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Retaining & Sustaining Airline Staff Motivation During COVID-19

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The airline industry is largely dependent on employee services.

Nothing can stop the aviation market from falling if they dissatisfy their consumers. Employees must assist their customers in a way that does not harm their market value

Now, Covid-19 has spread across the globe, killing millions of people. To avoid the avoid, governments have advised their people to not take flights. It has affected the aviation industry. As a result, employee furloughs, pay cuts, and unemployment have hit them badly.

But, there was always a need for employee engagement efforts in the aviation industry. The HR departments did little to address disgruntled employees.

Read our blog on: A Brief Guide On How To Manage Disgruntled Employees

Here, employee motivation is one of the main issues impacting their performances. So, the first thing to do is to focus on motivating the employees.

Here we look at how airlines can re-energize employee morale to stay on top and enjoy success.

7 Ways To Motivate Your Airline Staff The Right Way

1. Keep Communication Open

Talent management in difficult times is the actual test of success for a company. Since talent reflects a company's bottom line, employee engagement and motivation become essential. That calls for transparent communication.

Aviation companies should contact their employees through internal digital communication platforms. It provides transparent information, updates, and support.

Employees strengthen and develop innovative strategies when they are well-connected.

So, let them stay updated. They should be able to connect with whoever is in charge of responding to COVID-19 concerns.

2. Promote Your Employees' Mental Health And Wellbeing


While your employees are remote working, you must assist them. It is also critical to look after their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

While movement restrictions can cause physical health problems, remaining home-bound can be depressing. Tip videos, online workshops on physical fitness are useful to assist employees. For example, you can onboard your employees for some fun Zumba sessions.

3. Bring More Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation To The Table.

Extrinsic motivation drives most employees. It includes-

Particularly when many employees are financially weak, extrinsic motivation can help.

It can come from fringe benefits, employee perks and discounts, bonuses, and gift packages. It can also be other tangible benefits in the compensation reward scheme. Airlines like Vistara offer insurance to their selected employees, covering hospitalization costs.

But, researchers have found that intrinsic motivation outperforms people with high extrinsic motivation.

These high intrinsic benefits include-

  • Praise and appreciation
  • Flexible hours
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Work enjoyment and workplace friendships

It can be as simple as acknowledgments made through e-mails. Or you can call out employees' names for their hard work at team meetings. You can even say a simple thank you for their efforts. There are no monetary advantages associated with this.

If you can help your employees uncover intrinsic motivation, they'll get highly motivated. In return, they will work hard and excel in the long run. That means they'll be more efficient and contribute more value to the company.

Integrate with Vantage Circle that offers an excellent forum for acknowledging and appreciating your employees.

4. Let Facts Self Motivate Them

If Aviation Was A Country It Would Be The World's 20th Largest By GDP.

The aviation sector employs 65.5 million people worldwide. It contributes $2.7 trillion (3.6 percent) to global GDP. It shows the potential opportunities in the aviation industry. It should work as self-motivating factors for its employees' long-term career goals.

So, we must ensure that they know these factors before losing hope.

5. Don't Stop Employee Development


Flight crew training used to take place in regular classrooms until COVID-19 came in. But, flight cancellations should not prohibit aviation employees' learning and development process.

Read our blog on: E-learning: The New Way of Employee Training

6. Help Your Employees Paint An Optimistic Picture Of The Future

Speaking to Economic Times, CEO of Indigo, Ronojay Dutta, says,

There are lots of growth. We have paused for growth for two years. The coronavirus has set us back by two years, not more than that. So for two years, we need to pause and catch up, therefore in FY21 and FY22, there will be a slight decline in growth. But in FY23, we want to come back full steam, and we are going to grow fast again. We are going to grow domestically, and we are going to grow international and domestic.


Source: The Economic Times

In simple words, there can't be a lifetime ban on flying. So airline employees must be hopeful about the future. It is that airline staff and crews need the most motivation at work, at this very moment. And the airline industry must stand by them and offer them support in every way possible.

And always remember,

Tough times don't last forever; tough people do.

7. Take Initiatives To Ensure The Health And Safety Of Airline Crew

Your workplace health and safety measures should start with sanitation and protection.

Here are some suggestions-

  • Include touchless baggage check-in, sneeze guards, and face coverings.

  • Include innovative technology for cabin cleaning.

  • Help them limit direct contact with each other. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet, to reduce the risk of infection.

  • When interacting with any sick traveler, be sure to provide them with the surgical mask and other PPE. Also, train them in the correct use.

  • If any of the employees become sick during a flight, ask them to stop working immediately. They should alert the Lead Flight Attendant and isolate themselves.

  • During layovers, encourage your employees to stay in their hotel rooms and eat in.

  • Get your staff and their families vaccinated as soon as possible.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a podcast host and content creator at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest in research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact