From Zero to Crew Satisfaction Hero
In a growing aviation industry with a strong forecasted crew shortage, crew satisfaction is becoming more and more important. My colleague Stefan Hartmann and I from Lufthansa Systems Airline Consulting spoke about how to increase crew satisfaction at the AGIFORS Crew Management 2019 in Mexico.
What has the biggest influence on crew satisfaction?
A question that is often and easily asked but the answer is more complex. Crew satisfaction was one of the main topics at the AGIFORS Crew Management Meeting 2019 in Mexico. The AGIFORS is a professional society dedicated to the advancement and application of Operations Research within the airline industry. Once again, this year we had an active role and contributed to the agenda with a product and consulting related speaker slot.
The forecasted pilot shortage (BOEING study) is the key driver for airlines to focus on crew satisfaction. Our presentation “From Zero to Crew Satisfaction Hero” highlighted the importance of happy airline crews and facts how to influence that. But what affects crew satisfaction the most? Often the impression is that there is one solution solving the whole crew satisfaction problem. In our opinion, there is not just one solution but also several solutions which are good and easy to implement and can be tailored to the specific needs of the airline crew.
Moreover, the first step to really understand what makes your crew happy is to ask them.
You can split airline crews in different peer groups who will give you different answers on the main drivers for their satisfaction. Crew members with family will probably point on the work-life balance, thinking of the possibility to have as much influence as possible on their schedule for the coming month. Young crew members might be much more focused on salary and the wish to fly to desirable destinations.
Furthermore, the answers will also vary dependent on the cultural background of the employees and on the regional market you are part of. Finally, everything you do is nothing, if you do not facilitate your crew with the things that make them happy. Then you will see them leave to the competition. If your level of crew satisfaction is far beyond the average on the market, a high attrition rate could be the consequence. This in turn will have a negative impact on your training and recruitment costs.
It is obvious that the answer of the question, what makes your crew happy, is airline specific in many cases. The granted bid rate is one important crew satisfaction KPI most airlines look at. However, this is only one piece of the whole topic. In general, IT systems try to deal with the improvement of work-life balance but do not tell you the reasons why your crew is not satisfied. If work-life balance is not the problem, you will have no improvement at all.
It needs more effort to investigate which means are the most cost efficient and affected ones to increase your crew satisfaction.
To solve your issues in crew satisfaction Lufthansa Systems Airline Consulting offers workshops on crew satisfaction to get you on the right track. We are targeting the answers to your airline specific problems in this area.
We are proud that we won the award for the best presentation at the AGIFORS 2019 with our topic “From Zero to Crew Satisfaction Hero”.
1) Portrait of young businessman with toy paper wings. (Copyright: yarruta/123RF.COM)
2) Myrthe and Stefan are presenting their topic "From Zero to Crew Satisfaction Hero". (Copyright: Edina Ősz/Lufthansa Systems)
3) Myrthe and Stefan won the award for the best presentation. (Copyright: Edina Ősz/Lufthansa Systems)