We were delighted to host our inaugural Senior HR Infrastructure and Transportation event this week. Speaking for us was Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s recently appointed COO. Chris was keen to address the HR community and share his learnings from their Voice of the Employee programme, an employee engagement project that he has run over three consecutive years.
We were joined by a number of senior HR leaders from across the industry, many of whom shared the same challenges around engagement. They were keen to hear about Gatwick’s experiences and vitally, how the senior leadership team reacted to feedback and implemented an actionable plan.
Chris talked passionately about communication being at the heart of their success. Honesty, transparency and humility were also key. Their programme centred on simplicity, and the powerful message behind asking your employees what they would change, and also what they absolutely would keep the same. The results were quite remarkable in their simplicity; they could be implemented quickly and with relatively low commercial impact. In many senses it was about getting the basics right; line manager engagement and visibility, uniforms, rotas etc.
It was acknowledged by the room that there is some room for development yet in a number of organisations. There is still a nervousness about asking their Board to stand in front of a room and ask what the employees did and did not like. A number of businesses are on the journey however, employing technology like Survey Monkey to compile Q&A sessions for senior leaders, and to compile data for HR to action.
The consensus was that communication was improving across the industry, a sector with heavy union representation and significant head counts. By employing such simple to implement yet radical programmes, once again aviation demonstrated that it is at the forefront of many people agendas.
We would like to thank Chris for this inspiring talk and to all who attended for contributing to the debate, making for a very enjoyable event.