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Motivation in the Retail Industry

Autor:   •  June 24, 2018  •  2,178 Words (9 Pages)  •  297 Views

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Interpersonal Relationships

According to Abraham Maslow, love and belongingness in the workplace are referred to as being part of a group and having favorable relationships with coworkers or management. In fact, this motivational need is perceived to be more motivating than physiological needs such as salary. This being said, some respondents mentioned that they did not feel motivated to improve their sales techniques or increase their involvement at work when their manager was present. In addition, when asked to describe her relationship with her co-workers, one Simons employee stated: “We interacted like a group of friends. It was not the kind of relationship you would expect to see in a workplace. The fact that we were not competitive with one another lead to us helping each other in achieving our goals.” 100% of those interviewed described their relationship with their coworkers as friendly and pleasant Furthermore, 80% identified their relationships with their coworkers and managers as having a direct positive impact on their level of motivation in the workplace. These findings are consistent with other studies, including one conducted by feedback solution provider TINYpulse. An article in Business News Daily summarized the findings of this study stating that : "Finding colleagues that push each other and keep them going is one of the best things you can do to drive motivation and engagement (Brooks)." Similarly, the data gathered from those interviewed in the retail industry lead to the conclusion that the motivation of a salesperson is related not only to his or her manager’s expectations but also to interpersonal relationships in the workplace.

Those interviewed also identified some additional outcomes of positive interpersonal relationships with their coworkers. One employee stated that it was a good way to avoid conflict in the workplace altogether. Another mentioned that it allowed for easy rotation on the floor, more specifically switching between serving customers and doing chores in the back of the store. One American Apparel employee stated, “the key to the success of our team is that we communicate a lot and have a great deal of respect towards each other.”

Not only did the individuals interviewed identify relationships with their fellow employees as having an impact on their motivation, they also singled out positive relationships with their customers as being a source of motivation in the workplace. When asked to describe an instance where they felt positive sentiments toward their job, 40% of interview respondents mentioned a time involving customer satisfaction and noted that this lead to an increased amount of motivation.

Freedom in the Workplace

In this study it became apparent that salespeople were more motivated when given a large degree of freedom instead of when working under a dictatorship/ in an individualistic workplace. This degree of freedom can range anywhere from the ability to have flexible work hours to working as a group and helping each other directly from the floor without the input of higher authority. This is consistent with Herzberg’s claim that close supervision from supervisors leads to dissatisfaction in the workplace as well as with Abraham Maslow’s theory of the need for safety.

“It’s the responsibility of the manager to create an environment where employees can thrive” (Carson). One can say that freedom stems from intrinsic motivators within the workplace. Intrinsic motivators are behaviours that employees perform, simply because they enjoy the activities themselves (Carson). These intrinsic motivators contribute greatly to their job satisfaction (Carson). Therefore, from a manager-employee point of view, it would be ideal to use intrinsic motivators as a tool to increase employee’s job satisfaction. This can be done by giving employees encouragement, recognition, a sense of achievement, and responsibility, all in relation to the notion of freedom.

As seen in the data collected, a large degree of freedom for subordinates is perceived as being conducive to a positive work environment and thus, leads to more job satisfaction amongst retail employees. For instance, an employee that does not feel stressed by time constraints or by rules in the workplace is observed to be both happy and motivated. With that happiness and motivation, an employee shows full devotion to the tasks at hand in the workplace. Another factor that relates to freedom is being able to work at one's own pace, without a manager’s constant supervision. For example, when asked to describe an instance where they experienced a great deal of satisfaction towards their job, an employee from American Apparel said “I experienced a great deal of satisfaction when my boss acknowledged that I was able to handle a busy store on my own while still managing to keep all of the customers happy.” Thus, proving that with freedom comes a feeling of safety as well as a greater feeling of satisfaction.

Although the data collected refuted the claim for the majority of this study, there are still a lot of important discoveries to retain from it. For instance, the findings about retail employees’ motivation could lead to further exploration of motivational factors in the retail industry. One of the factors which made the claim difficult to support was that the study was based on the retail industry. Since this industry is mostly composed of a young age group, the employees perceive their jobs as temporary. Therefore, it is difficult to apply Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory since the majority of the subjects interviewed did not consider keeping their jobs in the long-run. Although this experiment was inconclusive according to the findings, it would be interesting to conduct the same study in a different industry to see if Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory and Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs would be applicable.

Work Cited

Brooks, Chad. "Understanding Co-Workers: A Love-Hate Relationship."Business News Daily. N.p., 08 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Carson, Eric. “Let it go: Embracing employee freedom in the workplace.” Tech Republic.

N.P., 10 Sept. 2014.

Chapman, Alan. "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Diagrams of Maslow's Motivational Theory. 2014. Web.

Herzberg, Fredrick. "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?"Harvard Business Review. N.p., Sept.-Oct. 1987. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

"Retail Salespersons


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