Human Resource Management(Ryanair’s Motivation Problems)


Section 1: Introduction
Human Resource managers around the world rarely agree on the best way to motivate staff at work. However, the problems that can arise when staff is unmotivated ensure this will continue to occupy a great deal of

management time and attention. In both Hospitality and Tourism sectors this is especially controversial, with the major problems of seasonality and low pay contributing to the mix. For this assignment I have been asked to examine contemporary views on motivation, identify a company currently addressing motivation problems at work and evaluate their efforts and to explore the relationship between the effective employment of appropriate recruitment and selection strategies and their impact on staff motivation. I have therefore have chosen Ryanair’s motivation problems and in this assignment the following can be found: Identifying Ryanair’s currently motivation problems at work and an evaluation of their effort, Ryanairs low salaries, recruitment methods used by Ryanair and the impact it has on staff motivation and more in depth discussions about how these motivation problems and how they can be solved.

Section 2: Understanding of Human Resource Management and Motivation
2.1 What is Human Resource Management?
Human resources management plays a key role which helps the success of the operations task in selecting, training and motivating the right kind of personnel for the organization (Ref: Woodruffe H, 1995) Humans are an organization's greatest assets; without them, everyday business functions could not be completed.” Human resource management is responsible for how people are treated in organizations. It is responsible for bringing people into the organization, helping them perform their work, compensating them for their labors, and solving problems that arise" (Cherrington, 1995).

There are seven management functions of a human resources department: staffing, performance appraisals, compensation and benefits, training and development, employee and labor relations, safety and health, and human resource research.

2.2 What is Motivation?
Motivation is the individual, internal process that energizes, directs, and sustains behavior. It is a personal "force" that causes one to behave in a particular way .Most often, motivation is the term used to explain people's behavior. Successful managers are said to be highly motivated. A team leader who avoids work is said to be unmotivated. Motivation is linked with morale; morale is the employee's feeling toward the job, superiors, and the firm itself. High morale results mainly from the satisfaction of needs on the job or as a result of the job. High morale leads to dedication and loyalty as well as to the desire to do a job well. Low morale can lead to shoddy work, absenteeism, and high rates of turnover.

Section 3: Contemporary views on motivation
3.1 Equity Theory.

In this section four different contemporary views on motivation will be discussed these motivation theories can help managers understand how to motivate their staff. These four theories are equity theory, expectancy theory, reinforcement theory, and goal setting theory. These four theories are all different views on motivation each theory will be discussed in details below. Equity theory will be discussed first.
The equity theory of motivation is based on the fact that people are motivated first to achieve and then to maintain a sense of equity. Equity refers to the distribution of rewards in direct equality to the contribution of each employee to the organization. Everyone needs not to receive the same rewards, but the rewards should be in accordance with individual contributions. According to the theory, the idea of equity is as follows:

1) First, a development of an input-to-outcome ratio. Inputs are the things that are contributed to the organization. Outcomes are the things we get from the organization, e.g. a hard working employee who gets well paid by his organization he works for.
2) Next, a comparison of this ratio is made with what we perceive as the input-to-outcome ratio for some other person, called the comparison other.
3) If the two ratios are roughly the same, you feel that the organization is treating you equitably and are motivated to leave things as they are.
If our ratio is the lower of the two, you will feel under rewarded and are motivated to change things you may decrease your own inputs by not working so hard, leave the work situation or try to increase our total outcomes by asking for a raise in pay. This shows that the equity theory is most relevant to pay as an outcome. It is important for an organization to know how much work each employee produces and if they are well paid, it is certainly not fair if an employee who does not work hard gets paid a reasonable amount of money and an other employee who does work hard is underpaid, not only will this employee get unmotivated but it might lead to resignation from the company.

3.2 Expectancy Theory.
Expectancy theory, developed by Victor Vroom is a very complex model of motivation that is based on a simple assumption. According to expectancy theory, motivation depends on how much we want something and on how likely we are to get it. A short scenario is given below to understand this model of motivation.
Two airline sales reservations agents who are candidates for promotion to one sales reservations manager’s job. Bill has had a very good sales year and always gets good performance evaluations. But he is not sure he wants the job because it requires a great deal of travel, long working hours, and much stress and pressure. Susan wants the job as much as Bill, and she thinks she has a good chance of getting it. Her sales have improved this past year, and her evaluations are the best in the company. Expectancy theory would predict that Bill is not very motivated to seek the promotion. But Susan is very motivated to seek the promotion, because she wants it and thinks she can get it.

Expectancy theory is complex because each action that is taken is likely to lead to several different outcomes, some that we may want and others that we may not want. For example, if people work hard and put in a lot of extra hours, several things may happen. They may get a pay raise, they may be promoted, they may gain valuable new job skills or it might have bad outcomes such as having less time to spend with their families and cut back on social life.

Expectancy theory has several useful guidelines for managers. It suggests that managers must recognize the following:
1) Employees work for a variety of reasons.
2) These reasons, or expected outcomes, may change over time.
3) It is necessary to clearly show employees how they can attain the outcomes they desire.
Basically the expectancy theory shows that getting promoted or getting a better job position could lead to outcomes the employees would not want. Getting better paid or promoted would not conclude that the employee will get motivated as we have seen in the above scenario where Bill has a good sales year and always gets good performance evaluations but he does not want the job because it requires long working hours and stress. Paula would be more suitable for the job because she is highly motivated and can probably deal with the requirements and the negative outcomes such as cutting back on social life.

3.3 Reinforcement Theory
Reinforcement theory states that behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated, whereas behavior that has been punished is less likely to recur. Reinforcement is an action that follows directly from a particular behavior. Reinforcements can be used in a number of different ways:
*A positive reinforcement strengthens desired behavior by providing a reward e.g. an customer service agent at the airport who took over her colleagues jobs because they were absent and dealt with all the issues at once, she could be rewarded for her hard work which might get her motivated to work harder and take up more tasks at once.
*Punishment is an undesired consequence that follows from undesirable behavior e.g.a flight attendant who is rude to her customers might get punished or be given a warning, this way this behavior might not occur again.
Reinforcement can work effectively but in general, positive reinforcement might be the most effective action because as it states behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated.

Section 4.1: Identifying Ryanair’s currently motivation problems at work and an evaluation of their effort. Ryanair's is a ‘’no-frills’’ airline but it has a high turnover according to Shay Cody, the deputy general secretary of the Irish trade union Impact Ryanair has a very oppressive regime and they have extremely high staff turnover, particularly among junior pilots and cabin crew .Staff are expected to pay for their own uniforms, crew meals and training courses. It requires staff to pay as much as £2,700 upfront for training.

Many workers from the United Kingdom have left their jobs with Ryanair and as result the company is recruiting now contract labour from agencies as far away as the Baltic States and Poland. Pilots were recently told that in order to graduate from older planes to newer aircraft, they would have to pay for their own retraining.

A cabin crew who works for Ryanair writes her experiences on a website where she says: ‘’Ryanair does not care about its cabin crew and just takes the most they possibly can squeeze out of us. After a twelve hour day without a break, I do not have the energy to be nice to passengers or check that my nail polish is still on. Come on Ryanair start valuing what we do because without us you could not fly4’’

The employees and especially the cabin crew of Ryanair tend to be not dealing nicely with passengers. The statement of the employee of Ryanair above explains us what the cause is, the employees themselves work hard and are undervalued and have to work many hours without a break this leaves them exhausted and stressed and makes it hard for them to deal nicely to passengers. Not only will there be a high turnover but also Ryanair might lose more customers over time because of the bad customer service of the unmotivated and tired employees.

4.2 Ryainair’s Low Salaries.
It is clear that Ryanair cabin crews are not getting the wages they deserve for the hard work they put in. Long flight hours, little rest time, all of this deserves better pay and proper compensation. Staff in workplaces with a union and a collective agreement gets better pay and conditions, and better income. This is true for most full-service airlines as well as low-cost carriers. Easy jet for example has a collective agreement, and staff earns better. Ryanair might need an Union not only will the turnover decrease but also the companies reputation might get better, cheap flight tickets might not be enough in the long run to be successful as a no frill airline business. There are different no frills airlines and many of them do not suffer from such a dramatic high turnover as Ryanair does it certainly does not mean that operating as an inexpensive airline gives them the right to undervalue their employees.

It is important for any company to understand that without their employees there is no business, every employee should be treated fair enough and should been given a working environment they can cope with. Working 12 hours without a break is inhuman; paying for training or uniforms is certainly not acceptable especially in a company where the employees are underpaid.

As mentioned before in this assignment it explains that human resource management plays a key role in the success of the operations task in training and motivating the right kind of personnel for the organization, human resource management is responsible for how people are treated in an organization, helping them perform their work and solving problems that might arise. The question that here is: Is there a human resource management department in Ryanairs organization? If there is one than it does not seem that this department is of any help for the employees or for the organization itself. In overall it seems that there is no motivation from the employees because Ryainair does not seem to know how to motivate their own staff which leads to low morale because they are certainly not satisfied this again leads to poor work, absenteeism, and high rates of turnover.

Section 5: Exploring the relationship between the effective employment of appropriate recruitment and selection strategies and their impact on staff motivation.

5.1 Staff Selection and Recruitment.

Careful recruitment of the right kind of personnel is an important step, recruitment should be seen as a powerful tool in itself for enhancing and maintaining the organisation’s standing and image. For Ryanair in this case, it is necessary to know that their high turnover is affecting their reputation as an overall company, it might be easy for the time being to hire new employees every time an employee leaves the company possible but with time when more people leave Ryanair the reputation of the company and its image might get seriously affected and as a result it can get hard to employee new staff. There are certain steps a company has to go through to recruit new staff from vacancies to arranging interviews and train the new employees but most important that when these steps are taken and training and development follows after the recruitment process it can have a major positive affect on the company.

5.2 Recruitment Methods Used by Ryanair and the Impact It Has On Staff Motivation.

Ryanair follows the normal procedure of recruiting new staff starting from advertising and vacancies to interviewing and testing and than training but it does fall out on the proper training and development some staff has to pay for their own training. They arrange interviews by sending out letters to successful applicants where the interview is held at a venue and everyone has to go through a test those who are successful are to be interviewed. The successful interviewers will than be recruited and trained by Ryanair. Training and development might be poor but it has to be understood by Ryanair that training opportunities provided by them can help create personal job satisfaction and help them retaining their personnel.

It does not seem that Ryanair itself put much effort in the training procedure and therefore many employees get unmotivated provide poor work results, are rude to customers because they are stressed out and might not know how to deal properly with their tasks because the training has been poor and as a result to that they leave their jobs.

Section 6: Conclusion Motivation is the essential tool to help reduce high turnover as this assignment has shown if it was for Ryanairs employees the main reason for the high turnover is the fact that they are not motivated enough and do not have a high morale. There are different theories that could be put in practice to solve this issue and to help the managers at this airline and learn the reasons for job dissatisfaction of their employees, their reasons for not performing well at their current job and what could help them do solve these problems.

In overall different motivation theories could help Ryanair’s managers reduce staff turnover.The training staff selection and recruitment goes through the ordinary stages mainly all staff can only be recruited by applying through vacancies on their website or via job agencies, but staff has to pay for training upfront, this is a main concern as one of the most important tool to motivation is by training the employees and help them to develop their skilss.
Section 7: Recommendations.

For every company it is important to treat their staff properly because without them the company could not operate. Ryanair seems not to care about their reputation; the high turnover is a major issue and it should be decreased, applicants looking for a job in the future would not want to apply for Ryanair because of its bad reputation and image towards employees. The staff tends to be rude to customers and lacks in its customer service it does not matter that the tickets are inexpensive, competition in no frills airlines is playing a major role recently and will continue to become bigger.

Customers therefore will fly with another airline with the same prices as Ryanair but with better customer service. This motivation problem that is Ryanair is currently addressing will have not only an impact on staff turnover but also on its image and maybe their profits in the future.

The staff is underpaid and it would be a good idea if Ryanair would go with a union this will help the employees having to secure that there will be help if they might need it and the employees salary might increase. Training should be continuously to help them develop their skills at their jobs. Furthermore it is from major concern to address the reasons of the high turnover which are the fact that the employees have to pay for training, staff is not appreciated, work many hours with less break and are underpaid. In result of solving these issues the employees will be motivated, have higher morale and produce better work.

Different solutions are there to help motivate their staff for example by giving them incentives such as rewards and bonuses or facilities to such as gym memberships this will help them feel appreciated and valued for the work they produce. As last not to forget customers will also be treated better which decreases the chance of losing the business and boosts up the reputation and image of Ryanair.

References

Books:

Cooper, C., Fletcher J.,Gilbert D.& Wanhill S.(1998) Tourism Principles and Practises, Second Edition, Addison Wesley Longman Singapore(Pte)Ltd, Singapore

Woodruffe, H. (1995) Service Marketing, 1st Edition, Pitman Publishing, London

Websites:

http://www.answers.com/topic/human-resource-management

http://www.paedpsych.jk.uni-linz.ac.at/INTERNET/arbeitsblaetterord/LERNTECHNIKORD/Motivation2.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1468517,00.html

http://www.management-issues.com/2006/5/25/blog/ryanair-staff-bite-back.asp

http://www.ryan-be-fair.org

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