Ryanair is a prestigious airline that has held its credibility over the last twenty nine years, over twenty nine countries and one hundred and eighty destinations worldwide. It has proven that with its nine thousand skilled staff, the airline has been able to have half a million flights annually, with this year, expected to take in approximately eighty one million passengers. However, despite this credibility, the airline has been faced with certain challenges that have affected its position in the airline market. Some of the listed issues that the company has been criticized for include poor employee relations, the charging policies, the quality of the airline’s adverts and the poor customer service especially to the disabled customers. However, it has been noted that, when the workers and the clients in any industry are constantly making complaints and raising frustrations about the business or industry, this means that there is a big problem within the company (Bamber, 2009). Therefore, out of the challenges that the company is faced with, this paper seeks to focus on the one that dwells on the poor state of customer and employee welfare at Ryanair. In this regard, TUI Travel, a tour operations company, is setting out a study that will be focusing on making investigations that will determine how the staffs at Ryanair are treated and also the customers. This is an investigative study that will be required before signing a long term partnership with TUI
This study is worth conducting as the issues that are in the heart of the citizens that are found in any economy or society mainly come from an industry. By looking at these citizens, they include the customers and the employees. Customers on one hand expect that an industry should deliver the best quality service and safe food at an affordable price. On the other hand, employees expect that good performance, loyalty to the company and hard work should be rewarded (Egan et al., 2011). The rewards might be a good wage, dignity as an employee, and promotions to show an improvement of the statue. Thus, it is important that the needs of the employees and the customers are met as without these two parties, industries would not function without these two key players.
In another argument that takes defence for this study, is that there are some airline industries in the United States and other countries that have failed to evolve when it comes to the traditions and practices that relate to airline working ethics in regards to the employees and the customers. This means that the most airline industries have failed to learn from their mistakes and end up showing minimal signs of progress and in some cases, no progress. Thus, this study will be able to unmask the challenges that have evolved over time when it comes to customer and employee management by the owners of airlines and give workable recommendations on how to curb these challenges and improve on customer and client welfare.
The final rationale for this study is that despite the need for employee- relations and customer relations, the importance of these two relations is another reason for the study. In other words, the main gains of these relations are what are being focused on in this case.
Main Research Question
- What would be the effects of the contracts between TUI and Ryanair?
- How does ineffective customer and employee relation affect the growth of an airline?
- What are the effects of poor customer services and unsatisfactory employee relations in an airline?
- What are the possible remedies for poor customer services and unsatisfactory employee relations in an airline?
Main objective of the study
- To validate the entry of TUI into Ryanair in order to improve relations at Ryanair.
Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study will be:
- To determine the common mistakes that the management at Ryanair makes towards the employees and the customers (the focus being on the disabled customers)
- To access the effects of poor management on the customers and the employees
- To investigate the importance of employee unions in airlines
In our analysis, the main focus will be on strategies that come with employee relations and customer relations. Employee relations are legal notions that are used in most countries in the world that are used to refer to the relationship that exists between an employee (worker) and an employer. This legal notion is under a set of conditions that require that remuneration is given in return by the employer for services rendered. The employer is in some cases made responsible for the needs of the employee at the work place to make sure that they have a conducive environment while working so as to deliver maximum results. On the other hand, customer relation refers to the provision of quality services or goods in order to satisfy the needs of a client and make sure they keep coming back. In this case, when looking at customer relations, the person offering the services or goods must ensure that dignity and respect are included. This is especially when those who are disabled will be served equally (Pochet & Bamber, 2010).
It is believed that labor relations in the airline industry have come a long way as they have been termed as high-stake enterprises. In 1930, the national interest in airline was recognized when the industry was setting off. It is believed that after, the Federal Government decided to buy some airlines in 1963 after making a lobby of the Air Line Pilots Association, all laws that related to transport, like the Railway Labor act and other transport sectors that operated on a larger scale venture had to develop national labor rules and regulations; hence, the rise of the basic structure of the labor relations.
This law allowed the workers to strike, only after there was provision of government mediation and after the any other efforts to negotiate had failed. This meant that workers had a chance to state their issues and when no solution was given, they were allowed to stay off work and strike until a reasonable solution was agreed upon. It was at this time that regulations were brought in with the aim of providing reliable and safe transportation and also help nations that were fighting. This meant that another responsibility to the client was coming up to the airlines and that the airlines were held responsible for the client’s safety, well-being, comfort, and made sure that the client was treated without discrimination (Koontz, et al Feb 6th 2012).
In this review, there are some factors that will be of importance as they will give the link between the employee satisfaction and the client satisfaction. This review will further give insights into the relationship that exists between the contrasts in an airline facility with major focus on Ryanair. In recent studies, evidence shows that if more emphasis is placed on human resource management practices like the engagement of employees, programs that recognize employee efforts and internal marketing efforts that can boost the retention and the satisfaction of employees, the extent to which customer relations are rated can drastically be noted to improve in the long run. This means that there are some factors like the need to improve on management skills and handling staff, will be essential for customer retention and satisfaction.
In a study by Newman et al (2001) shows the kind of relationship that exists between issues that are in the employment of airline staff, right from the recruitment stage, through the retention, to the kind of service they offer and the overall management treatment the airline staff will receive. Newman highlights some important connections that include, the internal conditions of the workplace, the work environment, the a capability of the staff that has an influence on the delivery of services that will affect the retention of the staff and if all these factors are not considered, this can lead to the poor management of customer relations and hence the level of customer satisfaction will deteriorate. In other words, airlines that tend to provide a good working environment that focuses on the enhancement of service capability by an empowerment of decision making will lead the satisfied employees to remain loyal in the airline and provide higher levels of customer service to the clients. Hence, it is in the best interest of Ryanair to make sure that they improve on internal matters that relate to employee satisfaction, and the need to view their employees as customers if they want a change in the customer retention rate.
An empirical study by Joiner and Bartram (2004) shows that there exists a negative relationship between empowerment and work stress, in that as employees are more empowered when they have a decrease in stress at work. Consequently, an increase in the satisfaction of employees reduces the rate of turnovers, absenteeism and in some cases violence claims (Harmon et al, 2003). This means that in the presence of employees, there is more efficiency and effectiveness in customer relations and treatment as well. Focusing on customers with disabilities is also another aspect that must be reviewed. Berlowitz et al (2003) in a study of how airlines treat the disabled clients showed that those airlines that have facilities that made it easier for these special clients had more clients than those who did not focus on these kinds of customers.
Finally, according to Fahad Al-Mailam (2005), it is believed that quality leadership in airline companies will foster an environment that will ensure the provision of quality services that is linked to the satisfactions of customers. Ryanair should seek to improve the customer satisfaction and encourage their customers to travel with the airline or ensure that they develop loyalty to customers that focuses on improving the quality of services and especially the disabled customers. In many studies, quality leadership should provide and empower work environments that should focus on providing more results that engage employees and are successful in increasing the quality of services provided.
This chapter sets out various stages and phases that will be followed in completing the study. It involves a blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. This section will be an overall scheme, plan or structure conceived to aid the study in answering the raised research questions. In this section, the research identifies the procedures and techniques that will be used in the collection, processing and analysis of data. Specifically the following subsections are included; research design, target population, data collection and finally data analysis and interpretation.
This research problem will be studied through the use of a descriptive research design. According to Cooper and Schindler (2003), a descriptive study is concerned with finding out the what, where and how of a phenomenon. This will study will therefore be able to generalize the findings to all the organizations in the industry. The main focus of this study will be quantitative. However, some qualitative approach will be used in order to gain a better understanding and possibly enable a better and more insightful interpretation of the results from the quantitative study.
Sample of the Study
Target population is the specific population about which information is desired. A population is a well-defined or set of people, services, elements, and events, group of things or households that are being investigated. The target population of this study was a sample of 2500 staff working at Ryanair: 100 top management, 400 middle level management and 2000 lower level management staff who are directly dealing with the day to day running of Ryanair. Further, a random sample of 1500 customers was also interviewed in this study.
Data Collection Methods
Chandran, (2004), observes that the main purpose of the questionnaire is to communicate to the respondents what is intended and to elicit desired responses in order to achieve the research objectives. This study used questionnaires to be able to answer the questions that were highlighted in the research questions and especially with the contract between TUI and Ryanair. The use of interviews was also employed at each level of the samples.
Before processing the responses, the completed questionnaires were edited for completeness and consistency. The data were then coded to enable the responses to be grouped into various categories. The data collected was purely quantitative and it was analyzed by descriptive analysis techniques. The descriptive statistical tools such as Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) helped the researcher at TUI describe the data and determine the extent used. The findings were presented using tables and charts, percentages, tabulations, means and other central tendencies. Tables were to summarize responses for further analysis and facilitate comparison. This was to generate quantitative reports through tabulations, percentages, and measures of central tendency.
Due to the sensitivity of some information collected, the researchers at TUI held a moral obligation to treat the information with the utmost propriety. Since the respondents were likely to be reluctant to disclose some information, the researcher made sure that they reassured the respondents of confidentiality of the information given. The study adhered to ethics by getting consent from the organization under study. All the material that was obtained was strictly for research purposes and was treated with utmost confidentiality.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In the concluding aspect, the presentation of analysis and findings of the study as set out in the research methodology will be used in order to give recommendations. In a survey that included the effectiveness of the contract between TUI and Ryanair showed that a majority of the population supported the contract as they stated that it would lead to the growth of the airline. This is due to the credibility that TUI has received over the years when it comes to tour operations in the world. The poor customer services and unsatisfactory employee relations were also noted to be a reason for the redundant growth of the airline and hence, these two was noted to affect the relations in the airline. Some of the effects of poor customer services and unsatisfactory employee relations include, decline in customers, high employee turnover, decline in company profits and a decline in the stakeholders of the company where some investors may opt to pull out. This has been the case in Ryanair that has cropped from the management and how they treat their staff that will treat the clients in an unsatisfactory manner.
The recommendations that will arise from this study is that Ryanair signs the contract to improve on their client management skill. It is believed that TUI will bring in ideas that will motivate the relations between customers and staff at Ryanair. In another aspect, some of the remedies to the poor customer service and poor employee relations could call for a change in management for it is the latter that seems to bring on the challenges that come into the firm. Another is to improve the working conditions of the employees and ensure that the employees are treated in a way to suggest that they are important stakeholders and managers of the firm as well. When it comes to customer relations, there needs to be an improvement in facilities that will make sure that all clients are catered for in the long run. In conclusion, with these changes, then it is approved that TUI and Ryanair to sign a contract.
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