Human Resource Management
1.Company Overview and Introduction6
1.1 Company mission..6
1.2 Company vision.6
1.3 Sources of revenue.7
1.4 Industry information and Market share.7
1.5 Number of employees and their demographics..8
2.Problem Definition and Research Objectives..10
2.2 Decision statement12
2.3 Research objectives12
3.Business Case for Business Research14
4. Research Plan and Methodology.16
4.1 Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data17
4.2 Secondary Data Collection.19
4.3 Primary Data Collection Tools20
5.1 Survey Design Rationale.22
5.2 Focus Group Questions Rationale24
6. Implementation and Communication Plan26
6.1 Implementation Plan26
6.4 Communication plan30
A: Survey Questions.34
B: Focused Group Questions38
E: Communication plan.41
Gap Inc. is a vibrant multinational retailer company dealing in clothing and accessories in California from 1969. It growth trajectory has been consistent from then into a modern corporation the largest in North America. Its main mission was to become world’s favorite retailer for modern American style, with a goal of changing people’s attitudes toward casual clothes, accessories and how to get them. The vision of the firm is in the domain of social and global responsibility, protects the rights and dignity of the foreign employees, protecting the environment especially from the emissions from cloths production.
It initial public offer (IPO) was at $18 per share in 1976, while currently, its shares are trading at the NY stock market at $23 as at 5th February 2016. Its financial standing obtainable from public financial data indicates that in 2014 fiscal year the company had the following:
- Total Assets – $ 7,806 Billion
- Total Stakeholders equity – $ 2,609 Billion
- Total Long term liabilities –$ 2,429 Billion
- Net Sales –$ 16, 435 Billion (Gapinc.com, 2015).
Growth on the shareholder’s return have been noted consistently and therefore, Gap Inc. has remain attractive to customers and investors. As is expected, being an international company, the numbers of foreign competitors have been growing and they are mainly from Europe (H&M), and North America (Nordstrom, J. Crew). Despite this, the company has remained versatile and remained one of the bigger players in the industry, has seen its share in the U.S. apparel market drop from 5.1% to 4.7%.
The employee portfolio is distributed but the whites hold 50% of the portfolio with the rest distributed to other groups such as minority, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Gap strongly encourages their employee to participate in the global sharing strategy, by giving their employees an opportunity to become more involved in the organization and have a vested interest in its successes as company stakeholders.
Problem Definition and Research Objectives: This research focuses on the employee management dynamics and the narrowing on how to employ human resource reward as a means of triggering positive response to the betterment of the Gap Incorporated. Gap Inc’s problem which is the subject of this study is: poor rewards and recognition system is having a direct negative impact on its employees’ motivation.
The research objectives include: 1. To determine which rewards and recognition system will help to motivate and attract employees.
2. To generate positive employee engagement and minimize employee turnover.
3. To improve organizational culture through this process to ensure the goals of GAP Inc. are achieved effectively.
The research methodology employed in this study include discussing the benefits and challenges of using primary and secondary data, which will be used in the research. Detailed consideration is given to the research methodology and approach and to comparing and contrasting the use of qualitative and quantitative data and why a mixed method was selected in this particular study. The primary data collection techniques that have been selected for this particular research are (1) conducting a survey, and (2) holding focus group interviews. Questionnaire for the data collection is attached in the appendix section.
Implementation plan: The following steps will be taken to institute a rewarding scheme to employees: Involving them in the development, implementation and revision of rewards programs in order to increase communication between employees and management about the rewards process. Moreover, it is very crucial to ensure that they value the rewards and see them as worth the effort. Second, establishing a reasonable and transparent performance standards for rewards which can be achieved by employees easily. Third, ensuring a fair reward system from the perspective of employees to motivate them and in turn, put their best efforts to achieve the goals. Finally, career development through the implemented reward system. The timeline of the study is well charted out in appendix C.
On the budget section, the budget justification contains more in depth detail of the costs behind the line items, and sometimes explains the use of the funds were not evident (Research and sponsored projects, 2016, The Budget section: Budget and Budget Justification, para.1).
The proposed research will cost an overall of $14,900 to the Gap Incorporation. The details of this vote are explained in details in the budget sections.
1.Company Overview and Introduction
Gap Inc. is an American multinational clothing and accessories retailer, a public company started by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher in San Francisco, California in 1969. Gap began as a small store on the Ocean Avenue in San Francisco and today it has become the largest North American comprised of five primary divisions: Banana Republic, Old Navy, Intermix, Athleta and Gap Inc. (Gapinc.com, 2016). Company operates in 90 countries worldwide through 3300 stores, including franchise stores and e-commerce sites.
The first store was opened with the idea to make it easier to find a pair of jeans and commitment to do more. In 47 years, the company has grown into global fashion business.
The company philosophy is based on the idea that even the smallest details create a covetable product. It is believed that every product is a part of a bigger history. Every part of the process is vital: design, craftsmanship, texture and color all create demand. Moreover, Gap Inc.’s vision is also based on social and global responsibilities, this can be for their employees, the way they conduct business and interact within society as a whole.
One of the priorities of the company is to create safe and fair working conditions for their employees, to address environmental issues, to take steps for saving energy, reducing greenhouse effect and decreasing other negative consequences of the clothes production. Significant attention of the company is paid for the protection of the human rights of the foreign employees and women equity (P.A.C.E. global program for personal and career enhancement for women’s lives around the world, both at work and at home.
1.3Sources of revenue
On May 19, 1976 Gap Inc. made its’ initial public offering, at 18$ per share. Today its’ shares are trading at common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, the current price is 23.77$ (on a 5th of February 2016 at 4.02 pm).
According to the public financial data, the Gap Inc. in 2014 fiscal year the company had the following:
- Total Assets – $ 7,806 Billion
- Total Stakeholders equity – $ 2,609 Billion
- Total Long term liabilities –$ 2,429 Billion
- Net Sales –$ 16, 435 Billion (Gapinc.com, 2015).
Overall, Gap Inc. offers very attractive conditions for potential investors and has had a positive, constantly developing trend on the market to date. While never having drastic changes in price, the total revenue is increasing every year and the total return to the stakeholders has grown consistently.
1.4Industry information and Market share
Gap Inc. operates within the retail industry with clothes and accessories as the main product. The global retail industry is highly competitive, especially in the casual style market. The competitors could be divided into local, national and global apparel retailers. There are growing numbers of foreign competitors from Europe (H&M), and North America (Nordstrom, J. Crew), which makes operating within this market risky at times.
Recently, Gap Inc, which is one of the bigger players in the industry, has seen its share in the U.S. apparel market drop from 5.1% to 4.7% over the past five years, despite performing better than other casual brands (Forbes.com, 2016). In order to successfully overcome these obstacles, reduce risk and competition the following risk management strategy is applied:
- To respond quickly on the changing market trends and customers’ demands;
- To develop customers’ traffic both in stores and online;
- To offer competitive market price for company’s goods;
- To maintain brand recognition;
- To provide contemporary social media communication and online shopping options;
- To innovate high-quality products in size, colors, to vary them according to different demographic of the customers (Gapinc.com, 2016).
1.5 Number of employees and their demographics
According to Gap Inc’s website, the total amount of employees had reached 137, 000 in May 2014 and this number has increased to 141,000 by January 2015 (2016) including a combination of part-time and full time employees. Gap Inc. is proud for their supportive employee strategy based on the idea that modern world challenges could be successfully overcame by the team support. One of the primarily goal of the company is to give their employees an opportunity for career and personal growth as a result investing in the better future for everyone.
Employees’ demographic is very broad-based; in sphere of employee ethnic background:
Gap strongly encourages their employee to participate in the global sharing strategy, by giving their employees an opportunity to become more involved in the organization and have a vested interest in its successes as company stakeholders.
2.Problem Definition and Research Objectives
Research is an investigation into a problem in an attempt to gain solution for the same. This research proposal is developed after the study of how reward and recognition systems can impact employee motivation for the company- GAP Incorporated. As employees are vital to the development and the accomplishment of the organization’s goals an analysis for this issue will be conducted to see if the results are aligned and whether they are achieving the levels of productivity expected.
GAP Inc. has extensive employee demographics and wide spread employee diversity as a result. As mentioned earlier there is a higher ratio of women than men working in GAP Inc. It has been noticed that GAP Inc. has been experiencing high employee turnover rate especially in women. According to Scott, McMullen and Royal “There must be a balance in market competitiveness, pay equity, organizational performance and individual performance considerations. Issues of fairness underlie each of these areas. No matter how sophisticated the design, reward programs, policies and practices that are not perceived as fair will not successfully attract, retain and engage employees” (Rewards Fairness, 2011, p.2).
The current reward system for the employees in GAP Inc. is solely based on base pay. There is no performance pay which is affecting the morale and performance of employees.GAP Inc. has been struggling to retain their associates but also to attract new qualified employees. GAP Inc. strictly follows the Canadian Employment Standards Act (ESA) which covers only the minimum benefits for the employees.
The primary aim of this study was to discover the impact of rewards and recognition systems and the motivation of employees. GAP Inc’s problem can be now clearly defined as: the poor rewards and recognition system is having a direct negative impact on its employees’ motivation.
Employee’s motivation and job satisfaction is contingent upon various factors such as fair pay, promotions, job security, career opportunities, employees’ relationship and working conditions (Alam, Waseef, Murad, 2015, p.214).
Companies usually focus on operational and financial structure rather than on reward systems, and the effect of the reward system is underestimated, as it directly affects the morale of the employees and culture of the organization. Reward systems are an important tool that management can use to channel employee motivation in desired ways. In other words, effective reward systems seek to attract people to join the organization to keep them coming to work, and motivate them to perform to high levels.
An intrinsically motivated employee will show commitment to the job as it inherently contains tasks that are rewarding to him or her, whereas extrinsically motivated employee will be committed to which he can gain or receive external rewards for his or her job.
The problem revolves around several issues which can be prominently seen mentioned above. There are various issues regarding rewards system within the organization. For the employees, their employee engagement is lacking for the company and thus sales associate level employees do not want to continue with their employment with the company. Also, a lack of performance pay and indirect pay play major role for this problem within GAP Inc. According to Taylor & Beh, pay for performance (PFP) which has been adopted by the Asia-Pacific government, has resulted in higher employee engagement towards their job and also resulted in more productivity (The impact of PFP schemes, 2013, p. 1091). The PFP scheme adopted by the Australian and Malaysian government has impacted in a positive way for their employees.
2.2 Decision statement
A decision statement is a well ordered explanation of the decision made by a team which includes basic premise to the problem addressed as well as the solution for it.“How will a new reward system help motivate the employees?” According to Pratheepkanth, “Good remuneration has been found over the years to be one of the policies the organization can adopt to increase their workers performance and thereby increase the organization's productivity” (Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 2011, p.86). The employees in GAP Inc. are not motivated to complete their monthly targets due to the fact there is no difference in their remuneration for their efforts whether they achieve the goal or not. In this research we will try to analyze the drive for motivation for the employees which will help them achieve their targets as well as increase productivity for the company. Salary and fringe benefits are motivational factors and very important to the workforce. GAP Inc. needs to revise its reward system and create a new compensation strategy which will not only be beneficial for the company but also for the employees this strategy must attract, retain and motivate employees. Employees have intellectual capital and tacit knowledge pertaining to the company. This shared knowledge from employees can assist in differentiating the service at the company’s brands from its competitors. Gap Inc. must strive to attract and retain the best employees and attract the most qualified candidates to assist in gaining increased brand loyalty and market share.
2.3 Research objectives
A research objective is a clear and concise statement which gives direction to achieve the desired outcomes. Research objectives are the results sought at the end of the study i.e. what the researcher can achieve at the end of the research process. It is essential that the research objectives are Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Reliable and Time-bound (SMART).
The purpose of motivation is to create condition in which people are willing to work with zeal, initiative, interest, and enthusiasm, with a high personal and group moral satisfaction with a sense of responsibility.
After analyzing the problem and decision statement for GAP Inc. the objectives that are SMART as well as hopeful to achieve with this proposal are as follows-
1. To determine which rewards and recognition system will help to motivate and attract employees.
2. To generate positive employee engagement and minimize employee turnover.
3. To improve organizational culture through this process to ensure the goals of GAP inc are achieved effectively.
These objective summarizes are what is meant to be achieved by this research proposal for GAP Inc. The research objectives can be categorized into two types: general objectives and specific objective.
“To determine which rewards and recognition system will help to motivate and attract employees” is the specific objective for the research proposal. Whereas the other is the general objectives for the company GAP Inc. We will further focus on our specific objective and determine the research methodology and data collection tools for the same as a part of our research proposal.
3.Business Case for Business Research
RE: Employee Research Proposal
The Human Resources department at Gap Inc. recognized the requirement for identifying reward systems to motivate and attract employees; Team Six Research Consultants has the ability and expertise to conduct this research for your organization. This report was contracted to identify and highlight the impact of these systems on employee’s motivation, recommend methods of research, and provide practices that will improve the effects of the current system going forward. It will also outline both the strategic and financial benefits of conducting the research and implementing this process.
In the highly competitive retail market, obtaining and retaining high performing employees will directly contribute to a successful business overall. An effective employee rewards and recognition system assists in aligning the strategic and financial goals of the organization with those of the individual employees increasing employee satisfaction and retention. This process will create a more positive corporate culture, as well as deepen relationships, increase brand loyalty and market share by addressing and satisfying both employee and consumer needs. It will do this through:
· Analyzing primary and secondary research compiled specifically for the needs of Gap Inc.
· Using mixed methods of qualitative and quantitative research to gain rich insight into which specific rewards are most valuable for your employees
· Identify industry benchmarks related to employee rewards practices to provide context and a baseline from which to grow
Gap Inc.’s market share has recently decreased, albeit a small amount, it is imperative that action is taken to identify and address areas of improvement within the organization. Human Resource “improvement systems, such as performance management, or rewards and recognition systems, rarely succeed if their purpose is not aligned with those at the heart of the organization” (Schneier, C. E.,1989, p. 208). Gap Inc, prides itself on innovation, “Thinking Customers First”, “Doing what’s right” “Delivering Results” and “Inspiring possibilities” (Gapinc.com, 2016) by adopting the recommended strategy they align their rewards and recognition systems with their values and strategic objectives. The employees’ fulfillment, engagement in their work, actions while at work and interactions with others is a direct reflection of their satisfaction / dissatisfaction and thus a powerful outlet for driving business. As suggested by Schneier, “business needs are compelling and will thus succeed if (1) they are tied to larger business and cultural needs which are truly compelling, requiring immediate action, and (2) both performance management and rewards and recognition processes are considered together and desired performance is defined and linked to rewards” (Schneier, C. E., 1989, p. 218).
As Yasmin, et al. discuss in their piece, implementing a rewards system that as is directly representative of the employees needs “will give them an incentive to work harder, which will benefit organization. Rewards play an important role in a success of organization. So if we want to get a success in competitive environment than we must need to achieve high performance of employees. (“Impact of Rewards on Organizational Performance: Empirical Evidence from the Telecom Sector of Pakistan", 2013 p. 938). Therefore, the cost of this process will be small in scale (as outlined in the budget, less than $6,000) compared to the financial benefits that Gap Inc. will receive in return through motivated and engaged employees.
4.Research Plan and Methodology
This part of the project outlines the methodology that will be applied in this study. It consists of a discussion of the used methodology and the rationale for selecting that methodology. It also discusses the benefits and challenges of using primary and secondary data, which will be used in the research. Detailed consideration is given to the research methodology and approach and to comparing and contrasting the use of qualitative and quantitative data and why a mixed method was selected in this particular study. Target population, sampling technique, sampling frame, and eventually the data collection plan will also be outlined in this section.
In the business world, conducting business research is a common practice. Business research is a process through which scientific methods are applied to generate information about a phenomenon. It can be conducted to define “business opportunities and problems, generating and evaluating ideas, monitoring performance, and understanding the business process” (Zikmund et al., 2012, p16).
At GAP Incorporated, previous research had been conducted into the company’s low levels of motivation and high turnover rate. That research identified the company’s existing reward and recognition system as the primary cause for the lack of employee
motivation and subsequently its high turnover rate.
Identifying potential areas for improvement to the company’s reward and recognition incentives would contribute to increasing employee morale and lower the turnover rate, the Human Resources Director requested his team to conduct a descriptive research into this matter.
A descriptive type of research aims at describing people or organizations’ characteristics and addresses who, what, when, where or how types of questions. Descriptive research is usually conducted with reasonable understanding of the problem that is being investigated (Zikmund et al., p.53). As such, this type of research represents a good match to the matter under investigation, which is to describe improvements to GAP’s reward and recognition system that could potentially increase employees’ level of motivation and subsequently decrease employee turnover rate, all while keeping in mind the financial implications of such improvements.
As part of this descriptive research, the following data was collected:
· Secondary data collection (i.e. literature review, industry benchmark, competitors review)
· Primary data collection (i.e. employee satisfaction survey, and focus groups)
That data can be broken down into two other categories; namely quantitative or qualitative.
4.1Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data
Data collection methods can be categorized into quantitative and qualitative. There are many arguments in social sciences around which one research method would be preferable over the other. Some consider qualitative as superior, meanwhile others see the opposite. According to Zikmund et al. (2012) “The key to successfully using either is to match the right approach to the right research context” (p.133).
Quantitative business research is defined as a “research that addresses research objectives through empirical assessments that involve numerical measurement and analysis approaches” and that “Qualitative data are superior for providing a deep social understanding of a research phenomenon” (Zikmund et al., 2012, p. 134).
On the other hand, qualitative business research is the type of research that “stands on its own in the sense that it requires less interpretation” and is rather applicable to research objectives that result in managerial action. It is a very popular tool in business research and usually addresses a business matter, which then allows the researcher to generate information and interpretations about that matter without relying on numerical or statistical dimensions (Zikmund et al., 2012, p. 134).
Even though qualitative data offers a deep understanding of a research phenomenon, it is still open to the researcher’s subjectivity in interpreting the data, which is an area of concern that does not apply to the quantitative method where scores are usually expressed in numbers and where the researcher deals with those numbers objectively.
In addition, quantitative data can be narrow in focus and constraining due to the participants not having the opportunity to explain their responses or provide the researcher with a deeper contextual understanding of the research problem, which qualitative information provides.
In light of the above and in consideration of the specifics of the research problem at hand, this study will be utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. In the research world, using two methods in the same research study is referred to as “mixed methods”. In their study of Bridging the Qualitative–Quantitative Divide, Venkatesh et al. (2013) states that using mixed methods “can help develop rich insights into various phenomena of interest that cannot be fully understood using only a quantitative or a qualitative method”.
The mixed approach was chosen due to its capability of bringing stronger inferences and results than a single method can do (Teddie and Tashakkori 2003,2009, cited in Venkatesh et al. 2013). Moreover, it is argued that combining inferences from both qualitative and quantitative research can result in offsetting the disadvantages of solely using a single method (Gof solelyreene and Caracelli 1997, cited in Venkatesh et al. 2013). Finally, “Mixed methods research can leverage the complementary strengths and non-overlapping weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods, and offer greater insights on a phenomenon that each of these methods individually cannot offer” (Johnson and Turner 2003, cited in Venkatesh et al. 2013).
Qualitative data will be collected to obtain a deeper understanding of the issues and concerns that GAP’s employees have regarding the company’s rewards and incentives program. Quantitative data will, on the other hand, be used in quantifying numbers and percentage.
4.2 Secondary Data Collection
Research studies are usually constrained by time and budget. It is common for researchers to dig into the existing literature to obtain data that can help them address their research problem. This process is known as secondary data collection.
Researchers typically commence their research with secondary data collection since it is usually easier and more cost-effective when compared to primary research, and is also helpful in providing an understanding of the researched topic (Zikmund et al., 2012. P160). In addition, secondary data helps in forming a contextual background about the researched topic and help in providing a benchmark against which the researcher is able to compare other forms of data. However, some caution should be exercised when using secondary data because such data was “gathered and recorded by someone else prior to, and for purposes other than, the current project. As such, when using secondary data, researchers should make sure that they use the relevant aspects of the data collected in relation to the researched topic” (Zikmund et al., 2012, p160).
Furthermore, an industry search will be conducted to gather information about industry benchmarks related to employee rewards and satisfaction. Competitor research will also take place to obtain information about competitor’s rewards and recognition system. The secondary information gathered will enlighten the researcher about industry norms and practices, help provide context and establish a baseline for the research, allow the researcher to understand what industry peers are using to reward and recognize their employees, and help the researcher develop grounded surveys and focus group meetings.
4.3Primary Data Collection Tools
In contrast to secondary data, primary data is data obtained directly by the researcher for the purposes of the research question at hand. There are a number of primary data collection techniques that can be used such as surveys, observation, free-association, conversations using social media, depth interviews as well as focus group interviews.
The primary data collection techniques that have been selected for this particular research are (1) conducting a survey, and (2) holding focus group interviews.
4.4 Sampling ApproachFor this research proposal, the researcher will focus on two primary data collection methods namely Employee Survey and Employee Group Think. Although there are various sampling techniques; however, the researchers will prefer Judgmental Approach for employee survey because the group has experience in making selecting participants based on judgments about appropriate characteristics that GAP employees should possess to become eligible for this research project. According to Zikmund et al., 2012, this technique is very effective in this research because the objective is to highlight weaknesses in existing reward and recognition system by extracting relevant and unbiased information from mentally mature and composed employees who seek improvements in the work environment instead of job switch. The sampling method will also be effective in avoiding random selection error. The characteristics required are 6-month job experience at GAP Ottawa and at least 2-year overall job experience followed by undergraduate academic qualification and middle-management job role. It should be noted that the target population for our research is GAP Ottawa employees in the age bracket of 22 – 40 years that currently serve at company’s regional offices and stores. The researchers will select 30 – 40 employees from 2 different GAP stores in Ottawa for survey questionnaire, which comprises of 20 questions on employee perspective and expectations pertaining to rewards, incentives and compensation. The sample size is adequate for reward system evaluation and inferences as it is a company research project that could generate valuable insights with a small group of employees (Patton, 1990).
The researchers will use Snowball Approach for Group Think data collection because the purpose is to select 5 participants from middle management to generate initial responses on reward mechanisms, dilemmas, reason for conflict, weaknesses and benefits of existing compensation system. The researcher will then induct 2 – 3 new participants based on the information provided by initial respondents. Hence, the total number of participants for Group Think method will be 7 – 8 and the rationale for this decision is to garner initiate responses and subsequently authenticate the data collection process by questioning new candidates for empirical analysis and managerial recommendations. The researchers will execute Group Think method by developing a semi-structured questionnaire because the participant’s interest and information sharing will facilitate in making certain unstructured questions on the research topic (Patton, 1990).
Business organizations are supposed to improve the remuneration system so as to motivate the staff to achieve the set mission and goals (Cappelli, 2015). The remuneration and compensation plan should encourage individual and organization productivity through providing more financial incentives and bonuses to staff who achieve set goals.
A survey will be conducted in the form of a questionnaire to collect both qualitative and quantitative information related to the issue at hand. In business research, a survey is one of the most used methods for collecting primary data. It is a technique that is used by researchers to describe the behavior of a sample target population through observing or interviewing them.
Different types of information can be gathered through surveys depending on the objective of the study. “Typically, surveys attempt to describe what is happening, what people believe, what they are like or to learn the reason for a particular activity (Zikmund et al., 2012. P64).
In the context of this study, a survey will allow us to obtain both qualitative and quantitative information about employee satisfaction with the existing reward and recognition system. That information will feed into the proposed recommendations for improvement.
In developing the survey questions, some will be directed towards obtaining quantitative information, while others will be focusing on obtaining qualitative information. The questions, as a whole, will gauge the employee's’ level of satisfaction with each component of the reward and recognition system.
5.1 Survey Design Rationale
The main purpose of using survey is a collecting primary data, the data that specifically generated for the project objectives. Typically, surveys attempt to describe what is happening or to learn the reasons for a particular business activity (Zikmund et al., 2012, p.185). The main goals of presented survey (Appendix ___ ) is to get information about employee’s attitude towards current reward and recognition system and to get reasons of dissatisfaction. Surveying, as a research technique, perfectly applies to auditory of two stores (40 employees total), provides opportunity to keep responses confidential (anonymity of questionnaire), does not consume a lot of time (maximum 20 minutes to complete). As questionnaire will be provided on paper sheets, workers may complete it right at the work place during the break time, before or after shift. It helps to collect all responses quickly and conveniently for researchers. Moreover, the paper sheets are more convenient to conduct research at workplace where employees do not have access to the software or an intranet. The second advantages of paper version that it is inexpensive from technological point of view as the amount of participants is less than 50 people and the analyzing can be done by person. One major concern is honesty and proactive participation in terms of sharing honest personal opinions.
The structure of the questionnaire represents a mix of questions. The first category is fixed alternative questions (simple dichotomy, determinant choice, frequency questions, checklist with and without order). Variety question types may help to avoid some errors such as halo and regency effect (Canadian organizational behavior, eBook, p.147).
The second type of questions requires to insert own answer where question #7 provides possible examples, questions #14 and #18 ask to provide explanations after specific response. This technique may help to identify an antecedent after simply saying YES or NO.
Counter biasing statement is the next technique that used once in the question #15 for identifying priorities even though the all statements may represents participant’s opinion. We asked to show priority in terms of key motivators in question #4 and now we would like to see to what degree by choosing only one option in the question #15.
The last questionnaire technique that has been used is a frequency/degree question. The question #16 presents a list of components of compensation system, and corporate culture where a respondent has to identify level of satisfaction regards to each component.
The survey content directly applies to the research objectives as after completion we will know which components of current reward and recognition system are the most important and valuable, which one should be reviewed/ eliminated and, lastly, how we can improve this system from employee’s point of view. Questions cover three main areas for meeting research objective: what monetary and nonmonetary rewards are important, how coworkers, superiors and company itself influence of the employee’s motivation, and what reasons can lead to leave workplace. Furthermore, some questions have explicit information about relationship between job performance and compensation that have significant impact on compensation strategy as well.
After the survey is conducted, results will be analyzed, and then validated through focus group interviews. After the recommendations from the primary focus group are formulated, a second round of focus group interviews will be held to validate those recommendations with employees.
5.2 Focus Group Questions Rationale
One of the many advantages of Focus group is possibility to get wealth and detailed information about objective with deep insights (Eliot & Associates, 2005, p.2). Moreover, it helps to generate some solutions about discussed subjects from thoughts and ideas of respondents.
As stated by objectives of the project, the research has to identify reasons of low employee’s motivation in terms of rewards and recognition system.
The expected results of the focus group are:
- To get information about employees attitude towards current compensation system;
- To identify which elements of compensation system have to be reviewed; in which manner;
- To get ideas about innovative ways of recognition, that should be implemented.
The focus group design includes two aspects: participants, current employees of different Gap locations, and the topic of conversation - the provided questions.
The focus group questions are divided into three categories: engagement questions that help to give main idea of the topic and create comfortable atmosphere between members; exploration questions that address directly the objectives, and exit questions to insure that all aspects of discussion have been covered.
Engagement part includes two questions that regard to personal experience of participants within Gap Inc. While they are telling short story, researchers may notice information about the different drivers of motivation that playa significant role in their decision to work at Gap. The expected answers should be general such as to earn money while studying or they can be specific to the brand, company’s values, and corporate culture.
The second block of questions relates to identifying factors of recognition, the main reasons, and their importance. As people in the group may not know each other very well, this method is expected to obtain honest insights in terms of their values and impression of current recognition system (the 4th question). It can be expensive for the company to offer non-cash benefits to employees. If those are not perceived as important to the employees impression of the rewards system, the company can change the way of providing benefits to what the employees value the most. The 5th question encourages employees to offer methods for improving reward and recognition strategy. According to C. Brigden (2015), only 30% participant’s suggestions has rationale for future implementation. However, this statistic has to be proven after analyzing results of the particular focus group and resources that a company may provide to support these ideas (p. 203). The last questions of this block should find the parallel between job performance and compensation system. Sometimes workers wrongly understand relationship between personal contribution to the job and feedback (monetary or not) that they receive (Total Rewards, 2015, p.198). Answers of these questions may help to identify the possible gaps in the performance management system as well.
The final questions leads to strategic personal plans of developing with company or leave in the future. Respondents may come up with terms of the current situation as well as factors that have influence on that decision are the most important for research. Furthermore, participants of focus group will have one more opportunity to share opinion if they have not have chance to say something in the frame of regular questions.
6. Implementation and Communication Plan : 61.Implementation Plan
Therefore, in the above mentioned research proposal all these steps are being fulfilled. New reward system will be created by engaging employees in decision making process. Employee satisfaction surveys will be conducted and focus group interviews will be held in order to know their needs regarding the reward system which will help the company to prepare a valuable reward system. Even quantitative as well as qualitative data will be collected to measure the exact wants of the employees and a fair reward system can be developed. In addition to this, literature review and competitor’s review will be done to see the reward system followed by them and is it successful in boosting the morale of the employees. Hence, in this research proposal all the vital steps are considered in order to meet the specific research objective that is, employee motivation and employee satisfaction.
Timeline can be referenced in appendix C .
The budget is a line item (tabular) representation of the expenses associated with the proposal project. The budget justification contains more in depth detail of the costs behind the line items, and sometimes explains the use of the funds where not evident (Research and sponsored projects, 2016, The Budget section: Budget and Budget Justification, para.1). Therefore, it is very important to prepare a budget and communicate it to the stakeholders based on which they can make relevant decisions.
So, here the proposed research proposal will cost an overall of $14,900 to the Gap Incorporation. It can be explained in detail as: one researcher is needed to conduct this research and he will be provided a pay of $7000 for completion of whole research. One research assistant is also needed to help the researcher. The research will be completed in a month. So, he will receive $4500 for conducting a research and additional travel allowance of $1000. Then, a focus group moderator is needed to conduct, manage and analyze focus group sessions. He will be paid $200 per hour for a total of 2 hours. Moreover, employees will be encouraged to participate in a survey by offering a $10 gift card to those who successfully complete the first 20 questionnaires. In addition to this, a gift card of $50 will be provided to those who will participate in the focus group interviews. Only 7 employees can take this opportunity to earn a gift card of $50. Even funds are required for some additional expenses such as questionnaire forms, envelopes, letter heads and collection of secondary data. Hence, these are the expenses which the company cannot avoid if the research is conducted.
Budget is prepared in tabular form and can be referenced in appendix D .
6.4. Communication Plan
A communication plan is a written document that describes what you want to accomplish with your association communications, ways in which those objectives can be accomplished, to whom your association communications will be addressed, how you will accomplish your objectives and how you will measure the results of your program (How to develop a communication plan, n.d., para. 3).
So, in this case communication plan for stakeholders will be: Company will be communicated all the progress reports as well as the final research report on weekly basis in the meetings. They play an important role in the whole process that is, before, during and after the research. Every information is communicated to them so that they can judge whether the research is on the track or not.
Research Assistant will be provided the updated schedule of surveys and interviews via Email on weekly basis so that they can conduct their research on time. Participants will be communicated an information about the surveys and interviews in March 2016 by posting big printed banners in their rooms. On banners, along with information about the surveys, an invitations will be provided to them to participate in these surveys and get an opportunity to earn gift cards. Managers will be provided an evaluation report in the meeting in March 2016 to evaluate the research.
Also a communication plan is presented in tabular form and can be referenced in appendix E
(Allan L., n.d., Why a communication plan)
Allan L., n.d.. Why a communication plan. Retrieved on February 9, 2016 from http://www.businessperform.com/workplace-training/training-program-communication-plan.html
Annual report for stakeholders of Gap Inc. 2014. Retrieved from www.gapinc.com/content/attachments/gapinc/GPS%202014%20Annual%20Report.pdf
Canadian Organizational Behaviour eBook (9th Edition) [Texidium version]. (2015). Retrieved from http://texidium.com
Cappelli, Peter. (2015). "Why We Love to Hate HR and What HR Can Do About It." Harvard Business Review.
How to develop a communication plan. Retrieved on February 9, 2016 from http://www.hieran.com/comet/howto.html
Measuring our progress. Retrieved from http://www.gapincsustainability.com/measuring-our-progress
Official Web-site of the Gap Inc. Retrieved from www.gapinc.com
P.A.C.A. program. Electronic version. Retrieved from www.gapincsustainability.com/people/pace-changing-one-million-lives
Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods.SAGE Publications. Newbury Park: London.
Quarterly Financial Summary Q3 2015. Retrieved from http://www.gapinc.com/content/attachments/gapinc/GPSEarnings/QFS_External.pdf
Research and sponsored projects, (2016). The Budget section: Budget and Budget Justification. Retrieved on February 9, 2016 from http://orsp.umich.edu/research-proposals-budget
Stock information. Retrieved from www.investors.gapinc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=111302&p=irol-stockQuote
Talkdesk, (2013). 20 ways to increase employee motivation using rewards. Retrieved on February 9, 2016 from https://www.talkdesk.com/blog/20-ways-to-increase-employee motivation-using-rewards
Venkatesh et al. (2013). Bridging the qualitative-quantitative divide: Guidelines for conducting mixed methods research in information systems.. MIS Quarterly. Mar2013, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p21-54. 34p
Zikmund et al. (2012). Business Research Methods (9th Edition).
Zikmund, W.Z., Babin, B.B., Carr, J.C., Griffin, M.G. (2012). Business Research Methods (with Qualtrics Printed Access Card) (9th Edition) [Texidium version]. Retrieved from http://texidium.com
Appendix A: Survey Questions
Welcome to Gap Incorporation Employee Survey!
Carefully read each question and check the option that maximally represents your opinions or give your own. As the survey is absolutely anonymous, please be honest and clear.
Results will help us to make Gap a better workplace for everyone!
What department do you work at?
Men Women Kids Stock
How long have you been working with us?
Less, than 3 months 3-6 months 6 months – 1 year 1-2 years More, than 2 years
What is essential to perform you job successfully? (Choose any 3 out of 5 or add your own)
Good relationship with manager Self-motivation and self-responsibility
Knowing store policies Customer service skills
Good communication with co-workers Other
What factors are most important for you at the work?
(Provide order form 1 to 5, where 1 being the most important)
Salary Opportunity for career growth
Suitable working schedule Company’s values
Team Opportunity to learn new
When you hear “Good job!” form your superior, what does it mean to you?
I did something better than usual
It is just a normal phrase that I hear all the time
What type of indirect pay do you use mostly? Please order in terms of importance to you the following benefits or add your own
Health insurance Pension Plan option
Employee discount Wellness Programs
What would you like to receive as a non-cash benefit? (for example: additional health insurance for family, external educational program, etc.)
Which elements of corporate culture are you favorite?
No uniform policy
Morning meetings with dress up of new collection
General campany’s values Other __________________________
Does it important for you do get approval from coworkers?
If yes, how it should be looks like?
Just verbally To get coffee/chocolate for kindness
How would you describe the best performer?
Hard worker Follower of all policies
Lucky person Other
What do you think about out of work team activities?
I love it I support it but there is not as much as I would like to have
Never participated I would prefer to take extra shift instead
What do you think about regular letter from CEO about monthly performance?
I have never seen that
I am so proud for my team if we are within top list
I don’t care
It is just a formal report
Would you like to participate in the “the best employee of month” competition?
Yes Maybe No Why? __________________________________
What statement is close to you?
Good team is the most important factor at workplace
Competitive package leads to strong employee motivation
Professional management plays significant role in retention of employees
Self-realization is strong driver to keep employment relationship
How satisfied are you with the following?
Very satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied
Opportunity for Growth
Opportunity to Learn
How would compare your package to what others receive in the industry?
Almost the same Gap has greater package then others Gap has poorer package then others
Would you recommend Gap to your friends? Why?
Yes, because _______________________________________________________________
No, because _______________________________________________________________
Would you consider leaving Gap if you receive a better salary elsewhere?
Where do you see yourself one year from now? 5 years from now?
I am steel working at the same position at Gap
I expect to go up at career ladder at Gap
I would leave company for looking better opportunities at external market
I would change industry after graduation
I don’t know
Appendix B: Focus Group Questions
Focus group interview questions
Welcome to Gap Incorporation Employee Focus Group!
We would like to get you opinion on the list of questions regards to reward and recognition strategy at Gap. Information will be generalized and would not be used personally.
We expect to have attractive and honest discussion.
1. Introduce your name and tell us short story – Why have you chosen Gap?
2. Why do you think people work at one workplace longer time (more than 5 years)?
3. What particular factors of recognition are important for you and why?
4. What current benefits are the most valuable? And which ones are not?
5. What can you suggest for improving Gap’s rewards and recognition strategy?
6. Could you describe own view of relationship between job performance and compensation system at Gap?
8. Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Appendix C: Timeline
Appendix D: Budget
Appendix E: Communication Plan