This proposal presents my research on the above topic. We will look into how HR managers can optimize a organization and also the turnover rate of the employment in the airline is generally high for cabin crews and staff retention is always a issue that arise in many companies in different nature of business and sometimes it is not only the wages that created such problem. Basically, I have structured the proposal into three different sections, for easier understanding and be organised.
Firstly, in the Literature Review section, it will explain on the theory of optimization of the organisation and staff retention, which includes memorable quotation, diagrams and striking examples.
Secondly, in the Research methodology section, it will focus on type and nature of the research, description study, the choice of research instrument and the research limitations will be included.
Thirdly, in the Presentation and Discussion section, it will analyse the data that is gathered earlier and present my analysis result by showing the relationship with observed facts and also the key problems that Singapore airline faces.
It presents a summary of the academic literature on my chosen topic and serves to inform my research. It also develops my knowledge of chosen topic and helps me understand the organisation and topic better.
Premji (2006) define Optimization “As the utilizing of organization resources well, at high efficiency and enables the organization to achieve the desired end results”. This can be define as achieving or getting the full use of utilization efficiency and the effectiveness.
Above is the diagram which shows the relationship of the efficiency, utilization and effectiveness as mention earlier. From the diagram, we can understand that the change of any one of the factor the other factor may be changes as well. This means that for us to understand the performance of the organisation , we must have views in different aspects as all the factors are linked. For example, if utilization is very low, then both efficiency and effectiveness will not achieve any results therefore there will be no benefits that can be obtained from it.
Very often, if the organization goals for the result is being achieved, it will tend to overlook the importance of the other factors. Organization should not overlook the factors so as to better prepare themselves to achieve the future results.
According to Premji (2006), Efficiency is defined as “how well are you using what you are using.” It is also known as the ratio of output and input.
This diagram shows the process of the input which resulted in output at the end of it. Usually in an organization, employee can be classified into three main groups:
- Output oriented people
- Input oriented people
- Efficiency oriented people
- Output Oriented People
Output oriented people are people who try all ways or anything that allows them to get the end results that they desired. These people try to get the most out of the output and using any ways they can to the input and process. It is necessary to understand that the output is actually different from the end results. Therefore, with maximize output does not necessary achieve good results. Generally the output oriented people will use more than what the cost should be to obtain a good result, however they will not notice it. As HR manager, he/she have to ensure that the organisation resources are fully utilized and should try not to employ output oriented people or creating such people in the organization.
Input Oriented People
Input oriented people are known as workaholics. They generally focus on the input and the efforts, they believe by creating more input it will lead to a good output. Success to them are enjoying their work and work as hard as they could to achieve the desire output. As HR manager, he / she should recruit a fair percentage of these people, as they are able to perform the instructions given to them due to their working attitude.
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Efficiency Oriented People
Efficiency oriented people are people who believe in a return after the investment. Generally, they focus in make full use of the efficiency either to obtain a high output for a certain amount of input given or less to achieve a equivalent of output. As HR manager, who ensures that organization resources are being utilized, should try to hire and groom a larger percentage of efficiency-oriented employee in the organization. With the combination of input-oriented and efficiency oriented people, the organization performance is achievable.
Premji (2006) will define Utilization as the measure of “how much are you using out of what you have.” This means that one should put in whatever you have and not to miss out any opportunities.
Utilization and Efficiency are closely linked and aid each other. For example in a case whereby there is a need for a reduction of input, and due to the increased in effieciency, the ‘extra’ input can be used in somewhere else, due to utilization. The relationship between Utilization and Efficiency can affect an organisation performance. If organisations focus on Efficiency orientation without utilization focus, it will lead to apply efforts that give good returns. On the other hand, if organisations maintain Utilization focus without Efficiency orientation, will lead to using all available resources, without achieving adequate returns.
An organization’s capability to achieve the wanted end result is known as Effectiveness. This may be related to profits, expansion, customer satisfaction, branding and many more. In an organisation, teams often set a results as their goals.
From the above diagram, visualizing the three factors that work on different purposes:
- Utilization deal with resources and efforts
- Efficiency concerned with quantity and quality output
- Effectiveness is all about desired results
Utilization and Efficiency are the internal aspects of an organization, Effectiveness brings in the customers view and gives an external aspect to the Optimization. Effectiveness is related to the what the organization wants to achieve. For example, if organization’s aspirations are low, end results can be easily be achieved, therefore effectiveness can be high.
Premji (2006:9) mention that “Effectiveness in an organization is all about “knitting together” the individual components with the strategy to achieve the end result.” But there are two important criteria to be considered:
- Individual components must be good.
- Components must be knitted well together.
- Coverage of Effectiveness
UtilizationWith higher effectiveness, it does not only helps to achieve the expected results but also reduce the required output from carious processes, to achieve the same expected end results.
On another hand, Hayes (2010) view effectiveness from a different aspect, he defined it as:
- Purpose: Profits are usually used to measure the organization effectiveness but not to all the organisation. For instance the government hospital, the effectiveness of hospitals will be on the waiting time and services provided and not the profits out of it. Hence, as manger, is required to identify the main performance indicators that reflect the purpose of the organization.
- Stakeholder perspective: Different stakeholder uses different indicators to judge an organization’s effectiveness. From their point of views, profits may be their main concern or rather the most important factor, but from the wider community of view, such as customer, employee and supplier, they are affected by products and services produced. Every individual have different views. The failure to manage the organization key stakeholders perception, it may threaten the organization .
- Level of assessment: By only focusing on the overall performance may resulted in inefficiencies being detected. Effectiveness can be assessed at different levels, such as the organization level, department level and individual.
- Alignment: Assessment of effectiveness need to be associated across the organization.
At this point, it will be good to differentiate between effectiveness and efficiency, for better understanding all the factors, Carnall (2003) defines efficiency as achieving stated goals within given resources constraints. And the definition of effectiveness includes the good use of resources to achieve goals but also the need to adapt to changing in order to remain efficiency .
Peter F. Drucker (1993) defines business as: “Business is a process which converts a resource, distinct knowledge into a contribution of economic value in the market place.” As mention earlier on, Optimization is high Utilization, high Efficiency and high Effectiveness.
The table below shows the nine possible combinations of Utilization, Efficiency and Effectiveness on a two point of scale high and low:
Something fundamentally wrong.
Organization not ambitious enough
Lot of wastage
Can reduce resources
Weak knitting together
In conclusion of the table, it is insufficient to just work on one factor and the factors were not handle properly, it may lead to a reduction of optimization. All three factors should be maximises as a practice rather than as a reaction to a problem.
Jennifer A Carsen (2005) defines retention as “how many of your current employees stick around over a given period of time”. However, retention may not always be a good thing for the organization this is so as retention may include poor performers, unhappy staff who may have been stuck in the job due to finances. Retention is all about retaining the good staff in the organisation. Retention may also weeding out of poor performers and keeping space for the better ones.
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Jennifer A Carsen (2005) , As the workforce continues to diversify, organisation must take equal employment opportunity so as to stay competitive. Organisation should not only employ staff of different race, culture, gender, age, sex but also to understand the ways that they can respect the staff values, expectations and capabilities. According to Jennifer A Carsen (2005) there are five reasons why the staff choose to leave the organisation:
- Staff are given no compelling reasons to stay: They do not feel a sense of belonging towards the organisation that they are in.
- Career limiting stereotypes: Some staff may feel that they are incompetent or not qualified , they feel the pressure of proving their competencies even when they have good performance in their job scope this therefore limit their career path as whatever they do do not seem to be the best to the organisation and they feel that it is hard for them to move forward.
- Poor supervision: Many superiors do not know how to handle their staff. The way superiors handle staff and solving problems do have a great impact to the staff too. For instance, if the staff felt that the superiors did not handle the problems fairly they may then choose to quit their job.
- Unclear and misaligned career path: Staff is unclear or unsure about their career path and when they do not know who in the organisation owns the career planning process.
- “Safe” assignments, unclear goals: Staff were not given with challenging projects. They are also concern about the unclear or shifting jobs performance criteria.
Instilling diversity principles
In order to achieve staff retention, the organisation should implement the principles provided by Jennifer A Carsen (2005).
- Obtain commitment at the top: This is to achieve responsibility to all the levels especially the management so as to bring the implementation a success.
- Hold management accountable: Performance reviews and incentives award should be done by the management. Managers should treat all staff with respect and dignity.
- Reward those who embody the workforce diversity principles: Do not reward those who have failed to carry out the principles. Reward should be done fairly.
- Encourage employee participation: With the management alone to carry out the principles is not enough. Organisation should also encourage their staff to voice out and also allow them to play a part in implementing the principles.
A questionnaire (See appendix 1) is conducted for data collection. It involved around 100 cabin crews therefore the total collections of the questionnaire were 100 copies.
Generally the questionnaires were conducted through a number of ways. Firstly, the questionnaires are distributed out through email or hard-copy to the cabin crews with the help of a friend who is also a cabin crew of SIA. Secondly, carrying out observation on the daily activities taking place in the airport whereby the cabin crews are always around there, and with a small discussion group (3-5 people). Lastly, arranging a short interview session with the various seniority of crews, these enhance the value of information that I have gathered as important information such as organization’s optimization, retention and the ways these crews work.
Description Study act as a guide to the researchers in obtaining the data during the data collection :
- Contacting friend who for help, a covering letter with a summary of the study aim with a request of the interviewee requirement was send out via email.
- Getting the interviewee detail with a follow up phone call in which the researchers should explain the aim with more information and answer to any queries.
- Prepared for the Questionnaire and start sending it out through via email or hard-copy to all the interviewees who has responded .
- A letter of appreciation was send out to all the interviewees and follow up with the due date indicated.
- Do a follow up action by contacting all the interviewees if it is necessary for more enquires. For instance, a incomplete questionnaire.
- Sending questionnaire one more time to the interviewee who have yet to respond.
Researcher shall make use of both personal and friendship circles when looking for participants who are either working at HR departments or those who have recruiting experience. The researcher would have to speak to the HR department , any of the representatives to see whether if they would like to participate or interested in the project as mentioned to them. With the contact details provided by the personal or friendship circles, the researcher may email or sent to the respondent to form a small group to observe the daily routine of their work or operation. With addition, a interview session will also be conducted with selected interviewees, mainly with people of different seniority, to enhance the value of the information which had been gathered through the questionnaire and the discussion group. The interview session is conducted based on 4 level of cabin crews within SIA, from flight stewardess, leading stewardess, chief stewardess and in-flight supervisor. In conclusion, the research sample includes 4 representatives from the cabin crew line.To maintain anonymity, personal details of the interviewees have not been mentioned.
Questionnaire (See Appendix 1) was being selected for my research because it is very cost saving and efficient as compare to other approach of the data gathering. And also this approach allows the interviewees to complete the questionnaire during their free time and they may feel more comfortable to give the answer of what they really felt as this questionnaire is anonymity. Interviewees are required to complete a self administered questionnaire, with 75% questions based on a 5 point scale is used to measure the variables. The constructs are measured based on the multi-items scales (MIS) rather than single item scales (SIS), as MIS allows the answer to be more specific to be averaged out when combined.
According to Anderson and Narus (1990), to increase the response ratethe questionnaire should be send out twice. The interviewees will be given a due date of two wweks after the questionnaire had been send out. If no response was done after one week questionnaire will be send out for the second time.
The limitation of using questionnaire is expected as follows:
- Slow Feedback: the interviewees do not respond or submit the questionnaire before the due date. Generally, take a longer time.
- Below Expected Result: Send out to 100 cabin crews, expected to receive 90% – 100% but only received 50% responses.
- Incomplete Questionnaire Form Gathered: Some of the questionnaire is not completed especially under personal particular section and Question 4, about 40 % of the respondents leave it blank or place ” NIL”
- Difficulty in Gathering Questionnaire result: Gathering of the results may be hard as the questionnaire are either send back via email or manually therefore a manual entry is require to sort or gather the data obtain.
Presentation and Discussion
In this section, I will look into the optimization and also staff retention as mention in the previous sections. Both optimization and staff retention plays a important role to bring in the success of the organisation. William Bridges (1995) stated that “There is no generally agreed-upon way to inventory an organization’s culture nor is there any shortage of theorists and consultancies that have developed ways of mapping key elements from many different perspectives” The data which had been collected can assist the managers understand the certain barriers and how to improve in the organisation.
Analysing Singapore Airline (SIA)
Very often due to the complexity of the organization, most of the organization tends to forget about the importance of optimizing and staff retention. According to the report of my questionnaire, only about 30 percent of respondents indicated that they pay attention of optimizing and the staff retention as a ongoing basis. Majority of the respondents feels that the organisation only look into ways of optimizing and retain staff in the case when crisis happen. The questionnaire also shows that respondents view of staff retention as a general managerial tool (60 percent), for targeting major change initiatives (20 percent), as development opportunity (10 percent) and for building organizational strength (10 percent). Most importantly, optimizing a organisation and staff retention allows managers to gain knowledge into how employees view the organization to how they like the organisations.
Another reason why many organizations tend not to pay attention is that the organisation may not have a idea or knowledge of it. In the questionnaire, respondents were split over the question of management’s response of staff retention issue. With a result of majority (55 percent) felt that senior management tend to take changing issue seriously and the rest of the respondent (45 percent) state the reverse Managers may fear of changes is because they are worried that with changes the staff may raise a higher expectations and this may lead to work difference.
Lastly, optimizing and staff retention is very important as it is the key to success or the organisation.
Assessing Singapore Airline ( SIA) alignment
One of the key objective of optimizing and culture change is to test the degree of alignment. For instance if the organisation is not contributing to to high performance practices then there is a need for change to allow a closer alignment.
In general , alignment is usually difficult to achieve and the closing up of the alignment gap may become a problem towards high performance. The common obstacles to high performance evident in my questionnaire finding include:
- Lack of Share Values: The strategy is not clear and even when a strategy is set it is not being practised, unsuitable management pattern and the lack of openness to take in new changes.
- Lack of Leadership: Did not take the need of the staff seriously , stopping the politics and conflict and did not address on the issue of workload.
- Lack of Mentorship: Do not have time to coach and develop the staff, shortage of skills, heavy workloads and high stress.
- Inappropriate Systems: The rewards given is inappropriate, the meetings are poorly run and it beats the purpose of having one.
Assessing Singapore Airline (SIA) performance
In order to achieve high performance it involves the Achieving high performance involves in a connection between employee and the organization. As we all know, employee wants to feel that they are being valued by the organisation by their good performance and to be fairly accessed. Managers can play a role by influencing on every individual performance by giving the need and support to assist the staff to do a good job, especially those with experienced.
Level of Accountability
Generally, the common problem that SIA face is when the the staff do not have a clear idea whether the work had been done to avoid overlapping. This in return cause a double work.
To ensure a correct level of accountability the staff will require to have a correct information to allow them to know what is being required. To ensure the increase of accountability of SIA, it will require looking into:
- Job explanation
- Clarify everyday jobs
- Manage Performance
- Use progress reviews.
- Impose sanctions if necessary
- Rewards System
- It is very important in conveying the organizational values:
- Performance benchmark
- Performance expectations
- Rewards have two organizational objectives:
- To recognise past performance
- To motivate people to perform
The most important factor is that the staff have to feel that the reward is being carried out fairly. Reasonable salary is the most basic to create a trust, as each individual do not want to feel that they are actually being underpaid.
Through this research project, it allows me to find some useful data in which allows me to know what to do to retain a staff and also introduce to me the idea of optimizing the organisation and i realise the main concern is how to increase performance of the organization. In this research, staff retention is a key issue to performance success as it will optimize the organization to achieve higher operation, competence and success in return achieving a better or improving the performance of the organisation.
In conclusion, there is no two similar organisation which is the same and develop the same solution for staff retention and in optimizing the organisation to achieve the high performance and success, it is usually situational. There is many challengers and pressure from both internal and external environment, and so a constant change is always required to catch up with the changing environment. Organizations should look into how the business can be competitive to other organisation and should provide a learning experience to the staff and growth as well so as to create a greater staff engagement. When these staff obtain a higher ski , the chances of getting a higher performance is greater and easier.
All organisation should be flexible. However the flexibility will depend on the organisation’s ability to digest the information and be decisive in the decision being made. Lastly, the road to success of the organisation will depend on the people willingness to adapt to the new changes and so it is important for the organisation to know exactly what is the need of their employee’s need.
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