Motivation in the Workplace
Through its culture, Patagonia meets the physiological needs of its human resources. This category of human needs include food, water, and breathing. In Patagonia, the cafeteria offers organic foods and drinks. In addition, the well-equipped restrooms are effective for relaxation. Moreover, this organizational culture caters for the safety needs of the employees with the major aspect in this scenario being job security. The only large-scale retrenchment process conducted by the management of this company was in the 1990s (Loh, Schapper and Wrathall 110). This has indirectly facilitated in meeting the job security concerns of its workers. In addition, the presence of an infant and toddler child-care facility has ensured that employees stay connected with their loved ones. This is a suitable approach of meeting human needs regarding love and belonging. In terms of self-esteem promotion, the management of this company has integrated the aspect of an open office. This has enabled the human resources from all occupational positions to respect each other through the fostered interactions and teamwork.
The self-actualization needs in this corporation are met through activities that promote creativity. In this case, surfboarding is one of the recreational activities that aid in satisfying these needs. Moreover, strategies such as the use of headphones in the open office when one does not want any form of external disturbance is a basic approach of solving problems that may occur among the human resources. Working at Patagonia would be a worthy experience in terms of career development and enhancement of one’s social life. This is because of the opportunities offered to the human resources to improve their relationships with people from other social categories. Furthermore, the supervision techniques used by the management of this company are not only suitable in increasing the returns of the firm but they are also useful in improving the performance of the employees (Loh, Schapper and Wrathall 110). This is vital in the development of one’s occupation. Other aspects that confirm the desirability of the working environment in this firm is the enhancement of one’s talent through surfboarding and other activities.
The expectancy theory states that a person tends to adopt a certain behavior by acquiring motivation to choose the specific act or behavior over other habits. This selection depends on the individual’s perception of the outcomes. This means that the drive to act in a certain way results from the desirability of the results. Accordingly, in line with the principles of organizational behavior and culture, the management of such a company ought to relate the rewards offered to the workers to the performance level (Green 39). In this case, the managerial team of Patagonia motivates the human resources by appealing to their enthusiasm, loyalty, and responsibility. This has resulted in improved performance at the individual and organizational levels.
For this reason, employees who feel underpaid may choose to lower the quality and quality of their work. This is because of the exiting correlation between such reward systems at the workplace and the performance of the labor force. Underpaid associates in this company are bound to use their psychological interpretation of the low motivation level to choose behavior or actions whose outcome will depict low productivity and the overall dissatisfaction. In order to increase the motivation of such employees, the management of Patagonia should use financial and non-financial incentives with the main aim of recognizing workers who exemplify increased productivity. For instance, titles such as ‘employee of the month’ will motivate these workers to improve their performance (Green 45).
One of the major challenges that may occur in keeping the employees motivated is the complexities in reducing production costs while improving the living standards of the workers through monetary incentives. In addition, the constantly changing needs of the employees require different motivation strategies. Accordingly, it is difficult to identify tactics that will result in the motivation of the human resources in all departments of the organization (Breu and Smith 81). For example, the demands of members of the labor union in such an organization may include high salary and bonuses increase. These demands may not be attainable within a short period owing to the national financial regulations, inflation rates, and the company’s principles with respect to the cost-effective approaches in different departments.
As a member of the
managerial team in Patagonia’s retail stores,
I would aim at recognizing the efforts of the labor force in order to increase
their productivity and create a competitive atmosphere, which will result in an
overall increase in sales and attainment of customer satisfaction. For example,
increasing the official responsibility of employees who exemplify increased
performance will be an effective motivation source since such forms of
appreciation are suitable non-monetary incentives utilized at the workplace. In
addition, including the labor force in the company’s decision-making processes
is a non-financial motivational source that has a direct connection with
increased performance (Breu and Smith 85). This is possible through the
selection of employee representatives from various subsections within this
commercial organization. Other aspects that would be useful in motivating the
workers of Patagonia’s retail stores include increasing
their commissions and bonuses depending on their level of productivity.
Breu, Karin, and Geoff Smith. Developing a High-Performance Workforce: Practical Strategies for Exploiting Knowledge in the Intelligent Enterprise. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2002. Print.
Green, Thad B. Performance and Motivation Strategies for Today’s Workforce: A Guide to Expectancy Theory Applications. Westport, Conn: Quorum Books, 2002. Print.
Loh, Dawn, Jan Schapper, and Jeff Wrathall. The Maslow Revival: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a Motivational Theory. Caulfield, Vic: Monash University, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Management, 2000. Print.