This case is based on the two airlines of the Singapore i.e. Singapore Airline and Silvertail Airline. Because of the policy of the government i.e. “Two airlines policy”, both the airlines shared the same air transport industry. Both of the company had not to put any kind of extra efforts to serve the passengers. The basic meaning of the duopoly was that airlines had not to do any kind of hard work to retain the passengers. With this governmental policy, both the airlines were doing good job. In the 1980s, the government set about the deregulating of the sector of air transport. Because of the deregulations, there were many low-cost carriers in the market. The entry of low-cost carriers, there was the significant impact on the business of Silvertail Airline. To compete with the new competition in the market, there was the need to restructure the organization so, Silvertail Airline underwent for the organizational restructure. The aim of the Silvertail Airline by the restructuring was to improve its brand image among the passengers. By the disruptive industrial actions, Silvertail Airline built its new and unique image in the market. In its new image, the Silvertail Airline was an innovative airline which was targeting the customers who were focused on the limited budget. The aim of implementing the change was to meet the expectations and requirements with its new image. There are many organizations that did not fit with their images. In this case, there is the discussion between recruitment manager Sam Milory and Cabin crew director Bobbi Stephens. They came up with the discussion plans to attempt the employees to redesign the organization (Helmreich, 2000).
Identification and Implications of the Problem
Perception- Sam and Bobbi had the perception that there is the lack of initiatives and passion among the employees. They both feel that employees do not fit in the new brand image of the airline. For improving the image, company is seeking to force the employees to work with the conditions which are difficult for them.
Communication- After implementing the change in the organizational structure of the Silvertail Airline, the new needs and requirements was not clearly conveyed to all the employees. The organization did not try to help the employees to understand the change. They did not also provide the opportunity to change. So, basically there is the lack of proper communication among the employees of the organization.
Management- The management of the organization did not seek for another option of downsizing. Present unethical methods will disturb many of the employees and that impacted and created many problems in the organizations. There are older cabin crews in the organization which have negative impact among the customers (Webber & Klimoski, 2004).
Implications of Problems Identified
The identified problems have many implications and those are interconnected with each other. The implications of problem identified are as follows:
Silvertail Airline is facing the issue of ethical dilemma. The company knows that there is need for some changes for building new image in the market. Basically, the changing the life of the employees by forcing them to implement the change is unethical. Because of the economic crisis and downturn, if the downsizing was important then it would have been reasonable to dismiss the some of the employees under this type of situations. In case of Silvertail Airlines, employees were not fit for the new image of the organization this is the reason that there is the need to leave this unfair and unethical method of dismissing the employees (Sexton, Thomas, & Helmreich, 2000).
Decreased Employer Image-
The downsizing plan of the Silvertail Airline may impact the brand image of the organization. The organization forced its employees to resign by creating tough working environment for them. That was very unethical practices. That was the cause of negative image of the Silvertail Airline among the employees. The employees may spread negative message about the organization on the social media or other mediums. This will impact on the reputation of the Silvertail Airline in terms of hiring new and potential employees as they will not be ready to join in the organization. Employees basically need motivation for performing the job role but due to the lack of motivation, they will join such organization (Ministry of Manpower Singapore, 2016).
Poor Job Performance-
There can be the possibility of the clashes among the employees if the Silvertail Airline promotes its junior cabin crews rather than the senior crews. In such condition, the senior cabin crews may feel unvalued and less important because the senior members have to take the instructions from the junior cabin crews. There may be the possibility of the increased complaints from the customers if the cabin crew will not be able to control the emotions during the work (Hoell, 2004).
Company may face legal issues and lawsuit under the Singapore law. Frustrated employees who left the Silvertail Airline, they may file a complaint against the organization with the Ministry of Manpower in terms of unfair and unethical behavior under the employment act. So, there can be the major legal issuers for the organizations and can affect the brand image of the organization among the customers.
There is the survivor disorder or syndrome among the employees. There can be insecurity among the employees because they do not know when the organization will force them to leave. Employees may also feel partial and unfair because of being forced to leave the organization. In such cases, the morale of the employees would be lowered. This could be the cause of poor performance, higher absenteeism, and higher turnover rates and many more problems for the organizations (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2005).
After forcing the employees for resigning, there is the need for the organization to employ new employees that may be fir into the new image. But this will include more cost and time in hiring and providing them training for the new job role. Along with this, to handle the customers’ complaints and give training the employees, organization needs more amount of money and time.
Downsizing Tactics and Implications
There is the need of downsizing in the Silvertail Airline as there is the need to change to stay competitive in the airline industry. Downsizing can be described as being undertaken for the objective to improve the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the organization. So, Silvertail Airline has to consider all the important aspects available for downsizing before making any kind of decision (Reynolds-Fisher & White, 2000).
Reduction of Workforce
· Buying packages
· Reducing the number of cabin crews per flight
· Reducing travel concessions
· Early retirements,
· Promoting younger cabin crews
· Cost savings,
· Existing employees ready for changes,
· Motivation and commitment by employees
· Reduced attrition rate,
· Improved productivity.
Redesign of organization
· Redesigning of job i.e. promoting senior cabin crews for taking charge of younger cabin crew,
· Relocation of employees i.e. relocating the cabin crews in the other companies
· Retaining old cabin crew
· Low level of elimination of workers,
· Great productivity and efficiency,
Silvertail Airline has currently adopted the workforce reduction technique which was the negative way of downsizing. In case of Silvertail Airline, the cause of the downsizing was to create the new brand image among the customers to stay competitive in the market. But the employee reduction left a bad image of the organization among the public. So, in this case, the workforce reduction was not good strategy of the Silvertail Airline.
Further, the strategy of organizational redesign was not so much effective to fix the problems. It was not effective in the main purpose of the Silvertail Airline i.e. downsizing and deal with the problems in future. But it changed the values, attitude and culture of the employees which was the most suitable tactic for the Silvertail Airline to retain the employees. It was the positive downsizing tactic that was helpful in maintaining the morale and productivity level of the employees so that thay can be able to involve with the change in the organization.
Suggestions on the Various Alternatives to Downsizing
In case of Silvertail Airline, there are various alternatives to downsizing. Some of those are described below:
Silvertail Airline should adopt long term staffing alternatives by hiring, cross training succession planning, creating value added opportunities for the employees of the organization.
Organization should focus on cost saving strategies by reduced hours, attrition rates, level of absence and lower wages rates.
Redeployment should also be adopted by the Silvertail Airline. It includes career management and deployment activities which increase the chance of success.
There should be revenue enhancing strategies to stay competitive in the market. Silvertail Airline should develop the plan that will fulfill the organizational as well as individual goals (Workforce Magazine, 2001).
In the above discussion, all the problems in the Silvertail Airline are described. After analyzing all the problems of the airlines, it is important to develop an effective HR plan that would be helpful in addressing the problems and future HR needs of the organization.
From the described case, it is analyzed that there are diversities in the Silvertail Airline i.e. culture and value diversity and age diversity. There is the need to manage the age diversity in Silvertail Airline as the organization will keep the older employees by relocating them in other departments. Along with this, the strategies will also be focused on the health factors of the older employees in the Silvertail Airline. Further, the organization can also develop some wellness programs such as promoting healthy lifestyle by the various campaigns and conducting sports programs for the employees. The organization can also motivate the employees by introducing reward system. The organization can provide rewards to the employees when they perform well to attain the set targets and goals. It will be helpful for the Silvertail Airline to keep the employees motivated for the better performance.
On the other hand, the cultural and value diversity can occur when the employees in the organization feel low valued or they do not get respect from the organization. This can be reduced by engaging the employees in the activities so that they feel valued and the part of the organization. Along with this, the organization can also adopt communication strategies by focusing on team-bonding to develop the team work. By managing the diversities, the organization will be able to get competitive advantage over the competitors. Managing diversity in the organization is the tool of improving the employees’ engagement for operating long term basis in the market. Employees will become more adaptive towards change and more innovative to come up with for the benefit for the organization.
Developing Employer Brand
Improving the employer brand is important for the Silvertail Airline as there is the need to employee more candidates in the organization. So, the image of the organization must be positive among the employees. With the strong employer brand, employees are committed to the organization for longer time.
Figure 1: Employer branding framework
(Source: Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004)
In case of Silvertail Airline, there is the need to improve the employer brand to maintain the competitive advantage and attract the new candidates in the market. There are some steps in improving the employer brand and those are as follows:
For developing the employer brand, there is the need of Silvertail Airline to do the research about the employees and their feeling about the current brand image of the organization. Along with this, there is the need to focus on the groups to analyze the talent market and their thinking about the brand image. Further, the organization can conduct the market survey about the brand attractiveness i.e. cultural, work-life balance, work environment and reward packages etc.
Analysis and Interpretation-
For the Silvertail Airline, it is important to determine its employer brand in the market. Silvertail Airline needs to compare with the other airlines in terms of providing different and unique values. It is necessary to understand the corporate mission of the organization. Now, it is also necessary to understand the Employee value proposition i.e. experience provided by Silvertail Airline, work environment, company culture, employee engagement and development opportunities for the employees. It is important for the existing employees to relate with the new employee value proposition in the organization (Stewart & Lucio, 2011).
For the Silvertail Airline, it is important to communicate with the existing employees to keep them in the organization for long term basis. For improving the interaction between the employees and the organization, the interview sessions, orientation program and other activities can be done. Along with this, the Silvertail Airline must communicate about the new brand image with the existing employees in the organization. Further, airline can promote its new and innovative image by the website and various recruiting channels in the market (Flin, O’Connor & Mearns, 2002).
Maintenance and Measurement-
For maintaining the strong brand image in the market, it is necessary for the Silvertail Airline to conduct a qualitative research in terms of internally and externally to evaluate the perception of the employees and the customers for the brand image of the airline. Further, Silvertail Airline must measure the recruitment process for the improvement of the brand image. By continuously measurement, the organization will be able to optimize the new brand image.
In Silvertail Airline, there is the need of employee engagement to connect the employees in the various organizational activities. Employee engagement is also important for developing positive attitude among the employees for the organization. It is well known that engaged employees in the organizational activities can have higher performance, and can be more innovative. Along with this, there are the less chances of the resistance to change by the employees. There are some strategies which will be helpful for Silvertail Airline for engaging the employees. Those strategies are as follows:
There must be meaningful work for the employees in the organization. There should be the link between the organizational goals and individual goals. It is important for the organization to tell the employees how their role is important in the organization. There are some methods for providing meaningful work.
There is the method of job enrichment by which the organization can motivate the employees about their job role. Further, organization can provide 360 degree feedback to the employees so that they can know their performance in their job role.
Further, Silvertail Airline will provide more independence so that they can provide more innovative ideas for the growth of the organizations.
Supportive Work Environment-
There should be supportive work environment for the employees in the Silvertail Airline. Supportive work environment includes support of the peers, safe environment and the sense of team work to express the opinions. In case of Silvertail Airline, the organization would create the supportive work environment by providing counseling to the employees. Along with this, organization will provide such environment in which the employees will see the mistakes as the lesson, not as punishment (Oriol, 2006).
Leadership and Vision-
The leaders or senior management will provide strong strategic vision for the growth of the employees as well as organization. In case of Silvertail Airline, management should be concerned for the well-being of the employees. For this manner, they will conduct engagement session with the employees (Cuncliffe & Eriksen, 2011).
Person Job Fit-
In this, there should be effective job design, including proper selection and recruitment process. The process will match the knowledge, skills and attitude of the people in the job roles of the organizations. In the Silvertail Airline, recruitment process will focus on those employees who have appropriate and right set of skills which are fit for the organizational goals and mission.
Engaging Line Managers-
The line managers are the key factor of the employee engagement. They motivate and empower the employees rather than control or restrict them. Line managers basically treat the employees with appreciation and show the commitment to develop and increase the capabilities the employees. In case of Silvertail Airline, the managers should motivate the younger cabin crews so that they should not be seen as the threat for the organization. Along with this, they will communicate about the individual as well as organizational goals to the employees (Edmundson, 2003).
Employee engagement is the necessary part to retain the existing employees in the organization. There are the outcomes by adopting all these methods and those are as follows:
- Engaged employees will stay in the Silvertail Airline and improve the employers’ brand image in the market.
- There are less chances of resistance to change by the employees if they are motivated for their work.
- By the employee engagement, organization will get more innovative employees and it will also improve their performance in their job role.
- By the employee engagement, employees will feel committed and motivated to achieve the objectives of the organization.
Training and Development
For preparing the cabin crew members for redeployment of the jobs, there will be the need of proper training. To provide training, Silvertail Airline would need to conduct the research on the employees to understand that what type of training they need. Along with this, there is the need of to measure the readiness of the employees for getting training. Organization should communicate with the employees to ensure that they would understand the need of training i.e. it is important for achieving the organizational objective. It is also important to monitor the training progress of the cabin crew members. After providing training, it is necessary to provide support to the employees to help in the job role (Guerlain et al, 2008).
By the downsizing and the HR plan, Silvertail Airline will be able to get the competitive advantage in the market. Silvertail Airline will redesign and restructure the organization for achieving its new and innovative goals. By using the innovative strategies, such as relocating and redeployment, Silvertail Airline will be able to develop its positive image among the people. by adopting the new HR plan, Silvertail Airline will be able to focus on the downsizing in the smooth, positive and successful manner.
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