Raissa Coelho da Fonseca – Managing Performance and Participation – 2011/2
CIRQUE DU SOLEI CASE
01 – In terms of recruiting, managing and motivating artists, what issues does Cirque face, and how does it address these issues?
In terms of recruiting, Circus has the constant challenge to find the right artists for the production. Because of its growth,each year is needed a hundred new artists. To satisfy this need, the management team travel around the world making auditions in order to compose the best crew. Nevertheless, managers have to be conscious about the cultural diversity of the staff; understand where these artists come from; and what nonartistic needs they have. For example, when casting in African villages, Cirque ensures that theywill bring the good artist only if they find a few people who are equally talented and can support each other on tour.
If we relate this Cirque’s decision with Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, it would be fit in the social part of the pyramid. In which the artists’ need is satisfied internally by the action of building affection with others (sense of belonging).
During auditions, Cirque managersalways measure if the artist can continue to develop, what he can contribute to the show and what he can share with others artists. Cirque believes that they have to help artists to grow and vice-versa. This is a way of keep people motivated using the theory of Herzberg. We can analyze both extrinsic factors (job security and status) and intrinsic factors (advancement, promotion and growth).There are some issues in term of managing and motivating people that Circus address very well. The big challenge is that artists can be on tour for months, far away from home and family. In this moment, when artists live inside the business, the line between office and home can be easily blurred. Artists give their souls and hearts to each other; they build strong and close relationship and becauseof that, they can feel more free and relaxed to have certain types of unaccepted behaviors. Circus does not try to control their actions and does not impose a “code of conduct”. Managers believe that the environment is not fixed and has its own life; is about “letting pure artists work the way they want to work” (Circus case study).
During tours, Circus tries to do the best to make artistshappy. They provide parties after each premier (to celebrate and release the tension); transportation (to make sure that people did not drive drunk); they have an “employee newsletter” composed of uncensored employee submissions; training with specialized artists from outside the Cirque; noneconomic benefits such as language training in six different languages; food and housing.
By theory we knowthat “an artist can sacrifice physiological needs for higher order needs” (Lecture from class). The mentality of the acrobats from Cirque is “if you wake up in the morning and feel no pain, it is because you are dead.” They give 100% of their soul during 12 hours of rehearsal to make the magic of the show be true. They go over pain, basic need such as headquarters and hunger.
Because of theintense training artists are constantly having different types of injures. For example, during the tour of “Dralion” were listed 37 injuries for 57 artists. What Cirque did was to guarantee the reconstruction of some acts, cutting some and expanding others. They wanted to make artists engaged even when they could not perform.
Another issue that Cirque faces is the culture diversity of artists andthe work environmental. For example, when artists from China were selected, they could not communicate well with others because they did not speak English. Moreover, they had bigger cultural differences than non Asians. This issue is a barrier to make artists interact and build deep friendship. Cirque goes over it providing language course and ensuring that directors have patience and lot of...