open and honest with them. Staff turnover of 29% is good for a company that employs over 136,000 people; with 46% of those employed being under 35 years of age, this is a youth oriented company. With an award for flexible working patterns under its belt, and with nearly 60% of the workforce on a part time basis, this is seen as an important benefit to the colleagues. On top of that there is the amazing benefit of at least sixteen weeks maternity leave on full pay, extra weeks maternity leave above the statutory forty weeks and a crà ¯Ã‚ ¿Ã‚ ½che on site or help with nursery fees. All of these benefits tie in with Herzbergs hygiene factors as well as both Mayos and Maslows theories on social and security needs being met. The only theorist to not get a mention in relation to Asda is Taylor, but then his theory is more applicable to a factory or industry where production of goods, not the manner in which they are sold, is paramount. Piecework is not something that could be introduced successfully to Asda as it goes against the ethos of everyone being equal. In conclusion I feel that many of the theories are applicable to modern day business. Involvement, recognition, good working conditions and job security are all basic but essential needs for a happy and productive working environment. With perhaps the exception of Taylor, all of the theorists are still as relevant in their thinking today as they were when they first carried out their studies, and these theories have stood the test of time and the change in attitude from employees of yesteryear to the present day. The success of Asda is most definitely down to the congenial staff attitudes and the light and airy feel to the work environment, brought about by respect and consideration. A good example of how far a member of their staff went to fulfil a customers needs is recounted in this story taken from the Times Online website: ..[The culture of care and respect]is typified by the story of a customer who wanted a sun lounger for her recuperation after a mastectomy. While she was shopping at the Tipton store in the West Midlands, staff member Chris Lee offered to help. Lee, who had undergone the same operation, gave the woman her home phone number and later spent two hours on the phone with her. The delighted customer wrote to Asda and as a result the company gave Lee and her grandchildren a trip to Disneyland Paris. The reward benefits not only the recipient, but the whole workforce and is an example to all of how great Asda really is at employer/employee relations. References 1. h 2. Bibliography Elliott, C Quinn, F (2002), English Legal System (4th Edition) Harlow, Pearson Education LTD The Motivational Theorists. D. Pettigrew, FdSc Law Yr 1.

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