Motivation in the Workplace: Amazon Case Study

Modified: 17th Apr 2023
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“We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.” (2017).

Introduction

The process of getting employees motivated is a major concern for most big companies today and Amazon is not an exception. Amazon pride its self on the motivating factors employed to improve and increase employee morals.

Working at Amazon is interesting especially when you are work driven, and like been rewarded for your excellent potentials. Performance is rewarded with increased responsibilities and an opportunity to buy into stocks as awards. The company is truly customer centric and is continuing to strive toward a better customer experience in all aspects of its operations. There are various factors that contributes to employee motivation at Amazon, and they include the following, the environment, development opportunities, career development, and money — all of these factors plays a significant role in motivating employees. (2016).

It is therefore important for management to create the enabling atmosphere amongst its employees and take interest in the performance of the work they do.

What is Motivation in the work place:

Motivation in the workplace is the desire to apply effort towards company’s goal and objectives thereby satisfying some individual needs. (Olusegun, 2019) Motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of encouraging people to accomplish their goals.

Motivation is the desire to complete a task to the best of once ability. This can be influenced by rewards or threat, punishment or discipline. However, true motivation comes from within.

According to Maslow human behaviour is goal-directed. Motivation cause goal-directed behaviour. Motivation can help individuals handle and tackle their needs purposely. Motivation can be appreciated if one understands the hierarchy of needs as describe by Maslow. Every human behaviour has a driving force which is the need that represents that behaviour. In other to get the best out of every employee manager must understand the “hierarchy of needs”. Maslow has proposed “The Need Hierarchy Model”.  (2019)

At Amazon money plays a very important part in motivation of their employees. Amazon understood that money itself is not a huge motivator especially once you have already earned it. However, the ‘hope for money’ is a huge motivator’ of employees and it keeps people going. Motivation is like a huge carrot in front of every employee that keeps getting bigger as you walk towards it. Once an employee understands the visibility of their future pay today, that becomes a motivating factor. Employees feel motivated to run towards that future and work hard for it. Amazon employs other methods of motivating their employees such as learning, growth opportunities, and work environment.

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Purpose of motivation:

By Having a good method of motivating policy in place will help to encourage employee and can result to higher job satisfaction, and this could result to staff staying longer in employment. When staff are motivated job performance will be high and the possibility of more commitment in what they do. Workers that are not motivated usually don’t perform well in their jobs. Some employees are naturally well motivated and others require incentives. Employers can use various strategies to help increase motivation.

Willingness to Do the Job

By Increasing worker motivation can result in workers willingness to carry out the tasks required by the job. Once there is that willingness to perform managers are less likely to pull teeth to try to get a worker to perform tasks. It is important for job description to match duties, qualities and competencies of the position. This helps managers and workers to understand the demands of the position before, during and after coming into such position.

Increase Performance

Motivation helps organizations to meet their internal and external obligations. By increasing worker motivation can lead to increase job performance levels. In other to achieve increase performance managers and administrators most help workers feel as part of the team.

Increase Retention

By including the workforce in decision-making processes for strategic planning in achieving organizational goal can lead to increase worker retention. This method will allow workers to feel engaged throughout the process thereby increasing employee’s motivation and willing to invested in the organization. Increasing worker motivation and job satisfaction has been linked to higher rates of retention and increased worker productivity.  (2011).

Increase Job Satisfaction

A poor work environment can make any good employee lose motivation and the zeal to increase performance. Job incentives such as competitive pay, benefits and programs such as tuition reimbursement, flexible hours, scheduling and time-off would act as stimulant to increased job satisfaction. Training programs should be encouraged as this has proven to increase job satisfaction. Increased job satisfaction has shown to increase employee motivation, which then increases job retention rates. (2009).

Advantages:

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Lower recruitment and selection costs
  • Better communication and teamwork
  • Improved customer service

Disadvantages:

  • Motivational rewards may become expected
  • May be de-motivating for other employees, if they are not motivated as much as other employees.
  • Non-financial motivation such as job rotation lacks specialisation and is time-consuming to change between roles

CONCLUSION:

Amazon has been seen as an interesting place to work and managers need to find creative ways in which to consistently keep their employees motivated as much as possible. Motivation is very important for every company to improve its employee’s performance and productivity. That’s because every time when an organisation deems a task to be important and valuable to for its survival, they act with a high level of dedication and enthusiasm to its completion.

References:

  • Heryati R (2019). Why Employee Motivation Is Important (& How to Improve It). [online] The 6Q Blog. Available at: https://inside.6q.io/employee-motivation-important/ [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Elizabeth Boye Kuranchie-Mensah and Amponsah-Tawiah, K. (2016). Employee motivation and work performance: A comparative study of mining companies in Ghana. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, [online] 9(2), p.255. Available at: http://www.jiem.org/index.php/jiem/article/viewFile/1530/755 [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Oyetola Solomon Olusegun (2012). Influence of Motivation on Turnover of Library Personnel in Some Public Universities in South West Nigeria. [online] Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1796&context=libphilprac [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Mullaney, T. (2017). 5 key business lessons from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/13/5-key-business-lessons-from-amazons-jeff-bezos.html [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Psu.edu. (2011). 11. Job Satisfaction – PSYCH 484: Work Attitudes and Job Motivation – Confluence. [online] Available at: https://wikispaces.psu.edu/display/PSYCH484/11.+Job+Satisfaction [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Jones, M.K., Jones, R.J., Latreille, P.L. and Sloane, P.J. (2009). Training, Job Satisfaction, and Workplace Performance in Britain: Evidence from WERS 2004. LABOUR, [online] 23, pp.139–175. Available at: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3677.pdf [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Reference. (2019). What Is the Maslow Theory of Motivation? [online] Available at: https://www.reference.com/world-view/maslow-theory-motivation-c680e9c278f245d9 [Accessed 9 Jul. 2019].
  • Olusegun, o. (2019). Chapter 6 (Motivation) Management Flashcards | Quizlet. [online] Quizlet. Available at: https://quizlet.com/40181531/chapter-6-motivation-management-flash-cards/ [Accessed 12 Jul. 2019].

 

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