Flight Centre is one of the world’s leading travel agency organizations. Headquartered in Australia, Flight Centre has branches in the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. It offers a wide variety of services in the air travel industry. Flight Centre has nearly 10,000 staff, and motivation of such a vast number of workers in different countries and continents requires different motivation techniques.
The motivation techniques used for Flight Centre workers in these different areas should take cognizance of the form of work done by the employees, the environmental surroundings, and the employee needs and thus cannot use identical motivation techniques.
Maslow’s Motivation Theory
Maslow’s motivation theory states that the desire to fulfil unmet needs drives and motivates human beings in whatever they do. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs presents the basic human needs as being “physiological, followed by safety needs, social needs, and then esteem needs” (Berl & Williamson 1987, p.53). When all these needs are satisfied, an individual is then able to attain self-actualization. As an all-encompassing theory on motivation, Maslow’s motivation theory applies to Flight Centre staff across the board.
All the employees of Flight Centre, across the different continents, need to have their basic physiological needs met, regardless of rank or position in the organization. Therefore, Flight Centre employees will be motivated when the organization meets their basic physiological needs such as food, shelter, and education through proper and appropriate remuneration.
Furthermore, Flight Centre employees involved in actual travel, in the process of transfer of documents and delivery of packages between Flight Centre and its clients, will be motivated by having their on-the-job safety needs catered for. Therefore, in a general sense, Maslow’s theory of motivation can apply across the board for employees of Flight Centre insofar as their motivation is derived from the satisfaction of their basic physiological and psychological needs.
Incentive Theory and Flight Centre Employees
One of the best motivators for workers and employees worldwide is adequate remuneration for work done. B.F Skinner’s incentive theory states that, when positive behaviour is rewarded, the behaviour is likely to be repeated.
Therefore, through tangible and intangible rewards, employees can be motivated to perform to higher standards. One of the most common incentives for motivation is higher pay. When employees realize that they can receive better pay by performing their duties to a higher standard, they are likely to strive to achieve these standards.
Therefore, the Flight Centre employees in the different countries can be motivated through receiving competitive salaries and wages. However, different sets of employees are motivated differently. For instance, those working for Flight Centre on short-term contracts may be motivated to put more effort and skill in their work in order to obtain permanent employment terms.
Staff in managerial positions may be motivated with rewards of higher job titles and definitive managerial positions. Overall, the creation of reward schemes within the internal structure of the organization provides adequate incentive to motivate employees to work at levels that are more intensive. Schemes that create an award for employees every month – “Employees of the Month”, and other such continuous reward schemes, can be an integral source of motivation for Flight Centre employees.
Goal Setting Theory of Motivation and Flight Centre employees
The goal setting theory states that, employees can gain motivation and interest in their work when they develop clear goals to be achieved within specific periods. The Goal Setting theory, when applied to Flight Centre employees, may involve setting goals for the different cadre of employees. For instance, employees involved in the actual advertisement and recruiting of clients for Flight Centre may set goals on the number of new clients they can attempt to bring in for the organization each month or year.
Employees involved in the daily interaction with clients (for instance Front Office employees) can target to reduce the number of negative feedbacks by clients. Similarly, the senior management can set goals on reducing the number of employee turnover annually. When such goals are set, the employees have clear targets that they can strive to achieve, and therein find motivation for their jobs.
Since Flight Centre has branches in different countries, the goals set by these different branches should factor in the national, gender, cultural, and environmental factors wrought by the different locations. For example, a flight centre branch in Asia, which has collectivist cultures, should be careful to set goals that promote overall cooperation between employees since individualistic goal setting and achievement is frowned upon in Asian countries.
In conclusion, as discussed in this paper, Flight Centre cannot use identical motivation techniques in all its branches and activities. Since Flight Centre is an international organization with branches in different countries across different cultures, each Flight Centre branch has a unique set of employees and functions. The motivation techniques applicable in these branches will thus vary, considering the nature of the work involved, the type of employee in need of motivation, and the type of motivation appropriate.
Berl, R., & Williamson, N., 1987. A Review of the Content Theories of Motivation as
They Apply to Sales and Sales Management. American Business Review, 5(1), pp. 53-58.