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Expectancy Theory Of Motivation

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 4141 words Published: 9th May 2017

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According to Steven McShane and Mary Von Glinow, motivation is the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary behavior. Motivated employees are willing to exert a particular level of effort (intensity), for a certain amount of time (persistence), toward a particular goal (direction).

Goal is a key factor direct employee contributes their effort. The Company should make sure they are continually putting effort until they reach the goal . It is important for a company to motivate employee. Their performance determines a company successfulness.

In today’s world where everyone wants to be noticed and recognized for their work – employees are motivated to achieve to remain relevant (Glenn Liopis, 2012). The company should evaluate and understand what skill are required by the employee and develop a traning program to enhance their learn capabilities.

There are many ways to motivate employee. It used to be thought that money was the best way to motivate employees.( Lisa Quast,2011) Many companies increase employee motivation by reward them such as bonus, profit sharing , stock option and others. Beside reward, the manager should communicate to employee regularly so they are feeling the task is important.


McDonald’s Corporation started in United States, in 1940 which started by Richard and Maurice McDonald. In 1948, the McDonald brothers reorganize the business from barbecue restaurant to a hamburger stand. In 1955, a businessman Ray Kroc joined the company and purchased the chain.

McDonald is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurant and best known by its food, quality, management and marketing strategy. This fast food chain has thousands of outlets around 119 countries, serving 68 million customers daily.

Most of the McDonald’s restaurants offer both counter service and drive- through service which bring a lot of convenience for people like businessman. Other than that, McDonald introduced a café-style accompaniment to McDonald’s restaurants which is McCafe. This concept is created by McDonald in Australia, first introduced in Melbourne in 1993. Today, there are more than 600 McCafe worldwide.

McDonald also owned a Hamburger University, which designed to provide restaurant management knowledge for McDonald’s employees. Now, there are more than 80,000 restaurants managers, mid-managers and operators have graduated from this university. This facility was started in 1986, located in Oak Brook, Illinois, Chicago.

2.0 Contents

2.1.1 Employee Engagement

The definition of employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. Employee engagement is the employee’s emotional and cognitive motivation, self-efficacy to perform the job, perceived clarity of the organization’s vision and his or her specific role in that vision, and belief that he or she has the resources to get the job done. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010)

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Employee engagement is different with employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction does not indicate your employees’ level of motivation, involvement, or emotional commitment. It only addresses how happy or content your employees are. However, employee engagement is measured by using an employee engagement survey for address employees’ feel. Employee engagement surveys have been developed specifically and statistically validated and comparable with other organizations for useful and effective results.

There are two primary factors that drive employee engagement. First, Engagement with The Organization measures how engaged employees are with the organization as a whole, and by extension, how they feel about senior management. Second. Engagement with “My Manager” is a more specific measure of how employees feel about their direct supervisors.

2.1.2 Employee Drives and Needs

Drives are ( also called primary needs or innate motives) the hardwired characteristics of the brain that correct deficiencies or maintain an internal equilibrium by producing emotions to energize individuals. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010) Needs refer to goal-directed forces that people experience. Needs are the emotional forces of emotions channeled toward particular goals to correct deficiencies or imbalances. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010) In order to motivate your employees, understanding some of the key factors that motivate people can help to finding the solutions.

One of the keys to motivate employees successfully is let employees willing and able to work. If they perform at their best, the productivity will rise, however if they are bored or not interested in their work, employee motivation drops. Therefore, your employees should deserve their drives and needs.

2.1.3 Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory

According to Abraham Maslow, people are motivated by unmet needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explain and let us better understand how to motivate employees based on their different level of needs.

There are 5 levels of needs in this hierarchy. When a need is satisfied, it no longer motivates and the next higher need will take its place. Firstly, Psychological needs – these are your basic required to sustain life, like air, food, water, and shelter. Secondly, Safety needs – if a person feels that he or she is under physical or emotional harm, higher needs will not receive more attention. For example, employees want to feel secure at work.

Next, Social needs – when a person met the lower level of needs, the higher needs become important. Social needs are those related with other people such as need for friends, need for belonging. And, employees the need to feel accepted and part of the group to be motivated. Forth, Esteem needs – are those related to self esteem such as social recognition, self respect and achievement. In an organization, an employee needs for acknowledgement and recognition from others. Lastly, Self-actualization needs – are those the quest of reaching one’s full potential as a person such as truth, justice, wisdom and meaning. Those are the need to develop to your fullest potential.

In theory, when motivating your employees it is important to have a good understanding of what your needs are to better understand your employees.

2.1.4 Expectancy Theory of Motivation

The Expectancy theory states that employee’s motivation is an outcome of how much an individual wants a reward, the assessment that the likelihood that the effort will lead to expected performance and the belief that the performance will lead to reward. In short, Expectancy is the faith that great efforts will result in great performance. Expectancy is influenced by factors such as appropriate skills for performing the job, availability of right resources, availability of crucial information and getting the required support for completing the job.

An individual’s effort level depends on three factors: effort to performance (E-to -P) expectancy, performance to outcome (P-to-O) expectancy and outcome valences. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010) Employee motivation is influenced by all three components of the expectancy theory model. If any component weakens, motivation weakens. E-to-P expectancy is the individual’s perception that his or her effort will result in a particular level of performance. P-to-O expectancy is the perceived probability that a specific behavior or performance level will lead to a particular outcome. A valence is the anticipated satisfaction or dissatisfaction that an individual feel toward an outcome. It ranges from negative to positive.

Advantages of the Expectancy Theory are it is based on self-interest individual who want to achieve maximum satisfaction and who wants to minimize dissatisfaction. This theory stresses upon the expectations and perception; what is real and actual is immaterial. It emphasizes on rewards or pay-offs. It focuses on psychological extravagance.

2.1.5 Goal Setting and Feedback

Goal setting is a commonly used motivational method. A goal can be defined as a future state that an organization strives to achieve. Organization goals provide direction and guidance, improve planning, motivate employees and help to control and evaluate performance. In addition, it also defined as the process of motivating employees and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing performance objectives. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010) It potentially improves employee performance in two ways : 1)by amplifying the intensity and persistence of effort and 2)by giving employee clearer role perceptions so that their effort is channeled toward behaviors that will improve work performance. (McShane, S. L.,& Von Glinow, M.A.,2010) Goals required several specific characteristic which are ‘SMART’.

As for feedback, it is beneficial because it allows employees to adjust and improve their level of effort to achieve goals. Feedback can be in the form of charts, graphs and tallies. It also provides employees with continued motivation to achieve their goals. Feedback should be specific, timely and relevant. Feedback can originate from nonsocial or social sources.

2.2 Real-life Examples

2.2.1 Employee Engagement

McDonald’s had won the HR Excellence Awards 2011(http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk, 2011) – Outstanding Employee Engagement Strategy. As a fast food chain, McDonald’s recognized that highly skilled and highly motivated workforce was the keystone of a successful and customer-focused business. However the company known the negative publicity would sometimes surrounds the brand .Employees face hostility from people outside the business, even if they enjoy their jobs

Lancaster University was brought in by the company to prove a clear link between employee engagement and business growth – which it did. This strategy was launched to enhance employee satisfaction in the business, improve brand perception, contribute to improving business performance and develop people.

The company was organized a campaign-‘Meet our people’, which look for the humanization of staff in uniform and to celebrate and feature a selection of the company’s staff.

The company invested in the wellbeing of its staff through an online wellbeing kit, it invested £35 million in up-skilling and training for staff (and published a prospectus detailing the variety of qualifications, degrees and work experience available for staff at the company), and launched numerous reward initiatives, including 100 free holidays and bonuses for mystery shopper awards.

McDonald’s UK CEO Jill McDonald is actively involved in employee engagement, driving the initiatives within the business and publically talking about the work taking place in the chain.

McDonald’s has set out on the road to turning around perception of its brand and every engagement decision it makes is directly related to its corporate goals. It reports 84.5% of staff feel valued, 83.8% feel proud to work at the restaurant chain, and 83.5% feel motivated. As a result, the company saw an additional 72 million customers in 2010, from the previous year.

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2.2.2 Employee Drives and Needs

Their pay and rewards programme follows a “pay for performance” philosophy: The better your results, the greater your pay opportunities. Under this programme, there are five categories which are base pay, short term incentives, long term incentives, recognition programmes and company car programme. With these five categories of pay and rewards, employees can enjoy the benefits and for sure they will do well in their jobs.

Other than that, under Investing in Your Future programme, there are profit sharing and savings plan, MCDirect shares, credit union and financial planning services. With all these savings and money management programmes, current and future financial needs are taken care of; employees can have peace in mind for their financial status.

2.2.3 Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory

McDonald’s providing twenty-five different business functions for the employees to search for job opportunities, such as Administrative, Communications, Environmental Affairs, Insurance, Product Development and so on.

McDonald’s benefits and compensation programme is designed to attract, engage and retain talented people who will deliver strong performance and help the company achieve their business goals and objectives. Four categories are organized, such as Your Health and Protection, Your Pay and Rewards, Investing in Your Future and Helping Balance Your Work and Life. In these four categories, most of the needs of employees have been covered.

Mcdonald had fulfilled the second level of Maslow’s need hierarchy. For the majority of the employees the goal is to satisfy their lower needs. Using Maslow’s hierarchy, the main goal is to provide the basic needs such as a safe environment where they can earn the money they needed to provide for their physiological needs. McDonald’s provide a healthy and safe work environment for all employees. Their top priority is to make safety a part of everything they do. The company offered workplace safety programs in place to ensure that high safety standards and procedures are clearly communicated and reinforced daily. Employee have chance to identify and report any potential issues, and encouraged to offer suggestions to improve health and safety. Employee are motivated because of the safety environment.

Besides that, Mcdonald’s also concerned the social need of employees .Each person at McDonald’s plays an important role. Crew and managers work together, constantly communicating and supporting each other in a team atmosphere that is busy and challenging, but always aims to be co-operative and fun. Employee have chance to earn friendship while working in the company. The interesting people you’ll meet will ensure you have a great time at work. The company are also offer social activities, therefore employee have chances to spend time with your colleagues at special company events such as summer picnics, holiday parties and other organized outings.

2.2.4 Expectancy Theory of Motivation

According to performance to outcome theory, McDonald’s in the way that the managers tend to reward the employees with a base pay plus an incentive pay. This practise within the company is called Target Incentive Plan (TIP) that “links employees’ performance with the performance of the business they support and their individual performance”(Mcdonald’s, 2009b). This provide examples of other employees whose good performance has result in higher rewards.

Mcdonald also focuses on effort to performance expectancies. It aim to increase the belief that employees are capable of performing the job successfully. Through the provided training, employees know what they are expected to do, know how to do and believe in themselves they can do it. McDonald’s are dedicated to giving their customers the best services. In order to do so, they have to provide training for all their employees. There are five types of training provided, such as crew development (new hires, crew and crew trainers), shift management (swing and manager trainees), system management (second assistant managers), restaurant management (first assistant managers) and business management (restaurant managers). Employees’ perception can be enhanced also. The company has five expectations to their employees, which are total customer satisfaction, teamwork, work standards, cleanliness and job fit.

2.2.5 Goal Setting and Feedback

McDonald’s mission is to be their customers’ favorite place and way to eat with inspired people who delight each customer with unmatched quality, service, cleanliness and value every time.

Plan to Win, a customer-focused plan provides a common framework for their worldwide business and allows for local adaptation. With the five elements – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion, they have enhanced the restaurant experience for customers globally. As the feedback to this plan, strong results have delivered to their shareholders.

McDonald’s managers have also decided to change the aims and goals of the employees more often (about every 6 months), in order to make them develop flexibility and acquire new skills and abilities in diverse fields. This approach is derived from the goal setting theory of Bryan and Locke (1967), who argues that goals and performance objectives are achieved faster when they are clear and specific. When the goal is achieved, it must be moved forward, thus stimulating the employee to perform even better, putting forth the biggest effort.

2.3 Problems encountered by the company by applying the relevant OB principles& concepts

2.3.1 Employee Engagement

If an organization’s employees seem less-than-eager while on the job, you may have an issue with employee low engagement. Mc Donald is one of the typical organizations that apply employee engagement strategy in its organizational management. According to a survey conducted by Akron’s Centre for Organizational Research, low engaged employees tend to characterize the following element.

Dissatisfaction, which means that low engagement employee, tends to be highly dissatisfaction with their job. With low employee engagement, employee’s ability to handle or tolerate economic uncertainty is minimal. Inconsistency is one of the elements of low employee engagement, showing that the employees are unable to bring a high level of loyalty, creativeness and energy to their jobs. For example, Mc Donald employee would not be able to generate any new idea or bring up their best performance for their work if they are low engaged. Other than that, Employee goodwill is low both at the work and when they are away from work. In turn, it disallows employees to promote goodwill within and towards the organization.

2.3.2 Employee drives and needs

Organization may fail to apply this theory as the drives and need of individual are different, organization may not be able to understand all of the drives and need of an individual. For example, the reason for employee A to join a tour company is to enjoy the trip to other country or places; however, the reason for employee B to join the company is just to earn more money. Therefore, company would not be able to standardize the motivation system or reward as the drive of each individual employee is different.

To motivate employee is not an easy thing, as organization may encounter the problem of employee are bore and not interested in their work. Employee’s personal needs may be different in different situation, it is quite hard to fulfilled employee needs in all time and for all of the employee at the same time. In conclusion, organization have to study very well of the consumer’s drive and need in order to motivate them

2.3.4Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory

By applying Maslow’s Theory, organization may think that they can motivate the employee by providing them adequate physical or psychological needs like money, bonus or promotion, self actualization; they miss out the point that not all employees are governed by same set of needs. Every individual has their own thought and own need, one’s need might not be applicable to another. For example, if a company setting a policy that an employee will get a bonus if they increase their own sales over 30%, many of the employee will try to be more diligent and work harder to achieve the target, however, some of the employee are satisfy with their paid at the moment and not willing to work harder for the company as they think that their physical needs already been fulfilled, so they won’t work harder for the organization.

Different individuals may be driven by different needs at the same point of time. For instance, as an artist, even the basic needs are not satisfied, he will strive for recognition and achievement rather than keep bothering his physical needs. As an organization, it is hard to detect each employee’s individual needs, either physical or psychological. Further than that, individual behaviour seems to respond to several needs, not just one and there is a problem in deciding when a level has been actually ‘satisfied’. In conclusion, Maslow’s theory is not suitable to be widely used in the organization nowadays.

2.3.5 Expectancy theory of motivation

The expectancy theory seems to be idealistic because quite a few individuals perceive high degree correlation between performance and rewards. All of the employee have different thought and different attitude towards their, some of them may want to get a higher level in work, put in their effort for it; the other may not take their work seriously and do not care about the organization interest. Furthermore, the application of this theory is limited as reward is not directly correlated with performance in many organizations, rewards may not necessarily be directly connected to effort and performance: in some companies rewards such as raises might be built into a contract or depend upon factors like education or specific job skills. Therefore, it is a tough job to motivate employee as the reward system are not suitable for every employee in the company. Therefore, this theory is more applicable to be applied to a smaller firm or company, which the level of the employee would not greatly differ with each other.

2.3.6 Goal setting and feedback

There are several problems that an organization may be encountered during the implication of the theory. Goals that are not challenging but instead time consuming do not lend well to goal setting theory because workers will have a hard time being motivated to do a good job on seemingly insignificant tasks. Also, goal setting theory relies on rewards in order to keep workers motivated, which might not always be available to dispense. For example, when an organization is facing financial crisis, more employee’s effort is definitely needed to assist the organization to go through the tough time, however, if goal setting theory has been apply in the organization, employee would not be motivated if there is no goal for rewards since the company already run out of money for giving extra reward to the employee.

A company owner or manager needs feedback from a number of key parties However there are also some disadvantages for the employee’s feedback. One downside of an employee feedback survey is that the employer might not get accurate or completely truthful answers meaning that the answer is lack of truthfulness. Even if the employer promises anonymity, some workers may play it safe and avoid giving frank opinions about the work environment to avoid being penalized. As a result, giving a survey could turn out to be a useless endeavor if it doesn’t help identify actual job-related issues that managers must correct. Some of the employee may be also afraid of the organization, therefore return it with all good comment and not telling the truth. A part from that, some employee cannot understand the feedback questionnaire well, may be able to have misunderstanding and give a poor feedback or over complimented feedback. Organization will not be able to generate a good motivation method if the collected data are not match the true thought of the employee.

Another potential disadvantage of giving employee feedback surveys is that the owner or manager might not like the responses he gets. Getting candid feedback from workers about management or the overall atmosphere of the company could even cause some managers to mistrust workers. If managers take the information too personally instead of taking the feedback as an opportunity for improvement, it could create a potentially hostile work environment.


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