March 19, 2012
Professor Moutaz Abou-Robieh
Designing a rewards program that will be an attraction for new employees and a reason to stay for existing staff can be difficult for any corporation, but is made even more so when the company becomes international. There are several factors that influence employee motivation and these may be affected by culture, environment, socio-economics, and politics. A study of the motivating factors for employees located in the United States, France, and Japan will be presented, along with effective leadership characteristics for those respective locations. A preliminary rewards program for each division of the company will also be presented.
Multi-National Corporation Rewards Program
A rewards program or benefits package is always a large part of an employee’s decision to apply with, accept, or keep a job with any organization. The program must hold appeal to the employee and be appropriate for the location, especially if the company is a multi-national organization. Some benefits may not work in other countries, for example employee recognition in America usually consists of singling an individual out for kudos, while in Japan this type of recognition would be extremely uncomfortable for the employee. Influencing factors for the creation of appropriate rewards programs for our multi-national corporation (MNC) will be discussed. These will include employee motivation factors and successful leadership characteristics. Understanding Motivation
There are several internal and external factors that can motivate an individual. There have been many studies by psychologists that focus on these factors including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the ERG theory, the motivator-hygiene/intrinsic-extrinsic need theory, and the achievement theory. There is one overriding problem with all of these theories; they are based on Western European and the United States and therefore may not be applicable to employees that are not from these locations. Even within these areas there will be some variation in the motivational factors for any employee. Since these theories do offer some valuable insight into the psyche of two-thirds of our MNC, we will discuss their implications. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is based on the premise that an individual’s needs are grouped into five main categories; these categories are contingent upon one another in that Maslow believed the one could not move on to achieving or being motivated by the next category of needs until the previous ones had been met. (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, Motivating and Leading across Borders and Cultures392, 2009) These categories are physiological needs such as food, shelter, and health; safety needs – shelter and security; belonging needs, feeling part of a group, love; esteem needs such as self-esteem and the respect of others; and finally self-actualization needs which would indicate achieving one’s ultimate potential. Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy is the ERG theory developed by Clayton Alderfer. The ERG theory classifies needs into three intertwined categories; existence needs (think physiological and safety needs), relatedness needs (similar to belonging and respect needs), and growth needs (this relates to self-esteem and self-actualization). Other theories categorize these needs differently, but all are very similar. While there is some credence to these theories, as stated there is one overriding problem: they are based on an Eastern European/American individual. There may be some applicability to the employees of our MNC from North American, less applicability for those from France, and little applicability to our Japanese staff. All of these theories are based upon higher order needs such as individual achievement, self-actualization, and affiliation. Individuals from the Japanese division may be more concerned with lower order needs such...