Motivation is a driving force within an individual to do something well. Motivation is particular to an individual so it is important to find out what factors drive each person. Some employees may be motivated by working in a team whereas others could be driven by a desire to make a difference.

This case study looks at ways in which Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Enterprise) managers find out about what motivates their staff.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car provides a car rental service for customers. It was founded by Jack Taylor in 1957 in the basement of a car dealership in St Louis in the USA. Today the company has over 750,000 rental cars in service globally. Its international operations focus on providing a reliable and convenient service at a good price that is memorable to customers so that they return.

Customer service involves all those activities designed to identify and satisfy customer needs. The company uses a simple customer satisfaction survey – the Enterprise Service Quality index (ESQi) – to find out how satisfied its customers are. It is based on two simple questions:

1. Were you completely satisfied with your rental experience at Enterprise?
2. Given the opportunity to return to Enterprise, would you?

Enterprise knows that to perform well on the ESQi it needs to have motivated employees. The company prides itself on providing superb customer service. Only highly motivated staff will provide this quality of service. Employees deal with customers face-to-face and by phone, email and online. The culture at Enterprise supports customer service which excels and differentiates the business from that of its competitors. The term culture refers to typical ways of behaving in an organisation.

Enterprise is a big company that has the approach and feel of a small business. Each employee has an important role to play.

To understand how Enterprise continues to meet its financial and strategic objectives, it is

necessary to understand the culture.

The culture is based on having motivated people working every day to deliver the best service for customers. Customer satisfaction drives the growth of the business because this results in repeat custom, recommendations to other people and an enhanced reputation.

The term ‘motivation’ can be used to describe anything which causes people to accomplish more than they would otherwise achieve.

Motivational theorist Frederick Taylor believed that workers needed close supervision and were only motivated by money. However, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car has identified a number of factors which are non-financial and which provide high levels of motivation for its employees.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

These 8 factors fit closely with the theory of human resource development. For example, Abraham Maslow identified a hierarchy of needs that people want to fulfil through their work. At the lowest levels they require good pay so their basic needs for food, clothing and other essentials are met. However, in addition employees’ needs include:

* safety – a need to feel secure, e. g. through job security or personal protective equipment
* social – a need for affection, e. g. friendly work places based on trust, support and encouragement
* self-esteem – a need for self-respect and the respect of others, e. g. recognition and promotion
* self-actualisation – the opportunity for personal fulfilment, e. g. learning new skills and working towards personal goals.

John Stacy Adams – Equity Theory

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