Creating Motivation: Analysis of Google, Starbucks, and Whole Foods

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Starbucks, Whole Foods and Google are three Fortune 500 companies that exhibit unique loyalty by their employees and have developed non-traditional methods for increasing employee motivation. They have achieved this success in part because of their ability to communicate with their employees. It is because of this communication that they are able to motivate employees through intrinsic rewards.

Creating Motivation: Analysis of Google, Starbucks, and Whole Foods Introduction
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." By championing new and innovative methods of employee motivation, companies are satisfying this need in their employees and inspiring new levels of achievement. Three Fortune 500 Companies that excel at employee motivation and are leaders in thinking outside of the box to achieve new levels of employee commitment and success are Whole Foods, Starbucks and Google. Each of these companies has a culture of motivation that includes using proven theories and models for motivation, but they are also pioneers in trying new techniques and proving new theories for obtaining employee inspiration and motivation. Use of Traditional Motivation Models and Theories

In reviewing the three companies, each company is devoted to embracing process theories in how they motivate their employees. Whole Foods and Google seem to be especially aware of the need to customize and individualize programs for motivation and extrinsic rewards. Google helps accomplish this individualization by allowing each engineer in the company to take one day a week to work on a project of their choice (Rodriguez). This practice is perhaps the ultimate in individualization, not only allowing the employee to choose the project but allowing them the autonomy and independence to manage the choice and project. Starbucks on the other hand, has developed a completely customizable benefits package for employees (Starbucks). This commitment to customization and the realization that there is no true one size fits all provides a dedication to the company by employees who are unique and need unique solutions for their diverse benefits need. These varied approaches to employee needs, speak to the expectancy theory and provide for implications of individual need while driving instrumentality and reinforcing employees’ belief that if one achieves given performance, they can expect the company to meet the expectation with unique rewards for the employee. Whole Foods also has many facets of their motivation plan that fulfill traditional theory and lead employees to work with the belief in valence and the understanding that efforts will be rewarded. Motivation and Organizational Culture

In each of these three companies, employee motivation is practically imbedded within the company’s respective cultures. Starbucks, Whole Foods, as well as Google have all been named to Fortune Magazine’s 2008 100 Best Companies to work for. Google ranked first, Starbucks seventh and Whole Foods sixteenth (Fortune). The annual ranking is derived through an extensive evaluation of company policies and culture and the opinions of the company's own employees. Two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey answered by 400 randomly selected employees. Questions include attitudes toward management, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The remaining one-third of the score is based on an evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, pay and benefits programs, and culture. Companies are scored in five areas: credibility (communication to employees), respect (opportunities and benefits), fairness (compensation, diversity), pride (philanthropy), and camaraderie (celebrations) (Whole Foods). These companies have all ranked on Fortune’s list multiple times and continuously move up the rankings. While, the ranking is not a sole indicator...
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