The British Airways Strikes Effects on Employee Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Strike action, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 5 (1653 words) Published: July 18, 2011
The British Airways Strikes Effects On Employee Motivation

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.

Employee motivation
According 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...

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BAA. 2010. BAA Results for the six months ended 30 June 2010 [online] Available from: [Accessed October 28 2010]
CNN. 2010. CNN News. [online] Available at: [Accessed October 30 2010]
DuBrin, A
Goodman, S.H., Fandt, P.M., Michlitsch, J.F., Lewis, P.S. 2007. Management Challanges For Tomorrow’s Leadres. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Guardian. 2010. Businesses. [online] Available at: [Accessed November 22 2010]
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Telegraph. 2010. Telegraph Travel News. [online] Available at: [Accessed October 24 2010]
Torrington, D., Hall, L
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