Motivation in action

by Business Case Studies on Monday 25th October, 2010

Vehicle rental company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has built a culture based on having motivated employees, and in return it benefits from having a workforce that is passionate, innovative and moves the business forward. Managers at Enterprise know that workers are motivated by a range of factors. The organisation therefore aims to meet both the lower and higher order needs of its people. For example, it provides the right resources and lines of communication to allow workers to complete their jobs, as well as providing encouragement and recognition. All staff at Enterprise take part in motivation training to give them an understanding of relevant principles and techniques. This fosters a commitment to the overall business goals.

Last week saw the Wayne Rooney saga draw to a close. As with any other workers, sports people are affected by different motivational methods. A desire to reach their potential in their chosen sport must be a driving force for many; as perhaps are the recognition and adoration of fans. Just 48 hours after pledging his intention to leave Manchester United, Rooney stated in an interview that”the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that convinced me to stay.” In addition to this, United manager Ferguson said”I'm pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United's great players.” The Rooney/Manchester United story shows that non-financial methods of motivation are hugely important in the world of sport, however, financial methods of motivation still feature highly. Despite the fact that theorists such as Herzberg suggest that money is not a motivator, a new five year contract rumoured to be worth in the region of £42m may well have been one motivating factor for Rooney's decision to stay at United. (BBC 22nd October 2010)

Questions

  1. Define motivation.
  2. Draw Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, giving examples of how organisations such as Enterprise can meet each of these needs.
  3. Use examples from the article to discuss the extent to which the Manchester United/Rooney story conforms to Herzberg's Two Factor Theory of motivation.

Answers to questions

  1. Define motivation. Motivation is the desire to do something or achieve a particular outcome.
  2. Draw Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, giving examples of how organisations such as Enterprise can meet each of these needs. Basic needs e.g. pay, Safety needs e.g. job security, Social needs e.g. good relationships with staff, Self-esteem needs e.g. recognition for a job well done, Self-actualisation e.g. providing training to help workers meet their personal targets.
  3. Use examples from the article to discuss the extent to which the Manchester United/Rooney story conforms to Herzberg's Two Factor Theory of motivation. Herzberg's Two Factor theory says that 'Motivators' can motivate workers but cannot cause them to feel dissatisfied; and 'Hygiene Factors' can cause dissatisfaction but cannot motivate. Motivators include recognition, responsibility and opportunities for improvement. Hygiene factors include pay, working conditions and company policy. On one hand the article does support Herzberg's theory because the recognition of his manager and the challenge to guide younger players could all be considered to be 'Motivators' for Wayne Rooney. On the other hand, the high value contract would be considered a 'Hygiene Factor' and should not therefore be able to motivate Rooney. It could however reduce dissatisfaction. Whether the financial factor is a motivator depends very much on whether the pay itself is more important or whether an increased contract is satisfying higher order needs such as esteem and is seen as recognition of effort and achievement.

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