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How does Kellogg's motivate its employees?

Question 01

How does Kellogg’s motivate its employees? Explain using motivational theories with examples.

Motivation is the term used to describe processes both instinctive (semi-conscious-hunger, sleep, sex etc.) and rational (conscious- Recognition, achievement and self fulfilment), by which people seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived needs and personal goals, which trigger (motivational factors) human behavior. (Cole, 2000)

There are several theories that help us understand how Kellogg’s motivate its employees.

The two factor Theory helps us categorize Kellogg’s employees taking into consideration both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

The two-factor theory relies on two distinct, key factors; one being job satisfaction and the other, job dissatisfaction. Kellogg’s employees can be further classified into motivators and hygiene based on certain characteristics.

Motivators’ job content, responsibility, are associated with the need for growth and Maslow’s self-actualization. Intrinsic factors such as recognition, the need for autonomy, job security, financial rewards, promos and advancements, the need to find work interesting and challenging, the need for a sense of satisfaction and sense of achievement at the workplace, sense of responsibility, growth and personal repertoire of knowledge and skills ultimately contribute to self-actualization.

Environmental factors (Extrinsic factors) such as supervision, corporate politics, corporate policy, salaries and working conditions do not lead to a motivated work force. Hygiene factors such as these do not cause demotivation but may act as dissatisfiers.

When applied to Kellogg’s, the two factor theory is most evident as follows.

Corn flex flexible benefits programme allows employees to choose those benefits that suit them childcare vouchers, cash alternatives to company cars and discounted life assurance schemes.

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This helps to empower the workforce a visible hygiene factor.

W K Kellogg Values Awards programme is a clear motivating factor observable in Kelloggs.

Frederick Taylor believed that monetary reward was an important motivating factor. However, theory argues that this is an ineffective motivating factor as it works better as a hygiene factor.

The ways and means by which Kelloggs motivates its employees can be further analyzed using Theory X and Y.

Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y is an early theory of motivation that describes Kellogg’s style of motivation, describing contrasting sets of assumptions made by the management about their employees at work.

Theory X implies that employees are lazy, do not wish to take responsibility, have little desire for work and want to be directed, coerced and controlled. Principal feature being that it Encourages the carrot stick approach. Theory Y implies that people do not inherently dislike work, exercised creativity, sought responsibility and were cable of self-direction and self-control when committed to objectives. Encourages the autonomy of self-actualization at work. (Cole, 2000)

In the case of Kellogg’s, the WK Kellogg Values Awards programme provides special recognition for what employees do and rewards them for how they perform. This suggests that, the company is Theory Y based as it displays an array of traits such as assuming that employees are capable of self-direction and self-control when committed to objectives.

Question 02

What is the most suitable leadership style for Kellogg’s? Explain relevant leadership style using examples.

Given the classification of leadership style, it is possible that there are differences in the effects of using one style rather than another. Wright’s studies recommend to link leadership style with high performance and subordinate satisfaction found little evidence of a single style of leadership. Consequently, no one style seemed to emerge as the most appropriate in all situations (Wright, 1996). In the case of Kellogg’s, one such style of leadership present is Democratic leadership.

Democratic Leadership is Considered to as a median style exhibiting factors such as maintaining necessary organization performance through balancing the need to get work whilst maintaining interpersonal relationships at a satisfactory level. (senior & Flemming, 2006) Presence of more concentration paired with moderate rather than high performance.

Moreover, the ability to act as a coach, thereby ensuring that each team member reaches their full potential is a key factor evident in team leadership. (Landrum, N.E, et al., 2000) This is currently one of the most sought after, cutting edge leadership styles that are clearly evident at Kellogg’s. Provisions made for personal development planning, secondments and study leave as part of staff development energizes staff ensuring their fullest commitment and continuous improvement. This in turn leads to industry-leading results.

In the case of Laura Bryant, who gained seven-year work experience at Kellogg’s (2002-2009) achieved her career aspirations; thereby reaching her fullest potential, with necessary support, coaching and overall direction from her manager, who displays typical democratic behavioral style of leadership. This style of leadership exercises non-dictatorial & decentralized power, Power split between leader & staff and a high level of interaction between staff & leaders as seen at Kellogg’s encouraged two-way dialogue between leaders and employees through its communication programs, it’s open-plan lobby area with coffee bar, favoring an informal setting for both briefings and presentations.

Given the style in which Kellogg’s functions, it is clear that a democratic style of leadership is most suited to the organization.

Question 03

Discuss the importance of having a motivated workforce. Provide examples from the case study.

A motivated work force is a group of employees, who in the presence of stimuli, ensure cooperation and dedication to the work place, through manipulation of human behavior. This aims to harmonize individuals’ goals with those of the organization.

This process is carried out by the management, by finding out about employees needs and striving to meet them by means of fair pay, job enrichment programs etc. Thus, creating a motivated workforce willing to associate themselves and their competence with the goals of the organization. (Cole, 2000)

When applied to Kelloggs’, the importance of having a motivated workforce is to make work a more exciting and interesting experience for employees whilst creating a more productive, profitable and competitive business.

It is believed that a motivated workforce is happier at work, has more satisfaction, is absent less often and is more loyal and works with more enthusiasm, thus contributing more to the development of an organization. Kellogg’s being placed in the top 100 of the Best Companies to Work For list in The Sunday Times can be directly linked with the presence of a motivated workforce.

The Kellogg’s suggestion box scheme generates innovative ideas and in turn improves productivity. The initiative, ‘Snap, Crackle and Save’ acts as contributory factor that reduces production cost and thus increases sales. This is a clear instance that adds to Kellogg’s efficiency and effectiveness, output and quality of business.

Furthermore, living by K-Values and creating a culture of people that have ownership over their own projects and strive for continuous improvement made visible at Kellogg’s produces industry-leading results: Kellogg’s has attained recognition as the world’s leading producer of breakfast cereals.

Management at Kellogg’s’ believes that having a positive mindset leads up to one’s high self-esteem, driving him/her to achieve one’s goals and career aspirations. This keeps one focused and thereby directly affects the company’s level of productivity and efficiency. Kellogg’s creates a culture of people who are encouraged to speak positively about each other when apart, focusing on their strengths, having a positive effect on each other and thus the organization as a whole.

In conclusion, the importance of having a motivated workforce can be best described as made evident above, to create a more productive, profitable and competitive business, whilst lowering training and recruitment costs via a motivated workforce.

Question 04

Using the understanding of individual at work, briefly describe the personality traits suitable for employees working in Kellogg’s.

Processes by which people seek to satisfy their basic drives, predispositions and behavior perceived needs, attitudes and personal goals which trigger human behavior can be best described as Personality. This includes satisfying both instinctive/semi-conscious drives (hunger, Sleep, sex etc) and rational/conscious, needs and aspirations (e.g.; recognition) Research has identified and produced varied personality types based on behaviors patterns (Cole, 2000)

Differences in attitudes are seen to be closely associated with the employee’s level of intelligence and personality traits.

Values are the lasting benefits shared by people in an organization, a generalized way of behavior seen as preferable to alternate ways. They are closely associated with personality characters such as conscientiousness, intelligence, childhood and subsequent learning, life experiences and the influence of social groups. Values are said to be more deep-seated than one’s attitudes and opinions. (Cole, 2000)

The term ‘Attitude’ best described as a predisposition used to make certain views in specified instances related to people or scenarios. They contribute to the development of personal opinions and at times prejudices and in certain instances may contribute positively in terms of an employee’s sense of judgement. (Cole, 2000)

There are three principal factors used to distinguish an individual: Physical factor (gender, age), Abilities (Intellectual, Physical and Social) and Personality (Temperament) (Cole, 2000)

Myer’s and Brigg’s Type Indicator (MBTI) is one such measure of understanding individuals at work.

MBTI is primarily built on four polar dimensions. The resulting skeleton enables a total of sixteen varied types, each arranged on these four polar dimensions. These concepts can be best described as follows.

In the case of Kellogg’s, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can be best identified as follows

Physiological needs

Apart from basic needs for living as evident at Kellogg’s competitive salaries Corn flex flexible benefits programme allows employees to choose benefits that suit each employee best. Among these benefits are childcare vouchers, cash alternatives to company cars and Job security, Financial rewards, promos and prospect.

Safety needs

Kellogg’s provides a healthy work environment that prevents accidents. It is a company that takes responsibility for observing the health and safety rules ensuring employee safety.

Job security allowing part-time practice, career breaks or varying on each employee’s need the option of work from home.

Social needs

Inculcating the feeling of belonging via weekly group ‘huddles’ where provision is made for informal Providing opportunities for employees to receive and request information on any part of the business, including sales data open approach to communication. Practice of positivity and seeing the best in people being widely encouraged. Recognition of diverse staff achievements.

Self Esteem stimulating responsibilities ownership of project Need for more autonomy (power to make decisions about tasks to be achieved.


This is the need to reach one’s full potential, which is made evident in the case of Laura Bryant who achieved her career aspirations; thereby reaching her fullest potential

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How does Kellogg's motivate its employees?. (2019, Dec 08). Retrieved from

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