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This case study is about seeking efficient ways of motivating employees in order to keep
them in Big Bison Resorts and boost their productivity. Currently Janette Briggs is practicing
Employee of the Month program in which each month a manager at each resort was going to
nominate a top performing employee to be Employee of the Month and enjoy the glory, not to
mention a premium parking space and a framed photo posted in the lobby of the resort where he
or she worked. However, after working with her frontline staff for two weeks in disguise for a
popular reality TV show Janette doubts the functionality of this program. Janette, Frank Schuman,
Pedro Gutierrez and Marlys Higgenbotham are discussing and trying to find a way to keep their
employees motivated so that employees do not get absorbed by competitors.
Under our analysis we will discuss the previous efforts of Big Bison Resorts managers in
order to motivate for performance and we will discuss why there is a need to change the motivating
methods from here on. Acknowledging that the business is picking up in this market area, how Big
Bison Resorts managers should utilize the concept of reinforcement in a more effective way,
realize their employees needs and design more motivating jobs are our main focus in this case
study. Lastly, we will suggest some measures that Big Bison Resorts can take to boost its
performance in the competitive market.
Background of the Organization
Big Bison Resorts is a regional chain of indoor water parks. Janette Briggs is the CEO of
the company and she has Frank Schuman as vice president of human resources, Pedro Gutierrez
as head of operations and Marlys Higgenbotham as finance chief. Previously Janette had an idea
to motivate her employees and for that she asked Frank to develop such a program. After pouring
most of his time, Frank came up with Employee of the Program. It is worth to mention that the
company has preciously practiced bonus method of motivated but due to the bad economic it could
not keep up with it.
As Janette observed while working with her staff, most of the tasks are team work tasks,
workload is huge in her company yet employees perform a great job. They already take pride of
what they do so Janette thinks employee of the month is not a brilliant way of motivating them.
She argues that Employee of the Month disrupts the teamwork and she is asking Frank to deploy
his expertise in human relations to find new ways of motivating employee. Janette is concerned
about making the jobs better for her employees as an incentive for them to stay in her company.
However franks suggests to listen to employees feedback about their needs before taking any
1. What kinds of behavior would an employee of the month program, as described here,
reinforce at Big Bison Resort? How might the company apply the principles of
reinforcement more effectively?
The company is attempted to employ a positive reinforcement, by granting an employee
extra benefits so they continue to perform the same as they have previously. However, as the
resorts so not work under an individualistic mindset, instead thinking and acting in teams, this
attempt is doomed to fail. This will encourage individualistic behavior, disrupting team work, and
grow a culture of counterproductive competition within the team, which will in turn slow
How might the company apply the principles of reinforcement more effectively?

Instead of singling out one employee, the company can give rewards to whole teams and
to whole branches, to encourage friendly competition, and boost productivity by allowing
everyone to feel a team spirit in carrying out their allotted tasks. The company should listen to
employees needs before deciding on a course of action, to allow them to give the employees what
they actually require instead of something them simply assume is required. After they have done
this, the rewards given to progressing teams of employees can be tailored to suit their requirements,
making the employee more motivated to carry out their jobs, make other employees more driven
to reach better status and remain with the company without being drawn away by rival firms. This
will improve productivity and company performance in the long run.
2. How might Big Bison Resorts get input from employees to make the companys jobs
more motivating? What impact would this effort have on the companys performance?
How might Big Bison Resorts get input from employees to make the companys jobs more
We have built a model which allows Big Bison Resorts to get input from its employees in
an effective way. Our model offers the following three programs:
1. Higher Management Experience Program (HMEP): This programs is similar to the
reality TV show that Janette has attended in which makes it mandatory for every
high-level manager to work for two weeks with frontline staff in disguise. This is
to expose the high-level managements to the arduous tasks that their frontline staff
perform. HMEP in fact help high-level managements to get input from staff they
are working with.
2. Chit-chat Program: In this program all the staff and managers gather once in two
months to have a casual chit-chat on problems they have in their job and the things
that top management can do for solving their employees problems. This program
is what frank tries to propose by saying why dont we just listen to employees
before deciding for them.
3. Walk-in-Improvement Program: This program is a complementary approach to get
input from employees of any level at any time. This program allows employees of
all levels who have an idea on the challenges that their organization faces to share
ideas directly to top management.
What impact would this effort have on the companys performance?
Having followed the proposed programs it is no longer a secret that Big Bison Resorts not
only secured the enthusiasm of its employees to continue working for the company but also
achieved a higher hand in the competitive market area. These programs secure the current level of
employees performance and encourage them to be more loyal and sincere to the company, hence
boost the productivity. That inevitably makes the company more marketable to shareholders and
potential employees who are seeking jobs in the field.
3. How would Big Bison employees perceive the equity of the Employee of the Month Program?
Compare their reaction to that program with the response you would expect from an effort to
involve employees in improving their jobs?

The employees perceive the equity of the Employee if the Month program to be unjust.
This is because only one person will get the reward instead of the whole team or group when the
whole team work together and their department performs that month.
The employees will be discouraged because the employees will think that they are not good
enough to be selected to be the Employee of The Month.
This is when the favouritism comes in, other employees might start to think that the
employers have a favourite employee to be rewarded.

Compare their reaction to the programme with the response you would expect from an effort to
involve employees in improving their jobs.

Employee of the Month Programme Higher management experience

Chit chat programme
Walk in improvement programme

Unjust Addressing employees needs

Discourage Maintain the spirit teamwork

Favouritism Fairness

Based on the second part of the question, the table above clearly stated that the comparison
between the programme that Big Bison did to reward their employees which is the Employee of
the Month Programe(ETMP) and the effort that we put in which are three programmes which is
much better to be applied to the company.
The programmes that we created are the higher management experience programme, Chit
chat programme and walk in improvement programme which are explained in the previous
questions. The comparison of the responds that we expect from the effort which are the
programmes that we created to involve employees in improving their jobs are the ETMP is unjust
whereas the programmes that we suggest is addressing employees needs. This is because based
on the suggested programme, employees are allowed to give their opinion on what they need
instead of what the company thinks they need.
Next, the ETMP causes their employees to be discourage while our suggested programs
maintain the spirit of teamwork. This is because in the suggested programs, the employees can
request from their needs. The rewards can be in the form of group reward, so that the spirit of
teamwork that is clearly shown in Big Bison can be maintained.
The last comparison are the ETMP shows favouritism whereas the suggested programs
shows fairness. This is because instead of one person getting the reward one whole team or group
will receive it if the perform that month.
4. Think about a previous job you have held or hold currently if you have the power to
make such decisions what would you do to make the job more motivating for
I am taking this question because of my previous experience working in a pharmacy. If I had the
power to make a decision to make the job more motivating for employee I would like the employees to do
job rotation. This is because the employees can gain more experience doing other jobs and they will learn
a lot of new things. It will also reduces boredom of doing the same job every day. Besides that, by doing
job rotation, employee will promote team work.

Secondly, the employee should undergo training. This is to equip employee with required skills to
properly carry out their position or task in an organization, same concept could be applied for a small
businesses like the pharmacy Im working in. In fact, when employees and staff are fully aware of their
responsibility and how to fulfill them, it will make their job more engaging hence more interesting to them.

Lastly, bonuses can be given to employee if they reach certain target or they have sell a certain
amount of product. This will encourage employees to sell more product hence boost company profit.
Islamic Perspective
The very culture of rewarding people for their good works is a concept in modern business
management whereas Islam more than 1400 years ago made it an obligation on its followers to
encourage and appreciate peoples good deeds and dislike and stop any wrong doings. Our case
which is entirely about rewarding good employees as an appreciation of their good performance is
closely related the following Ayaat:

Allah states that those who do good in this world -- by having faith and performing
righteous deeds will be rewarded with a good reward in the Hereafter. Allah said:

(Is there any reward for good other than good)(55:60) Then Allah said:

(and even more.) the reward on the good deeds multiplied ten times to seven hundred times
and even more on top of that. This reward includes what Allah will give them in Paradise, such as
the palaces, Al-Hur (virgins of Paradise), and His pleasure upon them. He will give them what He
has hidden for them of the delight of the eye. He will grant them on top of all of that and even
better, the honor of looking at His Noble Face. This is the increase that is greater than anything
that had been given. They will not deserve that because of their deeds, but rather, they will receive
it by the grace of Allah and His mercy. The explanation that this refers to looking at Allah's Noble
Face was narrated from Abu Bakr, Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman, `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Sa`id bin Al-
Musayyib, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Layla, `Abdur-Rahman bin Sabit, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Amir
bin Sa`ad, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq, and others
from the earlier and later scholars. There are many Hadiths that contain the same interpretation.
Among these Hadiths is what Imam Ahmad recorded from Suhayb that Allah's Messenger recited
this Ayah (Yunus 26),

(For those who have done good is the best and even more.) And then he said:

Going to through the abovementioned ayaat we can conclude that it is Allahs approach
(sunnatullah) to reward good with good. Therefore Big Bison Resorts rewarding programs are in
line with teaching of our religion and is even encouraged by our prophet (peace be upon him).
Its been seen through this case that motivating programs are very crucial in keeping best
employees in the organization. Employee of the Month program practiced by Big Bison Resorts
can be counterproductive because it disrupts the teamwork in the organization and also it might
lead to a negative way of resorting equity among employees. Meaning to say that instead of
increasing their input employees might decrease their inputs in order to meet their outcomes.
Moreover, its been discussed that Big Bison Resorts must deploy programs such as Higher
Management Experience Program (HMEP), Chit-chat Program and Walk-in-Improvement