Sample Business Studies Paper on Incentives at Fedex


FedEx (Federal Express) is a courier service provider based in Memphis, US and has a worldwide business outreach. After its incorporation in Delaware in 1997, the firm quickly moved to expand its canopy to virtually every destination in the world (FedEx, 2016, par. 5). The corporation got its ISO-9001 excellence certification in 1994 and since then it continues to emerge as a global leader in cargo services provision (Reuters, 2016, Para 2). Currently, FedEx offers export, as well as import services with an extensive business outreach within the logistics industry. Since its formation, the firm continues to develop its trademark as a reputable established recognized globally for its efficient logistics services. Owing to its brand repute, FedEx increasingly grows to attract consumers from around the world. The organization’s infrastructure instills quality in its business operations and always seeks to win customer confidence by satisfying their needs (Mazur-Małek & Mazur 2017). Federal Express’ commits its energies to superior quality to enable it to keep ahead of other industry players. The corporation’s focus on quality is a major aspect of its profitability in an industry characterized by stiff competition. The corporation drives satisfaction in all its endeavors with significant attention to human resource management to enhance its commitment to stakeholders (Reuters 2018, Para 3). Through this enablement, FedEx continues to feature as one of the strongest participants in the marketing and supply chain setting. However, with its robust human resource management structure, FedEx faces a significant challenge concerning employee satisfaction. In particular, FedEx incentives schemes does not sufficiently reward its workforces to enable them to yield their best at work, hence the organization’s regressing profitability.

Project Aims & Identification of the Business Issue

As a leading cargo service provider, FedEx relies on sound human resource management systems to facilitate its operations within the industry. Since its luncheon, the firm’s competitiveness has been spinning around a strong human resource management. According to FedEx (2016, par. 2), this continues to result in a strong and dependable supply chain operation in an area where it has a market presence. However, despite the fact the firm operates one of the most robust human resource management departments, FedEx still grapples with significant employee satisfaction concerns (Delery & Gupta 2016, 140). As such, the organization experiences tremendous meltdown it some areas of operation, thereby weakening its competitive advantage. Consequently, the firm has been experiencing an ongoing workplace dissatisfaction, which further weakens its corporate appeal. The net effect of these concerns has been the emergent layoffs, workplace unrests, staff absenteeism, and lethargy at work, low worker turnover, lack morale, and under-productivity. In the event that things have to continue the way they currently are at FedEx, then the firm might have to lose a significant market share to the majority of its rivals such as Railway, Express Agency, United Parcel Services, Air Cargo Inc., Amtrak Express, and XPO logistics (2016, par. 3). FedEx, must, therefore, consider incorporating a great deal of employee wellness programs to turn around its fortunes and reclaim its fast dwindling glory in the logistics industry. Owing to the underlying paybacks attached to the personal wellness programs, FedEx must consider incentives to rekindle the fading stakeholder confidence to enable it to recapture its original standing in the market. Among the notable areas of consideration while seeking to incorporate greater incentives within the organization, include monetary incentives, non-Monetary Incentives, employee recognition, and staff assistance programs.

Literature Review

The very essence of business is to make profits and the best way to create and sustain a profiting workforce is to invest in the employees. Investment in the employees considers various initiatives businesses employ to engage their workers more at work. Greater engagement at work conveys significant benefits to the employer including higher profitability and competitiveness. Incentives are fundamental opportunities for growth since they affect the firm’s effectiveness by positively influencing worker’s behavior at work. Aghwu (2013, 52) defines an incentive as a process of evaluating and compensating workers based on performance. Ibrar and Khan (2015, 97) however, imply that incentives are compensations, which an employee receives from the employer as a reward for demonstrating excellence at work. Patwardhan and Singh (2013, 472) define incentives as including all the valuable outcomes, which workers derive from the workplace such as base pay, inducements, and non-salary benefits. In his analysis, Aghwu (2013, 53) observes that the higher rewards extended to employees, the greater the motivation they experience at work. In essence, lower employee engagement with respect to these initiatives the less the likelihood to master employee motivation at work. Dlamini et al. (2015, 464) acknowledge the essence of reward schemes as a core management program for motivating workers. Essentially, incentives attract workers to join an organization, keep working for the firm, and inspire them to perform to their best levels. Incentives are essential in improving workers performance and have a greater likelihood of attracting and retaining the best employees. As such, businesses utilize incentives as part of an organizational plan through which they attract, retain, and inspire workers to perform optimally while supporting them to meet their personal objectives, as well.

While studying a sample of 150 universities to examine the relationships between incentives and institutional performance. Dlamini et al. (2015, 465) established that the cumulative tutor attitudes initiating to job satisfaction concurrently correlated to the overall institutional performance and competitiveness. Remarkably, good incentive initiatives always generates a positive outcome, which in turn reflects a student’s academic performance, in a school scenario. Organizational performance indices across these universities explore that learner performance increased significantly with an impressive mean across the colleges that engaged their staffs on various incentive programs (Dlamini et al. 2015, 466). When the researchers statistically tallied the characteristics of the institutions under study, staff satisfaction, alongside other performance-related considerations indicated a significant improvement at unit-level, as well as the overall organizational performance. The results validate stronger staff satisfaction in the colleges that offered their tutors more opportunities for personal growth. Incentives give rise to more content staff, which espouse greater efficiency in organizations that support their workers in the best way that reward them. Mazur-Małek and Mazur’s (2016, 78) study demonstrated that effective incentive programs brings satisfaction to the employees and consequently fosters organizational and individual workforce efficiency. However, one major limitation characteristic of this study was its penchant on a compromised study sample that delineated its outcome. The fact that the institutions profiled under this study were elementary colleges, significantly limited its appeal for consideration in a primarily business environment. The study might not candidly capture the needs of a highly competitive business environment explored by FedEx.

Incentives provide firms with higher latitudes of engaging their employees more at work. Studies document that highly engaged workers are more productive and are likely to identify with their organizations more than those are that least engage their staff are. Ongaki and Otundo (2015, 36) investigated the underlying relationships between workplace incentives, and organizational benefits such as productivity, competitiveness, and consumer ratings. The researchers generated data and measured these outcomes at two major units from the 25 branches of a financing corporation. Wayne et al., (2014, 348) undertook this process to scrutinize the underlying connections among the enumerated variables. The insinuations, however, led to inconclusive findings as different aspects pointed to varying deductions. Nonetheless, their examination demonstrated satisfying evidence for client satisfaction. Hypothetically, such inferences are contradictory to the evidence inherent in the literature. However, while majorly tentative findings, Wayne et al., (2014, 349) discoursed numerous probable details validating the positive outcomes attached to incentives. For instance, the researchers explored consumer satisfaction parameters, which can positively transform an organization. Moreover, the researchers were able to demonstrate that certain work settings might be unusual and not all initiatives on incentives might capture the desired outcome. As such, customer satisfaction might inversely mirror the aggregate engagement with the organization. Just like Dlamini’s et al., (2015, 466) article, Wayne et al., (2014, 352) major study concern is that the data used in analyzing the outcome of incentives were from a single organization, thus negating its practicability in a highly engaging workplace such as FedEx.

Research demonstrates that employees that espouse enthusiasm at work are those individuals who desire to be at work and have the willingness to do what it takes to achieve the best. In their nature, incentives are fundamental in generating enthusiasm, as well as creating and sustaining a positive attitude ta work. Malik (2018, 78) notes that enthusiasm is a broader workplace concept that can mean different things across settings. Within the corporate world, in particular, it explores the ability is not just getting an undertaking done conclusively, but also in a befitting manner that gives honor and glory both to the employee and the employer. Incentives create and nurture a positive and enthusiastic workplace, which form the basis of organizational productivity. A positive and enthusiastic attitude at work is critical in enhancing the individual worker performer. In their paper, Mattke et al., (2013, 78) piloted a meta-analysis of a study previously undertaken by the Gallup, Inc. The study analyses an aggregated worker job approval and engagement ratings. Based on 1,500 organizational departments in 50 firms, the researchers discovered a positive and substantive correlation between employee approval and organizational outcomes across units. The researchers discovered that corporate units across organizations that had more worker engagement programs yielded a higher percentage viability compared to those that had less engaging incentives. Besides, findings demonstrated that firms have higher productivity outcomes when they commit their incentives at business units as such endowments engage employees effectively. The researchers were able to strike a fundamental relationship between employee incentives and job-satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher productivity.

Analysis of Case Example

The current report details incentive programs at FedEx. Moreover, the paper explores how an inability of the corporation to create and enhance robust employee wellness initiatives contributes to their waning workplace confidence. As outlined in the intro, the poor employment outcomes at FedEx emerged mainly from the human resource management’s inability to create and sustain the spot-on employee wellness programs that capture the aspirations effectively (Delery & Gupta, 2016, 142). In this section, the researcher explores relevant data and references to reconnoiter the extent to which lack of incentives regressed employee performance and that of the firm. The researcher links the discussion of verdicts recovered herein to the literature review to provide reasonable grounds for substantiating them to identify correctly the areas that require improvement at FedEx. The cases outlined in the literature review explore the underlying impacts of monetary and non-monetary incentives such as staff training and periodic workshops to enhance excellence at work. While monetary incentives provide employees with an opportunity to fulfill their personal financial obligations thereby enhancing their commitment at work, the non-monetary incentives are integral in nurturing skills to ensure the person releases their optimum potentials at work. Aghwu’s (2013, 52) study established that incentives significantly influences a company’s financial profitability, workforce turnover and client satisfaction outcomes. Left on their own, employees often find the workplace boring and as time goes lethargy sets in. No organization can make significant progress when the work setting fails to inspire workers to give their best at work.

In the literature review scholars demonstrated that even though monetary incentives have a significant impact, they tend to be less effective within the business environment. As such, firms are increasingly surging toward seeking human welfares through initiatives such as employee training, workshops, medical cover, and retirement packages. The majority of the papers reviewed herein unanimously submitted that organizational or departmental effectiveness mirror the extent to which corporations engage their employees within the workplace (Aghwu 2013, 53). Organizational or unit-level outcomes such as employee compliance, staff turnout, worker collaboration, or sabotage correctly capture the atmosphere nurtured by the employer within the work environment. It is, therefore, imperative for businesses seeking to derive an empirical correlation between the aggregated staff attitudes and organizational performance prioritize incentives to engage their workforces more. As Schultz and Schultz (2015, 49) note, worker engagement is an integral part of creating and sustaining productivity in all work settings. The benefits attached to the concept of incentives are immense and organizations that often face workplace challenges must turn their fortunes by investing more in their workforces. Increasingly, businesses must evolve by continuously establishing innovative approaches to augmenting workplace satisfaction. In the 21st century, businesses will no longer compete against their rivals on their economic might or market spread but by correctly identifying the needs of their employees and fulfilling them effectively. This is so because an engaged workforce offers the businesses far much competitive advantage than other assets attached to a firm. The business environment is increasingly competitive and a motivating work setting is all that workers need to build, nurture, and sustain their capacity.

As explored in economics and psychology studies, incentives are the force behind engaging in a particular or desired behavior. These reasons often entail basic needs and fundamental wants such as food, hobbies, and personal objectives. A motivation for behavior, however, might also be attributable to less-parent spurs such as morality or altruism. Incentives denote the internal or external spurs that pursue the desired performance outcome through attitude nurturing (Otenyo & Smith 2017, 6). While scrutinizing employee attitude, data sampled across work settings continues to prove worthwhile in determining the scopes of opportunities open to corporations. Researchers are continuously investigating new approaches of generating effective incentives, both at the individual and corporate levels. According to Malatsi (2018), incentive programs in an organization motivates the workforce to achieve more and creates an enduring bond between the employer and employee. Studies continue to demonstrate a positive link between the aggregate worker approval ratings and unit level performance (Malatsi 2018, par. 2). Incentives attach significant benefits to organizations as they provide employers with greater latitudes of engaging their employees to take increased initiatives in giving back to the organization. These initiates often replicate themselves in greater inventiveness within the workforce, which offer businesses an opportunity to compete effectively against their rivals. Much of the studies that investigate the correlations between incentives and performance at work demonstrate consistent and statistically positive outcomes, thus necessitating a need to provide greater incentives for workers.

While FedEx is among the logistic chains that invest heavily in their employees through enhanced pay and remuneration programs, research within the organization reveals that salary alone does not capture the interest of all individuals. Workplace enhancement programs are still wanting within the firm to ensure FedEx has a robust employee base. Apart from what workers take home as their salaries, there should be adequate opportunities for them to receive an extra cash for what they perform extraordinarily (Otenyo & Smith 2017, 9). Where workers perform their tasks ordinarily but receive no additional benefits, chances of being upset might be high. Individuals are more productive and positive in their undertakings when there are opportunities for appreciating them to continue their good work. Worker motivation at FedEx might be lacking due to the obvious reasons for missing the required upward force to enhance employee stamina. Besides the monthly remuneration, organizations with a keen interest on their personnel employ monetary incentives within their work settings to motivate their employees and to enhance performance and productivity (Poister et al. 2014, 57). FedEx employees’ ratings are waning due to the lopsided approach that was recently undertaken by the human resource management. FedEx must broaden its incentive programs to encompass  staff investment opportunities, paid time off, benefit sharing plans, money prizes, objective based pay, and rewards to upgrade their worker appraisals (Bandt 2013, 4). Moreover, fiscal motivators must consider yearly and semi-yearly rewards, which the organization must give the employees the option to enroll at mid-year and end year plans. The essence of these initiatives is their ability to inspire positive competition within the workplace to enhance productivity.

The literature review underscored that while monetary incentives are effective alongside employee remunerations, they might not necessarily instill the much-desired motivation at work. As such, organizations must consider efforts to incorporate the non-monetary incentives to propel their workforces in the direction that both reward them and the business. It is imperative to note that money does not offer an answer to all the needs of an individual. Sometimes individuals require an ongoing engagement with the employer to inspire them to excel at work and perform uniquely. Non-monetary initiatives are instrumental in rewarding employee performance through extending opportunities and pecks to the staff. These initiatives comprise flexible working hours and duration, training opportunities, as well as the opportunity to work independently, entertainment programs, and field trips,  (Scott 2018, Para 3). Non-money related incentives are profitable in the work setting since they entreat the staff to learn new abilities and further seek education progression programs. A new employee fresh from college, for example, may see an excellent career preparatory program in an organization as profoundly significant as contrasted with higher base compensation since such an opening goads profession development. Opportunities for higher learning offer employees greater latitudes of staying with the organization while developing their career paths. A highly professional personnel ensures the business is always innovative, hence the ability to stay ahead of other businesses within the market. Through these initiatives, businesses are more able to master competitiveness by retaining a strong and committed workforce.

Organizations that strive to recognize their workers for various accomplishments have higher ability to nurture morale and positive attitudes within the work setting. Employee recognition, on its own as an incentive, is enough to spur motivation within the workforce and offer appropriate feedback in the work setting. According to Scott (2018, Para 4), these initiatives might entail award ceremonies, public announcements, and engaging employees in the role of mentors. Organizations might roll out these initiatives, which include weekly, monthly, or annually to keep track of the developments within the work environment. Recognition offers a robust opportunity to motivate employees thereby ensuring that they always have the determination to do their level best (Hadwiger 2018, 74). Employee recognition is a vital management concept for capturing, building, and sustaining productivity and innovation at work. FedEx management should inspire its workforces not only through monetary and non-monetary programs but also through acknowledging their rare achievements to instill personal growth and further inspire others to emulate their good work (Schultz & Schultz 2015, 37). While monetary rewards and other programs such as training opportunities might appear as effective in various workplaces, when money no longer a priority for personal growth, acknowledgments prevail. The contemporary workplace demands more than tangible rewards to inspire and instill productivity. It is necessary to underscore the fact that the dynamics that inspire satisfaction at work differ explicitly from those that bring about job dissatisfaction. Essentially, satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work or the situations, which inspire them tend to supplement one another, hence the need to integrate the intangible incentives such as recognition.

The literature reveals that most organizations fail in their efforts to motivate their workforces because they tend to focus on areas that they assume would inspire workers to discharge their utmost potentials. A small percentage of employers extend reward and incentives to their staff through worker assistance initiatives. Employee assistance programs are instrumental in helping the staff to create and nurture a balance between work and home-life through subsidizing their mental and physical wellbeing (Scott 2018, Para 5). The organization’s workforce benefits from the psychotherapy services under this scheme. Other programs extend daycare opportunities to working parents to inspire a balance between work and private life. FedEx, for instance, must consider bettering the working conditions to inspire works to concentrate more on their assignments. Opportunities that enable the person to experience self-growth through insurance covers, for instance, are increasingly becoming very popular within the service sector. These initiatives proactively help the workforce in their home obligations, thus ensuring they concentrate on their duties in the workplace. The literature on service-oriented firms explores monetary and recognition initiatives no longer motivate various workgroups in many settings. The 21st-century workplace trends explore that motivation for the workforce goes beyond monetary and other tangible rewards only but considers the intimate attachments between the employer and the employee (Otenyo & Smith 2017, 12). Essentially, an inherent stimulus including the pursuits of self-esteem are increasingly gaining and personal growth tend to bear more weight for the modern-day worker. FedEx needs to focus more attention on intangible incentives to supply the emerging needs of various individuals within its workforce pool. The firm must discern and fulfill the extrinsic needs of their workforces to engage them more at work.

A fundamental theme that revolves around the studies reviewed in the literature is the explicit association between incentives and employee satisfaction and the overall organizational competitiveness. Both in practice and in theory, these relationships run from the predisposition to personal satisfaction to unit-level or organization-wide productivity. The literature reviewed explores that FedEx’s dwindling competitiveness stems from the organization’s inability to inject more incentives to the workforce. Currently, the majority of the initiatives intended by FedEx as incentives focus mainly on monetary rewards and compensations. The analysis part, however, reveals that the 21st-century workplace is increasingly evolving and some of the traditional workplace engagement practices might no longer capture employee needs (Spence 2015, 123). Since there is a significant correlation between employee engagement and productivity, FedEx must begin questioning the factors, which are characteristic of its workforce to ensure that the initiatives under consideration deliver the results sought. For instance, the organization must focus significant attention on the situational considerations, which foster worker motivation even in the absence of monetary rewards such as supervisory support. In sum, the literature revealed that organizations, which more worker engagement programs yield percentage viability compared to those with less engaging incentives. Additionally, findings explore that firms have higher productivity levels when they incorporate both the monetary and non-monetary incentives at work. Finally, the literature strikes a fundamental relationship between incentives at work and job satisfaction, which consequently leads to higher productivity.


Rewards and incentives within the work setting have tremendous benefits for the employees, as well as the employers. These programs promote the workforce motivation, satisfaction and further enhances employee participation in the organizational operations. On their part, employers experience significant efficiency, productivity, and work output. Through inducement rewards, the organizational stakeholders relish a continuous dynamic and constructive work environment. Staff satisfaction explores the basic concerns underlying within a workplace, as well as the emerging needs of the individuals. Job dissatisfaction is among the challenges that diminish performance at work and generates under-productivity due to low morale. Organizations, though their human resource departments have a grave task of discerning signs of dissatisfaction within the workplace to take the necessary and timely remedial action to correct situations before they go flared up. There are tremendous paybacks attached to workplace satisfaction and businesses must increasingly work alongside their employees to ensure that incentives provided by the management correctly offer a solution to their needs. It is necessary to understand that the market is growing increasingly competitive and corporations are finding it hard to cope with the market forces that beset them. However, businesses with effective incentive infrastructure roll out programs that give them an impressive leeway in the market. As such, businesses increasingly invest in their workforces by ensuring that incentives are capable of solving their current and future needs. Obviously, money cannot be a solution to all needs and businesses must increasingly consider more innovative approaches to engaging their employees. As a strong participant in the service industry, FedEx must take increased initiatives of rewarding and recognizing their workforces to ensure workers identify more with the business.

Competitiveness among organizations does not only rely on their economic might or market outreach, but satisfied workers are also the bedrock of a business’ productivity. However, organizations must realize that workplace satisfaction is a broad concept that monetary rewards alone do not fulfill. While monetary incentives are effective in virtually every situation, they might not necessarily instill the much-desired motivation in all work settings. Corporations must consider efforts to integrate the non-monetary incentives to supply the missing links that might be absent within the workforce. Money alone does not offer a solution to all the needs of individuals. Employees desire an ongoing engagement process with the employer to continuously seek a solution to the emerging concerns both at personal life and at work. Besides the monetary rewards, the non-monetary programs such as health covers, training opportunities, and pecks to the staff continue to prove highly beneficial. Other initiatives such as flexible working hours, entertainment programs, field trips, opportunity to work independently. Even though monetary-incentives answer the needs of the moment, the non-monetary considerations are valuable since they enable workers to learn new skills, relieve their anxieties, and further pursue knowledge advancement programs. In particular, opportunities for higher learning offer the workforce greater latitudes of staying at the organization while at the same time developing their careers. A highly proficient personnel offer the businesses an opportunity to stay innovative, hence highly productive. Through these incentives, corporations are more able to hone the skills of their workers to enable them master competitiveness across industries