A different strategy

This report is based on looking at the management styles of BA, and how they would be better off with a different strategy, within its work force. British Airways is autocratic in such a way as it shapes it staff, to the way that they require. The most intensive form of training they receive is customer service training, in what to say, how to say it, and act with customers, losing their individual personality, and being someone different to who they really are.

According to Gapper (unknown date) “BA now trains employees intensively in customer service, re-arranges work to give them more responsibility, and teaches managers that handling customers and employees is their main role”. The management have come close before to adapting their training style and the way the staff are handled, “One response would be to leave them to it, an approach BA came close to adopting in the past”. (Gapper, date unknown).

For management style to change from autocratic to democratic there would be different aspects would need to be looked at. This would include the reshuffle of the management, reprogramming of the training system, and new protocols would need to be encountered. With McGregor’s X and Y theory, if British Airways is to change from X to Y then the staff will be able to have more independence, more responsibility and those who want to be able to progress will be more recognized, as they will tend to work harder and show themselves worth of promotion.

“If given the opportunity, employees will display self-motivation to put forth the effort necessary to achieve the organization’s goals. Thus, avoiding responsibility is not an inherent quality of human nature; individuals will actually seek it out under the proper conditions” (Droege, 2008). If this type of change is to happen then it will be not only for the managers to do but the staff will also need to make effort to the change and accept some form of responsibility and to do tasks on a day to day basis without having to be told.

The down side to this is that one type of managing can be good for one particular person, but another form maybe better for the other depending on their needs and their personality, if they are shy or confident, and what motivates them to do the job. Lazenby (2008) states “managers have found that a one-size-fits-all approach to employee motivation doesn’t work. Challenges that motivate one person might actually discourage another”.

The only problem with this is management for British Airways cannot be two different ways, as they need to be able to think about the majority of staff, which may sound selfish, but in reality people need to learn to take on responsibility, and need to be able to think for themselves, as they would of had the training, and they would know the protocols, therefore it is about developing the staff thinking strategies and making them stand on their own two feet.

For the management style to be changed, managers need to take a step back not boss the staff around, and gradually pass them into a responsible mode, ensuring they do know what needs to be done on a day to day basis, through this staff members can have more meetings or appraisals to set specific goals to suit the staff member to help develop their skills, and at the same time to meet organisational targets. According to Greenwood (1981) Peter Drucker developed management by objectives (MBO) in 1954.

Drucker (1954) states “The important factor is that every member of management should have specific goals which he agrees to attain by specific dates, and which will obligate him to examine and explain the reasons for variance or deviation. This produces the most effective form of control – self control”. Further training requirements will be needed, but also progression training, so they are able to do more things within the company.

Furthermore rewards and recognition would need to be introduced to management as they will need to give out more praise and maybe have an award ceremony every year to recognise and appreciate the staff of the company. According to page and Connell (2006) Maslow’s theory is designed for the individual to move up the ladder of needs starting with physiological needs. With British Airways the main physiological need would be responsibility, and the need of recognition otherwise effort will collapse, which will cause de-motivation.

From here you move up on the pyramid to the next stage until you reach self-fulfilment, which rarely happens. Also this will give staff a say within the company to let their thoughts and ideas to be heard, forming more creativity, and a way of developing the happiness of the workers as well as benefiting the company. Change from autocratic to democratic, British Airways will need to consider the satisfaction levels of the staff, and how it affects the motivation.

Herzberg’s theory is mainly aimed at both autocratic and democratic the reason for this is the motivators like the work and responsibility is more democratic as the staffs is taking responsibility for the work they are actually doing, but there are certain hygiene factors, which are autocratic like supervision, and company policy. Too much supervision and lead to staff members being told what to do which will lead away from democratic.

The Managers of British Airways are not just to rely on the Herzberg theory as they will also need to develop it further by including other ways of motivating staff, other things could be pay if the pay is good or there are rewards of pay rises. “Dual factor theory is based on considerable empirical evidence and is built on the principle that people are motivated towards what makes them feel good, and away from what makes them feel bad. Lack of adequate “job hygiene” will cause dissatisfaction, but its presence will not of itself cause satisfaction, it is the motivators that do this” (McKenna, 2006).