Motivation at Ryanair

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Motivation at Ryanair
Ricardo Lopes UC - MBA 2010-2013 Organisational Behaviour Introduction Nowadays flying for a few pounds is a reality in Europe, due to low cost airliners, like Ryanair. Management at Ryanair has only one view, to reduce costs in all ways possible to give their customers the lowest price in the market (Boru, 2006). This was the type of management that changed civil aviation in the last 20 years. For this reason, human resources in Ryanair are considered one more resource in the company that must be reduce like the others (Boru, 2006). In the light of this culture, Ryanair has motivation problems in all areas of the company, such as cabin crew, pilots and ground staff. It might be possible to use: Maslow’s hierarchy of the needs theory; Herzberg’s two-factor theory; Equity theory and Expectancy theory, to solve the Ryanair’s motivation problems, however while all these theories can influence motivation of Ryanair employees, for some of them it would be difficult to analyse the results (e.g. Maslow’s and Herzberg’s theories). Next I will describe the characteristics of Ryanair culture, indicate the importance of motivation from an organisation point of view, and give a brief introduction about each theory, then I will analyse these theories strength and weakness, and finally I will explain how these theories can be used to influence motivation at Ryanair. Characteristics of Ryanair Culture At Ryanair there are several rules in regard to their company culture, such as, cuts of office expenses, and costs like training, uniforms or crew meals that staff has to pay for themselves. Normally, these costs are support by the airliners companies, which does not happens within Ryanair; thus due to the above mentioned rules Ryanair employees have a high turnover of staff. In facto, International Transport Workers’ Federation (IFT) has received hundreds of messages with complaints regarding the poor working conditions that exist at Ryanair workplaces (International Transport Workers’ Federation, 2004). Furthermore, Ryanair is very hostile to the employees, who as a result are hesitant to choose a union to fight for their rights. A second


MBA – OB Motivation at Ryanair

Ricardo Lopes

problem is long working hours; some cabin crews had reported that they are regularly scheduled for long shifts (i.e. twelve-hour periods) without any rest (International Transport Workers’ Federation, 2004). Third, although Ryanair is one of most profitable airlines, they request that new recruits pay 1,900 Euros for training, and if they are not chosen to join the company, that cost will be lost (Boru, 2006). Of course, this leads to a plunge in the number of Irish recruits. Alternatively Ryanair has started recruitment of cabin crew in Poland and Latvia for less 33% off European staff wages. Pilots also have to pay for their own training (about £60,000) and do not receive any salary during the initial period. All things considered, the employees of Ryanair are pressured in their jobs and receive low wages comparing with other companies. They are treated poorly by the company and have low morale, which leads to low job satisfaction, high turnover and high absenteeism of the employees. Motivation in organisations Motivation can be defined as a persistent effort in a direction to a goal. From an organisation point of view, motivation is important because there is a strong link between motivation and performance. However, there are other factors that also contribute to performance, and even a highly motivated employee could have a poor performance if they do not understand their jobs or have low general cognitive ability (Johns and Saks, 2005). But a motivated employee could increase the customer’s satisfaction, contribute to the growth of the company, and is more likely to keep their job. Udechukwu (2009) suggets that job satisfaction or dissatisfaction can influence the behavior of the employees, and that some of these...
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