Evaluation of Workforce Management Program
The strategy widely utilized by Singapore Airlines to ensure differentiation in an increasingly competitive market was its attention to in-flight service. “Good flight service [was] important in its own right and is a reflection of attention to detail throughout the airline” (Wyckoff, 1989). This statement perpetuated the belief that excellence in service was directly tied to the careful selection and individual performance of in-flight crews charged with the responsibility of fulfilling the needs of individual passengers and exuding the levels of service demanded by the organization. Applicants destined to work as flight stewards were drawn from a very young population, typically spanning the ages of 18-25 years of age with high school equivalency against the English system of education. Selection of applications was competitive largely due to the degree of skill, poise, and experience required of its candidates. These policies led to the on-boarding of a highly skilled and youthful workforce with positive attitudes and a willingness to be trained. Critique of this approach revealed several disadvantages. The most significant being the potential for greater turnover when hiring a younger population as opposed to an older, more experienced crew. Experience alone would play some role in the development of new employees, as greater experience would bring greater poise and confidence. However, in light of the predominant population Singapore Airlines catered to, a younger in-flight crew would remedy the awkwardness likely to be encountered by older clients being served by older crew members. In addition, a younger crew would likely be more accepting of new procedures and less cynical of the requirements of employment.
In light of the young demographic most desired in this role, recruitment, training and “conversion” processes were both stringent and comprehensive. All aspects of in-flight service, including training related to terminology, amenities and food preparation were provided in great detail, as were training for emergency preparedness and response to every potential scenario encountered in the air and on the ground. Formalized on-boarding, training and continued development were the hallmarks of the comprehensive workforce program. Even well into a crew member’s employment, on-going training and cyclical evaluation provided a mechanism for employees to be aware of individual performance and gain exposure to methods of continuous improvement. With an on-going plan of evaluation, communication, and development, the workforce was well-positioned for high levels of performance and quality improvements. Evaluation of Workforce Management Program
Though it would seem that Singapore Airlines’ work management program suited the organization well, it greatly narrowed the pool of applicants and kept many, well-qualified and experienced candidates from positions that would create diversity among the largely homogeneous workforce and place the organization in a better position to serve populations whose ethnic origins were not of Asian descent. If the organization aims to be the leader in an increasingly global marketplace, the workforce must mirror the diverse needs and perceptions of the greater population.
Advertising Campaigne scores as they indicated levels of satisfaction among the general consumer population and identified areas requiring continuous improvement. In 1973 Singapore Airlines scored 68, in 1974 the company scored 74 and in 1979 they scored 78. The scores of 39 other airlines demonstrated that two other competitors, Cathy Pacific and Thai International, were improving rapidly. This provided one indicator of competitive advantage. In order for Singapore Airlines to stay ahead of their competitors they would need to evaluate their position against industry leaders and determine if changes would be needed to stay competitive, particularly with respect to customer