Motivating and retaining staff is a managerial problem business essay


Given the current market scenario, both organizations and its employees are under great pressure to perform. There is cut-throat competition across different market sectors and most of these organizations operate in a highly competitive global environment. Therefore in such a fast paced and a continuously changing business environment a thorough understanding of all aspects of management is not only significant but also indispensable. This is because alongside fierce competition, most businesses are often faced with ongoing changes that lead them to consequently restructure and reengineer vital business processes, which often create stressful working conditions. Thus, it becomes imperative for an organizations management to keep its employees motivated in order to achieve the business excellence they strive for and thereby remain profitable. As stated by Graham & Bennett (1998), human resource management is one of the most important areas of operations management.

Human resource management within most organizations has various functions for example: - hiring the best talent, managing them, developing them and keeping them from going and working for other companies. Therefore it would be appropriate to say that out of all assets in an organization, its employees are the most important entity which gives these organizations an edge over others. As stated by Eskildsen & Nussler (2000), most organizations are fighting to hire a talented workforce in order to remain successful. Therefore, it is evident that managers and leaders within these organizations need to motivate their employees for them to be able to remain profitable and successful. Hence in order to motivate employees, organizations need to buy their employee's commitment by implementing motivation policies and principles. However, motivating employees is easier said than done. Managers cannot just programme their employees to embrace the organizations objectives easily. Motivating and retaining staff is therefore, one of the biggest issues faced by managers today.

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The significance of employee motivation has been highlighted by many authors. As mentioned by Sharma (2006), 'Motivation is a company's life blood'. Organizations in which employees are well motivated not only have advantages in terms of reduced employee turnover but competitive advantages like improved performance, reduced absenteeism, and increased revenue. But in some cases managers assume that they know their employee's expectations and what they want from their work; however these assumptions can lead managers into committing serious errors in the pursuit of motivating their employees (Enz & Simons, 2006).

Given this background, it can be said that motivation is the cornerstone for achieving good performance. In order to have better performance, employees must be motivated by themselves or through external incentives. Thus, the purpose of this research is to help managers understand about the various factors that motivate employees to perform to the best of their ability. This will require studying different types of organisation cultures and looking at general how organisations motivate staff in various working environments by using Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivators factors in organisation

Research Aims & Objectives:-

Organizational knowledge and workplace motivation have been studied extensively. As discussed earlier, high employee turnover can result into significant costs to organizations and also have a profound impact on other tangible aspects like loss of knowledge/skills. Therefore it is not an understatement to say that keeping employees motivated is of paramount importance for organizations.

The primary purpose of this research is to determine the factors that influence the motivation levels & job satisfaction of employees at Primark and provide recommendations to various organizational functions like HR, operations and other line managers in order to help them increase the motivation levels of their employees.

2.2 Research Questions

1) To identify current overall HR and employee motivation practices at Primark.

2) To determine the prime reasons why employees choose to work for this company.

3) To determine if the compensation package offered to employees are competitive.

4) To identify and determine primary reasons that cause employee turnover in the organization.

5) To determine the motivation & job satisfaction level of employees.

6) To make recommendations to the management to help them effectively design policies and procedures in order to help them improve employee motivation and reduce employee turnover.


A method is a systematic and orderly approach taken towards the collection and analysis of data so that information can be obtained from those data Jankowicz (2005). Therefore the research methodology for this study was planned in an attempt to align the aims of this research with the methods that will be undertaken during the course of this research. Hence, taking into consideration the nature and the context of this study, the researcher planned to use both qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct this study.

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Qualitative methods were applied in order to study attitudes, opinions & experiences of the small business bloggers. This is because attitudes, opinion and experiences of people are very subjective in nature and are ought to vary from person to person. This view is also supported by Jankowicz (2005, p.123), according to him to a qualitative researcher the nature and content of what is said ' its meaning ' rather than the number of people who are saying it, or the frequency with which it is said matters. Further, as stated by Leavy et al (2006), qualitative methods are useful at getting the 'lived experiences' of individuals.

Ten interviews were conducted with different small business bloggers from different industries, business type and varying personal backgrounds. Most of these interviews were conducted by e-mail, one by phone and one was held face-to-face.

Further, since the research questions were rooted in both qualitative and quantitative understanding of the nature of this study, quantitative research could not be ignored. This is because; it offers a discrete picture of the situation and can be readily analyzed and pictorially represented. In the survey made for this study, both qualitative and quantitative questions are used for the purpose. Therefore, the researcher conducted email surveys which also allowed making more systematic comparisons to this study; a semi-structured questionnaire containing 21 questions was administered via email to gather the data required for this study. E-mail invitations were sent to around 238 small business bloggers who were either owners / managers of these businesses from various sectors out of which 54 replies were received.

Dissertation Structure:-

This section outlines the structure of this research which seeks to investigate the effectiveness of blogs as a marketing and communications tool among SME's.

Chapter 1: - The first chapter of this study outlined the introduction and background of this study by highlighting the importance of research into blogs within the business context, aims and objectives, and the methodology followed to conduct this study.

Chapter 2:- The second chapter addresses the literature review available on the subject pointing to various researches that have been conducted by various authors. This chapter is further subdivided into five categories. It starts with a brief review of what blogs are and they emerged within the business context, and how they have grown; making references to existing researches, it then highlights the different kinds of SMEs that are best suited to adopt to blogs as a marketing and communications tool, followed by highlighting the benefits that blogs present to SMEs and discussing its drawbacks. The final part of this chapter discusses the different strategic options that SME's can exploit in relation to incorporating blogs into their marketing and communications strategies.

Chapter 3:- Discusses the research strategy and the methods used to conduct this research. It discusses and justifies the choice of these methods and outlines the data collection and analysis process.

Chapter 4:- Presents the results obtained from survey and interviews conducted as a part of research methodology. It shows the qualitative and quantitative representation of responses of the data collected.

Chapter 5:- This chapter discusses and critically evaluates the results obtained with reference to the literature review.

Chapter 6:- Sixth chapter and the final chapter of this study, summarizes and concludes the study based on the findings and provides recommendations (if any) to other business and also for further studies.


Literature Review

When we reverse engineer an organizations success, it can almost always be traced back to motivated workforce. From productivity and profitability to recruiting and retention, hardworking and happy employees lead to triumph. Unfortunately, motivating people is far from an exact science. There's no secret formula, no set calculation, no work sheet to fill out. In fact, motivation can be as individual as the employees who work for you. One employee may be motivated only by money. Another may appreciate personal recognition for a job well done. Still another may work harder if she has equity in the business. But you can boil down employee motivation to one basic ideal -- finding out what your employees want and finding a way to give it to them or to enable them to earn it. Here we've gathered are the motivational techniques and theories.

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Motivation is one of the most important elements that not only influences employees working in companies but it can also play an important role behind an organizations success. Author Alzaidi (2008) in this work states that we can trace back the importance of job satisfaction of employees within organizations and institutions to the 20th century when Maslow came up with his theory in 1956, Maslow's theory (1956). Since then a lot of studies have been conducted to examine the relationship between people and their work, and their job satisfaction. An individual's motivation to work is an attitudinal variable and is defined by authors Schermerhorn. Jr, et al (2005), as the degree to which individuals feels positive or negative about their jobs.

Therefore, it is extremely important for organizations and institutions that their employees remain satisfied with their jobs because job satisfaction is the most essential ingredient that determines employee commitment and other important factors within the organizational climate. Job satisfaction becomes extremely critical in the educational industry context, significantly for university teachers because it is connected with different aspects of their roles which consume their time both in and outside schools. It therefore becomes critical that they feel in harmony and satisfaction while carrying out their duties to ensure quality output as an outcome of their efforts.