People, Culture and Contemporary Leadership at Flight Centre

Introduction to Flight Centre Travel Group Analysis

Flight Centre travel group is one of the largest travel groups in the world. It operates globally covering 23 countries, along with a network of corporate travel management mapping more than 90 countries. The company has 19000 employees and 2800 businesses. Their leisure, travel brands include Travel Smart, Flight Centre, HealthWise, etc. It delivers corporate social responsibility by various programs (Flight Centre Travel Group 2020a). Their consultants provide various services to customers like flights, car hire, hotels, holidays, travel insurance, cruises, coach tours, visas and much more facilities. At flight Centre, they are ambitious to provide the best travel experience to customers offering the best value for money. Highly qualified and trained expert teams build the best holidays for customers (Flight Centre 2020). This article talks about Flight Centre and its people, culture and contemporary leadership. The study aims to understand and analyze the company’s performance and culture-related initiatives. Further, the ways of measurement of those initiatives is discussed to evaluate its effectiveness. The conclusion finally summing up the report.

Performance Related Initiatives

  1. Flight Centre’s Travel Academy: The Flight Centre group has a Flight Centre travel academy which was recognized as the Employer of choice at the 2016, Australian Business Awards. This honour is provided to companies which can get in place leading workplaces which utilize the maximum potential of employees through best management practices and portray the effective cycle of employee recruitment, engagement and retention.

The pillar on which the company’s workforce leadership lies is its focus on its “People”. The chairman is of the view that each and everyone working in the company must get access to the same work environment, wear same uniforms, get the same desk space and office setup because of his strong belief in unity and egalitarianism. Workers are recruited from diverse social and cultural backgrounds and gender equality is ensured in pay.

Career advancement and growth is encouraged through learning programs and opportunities. Employees are promoted to higher positions through emerging leadership program to help them realize their potential.

For maintain its’ employees’ health, the health-wise brand of Flight Centre is used to provide employees the access to fitness and health services at a discounted price. Moneywise is to ensure that workforce can pioneer financially, and Travel wise, its internal travel department provides the workers full agency services at no commission discounted rates (Employer of choice awards 2018).

  1. Riverbed solutions to accelerate performance: Riverbed Technologies, an application performance company, helped Flight Centre accelerate applications, to increase employee productivity and ultimately customer satisfaction. It also boosts business-critical applications for better employee productivity.

Riverbed Steelhead appliances are used to support its participation in travel expo events accelerating application process by 30% using its number one optimization solution. Its permanent store retail front outlets are also supported by the appliances and its productivity is projected to increase by 42%. Riverbed helped Flight Centre in these areas:

  • Betterment of in-store performance: Since the solutions and appliances offered by Riverbed were highly effective at travel expos, the company tested its optimization tool at five of the Flight Centre storefronts. Use of this application had immediate productive results in the form of reduced bandwidth up to 35%, improved and better workforce performance.
  • Boosting off-site travel exhibitions: Riverbed’s steelhead appliance helped boost performance and optimized traffic helping the travel experts by a rise in networkability by 30%. This helped reduce bandwidth by 30% and increase print traffic by 90%. This way 50-60 additional travel experts are engaged at events along with a more capable and productive workforce due to improvement of performance on board with use of appliances (Riverbed 2016).

Theories: These consists of some ideas which help the management ensure a smooth flow of business activities. Some management theories are:

  • Scientific management theory by Taylor: This theory emphasizes workplace efficiency, making sure that the team receives adequate training, and the need to establish teamwork and cooperation between supervisors and employees.
  • Human Relations theory: Elton mayo gave this theory when he started to conduct experiments in the hope of experiencing improvement in performance. These were in the form of changed break timings, and length of the workday. He concluded that improved performance was not the result of changes but personal attention given to employees (Indeed 2020)

Ways to Measure the Success of Performance-Related Initiatives:

Showcasing Trust Pilot reviews in marketing for Flight Centre to get an honest review on how well its performance-related initiatives have led to better customer satisfaction and better productivity of employees. Reviewing through star ratings given by various agencies on its performance ad initiatives. Flight Centre’s star rating jumped from 8 to 9.8 on 10 in just one year on the trust score measuring its success in the way of better performance (Trustpilot 2019).

Culture Related Initiatives

  1. Diversity Policy: Flight Centre’s values lie on building diversity among employees, management and consultants through sincere efforts of flight Centre group and ensure shareholders of its best efforts in this regard. The policy also lays down for the board a process to measure its success in the achievement of diversity goals. Diversity supports different gender, age, ethics and background of employees and management.

Flight Centre acknowledges benefits resulting from employee advancement in the workplace, like gender diversity rectifying gaps in skills, pay and experience of employees, less absenteeism, better innovation and creative practices, leading to optimum utilization of available talent and higher financial performance.

This way the board will consider programs and initiatives for assisting in the development of a skilled, qualified, diverse group of employees including women. Further mentoring and career advancement opportunities will be provided for preparing employees to climb up the ladder and handling senior management positions (Flight Centre Travel Group 2020b)

  1. Embracing Personalization: Studies have found that encouraging employees to personalize their workplace gives them autonomy, comfort and control while working not only in the physical environment but also in the company overall. An employer must be open to ideas and opinions put forth by his employees and make judicial use of them for the decision-making process involved in various activities of the business. Hence, the company must encourage employees to share ideas and make use of their contribution to provide a sense of ownership to the workforce and enhances their productivity (Flight Centre 2016).
  2. Appreciation and recognition of hard work: No better way than appreciating the hard work put forth by a sincere employee and recognition of his efforts can make him feel satisfied with the job he is working on. This leads to a rise in employee morale and motivation, thereby increasing their productivity and reducing money wasted on costly employee turnover and absenteeism. A round of applause or even a promotion, or a pay rise can foster employee morale to a huge extent help create a work environment where everyone feels worthy and valuable (Flight Centre 2016).

Theories: These theories show how the implementation of cultural initiatives like diversity can help develop strategies to achieve organizational goals:

  • Institutional theory of diversity management: To understand the organization and its processes, behaviour of employees must also be understood. Lawful organizations require businesses to have a diverse workforce who can bring in different expertise and culture into the organization which can be proved to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Resource-based theory of diversity management: This theory states that diversity affects organizational resources. All businesses have four types of resources like human, capital, finance and physical. A diverse culture will be able to use these resources in a better way to ensure organizational success (Weebly 2020).
  • Interrelated structure approach: This theory is characterized by the interdependence of linear and recursive processes on one another through bidirectional indications in the same domain, which indicates that work processes are inter-related (Dauber, Fink and Yolles 2010).

Ways to measure the success of Culture-related initiatives:

The board and nomination-remuneration committee will together set up measurable objectives for achieving diversity, transparency, etc. and check on its achievement once policies in these regards are implemented within the company. The objectives must put forth benchmarks against which results from policies on diversity, transparency and better communication among employees in the work culture could be evaluated and further actions can be taken. Internal review and reporting along with listing down the targets achieved will help measure the success of cultural initiatives.

Conclusion on Flight Centre Travel Group Analysis

The report throws light on Flight Centre and initiatives taken by it to improve performance among employees in the workplace and culture-based initiatives taken by it to establish a good working environment and a sound organizational culture. For performance elevation, Flight Centre has set up its academy whereby employees are provided opportunities, for career development and training to move up the hierarchy. Also, Riverbed’s technology is used by the firm to ease up work for employees, make them well-versed with the use of technology and increase their overall productivity with the use of its appliances. The reviews by trust pilot like agencies and star ratings given to performance initiatives are used as ways to measure success. Culture is enhanced by initiatives like Diversity in the workplace, employing people from all walks of life along with maintaining transparency, encouraging personalization, opening up to ideas of employees, and rewarding their hard work through appreciation. Company’s set objectives and benchmarks are used to measure success which are then compared to industry standards.

References for Flight Centre Travel Group Analysis

Employer of Choice awards. 2018. Flight Centre Travel academy. [Online]. Available at https://employerofchoiceawards.com.au/2016-winners/flight-centre-travel-academy-2016-eoc/ [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Flight Center. 2020. About us. [online]. Available at https://www.flightcentre.com.au/about-us [Accessed on 20 august 2020].

Flight Centre Travel Group. 2020a. Flight Centre Travel Group. [Online]. Available at https://www.fctgl.com/ [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Flight Centre Travel Group. 2020b. Diversity Policy. [Online]. Available at https://www.fctgl.com/investors/governance/diversity-policy-2/ [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Flight Centre. 2016. 5 easy steps to positive workplace culture. [Online]. Available at https://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/business-travel/5-easy-steps-to-a-positive-workplace-culture [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Riverbed. 2016. Riverbed helps Flight Centre accelerate applications, lifting employee productivity and customer service to new heights. [Online]. Available at https://www.riverbed.com/in/press-releases/Riverbed-helps-flight-centre-accelerate-applications-lifting-employee-productivity-and-customer-service-to-new-heights.html [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Trustpilot. 2019. How Flight Centre uses trust pilot reviews to better their business. [Online]. Available at https://business.trustpilot.com/customer-stories/travel/how-flight-centre-use-trustpilot-reviews-to-better-their-business [ Accessed on 20 August 2020].

Indeed. 2020. 7 types of workplace management theories. [Online]. Available at https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/types-of-management-theories [Accesed on 21 August 2020].

Weebly. 2020. The management of workplace diversity. [Online]. Available at https://brownkutschenkovargo.weebly.com/theories-of-managing-diversity.html

Dauber, D., Fink, G. and Yolles, M. 2010. A generic theory of organizational culture. [Online]. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228215572_A_Generic_Theory_of_Organizational_Culture [Accessed on 20 August 2020].

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