case study on turnover and morale problems at tsa

Project Description:

case study on turnover and morale problems at tsa

next time you go through security on your way through the airport, smile and say thank you to the screeners who help you send your bags through screening and wave you through the scanner. low morale runs rampant through the screeners that work at the transportation safety administration (tsa) and odds are that the screener you smile at is thinking about quitting.46 a recent government report revealed concerns that the low morale of the screeners may be a distraction to them on the job and may even cause them to be less focused on security and screening responsibilities. about one in five of the nation’s 48,000 screeners quit every year due to low morale, low pay, discrimination and fear of retaliation if they complain.47 an ambitious program aimed at reducing turnover was implemented in 2006, paying bonuses of $500 to $1000 to screeners as a retention incentive. although $18 million in bonuses was paid, the number of screeners leaving their jobs was unchanged. screeners earn an average of $30,000 a year. tsa also started a program that would raise salaries of high-quality veteran screeners to a new pay grade and a better opportunity to be promoted to other government security jobs such as the secret service or border patrol.
the pay and promotion system has been widely viewed by employees as not fair, credible or transparent. employee ratings are seen as more arbitrary than based on merit.48 while over 90 percent of screeners feel that their work was important, only 20 percent felt that promotions were based on merit. most admit that they feel that the screener position is a difficult “dead end” job. “it’s menial labor,” observed michael boyd, an aviation consultant who advises airports and airlines. “these are people who paw through luggage.”


1. why do screeners describe the position as a “dead end job”? how can job design be used to correct that perception?
2. how might job enrichment concepts be used to increase morale and retention at tsa?
3. why didn’t the bonuses reduce turnover?
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