Employee Motivation in Low Income Earning Jobs: a Case Study of Subway

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Chapter 1
Background to the study
A motivated employee works hard and effectively because of the satisfactory feeling of fulfillment. In business management, motivation is an important research field. Over the years, there have been many motivation theories developed. One of the most famous theories is on the basis of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Maslow (1954) argued that individuals have a hierarchy of needs, and true motivation is achieved by fulfilling higher level of needs. Emphasized by various motivation theories, income (money) has been an essential factor which can affect motivation. Someone who has low income jobs tends to have low motivation. Consequently, low motivation will result in low effectiveness and high rate of staff turnover, which has a negative influence on company’s performances. As a multi-national company, Subway has achieved international success over the years. In the UK and Ireland, since the first store opened in 1996, Subway is continuing to expand at a substantial rate, with an average of five stores opening every week (www.subway.co.uk). During the past two years, Subway has provided more than 7000 jobs in UK and Ireland (www.subway.co.uk). Therefore, the research based the case study of Subway will have a wide range of indications in terms of employee motivation.

Statement of the problem
Self motivation only exists when people agree that there is a beneficial relationship between their behavior and their desired results. If an employee is only working in a low income working place because of money, it will be difficult to motivate them because it is very hard to convince them that they are staying in the best place for themselves. As a result, the rate of employee turnover is comparatively high. Motivation therefore has become a big issue to both employees and managers. From employees’ perspective, they have to find the factors which can keep them motivated. From managers’ perspective, they have to find the solutions which can help motivate their employees.

Aims and objectives
To identify the main factors that affect motivation in Subway employees To investigate the methods used by Subway managers in motivating employees To find out the problems of motivation in Subway

Significance of the study
Motivation is a powerful tool in the work places because it can compel employees to work at their most efficient levels of performances (Steinmetz, 1983). In order to achieve organizational objectives, managers have to motivate the right people to join in the organization and stay. The more motivated the employees are, the more empowered the team is. From this regard, this research can help to identify elements which affect employee motivations and the effective motivational ways.

This project will be based on questionnaires among Subway employees, who receive the national minimum wage. The questionnaires will be designed to highlight all the factors regarding motivation and distributed to various Subway stores in Birmingham. The data collected from the questionnaires will thereafter be analyzed.

Plan of the Study
The project encompasses five chapters. The first chapter is the introduction of this research, which briefly presents the background, importance, plan, scope and limitation of this project. The second chapter reviews the relevant literature and journals. In this chapter, the meaning of motivation, major motivation theories, the application of motivation, contemporary issues on motivation and usefulness and limitations of motivation will be discussed. Chapter three focuses on the methodology utilized by this project. Chapter four presents the research analysis on the basis of the data collected. The last chapter is the conclusion of the whole project, as well as the recommendation.

Scope and Limitation
The scope of this project is based on the Subways in Birmingham area. However, due to time constraints, the questionnaires...
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