Employee Engagement ideas for employees of different Aviation Companies
Manage Expectations From the Very Beginning
Managing expectations starts during the hiring process. For pilots and flight crew, even if there’s a “no show face” policy, it’s imperative that they know they must be available to attend events like staff meetings and briefings—even if they’re working remotely. Not only that, schedulers, dispatchers and maintenance crew may, at times, be the only people in the hangar. If potential hires need a more interactive work environment, it’s possible that these positions aren’t the right fit.
While it’s important to set expectations during the hiring process, those expectations must be reiterated during mid-year and annual performance reviews. Even setting aside a few minutes to make sure everyone is clear on job descriptions and what is expected of them can make a huge difference in engagement. Every person is a critical part of the team, so when each segment of the department understands their own roles and responsibilities as well as those of the other team members, teams will thrive.
Lead By Example
Directors of Aviation have a lot on their plates, which means they can often be heads down on important business. However, it’s still important to be both visible and approachable, especially for non-flying Directors. That can be as simple as getting away from a desk and walking the hangar and the office space on a regular basis. By observing and interacting with team members, they’ll be able to identify friction or small signs of disengagement, giving them opportunities to help employees course correct before a resignation letter appears. This type of visibility builds rapport with those who are regularly in the hangar and shows investment in an employee’s ability to perform his or her job. Not only that, it ensures team members succeed in the long run.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Regular Staff Meetings
Sometimes staff meetings can feel tedious, but they’re a key part of getting a scattered team together and building camaraderie. Monthly is ideal, but if that’s not realistic, even a quarterly all hands-on deck meeting helps facilitate engagement. While it’s important to cover operational business, these meetings should also be fun! By hosting a group breakfast or lunch, performing team building activities or even bringing in a relevant speaker, staff meetings can be transformed from boring to exciting.
Whatever the activity, center it around the state of the flight department and encourage group sharing, no matter the position someone holds. Have a team lead discuss what’s working with communication and bring ideas for improvement per department, including pilots, maintenance, scheduling/dispatch and flight attendants. If meetings are designed to strengthen team bonds and give everyone a voice, employees will feel valued—and valued employees stay.
Many companies now offer employees the chance to work remotely, and that’s all thanks to technology. While some aviation positions simply aren’t possible to perform remotely, others are, and leveraging technology to bring everyone together is a key part of building a successful team. For example, if some team members can’t be physically present at the hangar for a monthly staff meeting, offer a user-friendly, inclusive option, such as WebEx or Zoom. Even something as simple as offering an online forum where employees can post articles and share professional and personal information gives team members a chance to facilitate dialogue, regardless of physical location. Not only that, it removes some of the mundane elements of communication, such as monthly communication emails.
Utsa Mukherjee [MBA HR]
AirCrews Aviation Pvt Ltd
Follow Utsa @Social Media