Best Practice Companies: Training in the Airline Industry
After September 11th, there was a great deal of turmoil in the airline industry as a tremendous amount of money was needed to be allocated toward other things such as security enhancements. As a result, most airlines cut back costs in other departments, especially in the department of training. However, some airlines deemed training their employees effectively to be pertinent to their development, and thus decided to enhance their training programs to provide a more long term benefit. This is part of what contributed to the title of a “best practice company” for many of these airlines. They recognized training as not only a fundamental part of human resource management but also for their growth and reputation. Training offers a way of developing skills, enhancing productivity and quality of work, and building worker loyalty to the firm, and most importantly, increasing individual and organizational performance to achieve business results. Training is widely accepted as an employee benefit and a method of improving employee morale, and enhancing employee skills has become a business imperative. Increasingly, managers and leaders realize that the key to business growth and success is through developing the skills and knowledge of its workforce. The best practice companies we observed included Southwest Airlines, Jetblue, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic Airways; all of which have made it on the Fortune 500 list of “Most admired Companies”. We came to the conclusion that these five airlines can be seen as best practice companies in the field of training, due to their dedication in providing high quality training, their innovative training tactics, and their emphasis on training in customer service. Dedication To Providing High Quality Training as a Means to Being a Best Practice Company: The superior quality of training is something in which these airlines take a great deal of pride in, and has been achieved through employee motivation and an intensive amount of learning. Three of the airlines including Southwest, Jetblue, and British Airways actually have “training universities” in which every employee is expected to attend. Some classes are standard for everyone in the workforce, while others cater to specific jobs, such as pilots, stewards, ground workers, etc. Employee's are paid for the time they spend in class at these designated schools and will typically work forty hour weeks doing so. All five of these airlines cater to the learning development of their employee's, to ensure complete knowledge of the company and their specific job. Dedication To Providing High Quality Training: Southwest Airlines The key to success in any organization is motivation, the ability to rally a group of people behind a specific goal. When motivation is in place employee’s engage in low absenteeism and job satisfaction, to name a few. Herb Kelleher, the founder and creator of Southwest Airlines has been able to do just this through many ways such as implementing training and career development programs. As many people have heard Southwest does not hire for skills but rather attitude and personality. Before considering if you would like to be employed you must first ask yourself, “Am I motivated?” if not there is a great chance you will not be hired. Not having all of the correct skills on the other hand is not something to worry about seeing how Southwest will train you for the skills needed. ''It is the people; it has always had to do with their selection,'' Heskett says. ''They are selected primarily for attitude, and most people primarily select for skills. They have a particular view for people who will fit into a team-oriented organization and the airline industry is team-oriented. If you have people pointing fingers, you have problems'' (people.bu.edu). Southwest has developed their own training program which they have named the...
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