Motivation in the Workplace at SAS Institute Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 10 August 2016

Motivation in the Workplace at SAS Institute

When it comes to motivation in the workplace, SAS Institute seems to have it masters. No one wants to come to work every day and spend time away from their families all the time on a daily basis, but something makes us do this each and every day that we go to work. Work motivation is the factor that makes behave the way we do in order to get up and go to work every day. It determines the level of effort we are going to put into our work and our behavior about work (George & Jones, 2012). A company’s most valuable asset is its creative capital and it takes a unique company to think outside the box to find creative ways to motivate those creative employees.

SAS Institute has developed a solid employee management plan that has sustained their work force and has continued to make it grow stronger. The company has been ranked the 6th in the “Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine for several years in a row and calling SAS Institute “the closest thing to a worker’s utopia in America” (Harvey, 2000). So what makes this company so great with their employee management? SAS Institute creates an environment where employees can development new and innovative products, they have a performance based reward system that includes not only financial benefits but overall benefits to health as well, and they establishing their strong core values to their employees.


According to the text, intrinsic motivation is the kind of behavior that people have when they enjoy what they do and put in the extra time and effort on their own without any incentive other than the sense of accomplish and achievement (George & Jones, 2012). SAS Institute prides itself on the many ways that it inspires employees to want to work hard and make those kinds of achievements. The company’s values are employee-centered and from all the research over the years, that philosophy has believed to have worked for them and others who are starting to copy their methods. They make the work interesting by provides ways for their programmers to create their own products. Instead of acquiring other companies that might have a particular product already created, they invest in the research and development that it would take for their employees to create those products. This keeps the employees interested in their work and keeps things challenging for them.

SAS invests twenty percent of their revenue each year into research and development (George & Jones, 2012). By using this investment, SAS believes and has proven they can diminish the possibly of economic downturns that most technology companies experience (George & Jones, 2012). It is up to the managers to keep the employees motivated in their creativity. SAS has created ways of motivation that exceed money or fear of being reprimanded (Hall, 2014). Everyone that works at SAS is treated the same no matter what. From the head of the company to the person that takes out the trash, all employees get the same benefits. They also eliminate the need for a hierarchy structure in order to make things work within an organization. Because of this level of motivation, SAS Institute’s turnover rate is one of the lowest in the country.

This creates a cost savings of an “estimated $85 million a year” (Hall, 2014). The company believes in an open door policy that gives their employees the freedom to give management feedback and have the company response in a positive way to that feedback. Basically, SAS allows their work force to manage their selves. They realize that allowing people to create their own schedule opens up the doors for their creativity to flow. SAS’s theory of performance is about giving the people the tools they need to get the job done and then get out of the way. SAS also encourages employees to change jobs within the company to broaden their horizons by providing different types of training and positive reinforcement from management.


Extrinsic motivation is motivation that is performed by providing material or social rewards or a reason to avoid being punished (George & Jones, 2012). SAS Institute goes to great lengths to offer their employees the best there is in benefits. Their vision is the more a company can maximize their employees’ creative ability, the more those employees will produce not just good work but great work. SAS provides their work force with a flexible work program that allows them to be able to come up with creative and innovative ideas any time whether it is on their 9 to 5 schedule or any other time. This allows employees to feel free to be more creative because they are not confined to a conventional way of thinking of ideas only happen during work hours. The company understands that employees need time for their families and time to relax. So, SAS provides their campuses with individual private offices, child care centers, summer camps, health care physicians on site, fitness and recreation center, and access to all kinds of services that the employee would have to go to outside of work (George & Jones, 2012).

The company is rich with resources for their work force. Employees are not hassled about needing specific tools in order to make their job more conductive. They also provide free food in their cafeterias. SAS even stocks all their break rooms with large canisters of M&Ms for everyone (Harvey, 2000). So, why does SAS do so much for their employees? A major of an average employee’s life is spent at work, so wouldn’t it be a better environment that would make you want to come to day in and day out if it was centered on combining home life with office life.

This is what SAS has create, a work environment that surrounds their work force with the comforts of home at work. They discourage working more than 35 hours a week (Harvey, 2000). People want to work for a company that cares about them and where they want to go in their careers. SAS doesn’t just say they are going to do these things they show people and in return their work force performs to their peak potential which in turn creates huge profit for the company.


SAS Institute is one of those companies that embrace the new age of workers and understands that sometimes that conventional ways of doing things might not be a good fit for today’s technology saavy workers. In order to get the most out of their creative work force, they try to nurture as many of their needs as possible and have been very successful at it. By providing their employees with their physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem motivators, and self actualization, they have created a “workplace utopia” (Harvey, 2000). They SAS uses intrinsic motivation more than extrinsic motivation which is a different way of getting the most performance out of a work force and in turn create maximum productivity and loyalty to the company. Employees are more satisfied with their contributions and want to work hard at their jobs.


Harvey, F. (2000, Jul 26). Of chocolates and profit sharing: MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEE PERKS: In an industry where staff loyalty is a rare commodity, SAS institute holds on to its programmers. fiona harvey. _Financial Times_ Retrieved from

Hall, T. (2014, Jun 09). Managing and Motivating Creative Employees. _Workplace 101: A Profiles Global Business Blog._ Retrieved from

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