McDonalds Approach to Employee Motivation

Modified: 13th Jul 2017
Wordcount: 2623 words

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The most important resource for an organization are the people. The interaction of financial, industrial and other resources ensure that the organisation function well. According to the experienced managers, for the purpose of employee encouragement only financial reward is not enough. The employees needs should be treated as an entity which leads to the search of non financial motives. There exist many non financial motives which are linked with employees satisfaction of needs, such as his/her recognition, decision making participation, self fulfilment, personal growth etc.,

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The regular practice in organizations shows that the full use of human resources is one of the most significant advantages, which leads the companies to occupy the leading positions in the world market. The McDonalds company has good ongoing success by using logical integration of the staff into the problem solving. The company follows the principle: The result is done by a man. At McDonalds its employees are the primary source of progress in the field of quality and productivity.

Summarising, the McDonalds company has effective motivation system that makes it possible to increase employees performance, and hence the company’s productivity.

For the current situation the McDonalds situational approach applied by its administration staff has turned out to be the most relevant. The administrators have used the specific techniques on the basis of motivation theories. Having applied the procedure of assembly line in food preparation, McDonalds has ensured the standard quality of the production and the high performance. Besides, the company has implemented effective motivation strategy that is based on the existing motivation theories. Consequently, on the basis of the research we can say that every company has its own system of behaviour explanation and every critical case should be examined as the McDonalds company case. Motivation theories, such as Maslow’s theory and Self Determination theory should serve the basis for elaborating a strategy which will direct managers force towards the aim, employee satisfaction through intrinsic motivation and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs model.



McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving more than 58 million customers daily. Employee motivation is the level of energy, commitment, and creativity that a company’s workers bring to their jobs. Whether the economy is growing or shrinking, finding ways to motivate employees is always a management concern. Competing theories stress either incentives or employee involvement (empowerment). Employee motivation can sometimes be particularly problematic for small businesses. The owner has often spent years building a company hands-on and therefore finds it difficult to delegate meaningful responsibilities to others. But entrepreneurs should be careful of such downfalls, the effects of low employee motivation on small businesses can be harmful. Such problems include complacency, disinterest, even widespread discouragement. Such attitudes can cumulate into crisis.

But the small business can also provide an ideal atmosphere for employee motivation. Employees see the results of their contributions directly, feedback is swift and visible. A smoothly working and motivated work force also frees the owner from day-to-day chores for thinking of long-term development. Furthermore, tangible and emotional reward can mean retention of desirable employees. People thrive in creative work environments and want to make a difference. Ideally the work result itself will give them a feeling of accomplishment but well-structured reward and recognition programs can underline this consequence.


In the past, employees were not given much of a thought, not more than just another input into the production of goods and services. Employee motivation was not the main concern of the managers.

However, as the time passed by the ‘Hawthorne Experiment’ a research conducted by Elton Mayo (Australian Psychologist, Sociologist, Organization Theorist) in 1924, basically changed the way of thinking about the employees. the study of Elton Mayo pointed out the fact that money does not motivate employees to use their full potential, but instead it is the employee attitudes that keeps them going and linked with McDonalds. As a result, this gave rise to what is known as the Human Relations approach to management which lead the managers to focus mainly on the needs of employees and thus finding ways to motivate them.

One approach to employee motivation has been to view “add-ins” to an individual’s job as the primary factors in improving performance. Endless mixes of employee benefits such as health care, life insurance, profit sharing, employee stock ownership plans, exercise facilities, subsidized meal plans, child care availability, company cars, and more have been used by companies in their efforts to maintain happy employees in the belief that happy employees are motivated employees.

In small businesses, which may lack the resources to enact formal employee motivation programs, managers can nonetheless accomplish the same basic principles. In order to help employees feel that their jobs are meaningful and that their contributions are valuable to the company, the small business owner needs to communicate the company’s purpose to employees. This communication should take the form of words as well as actions. In addition, the small business owner should set high standards for employees, but also remain supportive of their efforts when goals cannot be reached. It may also be helpful to allow employees as much autonomy and flexibility as possible in how their jobs are performed. Creativity will be encouraged if honest mistakes are corrected but not punished. Finally, the small business owner should take steps to incorporate the vision of employees for the company with his or her own vision. This will motivate employees to contribute to the small business’s goals, as well as help prevent delay in its direction and purpose.

Motivation has variety of effects. These effects may be seen in the context of an individual’s physical and mental health, productivity, absenteeism and turnover. Employee delight has to be managed in more than one way. This helps in retaining and nurturing the true believers

This means innovation and creativity. It also means a change in the gear for HR policies and practices. The faster the organizations nurture their employees, the more successful they will be. The challenge before HR managers today is to delight their employees and nurture their creativity to keep them happy.


  • Creates a workplace and culture of high achievers.
  • Improved business and staff productivity.
  • Reduced employee turnover. It is important not only to attract talent to your firm but to also keep the talent.
  • Decrease in sick days and absenteeism.

Employee motivation is the responsibility of a company. Employees will never have the same level of commitment and motivation as the owner of a small business. Once this concept is grasped then one can move towards taking action to building a caring and employee motivating business.

Better work motivation translates to only positive results. It’s worth to invest heavily in elements that make the employees want to come to work and do their very best.

Five Concrete Benefits of Employee Motivation

1. Improved Productivity

Motivated employees work more efficiently, producing better products or services in less time. Unmotivated employees waste time surfing the Web and using e-mail and instant messaging for personal benefit. They generally take longer to accomplish the tasks assigned. By keeping the employees motivated, improved productivity can be seen.

2. Higher Quality of Service or Product

When employees are motivated, they invest time, effort and brain power into producing the best products or services possible. They take pride in their work, meaning they will give the company a better name out in the market simply by producing a superior product. Unmotivated employees, on the other hand, will put in the bare minimum effort, resulting in poor customer service, and low-quality products.

3. Monetary Savings

Improved productivity and higher quality services and products equal monetary gains for the company. This opens up cash for improvements in the company or to be used as benefits for employees.

4. Better Employee Retention Rates

If the employees are motivated, the organization will be able to retain more of them. Every time a new employee is hired, time is to invested for getting that person up to speed on the job requirements, integrating that person into the workforce and figuring out exactly how that new person can contribute. Existing employees have a wealth of knowledge about the company and how projects work. They are also already accustomed to working with the other employees at your facility. By retaining employees, money and time can be saved.

5. Pleasant Work Environment

Motivated employees are happy employees. Better morale is contagious; it leads to a pleasant work environment and better productivity. All this means a better workday for everyone.

One of the biggest and most important advantages of employee motivation is that it promotes team work. The success of any organization is directly dependent on the team members who worked on it so it is crucial for every team member to work closely with one another. Establishing an employee motivation program will benefit both individual team members as well as the entire team.

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The objective of any employee motivation program is to motivate the employees who work for you to do their jobs and do them well. You want to increase productivity while promoting an excellent working environment, one that will enable them to look forward to coming to work every day. Employee motivation programs serve a specific purpose, and that is to create situations that increase overall productivity and profitability. A well-designed program will do just that. One final advantage of an employee motivation program, and one that is definitely worth noting is that it will help employees feel good about what they do. This is important in any job setting and will help individual team members work more closely with each other. This, in turn, will serve to increase overall productivity and profitability.


  • The ‘primary aim’ of the company

The employees may be more motivated if they understand the primary aim of your business. Questions are to be asked to establish how clear they are about the company’s principles, priorities and mission.

  • Realistic Motivation of the staff

It is often assumed that all people are motivated by the same things. Actually we are motivated by a whole range of factors. Questions are to be included to elicit what really motivates employees, including learning about their values. Are they motivated by financial rewards, status, praise and acknowledgment, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism, results.

  • Empowering the Employees

Do the employees feel they have job descriptions that give them some autonomy and allow them to find their own solutions or are they given a list of tasks to perform and simply told what to do?

  • The patterns of motivation in the company

Who is most motivated and why? What lessons can be learnt from patches of high and low motivation in the company?

  • How do employees feel about the company?

Do they feel safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Or do they feel taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible? They need to be asked what would improve their loyalty and commitment.

  • How involved are employees in company development?

Do they feel listened to and heard? Are they consulted? And, if they are consulted, are their opinions taken seriously? Are there regular opportunities for them to give feedback?

  • Is the company’s internal image consistent with its external one?

The company may present itself to the world as the ‘family hotel chain’. The employees would have been influenced, and their expectations set, to this image when they joined your company. If this image is not mirrored within the company in the way employees are treated, motivation problems may be noticed. The disparity between the employees image of the company from the outside and from the inside, is to be found out.


In recent years, many employers recognized that the success of their business is highly influenced by the professional capacity and motivation of their workforce. Companies must face the challenges of increasing the level of commitment, motivation and job satisfaction among their employees. In this regard, it is important to take into consideration the impact of employees’ needs, motives and ambitions and to negotiate more flexible schemes for financial participation, career development opportunities and performance recognition as part of the quality of work agenda.

There is no simple answer to the question of how to motivate people. Can money motivate? Yes, but money alone is not enough, though it does help. We have discussed some of the pertinent theories bearing on human motivation and this is balanced by some of the practical factors which can lead to excellence. Human resource remains the focal point and leadership the critical component, and motivation has to be ‘tailored’ to each individual.

Motivated employees are crucial to a company’s success-this has never been truer than today, when margins are thin (or nonexistent) and economic recovery remains elusive. These hard bottom-line realities may also mean that managers can’t rely as much as they might have in the past on using financial incentives to drive employee engagement. But, if the company has a solid approach to talent management, a bad manager can undermine it in his unit. On the flip side, smart and empathetic managers can overcome a great deal of corporate mismanagement while creating enthusiasm and commitment within their units. While individual managers can’t control all leadership decisions, they can still have a profound influence on employee motivation.

The most important thing is to provide employees with a sense of security, one in which they do not fear that their jobs will be in jeopardy if their performance is not perfect and one in which layoffs are considered an extreme last resort, not just another option for dealing with hard times.

But security is just the beginning. When handled properly, each of the above mentioned practices will play a key role in supporting your employees’ goals for achievement, equity, and camaraderie, and will enable them to retain the enthusiasm they brought to their roles in the first place.


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