Business Management


Task: Choose a company and identify all motivational (employee-centered) programs that the company has in place. Then ascertain the significance and objectives of these programs. Next provide a critique of these programs. Finally, recommend changes that will improve on the programs and/or new programs that will better meet the objectives articulated above.
Overview: The company that I have chosen as the subject of my research is the AAA Travel Agency. More specifically, I have interviewed several travel agents from the Reno, Pennsylvania location, which serves patrons from Western Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia. The bulk of the information for my analysis has come directly from the in-office interviews with Ms. Tiffany Pacior, the senior travel agent for the Reno office. She has provided me with information directly out of the AAA employee handbook as well as personal information covering the positive and negative effects she has experienced from the programs I will be discussing.
There can be little doubt that the backbone of every successful business or company is its staff of employees. Employees are the vital parts of the business machine that can aid in its success or contribute to its failure. It is for this reason that it is imperative to possess the ability to acquire and maintain effective employees. The chief method by which a business or company can accomplish this task is through employee-centered motivational programs. The goal of these programs is to encourage employees to maximize their performance by targeting three specific motivational stimuli. These include morale, satisfaction, and rewards. After researching their policies and interviewing employees, I have came to the conclusion that AAA of Reno, Pennsylvania has adopted Fredrick Taylor's approach to motivating their employees. In this paper I will demonstrate how AAA applies Taylor's scientific management approach to target the three motivational stimuli stated above. I will also provide some insight from the employee's perspective as to how effective the programs are at what they are designed to achieve.
The scientific management approach to motivation evolved from the work of Frederick Taylor. He believed that when highly productive people discover they are being compensated basically the same as less productive people, then the output of highly productive people will decrease. Consequently, the scientific management approach to motivation is based on the assumption that money is the primary motivator. This seems to be the ideology that AAA has adopted to produce high morale, achieve satisfaction, and reward their employees.
Morale, as it applies here, may be defined as the overall feeling of the members of an organization. Generally speaking, a company with a high morale among its employees enjoys above average performance and a lower than average employee termination rate. AAA has several programs in practice, which support the scientific management approach to motivation to produce high morale. First, it is not uncommon for a travel agent to work beyond the scheduled forty-hour workday to complete the tasks of a heavy business day. It was for this reason that the company offers overtime compensation for the dedication of their employees. The company pays one and a half times their regular hourly rate of pay when an agent works more than their scheduled hours per week. Also, for those individual days when an agent works more than ten hours per day, they are entitled to overtime dinner pay. The employees stressed that this is a worthwhile program because it allows overtime workers to order dinner from local delivery shops. The objective here is simple, no one likes to work on an empty stomach and so why not use a little give and take to make the employees feel like they are not being taken advantage of. It has proven to be effective from the opinions of the employees I interviewed. The final program I was made aware of designed to bolster company morale is the ?paid time off? program. This allows employees to take time off from their work for various reasons and to be regularly paid as if they were working for that period of time. Acceptable reasons for this privilege cover a wide spectrum including personal vacation, minor illness, funeral leave, jury duty, holidays, military leave, and marriage. Ms. Pacior explained that although these programs are not abundantly used, when needed they are greatly appreciated