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Apple Inc., as a successful organization, has their own effective ways to motivate the employees. Steve Job, the cofounder of Apple Inc., was a perfectionist. He was always considered to be a great motivator. He pushed his workers as far as they could go and sometimes it didn’t end well. Steve Job has been criticized many times for treating his employees harshly but many of his employees do admit that they achieved things that they never thought they could because of the pressure he put on them. He always wanted to be sure he was making the right decision so he would always think every possible choice option through before he made his executive team and they often would argue the pros and cons of each idea before a decision was made (Nathan Schiller, 2012). We could consider that both McGregor X and Y Theory were being applied by Steve Jobs
In X Theory, workers have to be driven to involve in carrot and stick management. Carrot and stick management was applied by Steve Jobs to develop worker’s potential. For example, when people do not stand for the Macintosh project, he fired those that stand against him and hired other great workers. In fact, he kept those who can work with him tend to be loyal such as his A team programmers, executives and designers.
Steve Job used the McGregor Y Theory. This is because he would motivate the team as a whole instead of just managing his staff. He believed that his workers would work to their full potential if given the right push which is sometimes why he treated them harshly. He believed his employees could be great and he wanted to see them succeed. For example, Ratzlaff, a creative director of Apple Inc., had created an excellent design for iMac. This new design was not supported until Steve felt impressed with his design. Steve Jobs praise Ratzlaff and he felt happy as Steve Jobs is a person with high expectation which almost no people could give him what he wanted.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory – is the best known motivation theory proposed by Abraham Maslow which involves the needs in term of (Steve Denning, 2012):
Physiological: Food, drink shelter, sex, and other physical requirements
Safety: Security and protection from physical emotional harm
Social: Affection, belongingness, acceptance, and friendship
Esteem: Internal esteem factors such as status, recognition and attention
Self-actualization: Growth, achieving one’s potential, and self-fulfilment.
Below is a detail plan of example of Apple Inc. to satisfy each of these needs:
1. Physiological needs: Apple Inc. provides reasonable refreshment breaks, work hours, and physical comfort for their employees to work.
2. Safety needs: Apple Inc. has done a great job in giving for these needs, such as base compensation, safe working conditions and benefits. They could still have improvement in job security, which is to get rid of the threat that a lot of workers afraid of losing their jobs because of their performance.
3. Social needs: Apple Inc. has tried to improve the environment between managers and employees. This could help the individuals to consider that the sense of belonging to be of vital importance.
4. Esteem needs: Apple Inc. satisfy their employees esteem needs by proving them responsibility for important jobs, giving chances for promotion to higher job status, and recognition from Steve Jobs. They always ensure their workers know that their contribution can help in achieving the organizational goals.
5. Self-actualization needs: Apple Inc. has always provided creative and challenging work to their employees through the products they develop. If the challenging work is done perfectly, this could make their employees to feel that they are already in the place they want where their self- actualization is satisfied.
Goal-Setting Theory- The theory defines the vital relationship between goals and performance. Research supports predictions that the most effective performance seems to result when objectives are challenging, when performance are evaluated and align to feedback on results, and acceptance and commitment are created. (Fred C. Lunenburg, 2011)
Apple Inc.’s Goal-Setting Theory
The “goal-setting theory, is one of the process theories that is applied to the Apple Inc. They highly focus to motivate their employees to accomplish challenging task goals. The appropriate goals-setting management within Apple Inc. is always able to help in clarifying performance expectations. A foundation for behavioural self-management has been provided by Apple Inc. It could motivate the work performance and self-satisfaction of the employees within the Apple Inc.
Expectancy Theory – says that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a desired outcome. Expectancy is the effort-performance linkage; instrumentality is the performance-reward linkage; and valence is the attractiveness of the reward.
Expectancy Theory applied in Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. uses expectation theory to motivate the employees to achieve the goals which are measureable, attainable and specific. Employees attempt to increase their job performance level to get the valued rewards.
However, it seems to be idealistic because most of the people perceive high degree correlation between performance and rewards. So, Apple Inc. concern on each of the employees and provide them beneficial welfare. This can improve the performance level of the employees although the rewards are not as employees desired. Apple may ensure that the employee can achieve the aimed performance level by observed the employee’s ability to make the company operations more effective.
Company’s Operations/ Practices
Apple Inc. has always been considered the most innovative and admired company in the world. They reveal that the employees’ motivation is a key success factor. So, their employees are given incentives and rewards in order to sustain high motivation and foster creative thinking.
Apple Inc., for instance, rewards its employees by giving them a recognition bonus of 3% to 5% of their base salary, unless they fail to achieve their target. Obviously, they try to sustain employee’s motivation and commitment. Apple Inc.’s employees will receive a free iPod Shuffle or iPhone as a reward for their accomplishments.
As of July 2012, Apple Store employees have gotten pay raises of up to 25 per cent of their salary because of great performance. In addition, Apple CEO Tim Cook created a discount system. Under the new system, Apple Inc. employees received $500 off of a Mac or $250 off of an iPad. This discount, which can be used every three years, is available to all employees who have worked for the company for at least 90 days. Employees are also always getting a fixed 25 per cent discount on Apple hardware.
Apple Inc. is a good example of an organization that is not only capable of motivating employees to do some achievement, but also of making them willing to do. Apple Inc. fosters both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation through organizational factors such as a culture that encourages commitment that recognises employees’ achievements and value by offering financial and non-financial incentives. A successful company always embrace a total reward system that incorporates both financial and non-financial incentives. This is exactly what Apple Inc. has done and this approach is proven to be effective.
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