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Davenport University Motivated Employees Key to Success Paper

Davenport University Motivated Employees Key to Success Paper
After reading the case found on page 171 in the textbook (COSTCO: Doing Something Right), write a 2-3-page paper (in APA format) that answers the questions found on page 195, entitled “Back to the Case”. There are 3 questions that you will need to answer.Finally, briefly discuss the differences between Costco and the current motivation at your organization. How might Costco’s success transfer (or not) to your current organization? Identify the formal and informal leaders in your organization – do they impact motivation and if so, how?Your paper must be submitted according to APA 6th edition conventions and include 3 peer-reviewed scholarly sources supporting your position (the textbook may be one of the 3). Your paper should include a title page, abstract and reference list (not included in the page count specified above).THREE GOOD REASONS you should care about. . .Motivating People to WorkManagers have a variety of opportunities to motivate employees by virtue of how they treat them.The more highly motivated employees are, the more positively they respond in several different ways.Jobs can be designed in ways that enhance employees’ motivation to perform them.Making the Case for… Motivating People to WorkCostco: Doing Something RightNot too many companies have the weight to push around Coca-Cola, but Costco has done just this. A few years ago, Costco dropped Coca-Cola products from its inventory after the soft drink giant raised its wholesale prices. The stalemate lasted only one month before Coca-Cola succumbed to the pressure of the largest wholesale club and seventh largest retailer in the world by rolling back its prices. Considering its willingness to take-on Coca-Cola instead of raising prices to its 64 million members, it’s not surprising that shoppers love Costco. Low prices, wide selection, and outstanding service have kept satisfied customers returning to 600 Costco warehouse stores, bringing in nearly $89 billion in annual sales.It’s not only customers who like Costco but its 107,200 full-time and part-time employees, too. As evidence, consider the fierce loyalty of its workforce. In the retail sector, it’s generally considered good to keep about half your employees annually, but Costco retains about 94 percent. What exactly is Costco doing that spurs its employees to keep coming to work? According to a former schoolteacher who now works at a Costco lunch counter, opportunities for promotion are key. Recognizing that the company prefers to develop new managers from within its workforce, she says, “I know that sooner or later, I’ll be given a bigger job—perhaps one with management responsibility, and that excites me.” Although it may be a huge leap from selling hotdogs to managing a department, advancements abound at Costco, making it not unrealistic for employees to aspire to bigger things.This is only part of the story when it comes to motivating Costco employees. Better-than-average wages and benefits also are key. Because large retailers struggle to keep expenses low, the wages they pay tend to be low, and whatever benefits they offer are not especially generous. This isn’t so at Costco. Although fewer than half of Walmart and Target employees receive health insurance, 85 percent of Costco’s employees enjoy this valuable benefit. And because Costco saves money by keeping turnover low, it pays its employees relatively highly, up to $20 per hour for some nonsupervisory positions. This isn’t quite as costly to Costco as it may seem because many employees, well aware of the stores’ bargains, spend some of their paychecks at the very places they earn them. In fact, Costco’s employees are among its most loyal shoppers.Another key to Costco’s success is its good customer service. Compared to many discount retail establishments, where surly clerks might bark one-word answers to your questions, if you even can find a clerk in the first place, most Costco employees are interested in helping. Officials are convinced that this is an extension of the company’s friendly relations with its employees. Indeed, leaders demonstrate respect and concern for their employees, creating an atmosphere in which people desire to treat one another like family. Although none of this may be at the top of your mind when you visit your local Costco to stock up on a year’s supply of paper towels or shaving cream, it just may give you a new appreciation for what’s going on behind the scenes.There’s no doubt that Costco’s success stems from its low prices and good service. As this case suggests, however, another important consideration is the high motivation of its employees. This factor, which leads people to work hard and remain loyal, is an invaluable asset for Costco—or any other business, for that matter. Companies strive to build their assets, and Costco has been actively committed to developing the motivation of its employees. With this in mind, it pays its employees well, it rewards them with promotions, and it treats them in a friendly and welcoming manner.It’s obvious that we certainly like these things, but do they really stimulate people into action? And if so, why? In other words, what psychological mechanisms explain what gets people to work hard? I focus on the answer to these important questions in this chapter. And in keeping with the simultaneously theoretical and applied orientation of the field of OB, I also examine how managers can put this information to practical use in attempting to motivate their employees.Over the years, the question of what it takes to motivate workers has received a great deal of attention by organizational scientists.1 In this chapter, I examine several of the most important approaches to the study of motivation, focusing on both the research bearing on them and their practical implications. Before getting to this, however, I will touch briefly on a fundamental matter—namely, what exactly is meant by motivation.Figure 6.1 Basic Components of MotivationMotivation involves the arousal, direction, and maintenance of action toward a goal.Components of MotivationMy definition of motivation incorporates four distinct components that are fundamental to understanding its basic nature. These are as follows:Goal —This refers to the objective you are attempting to reach. For example, an investor may have a goal of amassing a certain amount of money, or a dieter may have a goal of losing a certain amount of weight.Arousal —This has to do with the drive or energy behind our actions. For example, people may be guided by their interest in building high-quality products, doing interesting work, being successful at what they do, and so on. This energizes them to do what it takes to meet these objectives.Direction —This refers to the choices people make—that is, how they direct their efforts to meet the goal. For example, employees interested in cultivating a favorable impression on their supervisors may do many different things: compliment them on their good work, do them special favors, work extra hard on an important project, and the like.Maintenance —This has to do with how long people persist at attempting to meet their goals. To give up in advance of goal attainment means not satisfying the need that motivated behavior in the first place. Obviously, people who do not persist at meeting their goals (e.g., salespeople who give up before reaching their quotas) cannot be said to be highly motivated.By way of summarizing, let’s consider an analogy. Imagine that you have been traveling and your goal is now to get home. The arousal part of motivation is like the energy created by the engine of the car you’re driving. The direction component is like the steering wheel that takes you along the particular roads you have chosen for your trip. Finally, the maintenance aspect of the definition is the persistence that keeps you going, mile after mile, until you arrive home, reaching your goal. In both cases, any one missing part will keep you from getting where you want to go.Three Key Points About MotivationNow that I have defined motivation, I should note three important points you should keep in mind as you think about motivation on the job.Motivation and job ot synonymousJust because someone performs a task well does not mean that he or she is highly motivated. Motivation is just one of several possible determinants of job performance. The person who performs well may be very skillful but not put forth much effort at all (high performance but low motivation). If you’re a mathematical genius, for example, you may breeze through your calculus class without trying. By contrast, someone who performs poorly may put forth a great deal of effort but fall short of a desired goal because he or she lacks the aptitude or skills needed to succeed (low performance but high motivation).To appreciate this, recall something that you tried to learn but couldn’t quite get the hang of, such as playing golf or the piano. Although you may have really wanted to succeed, it’s possible that you lacked the skills needed to succeed no matter how hard you tried. In this case, you fell short despite your high motivation. However, of course, it’s also possible that you failed because you gave up long before you were able to develop those skills. In this case, you simply weren’t sufficiently motivated to devote the time needed to practice.Motivation is multifacetedPeople are likely to have several different motives operating at once. Sometimes, these conflict with one another. For example, a word processing operator might be motivated to please her boss by being as productive as possible. However, being too productive may antagonize her coworkers, who fear that they’re being made to look bad. The result is that the two motives may pull the individual in different directions, and the one that wins is the one that’s stronger in that situation. Keeping this in mind makes it easy to see why simply knowing something that motivates a person doesn’t allow you to predict perfectly how that individual will behave.People are motivated by more than just moneySuppose you struck it big in the lottery. Would you keep your current job? Interestingly, although some people make it clear that they would pack up and move to a tropical island where they would relax in the sun for the rest of their lives, most insist that they would continue to work. They might take a different job, but they’d continue to work even if they didn’t need the money. Why? The answer is simple: money isn’t people’s only motive for working.What is it, then, that motivates us, and where does money lie on this list? To some extent, the answers depend who you ask. Table 6.1 reveals the rankings of people found in surveys of lower- and mid-level employees3 and of junior and senior executives.4 The individuals surveyed represented a variety of companies in different industries. Despite some minor differences in orderings, the top four responses of both groups were remarkably similar. The top two factors for both groups were “doing challenging work” and “having a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere.” Money came in consistently below these factors, ranking third among mid-lower-level employees and fourth among executives. As you will see in the rest of this chapter, the field of OB examines a variety of factors that motivate people—those indicated here as well as many others.Having established these basic qualities of motivation, I now turn to the first of five different orientations to motivation discussed in this chapter. This particular approach, which focuses on motivating by enhancing fit with an organization, casts an interesting light on some issues already considered in this book .Table 6.1 What Motivates People to Work?Pay, although important, is not at the very top of the list of the most important sources of work motivation in people’s lives. This applies to both lower- to mid-level employees and to junior and senior executives.FactorLower- to Mid-Level EmployeesJunior and Senior ExecutivesChallenging work12Supportive, team-oriented environment21Adequate compensation34Opportunities for promotion, achievement46Fit between life on and off the job—3Incentives to succeed5—Working at a company that has high values—5Peer group respect6—



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