Factors that improve the motivation of employees are in this day and age given top priority by business and companies that are keen on thriving and remaining competitive in the market. Research from recent years has shown positive indication of a direct correlation between rising productivity, improved business performance, and employers who value and prioritize the motivation of their employees. To ensure both productivity and business profit in service industry, a company needs to identify what factors have an impact on the motivation of their employees. This research project aims to examine the factors that influence the motivation of employees. In addition to this, this research examines in the way of literature review the case of Starbucks UAE with the goal of measuring the impact of monetary and non-monetary incentives on the motivation of employees. In order to deliver effectivelyon this goal, this research will endeavor to show the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivational strategies and attempt to value the impacts of intrinsic motivational strategies over those of extrinsic motivational strategies.
As a company, Starbucks is driven by values and a well-cultivated culture. The Starbuck’s culture and adherence to a value system is sufficiently reflected in the Human Resources affairs and reward systems. The culture at Starbucks is a result of principles that have been firmly established and are shared extensively throughout the organization’s hierarchy. The CEO; Howard Schultz, has been reported to say that he had envisioned building a company that first and foremost, sort to increase employees’ self-esteem at the work place besides providing them comprehensive health insurance and ownership in equity (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015). That said it is important to note that employees at Starbucks are a priority as the organization has systems and funds in place to ensure that their human resources are adequately invested in. This form of investment is not by accident rather by design as it is a reflection of the beliefs and values held by the company’s CEO, who is a firm believer of empowering partners in the business by putting them first (Jianfei, 2014). He believes that by so doing the company nurtures by extension, customer service of exceptional standards, which in turn results in customers who are highly satisfied and that ensures positive returns financially.
Employees at Starbucks in the UAE; both former and current, have been reported to say that working at Starbucks they always felt that the value of their contributions was always felt and the working environment fosters in them a great sense of self-respect, irrespective of hierarchy and level of education (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015). To carry forward the innovative compensation and benefits programs that form the core of the strong Starbucks culture, Starbucks in the UAE acknowledges the value in investing in the welfare of their employees. Although the costs associated with the provision of these benefits to both part-time and full-time employees is high and eats into the company’s revenues the cost benefit analysis with regards to the competition registers low overall costs making the return on investment worthwhile (Latif, Qurat-ul-ain, Gulzar, Bukhari, & Sameen, 2014). The employees who are beneficiaries of this compensation and benefit programs acknowledge and appreciate the value and most importantly sufficiently motivated to serve Starbucks customer with utmost concern for their satisfaction.
This paper explores Starbuck’s UAE and seeks to explain how job satisfaction and performance can be improved by applying various models of motivation mechanisms and techniques. It further explores the ways in which effective working relationships are fostered and nurtured through networking with others in team and group environments by looking at the impact of both monetary and non-monetary incentives on team and group behavior. In light of motivational strategies, the paper also discusses how organizational behavior is influenced by perceptions, attitudes, attributes, and personalities of employees.In addition to this, the paper makes an assessment of how various motivational techniques and management styles are employed by organization s towards fostering a sense of job satisfaction while improving performance and productivity.
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ANALYSES AND DISCUSSION
Motivational strategies through growth and expansion phases
In order to execute its strategy for mass expansion seamlessly, Starbucks needed to implement human resources strategies that would ensure it attracts highly qualified staff and be able to retain them. For this to happen, the company need to apply motivational techniques that would be valued and appreciated by its workforce. These included but were not limited to above average compensation rates, flexible working options, self-managed team, training and development, fitness programs, health insurance that included both vision and dental packages, elderly and childcare programs, equality and non-discrimination policies, feedback process and employee surveys (Jianfei, 2014). These strategies ensured that the work environment at Starbucks was friendly, supportive and one that encouraged innovation. Employees felt comfortable working for the company as was evidenced by high employee retention, job satisfaction among the employees, minimal employee turnover, and bare minimum cases of absenteeism, especially in the early days of growth (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015). As the company entered into its expansion phase the initial motivation strategies required revising and upgrading into stronger commitment policies that suited the stature and complexities of the coffee giant (Latif, Qurat-ul-ain, Gulzar, Bukhari, & Sameen, 2014).
The appraisal systems both in the U.S and in the UAE have been redesigned to measure performance more wholesomely linking compensation to performance and consequently attaching rewards and retributions accordingly. Motivation is thus improved when challenging goals are set and constructive feedback provided throughout the process. As the changes in motivational policies were being implemented,there were numerous lessons to be learnt throughout the processes and best practices to be carried forward. Over time, it became increasingly apparent that motivational strategies and techniques that relied heavily on monetary reward systems only inspired short-term compliance to standards and performance indicators but had no lasting impact on the commitment of employees to the company goals and neither did they affect team cohesion positively. Monetary incentives appeared to yield the desired results initially and temporarily, past the initial excitement and buzz created by the reward system it became counterproductive in that instead of fostering team cohesion it bred competitiveness that in later stages became unhealthy (Jianfei, 2014). This unhealthy sense of competition brought with it a host of unwanted behavior relating to sidelining colleagues, false reporting of performance, cutting corners, and other toxic conduct were introduced into the work environment making it hostile and incapable of nurturing talent, authenticity or innovation. Ultimately, a working environment that has no trust, zero teamwork and is not conducive to growthis counterproductive and eventually ruins motivation and overall morale. This kind of a situation is bad for business since demotivated employees have no commitment to the achievement of the organizational goals.
In favor of employee welfare, it became more apparent that Starbucks needed to focus more on non-monetary incentives to motivate desired conduct in employees.
Motivation Techniques or Mechanisms for Improved Performance and Job Satisfaction
Various models of motivation techniques or mechanisms play different roles in improving job satisfaction and performance. Monetary incentives for instance, are based on a reward system thatlinks money to excellent performance at work. Bonuses; both random and scheduled, project bonuses; whether based on performance or completion, profit sharing, paid vacation time and stock options all constitute monetary incentives. Toward maintaining an environment that supports positive mechanisms for employee motivation, monetary incentives have conventionally done the job. It is important to note that employees of different ages respond differently to different monetary incentives as their needs evolve over time (Simons & Enz, 1995). For instance, older employees may respond enthusiastically to mutual funds offered through the company’s insurance program or pension plans. Younger employees,would however, have a different set of needs and would thus respond differently to this kind of provisions in the form of monetary incentives. Although differing in type, varied monetary incentives are capable of having similar effect on varied employees and would be a matter of figuring out which type of monetary incentive appeals to what kind of employees. When it comes to the new generation of employees who are much younger and value different things compared to the older generation, companies like Starbucks are thus compelled to find alternative forms of incentives to replace the conventional incentive packages that no longer appeal to this demographic (Jianfei, 2014).
Non-Monetary Incentives and Preference across generations
Non-monetary incentives seek to reward excellence in performance at work by providing the employees with more opportunities instead of money. A pleasant environment to work in, flexible hours of work, sabbaticals, and training for self-development, advancement, and growth all constitute non-monetary incentives and have a lasting appeal on employees (Jianfei, 2014). Unlike monetary incentives that promote achievement and compliance, non-monetary incentives stimulate foresight, creativity, and innovation, which in the larger scheme of things produce authentic growth that is of great benefit not only to the company but also to the employees.
Different generation respond to non-monetary incentives differently with the younger generation of employees responding better to a system of non-tangible rewards with most of them being drawn to motivators such as autonomy, feedback, attentive employers, flexible work schedules, networking opportunities and travel.These increased levels of demands would need to be met if a company is to attract and retain prospective employees who have the desired skillset to perform tasks with exceptionally high results (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015). The current generation of young employees is more challenging to deal with as they have little loyalty to companies and as such require more motivation to either be attracted or retained.
Age is thus a key factor on the issue of employee motivation making the level at which an employee is at in their career a solid point of consideration for a company when assessing the most appropriate motivation or incentive to offer. Proximity to entry-level or to retirement is a relevant source of information as to what employees may consider most appropriate to their needs. For instance, a younger employee closer to the entry-level positions is likely to draw inspiration and be motivated more by a friendly, nurturing, and supportive work environment and a sense of job satisfaction (Marshall, Mottier, & Lewis, 2015). On the other hand, an older employee with expert-level status and closer to retirement is more likely to draw inspiration and be motivated by a promising retirement plan or opportunities for temporary or part-time engagements that would allow him to supplement his retirement income.
Non-Monetary incentives at Starbucks in the UAE
Core hours are a scheduling strategy used by Starbucks in the UAE since it offers employees great level of flexibility (Jianfei, 2014). This scheduling system stipulates the number of hours each employee is to work every day and allows an employee the flexibility to get to work and end their shift whenever they want to provided they work the stipulated core hours allocated to them every day. For instance if the stipulated core hours are between 10am to 3pm then an employee has the liberty to come in and start their work earlier than 10am or stay late and finish their work later than 3pm but will be always available to work during the stipulated core hours set by the company. The employee’s compensation, benefits and workload is not affected by this somewhat irregular workschedule for as long as the total number of hours worked remain consistent.
Starbucks in the UAE also offer its employees other forms of flextime where a non-conventional work schedule is encouraged. However, in order for this system to work seamlessly, great coordination between the manager or the supervisor and the employees is required so that plans are made in advance to avoid disruptions at work due to either overstaffing or understaffing. Starbucks in the UAE also offers compressed workweek where employees can work more hours than stipulated every day of the week in order to create a day off at the end of a period (Jianfei, 2014). Under this arrangement, the total number of hours remains consistent and does not affect compensation. Adjusted lunch is another effective scheduling strategy that allows employees with pressing needs or errands to run to extend their usual lunch breaks and fit in urgent personal errands such as a workout session or a doctor’s appointment (Jianfei, 2014). The employee is then obliged to make up for the personal time taken either in the morning or in the evening since this arrangement is offered as an unofficial privilege it is limited only to occasional instances.
This type of arrangement is good for the employees as they can pursue their other interests outside of work that contribute to their being wholesome individuals and eventually has benefits to the company since the more wholesome the employees are the more of themselves they are likely to give at work. According to Kingir & Mesci (2010), when an employee is allowed the freedom to plan their time and interests around their responsibilities at work in a more flexible manner, the more productive they are likely to be. This is true because they will feel more in control of the process and consequently more responsible for their actions as opposed to the feeling of being stuck with no power to make any possible adjustments. Since flextime can sometimes bring problems, especially if some employees working in departments where flextime may be impractical due to the structure of work, Starbucks ensures that departments that are not eligible for flextime get other rewards that equalize the situation (Jianfei, 2014).
Effective Feedback Loops
As a value-driven company with a strong organizational culture, Starbucks UAE like Starbucks U.S value the feedback loop as it helps to align new employees with the company’s values and beliefs while keeping them constantly aware of what is expected of them. This provides numerous opportunities for the new employees ask question, acclimatize, and acculturate to the working environment at Starbucks. This eases their integration into the team they are expected to work with and eases their adoption of tasks and responsibility, as the feedback system is supportive, nurturing, and sensitive to special needs.Within the first month of joining the company, employees hired to work in retail position must undergo training session of not less than 24 hours (Jianfei, 2014). Besides orientation in the technical skills needed to work in such a store, the skills needed for customer service and general introduction to the company, employees are trained extensively on career development, diversity, and leadership skills through the management-trainee program (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015).
The feedback system is crucial in avoiding the formation of negative relationships that are as a result of people talking behind people’s backs which causes resentment. The elimination of improper communication is thus eliminated by open, clear,and direct feedback system that is both formal and informal.Constructive feedback can be classified into two categories; negative and positive, where morale is improved by positive feedback and performance is improved by feedback (Simons & Enz, 1995). Poor feedback on the other hand is made up of elements of malice, insensitivity and is often delivered in unorthodox ways and through improper channels. According to Simons & Enz (1995), poor feedback is bad for employee morale as it breeds resentment, builds conflict between employees and management, does not support talent, and ruins confidencein employees’ capabilities.
The feedback culture at Starbucks prepares and trains employees to not only give constructive feedback in a sensitive manner but also to receive feedback effectively. This means that parties involved in the feedback loop are willing to pay attention by listening open-mindedly and engage in the process in non-threatening or non-offensive ways and with the willingness to put the recommended action pointsinto practice (Marshall, Mottier, & Lewis, 2015). This culture ensures that information is not random and disruptive but instructions and information that is relevant to performance is collected, packaged, and delivered precisely, clearly and directly to whomever it may concern. Effectiveness, frankness and sensitivity is thus encouraged in the feedback system and is also encouraged on all spheres of work, from ideas, work performance and code of conduct. When feedback is given to employees directly, frankly and sensitively, the information becomes useful to the employees as they can use it to perform self-evaluations every now and then that create non-hostile opportunities for self-improvement and consequent performance improvement.
Since people’s personality differ greatly, good feedback at Starbucks focuses not on personal attitudes and personalities but on results, behavior and prospects in the future, be so doing an employee does not feel personally attacked but receives the intended messages in a professional manner that allows them to straighten whatever issues came up without resistance (Marshall, Mottier, & Lewis, 2015). It also helps that feedback is not given on received by people who already had prior personality clashes as this will be redundant, in a situation such as this; it helps matters if a neutral party is engaged to deliver honest and unbiased feedback. To ensure that the feedback is effective and consistent, Starbucks has developed their feedback system to be accurate, specific, and balanced and that it is delivered periodically. Delayed feedback does not yield the desired effect nor does ambiguous feedback that is vague and not specific.
At Starbucks UAE, the responsibility to initiate the feedback process is not considered management’s job but is encouraged to from all quarters (Jianfei, 2014). Employees at Starbucks operate in a work environment that allows them to initiate the feedback process, as they are equipped with the necessary skills required to do so and since the work environment is supportive, they find themselves willing to take part in the process. This is also because they understand the basics team cohesion and that for teamwork to yield the desired effect on work performance empowering the individual units of a team is of paramount importance. Employees that participate constructively in the feedback process find that they are empowered and develop a secure sense of job satisfaction as they concentrate their energy and effort on their work as opposed to playing office politics that do more harm than good.
In 1990, the company set a formal program known as Mission Review, which was an appropriate feedback system to help the company remain true to its mission statement (Lemus, Feigenblatt, Orta, & Rivero, 2015). Comment cards addressed to the Mission Review team were made available to all Starbucks stores to ensure that whenever outcomes and decisions were made that did not align with the company’s mission statement; the employees would highlight the events and query the direction. According to the system, relevant mangers would the respond to the queries within two weeks. Reports addressing employees’ concerns were also produces and presented in open forums that brought together teams from across the organization. This strategy strengthens the organizational culture by fostering openness and remains critical to upholding Starbucks mission statement.
The open forums are organized a few times in a year at StarbucksUAE providing an excellent platform for the employees to be updated by the company on changes within the larger organization. The forums also provide the employees with a platform to meet senior management and receive explanations of what the financials mean to the them as employees including how the day to day running of the stores are likely to change or improve (Jianfei, 2014). During the forum sessions, employees get to ask questions extending the feedback loop to other areas of discussions and with more information on the discussions of the development of the company being provided through much more regular publications such as the employee newsletter.
Intrinsic Motivators and Extrinsic Motivators
Non-monetary incentives fall under intrinsic motivators; where action is inspired by the appropriateness of its application, whereas monetary incentive is constitute of extrinsic motivators; where action is motivated by the reward of money at the end (Marshall, Mottier, & Lewis, 2015).While both types of motivators can be used by an organization to achieve whatever result is desired, it is worth noting that intrinsic motivators nurture talent and a sense of creativity as opposed to extrinsic motivators that tend to foster unhealthy competition among employees. Competition can be good but when it reaches unhealthy levels, it acts as a disruption to team work because it poisons the workplace environment, denying both the employees and the company as a whole the benefits and collective joys of team cohesion. Monetary incentives have been employed in certain instances by companies to compensate employees for poor working environments or poor management in the same breath; employees have been known to make false reports of their achievements in order to improve the eligibility for monetary rewards. Monetary incentives have also been used by top management to prevent middle managers from leaving, a strategy that may work in the short term but may have adverse effects in the long term as the managers become increasingly counterproductive (Simons & Enz, 1995).
Intrinsic motivators, most of which constitute non-monetary incentives is more effective as it cultivates the impetus to work from within as the employees find their jobs fulfilling and draw satisfaction from the work that they do. This kind of arrangement makes the work of management much easier as it reorganizes the activities of management from a system of control to a system of support, a function that employees would appreciate have a better response. Intrinsic motivation does not depend on monetary incentives and is for that reason more efficient as it rewards self-management. Under self-management, employees have the liberty to work on activities they feel are most suited to the results they are aiming for and are over and above this charged with the responsibility to commit to a cause, monitor their progress over time, and even participate in the monitoring of their competency levels (Njoroge & Yazdanifard, 2014).
Self-Management and Intrinsic Motivation
The concept of self-management place more control of the work process in the hands of the employees which nurtures and fosters an increased sense of responsibility over their decisions and choices of actions and in-actions (Kingir & Mesci, 2010). When intrinsic motivation is applied in a situation where self-management is the mode of operation, the outcomes are more desirable since the four events of management; purpose, opportunity, activity and reward, are all energized by intrinsic motivation. This then continues the cycle where employees apply their judgment to situations by determining how meaningful tasks are to the purpose, the progress being made, the competence of performance while providing them with the autonomy to choose the most appropriate activities towards effective completion of projects.
The intrinsic reward system especially when applied within the context of self-management enhances the sense of choice, a sense of progress, a sense of competence, and a sense of meaningfulness. The ability to make choices and apply judgment at work allows for employees to bring authenticity, creativity and innovation to work, which make them good at their jobs over time as it builds confidence and whenever mistakes are made out of an error in judgment, the lessons are swiftly learnt and quite rarely repeated (Simons & Enz, 1995). A sense of progress at work allows employees to view their contribution in perspective to the rest of the organization and to see how it is linked to the completion of tasks and the achievement of goals, both project goals and organizational goals. This feeling of progress, especially when a previous task has been completed successfully or with outstanding results, tends to increase enthusiasm in individual employees as well as teams and motivates them to keep the spirit as they dive into other more challenging aspects of project management and delivery. A sense of competence by employees convinces them that their work is of high quality and that their job is good which increases their level of confidence in their skillset, which constantly encourages them to be more innovative as they push the boundaries of what they already know and into the unknown where discoveries are likely to be made. Finally, when employees apply themselves to tasks in a supportive and friendly working environment where their contribution is felt and valued, they develop a sense of meaningfulness. This feeling makes it worthwhile for them to pour their energy and time to do not only what is expected of them but even more as they feel that in the big picture, their contribution is of great value (Marshall, Mottier, & Lewis, 2015).
Overall, companies should ensure that whatever incentives they choose to adopt, should bear in mind the long-range impacts both to the organization and to the employees, and most importantly, that it is best suited to the preferences of the employees. The more motivated the employees are, the more likely it is to be reflected in good performance at work.
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