Emirates Airlines is a leading international aviation company and the largest in the Middle East founded in 1985. It operates from Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. The airline company operates the world’s largest fleets of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircrafts (The Emirates Group, 2015). The paper explores the concepts of motivation, teamwork, and organization structures to help understand how the Emirates Airlines company has risen to the apex in the global aviation industry. Furthermore, it analyzes how the company applies each concept. The paper also examines the perspective of the three concepts not yet explored by the airline company. Finally, the paper offers recommendations to the firm to help it become an even bigger leader in the global aviation industry.
Bauer and Erdogan (2015) explain motivation as the feeling of commitment by a person to do something and then putting effort and energy into it. In an organization, motivation involves ensuring that the employees perform excellently to achieve the organization’s desired goals. Several motivational theories have been advanced to explain workers’ attitudes towards motivation. One of such theories is Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). Herzberg posits that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). These factors include the advancement of an employee’s career. Herzberg also believed that workers were no longer just satisfied with the minimum basic salary but they aimed to achieve more (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). In his study of workers, Herzberg has also found out that there are certain factors in the company that cause dissatisfaction for the employee (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). These include supervision, company policies, salaries, and work conditions. If a business wants to motivate its employees, it should focus on the satisfaction factors (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015).
Another motivational theory is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. Maslow believes that people constantly have needs (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). In his theory, Maslow categorizes the needs into four levels (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). The first level is physiological needs. They are necessity for an individual, and unless fulfilled, an individual cannot meet the needs of other levels. These needs include food, shelter, and clothing (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). The second category composes of safety wants such as occupation and fiscal security. They protect an individual against deprivation. In the third group are social needs. Employees at this level aspire to have recognition at the workplace. The fourth level includes self-esteem wants, including the need for social rank and accomplishment while the last level encompasses self-actualization needs. At this level, employees desire to reach the top and achieve complete success (Bauer & Erdogan, 2015). From the two motivational theories, it is clear that motivation is essential if employees are to work efficiently.
A team in an organization is a group of workers who unite in efforts and work towards the achievement of a similar goal (West, 2012). The employees who are grouped into teams must generate a variety of skills and handle a definite operational department of a company. Nowadays, teams become an ideal style in organizations as they advance employees’ unity and increase their performance. Teamwork has also been known to promote problem-solving, when workers pool their combined thoughts to produce answers that are essential for dealing with the problem.
Teamwork is also vital in making employees accountable. As each member of the team has a duty to perform to make the team’s goals achievable, they are motivated to finish their work and not to fail the team. Brainstorming sessions are a feature of teamwork (West, 2012). Through these sessions, employees end up generating creative ideas that are essential for the organization’s progress. Companies that have adopted teamwork as a strategy are known to perform better as compared to those organizations that lack employee teams. Their improvement in performance is attributed to skills that inexperienced workers learn from experienced employees (West, 2012). Perhaps, the most known strategy to practice teamwork is through team performance management. It is a program that concentrates on three aspects of teamwork, that of achieving goals, overcoming barriers, and receiving recognition (Heathfield, 2014). Team performance management aims to ensure that each member of the team understands what the goal is and achieves it to the best of their abilities. It also teaches the members how to overcome barriers that can arise in the process of achieving the goal. Finally, the program advocates for the recognition of the results that team members contribute. The rewards do not have to be financial payments, even words of appreciation and acknowledgment of their real work can suffice (Heathfield, 2014).
Organization structure is the style, in which various units are placed and in which they relate to each other in a company (Morgan, 2015). Various companies have different organizational structures. They are important because they promote link between the different functions of an organization. An example of an organizational structure is the bureaucratic one. It uses standard procedures in the performance of work in all branches of a company (Morgan, 2015). The benefit of this arrangement is that it ensures the performance of all the departments is standardized. However, the structure does not promote innovation. A different kind of organizational structure is that of a functional arrangement. Here, the company is organized according to different functions such as marketing and finance. The benefit of this arrangement is that it ensures that employees specialize in their jobs, leading to quality products and services. The demerit is that the functions will concentrate on their goals and budgets and forget about the overall objectives of the company (Morgan, 2015).
Another type of structure is the matrix organizational structure. It is considered a finer version of the functional structure because it also concentrates on functions of an organization. However, unlike the functional one, the matrix structure involves different departments to ensure that all necessary functions work together. The most common type of organizational structure is considered to be the tall hierarchical structure. One of its characteristics is a long chain of command (Morgan, 2015). The hierarchical organizational structure is common in big companies because of the fact that as an organization develops, the number of management levels increases, forcing the structure to grow taller. The advantage of this arrangement lies in the fact that it allows for the close supervision of employees. The demerit, however, is that the tall structure creates communication problems consequently hindering the progress of the organization (Morgan, 2015).
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Embracing Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, the company has embarked on providing its employees with incentives that contribute to job satisfaction. The organization provides not only their employees with cash incentives but also favorable and conducive work environment among other job satisfaction factors (The Emirates Group, n.d.). One of the cash incentives that Emirates Airlines offers is a competitive tax-free basic salary. The organization regularly reviews the salaries to ensure they remain competitive in the aviation industry. Emirates Airlines operates a profit share scheme based on the company’s profit results. The employees qualify to receive a share of the benefits (The Emirates Group, n.d.). As elaborated by Maslow’s theory, when the safety needs of employees such as financial security are fulfilled, the worker would appreciate his job and work efficiently. The company also motivates its employees through its exchange rate protection scheme. In the program, 50 percent of the employees’ basic salary is protected against adverse exchange rate fluctuations between the UAE Dirham and the workers’ currency rate choice (The Emirates Group, n.d.). Applying Herzberg’s theory, the company provides its employees with financial support towards the payment of core tuition fees for senior staff who want to advance in their careers (The Emirates Group, n.d.). The non-cash motivational incentives provided by Emirates Airlines include employees’ annual leave. They receive up to a minimum of thirty calendar days leave and additional ten public holidays (The Emirates Group, n.d.). Senior workers get to enjoy an increase of the thirty-day leave. The company also provides its employees with an end of service gratuity in accordance with UAE’s labor laws. However, the company leans toward the dissatisfaction factors in Herzberg’s theory by making its employees work very long hours, which leads to their exhaustion. There have also been complaints about the company’s quick layoffs of its employees, therefore, depriving them of job security (The Emirates Group, n.d.).
The company believes in the concept of teamwork and credits it as a factor of success of the organization (The Emirates Group, 2015). Therefore, it focuses on team training and development to ensure that the employees are equipped to perform their functions up to standard. The organization emphasizes on the importance of teamwork from the initial stages of employment. During the recruitment and training stages, the selected persons are divided into groups and a set of interviews is conducted. The examiners confront the team members with difficult hypothetical situations that they need to resolve with the help of their teams. It is meant to encourage the team culture of the company in solving problems (The Emirates Group, 2015).
In promoting teamwork, Emirates Airlines uses the performance management program. The procedure that concentrates on goals, barriers, and recognition in team performance ensures there is a conducive work environment for the employees (Heathfield, 2014). Through this program, Emirates Airlines has been able to detect the barriers to the achievement of company goals that teams face and it has subsequently provided solutions for them. It has also been able to reward those employees who have shown outstanding work in the groups. The company’s rewards have in the past included retreats for the team members to further bond and learn cabin crew, emergency procedures and customer service management. In 2013, Emirates Airlines team in Singapore entered into a deal with Disney Inc., seeking their assistance to help in training its employees by using Disney’s renowned team training programs. They traveled to Disney land in the USA for a two-day intensive group therapy on service excellence. The program was meant to assist the team members in learning how to work as a team in interacting with clients to ensure the best service in the industry (The Emirates Group, 2015).
The company uses the tall hierarchical organizational structure. At the top is the chairperson of the airline who also doubles up as the chair of the whole Emirates Group. The next in command is the airline president. Two executive vice presidents follow the hierarchy. One is in charge of the company’s commercial operations worldwide, while the other one is in charge of the organization’s engineering and operations. The next persons in command are twelve senior vice presidents in charge of different sectors of the airline. They receive assistance from seven divisional senior vice presidents who are in charge of the various divisions of the company (The Emirates Group, 2006).
The advantage of the company’s tall hierarchical organizational structure is that it promotes a close supervisory control because of the efficient chain of command that ensures all the employees are monitored. Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of the company’s officials are clearly defined. Consequently, the clarity of roles ends up avoiding situations of conflicting authorities. However, the structure also has its disadvantages. It promotes a massive communication barrier among the employees, the middle, and the top management. For the workers to express their grievances or to meet with the organization’s leaders, they need to go through several vertical levels of communication before they talk to the top management. Consequently, the lack of communication implies that the motivation levels of employees are very low as it is difficult for them to relay their grievances to the top management in case of any factors promoting job dissatisfaction. Therefore, in as much as the company offers its employees good benefits, the fact that it cannot adequately address the workers’ grievances can create a lot of tension and conflict in the organization. Consequently, this will affect the productivity of the airline company.
With the numerous benefits packages Emirates Airlines provides to its employees, one would assume that the benefits are sufficient motivation. However, the company needs to accomplish more to motivate the workers. Such motivation can be in the selective financial support offered to senior employees for their tuition fees. The other employees also need to advance in the career if they are to rise to achieve the top positions. Therefore, this motivation package should not discriminate against those low in the ranks. Another area that needs recommendations is on the organizational structure of the organization itself. The structure discourages effective communication in the organization. Given the nature of the job being in the service industry, communication is essential. The company should provide forums where the employees can air their views and grievances. When the employees feel that the organization listens to them, they will work efficiently and improve the company’s productivity. The workers can also use the communication forums for the decision-making purposes. Here, the company will allow the workers to assist in the decision-making process. Consequently, it can act as a training ground for the employees who might be future leaders of the company and would need to make corporate decisions. The company is also known for making its employees work for long hours. As a recommendation, the company’s human resource manager should have a session with the employees where the two parties negotiate about the appropriate working hours for the employees. However, these working hours should conform to those stipulated by the labor laws of the UAE.
On teamwork, the company is doing well. However, the organization should continue providing more avenues for employee cooperation to keep motivating them. The employees will appreciate these efforts, and consequently, it will reflect on their work where they end up producing quality work.
The recommendation on the decision-making will help bring a sense of equality among the employees. They will be able to participate in the decisions of the company through the open forums. The organizational structure of the enterprise, in as much, as it would remain tall and hierarchical, would be more flexible. The employees working fewer hours would be satisfied with their jobs. It would ultimately translate to the improved productivity of the company. The company’s low-level employees would also be able to advance their careers thanks to the proposal on financial support in their payment of tuition fees for the workers. When the employees advance in their careers, they will be able to fulfill their social need of achieving advancements in their career. The recommendations will also ensure job satisfaction for the employees.
Employee motivation is essential if an organization is to succeed because motivated employees lead to an increase in the productivity of the company. There are numerous factors that can lead to the motivation or demotivation of workers. The organization structure of firms affects the motivation of its employees. Employees who work in tall hierarchical structures like that of the Emirates Airline have a tendency of being less motivated due to the communication barriers and lack of involvement in decisions of the company that affects them. It is the responsibility of the company, especially, the human resource manager to ensure that the employees’ morale is raised. One of the ways of improving the employees’ motivation is through teamwork. Emirates Airlines is among the leaders in the aviation industry on the promotion of teamwork. It has tremendously contributed to the company cementing its place as one of the best airlines in the world. Hopefully, with the implementation of the recommendations proposed, the organization will continue to soar high.
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