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Employees have always been referred to as the most valuable assets of an organisation (Hellriegel & John W. Slocum, 2011). They put in endless efforts everyday in order to ensure that organisation’s decisions are transformed into actions which help achieving desired goals and performance objectives. They are regarded as an unsurpassed vital resource for an organisation and the issues related to their motivation have been seen as a indispensable part of the human resource strategies (Hossain & Hossian, 2012). Motivation can be defined as the force which acts within an individuals and makes him decide to behave in a specific, goal oriented manner (Herzberg, et al., 2011). Motivation refers to the motives of the employees that determine their productivity thus it is essential to ensure that employee motivation is channelized in a manner that help achieving organisational goals (Adair, 2009). In order to remain competitive in today’s dynamic marketplace organisations must ensure that they are attracting talented employees and have strategies to retain them, they must allow and facilitate employees to perform tasks for which they were hired and must stimulate and encourage employee to think beyond their routine jobs and realise their full potential and creativity while focusing on innovation.
This report aims at studying the lack of motivation faced by employees’ at McDonalds and how it is affecting their overall effectiveness and efficiency. Due to low motivation and a lack of job satisfaction employees at McDonalds do not consider their jobs as a means of long-term career growth (Nawaz, 2011). They just come to workplace to earn their living and are hardly interested in the growth of the organisation. Many of long term McDonalds employees have claimed that they do not feel motivated nor are provided enough opportunities to use their creativity and do things differently. They feel a lack of learning and thus see no growth in this sector. Due to all these factors McDonald’s is being recognised as a company that witnesses highest employee turnover (Nawaz, 2011). Employees who are de-motivated tend to lack commitment and put in less effort. Standards of customer service are also affected adversely when employees experience lack of motivation and thus job satisfaction. It has been noted that employees who are happy and satisfied tend to enhance customer service experience. As it is said one cannot make others happy when one is happy inside.
Founded in year 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, McDonald’s Corporation today is recognised as the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants (McDonald's, 2015). McDonald’s has around 35,000 outlets in 119 countries from where they serve around 68 million customers every day. With 1.9 million employees working either for franchises or actual corporation McDonald’s has become the world’s second largest private employer. This report analyses the employee motivation issues faced by some of the McDonald’s in UK.
In-spite of being a big brand in the fast food industry McDonalds still commit the same fault as performed by other fast food companies. Like every other fast food company McDonald’s too offer McJobs to their employees. McJob is a term used to define a type of job generally related to retail or service industry that are low paid and does not demand specific skills and qualifications (Nawaz, 2011). These types of jobs experience high employee turnover mainly due to lack of motivation. Such type of jobs fails to satisfy the basic needs of the employees thus they are not at all influenced to stick with them for long time. Some of the main reasons that have lead to the decrease in employee motivation are;
Managers at McDonalds apply Taylor’s scientific theory according to which in order to achieve maximum output from employees they must be supervised closely and should be made to work under pressure (Hossain & Hossian, 2012).
Poor employer-employee relations, less rewards, lack of learning and low wages are some of reasons for employee de-motivation as well (Nawaz, 2011).
Monotonous nature of job wherein employees are directed how to carry out their day to day operations and are not expected to use their creativity.
Employees at some of the McDonalds also face problems related to micromanagement wherein they are not involved in decision making process and are informed that their capabilities are not trusted owing to which employees show disengagement and feel highly de-motivated.
There is lack of effective communication which leads to uncertainty and insecurity. After employees have completed 2-3 years in the job they start feeling insecure as they know the company can terminate them anytime as they can easily find cheap labor to get the same job done. This fact does not encourage employee to plan their long-term career with companies like McDonalds.
McDonalds in order to keep their operations cost minimum so that they can offer cost advantage to their customers generally fail at meeting the basic needs of its employee which is leads to employee de-motivation.
All these factors have adverse affects on employee motivation at McDonalds leading to reduced productivity and performance effectiveness. Employees are not committed to their jobs thus do not take too many pains to ensure customers are provided with high quality services. It is high time McDonalds must make necessary changes and implement motivational approaches and theories to increase employee motivation which in turn will ensure desired organisational goals are achieved.
There are a number of motivational theories, concepts and models that can be implemented by McDonalds in order to increase employee motivation and ensure high productivity and quality performance. One of primary motivational principle defines performance as a function of individual’s ability and motivation (Mullins, 2011). This can be represented by the formula stated below:
Performance = f (ability * motivation)
Ability in this case includes an individual’s inherited talented as well as learned competencies which are used to perform goal oriented tasks (Mukherjee, 2005). In order to understand and implement various motivational theories and approaches it is essential to understand the motivational process which is divided into six core phases namely; identifying individual needs, finding ways to satisfy those needs, employees are made to select goal-directed behaviours, employee starts performing, employee is either rewarded or punished based on their performance and lastly employee receives feedback based on which he redefines his need deficiencies (Jr, 2005). Motivation is goal oriented wherein a goal represents something that is desired by an individual.
There are a number of sources of motivation which can be broadly classified into two broad categories namely; intrinsic and extrinsic sources (Fox, 2007). Intrinsic motivated behaviour is reinforcement of behaviour that forces an individual to find a job and then feel the job is interesting. Extrinsic sources of motivation refer to the external sources such as rewards and recognitions (Miner, 2005). Content theories and process theories are the two broad categories into which several theories of motivation have been divided (Kitchin, 2010). Motivational theories help identifying factors that affect human behaviours in different ways.
As stated by content theories of motivation all individuals have needs and there are certain factors that drive them to act in a manner so that they can satisfy their needs resulting in motivation (Murray, et al., 2006). There are a number of content theories which can be applied by McDonalds in order to identify factors that can enhance employee motivation.
Process theory studies the way employees needs themselves influence their behaviour (Ranganayakulu, 2005). According to this theory people are motivated to achieve a goal when they feel they goal is worth the effort. Individuals tend to display good perform when they are aware they will be paid equally well in return.
There a several motivational theories which can be applied by McDonalds in order to overcome the issues related to low employee motivation.
Needs Hierarchy Model
Formulated by Abraham H. Maslow this model suggests that people have exceptionally high needs that are complex in nature and can be arrange in a hierarchical pattern (Herzberg, et al., 2011). According to this model once a needs has been satisfied its motivational impact declines. Employers must focus on satisfying lower level needs prior to higher level needs and higher level needs can be satisfied in many ways while there are few ways of satisfying lower level needs (Fox, 2007). This model has categorized human needs into five broad categories and has arranged them in form of a pyramid wherein the lowest level forms the base of the pyramid and the highest level need forms the cone. The five categories of needs arranged in an increase level of priority are; physiological needs, security needs, affiliation needs, esteem and self-actualisation needs (Shajahan, 2007). This theory can prove to be very effective for McDonalds and will greatly help them in satisfying basic needs of their employee who in turn will be motivated to deliver high performance and show commitment towards their jobs.
Physiological needs: These are the lowest level needs and refer to an individual’s desire for air, water, food and shelter (Armstrong & Stephens, 2005). In order to satisfy these needs individuals are ready to take and job for which they are paid. Unless these needs are satisfied no individual can focus on satisfying higher level needs. As McDonalds is able to satisfy these needs people who only work for money are willing to take these job however they show very low level of job commitment.
Security Needs: These are needs which people tend to satisfy once their physiological needs are satisfied. Need for safety, absence of threat, pain and illness and stability come under level of needs (Bonnici, 2011). McDonalds is able to provide their employee a healthy and safe work environment which is free from threats however they lack in providing stability to their employees. The wages offered to employees are too low to enhance stability.
Affiliation Needs: This category of needs include individual’s need for love, friendship and feeling of belonging (Daft, 2014). In a professional context this need define a desire for healthy employer-employee relationship. As stated earlier McDonalds has not been able to develop a healthy employer-employee relationship as they feel people tend to perform better in a supervised and pressurised state. Managers are responsible for ensuring their employees display high productivity and are not much concerned about their growth and development.
Esteem Needs: This category refer to employees’ desire for feelings of self-worth, respect, recognition and achievements (Herzberg, et al., 2011). McDonalds do have rewards and recognition programs however they are not sufficient enough to motivate employees. Employees are expected to perform tasks as directed and are not enough to participate in decision making. As a result employee feel they are not important for the company and are not treated with respect and integrity
Self-Actualisation Needs: This is the highest level need which employee tend to satisfy once all lower level needs are satisfied. This represent employees desire to realise their full potential and be what they want to be (Jr, 2005). McDonald’s is not at all concerned about satisfying employees self actualisation needs. Very less focus is given to employee training and development thus limiting their learning. Processes are predefined thus leaving no space for employees to us their creativity.
In order to implement the needs hierarchy model to increase employee motivation managers at McDonalds will have to focus on effective communication and conduct frequent one to one meetings and group discussions that will help them understand their employees better and identify their needs.
Designed by Fredrick Herzberg and his associated the Motivator-Hygiene model is also called two-factor theory (Herzberg, et al., 2011). According to this theory motivators and hygiene are two sets of factors that are responsible for creating job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction (Daft, 2014). Motivators refer to factors like achievements, advancements, challenge, feedback, work itself, responsibility and recognition (Daft, 2014). These factors help creating a positive perception about the job and its contents. Motivators can also be referred to as intrinsic factors as they are internal to the individual and are related to the job directly. Hygiene factors are related to salaries, company policy and administrations, job security, benefits, working conditions and interpersonal relations (Herzberg, et al., 2011). As they are external to the job they are also called as extrinsic factors.
As discussed earlier McDonalds needs to seriously work to improve their motivators and hygiene factors. Managers must identify factors that enhance employee motivation at workplace resulting in improved effectiveness and efficiency.
As stated by this theory individuals have a tendency to compare the ratio of their own input/outputs at the workplace to the ratio of input/output of other individual (Kitchin, 2010). Any inequality among ratios leads to job dissatisfaction and influence employees to find ways to restore quality (Moyles, 2006). In case of McDonalds their employees must be finding good inequality ratios thus are motivated to switch jobs due to which the company has to face high turnover.
According to this theory people are rational beings who have definite set of goals and can be motivated if their expectations are met (Northouse, 2010). In order to meet the expectations of the employees it is important to inform them that their efforts will always be rewarded wither monetarily or by non-financial means (Daft, 2014).
All these motivational theories and models can be implemented by McDonalds to solve the problems associated with low employee motivation and also to enhance their commitment towards their job, overall productivity and performance efficiency.
Employees at McDonalds face a serious issue of low motivation which is greatly affecting their overall productivity, performance and commitment. Its high time McDonalds must work on ways that will help increasing job satisfaction and motivation at workplace. A survey conducted among some of McDonalds employees has helped identifying factors they feel inspire them to work with McDonalds, more than 60% of employees strongly agreed with the factors being their motivators to work such as, flexible working hours, provision of food facilities and no specific skill requirement to get a job. They survey also helped identifying factors that are leading to high de-motivation among employees, more than 75% of employees strongly agreed with the factors being reason for low motivation such as; very low wages, poor employer-employee relationship, monotonous nature of work, lack or reward and recognitions and no focus on employee growth and learning.
In order to overcome the problem of low employee motivation which result in high employee turnover and low productivity McDonalds must make efforts to bring some improvement in wages paid to employees and introduce an attractive reward and recognition program. Managers at McDonalds must focus on effective communication and improving their relationships with employees. Attempts must be made to identify the needs of employees and then making efforts to satisfy the lower level needs first. McDonalds must ensure that motivators and Hygiene factors that lead to high employee motivation must be in place and work efficiently. McDonalds must focus on training and development of employees in order to satisfy their learning needs and provide them ample growth opportunities so that they are motivated to show high commitment to their job.
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