The motivational strategies of a company like Body Shop

“The core philosophy of Body Shop is not just about making profit but also keeping employees motivated”. This is one of Anita Roddick’s (Body Shop’s founder) statement which illustrates that Body Shop plays a significantly important role in motivating its employees. I chose Maslow’s hierarchy to compare with, as I believe it is a good explanation of the ways in which workers behave as opposed to Frederick Taylor’s theory which considers only money as a motivator. In my portfolio I aim to analyse two aspects carefully: 1) the motivational strategies adopted by the company and compare by relating them with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

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2) evaluate how consistent Maslow’s theory is to the research carried out. I shall collect evidence from a range of sources which include:- Primary research: Two personal interviews with employees who could explain how they feel at their workplace. Secondary research: The school textbook which explains Maslow’s theory in great detail. The Body Shop’s official website that contains various comments and graphs about what affects employees performance and how. I felt that the motivational strategies used by the company may be extremely related to Maslow’s theory, but my subsequent research has contradicted my opinion.

In order to analyze what motivates the employees and if this is related to Maslow’s theory we must evaluate those sources which describe the factors that affect employees performance. Firstly I would like to discuss the corporate culture of the company which I believe is one of the main motivators for employees at Body Shop. The interviews which I conducted explain how dynamic and enthusiastic the culture is. (See Appendix 1) The principles and values are such that they have a high priority in influencing the company’s decisions.

The ethos constitute the way things work and ,furthermore, employees have stated that they are highly motivated by being given the opportunity to have ownership of the goals and values of the company. (See Appendix 1) We must observe that Maslow does not mention the need of having a distinctive corporate culture in his theory. Moreover, factors taken into serious consideration by the employees are managing energy, managing waste, controlling pollution etc. Despite this, the responsibilities of any business must embrace safety of the employees.

They maintain emergency plans to safeguard the environment within the workplace in the event of fires, floods or other natural disasters. From Appendix 2 we can see that the number of accidents has reduced by around 26% and the graph supports this fact. I believe that a secure environment keeps workers motivated to continue with their work without having a sense of fear. Once the safety needs have been achieved, social needs emerge as dominant. Body Shop also makes sure that work is done in teams rather than individually.

(See Appendix 1) This way staff can support each other and affiliate with members of other departments. I believe, this increments the chances of feeling loved and accepted – a sense of belonging. Strength, self- respect, confidence, status and recognition all these needs that fit into the category of “esteem needs” are achieved by their strong brand image and reputation. Both the employees that I interviewed remarked that their self-esteem has boosted, ever since they’ve started working at Body Shop. Therefore, they are rewarded for fulfilling customer satisfaction.

Arguably, it is also questionable how other employees feel. The evidence in Appendix 3 suggests that employees have a very low morale, recognition and self-confidence at work. Consequently, I feel that Body Shop has not accomplished the “self-esteem” needs successfully. Finally, the last level of the hierarchy is “self-actualisation” The learning department aims to ensure that individuals perform to their full potential and thus make a valuable contribution to the success of the company. However, very few employees admit that they have achieved self-fulfillment.

The reason to this is that many employees have claimed that Body Shop has done very little in helping employees to plan careers or personal development. (See Appendix 4) Therefore, employees feel that they could have performed better if the company arranged prospects to face new challenges or multi-skilling. This is the top most level indicating that Body Shop has not achieved it. In my opinion, this is the most important need and Body Shop has to work very hard to satisfy its workers at a higher level.