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Commercial Uniform Inc.: Employee Motivation

The selected case study, Firing Up the Commercial Uniform Team, displays the possible types of employee motivation. There are currently problems with fixed wages in Commercial Uniform Inc. (CUI) and a slight decline in business activity. Derrick, Regional Manager for CUI, is responsible for the uniform supply and related dry-cleaning operations. After talking with the HR director, he decided to use the recognition in praise to motivate the drivers effectively. Based on this, it could be said that Derrick is using the Expectancy Theory.

This method is effective since the Expectancy Theory is comprehensive. It also incorporates and integrates features from other theories of motivation, including Goal Theory and positive reinforcement (DuBrin, 2018). This principle presupposes, in the end, the achievement of a goal towards which efforts were directed. Team members need to be confident that they will receive the promised reward if they get the job done correctly. Realizing that it will be problematic to achieve allowances and bonuses in the company soon, employees may stop working effectively. By encouraging and stimulating them, the manager tries to increase productivity (DuBrin, 2018). The driver understands that among the rest, the award will go to the one who works harder, resulting in a specific motivating goal.

The manager does an excellent job of praising his workers. He uses appropriate, adequate words in his compliments that help employees feel important. As a result, it increases their motivation and, therefore, productivity. Derrick can make his praises more effective by making them more detailed. After learning what types of incentives his employees like, he understands individual differences in valences. To effectively motivate group members, leaders must be aware of individual differences or reward preferences.

The theory, in turn, has both strengths and some disadvantages. First, the approach is based on psychology and considers each employee’s characteristics. That is good because it improves the psychological state of the employee. In other words, the idea finds such an important factor as the desire to work and does everything so that this desire does not disappear anywhere. Expectancy Theory is cognitive because it emphasizes the thoughts, judgments, and desires of the motivated person (DuBrin, 2018). In addition, performance assessment is often measured with completely inappropriate values without assessing the amount of effort involved. So, a driver, who delivered more uniforms, will receive the same payments as those who worked less. The theory considers the amount of effort made, so it rises, and after it, the quality of action rises.

On the other hand, the theory is very superficial about the nature of motivation in a particular organization. What motivation should be, what a person should strive for, the idea does not name. In addition to the fact that in theory there are no clear recommendations on the behavior and motivation of personnel, employees themselves often make mistakes in assessing their real expectations. So, they may think that the best reward for them will be a salary, but, having received it, they will remain dissatisfied; therefore, the motivation will fall.

It is not by chance that the Expectancy Theory includes features of other theories, especially the Goal Theory. A clear statement of the problem is direct support from the manager, which also affects the motivation of employees. According to the proposed case study, this becomes problematic in the context of a critical situation in the company. As a result, the lack of explicit concepts of size and incentives, on the contrary, may subside since words of praise alone are not enough. It is also essential to consider that there are other types of incentives in addition to monetary rewards. Such can be a promotion or, for example, an increase in authority among colleagues. Nevertheless, combining the Expectancy Theory and Goal Theory, one can create own management and staff motivation system.


DuBrin, A. J. (2018). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills (9th Edition). Cengage Learning US.

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