Motivational theory in practice at Tesco
A Tesco case study

Page 3: Taylor´s motivational theory

In 1911 the engineer Frederick Taylor published one of the earliest motivational theories. According to Taylor´s research, people worked purely for money. In the early years of the car assembly industry, work on a production line was based on producing quantity and was repetitive. Workers were paid 'piece rate', that is, paid for every item produced.

This approach of paying workers by results was good for the business. The outcome was greater production but gave little opportunity, encouragement or time for employees to think for themselves or be creative in what they did. This limited people's development and their use within the company.

Employee rewards

Tesco's Employee Reward Programme has some similarity to Taylor”s theory. Its financial reward packages are one motivating factor. However, there are factors other than money which motivate people in both their personal and working lives.  Tesco goes far beyond Taylor and gives more than just simple pay increases. It supports the varied lifestyles of individual employees through relevant and targeted benefits.

Many non-financial factors can and do motivate employees to improve their output. One such factor may be the desire to serve people; others may be to improve personal skills or achieve promotion. A person may be motivated to be a professional footballer not because of the salary but because they love football.

Employees are more motivated if they feel content in their work. This often happens when their employer creates a good working environment where employees feel valued, generally through increased communication and being asked for their opinions. Employee motivation is also likely to be higher if the organisation invests in its staff through training and development. In turn this enhances their knowledge, skills and their sense of job satisfaction.

Measuring staff satisfaction

Every year Tesco invites its staff to take part in a staff satisfaction survey called Viewpoint which gives them the opportunity to express their views on almost every aspect of their job. The results from the survey help Tesco make sure it is offering the right things to its staff to keep them motivated. Some of the benefits available to staff include:

  • Lifestyle break this offers 4-12 weeks off work and guarantees the job back at the end
  • Career break this allows staff between 6 months and 5 years away from work with right of return
  • Pension scheme this award-winning scheme provides clearly defined long term benefits.
Tesco | Motivational theory in practice at Tesco

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