Staff Motivation Not So Much A Pyramid Commerce Essay


Motivation is one of the most important topics that any manager needs to know about. Motivation is the process of encouraging someone to accomplish certain goals. It has three components: intensity, direction and persistence. (Pearson, 15th edition) This case discusses staff motivation in Airline Company. In this highly competitive world of international air passenger transport, the bottom line is everything to the company. Bottom line employees are in direct contact with both customers and managers. As a result, they have to be well motivated to give the right picture of the company to the customer. Here we have lot of transactions happening among customers, employees, first line managers and top managers and this airline has a hierarchical structure. This case presents different situations of motivation issues and how it could leads to work problems. (Hackman, 2009)

Identifying the Problem

The main problem in this airlines company is low motivation which leads to weak performance.

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The first cause is that customers are not satisfied by the way that they are treated. When an employee feels not appreciated, they wouldn't feel motivated. Employees are not satisfied because they not treated well by the customers and the managers who they have a formal relationship with. Employees face a challenge, to satisfy each customer during every shift. However, they are not motivated to do so. In addition, the customers are not satisfied because they do not receive the expected high quality service.

Poor communication between first line managers, top managers and employees is one of the main contributors to low motivation. First line managers communicate with the managers only by formal and directional email, which makes the working environment have a formal atmosphere.

The managers don't know how to motivate the team. Since the first line managers do not communicate with the managers, therefore there will not be any motivation going downwards from the manager to the employees. When there is no communication in the organization, employees would not be motivated to work in the organization culture together. There would be low involvement, high turnover, high absenteeism and therefore poor performance.

There is poor HR department in the airlines company. According to practitioners, the human resources initiatives are only effective if they are integrated and strategic. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the human resources strategy is not examined for its functionality. There is not any form of feedback by the senior management on the daily operational activities and difficulties that Piet encounters. There is no appraisal which leads to stress, high absenteeism and low perceived organizational support.

Some employees lack knowledge, experience and do not have enough skills. According to Piet, lacking skills is a solvable problem. However, lacking motivation is almost incurable. Some of the employees are unprofessional and therefore unsecure; when they face a problem instead of finding a way to the solution they rather pick up the phone and call Piet. That would cause extra stress to the employee and already stressed waiting customer.

It has a hierarchical organization where managers have the same title even if they do not have same experience, high centralization which leads to low motivation. (Hackman, 2009)

Formulating the Alternatives

Any problem has a solution to eliminate the problem or at least minimize it. In this case, as we have mentioned, there are problems that need to be solved in order to make it a highly efficient, successful company.

The employees would be motivated if they get the appropriate treatment from the customers and positive recognition from the first line managers. Some of the customers are rude and disrespectful to them. Thus, proper attitude would cause satisfaction and motivation.

The Customer will be satisfied when they get high quality service, respect from the employees and the flexibility to change flight date, times and seats. There are ways to send the customer on his way feeling he has received an outstanding service. The staff can make the passengers feel "the customer is always right". There are certain attitudes which satisfy customers such as staff friendliness, check in times, on-time departure and quality of food.

Another solution is to get everyone to attend meetings, face-to face talks, emails and telephone conversations to achieve better communication and learn from Piet's conscientiousness. Furthermore, managers should understand the employee personality and values to know how to motivate with each one of them. Conscientiousness is the most important dimension in The Big 5 Personality Model.

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Using intrinsic and extrinsic rewards is another solution to increase motivation. (Maslow, 1943) Intrinsic rewards such as giving them challenging tasks and giving them higher rank in hierarchy and recognition. (Hunt, 1965) Extrinsic rewards such as bonuses, pay raise, promotions and vacations. Moreover, senior managers should motivate themselves; Piet should motivate himself and his team.

They can also have more efficient HR department to achieve better services. They should use the "best fit" method to achieve better satisfaction. The HR department should hire people who fit the organizational culture. The employee ambition and personality should fit the organization structure. Giving feedback on the outcome of the work, so that the employee would know if his performance is satisfactory, average or poor. In addition, improving employee skills by training and courses.

Applying flatter organization structure where employees take part in the decision making process, thus increasing employee empowerment, communication and motivation and high decentralization. (Johns, 1943)

Senior management should motivate them, Piet should motivate himself and his team, and individual members should motivate themselves.

Analyzing the Alternatives

The employee would be motivated if they get the appropriate treatment from the customers and positive recognition from the first line manager's .The advantages are job satisfactions leading to job involvement, psychological empowerment and organizational commitment. However the disadvantages are having supervision might make them feel stressed, it might cause financial loses to the company

The staff can make the passengers feel "the customer is always right ". When they are satisfied, the employee would feel encouraged. There are certain attitudes which satisfy customers such as staff friendliness, check in times, on-time departure and quality of food. The advantages are flexibility to price ratio, customers feel positively and fit their expectation, better service, and customers will come back. The disadvantages: the employee may feel that he is always wrong, thus feel less motivated.

Get everyone to attend meetings, face-to face talks, emails and telephone conversations to achieve better communication has its advantages: pure guidelines ,direct help with staff problems and less formal motivation. The disadvantages: spending more time in meetings means spending less time at work itself and diverse opinions may cause more conflict.

Using intrinsic and extrinsic rewards is another solution to increase satisfaction. Advantages for 1-intrinsic motivation: gives the feeling of responsibility and achievement to intrinsic motivated employees, long lasting, self-sustaining, focus on subject rather than the reward or punishment (Weatherson, 2001)

2-extrinsic motivation, Quick changes behavior, Require little knowledge of the employees

Rewards and pay to extrinsic motivational employees (Morrison, 1965)

However, disadvantages for: 1-intrinsic motivation: slow to change the behavior, requires lengthy preparation and special attention, a variety of approaches may be needed to motivate employees (Kaplan, 2000)

2-extrinsic motivation :Difficulty in determining appropriate rewards and punishment, ineffective after a long period of time, once the reward is removed, motivation is lost (Loitz, 2011)

Have more efficient HR department to achieve better services. Give feedback on the outcome of the work and improve the employee skills by training and courses. The advantages are applying best fit approach so employees fit the organization, good recruitment, training; selection of employees. The disadvantage is that it might take time

Apply flatter organization status, which increases employee empowerment, self-esteem, communication and decreases bureaucracy. Although each manager has the same title there are varying grades of responsibility and support and quick decisions (Rick Suttle). The disadvantages are that some employees may report to more than one manager, hinder growth and Department roles.

Choosing the best alternative

The best solution to increase motivation is giving intrinsic and extrinsic rewards because they increase job satisfaction, involvement and organizational commitment therefore better job engagement and performance .Because high motivation encourages working harder to get credit for their success and work more efficiently. The disadvantages can be eliminated by careful planning and varying the types of rewards to avoid ineffectiveness giving both monetary rewards and appreciation words.

Task 1

Travelling has become a fundamental need for people. Some people travel for tourism and some for business. Many airline companies nowadays are facing many problems that threaten its success.

1 - PIET ANDARO: - what we conclude from the case that he was under high stress and he was demotivated from the situation at his company. he was facing a big problem as he can't find a way to organize the disorganized situation at his company , as each day customer are unsatisfied with the service and the reason for that he didn't have a successful communication with his manager as that's result in making the situation worse . As the probable outcomes from Piet Andaro were these:-

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A) He may let the customer dissatisfaction to continue without changing the situation

b) He may retire from the organization and search for a new job.

c) He may work at same organization but as a bad manager and even if he went to new organization he will work as the same way even if he was supported or motivated there.

2 - AIRLINES: - when it comes to the airlines a disaster may happen due to the outcomes of the present situation.

Short term outcome

Lose current customers, receive negative comments, and decrease in revenues

Long term outcome

a) a bad name will be gained by the customer and it will be classified for the low classes. This will lead to the airline to decrease in revenue and a shortage in the customers.

b) The airlines will close because of their continuous loss and because of the complaining of the customer on the service and because they are not satisfied.

3- CUSTOMER:-a highlighted point we should stop at is the customer satisfaction and from the case we conclude that the organization made the customer unsatisfied in different ways. The staff is unmotivated and unskilled as if there is a problem with the customer they leave them on hold to wait until they call their manager.

Short term outcome is complaining customers who regret flying with this airline

Long term outcome is that unsatisfied customer will fly using competitor airlines as they would think it will be better.

Task Two

Yes sure, because the manager do not know how to motivate the team. Since the first line managers do not communicate with the managers, therefore there won't be any motivation going downwards from the manager to the employees. When there is no communication in the organization, employees would not be motivated to work in the organization culture together. There would be low involvement, high turnover, high absenteeism and poor performance as well.

The reason of absenteeism is the failure to report to work, the cost is enormous and destruction to employees, because important decision may be reduced, but not all absences are bad. Decrease absenteeism can be achieved by getting everyone to get everyone interested in the job and motivate them.

The reason for turnover is voluntary and involuntary permanent retreat from an organization, a high turnover rate Increase recruiting, selection, and training costs. To decrease the turnover the manager should understand the employee's personality and values to know how to cope with each one of them

The reasons of the stress make the employees very nervous in the job and have low confidence which leads to low satisfaction of the customers due to the lack of staff motivation. Employees are not satisfied because are not treated well by the customer and the mangers.

When there is no communication between employees and managers would not be motivated to the work in the organization culture together. There would be low involvement, high turnover, high absenteeism, and poor performance as well. In addition, poor communication the first line, manager and employees make the working environment have a formal atmosphere. To make better satisfaction in the employees feel happy in the job by to get them appropriate treatment from the customers and positive recognition from the first line managers. The customer will be satisfied when they get a high quality service. And job satisfaction is a positive feeling about your job resulting from an evaluate of its characteristics

Task Three

As the main problem for the organization is the lack of motivation among the line managers, airline and senior management. The new CEO need to analyze both the content and process theories. Theories of motivation are divided into content motivational theory (Maslow's theory, two factor theory and McClelland's theory of needs) and process motivational theory (expectancy theory, equity theory, Goal setting theory and reinforcement theory).

Content theories or needs theory

Process theories or cognitive theory

1.Maslow's theory divided the individual needs into five levels which are physiological needs, security needs, belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs and stated that each level should be satisfied to be motivated for the next level of needs, although the theory is simple it was not widespread and received little support and indeed it is not valid to apply it.

2. Two factor theory states that people tend to relate instincts factors like achievement, responsibility and recognition to job satisfaction and tend to relate extinct factors to job dissatisfaction like pay ,company policy and recognition. However the theory have been exposed to criticism because the theory relies on self-reports as people tend to give credit to themselves when things are going well with their jobs and relate all the external factors when there is difficulties in their jobs

3. The McClelland theory of needs divided the needs into needs for achievements, needs for power and needs for affiliation. People tend to perform more when the job responsibility increase and motivation increases.

1.Expectancy theory states that employees will be more motivated when they expect good job appraisal like bonuses, increasing salaries and promotion.

2.Self -determination theory discuss that the person will be more motivated when he/she feels more controlled over his/her job, and will be less motivated when the organization use

rewards like raising the salary or promotions because he/she will feel more stressed and obliged to do this job.

3.Equity theory is concerned with productivity, turnover rates and absenteeism. employees who perceive that their inputs and efforts, experiences towards the job are not equivalent to the output like salaries , promotions and recognition they tend to be less motivated and in result they will produce less

or the turnover rates increase.

4.Goal-setting theory explains that defined, specific and hard goals lead to higher productivity levels.

5.Reinforcement theory considers the contrast of the goal setting theory as it concerns with the quality and the quantity of the job itself and considers the behavior as environmental factor.

As the study shows four different categories to be concerned with, the new CEO should use different motivational theory to adjust for every category in the organization.

First the individual (piet andaro) who has the natural desire to service people and does not need external motivation so the McClelland theory could be applicable for this category as their needs for achieving the best outcomes (more satisfied customers) will motivate them to do his job; in addition self-determination theory will be suitable for Piet as he does not need any external rewards to be motivated in contrast he will be more motivated when he takes more control over the job and responsibility.

Second the person who will be more motivated with external rewards and appraisals and this case is (Robert), the expectancy theory will be more applicable for him, though the more appraisals he expects to get to do a certain task the more he will be more motivated to do his job.

Third it will be more suitable for the senior managers to use the equity theory which based on the organizational justice to motivate piet's team members as they will be more motivated when they feel that the organization gives rewards to their employers equally according to their efforts and experiences.

Task four

Many of today's fast-moving industries have a very public policy that they don't motivate individuals. We provide an environment for them to be self-motivated. To what extent has the airline created this type of environment? Do you see a problem simply poor recruitment?

Human resource department is the most important department in organization system. It directs the organization in what skills and knowledge are wanted for the job. HR department responsible is to know personality of employees and how to motivate them. The objectives of human resource management is to ensure that the organization achieve its goal, to increase organization efficiently and effectiveness, and to attentive with the rights and needs of people in the organization.HR is dealing with employees as asset or human capital rather than variable cost. HR department is also responsible for motivation and attraction of customers to organization. In the case study the organizational goal is to achieve the unachievable means to let the customer think he or she took everything possible but in reality did not take anything. Another organizational goal is to make marginal profit. The human resources function conjoined to each to present" best fit and best practice". Best fit approach is employee fits the organization and best practice approach is best practice policy all, all policies are universal. The environment of the airline company is not individually motivated it is self-motivation. Piet is senior manager of airline his goals is to be self-motivated and motivate his team to achieve the organizational goal. The motivation done by two ways either by internal factor that is self-motivation or external factor that is outside motivation by promotion, increase in salary, well supervise, or work condition. I agree that is problem in Airline Company at recruitment. If HR department make good interview and choose skilled and knowledge employees and know how to motivate them, there were not be problem in the company.

Task Five

First when looking into this organizational case we find that this firm suffers from lots of built-in problems. Further investigations shows that the main problem of this organization is the lack of communication between different working layers of the firm. As studying Piet's situation we find him a very powerful self-motivated employee. On the other hand he is not far from the main problem of the firm much like the other employees of the organization. As Piet himself mentioned in the case study "My contact with my direct line manager is limited to irregular e-mails which are purely directional and/or

informative. At no point is there any attempt to either help with my staffing problems or to acknowledge that these may be stress related". When considering Piet's situation we find that there are many factors that are important to find a good suitable motivation method. The lack of communication with the upper management is one factor. Second there is no internal recognition of his work due to the lack of communication as mentioned in the case study "he is seen as a reliable but uninteresting plodder". The lack of feedback from the job itself is another factor. To sum up Piet's situation we have to attempt to work in the Esteem level of Piet's and his team. When studying Robert situation we finds that Robert is an upper management favourite and seen as a 'high flyer' which is not fair to Piet and his team. Robert himself and his team have lots of problems that need to be look into and handled very carefully. Factors that will differ when searching for a best fit method for his case are company benefits, professional association, belongingness to the organization and achievement in work. The social level has to be putting into consideration to deal with Robert's case and his team.

Discuss whether it is possible to find one which suits both.

When studying this case carefully and looking into it from a detailed scope we find that Herzberg motivation theory can suit both cases for many reasons. One reason for choosing this approach is that it applies motivation and job satisfaction techniques. This will benefit most Piet and his team. This approach will increase recognition, responsibility towards the work and the sense of achievement. Those are exactly what Piet and his team needs. Another reason for the choice is that this technique applies maintenance factors which will suit Robert and his team. Another reason for choosing this approach is that this theory told to be for jobs which are repeated which will fit the work of both Piet and Robert whose they are customer service.