The contemporary definition of motivation is described as a series of environmental and organizational conditions responsible for the intense, persistent focus on quality designed to promote desirable employee behavior (Landy &. Conte, 2006). Wal-Mart continuously touts its progressive policies designed to boost employee motivation and morale, including its alleged commitment to satisfying issues of employee diversity, building a more streamlined health care system, and the promise of a fair and flexible system of subordinate employee scheduling. For instance, in 2005 the company’s Executive Vice President of Benefits attempted to publicize its new health care system which included associated health savings account so as to offset the costs of rising health care (walmartwatch.com, 2005). Heralded as a new system partially designed to increase the motivation of potential candidates interested in considering Wal-Mart as a viable employment option, this system has met with considerable employee resistance, forcing some existing employees to leave the firm in favor of different employment. The reason: In a rather secretive memo submitted to the Board of Directors, Ms. Chambers suggested that the health care savings account was primarily a move to decrease corporate health care contributions and would provide the firm with a healthier associate staff to as to “dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart” (Chambers, 2005).
When this memorandum was released to the staff of Wal-Mart, it clearly indicated that the firm recognized its profit margin over that of the motivational well-being of its employee population. Referring back to the notion that modern theories of motivation consist of company attempts to promote desirable employee behavior, Wal-Mart seriously missed the mark on its new health care savings program which appears to have angered and frustrated the firm’s associates to the point of considering a more viable and honest employer.