Ryanair has been at it again with some questionable antics. This time they have been warned by recruitment firms for the way Ryanair have approached improving sales figures. Their approach has been to berate employees whose average sales fell “below budget” that they would potentially face “disciplinary proceedings” and have their working hours altered unless they sell more perfume and scratchcards.
The airline has denied previously pressuring their employees to hit their set sales targets. However, the Guardian reports cabin crew had been criticised for failing to hit their fixed sales targets.
One of the letters states “This performance is not acceptable and it is clear that you are simply not doing your job on board”. Cabin crew members were informed that their sales would be “closely monitored” and “further action will be taken and [they] may be subject to disciplinary proceedings” if they were unsuccessful in increasing their sales.
From the employee’s point of view, it seems as if Ryanair haven’t attempted to help them improve their work performance. They could provide training to the staff, so they know how they can increase their sales rather than pressuring them to sell more, or else they’ll be disciplined. A clear cat and mouse situation. The Guardian recently took to Facebook to speak to the employees for their thoughts and opinions on the letter. A member of the group described the organisation as “a bunch of bullies”. Another member said “[Ryanair] don’t care if you leave the company, for each one of us leaving they can replace with 20 new young guys from school and working as they want”.
The sales department is unquestionably a very stressful environment. Every employee working in sales will face rejection and frustration. Therefore it’s important the business do their best to train, organise, and motivate them. Not only will this help the employees out, but it will also allow the business to achieve its full potential.
Working employee’s strengths instead of threats to chastise them for having a weakness will help line managers improve the performance of their team. The majority of managers try to implement a deficit-oriented method into their business, which helps to identify and fix the weaknesses of the team members. It also analyses what has gone wrong and what can be done to avoid the wrongdoing in the future. Instead, managers should look at using strength-based performance conversations. Doing this will help to build and improve the employee’s strengths through a training intervention.
These results can be improved even further through a more extensive intervention which includes more comprehensive communication, manager training and changes to HR policy.