Describe Frederick Taylor’s theory of scientific management and its impact on worker productivity.
What is the basic premise of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and what levels comprise the hierarchy?
Describe William Ouchi’s Theory Z.
How did John Ratliff increase employee motivation by understanding and adapting the motivational theories discussed in the chapter? Which theory do you think is most appropriate and why?

https://www.viddler.com/embed/4b87b75b/?f=1&autoplay=0&player=full&disablebranding=0#CHAPTER 10: Motivating Employees
Appletree Answers
Time: 9:29
Learning objectives






Explain Taylor’s theory of scientific management
Describe the Hawthorne studies and their significance to management
Identify the levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and apply them to employee
motivation
Distinguish between the motivators and hygiene factors identified by Herzberg
Differentiate among Theory X, Theory Y and Theory Z
Show how managers personalize motivation strategies to appeal to employees across
the globe and across generations
Key people and companies
John Ratliff—Founder and CEO, Appletree Answers
Overview
John Ratliff founded Appletree Answers in 1995 as a one-man home business that grew to
having over 650 employees and 24 call centers across the United States and Puerto Rico.
Appletree provides call center and receptionist services for other organizations and this industry
has typically been plagued by high employee turnover. At the time Appletree was experiencing
rapid growth, Ratliff realized that his company’s employee turnover was over 100%. He found
this number staggering and unacceptable and this realization was the turning point for
Appletree.
In Ratliff’s view, the philosophy that front-line employees are expendable was flawed
thinking and he sought to change that perception by viewing his employees as a valuable part of
creating a great customer experience. Noting that turnover for salaried employees was only 3%,
Ratliff sought to close the rift between these two classes of employees—management and frontline workers.
He started by instituting seven core values that everyone in the company had to adhere to:
integrity matters; think like a customer; small details are huge; be quick, but don’t hurry;
employees are critical; spirited fun; and take care of each other. He improved expectations by
providing a customized work experience through the implementation of flexible schedules,
themed quarterly goals, and additional employee training programs.
In addition, he added positive reinforcements for being part of a team. This was further
exemplified when an employee suggested the company create a program similar to the “MakeA-Wish” foundation, but have it be internal for the company. This was the beginning of the
Dream On program. Since its inception, the Dream On program has granted over 100 wishes to
employees suffering terminal illness, financial problems, and even homelessness. This program
had a profound effect on the perception of equity in the company by the front-line employees—
their stories became an integral part of the company’s goals and culture and the employees
began working like a team. The result of Ratliff’s efforts are impressive. Employee turnover
dropped to 18% and customer retention rose to 92%—figures that are almost unheard of in this
industry. Ratliff has since left Appletree and now consults businesses on his unique approach to
motivating employees.
Preparing students before the video
Review the various theories regarding employee motivation—Theory X, Theory Y and
Theory Z—as well as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. How are they similar? In what ways do they
differ? Discuss the difference between motivators and hygiene factors as it relates to employee
motivation.
Major issues in the case

Reasons for employee turnover

Fredrick Taylor’s theory of scientific management

Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies

Motivators and hygiene factors

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Theory X, Theory Y, and Theory Z
Video Case: Appletree Answers
Service industries strive to relieve their customers’ anxieties, but often those stresses are
transferred to the service employees. For example, help desk call center workers face so much
tension that turnover rates can reach as high as 125 percent per year. That amounts to a loss of
every employee plus a quarter of their replacements in a single year. Since finding new people
to fill all those positions can be expensive, the savviest companies look for ways to motivate
their employees to be productive and happy so that they choose to stick around for a while.
John Ratliff of Appletree Answers, a company that provides call center and receptionist
services for other businesses, was able to expand his company from a one-man operation to a
thriving business with 650 employees at more than 20 locations. Appletree supports clients
ranging from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies in every industry imaginable.
Early in its growth, however, Appletree suffered the same high turnover rate that is common
in the call center industry. Ratliff decided to restructure the business to focus on employee
satisfaction and wellness. First, he developed a new set of company principles that encouraged
staffers to “think like a customer” and “take care of each other.” In order to accommodate his
largely Generation Y employees, Ratliff instituted flexible schedules and arranged for additional
training programs. Ratliff also encourages employees to submit ideas regarding the company’s
projects. A desktop app called Idea Flash lets staffers send their suggestions to executives,
further enriching the job experience.
In his quest to turn his company around, Ratliff discovered that some of his employees
struggled with problems such as serious illnesses, financial hardships, and even homelessness.
To combat these crises, he created the Dream On program to provide personalized motivation
that doesn’t come in a standard paycheck. Similar to the Make a Wish Foundation, Dream On
strives to help make selected employees’ “dreams” come true, whether it is a trip to Disney
World for a sick child or a luxury honeymoon for a loyal worker.
Working in this newly fulfilling environment had a profound effect on Appletree’s staff. No
longer just seat-fillers, their personal commitment to the company became an integral part of its
goals and culture. Because of all this positive reinforcement, Appletree staffers are not only
more willing to stay at their jobs, but they also perform their tasks with more energy and effort.
John Ratliff’s unique approach gives his company a leg up on the industry while still caring
deeply for his employees. That’s known as a “win–win.”
Multiple Choice Questions
1.
Time-motion studies are associated with which of the following?
a. Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies
b. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
c. Frederick Taylor’s scientific management
d. Frederick Herzberg’s hygiene factors
e. McGregor’s Theory X
2.
Which theory assumes that the average person dislikes work and will avoid it if
possible?
a. Theory X
b. Theory W
c. Theory Z
d. Theory J
e. Theory Y
3. Which of the following is the highest level one can attain according to Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs?
a. Physiological needs
b. Esteem needs
c. Self-actualization needs
d. Social needs
e. Safety needs
CHAPTER 10: Motivating Employees
Appletree Answers
Time: 9:29
Learning objectives






Explain Taylor’s theory of scientific management
Describe the Hawthorne studies and their significance to management
Identify the levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and apply them to employee
motivation
Distinguish between the motivators and hygiene factors identified by Herzberg
Differentiate among Theory X, Theory Y and Theory Z
Show how managers personalize motivation strategies to appeal to employees across
the globe and across generations
Key people and companies
John Ratliff—Founder and CEO, Appletree Answers
Overview
John Ratliff founded Appletree Answers in 1995 as a one-man home business that grew to
having over 650 employees and 24 call centers across the United States and Puerto Rico.
Appletree provides call center and receptionist services for other organizations and this industry
has typically been plagued by high employee turnover. At the time Appletree was experiencing
rapid growth, Ratliff realized that his company’s employee turnover was over 100%. He found
this number staggering and unacceptable and this realization was the turning point for
Appletree.
In Ratliff’s view, the philosophy that front-line employees are expendable was flawed
thinking and he sought to change that perception by viewing his employees as a valuable part of
creating a great customer experience. Noting that turnover for salaried employees was only 3%,
Ratliff sought to close the rift between these two classes of employees—management and frontline workers.
He started by instituting seven core values that everyone in the company had to adhere to:
integrity matters; think like a customer; small details are huge; be quick, but don’t hurry;
employees are critical; spirited fun; and take care of each other. He improved expectations by
providing a customized work experience through the implementation of flexible schedules,
themed quarterly goals, and additional employee training programs.
In addition, he added positive reinforcements for being part of a team. This was further
exemplified when an employee suggested the company create a program similar to the “MakeA-Wish” foundation, but have it be internal for the company. This was the beginning of the
Dream On program. Since its inception, the Dream On program has granted over 100 wishes to
employees suffering terminal illness, financial problems, and even homelessness. This program
had a profound effect on the perception of equity in the company by the front-line employees—
their stories became an integral part of the company’s goals and culture and the employees
began working like a team. The result of Ratliff’s efforts are impressive. Employee turnover
dropped to 18% and customer retention rose to 92%—figures that are almost unheard of in this
industry. Ratliff has since left Appletree and now consults businesses on his unique approach to
motivating employees.
Preparing students before the video
Review the various theories regarding employee motivation—Theory X, Theory Y and
Theory Z—as well as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. How are they similar? In what ways do they
differ? Discuss the difference between motivators and hygiene factors as it relates to employee
motivation.
Major issues in the case

Reasons for employee turnover

Fredrick Taylor’s theory of scientific management

Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies

Motivators and hygiene factors

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Theory X, Theory Y, and Theory Z
Video Case: Appletree Answers
Service industries strive to relieve their customers’ anxieties, but often those stresses are
transferred to the service employees. For example, help desk call center workers face so much
tension that turnover rates can reach as high as 125 percent per year. That amounts to a loss of
every employee plus a quarter of their replacements in a single year. Since finding new people
to fill all those positions can be expensive, the savviest companies look for ways to motivate
their employees to be productive and happy so that they choose to stick around for a while.
John Ratliff of Appletree Answers, a company that provides call center and receptionist
services for other businesses, was able to expand his company from a one-man operation to a
thriving business with 650 employees at more than 20 locations. Appletree supports clients
ranging from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies in every industry imaginable.
Early in its growth, however, Appletree suffered the same high turnover rate that is common
in the call center industry. Ratliff decided to restructure the business to focus on employee
satisfaction and wellness. First, he developed a new set of company principles that encouraged
staffers to “think like a customer” and “take care of each other.” In order to accommodate his
largely Generation Y employees, Ratliff instituted flexible schedules and arranged for additional
training programs. Ratliff also encourages employees to submit ideas regarding the company’s
projects. A desktop app called Idea Flash lets staffers send their suggestions to executives,
further enriching the job experience.
In his quest to turn his company around, Ratliff discovered that some of his employees
struggled with problems such as serious illnesses, financial hardships, and even homelessness.
To combat these crises, he created the Dream On program to provide personalized motivation
that doesn’t come in a standard paycheck. Similar to the Make a Wish Foundation, Dream On
strives to help make selected employees’ “dreams” come true, whether it is a trip to Disney
World for a sick child or a luxury honeymoon for a loyal worker.
Working in this newly fulfilling environment had a profound effect on Appletree’s staff. No
longer just seat-fillers, their personal commitment to the company became an integral part of its
goals and culture. Because of all this positive reinforcement, Appletree staffers are not only
more willing to stay at their jobs, but they also perform their tasks with more energy and effort.
John Ratliff’s unique approach gives his company a leg up on the industry while still caring
deeply for his employees. That’s known as a “win–win.”
Multiple Choice Questions
1.
Time-motion studies are associated with which of the following?
a. Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies
b. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
c. Frederick Taylor’s scientific management
d. Frederick Herzberg’s hygiene factors
e. McGregor’s Theory X
2.
Which theory assumes that the average person dislikes work and will avoid it if
possible?
a. Theory X
b. Theory W
c. Theory Z
d. Theory J
e. Theory Y
3. Which of the following is the highest level one can attain according to Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs?
a. Physiological needs
b. Esteem needs
c. Self-actualization needs
d. Social needs
e. Safety needs

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