Motivation ‘refers to the mainspring of behaviour; it explains why individuals choose to expend a degree of effort towards achieving particular goals’, (Dawson, 1986:7). Employees fail to perform their job effectively unless they are given encouragement to do so, ‘those who dislike work and responsibility focus on economic security and need to be coerced into effort’, (Thompson and McHugh, 2002). This appears to be the case for telesales employees working for ‘Zenith Staybrite Ltd’.
Reflecting upon a personal experience for working for the latter, it is thought that employees there are not motivated sufficiently because of the style of management the mangers follow. For instance, these employees are not permitted to socialise during work. This is de-motivating as lack of socialising can bring about less smiling, which can affect the mood the employee is in. However, when they are told to smile by the managers, they are only doing what is required of their managers.
This is revealed by Hochschild (1983): ‘Using flight attendants and bill collectors, showed how people are constrained to maintain emotions in their work- friendliness for the stewardess; suspension of trust and sympathy for the debt-collector- which relate only to the requirements of the job. ‘ Sincerely they do not want to smile. But what fuels these employees is the financial reward waiting for them by doing their job. However, this is not sufficient for them to unlock their maximum potential and work very productively.
Hence, a human and organisational problem of ‘Zenith Staybrite’ is the poorly motivated telesales employees created by their Taylorist management style. This style involves ‘workers working to standard operation guidelines’, (Bradley, 2000). There are various things that their managers do and forbid employees from doing which contribute to the low motivation of these employees. On the other hand, there are various things that managers do and allow employees to do at the organisation ‘TK Maxx’, witnessed through personal experience of working for the latter.
‘Zenith Staybrite’ employees are often put under pressure by the managers to be found working at all times. For example, the managers closely monitor them when around. Similarly, ‘ A growing number of employers were also monitoring their staff’s internet use to ensure they were not wasting time on social networking sites such as Facebook, the study found’, (Telegraph, 2008). Therefore, this suggests that organisations with heavy surveillance (in this case ‘Zenith Staybrite’) cannot afford for their employees to procrastinate during work.
However, some of these telesales employees do not have a long concentration span, and get the tendency to take a short break outside their working hours. But when absent in the room of work, the managers can monitor the employees through the CCTV cameras. This is parallel to Taylor’s scientific management principle, that each worker must be given “Detailed supervision in the performance of that worker’s discrete task” (Montgomery 1997: 250). Therefore, they cannot endure this pressure. As a result, they are de-motivated to work and standards of productivity fall, due to strict management.
In contrast, some workers are fortunate enough to take a short unofficial break outside their working hours. This can help to motivate them to resume their job and maintain their productivity levels. This is as revealed by Taylor (cited in ‘The Sociology of Work’, 2006, p. 39) who shows by example that workers are ‘inherently lazy’, and ‘soldiering’, so they are liable to work constantly below maximum output, as ‘universal. ‘ Also, this can be deduced from personal experience from working for ‘TK Maxx’. Reflecting upon the working experience for the latter, the managers weren’t always present in the shop floor.
So if there were no more customers to serve at the tills, the employee could just run away. This is providing there is at least one other employee on the till. The employee would use the toilets and socialise with fellow colleagues in the employee lounge area. When the managers call the employees back to work, they smile upon their return says a ‘senior designer’: “Even in the craziest of days and most stressful of work times, the team and management always has a positive outlook and a reinforcing smile of encouragement that helps you get through the rest of the day” (TJX, 2009).