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Motivation Case Study: Kellogg’s

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Frederick Taylor was associated with what has become known as ‘scientific management’. Taylor believed that monetary reward was an important motivating factor. Pay could simply be used to increase rates of output. Taylor’s view of motivation applies to people who tend to work within narrow job confines such as on a production line. These are people who can be paid according to the amount of work that they do or units they produce. This is known as ‘piece work’. For many people pay is still a prime motivator. For example, within Kellogg’s many employees are motivated by cash alternatives which include the opportunity to buy and sell their holiday days. Taylor’s theory breaks down jobs into components or specialist tasks through the division of labour. This especially applies to production processes within large companies like Kellogg’s. These rewards can help to increase productivity and profitability. The danger with this is that individuals are simply focused on output to get rewards so quality might suffer as a result of employees rushing to do the job.

Within Kellogg’s every employee is motivated to work through each of these levels. As they do so, this provides positive effects for each employee and the organisation. For example: Physiological needs – Kellogg’s offers competitive salaries. This gives people the means to acquire the basic needs for living. The Kellogg’s Cornflex flexible benefits programme allows employees to choose those benefits that suit them. This includes childcare vouchers, cash alternatives to company cars and discounted life assurance schemes. These savings and competitive salaries help workers’ pay go further and so motivate them to be loyal to the company. Safety needs – Kellogg’s values the safety of all employees. The company is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment to prevent accidents. Employees are however accountable – that means they have to take responsibility for observing the health and safety rules and practices. Kellogg’s also offers employees a range of working patterns. Some may want to work part-time, others may want career breaks or undertake homeworking. This helps employees to choose the best option for a healthy work-life balance.

Social needs – These are associated with a feeling of belonging. Kellogg’s operates weekly group ‘huddles’. These provide informal opportunities for employees to receive and request information on any part of the business, including sales data and company products. This helps strengthen teams and enhances workers’ sense of belonging. Having an open approach to communication keeps everybody focused on the company’s aims helps individuals contribute to the company’s K-Values. They include values such as being positive, seeing the best in people and recognising diversity. Kellogg’s positively recognises and rewards staff achievements. Self-actualisation – Kellogg’s provides employees with the opportunity to take on challenging and stimulating responsibilities. For example, the business provides the opportunity for individuals to take ownership of projects. This enables them to develop and improve.

Kellogg’s keeps a two-way dialogue with employees through its communication programmes. This helps to empower the workforce. For example, its open-plan lobby area with coffee bar accommodates as many as 200 people. It provides an informal venue for briefings and presentations. The WK Kellogg Values Awards programme provides special recognition for what employees do and rewards them for how they perform.

Kellogg’s has developed a number of motivating factors. These are designed to ensure that Kellogg’s is perceived as a good place to work and a desirable employer of choice. For example, Kellogg’s has a ‘Fit for Life’ programme offering employees access to fitness centres, free health checks and annual fitness assessments by healthcare specialists every spring. It also provides a ‘summer hours’ programme from May to September so if employees have worked a full week’s hours by noon on a Friday, they can finish work at that point. This means employees can adjust their working hours to balance their work against family or lifestyle commitments. Awareness of motivating factors helps Kellogg’s to build a business that delivers consistently strong results. Other initiatives within the organisation include: flexitime, home working, part-time working and job sharing career breaks, parental leave, time off for dependents and maternity and paternity leave on-site gyms or subsidised access to local facilities.

Motivators within the Kellogg’s company reflect the different personal aspirations of staff. The working environment provides the opportunity to move forward and take on responsibilities. There is clear recognition and reward for performance. For example, the Kellogg’s sales team meets every Friday morning to share success stories of the week. Once a month it recognises individuals that have worked above and beyond the K-Values. Winners receive a range of awards ranging from cash prizes, vouchers or holiday entitlements.

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