Question: QANTAS HRM-CASE STUDY
The ‘airlines’ was found in November 1920 and began as international passenger flights in 1935. The name for the airlines comes from "QANTAS," an abbreviation for its original name, "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services," and has been nicknamed as "The Flying Kangaroo." Qantas Airlines is also a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance. (Qantas, 2016). A very strong international equity link is present between the British Airways and Qantas. Additionally, Fiji' Air Pacific has it's 46.2 percent interest with Qantas. A nationwide, full-service scheduled air services are only being provided by the Qantas Airways. Since the collapse of Ansett group, the domestic share of Qantas has reached approximately 70 percent of the travel market from a mere 55 percent. It has a human resource management operating in the four major areas of the company, namely, business segments, shared services, corporate, development, and learning. Despite the roles being entrusted on HRM by the organization, grave cases of accidents as well as strikes from the dissatisfied workers allegedly for getting meager salaries. Issues similar to these present an HRM gap in the responsibilities being delivered successfully.
The reports present insights to the challenges being faced by the HR Planning at the Qantas discussing the HR functions that must be addressed so as to face these challenges. The volatility of the company is being affected by a large number of variable which has been discussed in the study. The paper begins with a discussion of the various challenges and then the step towards addressing the issues have been discussed in the paper.
The Qantas Airways has a solid history in the business years related with transportation of passengers and mails. With an expansion of operations in 65 domestic and 27 international destinations, it serves around 30,000 employees. It has a human resource management operating in the four major areas of the company, namely, business segments, shared services, corporate, development, and learning. The HRM in the corporate level is seen to be highly responsible for remuneration and benefits, the international and industrial relations of the airlines along with its competitors as well as management. The HR teams are also responsible for collaboration with the various other business segments for ensuring successful delivering of the strategies helping the organization to gain competitive advantage. (Emerging Issues in Human Resource Management)
The major responsibility of the organization lies with the human resource. The major work areas and responsibility include supporting remuneration, managing the compensation of the employees, managing workers records, and recruitment processes along with coming up with the strategic plans regarding the staff traveling, schemes and schedules. Under the development and learning level, various training programs are given to the employees for helping them to deliver all their works effectively.
2.1.1 Job Analysis and Design
Qantas Airways have an inefficient hiring team, and HRM has been making mistakes in choosing a right candidate. Although the organization has a heavy training and recruiting program and the company, have been investing in the job analysis as a well-designing process. In 2008, the company was involved in the in-flight incident causing a serious injury to the 129 passengers owing to the spacious commands. Additionally, the training is not seen to be highly productive since 2006 recruitment. The pilot of the organization was seen not to be acknowledging towards the issues and decided to overshoot the particular destinations by a range of 150 miles. It has been alleged that the captains of the organization are not competent in nature and further lack knowledge regarding shall recovery and use of stick shaker which led to serious accidents. According to various researches, the organizations like Qantas Airways invest a great deal of money on training with the belief that this might be helpful in gaining competitive advantage in the local as well as global (Jackson, Schuler, and Werner, 2011). Although training is offered to the employees so as to motivate the employees and in 2009, it was seen that around $10 million staff training centers were opened by the organization so as to build their economies of the scale. But even with success in the industry, the HRM is highly ineffectual and has asserted that they need to forge a highly beneficial relationship with their employees and staff. (Qantas aims for better customer service with $10m training center, 2009).
Various changes to outsourcing working rules and regulations, cutting of costs have been administered in the organization, yet the situation is seen to be worsening. These issues are seen to be intensified despite the job design and analysis strategy of the organization. ("Qantas' HR policy crashes to earth," 2011)
2.1.2 Change Management
The Qantas Airline was first owned by the government which did not perceive profits and efficiency as their primary goal. In 1995, the privatization of company, various management policies were adopted for overcoming the external and internal influences of the company. The organization is going through diverse external and internal factors, demanding on the changes in the HR management in order to increase their profits. The organization has been maintaining the authoritarian hierarchical structure with the autocratic form of leadership with strict rules and procedures. This had led to major disputes especially among the employees (mostly pilots and engineers) demanding improvements in the wages as well as working conditions (Paton, R. A., & McCalman, J., 2008). The issues have been irritating various employees, and Qantas Airways has been administering various strikes leading to the grounding of the entire fleet of the airlines.
Qantas Airways has seen to be highly participative in the mergers and acquisitions of the firms in the recent years so as to gain global competitiveness. This has led to either elimination of layers of the managers, merging with other organizations, outplacing the workers and even to closing facilities. The issue has been prevalent in the organization leading to the human consequence of the change. Qantas is facing consequences like loss of loyalty, unfulfilled cost savings estimates and related issues. Additionally, the major change company went through was its training which was facilitated by their HRM in the apprenticeship program.This has forced the organization to cut jobs by reducing the number of employees. A change management was adopted by the organization in order to face similar issues, but the employees were not ensured successful remuneration. It was highly embarrassing on the part of a reputable brand where change management failed to take care of the employees (Janda, M., 2013).
2.1.3 Performance Management
The Qantas Airways has been making profits but lacks a meaningful performance management so as to provide recognition and rewards to its employees on the basis of their performance. The employees are unaware of what their organization gives in return for their exceptional work. The Qantas Airways has been considered as an important lynchpin in order to define a proper aviation job owing to the fact that it is a market leader. The organization has been seen to sack 5,000 full-time employees and has replaced these employees with around 9,000 part-time workers. These part-time workers do not work for Qantas. The organizations have been seen to give statements that it might not hire the new full-time employee, and no full-time employees have been hired since 2011. However, the Qantas-owned subsidiaries like Qantas Ground Services (QGS) like Aerocare have been hiring new employees. The working conditions and pay off the QGS employees have been crippling. The organization has failed to recognize the personal accomplishments of the employees thereby failing to work accordingly in the upper management. The organization, consequently, might face the lack of eagerness, joy, and enthusiasm in the working environment. (Sheldon, T. & Sheldon, T., 2015).
2.2 Addressing These Challenges
2.2.1 Job Analysis and Design- Training And Communication Model.
In their official website, Qantas Airways has asserted that “Qantas is committed to providing meaningful jobs with competitive salaries and superior benefits." Furthermore, the organization alleges that the organization "provide targeted, quality training to the Qantas group and assists in the development of skills". (Qantas, 2016)
But the organization has failed in providing both the claims and the HRM needs to revisit their training and communication model. The organization should move from the marketing approach of making profits and should rather focus on their employees and their needs. A new and well-defined hiring and recruitment procedure must be established in the organization along with a need training model. This new training model will include focus group sessions and workshops where the employees must be asked to present their grievances and to give their ideas towards providing a solution. Additionally, this communication must be asked to focus on the learning, teamwork, safety, innovation as well as productivity. A right training must be provided to the pilot, and HRM should invest the most in this department. Therefore, the HRM needs to come up with HR strategic oriented communication model which can help in guaranteeing all the needs and requirements of the employees. This way the paramount issues affecting the company would be discussed easily.
2.2.2 Change Management- Engage the Stakeholders
There is a need for the organization to come up with an urgent action plan. All the stakeholders and the board of directors must discuss the methods on the recent crisis. The HRM must be asked to carry out process that can engage all the stakeholders and important people to give them an insight towards the salary and training issues being handled. They must be told about the change in communication as well as training model so as to keep the changes employees-oriented. The employees must be interviewed so as to inquire about the area that requires change. Whole organization must be provided the information regarding the change. (Cameron, E., & Green, M., 2015).
Once the HRM finds a perfect fit between the training and communication model, the organization needs to come up with a tactical plan on managing the HR roles so as to avoid more scandals. Once employing the change management plan, it is imperative for the HR to be involved in the day to day operations in order to align them with the needs and requirements of the employees. These changes must be highly transparent in their strategy, and the operational and strategic agenda must be communicated effectively. This will ensure that the needs of the employees are being met, and their issues are heard in the organization without being posed to operational challenges. The mission and goals of the change management plan must be shared with the shareholders in order to make them believe that the changes are taking place for correcting the company's reputation.
2.2.3 Performance Management- Reward Practice And Feedback Mechanism
There is a great need to come up with a performance management plan so as to follow up with the performance of all the staff members. The performance management facility will help in improving the relationship quality among all the staff members. Furthermore, sharing of expectations as well as building an environment of mutuality and openness is required in Qantas. Qantas should focus on talent management so as to maintain its leadership in the competitive market and further to perform outstandingly.
The HR must motivate their employees so as to make sure that the high quality of work is being delivered. This will result in the lower number of accidents and remuneration issues in the organization. Furthermore, the attitude of the changing staff members must be noticed, and a proper training must be given on how to have a positive mindset and attitude. These steps will help in enhancing the working spirit of the workers and will motivate them. HR of the Qantas Airways must adopt a well-defined reward practice and feedback mechanism in their culture. In order to adopt talent management strategies, the communication of objectives and goals along with performance expectations must be improved in all the levels of the organization. The following strategies must be adopted for employing a well efficient talent management (Bititci, U. S., Carrie, A. S., & McDevitt, L., 1997)
• Developing the existing talent pool
• Attracting talent visibility
• Maximizing employee satisfaction
• In Advanced planning for succession
• Acting immediately upon the reviewed performance
2. Qantas | Book airfares on Australia Pacific's Best Airline. (2016). Qantas.com. Retrieved 16 September 2016, from https://www.qantas.com/
3. Janda, M. (2013). Qantas critics says management failures damaging airline. ABC News. Retrieved 16 September 2016, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-06/qantas-critics-says-management-failures-damaging-airline/5139050
4. Jackson, S., Schuler, R., & Werner, S. (2011). Managing human resources. Cengage Learning.
5. Qantas aims for better customer service with $10m training centre. (2009). NewsComAu. Retrieved 16 September 2016, from http://www.news.com.au/national/back-to-school-for-battered-qantas-staff/story-e6frfkp9-1111118695362
6. Emerging issues in Human Resource Management: Pramod Vernia publishes and IBH publish (p) Ltd.,
7. Bititci, U. S., Carrie, A. S., & McDevitt, L. (1997). Integrated performance measurement systems: a development guide. International journal of operations & production management, 17(5), 522-534.
8. Paton, R. A., & McCalman, J. (2008). Change management: A guide to effective implementation. Sage.
9. Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.
10. Qantas' HR policy crashes to earth. (2011). Theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 16 September 2016, from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/qantas-hr-policy-crashes-to-earth/news-story/350a60a3aa2d0beec22600d07a4ccead