Motivational theories applied in the workplace

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Within this assignment I will be looking at the various motivational theories that organisations may use in order to more their workforce more efficient. The organisation I will look at is Tesco as they now employ over 468,000 employees worldwide and have adopted various methods in order to give their employees increased knowledge, skills and job satisfaction by using training and relevant rewards and recognition schemes.

Motivation is very important within an organisation that relies heavily on their employees as this will determine how efficiently they work. Motivation can be given in many ways such as personal interest in the job they are doing or other factors such as rewards, other factors include recognition of hard work, a sense of achievement, responsibility within the workplace, opportunity of promotion and also a sense of challenge and enjoyment. By motivating employees in this way they will be able to work harder and achieve a high quality of work in less time. If this is applied within Tesco, the same task will take a shorter period of time meaning a reduced labour cost for the business.

The first motivational theory I am going to look at is Taylor’s theory which suggests that employee’s main incentive to work is for money purposes only. Although Taylor’s theory is based upon a production line where workers are paid for each item that is produced which creates an incentive to work faster. Although this meant that work would be completed quicker, it may also lead to lower quality work. Some positive aspects of this theory include that people are able to work for longer periods, and workers feel rewarded for putting in more effort although negative features may include not being suitable to everyone as people may feel less secure in their job.

This motivational theory has been adopted within Tesco in order to motivate their staff by offering incentives, these incentives are varied according to lifestyle and includes free shares, pension scheme, private healthcare and contract mobile phones. Tesco offer varied incentives so that every employee has something to work towards as there are different rewards for different people. Although one disadvantage of adopting this method within Tesco is that only the floor staff will benefit as it will relate to the amount of work they complete, whereas mangers do not have the same type of work and will miss out on the same rewards, this means Tesco must adopt multiple theories to suit all employees.

The next motivational theory I will look at is the Hawthorne study which suggests that there were various factors which created motivation at work and this included; greater communication, good teamwork, showing an interest in others and ensuring work was non-repetitive. This is due to Elton Mayo suggesting that receptiveness will make employees bored and become less motivated. Which means employees should be given freedom to make choices within their workplace. Although a disadvantage of using this theory is that employees will not get any financial benefits such as bonuses.

This is apparent within Tesco as communication within this company is an important factor in order to motivate staff, examples of this include 1-to-1 discussions between floor staff and managers and also with the use of the company’s intranet which is used to offer jobs to current employees before they go out to the public. Another motivational theory I will focus on is Maslow, which includes a pyramid style of motivation where basic or physical needs must be met before the other stages can be dealt with. The other stages include security within the business, social needs which include teambuilding and a sense of belonging between employees, self-esteem which may include promotions and also self-fulfilment that may consist of a constant challenge they face within the workplace.

This motivational theory is used within Tesco to motivate all employees within the organisation, such as ensuring each worker has a regular monthly pay and the use of facilities such as a restaurant. The next stage Tesco focus on is the need for security at work, this is in the form of formal contracts of employment to ensure employees feel secure in the job they have taken, security within Tesco also includes pension schemes, union options and also health and safety within the workplace. In addition to this, the Herzberg theory is also used within workplaces such as Tesco, and this includes both motivators and hygiene factors.

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