The British Airways Strikes Effects on Employee Motivation

The British Airways Strikes Effects On Employee Motivation Introduction British Airways is one of the leading airline company in Europe, nevertheless in the last few years it has financial problems, talks begin between British Airways and the Unite (Britain’s biggest union) from January of 2009 to solve the problem. At the beginning, the relationship between the two parties was composed, but the milestone was in 2009 October, when the British Airways stated that they are going to cut the staff on long-haul airlines, and from 2010 they freeze the payment of the cabin crew for two years.In December, the majority of British Airways employees decided on strike actions for 12 days, during Christmas time. It was a critical date, because Christmas time is one of the busiest time for airline companies. From December, there was more strike action, just in 2010 up to June, there were 34 days of strike (Guardian 2010). The object of his paper to find out how this difference between the staff and the company effected the motivation of the employees and how the British Airways tries to increase the motivation.

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Employee motivationAccording to DuBrin (2009) the definition of employee motivation is forces either external or internal to a person that act as inducements or that influence action to do something”. In a shorter version motivation is a reason why people do something, it is an extremely complex issue. Because not everybody can be motivated, because it must come from within an individual too. This can be money, social attractions, job satisfaction etc. But these motivators can change. If people are motivated enough, they do their jobs better and faster.Work atmosphere, customer service, work quality, employee morale can be reduced if the individuals are not motivated enough.

Everybody is motivated by other motivators, they are not the same for everybody (Goodman et al 2007). The supervisors need to know what motivates her employees, but of course for a huge company like BA, it is difficult to know what motivates each individual. But there are situations, what motivates the majority of people and what demotivate them. To understand more the problem and analyze why it is vital, Maslow’s hierarchy of need’s is the most useful theory.He divided the needs into 5 categories (Physical, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization needs. ). For this topic, the second group is the most important, the safety needs.

Safety needs are the impulses for security and stability. So it does not mean just the requirement of the security of the body but the safety of employment. A stressful situation can confuse the emotional stability. Because if we work for a company, which has financial problems it creates a lot of stress. People can not work under pressure for a long period  (Goodman et al 2007).Maslow’s theory is connected to Herzberg’s Two Factors theory, which explains the situations more. According to Frederick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, there are two components, the first is the motivation factors which motivate people for e.

g. esteem, responsibility, recognition, rewarding etc. The second component is the hygiene factors which do not motivate people but if they do not exist it causes discontentment and unhappiness. These components are for e. g. working conditions, fair pay, time off, working relationships, hours etc. (DuBrin 2009).

The environment of the job belongs to here as well, so if the work atmosphere is not comfortable for the employees because of disputes they get unmotivated. By British Airways, the real problem is that people feel that they are not respected and not valued enough. The affects of BA’s conflicts within the company Every situation has results in both positive and negative way, it is also true for the conflicts. The proper amount of dispute can lead to job performance. If there is the right amount of dispute this can increase the creativity, the effort, the diagnostic information and/or the group cohesion (Torrington et al 2008).But if the amount of the conflict is more than the right amount, the job performance can suffer. The wrong amount of conflict can lead to limited physical or mental health (stress), wasted resources, sidetracked goals and/or heightened self-interest (Torrington et al 2008).

The manager has to see how it is the relationship between the company and employees or among the employees. If the manager notices that the performance is poor, he or she should minimize it. The British Airways strikes have an enormous influence on the tourism industry, on passengers and  BAA ,as well (BAA Results 2010). The strike actions has also an impact n the ones who work during the walk outs. It is because of the passengers who have to wait and can not fly off as they planned. They are angry and they think that the ones who work during the walk-outs are responsible for their nuisances, but it is not because of them. Because of they are strike breakers they have a conflict with the staff members who are on strike.

According to the BBC, if they solve the conflict and everything will be finished the next thing which they have to decide is that they have to find a way to restructure the relationship between the employees and management and among the employees.A strike attendant said: “We will still do a good job for the passengers but I do think it will be a bare minimum because, whatever we do, you do not get anything back from the company (BBC 2010)”. The employee motivation is suffering but not just because of the disputes among people. The fact that British Airways asked its employees for a free work for one month, just increased the dissatisfaction of the staff. Of course, they do it, because they do not have other choice. But the unite could not express its anger when they heard about this request, with the fact that the boss Willie Walsh earns 100. 00 pounds per month (CNN 2010).

How British Airways tries to motivate its employees The management of British Airways has already recognised that because of the disputes the employee motivation is suffering. According to British Airways annual report and accounts 2009/10, they try to solve the problem. First they have to find a way against conflict and motivate their employees. I’ve already mentioned how serious is this situation and how many people is effected because of it. As they stated, they know that their business is multicultural and that is why they need to find more ways to help everybody within the company.The three most powerful way to motivate employees is focusing on employee relations, rewarding and training. First of all, British Airways focuses on training and development.

In the last year 2009/2010, the days of training were raised by almost 50%. This high number of training means that the airline company still puts an effort on high quality of costumer service. This allows people to develop themselves and reach new goals. Another way to motivate people is to tell them, what is happening within the company. According to a survey more than half ofBritish Airways’staff think that they are well informed about British Airways, this survey shows that more than 90% of them are conscious of the financial situation of the company. British Airways tries to focus on communication that is why they organise meetings where employees can ask questions, suggest ideas and complain. But face-to face meeting are not the only way to inform the staff other communication channels include a personalised Internet, mobile SMS messaging, video and a variety of Company-wide and local newsletter” .

Focusing on employee relations is one of the most beneficial way in this situation. „ We continue to work towards resolving the cabin crew dispute and, longer term, we want to work with the unions to create a new modern framework for industrial relations within British Airways „. (Annual Report of BA 2010) Conclusion and Recommodation As everyone know the disputes started one year ago, but the relationship between the two parties is still miffed. According to the latest news (Guardian 2010), „ BA crew step nearer strike vote after suspension over Christmas collection.

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