Factor that affect the motivation of employees at sainsburys

The purpose of this report states the study of the Organisation Behavior that needs to be applied in fundamental front by providing significant procedure to the company and revise the employee’s value in the organisation.

This report aims to examine and evaluate the crucial factor that affect the Motivation of employees at Sainsbury’s and the outcome this has on customer service.

The report comprises of various factors which are essential for the Sainsbury’s to progress which are: Theories of Motivation, which are used to motivate employees to increase company’s output. Leadership quality influences employees in the organisation to work more efficiently. Different channels of communication are used for spreading team effectiveness for the organisation development. The organisation has gone through a change process, which was required due to decrease in sales and position in the market. This has led to structure modifications within the organisation, with an emphasis on the employees to provide good services to the consumers.


Sainsbury is a superstore which operates its business in retail sector in 1869; Sainsbury was started by James and Mary Ann Sainsbury’s in UK (United Kingdom). It has many branches located throughout the country selling different range of products. The main objective of Sainsbury is to meet customer needs successfully and provide investors with good financial return. Sainsbury aims are to provide all colleagues right opportunities to develop their skills and are thus compensated in the end for their involvement to the success of business.

Sainsbury brand is built upon providing customers quality product at fair prices. Sainsbury store have a particular emphasis on fresh, healthy, safe and tasty food and continues launching new product for the customers.

Sainsbury supermarkets employ 150000 colleagues and with above 19 million customers are visit stores each week. Sainsbury offer many products such as food, grocery and other household products.

They sell other brand name products as well as Sainsbury brand product, which are often cheaper than other brand names.

(http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/) annual report 2010


Mitchell (1982) described motivation as the “psychological process that causes the arousal, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that is goal oriented” (Mitchell (1982) cited in Ramlall, S. 2004:55).

Motivation defined by Robbins (1993):55) is the “willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need.”

The need of this motivation is an important part that makes certain outcomes looks attractive. An unsatisfied individual need can create tension that can be seen in individual performance. If the needs are satisfied it leads to reduction of tension and benefits in achieving particular goals. (Robbins, (1993) cited in Ramlall, S. 2004:55)


Sainsbury motivate its staff by the staff incentive and staff reward schemes which will boost productivity, increase sales and motivate employees. This scheme is set up by the Sainsbury’s business direct team to provide current marketing support to converse the benefits for the employees. Sainsbury’s gift card and vouchers provide flawless reward to motivate its employees or to say “thank you”. For every employee there is something from food shop to fashion, health and beauty. To help employees with security and postage costs we have provided those de-activated gifts cards and when the employees order it will be activated. £1000 discount are available for staff members.


Sainsbury’s wishes, that all employees should do their job with great efficiency and sense as they making an excessive difference in business. In the short term, lack of motivation may affect the work and lack of commitment where as in long term; lack of commitment may lead to reduce productivity and income for Sainsbury’s. Regularly motivating employees is very important for Sainsbury’s. Different motivation theories are used by Sainsbury’s to motivate its employees.

This are follow:

F.W. Taylor

Taylor states that employees are inspired by money. To deliver proper order and control in working environment is the job of management. The Job of management was to deliver proper order and control in the working environment. The planning was prepared by Management to show how best a workforce can do. Taylor figured it out with proper staff organizational structure; output would increase because the employees know that greater output would lead to higher salary.

Some number of recommendations established by Taylor:

Managers should study the responsibilities being carried out by workers and find the

solution of doing each one. Any needless movement or tasks should be eliminated.

The instructions should be clearly stated on what to do and how to do it. Must match the skills of the employees that needed to complete the task.

All workforces should be managed and controlled, and those who are not capable of performing well should be punished.

Those workers who perform best should be rewarded financial and pay more to those who produce more as per the planned pay schemes.

At Sainsbury’s, managers understand that there will be employees who are just

Motivated by money and this could be because money is important to them.

Taylor believes that workers seek to maximize their pay and want managers

to design a system that will allow them to do this. The three pay system was suggested by Taylor:

1. Performance-related Pay (PRP) – This type of pay are

operated for middle and senior management in both stores.

In stores the bonus scheme is associated to store performance in terms of sales,

Colleagues and customer satisfaction and targets are fixed at the beginning of each

year. The bonus paid is then a mixture of company and personal results. Sainsbury’s use PRP for when an employee sells a certain product or item.

2. Piece rates- provide employees with a flexible income; payment is directly

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related to output. Sainsbury motivated his employees to produce as much output as possible.

3. Commission-based pay- Commission-based pay motivates employees as their salary is determined by their individual effort and talent to sell the company’s products.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

According to Maslow’s, theory of motivation is built on meeting people’s needs at work. The theory recommends that unfulfilled needs can lead to dissatisfaction. Hierarchy is normally presented as a ‘Pyramid’ with each level holding of a certain class of people needs. Maslow claimed that needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic needs. They are concerned with survival. These needs must be fulfilled before a person go to the next level.

The levels are:

1-Physiological Needs: basic needs of the people that require surviving them are food, clothing and shelter. The workplace can pay decent pay to satisfy these needs.

2-Safety Needs: Associated with physical existence. In the organization high values of

health and safety, job safety, harassment, retirement pension and

Sickening schemes are the security needs. All these above needs are satisfied at Sainsbury’s.

3-Love and Belonging: Making employee feel being part of a assembly, giving and receiving love and friendship. These needs can be fulfilled by working in team, social services and friendly atmosphere at work. Sainsbury’s works together as team and make their employees feel as they equally important part of a team.

4-Self-Esteem: Receiving respect from of others, feeling appreciated, having self-confidence and self-respect. At workplace, companies can offer rewards for achievement or promotion.

5-Self-Actualisation: organization can offer training, tasks and opportunities to develop each individual’s needs. All employees should receive their full latent.

Maslow’s pyramid diagram:


All of the above needs are satisfied by Sainsbury’s so that they have fully motivated employees in the organisation. Sainsbury’s fulfill physiological needs by giving them giving them good salary and this satisfied the employee’s needs but then the next stage has to be fulfilling by Sainsbury’s. The safety needs are satisfied by providing shelter, health and safety at Sainsbury.

The next level is met by Sainsbury’s as all employees work as a team and ensure that everyone working together and creating a friendly atmosphere. Now comes the needs where to feel valued and respected. This can be done if the employee is promoted to higher level. The need at the high level is when the employee feels they have reached their potential. The employee’s performance will be faster if all of these above needs are fulfilled at Sainsbury’s.



According to CEO of Sainsbury’s PLC, Justin King

“One of the keys to Sainsbury’s success is the sense of team accountability we have built. Here everyone has an impact on constantly improving our offer to customers. The feedback from Investors in People has helped us to identify solutions that enable us to motivate our people to perform.” (Sainsbury website)


The challenge was to achieve discovering how to progress business further and deliver better results as well as capitalizing high values already in place. Therefore, with increase in development, Sainsbury wanted to determine how these management practices has gained in the new parts of the business. Thus, Sainsbury wanted to establish a clear way of learning and comparing all dimensions of their business irrespective to size and innovation. Their goal was to make the organization as one and structured as much as possible.


For any business, maintaining consistency across all branches is a challenge to itself. Sainsbury need to require a better employed practice to maintain a productive and congruent workforce. Another key factor that was needed to identify the objectives needed to achieve not only rectify the issue. As an organisation, management information statistic can helped in the evaluation aspect and was helpful within the process. It was to support balance and match every parts of the business including subdivisions and sites against these points. As from a business point of view, there is no self-assurance and the focus was only on improvement, so it was crucial to get the correct information to act upon.


Sainsbury’s is a workforce oriented organization which uses several barometers to control this. Justin King holds the ‘Team’ approach and is an outstanding leader. This team approach, poured down from Justin King, at every individual level employee must feel concerned. As Sainsbury’s is such a large organization, it will unavoidably always be a challenge to involve with everyone on every level. At Sainsbury it is obvious that staff feels appreciated, and this is apparent because of the brilliant planning and job development offered.There is active use of group communication to safeguard shop floor teamwork, ensuring the one team approach. In last 3 years employment rate has increased to 10%. There has been improvement in index training that is working to a higher level as well as management of absenteeism. Talent management is also supreme and of a very high standard, repeatedly developing the potential of their staff.

The strong point of Sainsbury is its ability to develop through questions and regularly improvement and they don’t shy away from tough judgments or difficulties. Investor in People has assisted focusing on those areas that need it, for example their training programme needed to be slightly revised. In addition, performance management across the industry needed to be looked at and revised and their training manual should be simple. A great way to communicate worldwide is the intranet system that worked effectively.

There were many changes across the company that needed to be revised but there is still emphasis on development an even higher level of excellence in the workplace. This clearly proves what a flourishing working ethos they have and a driven willpower to become the best. Sainsbury has achieved it factual from the top-down, with the CEO, Justin King, representing outstanding leadership and credibility with all partners at the front line. The hall mark of a successful business is its openness and willingness to improve and learn which makes a great company.

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(http://www.ibp.uk.com/about-ibp/case-studies/21-sainsburys-plc.html )



This six leadership behaviour reflects the way successful leaders behave in Sainsbury. During early stages of selection people are being asked questions on three of this behaviour and later will be accessed on all six behaviours when they will reach the stage of selection process and assessment center.

Customer Pay Our Wages: this type of behavior focuses on the significance of having sympathy with customers and understanding that without customers we wouldn’t get salaried.

Winning: this is related to following the decisions made and challenging the undesirable situation that might exist, studying, correcting and moving on confidently.

On My Watch: is about what are the goals of the organisation that essentials to be achieved and making assured it’s accomplished on time. It ensures the methods of working are very challenging and responsibility is given and accepted with clear understanding

Tough Love: define being secured with people at the same time as still having respected and care for them. Great leaders encourage people to work hard of what expected from them and support them the best way it could be.

Assurance is earned: is about maintaining good relationship with employees and communicating well in order to motivate them for the excellent result.

Try Something New: creating new opportunities through various approaches and developing a new method of working and challenging the standard whilst keeping a truthful view on the business requirements.

(http://www2.sainsburys.co.uk/graduates/apply/) six behaviour


For every employee communication is important. Feedback affects results such as job satisfaction and job performance. The arbitrating effects of the employees outlook between the job and significant employee and work outcomes are initially gathered into three states: knowledgeable importance of the work experienced accountability for the work and understanding of results of work activities. They can reunite the motivational prospective of the job with significant work outcomes. While, importance of motivation is commonly recognised, Parker (2000) highlights that it is important to emphasis on motivational aspects that promote employee pro-activity. It is the important drivers, which is effective in other outcomes like problem solving and managing the demand (Parker, S (2000) cited in Dorenbosch, L et al 2005:131).


Source: (Moorhead, Griffin,2010,p.281)

Sainsbury introduced the ‘Tell Justin’ scheme which inspires colleagues to let chief executive know how they feel about Sainsbury’s can be improved. This scheme marked as highly successful. 12000 colleagues suggestion were received since the start of the scheme and the quality of suggestion remarkably improved the Sainsbury growth.


For the improvement of colleague communications and meeting we have strengthened our Colleague Assemblies and placed them at the heart of main activities such as Talkback action planning. Sainsbury’s trust by involving colleagues in helping to make Sainsbury’s a great place to work by applying colleagues ideas on performance.


Sainsbury’s website is used for communicating news about social and business happenings as well as spreading information about company policies.


Under this policy all colleagues can report without any fear if any serious misconduct, fraud or other malpractices occurred inside workplace. This can cause company to loose its image or its liability. All concerns are seriously taken and investigated thoroughly.


It’s the Sainsbury magazines which is published 10 times in a year and given to all colleagues. It includes news and colleagues and managers stories. There is a section for colleagues ‘if I were boss’ to share their own personal feelings.

Email-free Wednesday and meeting-free Friday at the store support Centre (head office) launched by the Sainsbury to improve communication and interaction between colleagues and thus increasing its productivity.

Sainsbury’s introduced daily ‘huddles’ in stores for all colleagues to meet for the meetings. As a result, colleagues tell us what going across the company and therefore company can achieve its objectives easily.




An organization structure is the way is the way in which a company operates and shows various levels from directors to shop floor level. The method in which a company is set out shows:

The method by which communication passes through the business.

Labels and roles of individual within Sainsbury’s.

Where the authority lies in the company

The people who employees liable to.

It also shows whom the supervisors are answerable for. Sainsbury adopted Flat Structure because stores are organized in a flat structure.


The above diagram shows Sainsbury Flat Structure. It shows how control travels from top to bottom and who has main power. The person who is above you in the diagram, you are accountable to. The person below you in the diagram you have power over and they are accountable to you. This is how Sainsbury’s run its stores. The structure shows the span of control of the Store Manager who is responsible for the Assistant Manager. Because of the less level flat structure works well, information can pass quickly between the shop-floor workers and senior management. If there are many levels information would take longer time to pass information from one level to another level.

Advantages at Sainsbury’s

The benefits of this type of structure are that the information can pass quickly from shop-floor level to management providing a faster service to customers. This means if a customer had a problem, the management can quickly and efficiently deal with the problem thus providing a good customer service. The cost of this structure is less and requires few managers as compared to tall structure. Employees can be motivated easily as managers and leaders have more power. The data collected is very beneficial in making the store healthier and increasing the customers experience. The staff experience greater responsibility and this can increase the Sainsbury’s productivity as well as performance.

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The disadvantage of this structure is that some company presently using a tall structure abuse this and use it as an excuse to make redundancies. Workers performance may reduce by adding additional responsibility as they have move work to do. The worker may feel insecure as how long they might stay in this new structure. The employee will be less motivated as they not sure whether they are staying. The managers left in the new structure might be feeling difficult to do all the workload as they require more people to work beneath them.


The flat structure allows Sainsbury to achieve its company objectives and develop in number of ways. The flat structure has less level and requires less staff, this means company can increase profit and saves money going to wages and salaries. In flat structure information flow from shop floor to management so that purpose of increasing sales can be achieved as the customer needs can be met speedily.

Matrix Structures

Sainsbury’s development teams are structured in a matrix structure.

Sainsbury’s used Matrix structure at his head office. Each team managers control professional group of people. It’s the manager responsibility to pick professionals to help in completing the project and to help with diverse features of the research to come up with a final product. The professional areas that the manager will be able to pick are as follows:

•Production Staff

•Marketing Staff

•Human Resources Staff

•Finance Staff

Every area helps the company in developing new product and anything else the company desires. Production department ensures everything produced on time and builds a sample and test it. Marketing department staff takes the responsibility to market the product and research of the market. Human resources take care of that there are enough staff and human resources available to build the product. The finance department helps in increasing funds and how much production cost and staff cost will be.


Sainsbury’s can break barriers between departments and as best people from each department are assigned the final product will be of high quality. Varieties of individual skills are available from each department which will help the company to make the best product. It means the project manager can receive contribution and ideas to make the product better. Cost is reduced as several department meetings do not have to make in each department.


If Sainsbury’s wish to develop two products then the person or persons working in each team will have divided reliability and work may suffer, as the person has to accomplish two roles. Matrix system is very complex, the accountability of the staff may not be clear and team may get complicated.


Organisation has adopted some modifications to motivate its employees so that workers feel accountable for the occurrence of problems regarding the quality of products or services provided.

Motivation issues are as complex as they were hundred years ago. Where motivation is individual and there is no cure, therefore various theories of motivation have their own merits and their failings. Fulfilling employee’s needs, giving respect to employees, making them feel as a part of a team are the most valuable contributions to motivate employees. There are employees who are not motivated by money only; there are others social aspects that the organisation introduces which can make employees satisfied.

The motivation and commitment of employees is the significant for the accomplishment of Sainsbury’s. it has been verified that there is a clear link between customer contentment and employee motivation by leaders.The role of the organisation is to make sure that people within Sainsbury’s are well accomplished so that motivation of the employees always remain high, leading to better customer services through the means of proper training and different communication channels adopted by Leaders.


During recession period Sainsbury’s profits growth were very high better than rivals like Tesco and Morrisons which made Sainsbury’s supermarket in a strong position. Sainsbury’s position improved as a result of the Sainsbury’s brand and action they have taken to adjust changing customers demand. They should continue their change strategy so as to be on top of the food retailing industry and earn huge profit as they have earned during the recession time.

Sainsbury shall take a step towards becoming a green company and preparing Voluntary Environment programs (VEP’s) which would not only prove to be beneficial financially but would even attract a large pool of customers by building a positive and strong reputation through environmental considerate investment plans

Sainsbury’s trading director Mike Coupe stated that, “research has shown customers prefer buying non-food items along with their weekly food shopping” (Inman 2009). So, Sainsbury can look into the non-food market as the scope of growth in grocery retailing is now limited, providing services such as dry-cleaning, mobile networks etc and offering more in terms of non-food range.

 I would suggest to Sainsbury’s introduce some new products which will give to a company a comparative advantage over their challengers.

Sainsbury’s would be an opening of local shops located in the city center rather than on the outskirts of the city. Customers frequently choose local shops rather than supermarkets to save time and money if they do not need large purchase, because undoubtedly in large stores often they purchase more than actually have planned.

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