Employee Motivation in the UK Retail Industry Assignment Sample

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Introduction of Employee Motivation in the UK Retail Industry

Research Proposal

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1. Project Background, Context and Motivation

Employee motivation is described as how much time, effort, and creativity an organization’s employees devote to achieving a goal. It makes no difference whether the economy is doing well or not; motivating people is a managerial job. There are conflicting perspectives on whether incentives or employee involvement and empowerment are more important to the success of an organization (Paais and Pattiruhu, 2020). It might be difficult for small businesses to motivate their employees at times. Delegating key tasks is tough for many owners, who have spent years creating their businesses from the bottom up. Business owners need to be aware of the dangers of under-motivated employees. Examples include complacency, apathy, and even widespread discouragement. The accumulation of these mindsets can lead to a crisis. In order to be successful, a company must have a highly motivated workforce. How much effort, passion, and zeal people put into their work every day determine their level of commitment (Paais and Pattiruhu, 2020). Without it, firms suffer from diminished productivity, lower output levels, and are more likely to miss out on key objectives. Motivated employees have high levels of self-discipline, are self-motivated, and like their work. Because they care about both themselves and the organisation, they work quickly, act decisively, and are driven by a desire to perform well (Ozkeser, 2019).

Regardless of how well a company is doing, staff motivation is essential. Therefore, the proposed study makes an attempt to analyse the aspect of employee motivation, with special reference to the retail sector of the UK.

2. Project Aim and Objectives

The central aim of the research is to explore employee motivation factors in the UK retail industry. The objectives to be accomplished through the proposed research work include the following:

  • To examine the existing theories and models in the field of motivation
  • To identify the types of motivational factors adopted by the retail industry
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of motivational policies in the retail industry
  • To analyse existing surveys on opinions of employees in the retail industry
  • To recommend ‘change management in the retail industry.

3. Literature Review

3.1 Factors which Motivate Employees

“Add-ons” to an employee’s employment have been considered as the most essential component in boosting their performance by several firms. In order to keep their workers engaged, several companies have implemented a range of employee benefit programmes. Health care, life insurance and profit sharing are just a few of the many perks that come with working for a firm like this one, as per Kuswati (2020). Today’s thinkers contend instead that a person’s desire to work is more closely tied to the profession’s structure than it is to financial rewards. Workers’ morale and productivity were negatively impacted by excessively fragmented jobs as early as 1950, according to research. Mikkelsen, Jacobsen and Andersen (2017) are of the opinion that employee absenteeism and turnover are both incredibly costly for any firm, and low employee motivation is a major contributor to both. Companies began launching “job expansion” campaigns in the 1950s as a response to the Great Depression and World War II (Obiekwe, 2016).

The concepts of motivating employees haven’t changed much in the last 50 years, despite the fact that terminology has evolved. Empowerment, quality circles, and teamwork are some of the most popular buzzwords of the moment. They are able to make their own decisions and accept responsibility for their own ideas and successes, whether they work alone or in groups, as per Hitka, Kozubíková and Potkány (2018). Through quality circles and the rising presence of teams in today’s workplaces, individuals may reaffirm the value of their coworkers’ work while also obtaining feedback on its efficacy. Although small firms may not have the funds or resources to implement formal incentive programmes for their employees, they may nevertheless apply the same fundamental ideas to motivate their workforce. Kuranchie-Mensah and Amponsah-Tawiah (2016) In order to instil a sense of meaning and purpose in their work, the owner of a small business must communicate to his or her staff what the company’s mission is. Both verbal and nonverbal cues should be used in this exchange. Small business owners, on the other hand, should have high expectations for their employees while remaining supportive when their goals are not realised. Ozkeser (2019) states that employees may also benefit from having as much control and freedom over their work as possible. If honest mistakes are rectified but not penalised, creativity will flourish. As the last step, the company’s owner should match his or her own goals with those of the firm. For this reason, employees will be motivated to help the small firm achieve its goals and avoid them from becoming stagnant.

3.2 Methods of Motivating Employees

Motivating employees has become as diverse as the companies operating in today’s global economic climate. Nevertheless, companies who want to increase employee excitement use a number of strategies that are universal. In order to motivate your employees, you need to focus on what they value the most. In the same company, there may be a range of motivators for workers in the same department, according to van der Kolk, van Veen-Dirks and ter Bogt (2019). Flexibility in work design and reward systems has been found to promote employee retention, productivity, and well-being by a large number of businesses.


As a result of giving workers more responsibility and decision-making authority, they are more prepared and better equipped to carry out their duties. Idowu (2017) opines that as a consequence, the stress of being held responsible for something you are unable to achieve is reduced to an absolute minimum. Task improvement takes precedence above self-preservation.

Ingenuity and originality

Fear of being ignored or humiliated prevents employees from voicing their creative ideas to management. Certain work environments have grown so reliant on the approval of the boss and conforming to the company line that they have hurt both the individual and the organization, according to the findings of Paais and Pattiruhu (2020). A company’s ability to innovate can be delegated from upper management to front-line employees, who have the most in-depth knowledge of a job, product, or service. Employees are more likely to be engaged and more productive when they can express their creativity and knowledge freely inside the organisation, which is made possible by the ability to generate. As a result of these improvements, a company is better equipped to respond to market changes quickly and retain its position as a market leader.


The majority of employees will rise to the occasion if they are given the opportunity to achieve more. Businesses may motivate their employees to work harder by pledging to provide them with ongoing training. An increasingly common way to improve employee motivation and expertise is through staff accreditation and licencing programmes. As a result, workers are more likely to have a favourable outlook on their work and the company they work for, as well as increased self-confidence (Syafii, Thoyib and Nimran, 2015). A study of the factors determining learning motivation found that it is closely linked to the degree to which participants in training believe their engagement would have an influence on their job or career utility. Employees and employers alike will benefit from learning new skills if they can be put to use right away in the workplace.


More and more American households have two parents working long shifts because of the rise in weekly hours for American workers. These conditions leave many workers wondering how they’ll balance their home and professional life. When anxiety is shown at work, it may have a detrimental influence on an employee’s productivity and morale. As per the findings of Lorincová et al. (2019), flexibility in the workplace has shown to be a powerful motivator for employees, who in turn have increased their output. There is a lot of evidence that flexible time, reduced workweeks and job sharing may help overworked people focus on the task at hand rather than their personal lives.

Rewards in the Form of Money

Although other motivators are being promoted, money remains a key motivator. Sharing profits with employees motivates them to develop better quality products, services, and procedures (Idowu, 2017). The employee is immediately benefited by the corporation’s success. Employees who come up with cost-cutting or process-enhancing innovations are rewarded monetarily and in other ways, in order to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism. When given in exchange for a company’s ideas or accomplishments, money has the greatest impact. However, its motivating benefits are fleeting if they are not accompanied by additional non-monetary motivators, assert van der Kolk, van Veen-Dirks and ter Bogt (2019). If monetary incentives are not made available to all members of the organisation, they might be harmful.

Incentives of their own

Numerous studies have shown that non-monetary incentives are the most effective ways to motivate employees. Monetary incentives are inefficient motivators, in part due to the fact that expectations typically exceed outcomes and compensation differences can divide rather than unite employees. It has been shown that non-monetary motivators such as recognition, responsibility, and progress may help foster team spirit in the workplace. People will be more motivated in the workplace if their managers recognise and celebrate their employees’ “small triumphs,” promote participatory cultures and treat them fairly and politely. One company’s management team came up with 30 reward schemes that could be implemented for next to nothing (Paais and Pattiruhu, 2020). Personal happiness and self-esteem are boosted by the most effective incentives, such as thank-you notes and time off from the office. Sincere compliments and personal gestures are more effective and cost-efficient than cash presents in the long term, Kuswati (2020) believes. Finally, the most successful way to motivate employees may be to use a programme that combines monetary rewards with demands for inner self-actualization.

4. Research Methodology

4.1 Research Philosophy

The term “research philosophy” refers to the process of formulating a hypothesis for a study and the corresponding body of information and character that goes along with it (McCusker and Gunaydin, 2015). This strategy may be used to ascertain root causes, reasons, points of view, and motives. This information can be used to conduct an examination of the subject or to develop thoughts or hypotheses for quantitative research. Numerous academics have recognised and analysed four primary philosophical systems within the realm of scientific inquiry: the “positivist,” the “interpretivist,” the “pragmatic,” and the “realistic”. As a result of the “interpretivistic philosophy,” or “interpretivism,” as it is often called, researchers are obligated to interpret study components (McKim, 2017). That is why so-called “interpretive academics” assert that language, awareness, shared meanings, and similar social creations are the sole paths to “reality,” whether given or socially produced. Critique of “positivism” by the social sciences is crucial for the creation of an “interpretive philosophical system”. Due to the emphasis on “human interpretation” of the subject under study, business-related research is well-suited to this technique. The suggested research will employ this method of inquiry.

4.2 Research Approach

The three most often utilised research techniques are “quantitative”, “qualitative”, and “mixed”. The researcher is presumed to be aware of the data required to answer the study’s question. Prior to initiating an investigation, the researcher must decide on a methodology. Academics frequently employ a “quantitative method” when addressing research issues that require “numerical data,” while employing a “qualitative approach” when addressing research topics that require “textual data” (Crossley and Edwards, 2016). The combination of “quantitative” and “qualitative” data in a single inquiry or long-term study is referred to as “mixed methods,” a phrase that alludes to a relatively recent research approach. By integrating many techniques, researchers may be able to overcome the limits of a single methodology (Onwuegbuzie and Frels, 2015). We may combine approaches to have a better understanding of the effect of context on results and how different interpretations of data can be investigated. As a result, a hybrid strategy to performing the suggested study is advised in order to thoroughly analyse the research issue (Fetters and Molina-Azorin, 2019).

4.3 Research Design

A successful study requires a logical and consistent organisation, which is referred to as the “research design”. It establishes a framework for the amassing, measuring, and interpreting of data. Apart from the “descriptive study design,” there are a range of data collection techniques that might aid researchers in better understanding a given occurrence, condition, or population. It is more advantageous to establish the “how” and “when” of a research topic than to establish the “why”. By analysing data and obtaining information, descriptive research may help you get a thorough grasp of a subject. The researcher recommends this method for use in the next inquiry due to the advantages it brings.

4.4 Data Collection Methods

Collecting and analysing data is an important part of every study that aims to answer research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate results. This study will use both “quantitative” and “qualitative” methods to collect data. This proposed investigation includes both primary and secondary data collection. The “primary quantitative” data of the researcher will be gathered using a survey technique (Fetters and Molina-Azorin, 2019). There are several advantages to conducting “surveys”, including the huge “sample size”, the ability to collect massive volumes of data, and the use of verified models. “Primary quantitative” data will be a tremendous success with this technique. After doing a thorough assessment of the literature on the selected research topic by prominent scholars who have made major contributions to the exploration of the same or at least related fields of study before, a researcher will collect the necessary “secondary qualitative data” (McKim, 2017). There will be a lot of authentic journal articles, books, credible websites, and online library resources that the researcher will use in this process.

4.5 Data Analysis Technique

“Statistical” and/or “logical” processes are used to describe and demonstrate, condense and recapitulate, and evaluate data in the context of data analysis. The researcher will do an in-depth statistical analysis of the key quantitative data collected. In research, statistical processes are used to organise, develop, collect, analyse, and provide relevant interpretations (Crossley and Edwards, 2016). Statistical analysis can breathe fresh life into data that was previously considered useless. Additionally, secondary qualitative data will be analysed using the theme analysis approach. Thematic analysis is a qualitative data analysis approach that detects, analyses, and reports on common patterns within a data collection. This technique is used to choose and develop codes and themes; however, interpretation is required throughout the selection process. Thematic analysis has a number of advantages, one of which is that it is accessible to novice researchers who are just beginning to analyse qualitative data (Onwuegbuzie and Frels, 2015). Due to the adaptability of thematic analysis, the data set’s meaning may be interpreted in a variety of ways. As a result, the researcher will employ these techniques to ensure a comprehensive and complete “data analysis”, as well as to arrive at a plausible conclusion and accomplish the study’s objectives.

5. Research Limitations

The proposed research work will make an attempt to study the aspect of “employee motivation”, the various factors affecting it, the effectiveness of motivational policies in the retail industry, and also make recommendations about implementing change management in the retail industry. But even then one important element which will not be covered in the process of conducting this comprehensive research is that of the challenges associated with employee motivation that are faced by the UK retailers. Developing an understanding of the challenges would have certainly led to a much better comprehension of the selected topic, in that, the recommendations could have been contextualized in relation to the same. Therefore, the absence of the particular element of “challenges” can be deemed to be a limitation of this research.

6. Ethics

The term “ethics” is used to describe a set of guidelines that guide the planning and execution of research projects. When gathering data from people, scientists and researchers must always follow a set of guidelines. Typically, human research aims to better comprehend real-world events, investigate viable therapies, examine behaviours and improve lives in a number of different ways (Barrow, Brannan and Khandhar, 2021). When it comes to doing research, the questions a scientist chooses to investigate and the techniques he employs must both be ethically sound.

The following ethical principles will be upheld during the project.

  • “Voluntary participation”: There is no force or pressure on study participants to participate, and they are free to decide for themselves if they are interested in participating.
  • “Informed Consent”: Imagine a situation in which all possible participants get and grasp all the information necessary to make a decision about whether or not to participate. Information about the study’s advantages and disadvantages, together with information on funding and institutional approval, is included in this section.
  • “Anonymity”: implying that no one knows who the participants are and that the researcher cannot link any particular participant to their data.
  • “Confidentiality”: The researcher is aware of the participants’ identities, but he does not include any identifying information in the report.
  • “Potential for harm”: As a researcher, one must take into account all possible risks to participants. Due to the variety of ways that damage might emerge, researchers must take precautions to guarantee that study participant are not harmed in any manner.
  • “Results communication”: A researcher’s presentation of his or her results may generate ethical questions in particular situations. The hallmarks of excellent science communication are honesty, reliability, and credibility. Preferable outcomes are those that are as open and accessible to the public as is reasonably possible.

(Sources: George, 2016; Barrow, Brannan and Khandhar, 2021; Dooly, Moore and Vallejo, 2017)

The analyst will follow the aforementioned guidelines when performing this study and provide work that is morally sound.

7. Conclusion

The preceding sections of this document evince that the study being proposed has got a set of practical and specific objectives which can be successfully accomplished using the methodology discussed. The choice of the rather complex “mixed approach” will help the researcher delve deep into the topic and make a systematic study of the same. It will not be an overstatement to assert that in case the proposed work gets approved, it will act as an important document for the retailers operating within the UK to understand the necessity and significance of employee engagement. Furthermore, it will also provide them with a set of practical recommendations to enhance the motivation levels of their own workforces and in turn, attain a greater level of productivity and profitability.


Barrow, J.M., Brannan, G.D. and Khandhar, P.B., 2021. Research ethics. StatPearls [Internet].

Crossley, N. and Edwards, G., 2016. Cases, mechanisms and the real: The theory and methodology of mixed-method social network analysis. Sociological Research Online21(2), pp.217-285.

Dooly, M., Moore, E. and Vallejo, C., 2017. Research Ethics. Research-publishing. net.

Fetters, M.D. and Molina-Azorin, J.F., 2019. A checklist of mixed methods elements in a submission for advancing the methodology of mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research13(4), pp.414-423.

George, A.J., 2016. Research ethics. Medicine44(10), pp.615-618.

Hitka, M., Kozubíková, ?. and Potkány, M., 2018. Education and gender-based differences in employee motivation. Journal of Business Economics and Management19(1), pp.80-95.

Idowu, A., 2017. Effectiveness of performance appraisal system and its effect on employee motivation. Nile Journal of Business and Economics3(5), pp.15-39.

Kuranchie-Mensah, E.B. and Amponsah-Tawiah, K., 2016. Employee motivation and work performance: A comparative study of mining companies in Ghana. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management (JIEM)9(2), pp.255-309.

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Lorincová, S., Štarcho?, P., Weberova, D., Hitka, M. and Lipoldová, M., 2019. Employee motivation as a tool to achieve sustainability of business processes. Sustainability11(13), p.3509.

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Onwuegbuzie, A.J. and Frels, R.K., 2015. Using Q Methodology in the Literature Review Process: A Mixed Research Approach. Journal of Educational Issues1(2), pp.90-109.

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Ozkeser, B., 2019. Impact of training on employee motivation in human resources management. Procedia Computer Science158, pp.802-810.

Paais, M. and Pattiruhu, J.R., 2020. Effect of motivation, leadership, and organizational culture on satisfaction and employee performance. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business7(8), pp.577-588.

Paais, M. and Pattiruhu, J.R., 2020. Effect of motivation, leadership, and organizational culture on satisfaction and employee performance. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business7(8), pp.577-588.

Paais, M. and Pattiruhu, J.R., 2020. Effect of motivation, leadership, and organizational culture on satisfaction and employee performance. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business7(8), pp.577-588.

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