Mock Grant Proposal Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Mock Grant Proposal

We are supposed to pick a current problem area at work, describe the problem and propose a solution to that problem. It is a proposal for research that I would like to do and does not involve running subjects or analyzing data.

The problem I chose for a work situation is poor sales performance and the research I would like to do is for which solution will increase motivation to sell and prove the most effective in increasing sales. Some possible examples of different solutions could be increased incentives (bonuses, contests, etc.)

or more thorough training programs.

The object of the paper is to pretend you are running the experiment and are testing a hypothesis you have developed. It needs to be written in standard APA

format. It will have a title page, abstract, intro, method, results, references, and expenditures section.

references to past relevant research articles (peer reviewed) must be incorporated in the intro portion of the paper.

here is the breakdown of what is needed in each section:

Proposal for a Sales Employee Motivation Plan: Gift Card-Based Incentives for Circuit City Retail Employees in a Major City

Course Number and Section


The problem addressed within this pilot project is that, for the past six months (February 2005 through July 2005) sales at the Circuit City Stores in my city have been declining. Specifically, total sales revenue on average, between February 2005 and July 2005 have ranged from 4.2% lower to 7.7% lower, than sales during those six months in 2004. Construction has been going on near some of the stores (many roads, on-ramps, and off-ramps are currently being constructed or reconstructed throughout the city), making access at some stores. However, sales are slow at all stores. Further, managers of all five stores have been reporting that sales force morale is low. Further, absenteeism and employee turnover have been higher than usual in the past five months. Recently, for those reasons the Corporation 0 ffice set aside "Idea Grant" funds for managers, assistant managers, and management trainees who have ideas about how to increase sales throughout the city. For my proposed project, I would like to implement, city-wide, on a trial basis, a month-long Gift Card Bonus Program, in order to ascertain whether gift card incentives, in $25 increments for each $1,000 in sales, would help to boost Circuit City sales overall at stores in my area.

The method used for the project will be quantitative. Total sales revenue for the month would be tracked, and then compared, with that of the same months in 2004, and also with average sales each month for the first 6 months of 2005, to ascertain whether the Gift Card Bonus Incentive Program could benefit Circuit City sales, overall, in my city on a permanent basis. The hypothesis for the proposed study is that for the month that the Gift Card Bonus Incentive Program is in place, sales per employee, and overall sales, will increase.


Background of the Problem

No magic formula exists, anywhere, for motivating employees, but when employees feel unmotivated, not only morale, but business itself suffers. Industrial psychologists might argue that secret(s) to motivating employees lie, in knowing and understanding what makes individual employees tick: what their interests, values, hobbies, and goals are; what they like to do outside work, what they enjoy most (or least) about their jobs, etc., as well as how employees work well together. Further, according to Walters (2001):

There's no secret formula, no set calculation, no work sheet to fill out. In fact, motivation can be as individual as the employees who work for you. One employee may be motivated only by money. Another may appreciate personal recognition for a job well done. Still another may work harder if she has equity in the business. But you can boil down employee motivation to one basic ideal finding out what your employees want and finding a way to give it to them or to enable them to earn it.

According to Walters (2001) industrial psychologists would further argue that the most skillful employers tend to "uncover and help nurture individuals' potential, using missteps or mistakes as opportunities to augment and build on strengths. This approach elevates the performance of the group, and also supports and reflects well on the leader."

Bulent, Tansu, & Tansu (Fall 2003) further suggest that in today's business world, "outcome-based incentive plans are being used increasingly by sales organizations as a reward mechanism . . ." Incentive plans, as those authors further observe, often play a key role in motivating, directing, and, especially, retaining a knowledgeable, skilled, competent sales force." Some researchers consider incentive plans as part of an organization's investment in human capital, since sales organizations are often otherwise faced with attrition of human capital, through high turnover. In fact, a sales force incentive plan, as a reflection of the organization's investment in its human resources, can be a potent force for motivating employees (Walters, 2001; Motivating employees, 2005). In this proposed pilot project for Circuit City sales employees, then, the goal of the proposed study will be to increase sales in each of the city's five Circuit City stores through offering sales personnel in each of those stores gift card incentives for reaching certain sales goals. The hypothesis for the study is that, during the month that the Gift Card Bonus Incentive Program is in place, within the five target Circuit City stores city-wide, sales per employee, and overall sales per store, will therefore increase.

Research Methods

Research methods for the study will be quantitative in nature. Research methods will consist, first, of gathering quantitative data comparing sales figures of all five Circuit City stores within the past six months (February through July 2005), second, comparing them with sales figures for those same six months in 2004, and third, comparing those figures with the sales figures, for separate stores and citywide, during the month that the trial Gift Card Incentive Program was in place.

Procedures. Procedures for the study will be that all sales employees at each of the five stores participating in the pilot project will be given an incentive of a $25 gift card, for every $2,500.00, to either Target; Pet Smart; Home Depot; Applebee's; Wal-Mart; or Blockbuster Video for each $2,500 worth of merchandise sold that month. During the month, sales will be tracked, on both a per-store and a per-employee basis, in order to ascertain, at the end of the month, if sales per employee and per store increased as a result of the month-long trial Gift Card Incentive Program.

Research design. The research design for the study is that of a developmental model of an incentive program designed to motivate sales personnel of five Circuit City stories, within the same city. All five stores are currently experiencing decreased sales. The proposed developmental model in progress will be used to determine the efficacy, for the employees of these five stores, of using gift card incentives to increase sales, among employees and at all five stores.

Independent variables. There are three independent variables for the study. These three independent variables are:

The types of gift cards

The amounts gift cards are worth

The amount of sales necessary to receive gift cards

Dependent variables. There are three dependent variables for the study. These three dependent variables are:

Number of employees who make sales goals entitling them to gift cards

Amount of sales per employee

Amount of sales per store

Confounding variables. There are four confounding variables of the study. These four confounding variables are:

Individual motivation levels of employees

Employee desire to receive types of gift cards offered

Non-job related employee reasons for lack of sales motivation

Reasons besides lack of employee motivation for weak sales.

Study participants. Participants in the study will…

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