Homework Question on Motivation of Employees in a Competitive Market
- Read the case then answer the questions.
- Please list each question as it is stated, then respond.
- Quality of the answers to questions 1–3 will be based on the requirement that you research your responses and cite two (2) sources in APA format for each question.
- You can use your text as one (1) source, and include the use of another (1) unique source to further support your response.
CASE APPLICATION :
Passion for the Outdoors and for People At its headquarters in Ventura, California, Patagonia’s office space feels more like a national park lodge than the main office of a $400 million retailer.100 It has a Douglas fir staircase and a portrait of Yosemite’s El Capitan. The company’s café serves organic food and drinks. There’s an infant and toddler child-care room for employees’ children. An easy one-block walk from the Pacific Ocean, employees’ surfboards are lined up by the cafeteria, ready at a moment’s notice to catch some waves. (Current wave reports are noted on a whiteboard in the lobby.) After surfing or jogging or biking, employees can freshen up in the showers in the restrooms. And no one has a private office. If an employee doesn’t want to be disturbed, he or she wears headphones. Visitors are evident by the business attire they wear. The company encourages celebrations to boost employee morale. For instance, at the Reno store, the “Fun Patrol” organizes parties throughout the year. Patagonia has long been recognized as a great workplace for mothers. And it’s also earned a reputation for loyal employees, something that many retailers struggle with. Its combined voluntary and involuntary turnover in its retail stores was around 25 percent, while it was only 7 percent at headquarters. (The industry average for retail is around 44 percent.) Patagonia’s CEO Casey Sheahan says the company’s culture, camaraderie, and way of doing business is very meaningful to employees and they know that “what they do each day is contributing toward a higher purpose—protecting and preserving the areas that most of them love spending time in.” Managers are coached to define expectations, communicate deadlines, and then let employees figure out the best way to meet those. Founded by Yvon Chouinard (his profile as a Leader Who Made a Difference can be found on p. 134), Patagonia’s first and strongest passion is for the outdoors and the environment. And that attracts employees who are also passionate about those things. But Patagonia’s executives do realize that they are first and foremost a business and, even though they’re committed to doing the right thing, the company needs to remain profitable to be able to continue to do the things it’s passionate about. But that hasn’t seemed to be an issue since the recession in the early 1990s when the company had to make its only large-scale layoffs in its history.
- What would it be like to work at Patagonia? (Hint: Go to Patagonia’s Web site and find the section on jobs.) What’s your assessment of the company’s work environment?
- Using what you’ve learned from studying the various motivation theories, what does Patagonia’s situation tell you about employee motivation?
- What do you think might be Patagonia’s biggest challenge in keeping employees motivated?
- If you were managing a team of Patagonia employees in the retail stores, how would you keep them motivated?
Homework Answer on Motivation of Employees in a Competitive Market
What would it be like to work at Patagonia? (Hint: Go to Patagonia’s Web site and find the section on jobs.) What is your assessment of the company’s work environment?
Organizations that employ Maslow’s hierarchy of needs must strive to meet the five classes of needs within the ladder (the basic needs, safety and psychological needs, social, esteem as well as self-actualization). Patagonia embraces a culture that meets employees’ standards and provides products of high quality to its customers (Jerome, 2013). The Company also guarantees safe working conditions for employees through the supply chain.
It is, therefore, evident that Patagonia provides all kinds of needs to its employees that make them feel comfortable in the workplace. The Company has set various ways (proving organic meals, childcare, recreational activities) of ensuring that its employees get satisfaction while serving customers to yield a high return.
Every employee would recommend working at Patagonia since it encourages employees through different activities and celebrations that boost morale. Most of the Company’s employees are known to be loyal based on how the managers treat them. Patagonia’s managers incorporate workers to meet the needs by setting up the deadlines as well as the expectations. A work environment where the management involves employees in running the business serves best.