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Introduction to Business

Critical Thinking Case

Introduction to BusinessCritical Thinking Case

Motivating Employees: A Monster of a Problem

As mentioned earlier, U.S. businesses will face a decrease in the available workforce due in part to a smaller generation of talented workers replacing retiring baby boomers. “Our study reveals that recruiters and hiring managers are not only cognizant of the issue but are concerned about its current and future impact on organizational growth,” said Dr. Jesse Harriott, former vice president of research at (, one of the leading global online career and recruitment resources. “Businesses of all sizes and across all industries must develop and implement creative programs and strategies to attract and hire top candidates while retaining and motivating current employees. As the talent pool shrinks, it is imperative that immediate action is taken to ensure businesses are properly prepared and staffed for the future.”

In a sampling of over 600 human resource managers, Monster’s survey showed that over 75 percent believe compensation is one of the top three motivators that prevent employees from leaving their job. The fact that money motivates top-performing employees is supported by almost half the human resources professionals surveyed for a Rewards Program and Incentive Compensation Survey released by the Society of Human Resource Management. The survey also found that neither monetary nor nonmonetary rewards were effective motivators for underperformers.

While compensation is clearly a significant issue, not all companies can offer this advantage. Other strategies that motivate employee loyalty and commitment are necessary. Some of these include making supervisors more accountable for worker retention, promoting work-life balance for employees, fostering a workplace where employee expectations are clearly articulated, creating learning and development programs that groom employees for future management roles, implementing performance-based systems that identify and proactively manage top employees and when possible promote from within, creating mentoring programs that match new employees with seasoned veterans, monitoring sentiment throughout the employee life cycle, and creating an employment brand “experience” that not only motivates and energizes employees but can also be used to attract new talent.

Diana Pohly, president, CEO, and owner of The Pohly Company, keeps vigilant watch over the morale of the office, ensuring that employees are satisfied. “Business owners of growing companies must possess strong leadership and management skills in order to solidify the foundation of their business,” said Pohly. “Effective team leadership is imperative to sustain efficient team workflows and contribute to employee morale.”

“Employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Building a positive work environment is an important strategy in attracting, retaining and motivating a team,” says Michelle Swanda, corporate marketing manager of The Principal. Improving employee morale with creative and effective management tactics ultimately boosts employee productivity, and that goes straight to the bottom line.

Critical Thinking Questions
  1. How are social and economic factors influencing companies’ approach to hiring, motivating, and retaining employees?
  2. What are some of the nonmonetary strategies companies must develop to attract and reward employees and keep them motivated?
  3. What “reward factors” would be important to you when working for a company? List at least five in order of importance, and list your reasons for each.

Sources: “Company Overview of Globoforce Group plc,”, accessed January 24, 2018; “Diana Pohly,” The Pohly Company,, accessed January 24, 2018; “Michelle Swanson,” Zoom Info,, accessed January 24, 2018; “70 Percent of HR Managers Concerned about Workforce Retention, According to Monster Study,” Business Wire, Jan 9, 2006,; “Poll Says Top-Performing Workers Motivated By Money,” Nation’s Restaurant News, April 25, 2005,; “Team Motivation: Women Business Owners Increase Productivity Through Effective Leadership,” Business Wire, Oct 27, 2005,

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