Motivation is the driving force behind an individual's 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 psychosis amongst 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 loose interest in working and serving the customers properly.
IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS OF MARKS AND 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 showing 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:
Physiological, where Marks and Spencer should provides its employees basic necessities for living like food, shelter from the money they make working in the company and also proper lunch breaks.
Safety, Marks and Spencer provides its employees a safe environment to work, medical insurance, job security etc.
Social Needs (Love Belonging), where the company provides love, friendship and belongingness to its employees.
Esteem, it includes internal and external where internal relates to self-esteem such as self respect and external such as social status and recognition
Self-actualisation, it is the highest level reached according to Maslow where many times ones needs are never fulfilled as ones needs and expectation keeps on increasing.
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 AND 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 satisfactory of employee.
Managers at Marks and Spencer should follow Maslow's theory where once the physiological needs are fulfilled then it moves to safety and then further and reaches its maximum level at self-actualisation. This can motivate the employees to work better.
PROBLEMS WITH MASLOWS THEORY
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Though 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 and sometimes safety comes first then physiological and is always not followed in the same order.
Though there are some limitations I believe that if the managers follow Maslow's theory employees can be motivated which will help Marks and Spencer to maximise its profits, keep customers happy and most important keep its employees happy who are the main assets of the company.
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 is unfair all the times as human mind can be complex all the times for example if at late night we are walking in a lonely street and we see two old men in coats and with sticks we will believe that we will be safe as we have a stereotype image that they will not cause any problem, women are talkative, all politicians are corrupt etc. Thus stereotype has very negative implications on a race, religion, humans etc.
MY OWN PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF STEREOTYPING
I had been to US a nice and big country but when I use to meet people most of them believe we are from the third world country. One day I met a guy he was talking all bad things about India and when he came to know that I am from India he started saying that you are also from a third world country which has lot of poverty, corruption to name a few as he had preset in his mind about all Indians but when I explained him about the achievements India and Indians have made like going to moon, growing economy, third largest army in the world, one of the largest numbers of doctors, engineers etc he was shocked and then believed that India and Indians are not what he believed.
Halo effect can be defined as having a certain positive image of a person or product because of the tendency they believe that it good by not judging the negative things about the person or product. A common halo effect example could be when Apple released IPod people that that its Mac book sales would also increase as IPod was selling good in the market but that dint happen, so we have a tendency to believe that if a certain product of a company is good the other product will also be good without checking much about the other product.
PRACTIAL 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, Miranda and other drinks which were doing great. It released Pepsi Blue to have a more market share. Like most of the people I though since its other products are good this one should also be nice but had a very bad experience as it was too sweet and Pepsi had to withdraw it in 2004 as it had lot of complaints about it.
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 example of Tesco the organisation I work for, how they are able to satisfy or have failed to satisfy its responsibilities or obligations towards its stakeholders. Tesco the largest supermarket in UK and Northern Ireland is not only in supermarket but in different types of business also like banking, finance, insurance to name a few and it becomes very difficult to satisfy every stakeholder needs but it tries its best to achieve that.
STAKEHOLDERS OF TESCO
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Customers Tesco main aim is to sell its products at low price and maintain quality as it believes "Every Little Helps", it does its best to satisfy its customers. Its 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 easy for the customer not to 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 a 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.(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/5192155/Tesco-posts-record-3bn-profit.html).
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 a 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 the technology start to rule the business world.
ADVANTAGES OF TECHNOLOGY IN AN ORGANISATION
Time could be easily saved by using technology in a business.
Works could be done easily and simply rather than writing it in manual an keeping in a safe place.
More secure to keep all the documents in the system then in a usual place.
Could help to grow our business to its highest level.
Make the business more efficient for the customers and the
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE 1
Initially in Tesco the largest supermarket in the UK there were only manual checkouts when most of the times we have to stand in queue during busy times and people working at the checkouts use to scan items manually and serve the customers but some time back Tesco and other supermarkets introduced Self Checkouts where a person has to himself scan the items he is buying and pay for the product. Tesco has saved lot of money by introducing these self checkouts by reducing the number of staff at the checkouts, but there are disadvantages to it also.
Once when I was using the self checkout, I has bought lot of bakery stuff as there was a party at my place, there was one person taking care of 6 self checkouts so any problem a customer was facing he would help them, problem I face was as many of the in store bakery stuff dint had barcodes it took time to look for the items manually and was making me impatient, the staff looking after self checkouts came and helped me. It took about 10 minutes to clear everything which could have been done in less than 5 minutes if someone was doing it manually. Many customers also find it annoying sometimes using these self checkouts at times.
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 where in the customer calls the customer service number and has to speak accordingly to choose the right option which is then recognised by the system and the query is answered accordingly.
Once I had to call Three Mobile for my bill query, it was so 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 staff should be trained properly and customer's response should be taken into account and then only Technology could give its 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 staffs has to work together and report to their line manager and 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 it will always come in mind their tag line "Every Little Helps" 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 a 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 and who has 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 assign me a department which I need to complete and report it 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 they are as follows:
Ever individual has different capabilities, one can do a job fast where 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 a employee has a genuine problem and can't come to work the manager should understand it and find a solution to it like 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.