Motivation is the driving force behind an individuals actions. Motivation is the set of forces that cause people to choose certain behaviours from among the many alternatives open to them. The intensity of motivation varies from individual to individual. An individual himself may experience different levels of motivation at different situations. Also, an individual could be motivated by different factors like job satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, interaction with customers and co-workers, something to fill their time with activity, etc.
MOTIVATION AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN BUSINESS
Organizations are driven by employees and a motivated employee is an asset to the organization. Motivation is important because of its significance as a determinant of performance and its intangible nature. In today's ever increasing competitive markets, maintaining a highly motivated task force is one of the challenges that the modern manager has to face.
THE WORK SITUATION
Marks & Spencer is a well known chain of supermarkets with several outlets all over the world. Recently there has been a sudden increase in employees' absenteeism, extended break hours and a perceptible decline in customer service. The situation is not out of hand but will soon become, if this trend is not reversed. The management has investigated the reasons for this behaviour and found the reasons to be as under:
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Due to recession, management has taken the decision to shut down several outlets in non-profitable locations. This has created a fear among employees.
Management also has decided to cut down redundant staff.
There have been several measures taken towards cost cutting - which included withdrawing of several benefits, which employees used to enjoy before, for example, paid breaks.
Due to these and many other factors employees are de-motivated and are loosing interest in working and serving the customers properly.
IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS OF MARKS & SPENCER
Customers are complaining about poor service and rude staff.
No. of footfalls in the store has reduced, thereby reducing profitability.
Employees' attitude on the job is showing negativity
Employees' performance is directly causing a downward trend in the company's reputation and sales.
The theory of Motivation which I think is most applicable to the current situation is Abraham Maslow's Theory of Hierarchy.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs assumes that people are motivated to satisfy five levels of needs which are explained in detail below. As an employee of Marks & Spencer, let me explain how the company takes or can take care of my needs and keep me motivated.
Physiological, It is the most basic of requirements. Marks and Spencer can provide its employees with basic necessities like free canteen, subsidised food coupons, etc. Since most of the staff are students, they can organise some kind of shared subsidised accommodation close to their stores.
Safety, Once food and accommodation needs are taken care of, the next set of requirements would be a feeling of safety and security. Job security, a healthy and hazard-free work environment, provision of medical insurance and emergency medical facilities are all very strong reasons for an employee to feel safe. The management at Marks & Spencer can give a feeling of job security by being transparent in its communication to employees about intended decisions. Announcement of internal job postings will give the employees the assurance that they will be given first preference every time there is a job opening. Counselling employees will also give them a feeling of job security.
Social Needs are taken care of when the company conveys a concern for the employees' welfare and interests, thereby creating a feeling of belongingness to its employees. Marks & Spencer could organise special days or small events without impacting the work which can make the workplace more fun.
Esteem, this covers both internal esteem and external esteem. Internal esteem relates to self-esteem such as self-respect and sense of pride. External esteem relates to social status and recognition. Though this is a very sensitive subject, Marks & Spencer take care of this aspect by treating me fairly. They have policies whereby employees cannot treat another employee disrespectfully or pass comments which have sexual undertones. Their recognition policy ensures that my manager acknowledges my performance every time I have met the clear targets set out for me,
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Self-actualisation is the highest level reached according to Maslow. At this point, the individual's focus shifts to more intangible needs like a sense of morality, need for being creative, spontaneity in the workplace, feeling of being engaged in critical activities like problem solving, a feeling of lack of prejudice, etc. However, before this level can be attained, the earlier levels in the hierarchy have to be attained.
The hierarchical arrangement suggests that the five levels of needs are arranged in order of increasing importance, starting with physiological needs. According to the theory, when needs at one level are satisfied, they are no longer motivators and the individual "moves up" the hierarchy to satisfy needs at the next level.
REASONS FOR CHOOSING MASLOW'S THEORY OF HIERARCHY IN MARKS & SPENCER
While focusing on the bottom line is a primary concern of all businesses, it is very important to also retain the human capital of the establishment. Management can do so by only recognizing the various factors which motivate employees. Accordingly management can take decisions which will not only benefit the business but also be satisfactory to the employee.
Managers at Marks and Spencer should follow Maslow's theory where once the physiological needs are fulfilled, the needs move to safety and then further until it can reaches the maximum level at self-actualisation. This can motivate the employees to work better.
PROBLEMS WITH MASLOWS THEORY
Though this is a very old theory used by many companies and the first motivation theory, it is argued that in some work places the employees are sometimes not motivated in the hierarchical way. At times, safety needs may take priority over physiological needs and so on the needs do not always follow the same order.
Though there are some limitations to this theory, I believe that if the managers follow Maslow's theory, there will be an increase in employees' motivation levels which will help remarkably improve the employees' performance and thereby help Marks & Spencer to keep customers happy and maximise its profits. Most importantly, Marks & Spencer will succeed in keeping the main assets of the company, the workforce happy.
TASK 1 ANSWER B
Stereotyping means analysing a fixed image about a certain group of people based on the race, colour, and religion without having more knowledge about the person or community as a whole. Generalizing about people having limited or no knowledge about them can be misleading and unfair some times. Assuming about people based on their race, colour, and religion can be dangerous. It can be both negative and positive but it is unfair to judge people without having knowledge about them. Human mind is complex all the time. We easily form stereotypes like for instance, if late at night we are walking in a lonely street and we see two old men in coats and with walking sticks we believe that we will be safe as we have a stereotype image that they will not cause any problem. Common stereotypes are that women are talkative; all politicians are corrupt etc....when this may not always be the case. Thus stereotype has very negative implications on a race, religion, humans etc.
MY OWN PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF STEREOTYPING
I had been to the US, a nice and big country but when I used to meet people most of them believed that I am from a third world country. One day I met a guy who was talking all bad things about India. When he came to know that I am an Indian, he directed his attention to me saying that I am from a third world country which has a lot of poverty and corruption. His mind was preset about Indians. However when I gently pointed out to him India's achievements like going to the moon, the third largest army in the world, a booming economy, one of the largest numbers of doctors, engineers etc he was shocked. He accepted that his notion of India was stereotypical and far removed from the reality.
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Halo effect can be defined as having a certain positive image of a person or product because of the tendency to believe that it will be good by not judging the negative things about the person or product. A recent example of the Halo effect was seen when Apple released IPod - it was believed that its Mac book sales would also increase as the IPod sales were very good however that did not happen. Generally, we have a tendency to believe that if a certain product of a company is good the other products made by the same company will also be good and this belief would be founded without checking much about the other product.
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF HALO EFFECT
In the year 2002 Pepsi released a new drink in India called Pepsi Blue, as Pepsi was at peak with its Pepsi Cola, Mirinda and other drinks which were doing great business. It released Pepsi Blue to capture more market share. Like most people, even I thought that since its other products are good this drink should also be nice. However the drink was too sweet and Pepsi had to withdraw it in 2004 as consumers were not happy with Pepsi Blue.
Task 2 ANSWER A
Give specific examples of the ways in which an organisation of your choice has attempted to satisfy and or has failed to satisfy, responsibilities or obligations towards its stakeholders.
Every company has stakeholders whether internal or external. A company, to be successful, has to fulfil the obligation of its stakeholders as they may be directly or indirectly linked to it. A stakeholder could be described as a person, organisation, and group which can be affected by the organisation actions.
In this assignment I would like to take the example of Tesco, the organisation I work for, how they are able to satisfy or have failed to satisfy their responsibilities or obligations towards their stakeholders. Tesco, the largest supermarket in UK and Northern Ireland, is not only in retailing but in different types of businesses like banking, finance, insurance to name a few. It becomes very difficult to satisfy every stakeholder's needs but it tries its best to achieve that.
STAKEHOLDERS OF TESCO
Customers Tesco's main aim is to sell its products at a low price while maintaining quality as it believes "Every Little Helps". It does its best to satisfy its customers. It's famous club card helps customers to get points whenever they shop which can be used to get cash vouchers at a later stage after they accumulate points or they can buy anything from the store or online by using those points, which motivates customers to shop from Tesco. For almost every product they have their value range which the customers can buy at cheap price and good quality. It adapts to the local area wherever it opens store for example if it opens a store where many Asians live they would keep food items according to Asian taste which make customers to come to Tesco and shop. If a Customer is not happy with a product he can exchange or get a refund for the product. Customers can order most of the stuff online even groceries which makes it easy for the customer to not go to the shop and save time .Fresh and best quality food is available for the customers.
Employees They are the main internal stakeholders of the company. Tesco does its best to keep it Employees happy as without them it would be not possible for the company to run its business. Below are some of the measures applied by Tesco to satisfy its employees
Equal pay for the same work done by employees.
Right for promotion for the suitable candidate. Tesco has an internal scheme called "options" where in an employee after being permanent in the company can join in "options" and get trained to be a Line Manager and then the manager.
Every employee has a right to join the Union USDAW which they have tie up with for a nominal fees which they charge every month and any issue which the management can't solve the employee can approach the Union which they will then look after. If an employee is sacked unlawfully or is injured at work they can approach the Union who will do its best to give the justice.
If any employee is not happy with his line manager and can't get his problem solved he can approach his Personal manager, who will look into the matter then.
No racial discrimination- Tesco makes sure that there is no racial discrimination and one can find people from all races working in Tesco stores.
Proper Health and Safety rules are followed in all Tesco stores.
10% Discount Privilege card to employees after completing 6 months in job.
These are some of the measures taken by Tesco to satisfy its employees and to make sure they are motivated in every way the company can.
Shareholders, Government and Local Community Despite being recession Tesco has managed to make profit of £3.13 billion pounds profit for the year ending April 2009 and satisfy all its shareholders.
Tesco recycles most of its stuff like plastic, cardboard and thereby helping the environment, it donates money to various charity organisations for example every time any one withdraws money from a cash machine at Tesco it will donate 0.0125p to Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. It invests lot in using Green Technology there by reducing CO2 emissions.
It is one of the largest private Employer and Tax Payer in the UK there by helping the Government to raise tax money.
Though Tesco tries it best to satisfy all its stakeholders but there are certain areas where it has failed to fulfil its responsibilities towards its stakeholders:
Some employees complain about too much work stress and shortage of employees because of which they have to work extra.
Sometimes no proper recruitment procedure is followed and many vacancies are filled by references from existing employees.
Tesco is been accused by Viva (Vegetarians International voice for animals) that it sends more than 5000 tonnes of unused meat which has crossed it sell-by-date to National Grid to generate electricity for about 600 UK homes which Tesco believes can help to generate power but Viva believes that many people would be horrified by learning that the power they are using is from meat, they argue that why in the first place so many animals should be killed which increases the waste.
Lot of Bakery and Fresh food items are also wasted because of excess ordering which is thrown away, where many people in the world don't even have one loaf of bread to eat every day.
Many products are outsourced from China and other developing nations to reduce cost but like many other companies Tesco is accused that the people making these products don't get proper pay, no proper working conditions and also use of child labour in these countries.
Some customers feel the prices are not as competitive compared to other supermarkets like ASDA and Sainsbury.
If Tesco wants to be number one in the market it needs to tackle these problems to make sure all its stakeholders are kept happy.
"To make the best use of technology, we must use it to support and develop our business, not adapt business to technology".
"Technology should be our servant and not our master".
Discuss the above statement with the help of your own personal experiences in this regard.
Technology has become an important part of the world today, it has helped many organisations to be more successful in the market and it also has changed their style of promoting a business since technology started to rule the business world.
ADVANTAGES OF TECHNOLOGY IN AN ORGANISATION
Savings - Time: Time can be easily saved by using technology in a business.
Savings - Effort: Work can be done easily and simply and can be retrieved easily.
Simple Storage solutions: More secure to keep all the documents in the system than in a desk.
Encourages volume and scope of business: Could help to grow our business to its highest level.
Efficiency: Make the business more efficient for the customers
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE 1
Initially in Tesco, the largest supermarket in the UK, there were only manual checkouts. This is characterised most of the times with long queues during busy times and people working at the checkouts scanning the items and serving the customers. Some time back Tesco and other supermarkets introduced Self-Checkouts where a customer can himself scan the items he is buying and pay for the product. Tesco saved a lot of money by introducing these self checkouts by reducing the number of staff at the checkouts. However this method has disadvantages also which I experienced firsthand. Once when I was using the self-checkout, I had bought a lot of confectioneries as there was a party at my place. There was one staff taking care of 6 self-checkout counters to help the customers if they were facing any problem. The problem I faced was that many of the in-store bakery items did not have barcodes. It was time-consuming to look for the items manually and was making me impatient. Though the staff manning the self-checkouts helped me it took about 10 minutes to get my invoice done when it could have been done in less than 5 minutes if the checkout was done by the staff manually. There are several other customers too who have found the usage of self checkouts to be an annoying experience.
Thus technology should be used to support and develop the business; it should not be used as a tool to lay off people. If used properly it can give maximum benefits.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE 2
Almost all companies have introduced voice recognition customer service to save costs wherein the customer calls the customer service number and has to speak clearly to choose the right option which is then recognised by the system and the query is answered accordingly.
My experience when I had to call 3 Mobile for my bill query was very annoying. Even though I was speaking clearly the voice recognition system did not understand it clearly and I had to repeat it two to three times and be on the phone for about 10 minutes before I could speak to someone. It was really frustrating using their system.
Thus before implementing any new system the staff should be trained properly and customers' response should be taken into account. Only then can technology give best results. This clearly explains that "Technology should be our servant and not our Master".
Task 3 Answer
With respect to the following model, analyse the organisational culture of a global organisation of your choice. Also discuss the problems faced by the managers in managing their diverse and multicultural workforce.
The cultural web was developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes in 1992, provides an approach for looking at and changing an organisations culture. Using it one can expose cultural assumptions and practices and set to work different organisation elements with one another with ones strategy.
The cultural web consists of six different elements called the "paradigm" , the pattern of work environment they are Stories, Rituals and Routines, Symbols, Organisational Culture, Control Systems and Power Culture.
ORGANISATIONAL CULTURAL OF TESCO
It is what people speak about the business and its reputation in the market. Tesco is the largest supermarket in the UK. Customers know that they will get value for money when they buy products in Tesco and also get loyalty clubcard points when they shop at Tesco. Employees are also happy for working with such a reputed company.
Rituals and Routines
In Tesco the staff has to work together and report to their line manager, who in turn has to report to his manager. The customers know they are going to get good customer service in Tesco. It is basically the day to day behaviour of the staff and customers.
Power is distributed to various people according to the job. For example a store manager in Tesco has the power to do the right thing for the store which he needs to communicate to the head in Tesco. Though there are some major decisions which are taken by the Chairman of Tesco and are communicated to different stores and department.
One can recognise Tesco symbol easily. Whenever we think if Tesco their tag line "Every Little Helps" will always come to mind and one can be assured that Tesco will sell good quality stuff at reasonable price. Staff in Tesco's need to wear blue or red uniform with Tesco logo which is unique, so if any customer needs help they know whom to ask in the store.
It is the way of tracking the profit and other activities of the business. In Tesco an employee after being permanent can go for "options" wherein he will be trained to become a line manager and then a Manager. Every employee is rewarded according to his performance.
Tesco is the largest supermarket in the UK and also has stores in other countries. It has got a matrix organisational structure where each department is given their own work, have to report to their line managers and who in turn have to report to their managers. For example as I work night shifts in Tesco in Dairy section, my line manager assigns me a department which I need to complete and report to him and in the morning he has to report to the day manager who then reports to the Store Manager.
PROBLEMS FACED BY TESCO MANAGERS WHILE MANAGING DIVERSE AND MULTICULTURAL WORKFORCE AND WAYS TO TACKLE THEM
Tesco being the largest supermarket in the UK and one of the largest private employers, the managers can face difficulties in managing the multicultural workforce as follows:
Every individual has different capability; one can do a job fast whereas the other may take some more time to complete the same task. The manager should know this and treat the staff accordingly.
Individuals from different race, religion, background should be treated accordingly. For example during Ramadan, Muslims need to break their fast at a particular time, so the manager has to adjust their break time accordingly so they can break their fast and if they need to pray a prayer room should be given to them.
If some employee has a hard time in understanding him he should ask them and talk slowly to make sure they have understood.
If there are any differences between employees he should try to sort them out, motivate them and make them work in teams.
If an employee has a genuine problem and can't come to work the manager should understand it and find a solution to it like a shift swap etc.
Thus a good leadership style would help the managers to manage diverse and multicultural workforce by creating a friendly atmosphere and motivating the employees in every possible manner.