Nucor Uses An Integrated Approach To Employee Motivation

1872 words - 8 pages

Nucor Uses an Integrated Approach to Employee Motivation
Nucor has abandoned the conventional ways of running an organization. They embrace the McGregor theory Y assumptions about people. They view their employees as self-energized, committed, responsible, and creative beings (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 8). Because management abandoned the old command-control model that has previously dominated business and removed layers of management several positive consequences emerged. Trusting employees at all levels to solve problems lead to organizational based self-esteem, which all companies should strive to obtain. Nucor’s approach to motivation has been outstanding. This is evidenced ...view middle of the document...

Decision-making is “pushed to the lowest level employees” (Nucor Corporation, 2009). The employees are allowed to fail, so they are not afraid to be creative and creativity leads to innovation. Nucor leads the industry in this area so obviously this attitude is working for them.
Maslow’s theory of motivation is derived from a hierarchy of human needs. The five basic needs in this hierarchy are physiological, safety, love or belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 211). The ultimate goal at the Nucor Corporation is continuity (Nucor Corporation, 2009). The first step in Maslow’s pyramid is physiological; the basic needs for survival. At Nucor no employee has been laid off due to lack of work in the past 30 years (Nucor Corporation, 2009). This organization consistently emphasizes safety. Most correspondence from management closes with “Be Safe” (Nucor Corporation, 2009). Not only does this satisfy the second human need in the pyramid, but it also provides employees with the knowledge that they are valued by the organization. Their use of team building and team rewards goes a long way in providing a sense of belonging for their employees, and the trust and respect given to all levels of workers satisfies the need for esteem. The support given by management to all employees encourages self-actualization. Management strives to stimulate people to explore their own potential, because they maintain the attitude that the employees are the engine that drives their success, not the individual manager (Nucor Corporation, 2009).
Nucor recognizes the fact that money is not the only motivator. Some people who have a compelling drive to succeed are striving for personal achievement rather than a monetary reward (Ramlall, 2004). According to McClelland Need Theory, achievement is defined as the drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed (Ramlall, 2004) At Nucor, plant managers regularly set up contests for shifts to try to outdo one another on a set goal, generally related to safety, efficiency, or output. A contest of this kind caters to the three common characteristics of achievement motivated people. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2008) these characteristics include: a preference for working on tasks of moderate difficulty; a preference for situations in which performance is due to their effort; and the desire for feedback on their successes and failures (p. 213). Management should establish challenging goals, because the need for achievement is positively correlated with goal commitment and job involvement (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 215). David Hutchins, a front-line supervisor for Nucor explained “At Nucor, we’re not ‘you guys and ‘us guys.’ It’s all of us guys” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 239). This statement supports a feeling of affiliation, which McClelland claimed is an important human need for some employees (Ramlall, 2004). It is...

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