The airline industry has had a bumpy few years due to the pandemic. After global travel disruption and mass layoffs, airline companies are now restarting hiring efforts and investing in staff retention. In fact, employment in the airline space has increased 8.4% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Nonetheless, managers and recruitment specialists have to prioritize keeping satisfaction levels high among existing airline employees. This retention is important to boost morale, loyalty, upskilling, and generate new leaders and innovation within companies. Training fosters retention by demonstrating airlines’ investment in individuals and their growth opportunities in areas of interest. It’s why more than 75% of employees say they prefer staying in a company that provides continuous learning and development.
Here’s how training helps airlines with staff retention, and how ELSA fits into smarter, more successful retention strategies.
Why is employee retention important?
Employee retention matters in any organization, but particularly in customer-facing roles. Employees who stay with a company for longer tend to be more experienced and knowledgeable about their responsibilities. They also often feel a deeper sense of belonging, hence committing to delivering customer service to the highest standard. Likewise, they can be more productive and efficient because they can complete tasks fast, with confidence, and can solve more complex problems.
Employee retention positively impacts staff morale, too. If people frequently leave an airline, it can create a sense of instability that may prompt others to leave. And, if individuals feel like the company isn’t taking action to prevent more departures, people could feel undervalued and lose motivation in their work. This drop in satisfaction can be readily noticed by customers who interact with staff and may impact their airline experience.
High staff turnover can disrupt workflows, open up gaps in staff’s skills, and hinder the development of teams and individuals. It can equally affect airlines’ reputation and future recruitment, because people will be less likely to apply for positions at companies that are known for low retention. Plus, top tier talent from competitors will be less accessible to airlines with poor retention, when almost half of employees would quit their current job to work for a company that supplies training.
How to improve employee retention and motivation
Training is one of the most effective ways to boost employee retention – it’s also one of the most cost-effective steps as it nurtures a more skilled, loyal workforce that contributes to the company’s progress.
Research shows that retention rates are 30-50% higher at organizations with comprehensive training programs. Why? Training adds to employees’ self-esteem, sense of purpose, and connection with colleagues. It can also engage employees with new topics, or deepen their understanding of fields that they’re already familiar with. Plus, because training looks at critical analysis and problem solving, it can stimulate new ways of thinking that can be applied to people’s work and lives.
In the current climate, where there is economic uncertainty and many businesses have had to let people go, training helps to build staff resilience. Training empowers staff to adapt to new technologies and processes, ensuring that they are current and competitive, and feel secure in their positions. Members from different departments could lead such training, encouraging peer knowledge exchange and giving staff a platform to be thought leaders on certain topics.
Examples of training for airline staff could include:
- Lectures and workshops about communication, interpersonal skills, and safety protocols
- Equipment navigation and application
- Talks on software and tools updates
- Diversity and inclusion activities
- Language learning courses
- Leadership pathways and mentoring opportunities
- Sustainability discussions
- Health and wellbeing classes
Why make English part of your training?
English is the international language of aviation. English is used by air traffic control, pilots, cabin crew, and customers around the world. Having English as a common language between so many people means that travel stays safe and smooth. In customer service, a good level of English allows staff to converse with passengers, handle inquiries, and resolve issues quickly.
Although it’s not mandatory, many airlines request that staff have a degree of English fluency. Airline workers are therefore likely to want to learn or improve their English, in order to access promotions within the company. Advancing their English can also make their roles less stressful, as they won’t have to ask others to translate documents or conversations. Employees who have the tools to move their professional career forward and to make their duties more efficient, tend to stay working with an airline for much longer.
How ELSA can help with your English training needs
ELSA is an AI-powered language learning assistant that gives airline staff detailed feedback about their English pronunciation, grammar, fluency, and more, in real time. ELSA is built on data from people speaking with a range of accents in English, and so its technology can identify common errors from non-native speakers and offer more productive tips to improve. ELSA’s AI also analyzes users’ behaviors and tailors content according to the best way they learn.
ELSA provides learners with hundreds of exercises customized for the aviation industry. Employees can improve their technical terminology and practice serving customers with clarity. What’s more, with ELSA AI, airline staff can engage in realistic, real-time roleplays. For example, desk staff could create a roleplay about baggage that is overweight, with ELSA AI roleplaying an irate customer. During this exchange, learners can practice using the language they’ve learned, and get feedback on their performance afterwards.
Singapore Airlines and FlyArystan are using the platform to fuel better training and English proficiency among staff. And, considering that studies show fast feedback positively influences motivation when learning a new language, ELSA is a powerful tool to engage airline employees and secure greater staff retention.
Just as training is essential for airlines’ security and compliance, it’s necessary to keep staff happy and committed. By providing training in skills such as English, airlines show their commitment to employee growth and evolvement within the company.
Take your staff training to new heights with ELSA.