Current research paper deals with analysis of motivational climate in Garment Trading Company. Using well-elaborated methodology and up-to-date research of employees’ motivation, the survey is designed to determine the level of employees’ motivation in this company.
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The analysis is done with respect to seven motivational factors including general satisfaction, corporate culture, accountability and supervisor relations, training, pay and benefits, working environment and communication. Survey analysis proved to be very effective and the motivational problems were found in general satisfaction, communication and training.
The survey revealed low level of employees’ productivity, poor communicational ties with management, low levels of empowerment and participation in the decision-making process. Some minor challenges to motivation were revealed in pay and benefits factors.
Based on careful analysis of existing problems, the recommendations were proposed for the company’s management to improve the situation. To motivate the productivity of employee’s the technology ‘employee of month’ was offered. Besides this, the method of competition between different workgroups was proposed as an alternative.
Management may also consider our proposition to reward for perfect attendance rate and creative initiatives. As far as training is concerned, we proposed providing additional time and resources for new workers and those who need further professional development. Hence, more attention should be paid to developing human capital in the company. Other important recommendations include strengthening employees’ role in decision-making process and enhancing corporate culture. In this view, strengthening cohesion and mutual support and coordination between different company’s departments should be regarded as the primary managerial priority.
These measures are important to avoid negative departmental currents, which are damaging to collective corporate identity. Besides this, survey analysis revealed considerable problems in communication. Therefore, it was proposed to enhance interdepartmental communicational channels, improve horizontal and vertical communication in the company, which is necessary for effective and productive work, and make information policies and decision-making processes more transparent and understandable for the ordinary employees.
In sum, these recommendations are based on careful analysis of current motivational situation in the company and, if are realized in complex, may result in significant improvements in employee’s motivation in the Garment Trading Company.
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Garment Trading Company, which is the object of current analysis, is a medium-size company, operating on the garments market for more than 10 years and having sufficient market share and respect among customers. It employs more than 60 professional specialists, which work in different departments and have distinct functions.
As far as our topic is concerned, it should be noted that company’s management reflects the newest approaches to human resource management in general and forming human capital in particular. In this respect human resource managers have specific responsibilities concerning developing appropriate methodology and recommendations for improving motivation among employees in the company (Green and Butkus, 1999, 24-26).
First of all, it is necessary to outline several tools, which are used to define the level of motivation in the company. Human Resource Management provides employees with monthly questionnaires, survey lists and other tools, which contain perfectly designed questions, which reveal objective level of motivation in the company.
Besides this, human resource management organizes monthly meeting and roundtables, where operative and deep-rooted problems, which may potentially affect motivation, are discussed with ordinary employees.
Human Resource Management and other competent departments and sectors keep in touch with individual problems of the employees, ranging from personal conflicts to professional ones. If such problems occur, representative of the management take all necessary steps to avoid negative future consequences and resolve the deep roots of the problem.
Besides these preemptive motivational measures, the analyzed Garment Trading Company, implements certain motivational mechanisms and has annual budget for fostering motivation. Among general policies implemented in this respect the most notable is providing bonuses for the excellent working performance, creativity and diligence. These are assessed according to standardized working plans, schedules and work results (Emmons, 2003).
There exists a practice of providing additional days-off for the employees whose work had positive influence on general performance of the company.
For those workers who show excellent performance results for a certain period and are stable, human resource managers provide promotion possibilities. It should be noted, that these promotion initiatives are inserted in a wider human capital strategy, and that is why everything is done to secure positive professional growth and development of the employees.
Motivational strategists in the Garment Trading Company are also aware of working environment and communication being among the primary factors affecting employees’ motivation. Human Resource Managers provide private communicational channels for all employees to tell about operative and difficult problems existing in working environment, human and professional relations. All this significantly help promote effective motivational strategy in the analyzed company.
Analysis of the Primary Research
Motivation Survey, which was developed for assessing the level of motivation among employees in my company, is based on the two-folded methodology of motivation analysis (Kuhl & Atkinson, 1986). This methodology includes both objective and subjective dimension of motivational situation within corporation, which allows management predict both individual behavioral strategies of employees and general motivational climate in the company.
The survey questions designed to evaluate the objective level of motivation in this company were based on the wide-spread schema of motivational factors and variables which are often used in the literature on the topic.
Based on theoretical underpinnings of motivational concepts in the works of such authors as Green and Butkus (1999), Isaac, Zerbe & Pitt, D. C. (2001), Maddock & Fulton (1998), the following motivational factors and criteria were outlined:
- General satisfaction (interest to working in a company, linking one’s future with it, friendly relations with coworkers and management etc.).
- Corporate Culture (employees cooperation, good relations, understanding goals, mission of the company, linking one’s own success with the success of the company etc.)
- Accountability and Supervisor relations (self-esteem, attitudes of coworkers, mutual help, understanding, relations with management etc.)
- Training (level of training programs, their frequency, ability to help newcomers, accessibility and organizational level).
- Pay and Benefits (satisfaction with the level of salary, bonuses, various extra payments, social guarantees and other privileges).
- Working environment.
- Communication (horizontal and vertical communication, possibility for initiatives and participation in decision-making process).
Based on careful analysis of these factors, the list of survey questions was designed to evaluate general motivational situation within the company (see Appendices).
Each question in the survey has 5 assessment options – 1 (not true), 2 (true to small extent), 3 (true to some extent), 4 (almost true) and 5 (true). This differentiation was designed to assess concrete percentage of satisfaction with factors on different levels.
Survey was conducted with 50 employees working in all Garment Trading Company’s departments and offices on different positions and on different levels of hierarchy. Among them 56% were female and 44% – male with average age of 25-35 years. 40% of surveyed employees belonged to trading consultant positions, 28% to supervisors and low management, 28% to medium management and 4% to top management of this company.
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Survey analysis shows that motivational parameters of this company are assessed positively by the 65% of surveyed, only 5% assessed them as absolutely negative and the rest had compromised point of view. As the survey was differentiated according to different categories, we may evaluate motivational situation in this company in correspondence with concrete motivational factors (Winter, 1992). This would allow us to determine concrete motivational problems and the ways of their resolution.
General satisfaction was shown by 73% of the surveyed. This can be easily explained by the fact that general attitudes are often the most abstract and indeterminate. It should be noted that some categories within Factor 1 General Satisfaction were assessed not very positively. Only 48% claimed that employees show optimistic and positive vision and attitudes relating to their future prospects in this company and only 40% percent of the surveyed pointed to the high level of employees’ productivity. There is no denying the importance of the fact that these results reveal some significant problems in company’s motivational strategy. Average levels of productivity shows that company’s management could have provided more stimuli for its employees (O’Neil, 1994).
Another motivational factor – Corporate Culture was evaluated positively by 80% percent, which shows significant cohesion and solidarity between company’s employees. The result was not a surprise for me, because the analyzed Garment company does much to promote corporate culture and identity. The basic measures which it takes are celebrating employee’s birthdays, celebrating corporate holidays and successful results etc. Besides this, corporate culture is formed by equal treatment of all employees as business partners, good customer policies etc. Solidarity between employees therefore stimulates their motivation and creativity.
Notwithstanding positive assessment of corporate culture by the employees, it is not perfect.
The third factor – Accountability and Supervisor Relations was assessed positively by 60% of the surveyed. The first subcategory concerning employees’ input was assessed positively by approximately 85%, however, the policy of empowerment and participation realized by management was assessed positively only by 50% of the surveyed. These results reveal significant problems which exist in the company concerning democratic practices of decision-making. There is no denying the importance of the fact, that quick resolution of these problems is one of the main preconditions for fostering motivation in this company.
Training is one of the most important motivational factor, because if properly organized by the company, it helps employees reveal their hidden abilities and potential. Training and learning efforts in this company were assessed positively by approximately 78% of the surveyed. The only subcategory within this factor was assessed at the level of 60% – “Employees’ are provided with additional time and resources for improving their skills and knowledge”.
Corporate management should pay specific attention to this factor. Concerning my personal experience, company’s provides necessary trainings and learning practices for the new employees and those employees who want to enhance their professional qualification. Fixed responsibilities and functions may be changed due to certain reorganizations and new policies, and hence corporate management is always ready to provide necessary trainings.
Pay and Benefits factor is, probably, one of the most important motivational factor not only in the analyzed company but in every business and for every employee.
However, it should be remembered that this motivational factor may be significant only in concert with other factors such as Working Environment, Communication and others.
The survey shows that more than 70% of employed have positive attitudes towards pay and benefits. However, one should mention several differentiations of this factor, which contribute to this ‘not perfect’ result. First of all, only 50% claimed that ‘creativity is always fostered and properly rewarded’.
More than 30% had negative vision of creativity in this company and the rest had compromised point of view. Another important subcategory, which was designed to reveal the level of ‘benefits confidence’ also proved to be very controversial. When employees was asked whether they would like to pay the part of the cost of the company, only 54% said that they would and the rest were not sure of it. This results show that not so many employees realize that short-terms personal benefits are less important than long-term progress of the company, which in its turn fosters future personal pays and benefits.
The following factor ‘Working Environment’ is also one of the most important motivational elements. It describes relations between labor and management, the level of mutual trust, the existence of working barriers and obstacles, the scope of conflict situations and the mechanisms of their resolutions. The survey revealed that almost 85% of employees have positive vision of working climate in this company.
There is no denying the importance of the fact, that this result by no means should be interpreted as a justification for other policy failures of the management.
Finally, the seventh motivational factor in the survey ‘Communication’ consists of several important subcategories including the level of communication between different departments, regulation of communicational patterns by top management, vertical and horizontal communication, the level of information provision for the employees etc. The survey revealed significant problems in communication sphere. I In general, “Communication” was assessed positively only by 57% of the surveyed.
The significant problems exist in communication between departments (especially trading and finance departments), vertical communication is not properly developed and employees’ views and needs are not addressed on the timely basis due to the inflexibility of communicational channels.
Thus, this survey shows that, however, motivational level in the company is rather high there exist significant problems, which should be addressed separately and in complex within the format of general motivational strategy.
As it was mentioned current survey analysis was also designed to define subjective vision of motivation by the company’s employees. To reveal this, they were asked to answer basic methodological questions: What are the factor which motivates you at work?
The same people, which answered survey question participated in this experiment.
Employees could choose from several categories that were designed:
- To be treated valued/fairly (76%)
- Have good relations with your colleagues (67%)
- Have good current salary/pay (56%)
- Job security (54%)
- Effective leadership (49%)
- Normal benefits (46%)
- Feeling involved and recognized (44%)
- Good relations with management (42%)
- Training (41%)
- Good environment and location – 38%
As these findings show, paradoxically, pays and benefits are not always primary factors which foster motivation. Instead, personal values of employees are formed depending on the working climate in the company, personal relations, trust and mutual respect. That it why, it should be said that these conditions are the centerpiece of motivation in Garment Company which is analyzed.
Based on careful analysis of motivational situation within the company, we are going to offer some proposals and recommendations for the management.
Recommendation to the management
The survey revealed current motivational problems in several subcategories.
However, general satisfaction is positive, management should pay particular attention to motivating high productivity of employees. This may be done by introducing such effective technique as ‘employee of the month’. An employee who proved to be the most productive in the company during the month should be rewarded by the company. This measure should not be, however, turned into popularity contest. Small gifts may be given for the winner and some privileges during the following monthly period. This motivational technique would not cost much money, however, would certainly encourage other workers to be more productive and gives a winner necessary recognition among his colleagues.
To improve general productivity, management should also implement another helpful motivational strategy – competition between teams within contest or task, certain privileges and benefits for the perfect attendance and for perfect termination of projects and jobs. The following motivational strategy may prove to be extremely important for Garment Company, which provides various services for their customers and depends on their loyalty. Those employees, which provide the most effective customer service, may be rewarded with additional bonuses and benefits.
The second factor Corporate Culture was positively assessed by the majority of company’s employees, however, we would recommend management to take all necessary steps to enhance cohesion between different departments and prevent them from forming local departmental identities, rather than developing general corporate culture and identity.
It is also very important to increase the level of employees’ participation in the decision-making process and initiate wide-ranging programs of their empowerment. Unless these measures are done, the motivational climate in this company is unlikely to considerably rise.
Training and learning also should be recognized as important motivational factors. As our research showed, management should provide additional time and resources for the employees who want or need to enhance their professional qualifications.
Besides this, current survey revealed significant communication problem in this company, which may results in a low level of motivation. The following recommendations may be proposed for the company’s management to avoid them:
- enhance interdepartmental communication channel;
- improve horizontal and especially vertical communication (between employees and management, which is necessary for effective and productive work).
- Make information policies and decision-making more transparent and understandable for the ordinary employees.
Green, T. B., & Butkus, R. T., 1999, Motivation, Beliefs, and Organizational Transformation, Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Emmons, R. A. , 2003, The psychology of ultimate concerns: Motivation and spirituality in personality. New York, Guilford Press.
Isaac, R. G., Zerbe, W. J., & Pitt, D. C. ,2001, ‘Leadership and Motivation: The Effective Application of Expectancy Theory’. Journal of Managerial Issues, 13(2), 212.
Kuhl, J., & Atkinson, J. W., 1986, Motivation, Thought, and Action, New York: Praeger Publishers.
McClelland, D. C., & Boyatzis, R. E., 1982, Leadership motive pattern and long-term success in management. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67, 737-743.
Winter, D. G. , 1992, Power motivation revisited. In C. P. Smith (Ed.). Motivation and personality: Handbook of thematic content analysis (pp. 301-310), New York: Cambridge University.
Maddock, R. C., & Fulton, R. L., 1998, Motivation, Emotions, and Leadership: The Silent Side of Management, Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
O’Neil, H. F., 1994, Motivation: Theory and Research (M. Drillings, Ed.), Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- = Not true;
- = True to small extent;
- = True to some extent;
- = Almost true;
- = True;
- General satisfaction
- Employees are enthusiastic and really energetic______
- Employees show high productivity_____
- Employees show optimistic and positive visions and attitudes relating to their future prospects in this company_______
- There is low margin of wasted efforts___
- Corporate Culture
- The company is extremely customer-focused________
- Inappropriate and negative conditions are easily identified and corrected____
- Employees are treated and feel themselves as business partners_____
- Employees show strong organizational identity and cohesion_____
- Employees are careful in using corporate resources____
- Employees have distinct perception of organizational vision, mission and values.
- Accountability and Supervisor relations
- Employees input is controlled and used by the management_____
- Employees are fostered to make considerable decisions and choices___
- Employees are significantly empowered vis-à-vis their supervisors____
- Employees are fostered to closely cooperate with suppliers and customers_____
- Efforts are made to define and use the whole spectrum of employees’ abilities
- Learning may be described as one of the highest priorities in organization__
- Employees are given sufficient training___
- Employees’ skills and professional development is encouraged___
- Employees’ are provided with additional time and resources for improving their skills and knowledge___
- Employees are fostered to learn from each other____
- Employees participate in taking training decisions____
- Pay and Benefits
- Good level of individual and team performance are adequately rewarded___
- Poor performance is not rewarded___
- Creativity is always fostered and properly rewarded___
- Employees think that their salaries are equitable and fair___
- Employees would like to pay the part of the cost____
- Working environment
- Discipline is considered to be a fair practice
- Discipline is perceived to be fair_____
- Employees permanently give extra efforts____
- Absenteeism, tardiness and other rates are low___
- Employees like to work in the organization____
- Management is responsive in relation to the employees’ concerns and needs___
- Labor-management conflicts are properly regulated and resolved constructively___
- Management can take personal responsibilities for mistakes____
- Employees are fostered to take leadership functions_____
- Employees are widely recognized and encouraged_____
- Outstanding creativity and performance are always recognized___
- No barriers exist between different units and departments___
- The level of trust between labor and management is rather high___
- Teamwork in organization well-established and welcomed___
- Obstacles to efficient performance are quickly eliminated___
- Personnel’s decisions are considered to be consistent and fair___
- There are few ungrounded policies, rules and procedures___
- The level of communication between different departments is rather high___
- Effective patterns of communication are top organizational priority___
- Employees in this organization are always well-informed___
- Management explains the reasons of all significant decisions___
- There exists frequent communication between management and employees___
- Senior managers visit employees on the regular basis___
- Managers keep no secrets from employees___
- Meeting and roundtables are extremely productive__
- Company’s publication materials are helpful and very informative___.