Ben and Jerry’s ice cream has been in business since 1978. It began with Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield and a combined life savings of $8,000. These two young men had a vision and were able to develop into one of the most successful ice cream businesses in America. Most importantly, they have employee’s that genuinely enjoy working for the company and are motivated to go to work. How does this company do it? This essay will explore how Ben and Jerry’s motivate its employees by having values and a goal-oriented business.
There are some defining terms and concepts to have a general understanding of before reviewing the success of Ben and Jerry’s. One of those is understanding what individuals perceive and why they believe in a company or a product. The actual definition of perception is the act of using the senses to become aware of the environment (Bowman).
People use perception to create their own beliefs about themselves and their surroundings, and in turn, create their values (Bowman).
If managers can understand an employee’s “mental map”, or perception, they can then truly lead that person and create solutions to problems for a win-win solution (Bowman).
The problem with individual perceptions is that they are not always correct and are easily transformed into what we want to believe or value. This is a big challenge for many employers to address with their employees. It is impossible to motivate or get productivity out of someone if they perceive the company negatively. Ben and Jerry’s have been able to combine perceptions, values and beliefs of the company with their employees, and customers to create their positive environment.
Ben & Jerry's Ben & Jerry's seem like an interesting company to do a report on and / or even work for. To start I would like to say that I am not that crazy about their ice cream. I have always been a Hagen-Days nut but, after reading up on all the favorable things that Ben & Jerry's have done and are doing for the society, I am thinking about giving them my business. The article that ...
It starts with the company’s product mission statement that states, “To make, distribute & sell the finest quality all natural ice cream & euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment”. This statement clearly states the company’s goals for all employees and customers to know. The company wants to make sure that everyone can have pride in knowing they are using the finest quality ingredients and implementing business practices employees can take pride in.
The unique thing to notice is that Ben and Jerry’s not only has a product mission statement, but also has an economic and social mission statement. In these two statements, the company shows it is serious about expanding opportunities for development, career growth for their employees, and sustaining a good quality of life. Another concept that can be applied to Ben and Jerry’s success with satisfied employees is the Employee Satisfaction Model. The job facets that are visible in Ben and Jerry’s are clear in their mission statements.
Some of these facets include the ability for promotions and increasing pay rates, company policies, and the clear mission of the company to name a few (Scholl).
Because these job facets are in place, it creates a positive cognitive and affective response, which in turn, creates job satisfaction (Scholl).
The cognitive component, or an individual’s perception regarding the organization, is evident from the reward system they have in place to the satisfaction employee’s have with their role and tasks they accomplish on a day-to-day basis. The affective component creates satisfaction as well.
Shultz makes it very clear as to what the company goals are. Their objective is to offer more than just a great cup of coffee; they want to offer a memorable experience. The company continues to work towards its long-term goal of becoming the most recognized and respected brand of coffee in the world. It works to achieve these goals through its many lines of businesses. These businesses include ...
Employees genuinely enjoy social interactions at work, which evoke a positive image of the organization (Scholl).
How does all this affect motivation? First, it is important to understand that motivation is the set of processes that moves a person toward a goal (Allen).
Goal setting is perhaps the strongest of all forces for personal motivation (Abernathy).
There are many organizations that do not succeed because organizational goals are not communicated or created. An important fact to remember is that goals serve as guidelines for action, directing and channeling employee efforts (Organizational Goals).
Ben and Jerry’s organizational goals are clear in the product, economic and social mission statements. Some factors that Allen states that affect work motivation include: individual differences, job characteristics, and organizational practices. Individual differences are the personal needs, values, attitudes, interests, and abilities that people bring to their jobs. The individual difference inside Ben and Jerry’s is one source of their success. The organization uses reward inducement system that offers money to employees for their own ideas on how to do things better or how to create a better work environment.
This actually has potential to capture what individual employee’s value. Most importantly, most employee go to work for Ben and Jerry’s because they truly believe in what the company is doing and how they are doing it. Ben and Jerry’s are extremely environmentally friendly, which employee’s can take pride in. If you look at the Ben and Jerry’s website, you can see that their focus is on children and families, the environment and sustainable agriculture on family farms. Once again, these things are what their employees value. The organization has a casual dress requirement as well.
Their philosophy is that employee’s should be comfortable at work. Comfort equals happy and motivated people, which then increase productivity. The company also brings in massage therapist for their 12-hour shift laborers to help motivate them. It is apparent that Ben and Jerry’s goal is to create a pleasurable work place and reinforce individuals self worth (Scholl).
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Generally, if employees have a positive affect, they tend to evaluate the organization positively (Scholl).
From the beginning in 1978 to the present day Ben and Jerry’s has been a unique organization.
It is evident that they have strived to be a company that people really want to work for. Creating this image and making it a success is extremely challenging. What makes this organization so great to work for starts with its product, economic, and social mission statements. There is no doubt, what the company stands for and what it wants to do in the future. This makes it so easy for their employees to understand what the organizations goals are. When a company can create an environment that is casual, comfortable, and thrives to hear from their employees motivation is easy to achieve.